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22nd October – Latest News in Israel

MP Speaks out in Support of Israel

Liberal  MP for Deakin, Michael Sukkar,  (of Lebanese descent ) strongly condemned those who justify attacks against Israelis. “Those who seek to justify the deaths of innocent Israelis by blaming them on settlements or events in Gaza should be utterly ashamed of themselves,” he said.

Sukkar also spoke out against the dangers of incitement and lists the terror attacks Israel has faced as a result in the last few weeks. He offers his sincere condolences to the people of Israel in this dark time and says Israel can count on him and his government during this time.

Netanyahu: Israel is fighting on three fronts

Israel is fighting a battle on three fronts, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday, warning that an escalation in any one of those arenas could have an incendiary effect on the other two.

“We are in a struggle for Israel’s security firstly in maintaining quiet on the Temple Mount [in Jerusalem], secondly in the West Bank and thirdly in Gaza,” Netanyahu said during a visit to an IDF’s Gaza Division headquarters in the Western Negev.

“A flare-up in any one of these fronts could ignite the the others,” he said, and praised the readiness of Israeli forces.

On all three fronts, Netanyahu said, Israel had implemented policies to restore calm and work against terrorism in “a responsible and proportionate manner, with force, sometimes with much force when necessary.”

An Israeli was killed Tuesday and two others were wounded in twin West Bank attacks as the current round of violence between Israel and the Palestinians showed no signs of abating.

The prime minister was briefed on the security situation along the Gaza border by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, and other IDF officials.

“My impression is that the situation here is under control,” Netanyahu said from a military lookout point over the Gaza Strip.

He said that he holds Gaza’s ruling Islamist party Hamas responsible for the affairs inside the coastal Strip, and said Israel would not tolerate any breach of its borders, or attacks against its citizens.

“My impression is that this message was understood,” he said.

Hours after Netanyahu’s visit, a Palestinian man was reportedly killed and three others injured in clashes with the IDF near the Gaza border, east of the Bureij refugee camp in the central Strip.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza identified the man as 27-year-old Ahmed Sharif al-Sarhi.

An IDF spokeswoman said that in a separate incident, two Palestinian men breached the border fence into Israel, close to Bureij. IDF troops apprehended the suspects, who do not appear to have been armed.                                                                                        (The Times of Israel)

Four soldiers wounded in car-ramming terrorist attack in West Bank

A suspected vehicular attack that injured four IDF soldiers took place in the southern West Bank on Wednesday evening near Beit Omar and the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements.

Magen David Adom reported that it treated the victims who were in their twenties at the scene of the attack and who were then evacuated to hospital in Jerusalem.

IDF forces in the area shot the suspected terrorist who was in serious condition.

The car with Israeli passengers came under attack by rock throwers who exited their vehicle and were then hit by a passing vehicle.

There was rioting and rock throwing reported at the site of the attack.

(The Jerusalem Post)

Stabbing attack in Binyamin region, female IDF soldier seriously wounded

A terrorist stabbed and seriously wounded a female IDF soldier on Wednesday in an attack in Kikar Adam, north of Jerusalem in the Binyamin region. The wounded soldier was from the Home Front Command’s Kedem battalion.

A second female soldier shot and killed the knife attacker, the IDF said. Another suspect was apprehended near the scene of the attack.

According to Magen David Adom paramedics, the hurt 19-year-old victim suffered wounds to her upper body.

MDA Paramedic Assaf Ben Artzi, who was first paramedic on the scene, described finding the woman lying on a dirt path near a road, seriously wounded with a stab wound, and civilians attempting to help her. He began giving her life-saving initial treatment, before she was evacuated in an intensive care ambulance, and retained full consciousness during the evacuation, he said. She was transported to Hadassah University Medical Center, on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus.

The attack came after the IDF carried out a large-scale sweep of security suspects in overnight raids in the West Bank between Tuesday and Wednesday, arresting 47 Palestinians, including 16 Hamas members.

More than 20 of the 47 suspects  allegedly took part in unorganized terror attacks and violent disturbances.

Security forces arrested Hamas members in the Balata refugee camp south of Nablus, Inbus, which is also south of Nablus, in Arura, north of Ramallah, and  in Sinjil, northeast of Ramallah.

Hamas members were also nabbed in Beit Kahil, northwest of Hebron, and in Hebron. Additional Hamas member were arrested in Dura and Beit Awa, southwest of Hebron, and in Samoa, south of Hebron.                                            (The Jerusalem Post)

Netanyahu to UN Chief: Abbas Hasn’t Condemned One Terror Attack

In a meeting Tuesday evening with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu once again rejected accusations by the Palestinian Authority that Israel is seeking to change the “status quo” on the Temple Mount.

On the contrary, the prime minister accused the PA and Islamist groups of themselves attempting to breach the current arrangements, by trying to force an end to all Jewish visits to the Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism.

“Your visit comes at a troubling time,” the PM said. “In recent weeks Israelis have been deliberately run over, shot, stabbed, even hacked to death.

“In large part this is because President Abbas has joined ISIS and Hamas in claiming that Israel threatens the Al Aqsa Mosque. This is a total lie. Israel vigorously protects the sites of all faiths – we keep the status quo.

“The Palestinians by contrast are the ones who violate the status quo.”

“Palestinians have brought explosives into the Al Aqsa Mosque – that’s a violation of the status quo,” he continued, referring to Islamist gangs who regularly stockpile weapons and makeshift bombs in the mosque and use it as a base to attack security forces.

“They try violently to prevent Jews and Christians from visiting the Temple Mount – that’s another violation of the status quo,” he added.

“And they work to convince UNESCO to deny the Jewish people’s historic connection to the Western Wall,” Netanyahu said, referring to the recent bid by the Palestinian Authority to claim the Kotel as an Islamic site. “These are the real threats to the status quo.”

The prime minister also declared that “It’s time to tell the truth about the cause of Palestinian terrorism.

“It’s not the settlements, it’s not the peace process – it’s the desire to destroy the State of Israel, pure and simple.”

Netanyahu also accused PA leader Mahmoud Abbas of “fanning the flames,” citing recent comments by Abbas in which he said he “welcomes every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem.”

“President Abbas has not condemned a single one of the 30 terrorist attacks on Israelis over the last month, and he continues to glorify terrorists as heroes.”

Rejecting accusations by some that Israel was using “excessive force” in stopping terrorist attackers, and in dealing with violent riots, Netanyahu insisted: “In the face of this terrorism Israel is acting as any democracy would to defend its citizens. We are not… using excessive force.”

The Israeli prime minister also called on the international community to back Israel as it acts to protect itself, and to “hold President Abbas accountable for his dangerous words.”                                                                     (Arutz Sheva)

UNESCO condemns Israeli ‘aggression’ on Temple Mount

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization passed a resolution Wednesday condemning ongoing Israeli archaeological excavations near the Temple Mount and elsewhere in Jerusalem’s Old City. The resolution proposal had originally sought to name the Western Wall a Muslim religious site, but Arab states struck that demand from the draft earlier in the day.

It also condemned the “aggression and illegal measures taken against the freedom of worship and access of Muslims to Al-Aqsa Mosque and Israel’s attempts to break the status quo since 1967.”

Twenty-six UNESCO representatives voted in favor of the resolution, six voted against, and twenty-five abstained. The United States, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Estonia opposed the resolution.

The resolution also recognized Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as Muslim sites.

The vote came hours after the Arab states withdrew their demand that UNESCO declare the Western Wall an “integral part” of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

In an effort to garner support for the motion, some of the most incendiary language was removed or exchanged for less provocative terms.

All references to Jerusalem as “the occupied capital of Palestine” were withdrawn from the draft, as was a call for the international community to condemn Israel for urging “civilians to carry weapons whenever they leave their homes.”

Palestinians allege that a wave of Palestinian attacks in recent weeks against Israeli civilians and security personnel stems from Israel’s attempts to change the arrangements at the Temple Mount, where Jews are allowed to visit but not pray. Israel has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The UK voted against the new resolution, despite the Palestinians’ removal of the most controversial segment. “The language is unacceptable, and we don’t think it’s helpful to bring in a provocative motion at times of tensions,” a British official said. “We regret that there wasn’t more time to discuss the motion.”

On Tuesday, the head of UNESCO said she “deplored” the proposal. The move, Irina Bokova warned on the agency’s website, “could be seen to alter the status of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls and incite further tensions.”

The executive board had been scheduled to vote Tuesday on the resolution, but Bokova postponed the vote until Wednesday.

In a statement, Bokova called on the UNESCO board “to take decisions that do not further inflame tensions on the ground and that encourage respect for the sanctity of the Holy Sites.”

Speaking alongside UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who visited Israel on Tuesday in a bid to pursue solutions to the resurgent violence, President Reuven Rivlin said efforts to inflame tensions must be rejected.

“The United Nations and all its institutions have a responsibility to work against any escalation of the conflict. UNESCO must reject any attempt to deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount,” he said.

The Western Wall is at the base of Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site. The hilltop compound is revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, the site of the two biblical Jewish temples. Today, it’s home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest shrine and a key national symbol for the Palestinians.                                (The Times of Israel )

IDF arrests senior Hamas figure Hassan Yousef in West Bank

The IDF and the Shin Bet intelligence agency arrested Sheikh Hassan Yousef early on Tuesday during a raid on his West Bank home.

Yousef is a senior Hamas leader in the West Bank. Security forces arrested him in the Palestinian town of Beitunia, southwest of Ramallah.

Yousef, 60, is involved in intensive activities aimed at inciting Palestinians to commit acts of terrorism, according to the army.

The sheikh has been arrested and jailed in Israel on several past occasions. Israeli authorities accuse him of “[fomenting] violence and conflict against Israel among the Palestinian public.”

Soldiers from the Artillery Corps Ra’am (Thunder) battalion and units from the Binyamin territorial brigade arrested Yousef together with the Shin Bet, and took him in for questioning.

Yousef’s son, Mosab, worked as an undercover Shin Bet informer and is credited with foiling many deadly terrorist attacks between 1997 and 2007.

His autobiography, Son of Hamas, (The Green Prince) was published in 2010. Yousef has sought asylum in the United States.                                            (JTA)

Shin Bet’s new challenge: Terrorists with an Israeli ID

An Israeli identity card, a Facebook video and a knife – these are the ingredients which are repeatedly emerging from all Shin Bet investigations in the recent wave of terror.

Despite the shooting attack at the central bus station in Be’er Sheva, the Shin Bet’s situation report on the Bedouins in southern Israel has been relatively good in the past year, following several arrests carried out in the past two years within the community.

Adris Abu Alkean, a Hura resident affiliated with a radical Salafi faction, was arrested in April 2014 after helping two other Negev residents to travel to Syria in order to join the Islamic State. In July 2015, the Shin Bet arrested six Hura residents – including four teachers – who supported ISIS and spread the organization’s doctrine in the school.

Nonetheless, radical Islam poses a great challenge to the Shin Bet. This time too, terrorist Mouhand al-Okbi has no record of security offenses, and the attack was likely the result of a moment’s decision.

A similar story emerged from the investigation of Israeli terrorist Tariq Yahya, who carried out the attack in Afula, and said he had decided to do it the night before, following what he defined as a feeling of anger and hatred towards Jews, which he formed after watching YouTube videos and which led him to buy a knife on the day of the attack in Umm al-Fahm.

And so without even noticing, the number of terrorists carrying Israeli identity cards has apparently gone up to 22 – 19 of them from East Jerusalem and three from Umm al-Fahm, Nazareth and the Bedouin community. All of them had no security record, all of them were inspired by social media and they all made the decision within a minute, making it impossible to arrest them.

The legend about Shin Bet investigators in the Judea and Samaria district, that a terrorist who dreams about an attack at night will be arrested by the IDF the next morning, cannot be fulfilled with those carrying an Israeli identity card. In fact, the kidnapping of the three teens in Gush Etzion last summer proved that this legend does not apply to the West Bank either.

And despite all of that, we must be careful not to make generalizations about Israel’s Arabs, like the ones politicians are making these days. The absolute majority of Israeli Arabs play no part in terror activities, and it would be wrong to compare them to the residents of East Jerusalem who want to protect Al-Aqsa.

In any event, the current wave of terror poses a new challenge to Israel’s security forces and intelligence organizations, which they have yet to deal with: An uprising which is generating unguided and unorganized perpetrators, who go to sleep as ordinary citizens and wake up in the morning as terrorists.                                (Ynet News)

IDF targets Gaza terror cell behind recent sniper attacks

The IDF identified a terrorist cell in Gaza which it said has been behind a series of sniping attacks on security forces recently, and opened fire on it.

According to the army, in a combined operation of the IDF,  Border Police Counter-Terrorism Unit and Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency, security forces carried out sniper fire on the southern Gaza cell, which had been operating close to the Gaza border fence over the past week.

The cell was “preparing additional sniper attacks,” the army said. The cell was accurately struck.

The IDF said the operation “to eradicate the immediate threat” concluded without injury or damage to the Israeli side.

“The IDF will not tolerate attempts to harm Israeli citizens and soldiers and will continue to operation against every attempted terror attack on the State of Israel,” the military said in a statement.

The army declined to provide details on which organization the cell belonged to.

In light of the potential threat of attacks from the cell, the IDF advised Israeli farmers near the enclave’s border to stay clear of the vicinity.

According to farmers, a notice was sent to abstain from work in their fields due to fears of a large-scale terror attack from Gaza such as a strike using anti-tank missiles.

The IDF move came mere hours after a visit at a lookout point into Gaza near the IDF’s Gaza Division headquarters in the western Negev by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, and top IDF officials.                                            (Jerusalem Post)

Netanyahu blames Jerusalem mufti for Holocaust, is accused of ‘absolving Hitler’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was pounded Wednesday with a barrage of condemnations after he claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler only decided on the mass extermination of Europe’s Jews after receiving input on the matter from Jerusalem’s then-grand mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian nationalist widely acknowledged as a fervent Jew-hater.

Critics accused Netanyahu of “absolving” Hitler of responsibility for the Holocaust, a charge the prime minister later rejected, saying he had “no intention to absolve Hitler of responsibility for his diabolical destruction of European Jewry” but that it was “equally absurd to ignore the role played by the Mufti” in urging Nazi leaders “to exterminate European Jewry.”

During an address Tuesday to delegates at the World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem, Netanyahu posited that the Nazi fuehrer did not initially intend to annihilate the Jews, but rather sought to expel them from Europe. According to the prime minister’s version of the events, Hitler changed his mind after meeting with Husseini — who was grand mufti of Jerusalem from 1921 to 1948, and president of the Supreme Muslim Council from 1922 to 1937 — in Berlin near the end of 1941.

“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time [of the meeting between the mufti and the Nazi leader]. He wanted to expel the Jews,” Netanyahu said. “And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here [to mandatory Palestine],’” continued the prime minister.

“‘So what should I do with them?’ He [Hitler] asked,” according to Netanyahu. “He [Husseini] said, ‘Burn them.’”

Netanyahu was speaking in the context of enduring Palestinian accusations to the effect that Israel is seeking to take control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; the mufti was one of the first to peddle such allegations against Jews in Mandatory Palestine. The charges have been fueling a recent wave of attacks against Israelis in and around Jerusalem. Israel has repeatedly denied allegations that it wishes to change the status quo on the Mount, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and is holy to both Jews and Muslims. As per the status quo, Jews may visit the Temple Mount but not pray there.

An overwhelming majority of Holocaust historians reject the notion that Husseini planted the idea of a “Final Solution” for Europe’s Jews in Hitler’s mind.

Tom Segev, a leading Israeli historian who has conducted extensive research on the Holocaust, told The Times of Israel Wednesday that the notion that Hitler needed to be convinced to exterminate the Jews was “entirely absurd.” He stressed that “one can surely say that [Husseini] was a war criminal, but one cannot say Hitler needed his advice.”

Segev, born in Jerusalem to parents who escaped Nazi Germany in 1933, further stressed that by the time Husseini and Hitler met in 1941, the annihilation of the Jews had already begun. In fact, hundreds of thousands of Jews had been killed by the Nazis and their collaborators by the time of the meeting.

“So the mufti told Hitler, ‘Burn them,’ and Hitler goes, ‘Oh, what a great idea,’” Segev added ironically.

Other commentators pointed out that Hitler had discussed the possible extermination of European Jewry as early as 1939, even before World War II began and certainly before he met with Husseini. The order to carry out a Final Solution against Jews was given in July 1941 — months ahead of the mufti and Hitler’s meeting — after which the infamous Wannsee Conference was called in order to finalize the logistics and details of the mass-murder operation.

The Wannsee Conference, held in on January 20, 1942, came after the meeting between Hitler and Husseini.

The theory that Husseini played a role in the origin of the plan to commit genocide against the Jews has been raised by a number of historians including David Dalin and John Rothmann, but the notion has been rejected by a vast majority of Holocaust scholars.

Netanyahu’s speech on Tuesday was not the first time the Israeli leader offered his alternate version concerning the mufti’s role in the perpetration of the Holocaust.

“Haj Amin al-Husseini was one of the leading architects of the Final Solution,” he said in 2012 during a speech at the Knesset. “He, more than anybody else, convinced [Hitler] to execute the Final Solution, and not let the Jews leave [Europe]. Because, God forbid, they would come here. Rather that they would be annihilated, burned, there.”

The prime minister was criticized across the political board Wednesday for his comments, which were described as inaccurate at best and, at worst, as a tailwind to Holocaust denial. Implying the mufti planted the idea for the Final Solution in Hitler’s mind was tantamount to some, to absolving Hitler and the Nazis, at least partially, for orchestrating the unprecedented, systematic genocide of the Jews.

“This is a dangerous distortion of history and I demand that Netanyahu correct it immediately because it trivializes the Holocaust, the Nazis, and the terrible dictator Adolf Hitler’s share in the terrible tragedy of our people in the Holocaust,” Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog said in a statement. “It falls like ripe fruit straight into the hands of Holocaust deniers, and involves them in the Palestinian conflict.

“Netanyahu has forgotten that he is not only the Israeli prime minister, he is also the prime minister of the Jewish people. No one will teach me what a hater of Israel the mufti was. He gave the order to kill my grandfather, Rabbi [Yitzhak HaLevi] Herzog, and actively supported Hitler,” Herzog added.

Zehava Galon, leader of the liberal Meretz party, was even more vituperative, asserting that she felt “ashamed” for Netanyahu.

“This is not a speech by [extreme right-wing Austrian politician] Jorg Haider. This is not part of the doctorate of [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas [which accused the Zionist movement of collaborating with Nazism and played down the extent of the Holocaust]. It is an absolutely accurate quote by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu… It’s unbelievable,” Galon said in a statement.

“Perhaps we should exhume the 33,771 Jews killed at Babi Yar in September 1941, two months before the mufti and Hitler ever met, and let them know that the Nazis didn’t intend to destroy them. Perhaps Netanyahu will tell that to my relatives in Lithuania murdered by the Nazis along with nearly 200,000 members of the Jewish community there, well before the mufti and Hitler met,” she continued.

“I am ashamed for you, Mr. Prime Minister,” Galon added.

Joint (Arab) List party leader Ayman Odeh accused Netanyahu of distorting history in order to incite against the Palestinian people.

“The victims of the Nazi monstrosity, among them millions of Jews, are converted into cheap political propaganda to assist the refusal of peace,” Odeh said. “Netanyahu proves every day how dangerous he is to the two nations, and how far he is willing to go to consolidate his power and justify his catastrophic policies.”

Echoing Odeh’s words, the Palestinian Authority’s former chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, asserted that “Netanyahu hates Palestinians so much that he is willing to absolve Hitler for the murder of 6 million Jews.” He added that “on behalf of the thousands of Palestinians that fought alongside the Allied troops in defense of international justice, the State of Palestine denounces [Netanyahu’s] morally indefensible and inflammatory statements.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas accused Netanyahu of placing “responsibility on Haj Amin al-Husseini for the killing of Jews during the Holocaust.” He said that by implying that “Hitler was not responsible [for the Holocaust], Netanyahu wants to change history. He is changing the history of the Jews.” In a 1984 book based on his PhD dissertation, Abbas claimed that the Nazis had collaborated with the Zionists, who had also exaggerated the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.

In a statement to reporters on Wednesday afternoon, as he prepared to head to Berlin, Netanyahu asserted that his comments had been misconstrued. “It is absurd. I had no intention to absolve Hitler of responsibility for his diabolical destruction of European Jewry. Hitler was responsible for the Final Solution to exterminate six million Jews. He made ​​the decision. It is equally absurd to ignore the role played by the Mufti, Haj Amin al -Husseini, a war criminal, for encouraging and urging Hitler, Ribbentropp, Himmler and others, to exterminate European Jewry. There is much evidence about this, including the testimony of Eichmann’s deputy at the Nuremberg trials, not now, but after World War II.”

Added Netanyahu, “The Mufti was instrumental in the decision to exterminate the Jews of Europe. The importance of his role must not be ignored. The Mufti repeatedly proposed to the authorities, primarily Hitler, Ribbentropp and Himmler, to exterminate the Jews of Europe. He considered it a suitable solution for the Palestinian question.” Netanyahu quoted Eichmann’s deputy, saying at the Nuremberg trials, “”The Mufti was one of the instigators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and was a partner and adviser to Eichmann and Hitler for carrying out this plan’.”

The prime minister went on, “The attempt by certain scholars and people to be apologists for the key and important role of Haj Amin al-Husseini, is clear. Many other researchers cite this testimony and others regarding the role of Haj Amin al Husseini. My intention was not to absolve Hitler of his responsibility, but rather to show that the forefathers of the Palestinian nation, without a country and without the so-called ‘occupation’, without land and without settlements, even then aspired to systematic incitement to exterminate the Jews. Unfortunately, Haj Amin al-Husseini is still a revered figure in Palestinian society. He appears in textbooks and it is taught that he is one of the founding fathers of the nation, and this incitement that started then with him, inciting the murder of Jews – continues. Not in the same format, but in a different one, and this is the root of the problem. To stop the murders, it is necessary to stop the incitement. What is important is to recognize the historical facts and not ignore them, not then and not today.”                              (The Times of Israel)

South African Chief Rabbi: ANC Welcome to Hamas’ Mashal is Disgrace to Memory of Mandela

South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein deplored on Monday a meeting between the country’s ruling ANC party and Hamas leader Khaled Mashal, warning that inviting members of the internationally designated terror group “endangers Africa and the world.”

“For the ANC to welcome Hamas leader Khaled Mashal to South Africa is a moral outrage, and disgraces the memory of Nelson Mandela,” said Goldstein, chief rabbi to South Africa’s sizable Jewish community since 2005.

“Hamas openly promotes the most brutal violence as a religious ideal and is an ideological ally of Boko Haram, which wreaks unspeakable horror and suffering on the African continent. Welcoming such an ideology endangers Africa and the world,” Goldstein told The Algemeiner.

The bilateral meeting between ANC leaders ­ including South African President Jacob Zuma and party Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe ­ and Hamas’ peripatetic politburo chief also drew a harsh response from Israel, whose Foreign Ministry summoned the South African deputy ambassador in response to the event.

“This invitation buoys up and encourages terrorism while blatantly and unashamedly ignoring the position of the international community, which designates Hamas as a terrorist organization,” the ministry said in a statement.

The meeting was reported on Monday by an account linked to the ANC party and followed by at least 214,000 users on Twitter. During the talks, Mashal presented Zuma, Mantashe and ANC National Chairperson Baleka Mbate with gifts. The Hamas leader announced that the two parties had signed a letter of intent and discussed “mutual relations.”

Mantashe said the statement of intent sought to build a “long-lasting relationship” between the ANC and Hamas, in South Africa.

Earlier this year, the ANC announced that the government would review dual-citizenship laws in South Africa, especially to keep South Africans from serving in the Israel Defense forces. The issue raised eyebrows in South Africa’s Jewish community, with Goldstein producing a YouTube video protesting the move. During the clip, Goldstein accused ANC leaders of playing into Hamas’ hands.                                                                        (The Algemeiner)

Protesters in Malmo, Sweden, chant ‘slaughter the Jews’

Hundreds of protesters in the Swedish city of Malmo were filmed chanting in Arabic about slaughtering Jews and stabbing soldiers.

Pro-Palestinian groups organized a rally Monday in the city center against what they consider Israeli violence and to show solidarity with Palestinians amid deadly measures taken by Israeli authorities to stop the recent spate of attacks on Jews in Israel and the West Bank.

Isaac Bachman, Israel’s ambassador to Sweden, posted on his Facebook account a video taken at the rally showing hundreds chanting “’slaughter the Jews, stab soldiers.” In other slogans, the chanters encouraged “heroes to carry out attack after attack” and to “start a third intifada.”

“These are extremely troubling instances of a grotesque but nevertheless very real – and murderous – incitement which must be dealt with by the full force of the law,” Bachman wrote.

His wife, Osnat, wrote about the video: “Swedish people: Is this what you believe in? Is this what you bargained for? Are these your morals? Since I know the answers I feel ashamed in your name.”

Separately, the Scandinavian airline SAS recently announced  that it would stop flights from Copenhagen to Tel Aviv at the end of March, along with Ankara and Russia, citing profitability issues.

SAS spokeswoman Trine Kromann denied claims made in the Israeli media that the line was profitable — the Israel Hayom daily reported Tuesday that the line had seen a 41 percent increase in traffic in 2014 over 2013 — and denied that the decision to stop the flights to Israel was in fact politically motivated.

Kromann said SAS did not share or discuss traffic statistics, “which in any case are only a part of the commercial calculation for determining profitability.” She added: “We also look at, for example, the price we can get per ticket and operating costs.”

The line to Tel Aviv is a particularly costly one for SAS, Kromann added.                                                                  (Jerusalem Post)

Moving ceremony marks opening of Israel’s new disabled sports complex

In a poignant event attended by over 300 guests, Sunday saw the opening of the new Wheelchair Sports Gymnasium at the Israel Sport Centre for The Disabled (ISCD) in Ramat Gan.

The sport center, already one of the largest of its kind in the world, now contains a gymnasium that will be home to six wheelchair basketball teams, four wheelchair rugby teams, blind goalball teams, and more.

The ceremony was attended by guests including Israeli Paralympic medalists Noam Gershony and Inbal Pezaro, mayor of Ramat Gan, Israel Zinger, and MKs Karen Elharar and Michal Biran.

Minister for Sport Miri Regev was set to attend, but unable to do so due to the current security climate.

Wheelchair players

The event featured a range of performances and speeches, including a wheelchair basketball tour de force from some of players who will be using the gymnasium, and a moving speech by Elharar in which she stated, “These people deserve more and it’s finally the time that they got the glory that they deserve.”

Costing $2.5 million to construct, the gymnasium comes as a result of donations from both Israel and abroad.

Before the ceremonial ribbon cutting to mark its opening, the building’s main donor, American Morris Silverman, said: “It is my honor and privilege to help disabled children and youth, and athletes from all over the country, to be introduced to the wonderful notion of sports and rehabilitation.”

The center also aims to serve as a venue for positive Arab-Israeli interaction, with Israel Paralympic Committee President Daniel Ben Abou noting in his remarks that “people have found their home here. It takes away stress from the rest of the country and everything that’s going on in Israel.”

A similar sentiment was expressed by executive director of the ISCD and former Paralympic medalist Boaz Kramer. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post amid many congratulatory pats on the back following the ceremony’s conclusion, Kramer commented on the power of disabled sport to bring people together.

“I think disabled sports can serve as a great tool of rehabilitation for everybody who has a disability, no matter what their background, because it’s the gateway to a successful life and integrating into society,” said Kramer.                                                                                                                (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli hummus restaurant gives Jews and Arabs 50% off for eating together

Hummuus[3]

Could hummus help bridge the divide between Arabs and Jews during continued violence?

Can a shared love of hummus bring Jews and Arabs together? An Israeli restaurant near the coastal city of Netanya is offering 50 percent discounts on hummus for tables with both Jews and Arabs.

A manager of the Hummus Bar, located in Kfar Vitkin, said that “several” tables of Jews and Arabs have taken advantage of the offer since it began Oct. 13.

“By us we don’t have Arabs! But we also don’t have Jews … By us we’ve got human beings!” the restaurant posted on Facebook. “And real excellent Arab hummus! And great Jewish falafel!”

The move was motivated by the growing unrest across Israel in the aftermath of weeks of attacks by Palestinian extremists on Jewish-Israelis and Palestinian deaths at the hands of Israeli police and soldiers trying to tamp down the violence. The latest attack – a shooting in a Beersheba bus station by a Bedouin-Israeli that left two dead and 10 wounded – came Sunday night.

“If there’s anything that can bring together these peoples, it’s hummus,” manager Kobi Tzafrir                                                  ( JTA)

While attacks are not as numerous, or devastating, as those of the 1987 and 2000 uprisings, they are unlikely to subside anytime soon

by Avi Issacharoff                        The Times of Israel

http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-trickle-intifada-that-just-wont-stop/?utm_source=The+Times+of+Israel+Daily+Edition&utm_campaign=51753a25ce-2015_10_18&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_adb46cec92-51753a25ce-54421417

If Israelis thought for a moment that the recent wave of terror attacks was weakening and may even cease, Saturday’sevents were a rude wake-up call. This is no run-of-the-mill spate of attacks, and sadly it may be a while before it subsides. It is no longer a “trickle” of sporadic attacks. Over 17 consecutive days, there has been only one day with no terror attacks or attempted attacks. The “trickle” isn’t stopping, and the Palestinians are calling it the Al Quds Intifada, or the Jerusalem Intifada.

Of course there’ll be those who say the current situation doesn’t even come close to the bleakness of 2000’s Second Intifada, or the First Intifada of 1987, and they will probably be right. There may be a popular dimension to this intifada, but it is still marginal. Even during Friday’s “Day of Rage,” only a few thousand people took to the streets of the West Bank. The turnout was so meager, in fact, that users on Hamas-affiliated internet forums accused West Bank Palestinians of being spoiled and of no longer bothering to leave their homes to confront the occupation forces and support the struggle to liberate Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Instead, we are witnessing a new kind of intifada characterized by lone wolves, young knife-wielding Palestinians. Most are from East Jerusalem, but over the past few days they’ve received a significant boost from the younger generation in Hebron.

Why has Hebron now rallied to the cause? There are a number of reasons. But first, we must point out that it would have been possible to find explanations had suicidal attackers emerged from other cities. The fact that attackers are not coming from other West Bank cities is surprising. Indeed, the markedly half-hearted commitment displayed by West Bank Palestinians in this semi-intifada is one of the few positive trends that one can point to amid the events of the last few weeks.

Like Jerusalem, Hebron is an easy place to carry out attacks. The terrorists do not need to leave a West Bank town or village and infiltrate Israel through checkpoints in order to find victims. Both are mixed cities, and in Hebron, in Area 2H — as it is designated in the Oslo Accords — Palestinians and Israelis live side by side and intermix practically 24 hours a day.

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron are both holy to both Judaism and Islam, and regretfully inspire sickening actions in the name of religion, or jihad. In addition, both cities contain a core of extremist ideologues who are prepared to take violent action against Jews.

Hebron has been known as a Hamas stronghold for dozens of years, and despite massive Israeli efforts in security and intelligence, and the Palestinian Authority’s attempts to intercept attackers coming from there (including arrests of Hebron residents last week), there is no shortage of extremists who are prepared to die in order to kill Jews.

The bad news from Hebron has a silver lining. First, as noted above, the rest of the West Bank is not rushing to join the melee. This stems from Palestinians’ lack of appetite for a full-blown intifada, but also from the efforts of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who, at least in terms of security coordination, continues to play by the rules. His security forces are making significant efforts to stop terror attacks that could lead to a full-scale conflagration in the West Bank; his troops have arrested Hamas operatives and even dispersed popular protests. Recently, for example, PA security forces quelled a demonstration that emanated from Bir Zeit University, near Ramallah. Protests near the settlement of Beit El have continued, but on a smaller scale. The bottom line is that security cooperation remains in place despite all of the stresses it’s experienced.

The problem, as ever, is that we are living on borrowed time. Abbas’s capacity to stem protests, including some by activists in his Fatah party, isn’t assured for long. Eventually, the members of Fatah and its violent Tanzim movement will join the fray.

Until now, this has been an intifada under at least partial control, but without some kind of diplomatic initiative or an effort to prevent escalation, it is only a matter of time before Israelis and Palestinians pass the point of no return.

The diplomatic initiatives that have already been pitched are unlikely to help. A French proposal to deploy international monitors at the Temple Mount is unlikely to pass muster at the UN’s Security Council. A meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Europe probably won’t make any real difference either.

Since an Arab-Palestinian-Israeli summit is still not on the horizon, for the time being, Israelis don’t have much choice but to hunker down, prepare for more attacks, and hope things won’t spiral utterly out of control.

Palestinian and Western Leaders: Blood on Their Hands

by Richard Kemp               The Gatestone Institute

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6703/palestinian-blood-hands

Secretary Kerry’s comments will encourage the continuation of violence and lead to further deaths of both Israelis and Palestinians. His explanation for the widespread knifings, suicide bombings, shootings, arson, fire bombings, vehicle attacks and lethal rock-throwing is either naive or mendacious; perhaps both.

Kerry asserts that the frustrations of Israeli settlement activity are responsible for the Palestinians’ murderous behaviour. The reality is that this new wave of killings is a continuation of the aggression against Jews that has been going on in the territory of Palestine for many decades — since long before 1948 and pre-dating the first Israeli settlements in the West Bank that Kerry falsely brands as illegal.

The violence is motivated by the same racist and sectarian zeal that drives the Islamic State and numerous Arab governments and jihadist groups that have sought to eradicate the presence of “infidels,” whether Jews, Christians or Yazidis, from land that they consider the exclusive preserve of Muslims.

Palestinian children are taught that Jews are descended from apes and pigs and must be killed before their “filthy feet” desecrate the holy places of Islam — in the words of President Abbas.

Secretary Kerry, the UN, and the EU should be discouraging further violence by condemnation and by meaningful threats of sanction against the Palestinian Authority leadership. The international community has encouraged Hamas’s illegal use of human shields and berated Israel for defending itself and for inflicting civilian casualties, which were in reality the unavoidable consequence of Hamas’s unprovoked aggression and its way of fighting from within private houses, schools, hospitals and mosques.

This encouragement of Hamas violence, especially the effectiveness of its human shield strategy, did not go unnoticed by other Islamist terrorist groups. That is also what Hizballah wants: the wholesale deaths of their own people as a trigger for unbearable international pressure against Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has shockingly justified the latest Palestinian murder campaign in Israel. His comments this week at Harvard University will encourage the continuation of violence and lead to further deaths of both Israelis and Palestinians.

Secretary Kerry’s remarks are particularly troubling because it is unimaginable that he would provide such justification other than for the killing of Israelis. His explanation for the widespread knifings, suicide bombings, shootings, arson, fire bombings, vehicle attacks and lethal rock-throwing is either naive or mendacious; perhaps both. He asserts that the frustrations of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank are responsible for the Palestinians’ murderous behaviour. Of course this is nonsense.

The reality is that this new wave of killings is a continuation of the aggression against Jews that has been going on in the territory of Palestine for many decades — since long before the re-establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 and pre-dating the first Israeli settlements in the West Bank that Secretary Kerry falsely brands as illegal. The violence is motivated by the same racist and sectarian zeal that drives the Islamic State and numerous Arab governments and jihadist groups that have sought to eradicate the presence of “infidels,” whether Jews, Christians or Yazidis, from land that they consider the exclusive preserve of Muslims.

For years, the Palestinian people have been betrayed by their weak, divided and jaundiced leadership who have consistently rejected every opportunity to make peace with their Israeli neighbours. Seeking to divert attention from their gross failures, the immediate trigger for the current murder campaign was the unfounded accusations of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmud Abbas and other rabble-rousers that the Israeli government was planning to change the status of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem — a holy place for both Jews and Muslims.

But what made it possible to conjure up widespread violence so rapidly and to such devastating effect were the years of incitement to hatred against Jews by the Palestinian leadership, including President Abbas. In propaganda that would have impressed Nazi Germany’s Dr. Josef Goebbels himself, Palestinian children are indoctrinated with hatred for Jews and the Jewish State from the very earliest stages of their learning. In schoolbooks, on the TV and in the mosques, they are taught that the whole of the land of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank is Arab territory, stolen from them by the Jews. They are taught that Jews are descended from apes and pigs and must be knifed, blasted and stoned to death before their “filthy feet” are allowed to desecrate the holy places of Islam — in the words of President Abbas.

It is this type of sustained, government-sponsored incitement to hate, reducing the objects of their venom to subhuman status, which made it so easy for ordinary Germans to indulge readily in the orgy of violence that enabled the most efficient genocide in the history of the world.

Although the Palestinian leadership must bear the brunt of responsibility for their incitement to murder, Western leaders also have blood on their hands. Much of the material of hate that inspires Palestinian children is funded by the U.S., Europe and other Western as well as Arab nations.

Rather than seeking to appease the perpetrators by blaming the victims for their fate, Secretary Kerry should be discouraging further violence by outright condemnation and by meaningful threats of sanction against the Palestinian Authority leadership. Instead, he adopts a morally relativistic stance that has the darkest consequences. Understanding that, as so often in the past, the U.S. and the West sympathizes with their fascistic barbarity against a Western democratic state, the Palestinians will step up their violence.

This is the same moral failure that has encouraged three wars in Gaza since Israel withdrew in 2005. Western governments, international bodies such as the UN and the EU and human rights groups consistently refused to condemn salvo after salvo of Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. Only when Israel has been forced to strike back in self-defence have they bestirred themselves. Then, more often than not, it has only been to justify Hamas’s terrorist aggression, as Secretary Kerry has justified Palestinian violence this week. Emboldened first by a lack of international interest and then by international condemnation of Israel’s defensive response, Hamas and their fellow Gaza terrorists continued, repeatedly, to attack Israel. There is little doubt that this will happen again in the future.

In each of the Gaza wars, the international community encouraged Hamas’s illegal use of human shields that resulted in so much death and suffering in Gaza and Israel. At best with only token criticism of Hamas’s war crimes, international leaders vigorously berated Israel for defending itself and for inflicting civilian casualties which were in reality the unavoidable consequence of Hamas’s unprovoked aggression and its way of fighting from within private houses, schools, hospitals and mosques.

This encouragement of Hamas violence, especially the effectiveness of its human shield strategy, did not go unnoticed by other Islamist terrorist groups. Lebanese Hizballah, for example, has embedded 100,000 rockets — all pointed at Israel — among the towns and villages of southern Lebanon. Many houses have a kitchen, sitting room and rocket room. Should Israel need to defend itself against these missiles, which threaten their civilian population, many hundreds — perhaps thousands — of Lebanese civilians will inevitably be killed in the process. As with Hamas, that is what Hizballah wants: the wholesale deaths of their own people as a trigger for unbearable international pressure against Israel.

It is here that Secretary Kerry should be focusing his energies — on the removal of this threat, which is certain to materialize if international action is not taken. But of course, he will not. Because those missiles are under the control of Iran. Indeed, today Iran is intent on strengthening and reinforcing Hizballah’s offensive capability against Israel. And Secretary Kerry and President Obama have invested too much political capital in their nuclear deal with Iran. Itself catastrophic for the region and the world, the deal is nevertheless their proud legacy, and they cannot afford to upset the ayatollahs and risk them walking away.

Neither will the UN nor the EU lift a finger to prevent the inevitable future conflict and death in southern Lebanon or in Gaza. Like Secretary Kerry, they and the international human rights industry will continue to justify and encourage anti-Israel aggression, reserving their efforts for the repudiation of the Jewish State and perpetuating current and future waves of violence and death.

Blood worship? Palestinians wait to “inhale the scent of the Martyr’s blood”

Dead terrorist’s blood is “pure”

http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=15951

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik                 Palestinian Media Watch

An article in the official PA daily described a dead terrorist’s blood in romantic and poetic terms, presenting it as something Palestinians cherish. According to the PA daily:

“[Palestinians] insisted on inhaling the scent of the Martyr’s blood… The residents of Jerusalem, who waited to inhale the scent of the blood which was still on the ground and in the water which turned slightly red from it, formed a circle, and they recited the [Quranic Sura] Al-Fatiha for the Martyr’s [soul].” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 15, 2015]

The paper’s description of the almost worship-like attitude to the blood of the “Martyr” resonates PA ideology, which portrays dying as a Martyr as an ideal. As documented by Palestinian Media Watch, Martyrdom-death is regularly glorified by Fatah and the PA.

The idea that the Martyr’s blood is fragrant is a concept found in Islam. One Hadith (sayings and practices attributed to Islam’s Prophet Muhammad) teaches about the blood of the Martyr on Resurrection Day:  “Its color saffron, and its odor musk” [Sunan Abi Dawud 2541, Book 15, Hadith 65]

The PA has reiterated the idea of the Martyr’s blood being pure and fragrant. During the PA terror campaign from 2000-2005 (the second Intifada), official PA TV broadcast a video hundreds of times aimed at children, presenting Martyrdom-death as an ideal. It repeated the verse: “How sweet is the fragrance of the Martyrs”:

It is also significant that the PA daily article distorted what took place during the terror attack. The PA daily article reported on the terrorist’s death but failed to mention the announcement by Israeli police that terrorist Basel Sidr had tried to stab Israeli policemen. Instead, it claimed that the Israeli soldiers who shot and killed Sidr were joyous:

“Soldiers armed with weapons are smiling, after having unloaded their rage and bullets onto the body of the 20-year-old Martyr (Shahid) Basel Sidr… [at] the Damascus Gate, which started to cry blood for the Martyrs who fall one by one on the Al-Aqsa [Mosque’s] gates and the [Jerusalem] city gates.”

“The distance between the bullet and death was short. Basel fell after one of the guards shot two bullets at him. Then, more soldiers who expected medals of honor for having riddled his body with bullets [shot him]… Men of Israel’s General Security Service spread around the area, before the rest of the teams came to document the killing, and the Martyr’s body was taken in a plastic bag, and the soldiers continued smiling after that as well.”

Another article also demonized Israelis, repeating the claim that Israeli leaders “mobilize, enlist and arm their people and encourage them to spill our blood and commit cold-blooded murders,” stating that the entire Israeli government is calling for murder:

“All the mouths in the [Israeli] right-wing government call for murder while our blood is on their teeth, and all the [Palestinian] mouths call to protect ourselves against the attack planned in advance to devour the holy city, taking advantage of the current Arab weakness.” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 15, 2015]

The following are longer excerpts of the two articles:

Headline: “In Jerusalem – the Damascus Gate cries of pain, [Israeli] soldiers smile and Martyrs fall one by one?!”

“[Israeli] soldiers armed with weapons are smiling, after having unloaded their rage and bullets onto the body of the 20-year-old Martyr (Shahid) Basel Sidr, in the ‘Nablus Gate’ plaza, or what is called Damascus Gate, which started to cry blood for the Martyrs who fall one by one on the Al-Aqsa [Mosque’s] gates and the [Jerusalem] city gates, with which the [Israeli] soldiers and settlers do as they please.

The time was about 4:20 p.m.

The road from the Damascus Gate to the Old City was being divided up by the occupation’s checkpoints. At every checkpoint there was a group of at least four men, armed with weapons, with their fingers on the trigger, their eyes waiting for prey or a suspicious movement. Two bullets broke the cautious calm, putting an end to danger-shrouded quiet. Afterwards there was a hail of gunshots, which guaranteed the reenactment of the [death] sites, in a city where death has become an everyday thing. Basel ran down the stairs of the Damascus Gate, dressed in military uniform and holding a knife. In front of him were two security guards, and one behind him, and in the middle – a settler, with another armed security guard. A few meters from the gate stood a group of soldiers.

The distance between the bullet and death was short. Basel fell after one of the guards shot two bullets at him. Then, more soldiers who expected medals of honor for having riddled his body with bullets [shot him].

The soldiers ran down Al-Wad Street and the remaining streets, and shut the old city gates. Men of Israel’s General Security Service spread around the area, before the rest of the teams came to document the killing, and the Martyr’s body was taken in a plastic bag, and the soldiers continued smiling after that as well.

A number of the Jerusalem occupation municipality workers waited at the Damascus Gate, at the inner side of the closed gate until they were authorized to come out and remove the traces of the occupation’s crime. Upon receiving a phone call, four came out with water and cleaning utensils and there, at the historic theater in front of Damascus Gate, they cleaned pure blood, and afterwards the soldiers opened the gates.

However, the rebellious [Palestinian] residents of Jerusalem insisted on inhaling the scent of the Martyr’s blood, and one of the mothers shouted angrily at the soldiers and her son who was at her side tried to calm her down, but the pain and the rage made them curse the soldiers. The residents of Jerusalem, who waited to inhale the scent of the blood which was still on the ground and on the water which turned slightly red from it, formed a circle and recited the [Quranic Sura] Al-Fatiha for the Martyr’s [soul].” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 15, 2015]

Basel Sidr – A 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist who tried to stab Israeli policemen near Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem on Oct. 14, 2015. Sidr was shot and killed when he tried to escape.

Op-ed by Hafez Al-Barghouti, regular columnist for the official PA daily:

“As opposed to the bestial statements of the leaders of Israel, who mobilize, enlist and arm their people and encourage it to spill our blood and commit cold-blooded murders, President Mahmoud Abbas has spoken to us with the wise words of one who sees what we don’t see, as the occupation wants us to remain inside its favorite cycle, the blood-cycle, and makes us bear the consequences of its provocations and inhuman actions against our people in Jerusalem and our holy places.

All the mouths in the [Israeli] right-wing government call for murder while our blood is on their teeth, and all the [Palestinian] mouths call to protect ourselves against the attack planned in advance to devour the holy city, taking advantage of the current Arab weakness. It is possible that the president’s insistence on opposing any change [of the status-quo] at the Al-Aqsa Mosque clarifies that what the [Israeli] right-wing government is plotting will fail, because our people is determined to defend its holy places, even if the others abandon us.” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 15, 2015]

The full Hadith mentioning the blood of the Martyr:

“The Messenger of Allah said: If anyone fights in Allah’s path as long as the time between two milkings of a she-camel, Paradise will be assured for him. If anyone sincerely asks Allah to be killed and then dies or is killed, there will be a reward of a martyr for him. Ibn al-Musaffa added from here: If anyone is wounded in Allah’s path, or suffers a misfortune, it will come on the Day of resurrection as copious as possible, its colour saffron, and its odour musk; and if anyone suffers from ulcers while in Allah’s path, he will have on him the stamp of the martyrs.” [Sunan Abi Dawud 2541, Book 15, Hadith 65]

Making up with Israel

Obama’s childish and petty snubs threaten everyone in the Middle East

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/14/editorial-making-up-with-israel/

Washington Times Editorial

Some people think Barack Obama just doesn’t like the Israelis. Others say, no, it’s just the native pettiness of his administration. Whatever, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel are under siege on several fronts, and they’re getting no love from Washington.

The traditional close collaboration of the U.S.-Israeli alliance is a bit askew, characterized by vulgar leaks from the White House and the staged absence of senior American officials at Mr. Netanyahu’s recent speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Such lapses inevitably have a damaging impact on the alliance, and the close relations between the two nations. Perhaps that’s what Mr. Obama intends.

The outbreak of violence against both civilian and military targets in Israel appears to be the work of “lone wolves” without organized guidance. In one recent case a badly prepared car bomb in Jerusalem, which would have inflicted heavy casualties, was intercepted before it could explode.

Knife attacks are often perpetrated by young suicidal fanatics “educated” in refugee schools supported by the United Nations, where hatred and violence against Jews is the invariable course of lessons. Unlike as in the two earlier intifadas, there appears to be no central direction. Muslim terrorists, however, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, have tried to elbow each other out of the way to take public “credit.”

The Israeli defenders often kill the Muslim attackers, which they have every right and responsibility to do, and this is usually derided by the Palestinians and in Western newspapers and television outlets as “overreaction.” The terrorists, eager to display their manly courage, usually attack in civilian settings, where women and children abound, such as running down civilians waiting at bus stops. Some attacks inside the so-called “green line, which separated East and West Jerusalem” before the 1967 war, suggest Israeli Arabs may be helping the Muslim terrorists.

With 6 of 10 Israelis telling pollsters they fear for their lives and personal safety, the Israeli government is pushed to impose more stringent restrictions on the movement of all. This invites certain frightened Jewish fanatics to attack innocent Arabs, to which the Israeli authorities respond swiftly.

The attacks, encouraged by Arab “moderates,” are clear evidence of the disintegration of the secular Palestinian leadership, being steadily replaced by Islamic fanatics. This in turn leads to more direct linkage to the Islamic terrorists ravaging the region, particularly in neighboring Syria. Hezbollah’s growing skill with the heavier armaments supplied by Iran is already a menace on Israel’s northern border.

When Mr. Netanyahu flew to Moscow in late September for a one-day meeting with Vladimir Putin, he wanted to eliminate any possibility that Israeli interception of Hezbollah arms transfers would engage the growing Soviet military presence. He foresaw the Moscow effort to prop up the Assad regime and tighten its de facto alliance with Iran. The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Quds Force, Commander Qasem Soleimani, had made two visits to Moscow himself.

The Israeli prime minister’s concern mirrors President Obama’s surprise at the sudden Russian build-up in Syria, suggesting that the Obama “deal” with Tehran, enabling its pursuit of a nuclear weapon, is eroding cooperation on intelligence liaison. Mr. Obama promises that new military aid and cooperation for Israel would be order of the day after he concluded the pact with Iran.

The lifting of sanctions, whatever else it accomplishes, will provide new financing for Tehran’s worldwide terrorist activities. The situation can only grow more grave. The Obama administration, as the senior partner in the alliance, must put aside pettiness and childish antics, such as the snub of Mr. Netanyahu at the U.N., and repair the alliance and its intelligence liaison in the face of an expanding regional crisis.

Deadly Lies about Israel – Ron Dermer (Politico)

Israel stringently maintains the status quo on the Temple Mount. Last year some 3.5 million Muslims visited the Temple Mount alongside some 200,000 Christians and 12,000 Jews. Only Muslims are allowed to pray on the Mount, and non-Muslims may visit only at specified times, which have not changed. The ones trying to change the status quo are Palestinians, who are violently trying to prevent Jews and Christians from even visiting a site holy to all three faiths.

Palestinians have been propagating the “al-Aqsa is in danger” myth since at least 1929, when the Palestinian icon, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, used it to inspire the massacre of Jews in Hebron and elsewhere. Nearly a century later, the mosque remains unharmed, but the lie persists.

Using force to stop an attack by a gun, knife, meat cleaver or ax-wielding terrorist is legitimate self-defense. How would the American public expect its police to respond to terrorists stabbing passersby as well as police officers?

The reason for Palestinian terrorism is neither progress nor stagnation in the peace process, but the desire of the terrorists to destroy Israel.

President Abbas has not condemned a single one of the 30 terror attacks on Israelis over the past month. He and his Fatah movement continue to use the Web and the airwaves to incite the Palestinians to even more violence.

The Palestinians have always been more concerned with destroying the Jewish state than with creating a state of their own. The core of the conflict remains the persistent refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people in any borders.

The writer is Israel’s Ambassador to the United States.

 

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