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Will there be Peace in the Middle East?
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In the News



Hundreds riot throughout West Bank after Friday prayers

Four Palestinians lightly injured in various clashes with security forces; Temple Mount prayers end without incident

By Itamar Sharon and AFP
The Times of Israel
November 21, 2014

ImageSeveral riots were reported throughout the West Bank Friday afternoon following weekly sermons.

Around 350 Palestinians demonstrated in Hebron, Israel Radio reported. Rioters were hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at police, who were responding with non-lethal means to disperse the protesters.

Another hundred people were demonstrating and assaulting security forces near Nablus, where soldiers were using rubber bullets and other means to quell the mob. Three Palestinians were lightly injured there and evacuated to hospital in Nablus.

In Kalandiya, north of Jerusalem, several dozen Palestinians were rioting. One man was said lightly injured by a rubber bullet fired by security forces.

Small riots of several dozen protesters were also reported in two locations near Ramallah and another near Qalqilya.

Responding to the Slaughter

By Caroline B. Glick
Jewish World Review
November 21, 2014

ImageA blood-stained prayer book lies on the floor at Jerusalem's Kehillas Yaakov yeshiva and synagogue complex.

What we are seeing in Jerusalem today is not simply Palestinian terrorism. It is Islamic jihad. No one likes to admit it. The television reporters insist that this is the worst possible scenario because there is no way to placate it.

There is no way to reason with it.

So what else is new?

The horrible truth is that all of the anti-Jewish slaughters perpetrated by our Arab neighbors have been motivated to greater or lesser degrees by Islamic Jew hatred. The only difference between the past hundred years and now is that today our appeasement-oriented elite are finding it harder to pretend away the obvious fact that we cannot placate our enemies.

No "provocation" by Jews drove two Jerusalem Arabs to pick up meat cleavers and a rifle and slaughter rabbis in worship like sheep and then mutilate their bodies.


By Sarah Honig
The Jerusalem Post
November 21, 2014

Twin inspirations: Abbas inflames his volatile masses in eerily the same idiom as Arafat

It’s a perplexing fact of our life: anything that remotely and vaguely resembles peace in Israel’s neighborhood is serially shattered once peace negotiations are kick-started. This is how it has invariably been – all the more emphatically so since the advent of Oslo.

According to this unique pattern, unequalled anywhere else, peace overtures are tantamount to harbingers of death and destruction.

Then, once the violence of peace somehow subsides, we briefly luxuriate in the lull of an impasse – the closest we ever get to calm.

But these rare respites inevitably rub do-gooder meddlers the wrong way both in the US and in the EU. With obsessive peevishness they begrudge us our breather. They summon summits, draw road maps, determine deadlines, weave tapestries, formulate fantasies and in short terminate the temporary time-outs.

PM, senior ministers pan Ashkelon mayor for barring Arab workers

Rights group to sue coastal city’s mayor for discrimination, but Shimoni says he’s comfortable with his decision

By Spencer Ho
The Times of Israel
November 20, 2014

ImagePrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday tore into Ashkelon’s mayor for his intention to halt construction on bomb shelters in city kindergartens in order to keep Arab workers out of the sites.

Netanyahu joined a chorus of senior Israeli politicians criticizing Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni’s announcement on Wednesday via Facebook that he would terminate construction of shelters at any kindergarten where Arab workers were employed and also order the posting of armed guards outside kindergartens near building sites that employed Arab construction workers.

“There’s no place for discrimination against Israeli Arabs. We mustn’t generalize about an entire population because of a small minority of violent and belligerent [individuals],” the prime minister said in a statement. “The vast majority of Arab citizens of Israel are law-abiding, and those who violate the law — we work against them with determination and firmness.”

Interior Minister Gilad Erdan characterized the move as “unacceptable” and instructed ministry officials to investigate its legality.

Beautifying Islam

By Ahmed Vanya
Gatestone Institute
November 20, 2014

Many people are understandably asking: What is the true nature of Islam? Is it that although there are many peaceful Muslims, Islam itself is not peaceful?

Classical Islamic law, developed over the history of Islam, is definitely not peaceful or benign, and therefore not suitable for this age; neither are its violent and grotesque progeny, such as Islamism and jihadism.

If Islam is a religion that stands for justice and peaceful coexistence, then this policy of jihad cannot be justified as sanctioned by a just and merciful creator.

Religious traditions have changed and evolved over time, therefore it is the duty of us Muslims, using reason and common sense, to reinterpret the scriptures to bring about an Islam that affirms and promotes universally accepted human rights and values. It is our duty to cleanse the traditional, literalist, classical Islam and purify it to make it an Islam that is worthy to be called a beautiful religion.

Looking at a year of beheadings by ISIS, child grooming abuses in the UK, judicial misconduct by the hanging judges of Iran, slaughtering and enslaving of Christians in Egypt and Africa, and various murders justified in the name of Islam throughout the world, many people are understandably asking: What is the true nature of Islam? Is it that although there are many peaceful Muslims, Islam itself is not peaceful?

Turkey's "Foreign" Citizens

By Burak Bekdil
Gatestone Institute
November 19, 2014

For most Islamists, there is no difference between the words "Israel," "the Israeli government," "Jew" or "Turkish Jew:" they are all the same, and are all regarded with hostility.

In 2008, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's official news agency, Wafa, reported that Israel had released poison-resistant rats to drive Arab residents of Jerusalem out of their homes. Scientists are still trying to understand how rats are trained to distinguish between Muslim, Christian and Jewish residents of a city.

In 2011, Saudi Arabia announced that it had "detained" a vulture carrying an Israeli leg band. The griffon vulture was carrying a GPS transmitter bearing the name of Tel Aviv University, and was condemned for being a part of a "Zionist espionage plot." We are still waiting to hear if the bird was beheaded or sentenced to life in prison.

Also in 2011, one of the two Turkish celebrities, who had been accused of raping prostitutes, defended himself by saying that the whole incident was "an Israeli plot against him."

Four Jews at Prayer, Druze Policeman, Killed in Jerusalem Synagogue Terror Attack

By Lazar Berman and Adiv Sterman
The Times of Israel
November 18, 2014

ImageTwo Palestinian East Jerusalemites launch attack in Har Nof; Abbas, Western diplomats, UN chief condemn assault; PM says Israel to ‘settle score’ with killers

Five people were killed early Tuesday morning when two Palestinian assailants entered a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood, armed with guns and knives.
The dead were four Jewish worshipers, and a Druze policeman who died of his wounds hours after he was shot in the gunfight that ended the attack. The two terrorists, from East Jerusalem, were killed. Condemnation over the attack poured in from Israeli and international leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, blamed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for inciting terrorism against Israel. The Times of Israel liveblogged developments through Tuesday.


By Sarah Honig
The Jerusalem Post
November 14, 2014

ImageHebron 1929: exhorting the mobs to save al-Aksa from the Jews

For hours after last week’s vehicular terror in Jerusalem (capped by an attack on passersby with a metal rod), Sky News persisted in not telling it like it is.

Its running news ticker at the bottom of the screen single-mindedly informed viewers that “Israeli police say a driver has rammed his car into pedestrians in East Jerusalem in an ‘intentional’ attack causing several injuries.”

The very inclusion of the verb say sufficed to cast doubt on Israeli communiqués. Then, to chip further away at residual Israeli credibility the word intentionally was tendentiously placed in quotation marks. This surely was overkill, considering that the reliability of the Israeli report was already challenged by the caveat of the opening phrase


By Sarah Honig
The Jerusalem Post
November 7, 2014

ImageObama and Sarkozy in Cannes: No hint of an apology ever came from either Washington or Paris

Gosh darn! Smack dab on the eve of a midterm election, US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to almost sort-of say sorry for reported name-calling in high Administration places – ‘chickenshit’ comes to mind.

A morsel of humble pie, after all, is prescribed when one’s party suspects its headliners may have offended voters at the close of a crucial campaign.

So, is everything now peachy keen in our world all over again?

Maybe, if this were the only memorable outburst and if Obama’s administration were as forgiving as it imperiously decrees Israel must be. Trouble is, though, that there was loads of loathing even before the chickenshit hit the fan.

Who is the Real Chickenshit?

By Bassam Tawil
Gatestone Institute
November 4, 2014

ImageJudging by their actions, most Arab leaders do not want to create yet another terrorist Islamist state, dedicated to the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology and to toppling their regimes. We do want a Palestinian state, but please, only one that will provide responsible governance.

According to the "Arab street," it is the Americans and Europeans who are cowards, afraid to take significant steps against Iran, and terrified of the Islamic ghettoes in their cities, which have been exporting terrorists to fight for the Islamic State, and providing housing to the seasoned fighters who return.

To Arabs, the ultimate irony is that America is paying Qatar to have its airbase there, while Qatar is paying terrorists to kill Americans.

When John Kerry claimed it was the unresolved Palestinian issue that caused a ripple effect that crated ISIS, he simply inspired the Palestinians to use Al-Aqsa mosque as a religious trigger for future bloodshed.

The "Explosive Growth" of Jihadism in the Netherlands

By Soeren Kern
Gatestone Institute
November 2, 2014

Image"The increasing momentum of Dutch jihadism poses an unprecedented threat to the democratic legal order of the Netherlands." — Dutch intelligence service, AIVD.

"For adherents unable or unwilling to join the armed struggle in Syria or elsewhere, social media offers a form of involvement that allows them to identify themselves as jihadists... without actually having to fight. After all, the movement also considers 'dawah' -- preaching the 'call to Islam" -- a form of jihad." — Dutch intelligence service, AIVD.

"Social media has made it possible for a person to go far more quickly from being a passive recipient of jihadist propaganda messages to a sympathizer and then a supporter... Some are also known to have been involved in atrocities, such as beheading prisoners... social media has changed the structure of the and cohesions of the jihadist movement... it has taken on the characteristics of a swarm (in the group behavior sense)." — Dutch intelligence service, AIVD.

"The jihadist movement can only genuinely be disrupted, in a way that prevents the emergence of new guiding figures and structures, if such efforts [not one-off actions] are maintained over an extended period." — Dutch intelligence service, AIVD.

Yehudah Glick, shot in Jerusalem, works for Jews’ right to pray on Temple Mount

US-born activist raises awareness of the centrality of the site to Jewish tradition, went on hunger strike when banned from visiting

By Renee Ghert-Zand
The Times of Israel
October 30, 2014

ImageRabbi Yehudah Glick, who was shot and seriously hurt outside Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center Wednesday night, has worked tirelessly in recent years to restore the right of Jews to worship on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in preparation for the arrival of the messiah and the building of a third Holy Temple.

His activities, which rub up against Israeli police’s ban on Jewish and other non-Muslim prayer on the Temple Mount, have led to his being barred more than once from the site. In October 2013, he held a hunger strike, which ended after 12 days with the reinstatement of permission for him to ascend the Temple Mount.

While Glick maintained in an interview with the Forward last November that he is merely a professional tour guide taking visitors around the holy site, it was clear that his agenda includes more than sightseeing.

The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here

By Jeffrey Goldberg
The Atlantic
October 28, 2014

ImageThe Obama administration's anger is "red-hot" over Israel's settlement policies, and the Netanyahu government openly expresses contempt for Obama's understanding of the Middle East. Profound changes in the relationship may be coming.

The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most. “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” this official said, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, by his nickname.

This comment is representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors, and is yet another sign that relations between the Obama and Netanyahu governments have moved toward a full-blown crisis. The relationship between these two administrations— dual guarantors of the putatively “unbreakable” bond between the U.S. and Israel—is now the worst it's ever been, and it stands to get significantly worse after the November midterm elections. By next year, the Obama administration may actually withdraw diplomatic cover for Israel at the United Nations, but even before that, both sides are expecting a showdown over Iran, should an agreement be reached about the future of its nuclear program.

The Arab Spring Comes to China

By Mohamed Chtatou
Gatestone Institute
October 27, 2014

ImageAs in every dictatorship, the government's only fear is of its own people.

Today, China's authorities are going back on their promise of maintaining Hong Kong's special political status, inherited from Britain. Hong Kong, however, is moving the Arab way: it is choosing democracy.

Such movements do not die; they just take shelter to let the storm pass. The Arab Spring will arrive in these lands with the sweetness of democracy, equal opportunity, and the promise of freedom for everyone.

In 2010, the tiny North African nation of Tunisia rejected patriarchy, nepotism and tribalism and opted for Arab democracy. Soon its call for overthrowing absolutism engulfed the Arab world and ushered in a new beginning -- only soon to find itself undermined and overwhelmed, like Egypt, by organized, well-funded autocracies.

The Kurds in Turkey and the Fight for Kobani

By Veli Sirin
Gatestone Institute
October 26, 2014

ImageA historical process is now threatened with failure: the reconciliation of the Turkish State with the Kurds living in Turkey.

Turkish guns point in every direction but that of Kobani, and the Turkish air force continues bombing the Kurdish PKK, not ISIS. Many Kurds believe that the Turkish state considers it acceptable for the "Islamic State" to murder Kurds, and would rather bomb the Kurds than help them against ISIS.

The world has watched the town of Kobani on the Turkish-Syrian border, where the Wahhabi terrorists of the so-called "Islamic State" [IS], also known as ISIS, ISIL, and, in Arabic, the "Daesh," are fighting the Kurdish peshmerga, a word meaning "those facing death." The Turkish authorities, under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Islamist Justice and Development Party [AKP], have stood among the ambivalent observers of the battle for Kobani.

At the same time, he who is called "the man on the island" has put an ultimatum to Erdoğan. Abdullah Öcalan, in jail surrounded by the sea near Istanbul and still the real leader of the Kurdish Workers Party [PKK], has given the Turkish authorities more time to achieve a full agreement with its Kurdish subjects. If it does not, he says he can do "nothing more for the peace process." But as reported by the London Financial Times on October 22, Öcalan said he remained "optimistic" about relations between Ankara and the Kurdish revolutionaries. The PKK is designated a terrorist group by the United States and various European governments, as well as Turkey.

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