Monday, October 27, 2014

From Ian:

The Settlements Are Not the Problem; It is Abbas
Despite the facts that the 79-year-old kleptocrat does not care about peace, the rest of the world contends that Israel bears the responsibility of lacking peaceful initiative. Some organizations, like J Street, preach that Abbas is a true “partner for peace.” However, such delusions not only prevent true dialogue from occurring, but it also prevents reality from influencing the actions of influential Western governments.
As European countries continue to make symbolic gestures recognizing “Palestine,” it has no problem with condemning the actions of average Jews trying to make a living in their homeland. In a world where liberal values should be championed and protected, the Western world has turned a blind eye to the only beacon of liberalism in the Middle East and condemned it for allowing its people to live with prosperity in land promised to them nearly a century ago. Such gestures only galvanize anti-Zionist and anti-Semites to continue engaging in disturbing, violent, and even lethal behaviors.
The only way that the world can institute change in the attitudes of Israelis and Palestinian-Arabs to stop the violence and end the tensions is to address the true obstacles to peace. It starts by acknowledging that the settlements are not the problem; it is Mahmoud Abbas and his refusal to stop those he governs from wreaking havoc on Israeli society. Once the world finally recognizes the facts, then it can talk about a more realistic, viable solution to end the decades-long tensions between Palestinian-Arabs and Israelis.
JCPA: The Role of Hamas and Fatah in the Jerusalem Disturbances
The Muslim Brotherhood seeks to unite all of the region’s Islamic movements around the idea of the Muslim Caliphate with the Al-Aqsa Mosque as its hub.
Hamas’ Khaled Mashal lives in Qatar and has helped the Qataris realize that by ratcheting up the Palestinian issue they can reignite the passion of the Arab masses throughout the Arab world in support of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Fatah’s Silwan (Jerusalem) branch was quick to glorify the hit-and-run killer of the three-month-old American-Israeli baby, Chaya Zissel Braun. On the issue of funding Fatah activity in Jerusalem, eyes are turned to Qatar.
Both Fatah and Hamas compete for Qatar’s favor, provoking greater levels of violence on the ground in Jerusalem.
An interview with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon
Secretary Kerry recently said the lack of resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian issue is leading to street anger and recruitment for the Islamic State. What is your response?
Unfortunately, we find the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dominated by too many misconceptions. We don’t find any linkage between the uprising in Tunisia, the revolution in Egypt, the sectarian conflict in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mainly, these come from the Sunni-Shia conflict, without any connection to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The core of the conflict is their reluctance to recognize our right to exist as a nation state of the Jewish people — whether it is [Palestinian Authority President] Abu Mazen or his predecessor [Yasser] Arafat. There are many who believe that just having some territorial concessions will conclude it. But I don’t think this is right.
Will territorial concessions bring peace?
No, they would be another stage of the Palestinian conflict, as we experienced in the Gaza Strip. We disengaged from the Gaza Strip to address their territorial grievances. They went on attacking us. The conflict is about the existence of the Jewish state and not about the creation of the Palestinian one. Any territory that was delivered to them after Oslo became a safe haven for terrorists.
Bearing that in mind, to conclude that after the [recent] military operation in Gaza this is a time for another withdrawal from Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] is irrational. If we withdraw now from Judea and Samaria, we might face another Hamastan.



Israelis more likely to blame Obama, not Netanyahu, for 'crisis' in ties with US
Ya’alon himself was at the center of a couple of these crises, having spoken in undiplomatic terms about Kerry – saying he was obsessed with the Middle East and had a “messianic” syndrome – words that seemed to knock the world’s mightiest power somewhat off kilter.
For much of the past six years, since Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama began their terms in office – one “crisis” has followed the other in US-Israel ties to the point where the word has lost much of its meaning.
Following Ya’alon’s criticism of Kerry, last week’s snub by the White House should not really have come as any surprise. Is it good that the defense minister can’t get a meeting in the White House though he did get one at the Pentagon? Obviously not. Is this the level of communication you want with your greatest ally at a time when the region is in flames and Iran is on the verge of becoming a nuclear threshold state? Obviously not.
But are relations actually in a crisis? Ties with the Obama administration might indeed be lacking, but Israeli-US relations go far beyond the administration and extend to the Pentagon, Congress, the business sector and the public. And those ties are not in a crisis. Not at all.
Hundreds attend funeral of woman killed in Jerusalem attack
Hundreds attended the funeral early on Monday of a woman killed in last week’s terrorist attack on a Jerusalem light rail station. Among those present were Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the Ecuadorian ambassador to Israel.
Karen Yemima Muscara, 22, was an Ecuadorian citizen who had come to Israel to convert to Judaism after discovering she was descended from Conversos, Spanish Jews who were forcibly converted to Catholicism after 1492.
Muscara was critically injured in a terror attack on a Jerusalem light rail station last Wednesday. She died of her wounds on Sunday, pushing the death toll from the incident up to two. The other victim was Chaya Zissel Braun, a three-month-old baby.
'A Quiet Girl Who Fought to Become A Jew'
Karen Jemima Mosquera hy''d, fatally wounded last Wednesday by a Hamas terrorist in Jerusalem, succumbed to her wounds on Sunday and was buried in the capital. She became the second victim to die from the attack, along with three-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun hy''d.
A year-and-a-half ago Mosquera came to Israel from her home in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to complete her conversion to Judaism, a Foreign Ministry statement on Sunday said. It revealed she chose to convert after discovering she was descended from Conversos, Spanish Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism after 1492.
"She spent the last two months in a Midrasha, an institute of Jewish studies for women, with other women from South America. Prior to moving to Israel, she had studied Family Psychology at the Catholic University of Guayaquil and was planning to study archaeology in Jerusalem," added the statement.
The fatal attack last Wednesday occurred while she was on her way to a Torah lesson. After she stepped off of a light rail train at the Ammunition Hill station, Hamas terrorist Abdelrahman Shaludi plowed his car into pedestrians.
Ecuador Condemns Jerusalem Car Terror Attack
Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa on Sunday condemned last Wednesday's terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
The condemnation came hours after a citizen of Ecuador, 22-year-old Karen Mosquera, died of injuries sustained in last week’s attack, in which three-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun was murdered as well.
"We will reject violence from wherever it comes," Correa wrote on Twitter, according to AFP, expressing his solidarity with the woman's grieving relatives.
Mosquera was a "victim of intolerance and violence in the Middle East," the Ecuadoran Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"Ecuador expresses its strongest rejection and condemnation of the attack that occurred on October 22, 2014 in East Jerusalem. The Barrera Mosquera family and our entire nation is in mourning."
ADL Calls on Abbas to Condemn Murder of Baby in Jerusalem
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas Friday to condemn Wednesday's terror attack in Jerusalem, which killed three month-old Chaya Zisel Braun hy"d and left eight wounded.
“President Abbas must condemn this attack and make clear that Fatah and the Palestinian Authority wholeheartedly oppose such acts of terror,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.
“By unequivocally denouncing this incident – and all horrific incidents of the like – President Abbas has the opportunity to show the world he is a serious partner for peace. It speaks volumes that he has yet to take the opportunity to denounce this despicable act.”
Mr. Foxman added, “We extend our sincere condolences to the family of three-month old Chaya Zissel Braun and express our strong support to the people of Jerusalem following this brutal terrorist attack.”
Jerusalem Terrorist's Mother: 'Praise Allah He's a Martyr'
The mother of Abdelrahman Shaludi, the Hamas terrorist who last Wednesday murdered three-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun hy''d and 22-year-old Karen Mosquera hy''d with his car in Jerusalem, is a "martyr" according to his mother.
During the funeral, Shaludi's mother said she was proud of her son who gave honor to the family when he became a "shahid" (martyr), adding repeatedly "praise to Allah."
The praise and lionization of the terrorist echoes statements by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, which pledged "loyalty" to Shaludi, and PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat who justified the murders Shaludi committed. Likewise, a senior aid to Abbas was quick to praise the terrorist murder of the three-month-old, calling the terrorist a "hero."
Israeli Minister Promises to Seal Home of Terrorist Who Attacked Light Rail
Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on Friday visited the bereaved parents and grandfather of Chaya Zissel Braun, the 3-month-old baby girl who was killed last week in a hit-and-run Arab terrorist attack on Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill light rail station.
“I promise you I will take steps to punish the family of the murderer, even by shutting and [eventually] demolishing his home,” Aharonovitch said, Israel Hayom reported.
Sources close to Aharonovitch said that he would prefer to issue an order to demolish the home, but decided to seal off the building since that was a step that could be taken immediately, as opposed to issuing a demolition order that could encounter legal difficulties because the terrorist is a resident of eastern Jerusalem.
JPost Editorial: Come to Jerusalem
Parents in Tel Aviv understandably do not wish to expose their children to unnecessary risks. We empathize with their concerns. But at the same time other considerations should be taken into account.
First, the Tel Aviv Municipality’s decision undermines the trust that we should have in law enforcement and local government. Both the Israel Police and the Jerusalem Municipality have assured parents from Tel Aviv that the capital is safe. Yet, Tel Aviv officials – either under pressure from parents or on their own – have chosen to disregard this.
Second, as Azaria pointed out, maintaining routine is perhaps the best response to terrorism. Parents in Tel Aviv had an opportunity to show solidarity with parents in Jerusalem who continue to send their children on trips to the Western Wall and Ammunition Hill, in accordance, of course, with police recommendations and security directives. Instead, they sent a completely different message, as though Tel Aviv’s parents were shaking off a shared responsibility to confront the bullying tactics of the rioters in Jerusalem by insisting on living our lives.
Third, Tel Aviv’s schoolchildren end up being presented with a distorted picture of Jerusalem. Instead of being introduced to the profound Jewish history of the Old City and visiting important sites such as Ammunition Hill where an important battle took place in 1967 to secure control over Jerusalem, they are given the impression that the capital is something to be afraid of.
And finally, this move could be very damaging to tourism. If Israelis shun the capital what will visitors from abroad do? It is not too late. The Tel Aviv Municipality can reconsider.
Netanyahu: Islamic extremists responsible for igniting passions in Jerusalem
Netanyahu told the cabinet that 1,000 additional border policemen and special units are being brought in to reinforce the police and security forces in the city, adding that Israel will not accept a reality of rock throwing, fire bombs and rioting in the city.
Meanwhile, as tension in the capital continues to mount, government officials said that Israel has made clear to relevant governments – especially to the Jordanians – that there is no plan to change the status quo on the Temple Mount.
“We are committed to the continuation of the status quo, and the government will oppose different proposals to change it,” the official added.
At the same time, he said, the government will “act energetically to deal with security threats, violence and rioting, and there will be no compromise on that. Law and order will be maintained everywhere in Jerusalem.”
The root of the problem, the official said, is “Palestinian extremists and, unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority as well, spreading totally false rumors that the Muslim holy sites are threatened.”
Rock-Throwing to Be Punishable by 20 Years
Representatives of the State Attorney's Office said that they have already given instructions to get tougher in arresting and punishing rock throwers, and have drawn up criteria for placing financial sanctions on the parents of rock throwers as well, in certain cases.
Throwing rocks at a moving vehicle would be punishable by up to 10 years in jail, according to the new law, and throwing rocks at a moving vehicle with intent to injure could be punished by up to 20 years. In addition, throwing rocks at security officers could involve a 5-year sentence.
Rocks hurled by rioters have caused serious injury and even death in the past, particularly when targeting speeding cars. Children are particularly vulnerable to such attacks, and scores of Israeli children and infants have been wounded or killed by Arab extremists using such tactics. Although often referred to as "stone-throwers," projectiles hurled by attackers can range from fist-sized rocks to bricks, chunks of concrete and cinder blocks.
Abbas asks US to stop Israeli ‘escalations’ in East Jerusalem
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent an urgent message to the United States Sunday, asking the administration to stop “Israeli escalations” in East Jerusalem.
According to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Abbas emphasized what he described as “incursions by extremist settlers” into the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.
Abbas warned that Israeli actions around holy sites would lead to a dangerous and uncontrollable “explosion.”
The missive came as the capital has been rocked by days of unrest in East Jerusalem, as Palestinian protesters have clashed with police in the wake of a terror attack on the Jerusalem Light Rail by Silwan resident Abdelrahman al-Shaludi that left two people dead.
Arabs Ambush Car with 7 Kids Inside Near J'lem District Court'
Even as the Knesset debates heightening security in Jerusalem amid a wave of Arab violence in recent months, and after a lethal Hamas terror attack in the city last Wednesday, a family with seven children became the latest terror victims on Monday.
The family car, driven by a couple with their seven children aged from six months to ten years old, came in for a hail of rocks by Arab assailants on Monday morning.
The attack came as the car drove on Salah e-Din Street near the Jerusalem District Court in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood north of the Old City, not far from Hebrew University's Mount Scopus Campus.
Fortunately the young family emerged unscathed from the onslaught, but their car suffered damage from the rain of rocks. Police have launched an investigation and are scouring the area for the perpetrators of the attack.
Netanyahu approves over 1,000 new housing units in east Jerusalem
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized planning to advance 1,060 new housing units in neighborhoods in Jerusalem beyond the 1967 lines, officials in the Prime Minister's Office said Monday.
According to the officials, 660 of these units will be constructed in the northern neighborhood of Ramot Shlomo, and another 400 in Har Homa.
Netanyahu has also given the green light to move forward infrastructure projects in the West Bank, including – the officials said – roads that will serve the Palestinians as well.
PA Official Threatens: Jerusalem Building Will Cause 'Explosion'
Israel's plan to build over 1,000 new homes for Jewish residents of Jerusalem is likely to cause an "explosion" of violence, a senior Palestinian Authority official threatened on Monday.
"Today (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu approved the building of 1,060 apartments in east Jerusalem ... Such unilateral acts will lead to an explosion," Jibril Rajoub of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party told reporters at a news conference in Ramallah.
Jordanian envoy says peace treaty imperiled by settlements
The stern admonition was delivered by Jordan’s ambassador to Israel at an event in Tel Aviv to celebrate the anniversary of the peace treaty, which was signed on October 26, 1994, in the Arava desert.
Calling for the swift resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Ambassador Walid Obeidat said it was “imperative that all unilateral actions and measures must stop, to give peace negotiations a serious chance for success.”
Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem must end, he added, to raucous applause from hundreds of guests at the Rabin Center.
“Equally important, Jordan expects all attempts for altering the status quo in Al-Aqsa mosque compound to be stopped,” Obeidat said. “All such acts are incompatible with international law and international humanitarian law and if allowed to continue will ultimately imperil the treaty, adversely affect the peace process and regional stability and fuel tensions and feed extremism.”
Palestinians condemn plans for East Jerusalem construction
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the announcement that Netanyahu had given the go-ahead to plan for about 1,000 new homes in East Jerusalem would spur Ramallah to continue its statehood drive.
“These developments push us to decide and turn to international agencies and the [UN] Security Council as soon as possible,” Abbas said in a statement.
“This announcement amounts to evidence of an intent to further commit crimes defined by and punishable under international law,” Saeb Erekat, a top aide to Abbas and former chief peace negotiator, said in a release from his office.
Erekat further called on the international community to recognize a Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders, support the Palestinian bid to have the UN Security council put a deadline on Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, and boycott Israeli products and organizations.
Updated: PA Arab Workers NOT Banned on Israeli Buses
Contrary to earlier media reports, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon did NOT ban Palestinian Authority Arab workers from using Israeli public buses, on either side of the 1949 Armistice Line, also called the “Green Line.”
What Ya’alon did do, as reported today (Sunday, Oct. 26) by The Jerusalem Post and The Knesset Channel, was create a plan that will soon require PA Arab workers to return to their homes each night in the PA via the same checkpoint through which they earlier entered Israel.
There is no start date yet for the program, which will begin with one major checkpoint, reportedly the Eyal checkpoint near the PA Arab city of Qalqilya.
The plan will enable security personnel to more efficiently track PA Arab workers as they travel to and from their day jobs on the Israel side of the pre-1967 line.
New video game aims to develop spirit of resistance in Palestinian youth
A strategy video game called "The Liberation of Palestine," that features prisoner swaps, buying weapons and scoring attacks was recently featured in the Arab media.
A group of programmers in the Gaza Strip developed the game, according to a Sky News Arabia report from October 22. While emphasizing armed strategy, the game also features historical, archaeological and religious Palestinian sites.
"The idea is to develop the spirit of resistance among Palestinian boys and girls," one of the developers told Sky News Arabia.
"This game shows young Palestinians, or in fact all Palestinians, that mutual understandings and negotiations over plundered rights can never bring about any positive result. The language of weapons is the most effective with the Israelis," another developer said.
New Palestinian Computer Game Teaches Players: Armed Resistance, Not Negotiations


PA-American Arab Firebomber Buried with Terrorist Headband
In death, many things become clear. Including a U.S. Arab citizen teenager’s terrorist membership.
The body of a 14-year-old terrorist-in-training killed while attacking Jewish drivers on Friday night was dressed in his finest for burial this weekend. Orwa Abd al-Hadi Hammad was tenderly wrapped in a black-and-white checkered keffiyah.
Encircling his brow was a fancy green terrorist headband bearing the ‘Qataib al Qassam’ logo.
The Palestinian Authority-American Arab teen was certainly no boy scout. He was killed while hurling a firebomb (Molotov cocktail) at passing Israeli vehicles on Highway 60 north of Jerusalem.
Thousands Flee Lebanon's Tripoli Amid Clashes
Thousands of civilians on Sunday fled their homes in a battered district of northern Lebanon's Tripoli, taking advantage of an informal truce in fighting between the army and Islamist militants, AFP reports.
The lull comes after three days of heavy clashes in Tripoli, the country's second biggest city, according to the report.
The coastal city has seen repeated clashes between Sunni fighters sympathetic to rebels in neighboring Syria and Alawites loyal to the Damascus regime.
The Sunnis have recently focused their attacks on the army over its alleged support for Damascus ally Hezbollah.
Ottawa shooter made ‘ideological’ video, Canadian police say
A gunman who shot and killed a soldier at Canada’s national war memorial and then stormed Parliament before he was gunned down had prepared a video recording of himself that police say shows he was driven by ideological and political motives, police said Sunday.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson said in a statement they have “persuasive evidence that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s attack was driven by ideological and political motives.”
A detailed analysis of the video was being conducted and Paulson said they cannot release the video at this time.
German spies warn IS has anti-aircraft rockets: report
Germany’s intelligence service believes Islamic State jihadist fighters in northern Iraq possess anti-aircraft weapons that could take down passenger jets, according to a newspaper report Sunday.
The BND federal intelligence service had told German lawmakers about its suspicion in a confidential briefing late last week, reported the Bild am Sonntag newspaper without citing named sources.
In the briefing, the BND reportedly warned that IS fighters possess portable rocket launchers captured from Syrian army stocks. Some dated from the 1970s, while others were modern and advanced.
The shoulder-mounted rocket launchers — known as Man Portable Air Defense Systems or MANPADS — were of Russian design but may have been manufactured in other countries including Bulgaria or China, the report said.
Women on front lines in Syria, Iraq against Islamic State
Just over a year ago, Afshin Kobani was a teacher. Now, the Kurdish Syrian woman has traded the classroom for the front lines in the battle for Kobani, a town besieged by fighters from the Islamic State extremist group.
The 28-year-old Kurdish fighter, who uses a nom de guerre, said she decided to join the fight in her hometown when she saw IS advances in Syria.
“I lost many friends to this, and I decided there was a need to join up,” said Kobani, who declined to reveal her birth name. “This is our land — our own — and if we don’t do it, who else will?”
Perched on the other side of the Turkish border, the Syrian town of Kobani has been under an intense assault by IS for more than a month. The town — surrounded on the east, south and west by IS — is being defended by Kurdish forces in Syria.
Kurds foil new Islamic State bid to cut off Turkish border
Kurdish forces in the Syrian town of Kobani thwarted a new attempt by fighters from the Islamic State group Sunday to cut off the border with Turkey before Iraqi Kurdish reinforcements can deploy.
The pre-dawn assault marked the fourth straight day that the jihadists had attacked the Syrian side of the border crossing as the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters prepare to head for Kobani, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Kurdish forces, backed by US-led airstrikes, have been holding out for weeks against an IS offensive around Kobani which has become a high-profile symbol of efforts to stop the advance of the jihadists.
More than 800 people have been killed in ground fighting for Kobani since the IS offensive on the Syrian Kurdish enclave began on September 16, the Observatory said.
Turkey: The "Great Muslim Democracy"
"We have made the conservative, pious [Muslim] masses not just a part, but a major actor of the political system." Thus said Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, not even trying to hide his pride.
Where Turkey stands today is a perfect example of how, when Islamists -- mild or otherwise -- rule a country, even the most basic liberties are systematically suppressed. The seal of approval for the terrible failure of what U.S. President Barack Obama once called a "successful Muslim democracy" came from the country's top judge.
Hasim Kilic, President of Turkey's Constitutional Court, and himself a conservative, recently said that, "A climate of fear has emerged in Turkey;" and he called on the Turks "to resist [it], and not give up." It is not always easy to do so.
When angry Turks took to the streets to protest the Justice and Development Party [AKP] and faced brutal police violence last year, Mehmet Ali Sahin, Deputy Chairman of the AKP (and former Justice Minister and Speaker of the Parliament) suggested that millions of protestors should be given life sentences under Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code -- which states that "anyone trying to destroy the government or to prevent it from partially or fully performing its duties shall be punished by aggravated life imprisonment."
Turkey: No Longer a "Rock Star" on Arab Street
It is an open secret in diplomatic circles in Ankara that several Arab and African countries in which Turkey has heavily invested -- both economically and politically -- over the past several years, lobbied against Turkey's UNSC bid. Another group of countries with decent democratic credentials preferred to vote for a country [Spain] with the same democratic credentials, instead of a country known by its alarmingly autocratic resume.
Erdogan's Turkey is no longer an attraction for the Muslim Street. Instead, it is, overtly or covertly, on hostile terms with Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Iran -- all at the same time. Ironically, after the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, in which a Turkish flotilla tried to break an Israeli naval blockade aimed at preventing weapons from reaching the Gaza Strip, Erdogan and his then Foreign Minister (now Prime Minister), Ahmet Davutoglu, vowed to "isolate Israel."
Instead, it is Turkey that has been badly isolated, with the help of its one-time Arab brothers who had rushed to one city square after another, waving Turkish flags, to attend Erdogan's public rallies in Arab capitals.
The U.S. ambassador's wording, "Rolls Royce ambitions," denotes a mental condition that categorically refuses admittance of own fault. In this mind-set, "We are so superb that we cannot be wrong because what we think right is Allah-given." If things go wrong, it must be because of something else.


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