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21st October – Latest News in Israel

Charles Krauthammer Bashes Obama for Equating Palestinian Terror with Israeli Self-Defense

On the Kelly File Fox News TV program, Megyn Kelly and Charles Krauthammer discuss comments by President Obama who appears to be holding both Israel and the Palestinians responsible for the wave of terrorism currently being carried out by Palestinian terrorists.

As Krauthammer points out, the shameful statements by Obama follow equally shameful statements by Secretary of State Kerry.

The current violence is due to Palestinian incitement and blatant lies spread by the Palestinian leadership.

What would the US do if people were running around the streets of New York stabbing people? This is the question Krauthammer rightfully raises.

Why can’t the Obama administration simply condemn Palestinian incitement?

Interview: Ehud Yaari, an international fellow at the Washington Institute and one of the most authoritative Middle East analysts

ABC Lateline Program

Emma Alberici speaks with Ehud Yaari for his assessment of the wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence which has resulted in the deaths of around 50 people.

EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: Another terrorist attack in Israel has left at least one soldier dead and 11 people wounded in one of the most serious Palestinian attacks against Israelis during a month of violence.

This is the moment Israeli forces rushed the bus station in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba. The gunman grabbed a soldier’s rifle and went on a shooting rampage, sending bystanders running for their lives.

The attacker was shot dead after a long gun battle and the incident has prompted a swift response from security forces. Israeli troops have begun using concrete barriers to block off roads between Jewish and Arab neighbourhoods.

MICKY ROSENFELD, ISRAELI POLICE SPOKESMAN: One man was severely taken to hospital, received medical treatment, unfortunately confirmed that he passed away a few minutes ago. Heightened security is continuing in the area and our police units are still in and around the central bus station.

EMMA ALBERICI: A spate of attacks this month has heightened tensions in Israel and the Palestinian territories and led some to describe it as the start of a new intifada. Around 50 people have died in the recent violence, which has in part been triggered by Palestinians’ anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The only thing that’s changed are Islamist hoodlums, paid by the Islamist movement in Israel and by Hamas, who are entering the mosque and trying to put explosives there, and from there, emerge and attack Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount and Christian visitors. That’s the only change in the status quo. Israel will protect the holy sites, we’ll guard the status quo. Israel is not the problem on the Temple Mount, Israel is the solution.

EMMA ALBERICI: Ehud Yaari is the author of eight books on the Arab-Israeli conflict. He’s an international fellow at The Washington Institute and is considered one of the most authoritative Middle East analysts. He’s visiting Australia and he joined me in the studio a short time ago.

Ehud Yaari, welcome to Lateline.

EHUD YAARI, ISRAELI JOURNALIST: My pleasure. Thank you.

EMMA ALBERICI: Now, this latest shooting in Beersheba is part of a wave of violence over the last month or so which has seen something like 40 Palestinians dead and about nine Israelis. Do you fear we’re now on the verge of a much bigger, bloodier conflict?

EHUD YAARI: I hope not. What’s happening is that there is a spate of violence which has taken the form of stabbings of Israelis on the streets, all over the place, mainly in Jerusalem and the outskirts of Jerusalem. The second thing which is very special about this spate of violence is that very often, it’s teenagers, Palestinian teenagers, encouraged, if you want, incited, to take a knife or a potato peeler and try to kill an Israeli. Soldier, not a soldier, a girl, a boy, etc. We had an incident in which a 15-year-old Palestinian teenager was stabbing a 15-year-old Israeli, Jewish kid, on a bike in adjoining neighbourhoods. There is no central command for this. This is not what used to be called an intifada. It’s mainly an outburst of youngsters who do not remember the lessons of the previous intifada in the early-2000s and were for years educated that to be a martyr is the right path. That’s what you want to do, to be a martyr. And the second thing, they have lately had a – for months, a lot of propaganda about claiming, arguing that the Israelis were out to divide control of the al-Aqsa Mosque, Temple Mount, etc., which has no basis in reality, but it caught like fire in the field. And many, many Palestinians believe that this is the case, so the slogan is: “Let’s defend al-Aqsa”.

EMMA ALBERICI: US Secretary of State John Kerry says that he’ll meet this week with Benjamin Netanyahu and also with Mahmoud Abbas. What is that likely to achieve?

EHUD YAARI: Not much. I think that what is important now are two things, mainly. One, we need to see very strong international condemnation of terrorism. This time it’s mainly in the form of stabbings on the street, random stabbings of people. And I think if we have this kind of international condemnation of this phenomenon, then we will see more action by the Palestinian Authority, Mr Abbas, which we have not seen so far. There is a lot that he can do in order to calm down the situation. For example, by letting his people know that he has accepted insurances, and he did, from Prime Minister Netanyahu, that there is no change on the Temple Mount, in the al-Aqsa Mosque. If I may have a word, we have a very basic issue here, and that is, Israel always has accepted Muslim rights and the sacred Muslim places in Jerusalem. Never a question about that. To this day, the Palestinian leadership refuses to accept that there was any Jewish history in Jerusalem, that there was ever a temple in Jerusalem.

EMMA ALBERICI: Hamas and ISIS have both praised this latest killing of an Israeli soldier. Does Israel have anything to fear, do you think, from the build-up of Iranian ground troops in Syria?

EHUD YAARI: ISIS is now on our border because the terrorist organisation active in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt has joined ISIS and is now the “Sinai Province” of ISIS, so, they are very close now.

EMMA ALBERICI: But you’ve also got this build-up of Iranian troops in Syria.

EHUD YAARI: Yes. I think, personally, that there is an exaggeration in the number of Iranian troops. There is a very strong, deep Iranian involvement in support of President Assad of Syria. Now, to a certain degree in collaboration with the Russians, who have sent significant forces, mainly Air Force, into Syria. The main argument is what to do first. You go – you remove President Assad, responsible for the massacre of over a quarter of a million people of his own nation, responsible for the displacement of almost 10 million people, Syrians. Many of them now try to go to Europe. Or you first concentrate on ISIS. I think when Mr Netanyahu meets on Wednesday with Secretary Kerry, this is one of the issues, because the Israelis stand, and many Americans feel likewise – I don’t know about the position of the Australian Government – that first you get rid of Assad, you delink Iran from its proxies in the Arab world and then you can take care of ISIS. So far, Iran seems to present a bigger threat than ISIS.

EMMA ALBERICI: Yes, this was the question I was about to ask you: whether the greatest threat to the region was Islamic State or the growing Shia Iranian influence?

EHUD YAARI: Well, I think that many people misread the nuclear deal. Many people expected that after – and it’s now in – took effect today.

EMMA ALBERICI: It was adopted on the weekend.

EHUD YAARI: Yeah. It’s adoption day now. I think many people expected that you will start to see tacit collaboration, cooperation between Iran and its militias, 100,000 militia members, Shiite, in Iraq for example, and United States fighting ISIS. I think the message the Iranians are giving is very clear. The message is: “We, the Iranians, we are now going with the Russians. We prefer Mr Putin. And together with Mr Putin, we are going to save President Assad.”

EMMA ALBERICI: Are you saying Iran can’t be trusted to keep its end of the bargain?

EHUD YAARI: Oh, I think the Iranians will – are already in some ways stretching what they are allowed in the deal. For example, by having tests of ballistic missiles and developing new ones. I think what the Iranians are saying: “Yes, we are willing to postpone for 10 years, maybe 15, developing a nuclear bomb. But in the meantime, we are going to keep striving for a regional hegemony. And this time we are going to do it together with the Russians.” US is absent in the region. US is absent – Arabs will tell you, Israelis will tell you, and with the absence of the United States, a doctrine of retreat by President Obama, you see Putin coming in and you see the Iranians collaborating with him.

EMMA ALBERICI: Well that’s precisely what Henry Kissinger wrote today when he said that, “Russia’s unilateral military action in Syria is the latest symptom of the disintegration of the American role in stabilising the Middle East.”

EHUD YAARI: Kissinger, ah – I used to make the pilgrimage to see Kissinger in New York for years. Kissinger kicked the Russians, the Soviet Union, out of the Middle East in the early-’70s. Mr Obama has invited them back. Invited them back by creating a vacuum, a void in the region, no American presence, no American leadership. He wants to keep away from the quagmire. What you get? You get the Russian Air Force over Syria.

EMMA ALBERICI: US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Russians that, “Propping up the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad would be totally self-defeating to the point of farce.” What’s the alternative?

EHUD YAARI: I think that there should be an understanding between the Americans and the Russians, the Russians being now underground in Syria, and I don’t think that…

EMMA ALBERICI: In the air. They insist they’re not on the ground.

EHUD YAARI: Yeah, but they have a base on the ground and they have troops protecting the base and we can go into that if you want.

EMMA ALBERICI: And the Iranians are on the ground.

EHUD YAARI: And the Iranians are on the ground and they keep losing generals there. But I think basically what we are talking about is the possibility of a transition government in Syria through an understanding between Russia and the United States, endorsed by the Security Council, in which you can bring together different factions of the Australia – of the Syrian opposition and armed groups around the table and start a process. It’s not necessary that ISIS will take over if Assad is no longer there. It’s not necessary that Nusra, which is the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, will take over. That can be taken care of.

EMMA ALBERICI: But this is not the Russian strategy. The Russian strategy does not include any efforts to remove Assad.

EHUD YAARI: I think the Russian strategy at this point is to make sure everybody understands that there is no deal in the Levant, in the Fertile Crescent. It’s Syria, Iraq, etc., without Russia. That’s number one. That’s the end of the Kissinger era. And the second thing the Russians are saying: “We are willing to …” – and they are saying, “We are willing to contemplate a deal over Syria, a transitional process in Syria.” And I think that Mr Putin is not married to President Assad. And I believe he is willing to discard him for the right price. There needs to be an indication that President Obama wants to be engaged in Syria at all. And what we are seeing now, this collapse, this huge implosion in the Middle East, is in many ways the result of American inaction.

EMMA ALBERICI: Ehud Yaari, we’re out of time. I thank you very much for coming in to speak to Lateline.

EHUD YAARI: Thank you for having me. Thank you.

Stabbing attack in Hebron: IDF soldier lightly wounded; 2 assailants shot dead

One Israeli was killed and four were wounded by Palestinians in four separate incidents across the West Bank on Tuesday.

The latest attack occurred at outside the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, when soldiers killed two knife wielding Palestinian terrorists as they stabbed and lightly wounded one solider and then tried to stab another one.

Thirty teens were marching with Israeli flags nearby were not harmed in the incident.

Earlier, in the day Avraham Asher Hasno, 54 was killed in a hit and run truck incident that followed a Palestinian rock attack on his car near his home in the Kiryat Arba settlement.

He stopped the vehicle, got out, and was struck by a truck driven by a Palestinian man, who then drove away.

The incident occurred on Route 60 near the Palestinian village of Al-Fawwar. Magen David Adom paramedics reported finding a man without vital life signs lying on the road next to his vehicle, suffering from multiple wounds. Photos showed how his front windshield and side door had been damaged by the stones.

A MDA team attempted to resuscitate the man, but when that failed, it declared him dead on the scene. The Palestinian truck driver turned himself into the Palestinian police in nearby Daharia, in the South Hebron Hills, claiming that he had hit Hasno by accident and that he had not intended to run him over.

Security forces have launched an investigation into the incident. Hasno was the father of seven children and a grandfather of nine. He ran the kitchen in the yeshiva in the nearby Othniel settlement.

Closer to Jerusalem, at the Gush Etzion junction, a Palestinian terrorist attempted to run over an IDF soldier and an Israeli civilian who were standing near the bus top on Route 60. Both Israelis, one a soldier age 20, and another a man age, 21 suffered light wounds. The Palestinian driver stopped his car then emerged from his vehicle brandishing a knife.

In response, the commander of the Shimshon Battalion, from the Kfir infantry brigade, opened fire on the driver, striking and killing him. A photo of the Palestinian lying dead in a pool of blood with a knife nearby was published on WhatsApp groups.

Both of the wounded were evacuated by Magen David Adom Paramedics to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Earlier on Tuesday, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed and lightly wounded an IDF officer near the West Bank town of Bet Awwa, close to the Green Line and near southern Israeli district of Lakhish. Soldiers nearby shot and killed the attacker.

Magen David Adam paramedics said the soldier sustained a very lightly injury in the attack. The last security incident in that specific area occurred on October 10 in the settlement of Neguhot, when an IDF officer tasked with securing the area spotted a Palestinian armed with a knife seeking to infiltrate the community.

He alerted the local armed civilian response team, which shot the terrorist in the leg. The IDF evacuated him to the hospital.                                                   (Jerusalem Post)

Netanyahu: Palestinian incitement is ‘Osama Bin Laden meets Mark Zuckerberg’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Likud faction Monday the current wave of Palestinian violence was a result of Islamist extremism finding expression on social media web sites, like Facebook.

Netanyahu said Israeli security officials were aware of the significant impact of incitement garnered from social media, because of what terrorists who attacked Jews over the past few weeks have written on their private Facebook pages.

“What has been going on is due to the combination of the Internet and Islamist extremism,” Netanyahu said. “It has been Osama Bin Laden meets [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg.”

Netanyahu said Israel was engaged in “a lengthy struggle” and he was fully confident the Jewish state would win.

He also urged citizens against taking the law into their own hands.

On Sunday Israeli bystanders killed an Eritrean man they apparently mistook for an assailant during a deadly attack at the Beersheba central bus station. The knife and gun assault also claimed the life of an IDF soldier and wounded half a dozen people.

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett criticized Netanyahu for enabling the construction of security barriers separating the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Armon Hanatziv and Jebl Mukaber.

At a meeting of his faction, Bennett slammed the international community for not showing Israel enough support as it fights terrorism.

“Part of the world is morally confused and unsure who is the aggressor,” Bennett said, deliberately speaking in English. “I call upon our friends around the world to support us. Those around the world who gives us grades and advice: Wake up.

We might be on the front lines now, but this war is also in your country. Don’t find yourselves on the wrong side of history.

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman told his faction that building barriers in Jerusalem was not the way to restore security.

Netanyahu faced surprising criticism for the Jerusalem barricades from leading voices inside his own party.

“It’s not the right thing to do from a security standpoint,” Immigration and Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin told Army Radio. “We had a discussion about this in the cabinet, and it was clear that this wasn’t the solution. This is something temporary and isolated. We need to deal with terrorism and not build fences that can easily be bypassed.”

Meretz faction head Ilan Gil- On offered measured praised for Netanyahu, though.

“Bibi divided Jerusalem,” he told a meeting of Meretz lawmakers.

“We would have done it with much less bloodshed.”

Netanyahu began a series of security briefings Monday with all the heads of parties in the opposition, except for Joint List leader Ayman Ouda. The meetings started Monday with Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid.

“The prime minister knows we will not enter his government,” Lapid said. “Nevertheless, there is no coalition or opposition in the war against vile Palestinian terrorism that is wreaking havoc around the country. We will support any steps that increase security for the people of Israel, IDF soldiers, and other security forces.”             (Jerusalem Post)

Jubilant Palestinians Hand Out Candy to Celebrate Deadly Attack in Beer Sheva; Hamas Calls Carnage ‘Heroic Act’

Following Sunday evening’s stabbing and shooting attack at the Central Bus Station in the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva, during which IDF soldier Omri Levy (19) was killed and many other commuters wounded, candy was distributed to passers-by in the streets of Shuafat, in east Jerusalem, to celebrate the “victory” of the successful act of terrorism against Jews, Israeli news website Walla reported on Monday.

The terrorist, later identified as 21-year-old Muhanad Alukabi of the Israeli Bedouin village of Hura, had wrested the soldier’s rifle, and shot at commuters, before being killed by Israeli security forces.

During the attack, Haptom Zarhum – a migrant worker from Eritrea – was thought to have been an accomplice to the terror attack. He, too, was shot by security forces on the scene and subsequently killed by a mob of angry citizens. Police launched an investigation and were seeking suspects in what Israeli media began calling a “lynch.”

Meanwhile Hamas in the Gaza Strip glorified Alukabi’s attack, with a spokesman calling the event “another heroic act against the occupation, which is in high alert. This confirms the resistance of our people, who will not be deterred by anything.”

He added that the attack at Beer Sheva’s central station was a response to the “fatal executions committed by the occupation army,” Hamas’ epithet for the Israel Defense Forces.

( The Algemeiner)

Police continue to set up checkpoints in volatile Arab Jerusalem neighborhoods

One day after police erected a temporary wall to stymie ongoing terrorist attacks from east Jerusalem’s Jebl Mukaber, several more checkpoints were added on Monday in flashpoint Arab neighborhoods in the capital.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that apart from unrest in Silwan early Monday morning after a Palestinian family was forcefully removed from their home by Border Police, relative calm returned to the beleaguered capital.

He could not confirm reports of a curfew being imposed in Silwan.

“There were no major incidents that took place today,” Rosenfeld said Monday night.

“Police continue to intensely patrol Arab neighborhoods and have set up checkpoints at the entrances of Ras el-Amud and Abu Tor.”

In the meantime, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced on Monday that a state-ofthe- art $375,000 mobile command center, donated by Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein via the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, is now operational in the city.

Checkpoint[1]

Police guard a checkpoint set up in Abu Tor on Monday.

According to Barkat, the mobile unit will assist police in emergency situations, and be utilized as a security hub for the many sports and cultural events that regularly take place in the city.

Barkat said the mobile unit features hi-tech specifications gleaned from Israel Police, Fire and Rescue Services and Magen David Adom’s emergency medical service teams’ mobile units.

“I would like to thank Rabbi Eckstein and the IFCJ’s hundreds of thousands of donors throughout the world, who steadfastly stand with Jerusalem in times of need, helping us protect Israel’s national and municipal home fronts,” the mayor said.

“During the current wave of violence that we are experiencing, the help is in the form of a mobile command center that will enable the city to provide real-time responses during emergencies and crisis situations when the speed and efficiency of the response is critical.”                                                                                       (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli boy, 13, wounded in Jerusalem stabbing, wakes up

A 13-year-old Israeli boy who was critically wounded in a terror attack last week in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Zeev neighborhood has resumed breathing independently, the capital’s Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus said Monday.

The boy has even begun to communicate with medical personnel and family members, according to a statement by the hospital.

The boy was one of two Israeli victims stabbed by Ahmed and Hassan Manasra, 13 and 15, respectively, on October 12.

He was taken to the hospital in life-threatening condition, placed in an induced coma and connected to a respirator.

The child “has a long path of rehabilitation still ahead of him,” Prof. Ahmed Eid, head of the hospital’s Department of General Surgery, who operated on the boy, said in the statement.

“But I’m happy that overall his situation is good and stable, and the vital signs show progress.”

The boy’s condition was “critical when he arrived at the hospital, but today we’re optimistic about his recovery,” Eid added.                                  (The Times of Israel)

Mistaken killing jars African migrants, NGOs

Mulugeta Tumuzghi said he couldn’t breathe for 10 minutes on Sunday night when he first heard the tragic news – an Eritrean asylum seeker, like himself, was shot and beaten to death after he was mistaken for a terrorist during an attack in Beersheba.

Even after he caught his breath, he said he still couldn’t find the words to make sense of it.

“The only reason I can think this happened is because of racism. There were other people who weren’t soldiers or police who were running around then too, why him? He had nothing in his hands, why him?” Tumuzghi, a veteran asylum seeker who’s been in Israel for eight years but hasn’t received refugee status, said he spoke to other Eritrean friends all day on Monday, and they were afraid, sad and at a loss for words.

“I’m very afraid now. I don’t know what people could do. They could kill me and then say it was a mistake.”

The killing of Haptom Zarhum, 26, sent ripples through the African migrant community in Israel, which numbers around 50,000, most of them from Eritrea. On Facebook, migrants posted photos of an impromptu memorial ceremony held on Monday at Holot, the desert detention facility built by the state to hold African migrants.

A number of Israeli NGOs that have for years worked with asylum seekers spoke of a dark day for the country, wherein asylum seekers learned that not only could they, like all Israelis, be attacked by Palestinian terrorists, but could also be mistaken for attackers and killed by Israelis.

Zarhum was ruled dead at Soroka University Medical Center on Monday, the morning after he was shot and incapacitated by a security guard at the station who mistook him for a second attacker. As he lay on the floor, he was beaten by a number of assailants who cursed him and kicked him, as well as at least one who tried to crush him by dropping a bench on him.

Reports in the media stated that after he was taken from the scene, a mob shouting “death to the Arabs” blocked the ambulance from taking him.

A relative who said Monday said Zarhum had been in Israel for around three years and eight months, and that he lived on a moshav in the Eshkol Region, where he did agricultural work. He was in Beersheba to renew his work visa, and had traveled to the bus station with two migrant friends, who also fled during the shooting, the relative said.

Anat Ovadia-Rosner, spokeswoman for the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, said Monday she believes the killing was “linked to the incitement we’ve seen against asylum seekers that sees them described as a security threat to Israel.” She added that while she wasn’t sure what role racism or incitement had in the shooting of Zarhum, she does think that “with the lynch, [when] they kept hitting him after he was down, I don’t think they would do that to someone who wasn’t African.”

The pro-asylum seekers NGO “ASSAF,” in a statement on Monday, called on the authorities to investigate the mob killing, during which Zarhum “was cruelly beaten because of the color of his skin.”

They also called on the state to take responsibility for the killing and to ensure that his body is flown back to his family in Eritrea and that compensation is sent to his loved ones.

The killing also had an impact on Ethiopian Israelis, who over the past several months have held a series of protests about what they say is widespread racism and discrimination in society, and unfair treatment by police.

One of the leaders of the protest movement, activist Inbar Bugale, wrote on Facebook on Monday, “It’s curious why they decided to shoot the boy last night and why they thought he was a terrorist… he wasn’t armed, he was on his knees.” She continued “his [skin] color is the only thing that caused him to look suspicious.”

If he had been an Ethiopian Jew people would have reacted more negatively but that “because he was just black and not Jewish, it was just a mistake!” she said.              (Jerusalem Post)

Israel, US resume defense aid talks halted over Iran deal

Israel and the United States have resumed talks on future defense aid that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended in protest at the Iran nuclear deal, the Israeli ambassador to Washington said on Sunday.

The allies had been looking to agree on a 10-year aid package to extend the current US grants to Israel worth $3 billion annually, which are due to expire in 2017. But Netanyahu froze negotiations ahead of the July deal reached between Iran and world powers, which Israel deems insufficiently stringent.

“With the nuclear deal now moving ahead, Israel is also moving ahead, hoping to forge a common policy with the United states to address the continuing dangers posed by Iran,” Ambassador Ron Dermer said in a Facebook post.

“Discussions over a new Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the United States, which had been on hold for some time, resumed this past week in Washington,” he said, using a term for the defense-aid agreement.

Before the suspension, the two sides were close to a new package of grants worth $3.6 billion to $3.7 billion a year, US and Israeli officials have said. They have predicted that the amount could rise further as Israel argues that it needs more aid to off-set a likely windfall for Iran in sanctions relief which might be used to finance anti-Israel guerrillas.

The top US military officer, Marine General Joseph Dunford, arrived in Israel on Saturday for a visit that Dermer said would include defense-aid discussions. He added that Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, visiting Washington later this month, would pursue those talks, as would Netanyahu when he meets US President Barack Obama in the White House on Nov. 9.

“Israel hopes that the discussions we are now engaged in will culminate in a long-term agreement that will dramatically upgrade Israel’s ability to defend itself by itself against any threat and enable Israel to address the enormous challenges we now face in the region,” Dermer said.                                  (Jerusalem Post)

US Jewry concerned about Israel’s non-recognition of diversity

American Jews worried about the security situation in Israel are no less concerned about the country’s non-recognition of the diverse non-Orthodox streams of Judaism.

“We are all one family,” President Reuven Rivlin said Sunday, addressing the issue, which was raised by a large delegation representing the Jewish Federations of North America that he was hosting.

Rivlin who was raised in Jerusalem’s Yeshurun Synagogue, which is Orthodox even though he personally is what might be termed “Orthodox- lite,” always has difficulty with questions of this kind. He offers the simplified explanation that, in Israel, Jews are either Orthodox or secular, but that there is consensus, even in secular circles, over circumcision, bar mitzva, marriage and funeral rites.

Aside from that, he told his guests, everyone approaches religion in their own way.

Although there is a separation between Church and State in Israeli law, because there is no constitution, the question on who is a Jew is controlled by politics.

For purposes of immigration, Israel adopted the same rules as those that applied to the Nuremberg laws, namely, if a non-Jew’s bloodline included a Jewish ancestor up to four generations back that person was regarded as having the right of return. But, for religious purposes, Rivlin clarified, that person is not recognized as a Jew.

Had he been raised in the Diaspora, the president said, he might have become familiar with other streams of Judaism, but these did not exist in the Jerusalem of his youth.

He suggested that the balance of political power could change if one million Conservative and Reform Jews immigrated to Israel, but failed to mention that the immigration of more than a million former citizens of the Soviet Union did not change the status quo.

Rivlin told the group Israel understands that Jewish communities in the Diaspora are facing serious challenges, especially with the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and even in the United States, and assured the Americans that just as they show solidarity with Israel in times of stress and tension, Israel shows solidarity with them.

One of the greatest challenges today, he said, is strengthening the relationship between Israel and diaspora Jewish communities.

“Our responsibility to every Jew does not begin and end with a call for aliya. We have to ensure the well-being and continuity of Jewish communities in the diaspora. We are one people with one heart.”

Addressing the current unrest in the country, Rivlin declared that Israel does not have, and never has had, a war with Islam or Christianity, and has been “very precise” about maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount.

“We have a war against those who don’t want to accept that the Jewish people have returned to their homeland,” he said. “They don’t want to accept us as a Jewish state. They don’t want to accept us as a state at all.”

Responding to a question about “frayed relations” between Israel and the European Union, Rivlin focused more on the relationship with the United States, but attributed whatever rifts there may be to different perceptions of the Iranian threat. “For us, Iran is not a theoretical question but a real threat,” he said, citing Iranian support for terrorist activities all over the world.

Conceding that Israel was sidelined during the talks that led up to the deal with Iran, Rivlin said: “We should not be isolated when talking about the future and security of Israel.”

(Jerusalem Post)

After boat capsizes, Israeli yacht saves Iraqi and Syrian migrants

An Israeli yacht early on Sunday rescued 11 Syrian and Iraqi migrants whose boat capsized overnight near the Greek island of Kastellorizo, among them a woman who carried the body of her dead six-month-old baby in her arms. The yacht, belonging to Poseidon, a civilian navigation school from Ashdod, was on a routine training activity in the area, near the Turkish coast, when its occupants noticed boat wreckage, captain Shlomo Asaban said.

Asaban added that at first they only spotted a teen and brought him on board. They gave him water and asked him about his country of origin and on his journey. The man said he was with other migrants on a boat that tried to reach Greece but capsized. He later asked that Asaban and his crew help him find them.

After searching the area indicated by the boy, they spotted nearby a group of 11 migrants with life jackets floating in the water and brought them on board, he added, noting that Israeli crew provided first aid to a man who was experiencing diabetic shock and managed to stabilize him. Among those rescued were four children. The survivors said that three people were missing — a pregnant woman and two men — and their bodies were later found in the water by Greek authorities.

The Israeli yacht, which was originally heading back to Israel, diverted its path and brought the migrants to the Greek island of Kastellorizo, where authorities detained one of them who was accused by the others of being the trafficker. The rest were allowed to enter the island, Asaban added. The crew later said they gave the migrants their cellphones so that they could call their families. The crew also said that migrants seemed surprised by the fact that they were from Israel and expressed gratitude for their help.

Thousands of refugees — mostly fleeing war-torn Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq — attempt daily to cross the Aegean Sea from nearby Turkey, a short but perilous trip in the inflatable boats the migrants use, often in rough seas. Almost 400,000 people have arrived in Greece this year, according to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, overwhelming the cash-strapped nation’s ability to cope.                                                     (Israel Hayom)

Neither Israeli nor Palestinian leadership has an exit strategy

Both Israeli and Palestinian leaders are captive to their respective narratives and trapped by political forces that won’t allow them to break the impasse.

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Analysis-Neither-Israeli-nor-Palestinian-leadership-has-an-exit-strategy-426312

by Yossi Melman            The Jerusalem Post

For several hours, perhaps as long as a whole day, there was a feeling among the Israeli public on Thursday that the Palestinian wave of terror had significantly subsided. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made hay of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s lie that Israel murdered in cold blood a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, who it turned out is alive and hospitalized at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.

Indeed, there were no terror attacks within the Green Line and in Israel a sort of “countdown” started that is increasingly becoming a conditioned response – counting the hours that have passed since the last terror attack. However, this feeling is an illusion, as Sunday’s attack in Beersheba proved. The relative quiet is deceptive. Over the weekend, the violence came back to its usual focal points – east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

In Hebron, a Border Policewoman was lightly stabbed, but managed to kill the terrorist. In Hebron and east Jerusalem, there were two attempts to attack police, which ended in the deaths of the terrorists. In Nablus, Joseph’s Tomb was set fire to by arsonists. And in Gaza, there were again demonstrations, riots and attempts to break through the border fence. The IDF responded with live fire and media outlets in Gaza reported that two people were killed and a few dozen were wounded. In all of the epicenters of violence there was also stone-throwing, Molotov cocktails, a bus that went up in flames and rioting. In short, the usual. The usual violence and terror. The public in Israel and in the Palestinian territories has quickly become used to and accepted the reality which the defense establishment, unable to decide if it’s a third intifada with new characteristics, prefers to refer to as “the new situation.”

New or old, as opposed to previous instances, the leadership on both sides has no exit plan nor do they have the desire or will to try and extricate their people from the situation. Both leaderships are captive to their respective narratives and trapped by political forces that will not allow them to attempt to break the impasse.

Unlike in previous intifadas, this time the apathy extends to the international community and the Arab world. The French daily Le Figaro reported Saturday that France is trying to promote a diplomatic process by which the UN secretary-general will try to send international observers to the Temple Mount. The move proves that Paris is the only one of Israel’s friends that still cares and is trying to advance proposals to stop the violence through diplomacy.

In the past, Paris tried to do this with a draft resolution which called for the UN Security Council to declare the establishment of a Palestinian state. The draft resolution was torn up because the US did not support it and Israel staunchly opposed the proposal. It is not clear to what extent the new French initiative is serious and realistic, or if it is only a half-baked idea, but in any event, the chances that it will come to fruition are slim. Israel opposes any initiative that includes the sending of observers or international forces to the territories because this will “internationalize” the conflict with the Palestinians, which is what Abbas wants. Later this week, there will also be an attempt by US Secretary of State John Kerry to promote some sort of mini-diplomatic process. This is also likely to fail.

The violence here is over a low flame, especially in comparison to what’s happening in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Sinai, where dozens, if not hundreds, are killed every week. Therefore, the world’s attention is focused on other centers of violence and terrorism. The world is tired of efforts to advance the moribund peace process. Netanyahu speaks of Palestinian “incitement” and “terror” and ignores the fact that the entire world sees the Israeli occupation as the biggest cause of the violence. And the occupation is not going to end. The Israeli government continues to strengthen the occupation and manage the conflict. In short, we are going to experience more of the same for days and weeks, and perhaps even years, unless a process of Deus ex machina (outside intervention) occurs.

No Country for Jews?

Palestinians are fighting a long war against Israel itself

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/daniel-gordis-no-country-jews-article-1.2400841

by Daniel Gordis               The New York Daily News

We have a young language instructor at Shalem College in Jerusalem, where I work. She’s a religious Muslim who wears a hijab, lives in one of the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and is a graduate student at Hebrew University. She’s fun and warm, and a great teacher — the students like her a lot.

Late last spring, when things here were quiet, some of the students mentioned to the department chair that as much as they’d spoken with her over the past couple of years, they’d never discussed politics. They were curious what someone like her thought about the conflict in this region, especially now that she was teaching at an unabashedly Zionist college, had come to know so many Jewish students and had developed such warm relationships with them. How does someone like her see things here? How did she think we would one day be able to settle this conflict?

“So ask her,” the department chair said. “As long as you speak to her in Arabic (she’s on staff to help our students master the language), you can talk about anything you want.”

They did. They told her that since they’d never discussed the “situation” (as we metaphorically call it here in Israel), they were curious how she thought we might someday resolve it.

“It’s our land,” she responded rather matter-of-factly. Stunned, they weren’t sure that they’d heard her correctly. So they waited. But that was all she had to say. “It’s our land. You’re just here for now.”

What upset those students more than anything was not that a Palestinian might believe that the Jews are simply the latest wave of Crusaders in this region, and that we, like the Crusaders of old, will one day be forced out. We all know that there are many Palestinians who believe that.

What upset them was that she — an educated woman, getting a graduate degree (which would never happen in a Muslim country) at a world class university (only Israel has those — none of Israel’s neighbors has a single highly rated university) and working at a college filled with Jews who admire her, like her and treat her as they would any other colleague — still believes that when it’s all over, the situation will get resolved by our being tossed out of here once again.

Even she, who lives a life filled with opportunities that she would never have in an Arab country, still thinks at the end of the day the Jews are nothing but colonialists. And colonialists, she believes, don’t last here. The British got rid of the Ottomans, the Jews got rid of the British — and one day, she believes, the Arabs will get rid of the Jews.

That is one of the many reasons that this recent wave of violence, consisting mostly of deadly stabbings carried out by Israeli Arabs (not Palestinians living over the Green Line) and Arab residents of east Jerusalem, has Israelis so unsettled.

Yes, the reality on the ground is frightening. People are being stabbed on the street, on buses, in malls. Those being attacked are elderly men and women and young boys on their bicycles. No one is immune, and unlike the last Intifada, when suicide bombers sought high casualty counts so you felt safe away from crowds, now nowhere feels definitely safe.

But even that is not the most debilitating dimension of this new round of attacks on Jews. What’s most sobering is the fact that this new round of violence has made it clear, once again, that this conflict is simply never going to end.

What Israelis are coming to understand by virtue of the fact that the attackers are not Palestinians living in refugee camps but Israeli Arabs — who have access to Israeli health care, Israeli education, Israel’s free press and right of assembly, protection for gays and lesbians and much more — is that this latest round of violence is simply the newest battle in the War of Independence that Israel has been fighting for 68 years now.

The war began even before Israel was a state — Arabs attacked Israel not when David Ben-Gurion declared independence on May 14, 1948, but when the United Nations General Assembly voted — on November 29, 1947 — to create a Jewish state. When formal independence followed some six months later, the attacking Arab militias were replaced by standing armies of five Arab nations — Egypt, Jordan,Syria, Lebanon and even Iraq (which joined the fray even though it did not share a border with Israel).

Over the years, the enemies have shifted (Israel signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but now there are the Palestinians and Iran is both pursuing a weapon of mass destruction and declaring that Israel must be destroyed) and the methods have changed (standing Arab armies have been replaced by terrorism at home and an international campaign to delegitimize Israel in the UN and beyond). But the basic goal of Israel’s enemies remains the destruction of the Jewish state.

Increasingly, Israelis (who, polls show, overwhelmingly would like to get out of the West Bank and live peacefully alongside a Palestinian State that would recognize Israel) fear that while for us this is a conflict that can be settled by adjusting borders and guaranteeing security for both sides, for our enemies this is an all-or-nothing battle in which the only end would be for Israel to disappear.

Israel’s iconic diplomat, Abba Eban, said in the early 1970s that “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” It was, sadly, an apt observation. And it is still true. By joining the violence and responding to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ incitement (Abbas insists that he’s not inciting, but that is patently false — if nothing else, his ludicrous claim that Israel is planning to change the status quo on the Temple Mount proved sufficient to inflame an entire region), Israeli Arabs have foolishly put themselves on the wrong side of history.

Rather than take a page from Martin Luther King, Jr., perhaps protesting peacefully on behalf of other Palestinians, a violent minority has chosen to show its support for the larger Palestinian cause by attacking innocent Jews. And by and large, Israeli Arab leadership has been silent.

Israeli Jews have taken note — and the consequences are likely to be longstanding. While Israelis are feeling vulnerable, they are also feeling abandoned. When Secretary of State John Kerry said that he would not “point fingers from afar” at who was responsible for the violence, and called the latest attacks part of a “revolving cycle that damages the future for everybody,” he convinced Israelis once again that the present American administration has abandoned any ability to distinguish right from wrong, just from unjust, wise from destructive. America is hopelessly irrelevant in the Middle East, which means that Israel is sadly very alone.

When Americans fret in the months and years to come that the peace process is stuck, Israelis hope that they will remember that when the violence broke out again, the world’s newspapers ignored it. When Abbas said Israel had murdered a 13-year-old Palestinian attacked and the Israeli press then published a photo showing the boy sitting in an Israeli hospital bed, Abbas did not retract and the world ignored his mendacity.

When the American secretary of state was asked to comment on why the new round of violence erupted, he refused to mention Abbas and said he would not point fingers. When Palestinians incited, Israeli Arabs (20% of Israel’s population) who picked up knives convinced many Israelis that they were enemies, not fellow citizens.

Israelis hope that people will remember all that, but we also know better.

Where all this will lead, no one can say. For the time being, though, the future in this region is going to be bleak. Despair and a sense of having been abandoned never bring out the best in anyone, never make them more likely to compromise. When Palestinians express their objections to occupation, to checkpoints, to mistreatment at the hands of Israelis, those protestations will fall on increasingly deaf ears.

Why? Is it because Israelis do not want peace? Is it because we do not understand that our future would be better if Palestinians could have a democratic, functioning state? Is it because we’re oblivious to their legitimate complaints?

No. It’s simply that we know, with no doubt, that for our enemies, this is a conflict not about borders but about our very right to be here. We know that, overwhelmingly, the Arab world is still committed to driving us out of this land. So we’ll stay, and tough it out — whatever the world thinks of the steps we have to take — for as long as it takes. For as Golda Meir put it decades ago with her characteristic wit, “Israelis have a secret weapon — we have nowhere else to go.”

Gordis is a senior vice president, Koret distinguished fellow and chair of the core curriculum at Shalem College and the author of “Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel’s Soul.”

Media’s jihad against the Jews

by Pamela Geller    WorldNetDaily

http://www.wnd.com/2015/10/medias-jihad-against-the-jews/#7P4k3JYult28Ra10.99

The mainstream media have come out as full-on propaganda outlets for Islamic Jew-hatred. Most mainstream media outlets have become notorious for uber-left, sloppy “reportage,” but the Jew-hatred they have brazenly displayed covering the recent wave of jihad-terror in Israel is shocking.

The media work relentlessly to obscure Palestinian jihad atrocities and to shift the blame to Israel whenever possible. When Palestinian jihadis set fire to Joseph’s Tomb, CNN headlined its story “Joseph’s Tomb site catches fire in wave of Palestinian-Israeli violence.” As if it had been spontaneous combustion.

A BBC headline was even worse: “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.” No mention of the fact that the Palestinian was a jihad murderer. A Wall Street Journal headline was similar: “Two Palestinian teenagers killed, two injured by Israeli police.” The Los Angeles Times: “Four Palestinian teens are killed in Israeli violence.” Reuters’ headline was just a bit better: “Israelis kill Jerusalem knife man” – although you’d have to know the story already to realize that the “knife man” was a jihadi who had attacked Israelis with a knife.

The New York Times opted to pretend that rocks threw themselves, without anyone being the throwers: “Jewish man dies as rocks pelt his car in East Jerusalem.” The Guardian coverage centered on supposed Israeli reprisal attacks against Muslims.

But worst of all was MSNBC. On Thursday, MSNBC’s reporter in Jerusalem (Ayman Mohyeldin) was caught red-handed portraying a Damascus gate stabbing by a rabid “Palestinian” terrorist as an Israeli execution of an innocent Palestinian. What’s the difference between Ayman and the Muslim terrorist who, disguised as a journalist, stabbed an Israeli soldier? Very little.

Then on Friday, MSNBC’s talking heads brought up a Palestinian propaganda map that is a total fabrication, a pack of lies that contradicts all pertinent historical facts and is part of the political swindle of the century, a.k.a “The Plight of the Palestinian People.”

Pamela Geller’s commitment to freedom from jihad and Shariah shines forth in her books – featured at the WND Superstore

Watch this MSNBC “news segment.” The maps they show are lies. There were Palestinian Muslims and Palestinian Jews living in the British Mandate of Palestine. And the Palestinian Muslims were conducting pogroms against the Palestinian Jews – much the way they are today. Same war, same hate, same motive – Islamic Jew-hatred. It’s in the Quran.

Anti-Semites and anti-Israel agitators often use doctored maps to show Israel’s supposed aggression over the past century. The maps show the steady diminishing of “Palestinian” land over the last century. My now-famous “savage” ads, stating, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man; support Israel, defeat jihad,” were a response to anti-Semitic ads that ran featuring those very doctored maps.

The map claims are made by haters who either choose to have no knowledge of the facts or, more typically, no moral compass. Their agenda is clear. These maps are a blood libel against the Jewish state. We expect this kind of moral depravity from the usual suspects, but it’s a whole other thing for MSNBC to use them to try and explain away the Islamic genocide against the Jews.

The fallaciousness of the map MSNBC used is demonstrated by one simple fact: The flag of Palestine before 1948 featured the Star of David. This is further proof (as if we needed any more) of the falsity of the vicious historical revisionism by the Muslim world to erase the Jewish state and create a mythical Islamic narrative surrounding 5,000 years of Jewish history.

Shany Mor, former director for foreign policy of the Israeli National Security Council, explains it all in a devastating article in The Tower, setting the historical record straight. Mor notes that before the modern Jewish state was founded in 1948, there was no “State of Palestine”: “The simple fact,” he says, “is that none of pre-1948 Palestine was under the political authority of Arabs or Jews. It was ruled by the British Mandatory government, established by the League of Nations for the express purpose of creating a ‘Jewish National Home.’ It was also – contrary to the claims of innumerable pro-Palestinian activists – the first time a discrete political entity called ‘Palestine’ existed in modern history. And this entity was established in order to fulfill a goal that was essentially Zionist in nature.”

Mor notes that one way the map is misleading is that it labels all land that wasn’t owned by Jews as Palestinian: “But this lie is compounded by another that is even more epic in scope: Labeling every single patch of land not owned by the JNF as Arab or Palestinian. This was quite simply not the case. We have incomplete data on land ownership in modern Palestine, and even less on Arab property than Jewish property, partly due to the very complicated nature of property law in Ottoman times. But anyone’s map of private property in Mandatory Palestine from this period would be mostly empty – half the country is, after all, desert. It would show small patches of private Jewish land – as this map does – alongside small patches of private Arab land, as this map shamelessly does not.”

The fact is that Palestine is Israel – the Jewish homeland. And MSNBC is a shameless shill for genocidal Palestinian jihad.

ISIS Fires Up Palestinians

by Bassam Tawil                     The Gatestone Institute

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6712/palestinians-islamic-state

The current wave of stabbings of Jews in Israel is an attempt to imitate Islamic State terrorists, who have been using knives to behead many Muslims and non-Muslims. In most attacks, the Palestinian terrorists focused on the victims’ throats and necks. They are trying to replace Islamic State jihadis as the chief “butchers” of humans in the Middle East.

How can our leaders in Ramallah accuse Jews of “contaminating” the Aqsa Mosque with their “filthy feet” at a time when our youths burn a religious site such as Joseph’s Tomb? Palestinian Authority security forces, which maintain a tight grip on Nablus, did nothing to prevent the arson attack.

The attacks are an attempt to erase history so that Jews will not be able to claim any religious ties to the land. This is exactly what the Islamic State is doing in Syria and Iraq.

Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders are lying. This is not a struggle against “occupation” or a wall or a checkpoint. This is an Islamic State-inspired jihad to slaughter Jews and wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

By now, it has become clear that our young Palestinian men and women have learned a lot from the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.

This new “intifada” that some Palestinians are now waging against Israel should be seen in the context of the wider jihad that is being waged by the Islamic State, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda against the “infidels, Zionists, apostates, Crusaders” and against non-extremist Muslims.

The tactics employed by Palestinian youths over the past two weeks show that they are doing their utmost to copy the crimes and atrocities committed by the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, Libya and other Arab countries.

Although the Islamic State is not physically present in the West Bank or Jerusalem (largely thanks to the efforts of the Israel Defense Forces and other Israeli security agencies), there is no denying that its spirit and ideology are hovering over the heads of many of our young men and women.

The current wave of stabbings of Jews in Israel and the West Bank is an attempt to imitate Islamic State terrorists who have been using knives to behead many Muslims and non-Muslims during the past two years.

Like the Islamic State, many of the Palestinian terrorists who recently stabbed Jews saw themselves as jihadis acting in the name of Allah, the Quran and the Prophet Mohammed. This was evident by the Palestinian terrorists’ cries of “Allahu Akbar!” [“Allah is Greater!”] as they pounced on their victims. Our young men and women must have been watching too many videos of Islamic State jihadis shouting “Allahu Akbar!” as they beheaded or burned their victims.

The stabbing attacks that were carried out in the past two weeks were actually attempts to slit the throats of Jews, regardless of their age and gender. In most instances, the terrorists were aiming for the upper part of the body, focusing on the victims’ throats and necks. The Palestinian terrorists are now trying to replace Islamic State jihadis as the chief “butchers” of human beings in the Middle East. For now, they seem to be partially successful in their mission.

Our young men and women have learned from the Islamic State not only the practice of stabbing the “infidels,” but also how to destroy religious sites. On Thursday night, scores of Palestinians attacked and torched Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, in scenes reminiscent of the Islamic State’s destruction of ancient and holy sites in Syria and Iraq.

The shrine was set on fire for no reason other than that it is revered as the tomb of a Jewish biblical figure. This is a site frequented by Jewish worshippers, although it is under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its security forces in Nablus. It is worth noting that agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinians guarantee access for Jewish worshippers to Joseph’s Tomb, and there were assurances to the Israelis that the PA could be trusted to safeguard the site.

What the Palestinians did to Joseph’s Tomb is no different from what the Islamic State and other terrorist groups have been doing to holy sites and archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq. The Palestinians who attacked Joseph’s Tomb were obviously influenced by the crimes of the Islamic State against religious and ancient sites.

What is still not clear is why the Palestinian Authority security forces, which maintain a tight grip on Nablus, did nothing to prevent the arson attack.

How can our leaders in Ramallah accuse Jews of “contaminating” the Aqsa Mosque with their “filthy feet” at a time when our youths burn a religious site such as Joseph’s Tomb?

This is not the only Jewish holy site that has been targeted by Palestinians in recent years. While our leaders are screaming day and night about Jews “invading” and “desecrating” the Aqsa Mosque, Palestinians from Bethlehem have been throwing stones, petrol bombs and explosive devices at Rachel’s Tomb near the city. This has been going on for several years now, in an attempt to kill Jewish worshippers and the Israeli soldiers guarding Rachel’s Tomb.

The attacks on Joseph’s and Rachel’s Tombs in Nablus and Bethlehem are part of a Palestinian-Islamic campaign to destroy Jewish holy sites and deny any Jewish link to the land. The attacks are an attempt to rewrite history so that Jews will not be able to claim any religious ties to the land. This is exactly what the Islamic State is doing these days in Syria and Iraq: “erasing history that lets us to learn from the past.”

The terror campaign that we have been waging against Israel in the past few weeks shows that the Islamic State and Islamic fundamentalism and fascism have invaded the minds and hearts of many of our young men and women. We have turned the conflict with Israel into a jihadi war, the goal of which is to slaughter Jews, erase their history and expel them from this part of the world. This is not an intifada. This is brutal killing spree targeting Jews of all ages, including a 13-year-old boy, a 72-year-old woman and a 78-year-old man.

President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders are lying to us — and the rest of the world — when they describe the stabbing attacks against Jews as a “peaceful popular resistance.” This is not a struggle against “occupation” or a wall or a checkpoint. It is time to recognize that this is an Islamic State-inspired jihad to slaughter as many Jews as possible and wipe Israel off the face of the earth. When and if the Islamic State is finally eliminated or disappears, the Palestinians will emerge as the successors of one of the most brutal and murderous Islamic gangs that has surfaced in modern history.

Palestinian Leaders Have Created a Culture of Death – Tzipi Hotovely (Wall Street Journal)

The latest surge of Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis has come in the immediate wake of explicit calls by the Palestinian leadership to “spill blood.”

This well-orchestrated campaign of violence follows many years in which Palestinian children have been taught to idolize the murder of Jews as a sacred value and to regard their own death in this “jihad” as the pinnacle of their aspirations.

Yet the apathy shown by the international community to the death-culture fostered by Palestinian elites, and the unbalanced manner in which subsequent violence is often treated by the international media – as if there is any kind of symmetry between terrorists and their victims – is doing long-term, and possibly irrevocable, harm to generations of Palestinians.

The unending stream of blood-drenched caricatures and video clips that circulate virally through Palestinian social media is a telling indication of how profoundly the worship of violence is entrenched in Palestinian society.

Israeli children grow up on songs of peace. Palestinian children are taught to hate.

Changing the Palestinian death-culture is no less important for the Palestinians than for Israel.

The writer is deputy foreign minister of Israel.

 

This information is compiled by Dr Ron Wiseman, Board Member of the Zionist Council of NSW