Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
October 15, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

U.S. Jews Come Together in Support of Israel - Rebecca Shimoni Stoil (Times of Israel)
    All of the major American Jewish synagogue movements will come together this weekend to observe a "Special Sabbath of Solidarity" with Israel, in conjunction with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
    "Our hearts break as our people are viciously attacked in communities throughout our beloved Jewish State," said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism.
    Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Conservative Movement's Rabbinical Assembly, described the current upsweep in violence as "an outrage that must be condemned by the international community."
    Farley Weiss, president of the Orthodox National Council of Young Israel, said his organization "back[s] the Israeli government's right to take the necessary actions to protect its citizens from harm by those who wish to destroy it."

The PA Lies to Defend Terror - Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdiik (Palestinian Media Watch)
    The Palestinian Authority is portraying every terrorist as an innocent victim of Israel.
    PA Chairman Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina, stated that Israel had "executed" Hassan Manasrah, who repeatedly stabbed and critically wounded a 13-year-old boy who was riding his bike in Pisgat Ze'ev.
    PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told visiting Indian President Pranab Mukherjee: "Israeli occupation forces assassinated in cold blood the child Hassan Manasrah."
    [In fact, Manasrah is alive in an Israeli hospital.]
    The PA news agency also stated that Israel "attacked and executed in cold blood" Muhammad Nazmi, who stabbed an Israeli soldier and two others on a bus in Jerusalem.

Palestinian Incitement Leads to Violence - Recent Examples (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
    View a presentation to the press byDirector-General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Dore Gold, on Oct. 14, 2015.

    See also Palestinian Social Media a Platform for Further Attacks (MEMRI)
    View a sample of recent Palestinian incitement to terror on the Internet.
    See also Palestinian Social Media Teaches Attackers How to Make Their Assaults More Effective (MEMRI)

Israeli Defense Minister: Claim of Excessive Use of Force by Israel Is "Nonsense" (Jerusalem Post)
    Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon was asked by Army Radio to respond to State Department spokesperson John Kirby's contention that Israel possibly used excessive force in subduing Palestinian assailants.
    "We are using excessive force? If someone is wielding a knife and killing people, [then our response is considered] excessive force? What are we talking about here? This is nonsense."
    See also Israeli Ministers Criticize U.S. Officials over Terror Comments (Times of Israel)

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Broadcasts Footage of Underground Missile Base
    Iranian state television broadcast footage Wednesday of an underground tunnel packed with missiles and launcher units. Revolutionary Guards Brig.-Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh said many such tunnels exist across the country. (VOA News)
        See also View Video: Iran Revolutionary Guards' Underground Missile Base (Mehr-Iran)
  • Palestinian Youth, Inspired by Social Media, Drive Rise in Violence in Israel - Jodi Rudoren
    A cadre of young Palestinians, spurred on by social media, have independently decided to attack Israelis, killing seven and wounding scores in two dozen episodes since Oct. 1, authorities said. "What we see now is like an octopus with many hands but no brain," said Orit Perlov, an expert on Arab social media at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
        The current violence consists of outbursts by individuals unaffiliated with any formal political movement. These assailants live in communities that applaud those who have died, often without any mention of their own violent deeds. They are motivated by social media campaigns replete with glistening blades and how-to guides.
        "There's a viral nature to these attacks: One person goes out, they get killed, then they get glorified, it makes other people want to go out," said Daniel Nisman, president of the Levantine Group, an Israeli security analysis firm. "You have a significant number of people who are willing to basically commit suicide attacks."  (New York Times)
        See also Netanyahu: We Do Not Know How Many Palestinian Attackers Will Commit Suicide, But the Number Is Not Infinite - William Booth and Ruth Eglash
    Speaking about the Palestinian knife assaults, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told border policemen on Wednesday: "I cannot tell you how long this will continue. There are people here who are willing to die....We do not know how many will commit suicide, but the number is not infinite, far from it."  (Washington Post)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Palestinian Stabs Israeli Woman at Jerusalem Central Bus Station - Barak Ravid
    A 70-year-old Israeli woman was stabbed by Palestinian Ahmed Shaaban, 23, of east Jerusalem as she boarded a bus at the Jerusalem central bus station on Wednesday. She managed to enter the bus before the driver shut the door on the attacker, causing him to attempt to board another bus. He was shot and killed by a police officer before he could do so.
        In an earlier attack on Wednesday, Bassel Sader, 19, a resident of Hebron in the West Bank, attempted to stab border policemen near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City before he was killed. (Ha'aretz)
  • View Video of Pisgat Ze'ev Terror Attack after Palestinians Deny Attackers Were Terrorists
    Israel Police released video footage on Wednesday of the terrorist attack by two Arab teens who stabbed two Jews in Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood. Palestinians had claimed that the attackers were completely innocent. The terrorists are shown with knives in their hands, chasing after a Jew whom they had stabbed moments before. They then stabbed a 13-year-old who was leaving a convenience store on his bike. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Video: Security Camera Captures Tuesday's Stabbing Attack in Ra'anana - Ben Hartman (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Video: Arab Rams Car into Jews in Jerusalem, Then Stabs Them (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Takes New Steps to Stem Terror Wave - Herb Keinon
    Israel's security cabinet met Wednesday to discuss further steps to tamp down the current wave of Palestinian terror. Among those steps were surrounding and, where needed, enforcing a closure of Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. Minister Yuval Steinitz said that steps such as demolishing the homes of terrorists and not allowing them to be rebuilt at the original site were intended to impress upon the terrorists that "if you destroy the life of another family, it will not bring rewards - not for the terrorist, nor for the people who support or celebrate it."
        Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold dismissed the argument that clamping a closure on some Arab neighborhoods was the beginning of the "re-division of Jerusalem." "Israel will adopt the measures necessary to bring about quiet," Gold said. The moves approved by the security cabinet were "the legitimate instruments of a democracy seeking to defend itself, using proportionality, restrained measures and not changing in any way the status quo on the Temple Mount."
        Steinitz responded to criticism that Israel was engaging in "extrajudicial executions" when police or soldiers kill attackers, saying that no one ever accused the French police of carrying out "executions" after they killed terrorists in Paris. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Kerry Links Palestinian Terror to Settlement Expansion - Elliott Abrams
    Secretary of State Kerry made an unhelpful, mistaken, and ill-informed comment about the current wave of Palestinian violence when he linked it to "a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years." There has simply not been "a massive increase." There has been a steady growth in settlement population, though the bulk of that growth is in the major blocs that Israel will clearly retain in any final agreement. But any massive increase in the number of settlements or in their physical size is flatly false.
        The frequent Palestinian claim that Israel is "gobbling up" the West Bank so that "peace will be impossible" is what Kerry is repeating. It's a false claim and he should know it. Kerry seems to believe that the real culprits, when Palestinians stab Israelis to death, are people who build a new housing unit in a settlement. The writer, a senior fellow at CFR, was a deputy national security advisor in the George W. Bush administration. (Council on Foreign Relations)
        See also Sending the Wrong Signals - Aaron David Miller
    During a foreign policy discussion at Harvard on Tuesday, Secretary of State Kerry said he would not apportion blame for the outbreak in Israeli-Palestinian violence. Yet he implicitly did precisely that with his comments on "a massive increase in settlements." To credit them publicly as the cause of the current violence endorses and legitimizes Palestinian motives for violence. The writer is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Iran Becomes More Belligerent in Wake of Nuclear Deal - Editorial
    Iran's judiciary on Monday announced that Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post's Tehran correspondent who was on trial for "espionage," has been convicted. On Sunday the Iranian regime tested a new long-range, guided ballistic missile in violation of the nuclear deal. UN Security Council Resolution 2231 - which was approved shortly after the Iran agreement - prohibits Iran from conducting ballistic-missile work for eight years. The Islamic Republic has already made clear that it doesn't intend to abide by the provisions of Resolution 2231 it dislikes. (Wall Street Journal)

Media Underplay Murders of Jewish Victims - Frida Ghitis (Miami Herald)

  • On Oct. 3, a Palestinian man killed two Israeli men, also injured a baby and nearly murdered his mother. The police killed the attacker. Al Jazeera English headlined the story: "Palestinian shot dead after fatal stabbing in Jerusalem; 2 Israeli victims also killed." The death of the attacker was the news; the Israelis' deaths were secondary.
  • BBC's headline was: "Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two." Notice we're not told who the "Jerusalem attack" killed. We do know that the main subject of the headline, who was shot dead, was Palestinian. The Jewish Israeli victims are essentially not noted.
  • The Washington Post headline on the Jerusalem attack was: "Palestinian Is Killed After a Fatal Attack." All you knew is that a Palestinian was killed.

        See also In European Coverage of Israel, Confusion Over Who Is Attacking Whom - Cnaan Liphshiz (JTA)
    See also London Times, Telegraph Mislead in Explaining Cause of Arab Violence - Adam Levick (UK Media Watch)
  • Two articles in the British media about the recent wave of Arab terror omit crucial information about the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the al-Aqsa mosque compound. The Times of London said on Oct. 13: "The attacks began on October 3, stirred in part by Muslim anger over increasing Jewish visits to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's old city." The Telegraph said: "The violence has been stirred in part by Muslim anger over increasing Jewish visits to the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, Islam's holiest site outside the Arabian Peninsula."
  • Both reports omit the fact that Jews are, of course, visiting the Temple Mount (located within the greater "al-Aqsa mosque compound") - the holiest site in Judaism. Readers would likely be left with the false impression that Jews are trespassing on a uniquely Muslim holy site - thus causing increased "tensions."
  • We've noticed a greater tendency of UK news sites to highlight the Muslim importance of the site, while downplaying its significance to Jews, following a PLO memo to journalists "advising" them not to use the term "Temple Mount."

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