World Commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day

On January 27, 2021, the world officially commemorated the six million Jewish men, women, and children who were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Holocaust. International Holocaust Remembrance Day went online this year due to the Covid-19 crisis. A wide range of events and online exhibitions took place staged by the United Nations, the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center, Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the European Union, and other international organizations. Reported by The Jerusalem Post. Read more… Yad Vashem created an online exhibit, “My Lost Childhood,” discussing the horrors child survivors faced after being liberated. Reported by The Jerusalem Post. Read more… Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a video address remembering those who were murdered, warning that “if people thought that following the horrors of Auschwitz and Treblinka, humanity would finally learn its lesson and rid itself of antisemitism, that it would throw it into the dustbin of history where it belongs, well, they were wrong. Dead wrong.”  Netanyahu went on to say, “In the twenty-first century, the disease of antisemitism continues to contaminate and spread. It can be found alive, kicking and pernicious on North American university campuses, in South Asian madrassas, among European elites. Antisemitism exists in the affluent West and in the developing world in the East.” But he also said that things were different today—Jews were no longer homeless, stateless, or defenseless, but were today “firmly rooted in our ancient land, free and strong in our independent state.” Reported by Israel National News. Read more… Pope Francis also offered a warning, saying, “To remember also means being careful because these things can happen again, starting with ideological proposals that claim to want to save a people but end up destroying a people and humanity.” Continuing, the Pope said, “Be wary of how this path of death, extermination and brutality started,” a reference to the rise of the Nazi party on a wave of extreme nationalism. Reported by The New York Post. Read more… Gilad Erdan, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative of Israel to the U.N. wrote in an opinion piece on Fox News that “the similarities between the Islamic Republic and the Nazi regime of Iran are striking as the path we are heading down nearly a century later.” He said that “Iran is dominated by an irrational, extremist ideology, with a single totalitarian party that executes its opponents and has succeeded in controlling every aspect of life in its country,” and noted its expansionist ambitions in the Middle East “closely mirror that Nazi’s efforts to take over Europe.” He warned that the main difference between the Nazis and Iran is that today Iran is closer than ever to obtaining nuclear weapons, something the Nazis did not have. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Haley Breaks with Trump

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley has formally broken with former U.S. President Donald Trump. In an interview published Friday in Politico, Haley said that Republicans “need to acknowledge that he let us down.”  Speaking about the January 6 Capitol Riots, Haley said, “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.” She also acknowledged that Trump’s base remains strong, but that the Republican Party will never be the same after him. “I think what we need to do is take the good that he built, leave the bad that he did, and get back to a place where we can be a good, valuable, effective party. But at the same time, it’s bigger than the party. I hope our country can come together and figure out how we pull this back.” Reported by Fox News. Read more… Reported by CNN. Read more… Adam Kinzinger, a Republican Congressman from Illinois quickly criticized Haley, tweeting that “You can’t play both sides anymore Governor. Pick Country First or Trump First.” Kinzinger is an outspoken critic of Trump. Reported by Newsweek. Read more… Haley’s break from Trump could make her a favorite of Republican Jews in 2024 for the presidential nomination. Haley made fighting anti-Israel policy the centerpiece of her tenure as Ambassador to the U.N. Reported by The Jerusalem Post. Read more…

Kushner, Berkowitz Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize; Biden Administration Backs Two-State Solution; Haley Accuses Biden Administration of Snubbing Israel; Netanyahu Pleads Not Guilty to Corruption Charges

Jared Kushner and Avi Berkowitz, his former deputy, have been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for their work in negotiating peace deals between Israel, and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco. The deals are considered the most significant diplomatic breakthroughs in the Middle East in 25 years. Reported by Fox News. Read more… Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden is getting behind the two-state solution to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. Former U.S. President Donald Trump all but discarded the solution, striking out in a different direction. Richard Mills, the acting U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. stated in a virtual speech to the U.N. recently that the Biden administration supports a “viable Palestinian state” while “maintain[ing] its steadfast support for Israel.” Reported by Fox News. Read more… Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told Fox News during the first week of February that the Biden administration was “snubbing Israel” and “cozying up to Iran.” She also called the administration’s approach to Iran “truly dangerous” for the region, citing reports Biden was considering a return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Reported by Fox News. Read more… Finally, the corruption trial of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has resumed. The prime minister formally entered his not guilty plea. He stands accused of fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes in three different cases. Netanyahu is Israel’s longest sitting prime minister. He is also the first to go on trial. The trial resumes just weeks before national elections. Reported by The Fox News. Read more…

Biden Likely to Reengage 2015 Nuke Deal; Iran Demands Sanctions Be Dropped Before Return to Negotiating Table; Blinken Warns Iran Could Be Weeks Away from Nuclear Weapon

Former Deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFarland says the Biden administration is likely to look to renegotiate a deal for Iran’s return to the 2015 nuclear deal. Reported by Fox News. Read more… In another Fox interview, McFarland said that due to former President Trump’s sanctions, Iran had no leverage left over the United States that would enable them to pressure the Biden administration to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal. “Between the sanctions that Trump put on and the low price of oil, their economy is in tatters,” McFarland said. He also said that Iranian leverage “would be a joke except for the fact that nuclear weapons are involved and the security of the entire region.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Reports that the Biden administration is considering a return to the nuclear deal are even more alarming considering U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s warning that Iran could be weeks away from a nuclear weapon. In his first major interview as Secretary of State, Blinken said Iran could be on course to obtain enough fissile material to build a nuclear weapon within months. He added that if Iran continues to lift restrictions from the 2015 nuclear deal, it could be “a matter of weeks.” Reported by The Independent. Read more… According to reports, U.N. inspectors have found traces of radioactivity at two sites in Iran, an indication of possible undeclared nuclear activity. Diplomats privy to the report say samples taken at two sites contained traces of radioactive material that could indicate Tehran has been working on nuclear weapons. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, is demanding that the Biden administration lift sanctions if it wants Iran to honor its commitments under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Khamenei made the demand on Iranian state television. Reported by Fox News. Read more… Mohammad Javid Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, is also reportedly urging President Biden to make the first move towards reviving the 2015 nuclear deal by removing all sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

U.S. Representative Greg Murphy, R-North Carolina, is urging the Biden administration to continue former U.S. President Donald Trump’s hardline approach to Iran. In a Fox News Interview, Murphy said Iran has “funded terrorist organization around the world” and have “explicitly stated they want to wipe out Israel.” Summing up, he said, “So these folks are not our friends, and to try and appease them is simply a ridiculous foreign policy.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Bipartisan Resolution Condemns Iran Terror Plots; Iranian Cleric Claims Covid-19 Vaccine Turns People Gay; Inflammatory Website Likely Created by Iranian Hackers; 11 Iranians Arrested Crossing U.S.-Mexico Border

A bipartisan resolution signed by more than 100 House lawmakers condemns Iran’s terror plots and expresses support for a democratic, secular Iran. The resolution condemns past and present Iranian-sponsored terror attacks against U.S. citizens and Iranian dissidents. It calls on other countries to stop Iran’s “malign activities.” The resolution includes Democratic and Republican supporters. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

An Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian, claims those who have received the Covid-19 vaccine “have become homosexuals.” Writing to his nearly 210,000 followers on the social media app Telegram, Tabrizian warned his followers to not go near those who have been vaccinated. Tabrizian has a history of promoting false information about Western medicine. Reported by The Jerusalem Post. Read more…

An inflammatory website called “Enemies of the People” was likely created by Iranian hackers, says the FBI. The website contains death threats directed at U.S. election officials. The FBI says the website’s intent is to “create fear, division, and mistrust in the United States and undermine public confidence in the US electoral process.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

U.S. Border Patrol agents in Yuma, Arizona, arrested 11 Iranian citizens, six males and five females, who entered the country across Mexico’s border. In recent years, Yuma agents have arrested more Iranian citizens illegally crossing the border at Yuma than at any other point along the border. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

U. N. Experts Say Increasing Evidence Shows Iran Supplying Weapons to Houthi Rebels; B-52 Bombers Overfly Persian Gulf

U.N. experts say there is a “growing body of evidence that shows that individuals or entities within the Islamic Republic of Iran are engaged in sending weapons and weapons components to the Houthis” in Yemen, which has been torn apart by civil war. Sending weapons to Houthi rebels violates U.N. resolutions barring such transfers. The report provides more evidence Iran is acting to destabilize the region. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Another pair of B-52 bombers flew over the Persian Gulf on January 27, the sixth time since November, in a show of force. It was the first time under the Biden administration such an overflight has been made. The bombers flew for 36 hours round trip from Louisiana. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Unexplained Explosion Along Afghan-Iran Border Spotted by NASA Satellites

Two explosions along the border of Iran and Afghanistan was large enough to be spotted by NASA satellites. One of the explosions reportedly involved a fuel tanker. The blasts reportedly injured as many as 60 people; the ensuing fire consumed more than 500 trucks carrying natural gas and fuel. The cause of the blasts is unknown. The explosions occurred along the road between the Afghan city of Herat and the border town of Islam Qala, which is notorious for criminal and Taliban activity. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Saudi Arabia Releases Women’s Rights Activist

Loujain al-Hathloul, a prominent Saudi women’s rights activist, has been released from prison in Saudi Arabia. She served more than a thousand days in prison on what critics called politically motivated charges. She was arrested in May 2018 because she was an outspoken critic of a Saudi Arabian law that allowed women to drive. She was sentenced by Saudi Arabia’s terror court to five-years eight-months in prison. A two-year, ten-month suspension and time off for good behavior made early release possible. Al-Hathloul’s family claim that she was raped while in prison. Reported by CNN. Read more… A report in The Guardian suggests that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made the move as a peace offering to the Biden administration, which has sounded off in recent weeks regarding human rights issues. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

U.S. Rep. Cammack Promises to Display Israeli Flag Outside Her Office; Tlaib Calls Israel “Racist State”; N.Y. Mayoral Candidate Likens BDS Movement to Nazi Boycotts

Kat Cammack, a freshman Republican representative from Florida, plans to place an Israeli flag outside her office on Capitol Hill. Cammack’s office is next to that of Rashida Tlaib, the Democratic representative from Michigan, a known critic of Israel. Cammack made her plans known on Twitter, posting, “Rep. Tlaib, who has an office right next to mine in DC, has some strong opinions about Israel that [100%] I disagree with, so I’ve made a pledge to plant Israel’s flag outside my door right next to the American flag. I think it’ll be very helpful as she walks past both every day.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

In an unrelated appearance, Tlaib called Israel a “racist state” during a recent interview on “Democracy Now!” In response to a question about the low vaccination rate among Palestinians on the West Bank, Tlaib went off on a tear, saying, it was “important to understand that Israel is a racist state in that they would deny Palestinians like my grandmother access to a vaccine; that they don’t believe that she’s an equal human being that deserves to live, deserves to be protected by this global pandemic.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Meanwhile, A New York mayoral candidate compared the Boycott Divest Sanctions (BDS) movement to Nazi boycotts of Jewish businesses. Andrew Yang made the comparison in a column in the Jewish Forward magazine entitled, “My vision for New York City’s Jewish community.” In the opinion piece, Yang wrote, “Not only is BDS rooted in anti-Semitic thought and history, hearkening back to fascist boycotts of Jewish businesses, it’s also a direct shot at New York City’s economy.” Reported by The Jewish Forward. Read more… Critics were quick to fire back, with one, Amy Spitalnick, executive director of the nonprofit Integrity First for America, tweeted, “At a time when actual Nazis are murdering Jews in synagogues and leading insurrections at the Capitol, it is just baffling that Andrew Yang would compare BDS to violent fascists (while playing into dangerous dual loyalty tropes).” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Biden Administration Missteps on Israel on Day-1

The Twitter page for the U.S. Ambassador to Israel was temporarily changed to say, “U.S. Ambassador to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza,” inciting an immediate uproar. Several Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Rick Scott of Florida and Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, weighed in. McCaul Tweeted, “It’s incredibly troubling the administration made this controversial move on Day One, w/o consulting w/Congress.” The page name was quickly changed back. The embassy’s website correctly reflected it was the U.S. Embassy to Israel and was never changed. The embassy offered no explanation for the change to its Twitter page. Reported by Fox News. Read more…