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  DAILY ALERT Thursday,
October 22, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Russia Makes an Impact in Syrian Battle for Aleppo - Kareem Fahim and Anne Barnard (New York Times)
    Syrian government forces, plus Hizbullah fighters and other Shiite militias, were trying to advance Tuesday on more than half a dozen front lines, with close air support in places from Russian warplanes and helicopters.
    On Tuesday pro-government military sources told Reuters that three Russians had been killed by a shell fired from rebel lines.

Kerry, Netanyahu Meet in Berlin (VOA News)
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Berlin on Thursday for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    Kerry will meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan on Saturday.

Protecting Jerusalem, from the Shadows - Bat-Chen Epstein Elias (Israel Hayom)
    Yamas is an undercover special operations Border Police unit. Its members do part of their work undercover, disguised as locals. They wear faded jeans and T-shirts, and blend in with the stone-throwing crowd.
    They watch their colleagues getting pelted with rocks and firebombs and then, in a matter of seconds, they pull out their guns and apprehend the ringleaders. Five of the team's fighters have been wounded over the last two weeks.
    Jerusalem unit commander Tz. says: "We know the local population, we know exactly where people live and who they are close with. We know where one clan's territory ends and another clan's territory begins. We know who is involved in criminal activity and who is involved in terrorist activity."
    Since the start of 2015 they have arrested more than 300 wanted suspects.
    Because of the high level of secrecy, "to my kids I just say that I'm a police officer," says T.

Israeli Firm a Leader in Mobile Advertising in China - David Shamah (Times of Israel)
    Sephi Shapira's company MassiveImpact is today one of the biggest mobile ad companies in China.
    Shapira said his company is the world's biggest performance advertising firm for mobile - meaning that in order for the company to get paid, it needs a user to do something beyond looking at an ad, such as downloading something or filling in a form.

Video: Israel's First Female Naval Commander - Ahiya Raved (Ynet News)
    Captain Or Cohen, 24, is the first woman to be appointed commander of an IDF naval combat vessel, a Dvora patrol boat.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Nuclear Deal Wins Tepid Endorsement from Ayatollah Khamenei - Thomas Erdbrink
    Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday publicly endorsed for the first time the July nuclear agreement. But the provisional endorsement was accompanied by a warning that Tehran expected all sanctions to be lifted or it would walk away from the deal. The endorsement was included in a letter addressed to President Rouhani that pointed out several flaws in the deal. Khamenei said that Iran was seeking additional guarantees that international economic sanctions must be "completely canceled," adding that if the sanctions stay, the deal will be void.
        Khamenei also said that President Obama should be taken to an international court for his support of "seditionists," "financing the opponents of the Islamic Republic" and "straightforward military threats." The U.S. "stepped into the field of negotiations not with an intention of finding a fair solution, but rather to fulfill its hostile purposes against the Islamic Republic of Iran."  (New York Times)
        See also Text of Khamenei Letter on Iran Deal (IRNA-Iran)
  • UN Asked to Take Action Against Iran for Recent Missile Test - Edith M. Lederer
    The U.S., France, Britain and Germany asked the UN Security Council on Wednesday to investigate and take "appropriate action" against Iran for conducting a ballistic missile test earlier this month which, they say, violated UN sanctions. A report to the council committee monitoring sanctions against Iran said the medium-range missile launched by Iran on Oct. 10 "is inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon." The missile firing is "a serious violation" of a Security Council resolution adopted on June 9, 2010, that bans Iran from undertaking "any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology."  (AP-Washington Post)
  • UNESCO Condemns Israel, Declares Biblical Sites Islamic - Aurelien Breeden and Isabel Kershner
    UNESCO adopted a resolution on Wednesday that criticized Israel but it left out a contentious clause that would have classified the Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites, as a part of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City. The resolution declared that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem were "an integral part of Palestine." The vote was 26 in favor, 6 against, and 25 abstentions. The U.S., Britain, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany and the Netherlands voted no. (New York Times)
        See also Israel Rejects UNESCO Decision on Holy Sites
    The resolution adopted Wednesday by UNESCO is yet another step in the continuous Palestinian endeavor to rewrite history. The Palestinian leadership's attempt to claim for themselves Jewish and Christian holy sites doesn't bode well; suffice to look at the torching of Joseph's Tomb by Palestinians just a few days ago. The deep Jewish ties to the holy sites in Jerusalem and its surroundings are undeniable and no decision of UNESCO can alter that. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Five Soldiers Wounded in Car-Ramming Attack in West Bank - Noam Amir
    Five IDF soldiers were injured in a vehicular attack near the Palestinian village of Beit Omar in the West Bank on Wednesday evening. After Palestinians hurled rocks at an IDF vehicle, soldiers from that vehicle and a second military vehicle exited and sought to engage the rock throwers. At that stage, a Palestinian vehicle drove at fast speed toward the soldiers, running over five of them. A sixth soldier opened fire, striking the terrorist. (Maariv Hashavua-Jerusalem Post)
  • Palestinians Wound Israeli in Stabbing Attack in Beit Shemesh - Roi Yanovsky
    An Israeli student was wounded in a stabbing attack at a bus stop in Beit Shemesh on Thursday by two Palestinian terrorists. Civilians prevented the terrorists from boarding a school bus, and then they were shot by a police officer. Palestinian sources identified the terrorists as Mekdad Heeh from Hebron and Mahmoud Ghanimat from Tzurif. The two men were wearing undershirts bearing the insignia of Hamas' Iz a-Din al-Kassam Brigades. (Ynet News-Jerusalem Post)
  • Female IDF Soldier Stabbed, Critically Wounded by Palestinian Attackers - Elisa Ben Kimon
    An Israeli female IDF combat soldier was stabbed in the neck and critically wounded on Wednesday north of Jerusalem by two attackers. Another female soldier shot one attacker dead and apprehended the other. (Ynet News)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Netanyahu on the Role of the Mufti of Jerusalem in the Nazi Final Solution
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday: Haj Amin al Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem, is still a revered figure in Palestinian society, he appears in textbooks, and it is taught that he is one of the founding fathers of the nation. Eichmann's deputy at the Nuremberg trials said, "The Mufti repeatedly proposed to the authorities, primarily Hitler, Ribbentrop and Himmler, to exterminate the Jews of Europe....The Mufti was one of the instigators of the systematic extermination of European Jewry and was a partner and adviser to Eichmann and Hitler for carrying out this plan."
        The forefathers of the Palestinian nation, without a country and without the so-called "occupation," without land and without settlements, even then aspired to systematic incitement to exterminate the Jews. (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Signs Iran Won't Moderate After Nuclear Deal - and Why - Aaron David Miller
    The notion that the Iranian nuclear agreement might lead Iran to moderate was always a long-term bet. But what is clear now is that the Islamic Republic regime is not moderating its repressive and authoritarian character but consolidating it. Iran is now more involved in supporting the Assad regime than ever before. Qasem Soleimani, head of the Revolutionary Guards' al-Quds force, is personally directing a coordinated effort with Russia, the regime, Hizbullah and pro-Iranian Iraqi Shia militias to take back Aleppo.
        Last week, even as Iran began to take steps to implement the nuclear accord, Tehran tested a new guided long-range ballistic missile that may have the capacity to carry a nuclear warhead. Iran remains determined to upgrade its military capacity.
        And Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian was convicted of spying in Tehran last week. Anyone who thinks Iran is on a linear course to moderation ought to lay down until the feeling passes. The writer is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. (Wall Street Journal)

Media Bias in Reporting on Terror Attacks in Israel - Yair Lapid (Jewish News-UK)

  • In the past two weeks terrorists have been chasing Israeli civilians across the country armed with knives, axes and guns. Jihadists are murdering and maiming, stabbing and burning. They no longer pretend this is about foreign policy, or even about settlements. It is religious fanaticism which knows no limits. In their own words, they want to murder Jews because they are Jews.
  • Those in the media covering this wave of violence have created the impression that the victim is the aggressor, that the ones protecting themselves are the murderers, that Israel has no right to defend itself. Here are a few examples:
    • BBC headline - "Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two"
      The Palestinian who was shot wasn't a passerby; he was a terrorist who stabbed two Jews who walked past him.
    • CNN headline - "Joseph's Tomb Catches Fire"
      The tomb, a Jewish holy site under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction, didn't "catch fire." It was set on fire, it was arson.
    • Los Angeles Times headline - "4 Palestinian teens killed in Israeli violence"
      There is no mention that the four Palestinians were on a murder spree when they were killed.
    • NBC headline - "Man shot after rushing past police"
      The man tried to stab a police officer in the neck at Lion's Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • Before I was a politician I worked in the media for 31 years. I covered wars, international conflicts and countless clashes. I can say, with total responsibility, that this is an incomprehensible number of incorrect reports, misleading headlines, distortions of fact and total falsifications of the truth.
  • It doesn't happen anywhere else in the world where democratic countries fight Islamic fundamentalism. When Israel isn't involved, the world understands that murderers can't wander free on the streets with guns and knives.

    The writer, a former Israeli finance minister, is the leader of the Yesh Atid party.

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