Temple Mount Reopened after Jerusalem Shooting (BBC News)
Israeli police have reopened the Temple Mount in Jerusalem ahead of
Muslim Friday prayers, following the shooting of a well-known
campaigner for the right of Jews to pray at the site.
On Thursday, a spokesman for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas described
Israel's temporary closure of the site as a "declaration of war."
ISIS Kills 220 Iraqis from Tribe that Opposed Them (Reuters-Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
Islamic State militants executed at least 220 Iraqi members of the
Sunni Muslim Albu Nimr tribe which opposed their takeover of territory
west of Baghdad, security sources and witnesses said.
Two mass graves were discovered on Thursday containing some of the 300 members of the tribe that ISIS had seized this week.
The bodies of more than 70 men were dumped near the town of Hit
in Anbar province. A mass grave near Ramadi contained 150 members
of the tribe, security officials said.
See also Tribal Chief: Baghdad Not Doing Enough to Combat ISIS in Anbar - Hamza Mustafa (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
Report: Hizbullah Attack on Jews and Israelis in Peru Foiled (I24 news)
Peruvian authorities have foiled a terrorist attack against Jews and Israelis, Israeli Channel 2 TV reported Thursday.
Hizbullah member Mohammed Zuheir Amadar, 28,
a Lebanese who belonged to Hizbullah's foreign terror operations
branch, was arrested after collecting intelligence on Jewish and Israeli
targets in Peru.
He was reportedly planning to attack locations popular among Israeli
backpackers, the Israeli embassy in Lima, and several institutions of
the local Jewish community.
During a search in his apartment the police discovered explosives and weapons.
Poll: Israelis View Obama Administration as Pro-Palestinian - Gil Hoffman (Jerusalem Post)
53% of Israelis consider the Obama administration more
pro-Palestinian than pro-Israel, 16% believe it is more pro-Israel,
20% called it neutral, and 11% had no opinion, according to a Smith
Research poll taken Wednesday.
Hamas Still Producing Rockets - Avi Issacharoff (Times of Israel)
Despite intensified Egyptian efforts to eliminate the smuggling of
weapon components into Gaza, Hamas is still producing rockets, a
senior Israeli official said.
The source said Egyptian counter-terrorism activities have drastically
improved recently, including in the intelligence realm. The Egyptians
are preventing the smuggling of dual-use materials that can be used in
building rockets, such as metal pipes and fertilizer, while tightening
control on Egypt's borders with Sudan and Libya.
Hamas is also working hard to rehabilitate its tunnel network.
In the past, Hamas has built tunnels without cement, as it did in the kidnapping of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.
The Egyptians and Israelis have intelligence that Ansar Bayt
al-Maqdis, the organization responsible for a number of serious attacks
against the Egyptian Army, is being helped by known Hamas operatives.
In addition, there is a permanent presence of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis terrorists
within Gaza who are providing Sinai jihadists with weapons and training.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Kerry Says Reported U.S. Slur of Israel's Netanyahu "Damaging"
Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday condemned a derogatory
description of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by an anonymous
U.S. official as quoted in a U.S. magazine this week. "We condemn
anybody who uses language such as was used in this article," Kerry said.
"It does not reflect the president, it does not reflect me, it is
disgraceful, unacceptable, damaging. I have never heard that word around
me in the White House. I don't know who these anonymous people are who
keep getting quoted, but they make life much more difficult."
Susan Rice, national security adviser to President Barack Obama,
and Yossi Cohen, national security adviser to Netanyahu, met Thursday at
the White House. Kerry dropped by the meeting, the White House said.
The consultations focused on ongoing nuclear talks with Iran and the
fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. The U.S.
reaffirmed its commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear
weapon, the White House said.
- Foreign Fighters for Islamic State Are Streaming into Syria - Greg Miller
More than 1,000 foreign fighters are streaming into Syria each month,
despite airstrikes against the Islamic State and efforts by other
countries to stem the flow of departures, according to U.S. intelligence
and counterterrorism officials. "The flow of fighters making their way
to Syria remains constant, so the overall number continues to rise," a
U.S. intelligence official said.
- Report: Syrian Airstrikes Kill over 200 Civilians in Ten Days
Bombing by the Syrian air force over the past 10 days has killed at
least 221 civilians, a third of them children, and more than 500 people
have been wounded, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights said Thursday.
- Hizbullah under Strain as It Battles on Several Fronts - Hugh Naylor
Hizbullah, Lebanon's most powerful military organization, is losing its
aura of invincibility as militants from Islamic State and the
al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra have carved out footholds in Lebanon
along the porous Syria border. "Hizbullah is spread thin. They are
waging so many battles and are positioned on so many fronts," said Imad
Salamey, associate professor of political science at the Beirut-based
Lebanese American University. As many as 5,000 of its soldiers are
thought to be in Syria, where hundreds of its fighters have been
See also Hizbullah Is Bruised - Hussain Abdul-Hussain
Syria's war has taken a toll on Hizbullah. Anecdotal evidence suggests
that Lebanon's Shiite population is thinning out as families search
for better lives away from the "society of resistance" and its perpetual
war. Today, there is hardly a Shiite village that has not lost a dozen
or more of its men. Sooner or later, Hizbullah will run out of men to
recruit. In Lebanon, Shiites number one million, a quarter of the
population. The disparity in numbers that clearly favors the Sunnis
in the Levant is beginning to catch up with Hizbullah. The writer is
Washington bureau chief of the Kuwaiti newspaper Alrai.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Hamas, Islamic Jihad Call for Palestinians to Step Up "Resistance" Against Israel - Khaled Abu Toameh
Hamas and Islamic Jihad on Thursday called on Palestinians to step up
their "resistance" against Israel following the assassination attempt on
Yehuda Glick and the temporary closure of the Temple Mount. Islamic
Jihad praised the assailant, one of its members, Mu'taz Hijazi, for
carrying out his "sacred duty to defend the Aqsa Mosque."
Hamas, for its part, called on Palestinians to avenge the killing of
Hijazi by the IDF. Abu Obaida, spokesman for Hamas' Al-Qassam
Brigades, said: "We salute the sacred hands that pulled the trigger of
dignity and fired the bullets of revenge toward the Zionist criminal who
desecrated the blessed Aqsa Mosque."
- Palestinian Minors Indicted for Attempted IDF Courthouse Suicide Bombing - Yonah Jeremy Bob
Two Palestinian minors were indicted last week for trying to carry out a
suicide bombing on the Salem Military Courthouse in the West Bank on
Sep. 22. The two minors, residents of Nablus, intended to use seven
explosive charges, while a third Palestinian helped with assembling the
When they arrived at the IDF's Salem Base, where the court is located,
they found the main gate locked. When they put the bag that contained
the explosives on the ground, next to the gate, base guards became
suspicious and apprehended them.
- Israel Recalls Sweden Ambassador in Protest of Palestine Recognition - Barak Ravid
The Israel Foreign Ministry has recalled its ambassador to Sweden, Isaac
Bachman, from Stockholm for consultations in protest of Sweden's
recognition of a Palestinian state. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman
called Sweden's move Thursday a "very unfortunate decision" that only
strengthens "radical and intransigent" Palestinian elements. "The only
chance to reach an accord is through honest negotiations between Israel
and the Palestinians, and steps like this only bolster the Palestinians'
unrealistic demands and push an accord farther away." (Ha'aretz)
Assassination Attempt in Jerusalem
- Standing Up to Intimidation - Editorial
When violence is used to terrorize and bully a group into abdicating
basic human rights, it becomes a threat to the foundations of democracy.
On Wednesday, Mu'taz Hijazi, who is affiliated with the Islamic Jihad
terrorist group, tried to assassinate Rabbi Yehuda Glick. This was a
horrific act of violence directed at a man who was singled out for his
religious and political beliefs.
What makes this crime all the more tragic was the fact that Glick,
who is a vocal activist for the right of Jews to pray on the Temple
Mount, is also a strong defender of Muslims' right to freedom of
religious expression on what they call Haram a-Sharif.
We must disabuse ourselves of the idea that innocuous acts such as
Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount are the trigger for Muslim rioting,
stone-throwing, destruction and murder. Rather the Arabs who commit
these offenses choose to lash out against Jews in order to intimidate
them into ceding their rights.
Permitting Jews - or members of any other religion - to visit the
Temple Mount and even pray there should be a religious freedom that is
carefully protected by a democracy. Caving in to the demands of militant
Muslims out of a desire to avoid "escalation" is capitulating to
extremism and betraying the ideals of Israel as a Jewish and democratic
- Struggle for the Temple Mount in Jerusalem - Nadav Shragai
Wednesday's assassination attempt on Yehuda Glick puts the Temple Mount
at the center of the Arab-Jewish struggle over Jerusalem.
Former Defense Minister Moshe Dayan in 1967 prohibited Jewish prayer on
the Temple Mount, while Glick waged a worldwide battle to get the
government to allow Jewish prayer there. That was what made him a red
flag for Muslims, who believe (as Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas put it) that Jews defile the Islamic character of the
Temple Mount. (Israel Hayom)
See also "Al-Aksa Is in Danger": The Lie that Won't Die - Nadav Shragai (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
- The Islamic Jihad Operative Who Shot Rabbi Glick
Mu'taz Hijazi, 32, an Israeli citizen from east Jerusalem, committed
the assassination attempt on Rabbi Yehuda Glick on Wednesday. In 2000,
Hijazi was sentenced to 6 years in prison for seven arson attacks in
Jerusalem, some in schools, but his jail time was extended after he
was involved in two serious attacks on wardens. He was released in 2012.
- Sneers at Israel Won't Help U.S. Interests in the Mideast - Editorial
The public show of condescension toward Israel makes no sense for an
Administration facing multiple Mideast crises and struggling to keep the
friends it has. It makes even less sense if Mr. Obama strikes a nuclear
deal with Iran next month. The White House has leaked that it intends
to bypass Congress to conclude a deal, but it cannot unilaterally
overturn sanctions passed by Congress. Broadcasting its dislike for the
Jewish state won't instill confidence in Congress and the public that
such a deal won't mortally threaten Israel.
Israel will draw its own conclusions about what it needs to do to
survive in a tough neighborhood. The Administration's main
accomplishment is to have needlessly unsettled an alliance in a fit of
(Wall Street Journal)
- External Pressure Unites Israelis - Dan Margalit
The low language used by U.S. government officials about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments made to Atlantic
columnist Jeffrey Goldberg was not appropriate, given the fact that
Israel is an American ally. The unusual language used by the officials
was a manifestation of the U.S. government's realization that it has
failed in the Middle East in general, and in the Israeli-Palestinian
sphere in particular.
America's adoption of a gloves-off approach with Israel will not
achieve the goal that the initiators of the confrontation hoped for. The
average patriot in a democracy will defend his or her prime minister
who is under an illegitimate verbal assault from abroad. External
pressure always brings people together, and this is how Israelis react
to diplomatic attacks from abroad.
- Iran: The Revolution Is Over
Talks to curb Iran's nuclear program have less than a month to run.
Iran insists that it wants civilian nuclear power and not a bomb. But
nobody really believes that. If the talks break down, atomic weapons
could proliferate in the Middle East; or, in a bid to stop Iran, America
or Israel could launch a military attack on its infrastructure. Either
outcome would be a disaster.
Much that Iran does is wrong. It finances terrorists and militias in
Lebanon and the Palestinian territories and backs the murderous regime
of Bashar Assad in Syria. Its politicians routinely deny Israel's right
to exist. They treat opponents at home with cruelty and injustice. The
UN's nuclear agency recently complained that Iran is failing to come
clean about its nuclear research - part of a litany of evasion and
Our special report
describes a country whose revolutionary fire has been extinguished. As
people have moved from their villages to the cities they have got
richer and acquired a taste for consumer goods and Western technology.
The traditional religious society that the mullahs dreamt of has
receded. With the passing of time, the mosques have started to empty.
Here is one Islamic state where religion is in retreat.
- The Kurds' Lonely Fight Against Islamic State Terror - Ralf Hoppe, Maximilian Popp, Christoph Reuter and Jonathan Stock
In a 50-sq.-km. area of rugged, mountainous territory in the Kurdish
autonomous region in northern Iraq is the headquarters of the
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). It provides a home for PKK leadership in
addition to training camps for fighters. It also has its own police
force and courts. The surrounding hillsides are dotted with Humvees,
captured by the PKK from the Islamic State terrorist militia, which had
stolen them from the Iraqi army.
It is here in the Qandil Mountains that PKK leaders coordinate their
fight against Islamic State jihadists in the Syrian town of Kobani and in the Iraqi metropolis of Kirkuk, in addition to the ongoing battle in the Sinjar Mountains.
Just a few years ago, the idea of the West working together with the
PKK would have been preposterous. Over the past three decades, PKK has
been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Turkish civilians. With
an estimated size of 15,000 fighters, PKK is the strongest fighting
force in the region and the only one that seems willing and able to put
up a fight against Islamic State. They are disciplined and efficient in
addition to being pro-Western and secular.
It was the PKK that established a protective corridor in Sinjar
that enabled tens of thousands of Yazidis to flee. It was also PKK that
defended the cities of Makhmour and Kirkuk in Iraq against Islamic State
See also Who Are the Kurds? A User's Guide to Kurdish Politics - Richard Spencer
- In the Core Sunni-Shia War, the West Has No Ally - Jonathan Spyer
The West has no ground assets in Syria capable of destroying IS, and
history contains no examples of states which were destroyed solely from
What is taking place in Iraq, Syria and increasingly also in Lebanon
is a single, cross-border sectarian war, effectively pitting a Shia
alliance led by the Iranians and including Hizbullah, the government of
Iraq, Iraqi Shia militias and the Assad regime against a much more
confused and disparate Sunni camp, of which IS is a mutated product. In
the core Sunni-Shia war, the West has no ally.
The Shia bloc constitutes the most powerful anti-Western alliance
currently in existence in the Middle East. Among the Sunni Arabs,
meanwhile, are some of the most brutal organizations ever to have
emerged anywhere - such as IS. The victory of either camp would not
constitute progress in any form for the people living in the states in
- The Long Road to Choosing Iran's Next Leader - Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall
In September, Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (now 75) was
hospitalized for prostate surgery, and rumors again circulated that he
has prostate cancer. On Oct. 21, Ayatollah Mohammadreza Mahdavi Kani
died at the age of 83. He had been chairman of Iran's Assembly of
Experts, a body of 86 clerics entrusted with electing Iran's next
Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani 80, seeks a central
role in determining Khamenei's successor. At present the short list of
names for the post of chairman includes Rafsanjani.
He is considered a "darling" of the Western states, which continue to
view him as someone who can put Iran on a course of constructive
dialogue on various issues including its nuclear program.
Rafsanjani was among the Iranian leaders who tried, without
success, to contain or limit the Revolutionary Guard's increasing
influence over the years and who recognized the danger of its
ascendancy. He also continues to be regarded as their historic rival.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
- Selective Memory: Iran's Role in the Marine Barracks Bombing - Tony Badran
Last Thursday marked the 31st anniversary of Hizbullah's twin attack on
the U.S. Marine barracks and the French paratroopers base in Beirut in
The U.S. has placed the onus of the 1983 Marine barracks bombing on
Imad Mughniyeh, even though it was an Iranian operation from top to
bottom. Mughniyeh was a fervent disciple of Imam Khomeini.
According to leading Hizbullah expert Shimon Shapira, in 1982-83,
the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard force in Lebanon,
Hossein "Dehghan took Mughniyeh under his wing. He was his operator."
Mughniyeh, often described as the "mastermind" of the attacks, in fact,
was the tactical commander. The planning and financing of the operation
U.S. National Security Agency intercepts of traffic between Tehran
and Ali Akbar Mohtashami, the former Iranian ambassador to Syria,
revealed how Hizbullah reported to Mohtashami, and acted on orders that
came from the IRGC command and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and
Security. A month before the attack, Tehran was issuing directives
to Mohtashami to have their assets in Lebanon "take spectacular action
against the United States Marines." The writer is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (NOW-Lebanon)
- How Islam Has Been Hijacked - Aly Salem
Sayyed Qutb was the principal theorist of the Muslim Brotherhood and
the intellectual impetus behind the Islamist parties it spawned. Qutb's
ardent disciples included Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri of
al-Qaeda. It is not an exaggeration to say that Qutb is to Islamism what
Karl Marx is to communism.
Qutb concluded that the reason for the Muslim world's decline were
external cultural and political influences that diluted Islam. The only
path to an Islamic renaissance was to cleanse Muslim societies of these
contaminants and restore Islam to its seventh-century purity.
Today, Qutb's outlook - Islamism - is the dominant political
ideology in most Muslim-majority countries. Polls by the Pew Research
Center indicate that in many Muslim countries, the population is
overwhelmingly in favor of veiling for women, the death penalty for
leaving Islam and stoning as punishment for adultery; rabid
anti-Semitism is rampant. In Egypt, veiling was virtually extinct
until the Islamists resurrected the practice in the 1970s. Today an
estimated 90% of Egyptian women are veiled.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Could an Israeli Innovation End World Hunger? - David Shamah
Between a third and a half of all food grown today is lost to
Thanks to an invention by Israel's Pimi Agro, using hydrogen peroxide
"with a few key additions," fruits and vegetables remain fresh and
viable for up to 10 weeks, significantly cutting losses due to rot and
deterioration during the transportation process, said Nimrod Ben-Yehuda,
CTO and co-founder of Pimi. "For places like India, China, and
Africa, this is huge, especially because the transportation systems in
those areas are slow and refrigeration is hard to come by," he said.
Agricultural and food authorities in the U.S., UK, Germany,
Australia, China, and many other countries have approved Pimi's
all-natural, zero-chemical method of preserving produce. "They're not
necessarily organic, but they are much healthier than ordinary produce -
besides having a much longer shelf life - because farmers can cut down
significantly on the use of fungicides."
Pimi Agro's secret: Its products are formulations based on 99.4%
Stabilized Hydrogen Peroxide (STHP), which decomposes into oxygen and
water, leaving no chemical residue. The trick, said Ben Yehuda, was
getting that other 0.6% of the formulation right - and that took him,
along with researchers at the Technion and at Hebrew University, 15
years. (Times of Israel)
Palestinian Politics after the Gaza Conflict - Ben Cohen interviews David Pollock (Fathom-BICOM)
Common to Hamas and Islamic State is the existence of an
"uncompromising goal and the adoption of violent means towards that
goal. A commitment to jihad, in one form or another, is shared by Hamas and IS."
"The idea that Hamas could moderate, or that there are
moderates in Hamas who could somehow be enticed into the peace process,
is a fantasy. It's in the very nature of Hamas to insist that there can
never be peace with Israel, that there can only be tactical ceasefires -
what they call in Arabic a 'hudna.' Permanent peace with Israel
is just not acceptable. They have never varied from that position, and I
don't see any sign that they could ever vary from that position."
"Hamas is an old-fashioned jihadi terrorist
organization. Some people say, 'well, it won an election,' and so it
did. Once. But that doesn't make it any less radical, or terrorist, or
violent, or jihadi, or rejectionist."
"I have found in my own discussions with some European
diplomats and other officials, that they'll say, 'Israel should just
withdraw even if the Palestinians give nothing in return.' My answer to
that is, 'number one, it's never gonna happen, number two, equally
important, it means that there will never be peace.' So if you want
peace, then you shouldn't encourage that attitude."
"Some Palestinian leaders view international pressure against
Israel as a legitimate tool....The problem is that it's so one-sided and
inflammatory that, from a Palestinian perspective, it's self-defeating.
They drive the Israeli public and the Israeli government further away
from imagining that concrete territorial concessions to the Palestinians
can be made."
"If the Palestinians are indulging in that kind of antagonistic
rhetoric, avoiding negotiations and turning to outside pressure
instead, then the Israelis can be forgiven for concluding that they
don't really have a good partner for peace. So in the end, I think the
result really is to perpetuate the conflict rather than to move to any
kind of resolution."
David Pollock, a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East
Policy, served in senior State Department positions during the Bill
Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.