American Killed in Palestinian Attack Was Peace Activist - Ian Deitch (AP-San Francisco Chronicle)
Richard Lakin, 76, an American educator who was a Freedom Rider for civil rights in the 1960s and advocated coexistence between Muslims and Jews when he moved to Israel, died Tuesday of wounds sustained on Oct. 13 when two Palestinian men boarded a bus in Jerusalem and began shooting and stabbing passengers.
Lakin was originally from Newton, Massachusetts, and a longtime elementary school principal in Glastonbury, Connecticut. His Facebook page displayed an image of Israeli and Arab kids hugging under the word "coexist."
"He was really a peacenik. He believed deeply in a two-state solution and wanted to see Arabs and Jews living together in peace," said Rabbi Richard Plavin of Beth Shalom B'nai Israel in Manchester, Connecticut, which Lakin had attended.
Jordan, Israel Expected to Stream Jerusalem Holy Site Footage (AP-Chicago Tribune)
Israeli and Jordanian officials said Tuesday that new surveillance cameras should be installed within days at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, with the goal of streaming the footage live on the Internet for maximum transparency. Jordan serves as the custodian of the Muslim-administered site.
Israel has welcomed the plan, saying the cameras will prove it is doing nothing wrong and expose violent activities by Palestinians.
See also Jordanians Slam Palestinian Authority for Rejecting Security Cameras at Temple Mount - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
Jordanians on Tuesday criticized the Palestinian Authority for rejecting the idea of installing security cameras at the Temple Mount.
Former Jordanian parliament member Bassam Haddadin noted that it was Jordan that had requested the installation of the cameras.
Jordanian journalist Awwad al-Khalayla said that PA opposition to the cameras sends a message that the Palestinians have something to hide.
French High Court Confirms BDS Activists' Discrimination Convictions (JTA)
France's highest court of appeals confirmed earlier rulings that found promoters of a boycott against Israel guilty of inciting hate or discrimination.
The ruling last week by the Court of Cassation confirmed the Nov. 27 convictions of 12 individuals in connection with their 2009 and 2010 actions in supermarkets near the city of Mulhouse.
The court cited the French Republic's law on Freedom of the Press, which prescribes imprisonment or a fine of up to $50,000 for parties that "provoke discrimination, hatred or violence toward a person or group of people on grounds of their origin, their belonging or their not belonging to an ethnic group, a nation, a race or a certain religion."
In France, several dozen promoters of a boycott against Israel have been convicted of inciting hate or discrimination.
150 Jordanians Approved for Hotel Work in Eilat (Ammon News-Jordan)
Israeli authorities have approved the first 150 Jordanian hotel workers to work in hotels in Israel's southern resort city of Eilat, under a plan first approved in June that could eventually include up to 1,500 Jordanians.
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- In Shift, U.S. Invites Iran to Join Syria Talks - Jay Solomon and Felicia Schwartz
Iran will be invited to participate in international talks on the Syrian crisis Friday in Vienna, U.S. officials said, in a major shift in the Obama administration's approach. The U.S. and its Arab allies previously blocked Tehran from participating in UN-backed talks on Syria because of Tehran's deep military and financial support for Assad.
The White House on Tuesday also said it was willing to let President Assad remain in office and oversee a political transition in Syria, though he would eventually have to go. The shift on Iran highlights the increased leverage of Russia and Iran after they jointly launched military operations in defense of Assad last month.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Iran Steps Up Its Forces in Syria - Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd
Iran is increasing its military presence in Syria, Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, told Iranian television Monday. "I think there's more than 1,000 Iranians that are on the ground in Iraq," Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told senators Tuesday. "In Syria, we think the numbers are probably something less than 2,000." A U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency official estimated that since 2013, Iran has lost eight senior Iranian commanders in Syria, including at least six generals.
See also Iran Confirms Losing 20 Revolutionary Guards in Syria in One Week - Umid Niayesh
The number of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps casualties in Syria reached 20 in the last week, the semi-official Iranian Defapress news agency reported on Tuesday.
- Hizbullah Supporters, Commanders Questioning Militia's Role in Syria
A surge in casualties is driving Hizbullah supporters and senior members to question the group's role in Syria.
Ali Al-Amin, a Lebanese political analyst, spoke of "major objections within the group over its performance in Syria."
On Monday Hizbullah announced the deaths of eight fighters in Syria. Hizbullah's dead in Syria have included dozens of high-ranking commanders.
Amin said: "Hizbullah's losses in Syria exceeded expectations... and its elite Al-Radwan battalion has been greatly exhausted to the extent of disintegration after the loss of its commanders and professional fighters in the Zabadani battle."
A Free Syrian Army source said: "Hizbullah's dead reached 1,263 until the end of last week, most of them from the elite forces, something which has greatly hit the group's morale." (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
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- Israel Welcomes French Proposal for Netanyahu-Abbas Meeting - Herb Keinon and Khaled Abu Toameh
Prime Minister Netanyahu is ready to meet with PA President Abbas "anyplace and anytime," an official in the Prime Minister's Office said Tuesday in response to a French effort to set up such an encounter. It is hoped
that such a meeting could help "change the atmosphere and calm things down," the official said. (Jerusalem Post)
See also French Foreign Minister Tried to Arrange Meeting between Netanyahu, Abbas - Barak Ravid
French Foreign Minister Fabius tried last week to arrange a meeting in Paris between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas.
A senior Israeli official said that Netanyahu agreed to the offer immediately, but Abbas has not responded to the French offer to this day.
- Israeli Soldier Wounded in West Bank Stabbing, Palestinian Assailants Killed - Tovah Lazaroff and Khaled Abu Toameh
An Israeli soldier was stabbed and his two assailants killed on Tuesday evening after soldiers stopped two Palestinians acting suspiciously at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank.
Later, in a separate incident, soldiers killed a Palestinian assailant who pulled a knife on them at a checkpoint near the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron. (Jerusalem Post)
- Israel Arrests Hamas, Islamic Jihad Operatives in Jenin Raid - Yaakov Lappin
Israeli security forces arrested two wanted terrorist operatives in the Jenin refugee camp Tuesday on suspicion of planning attacks on the army.
Kais Sa'adi, 24, a Hamas operative, had carried out shooting attacks on the IDF and manufactured and planted explosives, the Israel Security Agency said. Islamic Jihad operative Tair Jaradat, 29, was also arrested. Security forces seized an M16 assault rifle, ammunition clips, a handgun, a stun grenade, night-vision goggles and military vests.
In a separate raid, the IDF seized an M16, a handgun, hunting rifles, knives, and ammunition in Talat, southeast of Kalkilya.
- Ross: Create a Firewall Against Iran Nuclear Weapons - Eric Cortellessa
Former Middle East peace negotiator Dennis Ross, who worked in the Obama administration as an adviser, shared his policy recommendations on Iran with the Times of Israel in an interview in Washington. "The [Iran] deal itself buys you 15 years. One of my main concerns is what happens after year 15, when they basically can have as large a [nuclear] program as they want, and the gap between threshold status and weapons status becomes very small. To deal with that vulnerability you have to bolster your deterrence in a way that convinces them there is a firewall between threshold status and weapons status."
"The more you make it clear that for any misbehavior they pay a price, and it's the kind of price that matters to them, the more likely they are to realize the firewall is real, and the less likely they are to ever test it. I would like to see us do things that create that firewall and the legitimacy of it in the eyes of the rest of the world. So if [Iran] is going to dash toward a weapon the answer is not sanctions, it's force. And everybody knows that and accepts that, and it becomes legitimate."
"I would like to see a joint consultative committee between the United States and Israel on the implementation. That's not to replace what's done with the other members [of the P5+1], but because the Israelis will be looking at everything with a microscope. I think it would be reassuring to the Israelis and it would send a message that we are really going to hold the Iranians to what they are obligated to do. But I would also like that committee to be a forum for contingency planning to deal with options for when the Iranians ratchet up what they will do in the region."
(Times of Israel)
- Why Is EU Product Labeling a Big Deal? - Gerald M. Steinberg
The EU Ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, asked
why labeling Israeli goods from beyond the Green Line is such a big problem.
The marking of products from beyond the 1949 armistice lines goes far beyond another awkward EU attempt to impose its ideas on Israeli democracy. Product labeling is the embodiment of a strategy to delegitimize Israel and the right of the Jewish people to sovereign equality. It is central to the political war embodied in the BDS - boycott, divestment and sanctions - campaign, whose stated objective is not peace, but rather "the complete international isolation of Israel."
This campaign is conducted through false-flag human rights and humanitarian groups, many of which are funded generously by the EU and its member states. In other words, while invoking the rhetoric of peace, the EU and its spokesperson in Israel continue to promote policies and organizations that reinforce the conflict. Product labeling, which promotes boycotts and other actions that single-out and demonize Israel, is the facade for this process.
In the midst of another wave of brutal terror, this is certainly not the time for European political posturing. At the same time, a full and independent investigation of the EU's relationships with fringe groups that fuel the conflict is long overdue. The writer is professor of political science at Bar-Ilan University and president of NGO Monitor.
(Times of Israel)
Ya'alon: Israel Is Surrounded by Jihadists - Bridget Johnson (PJ Media)
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, speaking at the U.S. National Defense University on Tuesday, said:
- "When it comes to Israel, the only real democracy in the Middle East, it's like living on an island surrounded with jihadists: Shia, like Hizbullah in Lebanon; Daesh [ISIS]; Jabhat al-Nusra....In the past, it was Arab nationalism calling to have the Middle East be only Arab. There is no room for a Jewish state. Today, it's Islamic motives, more than national motives, calling to eliminate the State of Israel as a Jewish state."
- Ya'alon noted that Israel shares no border with Iran and has no territorial disputes with the Islamic Republic, yet "they call to wipe Israel from the map of the Earth because of Islamic ideology not allowing any non-Islamic entity to be on this piece of land of Israel."
- "Those who claim that the problem is settlements - they murdered Jews before the construction of any settlements in the West Bank....Western like-minded people are ready to be deceived, manipulated by this kind of propaganda, forgetting the most important distinction between good and evil, going to relativism and other distinctions of victims and victimhood." Ya'alon said a cooperative strategy with the U.S. to tackle the violence must be "based on moral clarity."
- In response to a question from the Israeli Regional Study Team of the National War College about restarting the peace process, Ya'alon said the parameters pushed by the administration are unacceptable.
"The borders between ours and the Palestinian entity can't be a return to the 4 June 1967 lines. Why? Because they are indefensible borders."
See also Restoring a Security-First Peace Policy
- Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Ya'alon
From the study Israel's Critical Requirements for Defensible Borders: The Foundation for a Secure Peace. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
See also Ya'alon: Conflict Is Rooted in Denial of Jewish State, Not Settlements - Rebecca Shimoni Stoil
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said at the U.S. National Defense University on Tuesday: "Israel is aspiring for peace. As one who has experienced wars, I am anxious to have peace. I can tell you personally that I supported Oslo. I thought compromise might be a good idea to reach peace and tranquility. Unfortunately neither Yasser Arafat at that time and Abu Mazen [Abbas] today...even those two who are considered relatively moderate in the West, are not ready to recognize our right to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people." (Times of Israel)
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