Thursday, November 12, 2015

From Ian:

Why Aren’t Tibetans Knifing Chinese?
Where the argument breaks down is his assertion that this frustration naturally leads them to “explode and strike at anything that walks down the Jewish street.” Or as Beinart put it, that “today’s Palestinian terrorism is a monstrous, demented response to Israel’s denial of basic Palestinian rights.” For if that is true, comparable situations elsewhere in the world should have produced comparable outbreaks of violence. And they haven’t.
Take, for instance, Tibet, which has been occupied by China since 1951 – longer than Israel has controlled the West Bank. The occupation certainly hasn’t brought prosperity to Tibet, which has the highest poverty rate in China. Moreover, Beijing has sought to eradicate Tibetan culture and religion, a process that reached its climax when the government asserted the right to choose the next Panchen Lama, the second-highest post in Tibetan Buddhism’s religious hierarchy. Israel, by contrast, scrupulously respects Palestinians’ religious freedom. Finally, there has been such an influx of Han Chinese settlers into Tibet that ethnic Tibetans are now a minority in “greater Tibet,” whereas Palestinians, despite Israel’s much-hyped settlement activity, remain an overwhelming majority in the West Bank.
So by the Heilman/Beinart standard, one would expect Tibetans to respond to their relative deprivation by launching periodic waves of vicious violence against the Chinese. And yet, that hasn’t happened. Instead, there has been a wave of self-immolations, and even those have been few and far between. According to the International Campaign for Tibet, 143 Tibetans have set themselves on fire as an act of protest since February 2009 – a shocking figure, but spread out over almost seven years. By comparison, there have been 65 Palestinian stabbing attacks in the last six weeks alone.
In short, something in Tibet’s culture or leadership caused Tibetans to respond very differently to “relative deprivation” than Palestinians have.
Obama Has a Strategy in the Middle East, and It’s Working
The Obama administration is “operating on a crisis basis” in the Middle East, says Leon Panetta, and doesn’t “have any kind of larger strategy” for the region. The president’s recent actions there, including the deployment of 50 special operations troops to Syria, are too incremental and “will not work,” says Fareed Zakaria. Indeed, the situation in that country has “spiraled out of control,” according to Vox’s Max Fisher in a post headlined “Unfixable: How Obama Lost Syria.”
And that’s what liberal critics are saying! The tone on the right is even more harsh—and why shouldn’t it be? Headlines this week from the region inform us that new footage shows about 200 children being shot to death by members of the Islamic State while lying in a row, faces in the dirt; that a Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt was quite likely downed with the use of military grade explosives; and that Russian airstrikes in Syria in support of the Assad regime have increased in intensity. It is Wednesday.
Zooming out, we see Assad in power, the Islamic State not going anywhere, Yemen still the focus of a regional proxy war, and a nuclear deal with Iran that has only empowered hardliners there.
The natural question thus seems to be: Why doesn’t Obama change course? Other presidents have shifted their approaches when confronted with failure—Carter’s late foreign policy and Bush’s Iraq surge both spring to mind. Why not Obama?
One answer to this question we ought to take seriously is that the president thinks things are, on the whole, going just fine.
Mordechai Kedar: There is no "radical Islam" and there is also no "moderate Islam"
Beginning more or less with 9/11, the expression "radical Islam" became the accepted way for the media, politicians and public to define the religious and ideological foundations of Islam-based violence when referring to what the world calls "terror." This expression was meant to be contrasted with "moderate Islam" which presents Muslims as ordinary people who wish to live in peace with all of mankind - Christians, Jews, Buddhists, unbelievers and the rest of us. The world created the image of two Islams, one radical and impossible to live with, and one moderate and "just like us."
This differentiation between "radical" and "moderate" Islam is what gave rise to the claim that Islam had been "hijacked" by the radicals, implying that the real and original Islam is the moderate, not the false, radical one.
This is what allows today's Europe to relate positively to the wave of mostly-Muslim illegal immigrants washing up on its shores – they represent "moderate Islam" and all they want is to live in peace and harmony with their European neighbors.
Permit me to raise some doubts concerning the psychological mindset that claims the existence of two types of Islam. In order to do this, let us clarify an important point: Islam is a text-based framework of ideas and behaviors, covering religion, culture, strictures, politics, law and economics. It is an all-embracing way of life. The most basic text is the Qu'ran, followed by the Hadith (oral law) and the Sura – biography – of Muhammad. The Sharia, Muslim law, is a system of binding laws and injunctions that Muslims are obliged to obey.
There are no two Islams, no moderate one and no radical one, there is just one Qu'ran that includes everything: verses on Jihad and all out war against unbelievers along with verses that speak of recognizing the "other" and living beside him.

Isi Leibler: Palestinian Death Cult Must Be Exposed; Israel Needs National Unity
The world is experiencing a clash of civilizations with satanic forces seeking to revert to the Dark Ages. In this context, the behavior of the Palestinians has now descended to such barbaric depths that in a rational world, Israel should have the unequivocal support of all civilized people.
However, hypocritical global leaders, devoid of moral compass, have abandoned us. They relate to Israel and those seeking its destruction with moral equivalence and opportunistically collaborate with rogue states. Moral relativism has paved the way for a realpolitik in the democratic world, which no longer relates to concepts like good and evil.
George Orwell undoubtedly could have devoted another book to the doublespeak adopted in relation to Israel. Global leaders are not merely indifferent to the fact that innocent Israeli citizens are targeted for assassination by youngsters transformed into frenzied religious lunatics by their leaders. They even condemn Israelis for defending themselves.
Western leaders refuse to recognize, that in the same way the Nazis successfully transformed Germany into a society endorsing genocide, Palestinian leaders have inculcated children, from kindergarten onward, with the notion that being killed in the process of murdering Jews is the highest form of religious martyrdom.
Blair: Hamas can be brought around on Israel
Addressing the Haaretz Peace Conference in Tel Aviv, Blair noted wryly that it was his 148th visit to Israel and in introducing his “new approach” conceded that “you’re not going to get peace the old way.”
Blair maintained that current Palestinian leadership was too fractured to reach a peace deal with Israel, thus requiring regional backing.
“I don’t think you will find Palestinian politics strong enough to make peace, unless it is backed by the region as a whole,” said Blair.
At the same time, Blair said Palestinian political unity was essential for any future accord, and suggested dialogue with Hamas was “worth trying.”
“I know it’s possible to bring people into a different position,” he said.
Hamas: We'll provide resources to Jerusalem terrorists
While Hamas, which dominates Gaza and much of Judea-Samaria, may be at odds with Fatah, which controls the area around Ramallah, Islamists in both areas are cooperating closely, Israeli security officials said.
The coordination extends to how, where, and when terror attacks are to be conducted, in order to achieve the ideal effect.
At a recent meeting, the Action Committee of the National and Islamic Forces in Gaza, an umbrella group for many terror groups, decided to support the “Al Quds Intifada,” as the group calls it, in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria.
As part of its coordination, the Action Committee decided it would not conduct terror attacks in Gaza at this time, as it is in the Palestinian's interests to concentrate resources for attacks on other areas right now.
In addition, the group said that it was demanding the UN investigate the death of Yasser Arafat. At a large demonstration outside the UN in Gaza, the group said that Arafat did not die of natural causes, as a team of investigators from France recently concluded, but that he was murdered.
In 2013, Hamas announced that former President Shimon Peres had "admitted" that the Israeli government was responsible for the "murder" of former PA chairman Yasser Arafat. Hamas based its claims on comments made by Peres during an interview with the New York Times in 2013.
Shin Bet Report: 609 Terror Attacks in October
The Israel Security Agency reports 11 people died and 80 were wounded last month in the Arab wave of terror against Israel.
Data released in a report by the Shin Bet shows there were 609 attacks by Arabs against Israelis in October alone.
In Jerusalem alone, there were 117 attacks, nearly double the 68 attacks in September. There were 485 attacks in Judea and Samaria in October, more than double the 151 attacks in the same region in September. Likewise, there were 11 attacks around the Gaza border in October, as compared to four in September.
The attacks in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria included 36 stabbings, 23 shootings, 57 attacks with a makeshift bomb, three vehicle terror attacks, one exploding gas canister and a whopping 382 firebombings (with Molotov cocktails).
One of the murder victims was not Israeli, according to the report, which was published Wednesday.
Police: Eilat stabbing in October was a terror attack
A stabbing attack by an Arab Israeli in Eilat last month that left a woman lightly wounded was a terror attack, Israel Police said Thursday. An indictment for the suspect is expected in the coming days.
Local police arrested the 24-year-old Umm al-Fahm resident in the immediate aftermath of the October 29 attack. It was initially suspected that the attack had a criminal motivation, but the man later admitted that he had been influenced by video footage of previous terror attacks against Israelis.
The suspect was caught not far from where he carried out the attack, despite having managed to change clothes while fleeing. Even after the arrest, local police commander Kobi Cohen instructed officers to continue searching for an assailant, fearing that the man apprehended may not be responsible.
The suspect confessed, however, during questioning by police officers and members of the Shin Bet security service. He told investigators that Palestinian nationalistic sentiment was one of the motives for the attack, police said, and admitted to being influenced by clips of recent terror attacks that had been aired by the media and appeared on social network websites.
Attempted stabbing near Bethlehem
A stabbing attack was attempted at the Rachel Passage checkpoint into Bethlehem in Judea on Thursday afternoon.
The terrorist, a Palestinian Arab passing through the checkpoint, apparently tried to force an IDF soldier to exit the fortified checkpoint stand, but failed. No one was injured.
After failing to stab the soldier, the terrorist reportedly then fled the scene.
IDF arrests Hamas terrorist in Hevron hospital
IDF troops, with assistance from Border Police and the Israel Security Agency, arrested overnight Wednesday a Hamas terrorist who is suspected of involvement in the stabbing attack near Meitzad in Gush Etzion two weeks ago.
Israel Ben Aharon, 58, suffered head injuries and was stabbed in the chest during the attack, but he managed to save himself by fighting off his attacker.
In the combined rock throwing and stabbing attack, Ben Aharon stopped his car and gout out to examine the damage, when he was stabbed by Azzam Azat Shabadan Shalaldeh, a 20-year-old resident of Sa'ir.
Ben Aharon managed to shoot his attacker - a known Hamas terrorist - but Shalaldeh escaped.
He then apparently traveled to the Alhali Hospital in Hevron for treatment; troops discovered the terrorist was there on Wednesday night, and promptly conducted an undercover raid at the hospital to arrest him.
Watch: Israeli agents pose as Arab family in daring operation
Posing as an Arab family, including a woman preparing to give birth, undercover agents entered the hospital.
They made their way directly to the suspect's room and took him into custody. The man's cousin was shot dead after resisting arrest during the operation.
According to the Israel Security Agency, the 20-year-old suspect, Azzam Azat Shabadan Shalaldeh, is "from a family of Hamas terrorists."

Palestinian Health Ministry condemns 'Israeli terrorism' for Hebron hospital raid
In the wake of an unusual Israeli arrest operation that took place at a Hebron hospital early Thursday morning, the Palestinian Health Ministry released a statement condemning the actions of the Israeli Security Forces, while blaming the international community for their silence in the face of "Israeli terrorism."
Palestinian Authority Health Minister, Dr. Jawad Awaad, said Thursday morning that "the execution of Abdallah Shaldallah by undercover agents inside the hospital proves that Israel does not respect international conventions and international humanitarian treaties."
The health minister added that "The silence of the world has contributed to the deterioration" of Palestinian lives.
"I call on human rights organizations and the free world to intervene immediately to stop Israeli terrorism, and to protect medical facilities and hospitals from aggression from the occupation army," said Awaad.
Christian Tourists Kicked of Temple Mount for Looking Like Jews
A group of Christian tourists were kicked off the Temple Mount on Thursday morning, according to TPS.
The group of Christian tourists were wearing skullcaps, which according to the Islamic Waqf, made them look like religious Jews.
Apparently to Muslims, all us infidels look alike.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has given the Islamic Waqf a free hand in deciding who can be kicked off the Temple Mount. While the Waqf’s list doesn’t include Arab children playing soccer, Arabs playing with toy guns, or Arabs waving Hamas and ISIS flags on the Temple Mount, it does include nursing Jewish mothers and religious looking Jews drinking water.
Imam who urged extermination of Jews indicted for incitement
A prominent Palestinian preacher who regularly delivers sermons from the pulpit at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem was indicted Thursday for incitement to violence.
Sheikh Khaled al-Mughrabi was arrested last week after videos published on Palestinian networks showed him speaking out against Jews in recent sermons at the mosque, atop the sensitive Temple Mount site.
State prosecutors are seeking to keep Mughrabi in custody until the end of legal proceedings against him, Israel Radio reported.
The indictment comes as Israeli officials have said they will crack down on speech they see as inciting others to violence, amid an ongoing round of Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians and security personnel. Israeli officials have pointed to Palestinian incitement regarding a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount as one of the driving forces behind the violence.
A video of Mughrabi delivering a sermon saying that Jews will be “wiped out” was flagged by watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch and sent to police, leading to the preacher’s arrest, according to the Ynet news site.
“We will go after the Jews everywhere,” Mughrabi is seen proclaiming in one video. “They won’t escape us, they won’t be able to escape us. The Children of Israel will all be wiped out.”
PMW reports lead to second arrest of Antisemitic teacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque
Sheikh Khaled Al-Mughrabi teaches Islam twice a week at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinian Media Watch has exposed that his teachings are blatantly Antisemitic. In August, PMW reports led to his arrest and questioning by Israeli Police, who banned him from the Temple Mount for a month. Last week, the Sheikh was arrested a second time, again because of PMW's documentation of his most recent Islam lessons, which PMW provided to the police.
While Palestinians are carrying out numerous stabbing attacks against Israelis and the PA and Fatah are fueling Palestinian rage, falsely claiming that Israel is fabricating the attacks as a pretext to shoot Palestinians, Sheikh Mughrabi encouraged the conflict further by stating that Allah is able to destroy all Jews, but wants Muslims/Palestinians to "fulfill His command":
"Allah can annihilate all the Jews down to the last one, throughout the world. But, what does Allah want? He wants us to fulfill His command." [Al-Msjed Al-Aqsa YouTube channel, Oct. 27, 2015]
The Sheikh explained the fulfillment of Allah's command as carrying out Ribat in the Al-Aqsa Mosque - a concept denoting religious war/conflict over land claimed to be Islamic. To illustrate the desirability of becoming a Ribat fighter, the Sheikh compared the benefits granted a Ribat fighter in Paradise to those granted a Martyr, stating that it is far more beneficial to die while carrying out Ribat:
PMW reports lead to second arrest of Antisemitic preacher from the Al-Aqsa ‎Mosque

MEMRI: Fatah Secretary In Jerusalem 'Adnan Ghaith: Arafat's Slogan 'Millions Of Martyrs Are Marching On Jerusalem' Still Guides Us Today
Fatah's secretary in Jerusalem,'Adnan Ghaith, dedicated his November 11, 2015 column in the Palestinian Authority (PA) daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida to marking the 11th anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death. He wrote that Arafat left the Palestinians a legacy regarding the struggle methods, and that he lighted the way for the future generations and serves as a source of inspiration for them. In his slogan "Millions of Martyrs Are Marching On Jerusalem," Arafat conveyed to the Palestinians the watchword of their national struggle, said Ghaith. He added that Arafat steered the Palestinian struggle towards Jerusalem and signaled to the Palestinians that they must unite for its sake and be willing to sacrifice themselves for it – a message which the Palestinians internalized and realized in their willingness to sacrifice.
Ramallah youth: We can’t forgive Israel for what it’s done to our people
Over an earthen berm, protected from the stun grenades, raging fire and clashes, some kids played on a new swing, the result of some foreign donation to make a small park. They’d been let off school early for the mid-afternoon protests that Fatah had called.
One of the kids couldn’t recall how long it had been since the “shahid [martyr] Abu Ammar,” Arafat’s nom de guerre, had died.
“We’re sobbing over 16 years since his passing,” he said.
“Do you mean 11 years?” “Right, 11,” he said, evidently too young to have remembered.
Back by the road, as more casualties were being evacuated and a man lumbered through a field with Algerian and Palestinian flags, a sign for a gas station had been spray-painted over with a Star of David in the middle and two swastikas on either side – a fitting symbol of the palpable sense that this “knife intifada” and the daily clashes would continue.
PA TV host recites poem calling Palestinians to join the ‎intifada

Palestinian T.V. Favorite Accuses Israel of 'Harvesting' Terrorists' Organs
As the PA representative to the United Nations, Mansour frequently has been quoted as a credible source, which has treated his breathless but unfounded serial allegations of Israeli war crimes as credible (see for example “Palestinians move to join world court,” The Boston Globe, Jan. 3, 2015 or “Netanyahu at Risk of Isolating Israel,” The New York Times, March 19, 2015). One Washington Post article expended nearly 700 words repeating nearly verbatim Mansour’s charges (“U.N. Envoy Critical of Gaza Living Conditions,” Feb. 27, 2008).
Mansour even has been quoted uncritically saying that a failure to pursue trumped-up PA charges of Israeli war crimes is “what is impeding the peace process” (“Furor Sends Palestinians Into Shift on U.N. Report,” The New York Times, Oct. 8, 2009).
Mansour often has spoken to reporters about PA desires for greater U.N. involvement, including expressing his gratitude to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon for “quickly” forwarding the PA representative’s request for membership in the international organization (“Israeli panel drafts $8b social plan,” The New York Times, Sep. 27, 2011).
This blood-libel pusher has a media presence that extends into prime time, including appearances on Sunday talk shows like NBC’s Meet the Press and the “comedy-news” show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (“Who wants to be a member of the U.N.? Palestine"). On the latter, interviewer John Oliver, treated Mansour’s presence humorously.
There is nothing funny about blood-libels. Historically they have resulted in Jewish blood being spilled. Today, invoked against Israel, they help incite sometimes murderous aggression. When it comes to looking for credible sources on the Arab-Israel conflict, media outlets would be well advised to tune out Riyad Mansour.
CAMERA Prompts NY Times Correction: Terrorist's Balisong Not a "Boy Scout" Knife
Two weeks after the New York Times absurdly characterized a Palestinian assailant's butterfly knife as a "Boy Scout" knife, the newspaper has removed the reference and published a correction.
The original language of Jodi Rudoren's Oct. 27 story, referring to an attempted attack that was stopped by alert Israeli security forces, stated:
"He was not carrying a knife, I saw everything," a [Palestinian] witness insisted. "If they show a knife, they planted it."
The Israeli police soon published a photo of a pocketknife, the kind Boy Scouts use, next to the slain teenager."

The gratuitous aside about a "Boy Scout" knife has been removed from the story, and an awkwardly detailed correction now explains:
Correction: November 10, 2015
An earlier version of this article referred imprecisely to the knife in the Israeli police photo. It is a butterfly knife, which is traditionally used as a weapon. The Boy Scouts of America does not explicitly ban such knives; it endorses pocketknives for general use, and does not sell butterfly knives in its official Scout shop. Butterfly knives are legal in some states, and knife policies are set by individual troops, so it is possible, though unlikely, that some troops approve them. But the knife pictured is not typically “the kind Boy Scouts use."
Phila. Inquirer Headlines Go Easy on Attackers
The following letter to the editor was sent to The Philadelphia inquirer, but went unpublished:
"Dear Editor:
Recent Inquirer headlines “U.S. Educator Dies in Israel” (October 28) and “Israelis Kill 3 Palestinians” (October 27) have the potential to mislead readers by not accurately reflecting the news articles beneath.
The article itself makes clear that American-born Israeli educator Richard Lakin did not just “die” in Israel; he was murdered by Palestinian terrorists. Lakin’s son told The New York Times his 73-year old father was the victim of Palestinian “incitement and hate.” Yet, the headline could lead readers to mistakenly infer that Lakin just happen to pass away.
Similarly, Israelis did not just happen to “kill 3 Palestinians” without justification as readers might infer from the headline. Again, as the article beneath the headline notes, three Palestinian Arab terrorists were killed by Israeli security forces after attacking Israelis, both civilian and soldiers, with knives. The headline fails to convey essential facts regarding both the chronology and causation leading to the death of the terrorists.
Abbas: If We Don’t Have Freedom, No One in the Region Will
In a speech on Wednesday commemorating the 11th anniversary of the death of PLO chief Yasser Arafat, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that regional freedom was tied to Palestinian independence, the Israeli news site nrg reported.
“The Palestinian people must be allowed to exercise their right to freedom and independence,” said Abbas. “Otherwise, no one in the region will feel they are free.”
“Yasser Arafat will always be in our heart,” he said of his predecessor.
Abbas also said that the commission tasked with investigating the cause of Arafat’s death had “made significant progress in discovering the truth…”
Tawfik Tirawi, who heads the Palestinian investigation team, assert that the committee “will find the man who murdered Arafat,” and blamed Israel for the former PA president’s demise.
Mufti of Hebron District: The Holocaust Was Caused by the Jews' Aggression and Corruption

UN hands over 'Israeli spy' to Lebanon
The United Nations peacekeeping force UNIFIL said Wednesday it has turned over a longtime local staffer to Lebanese authorities, who accuse him of "spying for Israel."
The Lebanese man who had worked in the UNIFIL administration for over 20 years is among three people accused by authorities of spying for the Jewish state.
On Sunday, Lebanese authorities claimed they had arrested the three suspects, a Syrian man and his Lebanese wife and a Lebanese man.
But the Lebanese man "was in the UNIFIL compound when authorities requested him," UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti told AFP.
"We asked UN headquarters in New York to determine whether immunity would be applied in his case, and the UN determined that since the allegations were not related to his official functions, immunity from legal proceedings would not apply," he added.
The man was taken into custody on Wednesday.
Hamas claims Mossad recruiting Palestinians in Europe
A website used by Hamas’s intelligence “Al Majd” is claiming that the Israeli Mossad has recently stepped up its activities in Europe.
According to the website, Palestinian students studying in various European countries have reported receiving direct or indirect contact from the Mossad in an attempt to recruit them as intelligence agents.
According to the report, the students received phone calls from young women expressing interest in getting to know them and helping them find housing and money.
The Hamas intelligence website advised Palestinian students not to indulge in any offer of help coming from an unknown person, stressing that nothing is free and they must be careful because the shame of being in contact with the enemy will pursue them and ruin their future.
Hamas routinely tries and many times also executes Palestinians who are accused of “spying for Israel”.
Israel raises Hezbollah rocket estimate to 150,000
Israeli officials believe that the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has amassed around 150,000 rockets, including a number of long range Iranian-made missiles capable of striking Israeli cities from north to south.
The estimates represent a 50 percent increase in the group’s weapons stockpiles since May, when a senior Israeli intelligence official put the number at 100,000.
The revised valuation on rockets suggests Hezbollah is ramping up efforts to acquire weapons whose purpose is to attack Israel, despite its deep involvement in the Syrian civil war.
Hezbollah forces have been operating in Syrian territory for over three and a half years. Thousands of the organization’s fighters are thought to be on Syrian soil and hundreds, some say thousands, have been killed there, including at least one senior officer.
'Hezbollah weapons warehouses were the target of Wednesday's Israeli airstrikes in Syria'
The target of Israel's alleged airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday evening were Hezbollah weapons warehouses, Arab media affiliated with the opposition to Syrian Preisdent Basher Assad reported Thursday.
Pro-Assad operatives on Facebook said that the strikes, adjacent to Damascus airport, struck "military outposts near the airport, and there is a high probability that it was IDF warplanes that struck."
New portal 'Damascus Alan,' which is affiliated with the Assad regime, reported that heavy damage was caused to army outposts around the airport, all of which went up in flames. The site did not specify what damage was caused to the outposts, but they said that nobody was hurt.
Syrian opposition activist Ahmed Yabrudi said: "Israeli warplanes entered from south Lebanon, arrived at Qalamoun and flew above the international airport in Damascus where they struck nearby military outposts."
He added that "the Israeli planes remained in Syria's skies for a half hour, and there is no information about the outposts that were hit - except that they belonged to Hezbollah."
Egypt sent condolences to Navon family on president’s death
Fluent in Arabic, Navon became close to his Egyptian counterpart Anwar Sadat, who signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 during Navon’s tenure as president. Navon visited Cairo in 1980, at Sadat’s invitation.
Less than three months ago, President Reuven Rivlin sent Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi condolences upon the death of his mother.
Rivlin wrote: “On behalf of the citizens of the State of Israel and myself, [I] send you our sincere condolences on the sad passing of your dear mother. Our sympathies are with you at this difficult time. May she rest in peace and may you know no further sorrow.”
Official relations between the two countries have been relatively warm since Sissi rose to power after ousting Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. Sissi’s fight against Islamist militants in the Sinai and his opposition to Hamas have created common strategic interests with Israel.
Egyptian Media Blame Western 'Conspiracy' for Russian Plane Crash
Growing confidence among Western intelligence agencies that a terrorist bomb brought down the Russian Metrojet airliner over Sinai on Oct. 31 is not being received well by some in Egypt, where tourism is a major part of the economy.
Egyptian newspapers, websites, and TV shows are filled with conspiracy theories about Britain and the United States floating false bomb theories to damage the Egyptian economy and weaken President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
The Associated Press quotes sample editorials with headlines such as, “The people defy the conspiracy – Egypt will not cave into pressures” and “Egypt stands up to the West’s terrorism.”
A somewhat more guarded editorial from prominent Egyptian pundit Ibrahim Eissa complained that even if the Russian jet was destroyed by a bomb, “it doesn’t require an instant and large-scale punishment and criminal defamation against Egypt.” This refers to the flight bans imposed by several countries and the growing number of Western media reports about shoddy security at Egyptian airports, especially Sharm el-Sheikh.
At the other end of the spectrum, the AP found commentator Hazem Moneim of independent daily El-Watan implying the British were conspiring with the bombers: “Why would Britain issue this statement coinciding with the beginning of al-Sisi’s visit, as if they know the truth from its source? The evil side contributes to committing the crime, then accuses the other side.”
Eight civilians killed on Sinai-Gaza border
Gunmen killed eight civilians, including a child, in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula where the army is battling a jihadist insurgency, medical and security sources said Thursday.
Unidentified armed men shot and killed seven men and a four-year-old child in their home in el-Arish in North Sinai on Wednesday night, a security official said.
The source said the victims, who were from the town of Rafah on the border with the Gaza Strip and lived near a police station, had been killed for cooperating with the security forces.
The eight bodies were taken Thursday morning to a hospital in el-Arish, an official there said.
Egypt’s affiliate of the Islamic State jihadist group has previously claimed to have executed several Sinai inhabitants that it accused of being informants for the security forces.
European swoop on ‘jihadist network’ that planned suicide attacks, kidnap of diplomats
European law enforcement authorities on Thursday announced a swoop on a European jihadist network that was allegedly planning to try to spring its leader out of detention in Norway.
Members of the the group were willing to become suicide bombers and planned to kidnap Norwegian diplomats either in Europe or the Middle East and hold them hostage, The Guardian reported.
Seventeen people were targeted in the raids across Europe — 16 Kurds and a Kosovan. Six of them have been arrested in Italy, four in Britain and three in Norway.
Several members of the group have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight for the Islamic State group, police said.
Investigators said the network was trying to free fundamentalist preacher Najmuddin Ahmad Faraj — also known as Mullah Krekar — who is listed as a terrorist by the United States and United Nations and is currently in prison in Norway.
Turkey nabs jihadist at salon after hair transplant
Turkish police arrested a French citizen suspected of being an Islamic State fighter on Wednesday after he had a hair transplant procedure at a beauty salon, local media reported.
The Dogan news agency quoted police sources saying the man, identified as Mehdibend Said, was under surveillance after entering the country from Syria, where he was plotting a terrorist attack on Turkish soil.
He was arrested at dawn after local intelligence services in the town of Izmir, on the Aegean coast, followed him to a clinic where he had the hair transplant.
Said told investigators he had also hoped to have a second cosmetic procedure to make him “look better.”

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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