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  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
October 13, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Arab States Urge Abbas to Restore Calm - Avi Issacharoff (Times of Israel)
    Egypt and Saudi Arabia urged PA President Mahmoud Abbas last week to work to calm tensions and prevent further escalation of violence in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

UN Official Hurt in Palestinian Rock Attack in Jerusalem (Times of Israel)
    Mounir Kleibo, who heads the UN bureau of the International Labor Organization in the Palestinian territories, sustained serious injuries to his jaw after coming under attack by Palestinian rock throwers in east Jerusalem on Friday while riding in a clearly-marked UN vehicle.

Palestinian Bar Association Honors Terrorist Who Killed Two Israelis - Eli Leon (Israel Hayom)
    The Palestinian Bar Association - which receives major funding from the UN and EU - has decided to award an honorary law degree to Muhannad Halabi, the Palestinian law student who stabbed two Israelis to death in Jerusalem's Old City on Oct. 3, describing him as a "martyred hero."

Mideast Quartet Delegation Cancels Trip to Israel, PA - Barak Ravid (Ha'aretz)
    Representatives of the Mideast Quartet who were set to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah this week to discuss trust-building measures between Israel and the Palestinians have canceled the trip.
    Prime Minister Netanyahu objected to the visit's timing in light of the tense security situation.

2,000 Delegates Arrive in Jerusalem for International Astronautical Congress (IMRA)
    Over 2,000 people from 58 nations gathered in Jerusalem on Monday for the 66th Annual International Astronautical Congress.
    Among the attendees at the five-day program are NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and famed moonwalker Buzz Aldrin.

Reality-Based Demography - Yoram Ettinger (Israel Hayom)
    Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics reported a Jewish fertility rate of 3.11 births per woman in 2015, a rate that is trending upward. The Arab fertility rate in 2015 was 3.35 and is declining.
    In 2015, Israel's Jewish births constitute 78% of total births, compared with 69% in 1995.
    The documented number of Arabs in the West Bank is 1.7 million - 1.1 million less than the number claimed by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. The Palestinian census of 2007 included many people with mythological life expectancy, who were born in 1845, 1850 and 1860.
    Arab net-emigration from the West Bank was 20,000 in 2013 and 25,000 in 2014.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran's Parliament Approves Nuclear Deal - Nasser Karimi
    Iran's parliament voted on Tuesday to support implementing the nuclear deal with world powers, sending the measure to a council of senior clerics who will review the accord before its final approval. (AP-Washington Post)
  • Russian Airstrikes Help Push Syria Rebels Closer - Raja Abdulrahim
    Moscow's intervention in Syria's civil war has spurred some of the country's fractious rebels to fight together, offering another shot at a more unified front against the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian allies. Since Russian warplanes entered the conflict two weeks ago, three local rebel alliances have emerged across the provinces where President Assad aims to regain ground and consolidate control. (Wall Street Journal)
        See also Insurgents Shell Russian Embassy in Damascus - Albert Aji and Bassem Mroue
    Insurgents fired two shells at the Russian embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Tuesday as hundreds of pro-government supporters gathered outside the compound to thank Moscow for its intervention in Syria. (AP-Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinians Kill Three Israelis in Jerusalem Attacks
    Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky, 60, was killed and two other Israelis were wounded after a Palestinian driver rammed into a crowd on Malchei Israel Street in the Geula neighborhood of Jerusalem on Tuesday morning. The terrorist then exited his car with a meat cleaver and began attacking the wounded until he was subdued by police.
        In a separate incident, two Israelis were killed and three others suffered gunshot wounds in a combined shooting and stabbing attack by two Arab assailants on a bus in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem. Some 15 people were wounded in the attack. One Palestinian attacker was killed and the other captured. (Times of Israel-Jerusalem Post)
  • Two Palestinian Stabbing Attacks in Ra'anana - Ben Hartman
    An Israeli waiting for a bus near the Ra'anana city hall was stabbed on Tuesday morning by a Palestinian terrorist from east Jerusalem. The attacker was subdued by passersby.
        An hour later, another terrorist from east Jerusalem stabbed three civilians in Ra'anana in front of a cafe, one of whom was in critical condition. A passing driver rammed his car into the terrorist. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Two Israelis Stabbed in Jerusalem
    The 13-year-old Israeli boy was stabbed nearly a dozen times by two Palestinian teenagers on Monday while riding his bicycle in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev. One Palestinian was neutralized after being hit by a car, while the second stabbed another Israel before being shot and killed by police. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Arab Attacks Soldier on Bus - Roi Yanovsky
    Muhammad Shmasanah, 22, from Katana in the West Bank, stabbed an Israeli soldier on a bus in Jerusalem and tried to snatch the soldier's gun. The terrorist was killed by police. (Ynet News)
  • Palestinians Break Through Gaza Border Fence - Almog Ben Zikri
    About 20 Palestinians broke through the border fence separating Gaza from Israel on Monday. IDF forces used tear gas and tried to avoid shooting the infiltrators. Hamas is not preventing Palestinians from approaching the border fence. (Ha'aretz)
  • Arab Stabs Policeman in Jerusalem - Daniel K. Eisenbud
    An Arab woman stabbed a Border Police officer near the national police headquarters in Jerusalem on Monday morning before being shot by police. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Netanyahu: Palestinians Don't Want Israel to Exist - Lahav Harkov
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Knesset on Monday: "After 100 years of terrorism and 100 years of attempts to destroy the Zionist enterprise, our enemies still have not learned. Suicide terrorism was not victorious over us in the '90s and '00s, and the terrorism of knives will not defeat us now. What always wins is the recognition that this is our home and our homeland."
        Netanyahu urged PA President Mahmoud Abbas to denounce terrorism as Netanyahu did hate crimes by Israelis against Arabs. Netanyahu said Abbas constantly refuses to negotiate because he knows that would mean declaring an end to the conflict and recognizing Israel as the Jewish state. "[The Palestinians'] refusal to recognize a Jewish state in any borders is and has always been the root of the conflict," he said. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Palestine: The Psychotic Stage - Bret Stephens
    If you've been following the news from Israel, you might have the impression that "violence" is killing a lot of people. Such was the Western media's way of describing two weeks of Palestinian assaults. Left out of most of these stories is some sense of what Palestinian leaders have to say. As in the speech Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave last month: "Al Aqsa Mosque is ours. They [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet." And: "We bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah."
        Why have so many Palestinians been seized by their present blood lust - by a communal psychosis in which plunging knives into the necks of Jewish women, children, soldiers and civilians is seen as a religious and patriotic duty, a moral fulfillment? Despair at the state of the peace process, or the economy? Please. It's time to stop furnishing the Palestinians with excuses.
        Today in Israel, Palestinians are in the midst of a campaign to knife Jews to death, one at a time. This is psychotic. It is evil. To call it anything less is to serve as an apologist, and an accomplice. (Wall Street Journal)
  • There Was a Temple on the Temple Mount - Michael Satlow
    The recent New York Times article "Historical Certainty Proves Elusive at Jerusalem's Holiest Place" claims that there is no definitive evidence that the two ancient Jewish temples stood on the present day Temple Mount. The article strongly implies that this remains a live historical controversy. Did a Jewish temple stand on the present day Temple Mount?
        Yes. This is as historically certain a fact as one can get in the study of ancient history. The Temple Mount was built by Herod beginning at the end of the first century BCE - the Western Wall is the retaining wall of that reshaping of the natural hill - and on top of it were a number of structures that belonged to the Jewish temple. It is true that we do not know precisely where on the Temple Mount those structures stood, but there is no question that they stood there. The writer is professor of religious studies and Judaic studies at Brown University. (Michael Satlow)
        See also Scholars Debunk Times Article on Temple Mount - Ari Lamm (Tablet)
  • PA Rewards Palestinian Terrorists - Editorial
    Israel Radio has reported how the PA pays convicted Palestinian terrorists substantial monthly stipends while they do time, using money handed over monthly by Israel as well as contributions the PA solicits from international donors. The message to indoctrinated and inflamed PA youth is that slaughtering Jews has unstinting societal sanction and official gratitude for spilling Jewish blood.
        The greater the crime, the higher the remuneration. For example, Hamas bombmaker Abdullah Barghouti, responsible for killing 66 people and wounding 500 others, has already amassed more than six figures in PA "salaries." The latest crop of homegrown killers likewise expects to be officially celebrated as idols instead of castigated as villains. (Jerusalem Post)

For Palestinians, Conflict with Jews Is Existential in Nature - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Ha'aretz)

  • The current terror wave is rooted in the Palestinians' demand that Jews be barred from Jerusalem's Temple Mount and that Muslims be allowed unrestricted access to the site.
  • The large number of knife attacks is a product of the long-running educational war conducted by the Palestinian leadership, with the aim of inculcating in the minds of the younger generation that there is no Jewish nation, since Judaism is only a religion, and the Jews have no history of ruling the Land of Israel, which is Palestine. The mission of Palestinians is to accelerate Israel's inevitable disappearance.
  • Palestinians are worried about being pushed aside as the world focuses on other developments in the region. Another factor contributing to the unrest is the rise of radical Islam in the region and among Palestinians in the territories and in Israel. Although most of the terrorists decide to attack spontaneously, the Palestinian leadership, especially Abbas and Hamas, have considerable influence.
  • The clearer it becomes to Palestinians that Israel has the tenacity to thwart their goals, the more likely it is that their leaders will fear losing control and will be increasingly willing to help calm the situation.
  • In the long run, it is likely that when Palestinians recognize that the paths of terror and of unilateral political moves are ineffective, they will begin to doubt their fundamental positions, and then it will be possible to consider an agreement. Until then, we must manage the conflict wisely.

    The writer was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research and Analysis and Production Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

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