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October 23, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Abbas' Brother-in-Law Gets Life-Saving Heart Surgery in Israel (Times of Israel)
    PA President Mahmoud Abbas' brother-in-law underwent life-saving heart surgery in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Hebrew media reported Thursday.
    Last summer, Amina Abbas, the Palestinian leader's wife, was hospitalized in Tel Aviv.
    Last year Israel treated the sister of Hamas senior official Moussa Abu Marzouk for cancer.

Visit to Israel by Syrian Opposition Generals Cancelled - Smadar Perry (Yediot Ahronot-Hebrew-23 Oct 2015)
    It was supposed to have been an unprecedented visit to Israel by former Syrian generals who had defected during the civil war and who support the rebels.
    They had agreed to come to Jerusalem to participate in a conference sponsored by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
    But the visit was cancelled at the last minute due to fears of harming Israel's relations with Russia, which supports President Assad.
    "Israel must remain neutral. As long as Assad is president, Israel will take no side in the civil war," Israeli observers explained.
    Thus, Israeli security officials refused to allow members of the Syrian opposition to enter Israel.
    "Their appearance in Israel could have been seen as an unnecessary provocation to President Putin and harm the understandings reached during Prime Minister Netanyahu's recent visit to Moscow," a senior official emphasized.

U.S. Soldier Dies in Raid to Free Prisoners of ISIS in Iraq - Michael R. Gordon and Eric Schmitt (New York Times)
    An American soldier was killed in action in Iraq during a Kurdish and U.S. commando raid to free prisoners being held by Islamic State militants on Thursday, the Pentagon said.
    The raid, near the northern town of Hawija, freed about 70 prisoners but not the group the soldiers had expected to find.

ISIS Attacks Soared in Past 3 Months - Cassandra Vinograd (NBC News)
    The number of average daily attacks carried out by ISIS worldwide jumped 42% between July 1 and Sept. 30 with 1,086 recorded attacks, IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center reported Thursday. 83% of the attacks were in Iraq and Syria.
    "The group's capacity to wage a territorial-focused insurgency in conjunction with a punitive campaign of terrorist attacks remains undiminished despite an increasingly broad spectrum of armed opposition," Jane's said.

Shipping Traffic to Syria Surges as Russia Steps Up Offensive - Jonathan Saul and Maria Tsvetkova (Reuters)
    More than 100 cargo vessels have reached Syria in the past few weeks, in the biggest buildup in shipping for over a year. The ships have arrived from Russia, Romania, Lebanon and Egypt.

A Soundtrack for Palestinian Violence - Jodi Rudoren and Rami Nazzal (New York Times)
    Music CDs sold in the West Bank feature songs like "Stab, Stab."
    "Stab the Zionist and say God is great," declares one song. "Let the knives stab your enemy," says another. A third song urges, "Say hello to being a martyr."
    Then there is "Run Over, Run Over the Settler."

Gaza University Dean of Koran Studies Approves Killing Jewish Women and Children - Ariel Ben Solomon (Jerusalem Post)
    Dr. Subhi Al-Yaziji, Dean of Quranic Studies at the Islamic University of Gaza, told Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV on Oct. 16:
    "All Jews in Palestine today are fair game - even the women....Every single Jew in Palestine is a combatant, even the children."
    Attacks "should be carried out in the very heart of the enemy - in Haifa, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and Hadera."

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Reuters Captions: Palestinians "Confronting" Israelis (CAMERA)
    Reuters photo captions referred to Palestinian stabbing, shooting and ramming attacks against Israelis as "Palestinians confronting Israelis."
    If the recent spate of violent assaults and killings were Palestinians "confronting" Israelis, we'd sure hate to see how Palestinians "attack" Israelis.

UN Fires Palestinian Aid Workers over Incitement - Stuart Winer (Times of Israel)
    Several employees of the UN's aid agency for Palestinian refugees have been disciplined, including "suspension and loss of pay," over expressions of sympathy for attacks against Israelis, UN Watch said Thursday.
    The group had raised concerns about UNRWA workers' comments posted to social media in a report published last week.

Faculty Caught Up in BDS Dispute - Dan Pine (San Francisco Jewish Weekly)
    Bullying tactics toward anyone who expresses support for Israel are becoming normative on many campuses.
    Earning a 4.2 ranking out of a possible 5 at, Connecticut College philosophy professor Andrew Pessin drew praise from students who called him passionate and helpful.
    Then Gaza happened. At the height of last summer's war between Israel and Hamas, Pessin, an outspoken supporter of Israel, wrote a Facebook post comparing Hamas to "a rabid pit bull."
    Six months later, one of Pessin's students, who also belonged to Students for Justice in Palestine, complained, calling the message racist. Pessin quickly deleted the post, which he insisted referred only to Hamas, not all Palestinians. And he apologized.
    Not good enough. Academic colleagues jumped in, with the history department condemning Pessin's "speech filled with bigotry and hate."

A Muslim Invasion of Europe? - Guy Milliere (Gatestone Institute)
    Since the beginning of January, more than 620,000 illegal migrants have arrived in Europe. By the end of December, there might be 1.5 million.
    Journalists in Western Europe continue to depict them as "refugees" fleeing war in Syria. The description is false. According to EU statistics, only 25% come from Syria; the true number is probably lower.
    The vast majority of migrants come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Somalia, and Nigeria.
    Many do not seem to have left in a hurry. Many bring new high-end smartphones and large sums of cash. More than 75% are men under 50. Those who enter Europe are almost all Muslims.
    Cultural identities in Europe have been eroded to such a point that saying that Europe is based on Judeo-Christian values has become controversial. Any criticism of Islam in Europe is treated as a form of racism, and "Islamophobia" is considered a crime or a sign of mental illness.
    Polls show that a majority of Muslims living in Europe want the application of sharia law and clearly reject any idea of assimilation. They come from countries where Western civilization is despised and where hatred of Jews is inescapable.
    The writer, a senior fellow of the Gatestone Institute, is a professor at the University of Paris.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Sends "Message" to Abbas with $80 Million Aid Cut - Julian Pecquet
    The Obama administration is cutting aid to the Palestinians by $80 million in an apparent message to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. The State Department notified lawmakers on Sept. 25 of its intention to reduce economic aid for the West Bank and Gaza from $370 million to $290 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The 22% cut from the department's initial request follows mounting criticism from Congress about Palestinian "incitement" in the rash of stabbing attacks that have left at least 10 Israeli civilians dead over the past three weeks. "We need to dial up pressure on Palestinian officials to repudiate this violence," said Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
        The aid cut is a "good first step," said House foreign aid panel chairwoman Kay Granger (R-Texas). She wrote a letter to Abbas along with ranking member Nita Lowey (D-NY) on Tuesday warning him that U.S. aid would be "severely jeopardized" if Abbas refuses direct negotiations with Israel.
        Granger has a hold on the aid request, along with House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.). "Given that about one-third of the Palestinian Authority's budget is financed through foreign aid, international donors have leverage," Royce said on Thursday. "They could follow the lead of the U.S. Congress - and make direct funding of the PA off limits until the incitement stops."
        David Makovsky, director of the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, recommended closing the PLO office in Washington, sanctioning PA officials and others with visa bans, earmarking U.S. aid for specific programs untainted by corruption, and pressing Europeans and other Palestinian donors to denounce anti-Israel incitement. (Al-Monitor)
        See also Stop Inciting Stabbings, U.S. Lawmakers Tell Palestinians - Charles Hoskinson
    The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday adopted a bipartisan resolution calling on Palestinian leaders to end the rhetoric U.S. lawmakers believe is fueling violence against Israelis. It calls on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to "discontinue all official incitement and exert influence to discourage anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement in Palestinian civil society." It also directs the State Department to track and publicize incidents of incitement by Palestinian authorities. (Washington Examiner)
  • U.S. Sought to Prevent Israeli Strike on Iran Nuclear Facility - Adam Entous
    The U.S. closely monitored Israel's military bases and eavesdropped on secret communications in 2012, fearing its longtime ally might try to carry out a strike on Fordow, Iran's most heavily fortified nuclear facility. U.S. spy agencies stepped up satellite surveillance of Israeli aircraft movements. They watched the Israelis practice strike missions and learned they were probing Iran's air defenses, looking for ways to fly in undetected, U.S. officials said. The Israelis briefed the U.S. on an attack plan: Cargo planes would land in Iran with Israeli commandos on board who would "blow the doors" of Fordow, a senior U.S. official said. The Israelis planned to sabotage the nuclear facility from inside.
        Prime Minister Netanyahu reserves the right to continue covert action against Iran's nuclear program, said current and former Israeli officials. One clause in the Iran nuclear agreement says the major powers will help the Iranians secure their facilities against sabotage. State Department officials said the clause wouldn't protect Iranian nuclear sites from Israel. (Wall Street Journal)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Soldier Stabbed in the Back by Palestinian in West Bank - Yoav Zitun and Elisha Ben Kimon
    When IDF soldiers opened the West Bank separation barrier near Gevaot to let Palestinian olive farmers work their olive groves located west of the fence early Friday, a Palestinian stabbed a soldier. His fellow soldiers shot the terrorist in the foot, a 16-year-old from the village of Surif. (Ynet News)
  • Facebook Moves Against Hamas in West Bank
    "Facebook has closed, over the past two days, a large number of pages run by and close to the Hamas movement's media" in the West Bank after a "wide-ranging and organized complaint campaign" that was supported by Israel, the Islamist group said in a statement Wednesday. "Today and yesterday, [Hamas] pages in Ramallah, Galilee, Nablus, Bethlehem, Qalqilya, Salfit, Tubas and Jenin were closed, as well as the page of the Muslim Youth League in the West Bank."
        Facebook also "launched a campaign against Islamic Bloc pages in West Bank universities, closing the Bloc's An-Najah, Galilee and Palestine Polytechnic pages." "Facebook has closed and frozen the accounts of dozens of publishers and administrators."  (Now-Lebanon)
  • Israel to UN: There Is No Cycle of Violence, There is Terrorism - Danny Danon
    Israel's new Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, told the Security Council on Thursday: Tragically, since the establishment of the State of Israel, every Israeli in every generation has been touched by war and by terror. My own father, Joseph Danon, was severely injured by terrorists. We all hope and pray for peace with our neighbors, and we will do all that we can to achieve this noble goal, but we will never compromise the security of the Jewish state.
        Over the past six weeks, the streets of Israel have been swept by a savage tide of terror, and I am disappointed that all I hear are calls to end the "cycle of violence." This is not a cycle of violence. These are simply unprovoked attacks against Israelis for no reason other than the fact that they are Jews living in their historic homeland. Like any country, Israel has the right and obligation to defend its citizens, and this is exactly what we are doing. Any country whose people were being attacked in the streets on a daily basis would act in the exact same way.
        If the UN is truly interested in calming tensions and bringing peace to the region, it must end its practice of calling on both sides to "show restraint," and clearly state that there is one side that is instigating terror. Stop making excuses for the Palestinians, and start holding them accountable. Only then will the prospects for peace return. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):


  • Words Have Consequences: Palestinian Authority Incitement to Violence - David Makovsky
    There is no justification for any incitement to violence. When you say that Israel wants to undermine the status of the al-Aqsa Mosque or change the status quo on the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif, it is equivalent to yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, given the role that such allegations have played in provoking past violence. As Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview with National Public Radio last Friday, "There's no excuse for the violence. No amount of frustration is appropriate to license any violence anywhere at any time. No violence should occur."
        There needs to be an honest acknowledgment that the Temple Mount/al-Haram al-Sharif is holy to both Muslims and Jews. Israeli leaders of all stripes have asserted the sanctity of the area to Muslims since the time of the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century. The reverse has not been the case. The Palestinian leadership does not tell its public that the area also has historical significance for the Jewish people. Understanding that both sides have religious rights seems to be a prerequisite for calming the situation. Palestinians must come to grips with the fact that both peoples do not just have political rights but also a religious connection to the land based on their own history. The writer, director of the Middle East Peace Process at the Washington Institute, testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Oct. 22, 2015. (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
        See also Words Have Consequences: Palestinian Authority Incitement to Violence - Jonathan Schanzer
    The writer, Vice President for Research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Oct. 22, 2015. (U.S. House of Representatives)
  • Blame "Desperation" - Rationalize Murder - Gilead Ini
    As a wave of Palestinian violence continues, some Palestinian advocates and sympathetic journalists have promoted the narrative that the violence against Jews should be blamed on Jews. What underlies the "uprising," New York Times reporter Jodi Rudoren wrote, is "frustration and alienation."
        Palestinian author Sayed Kashua told NPR on Oct. 19, twice, that life is "not worth living" for Arabs in Jerusalem. Yet a 2015 poll found that Arabs in Jerusalem would prefer to be citizens of Israel rather than citizens of a future Palestinian state.
        Kashua concluded: "It's just a very slow, and a very good, ethnic cleansing. Unfortunately that's the only words that I can use when I see the reality of Palestine and the reality of east Jerusalem." In fact, the Arab population of Jerusalem has grown 330% since 1967 when Israel took over the eastern sector of the city, while the Jewish population grew 160%.
        The root causes of the current violence cannot be understood without first understanding the Palestinian worldview. Even among Jerusalemites who indicated in the 2015 poll that they prefer Israeli citizenship, in that same poll, a majority of Jerusalem Arabs said that Jews have no right to any of Israel. A majority also agreed that "the struggle is not over and the resistance should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated." It is this same worldview that inspires fathers to teach their young children to "want to stab a Jew," as a little girl said in a chilling video posted on Facebook. (CAMERA)
        See also Video: Children's Show on Palestinian TV Praises Palestinian Attackers as "Young Heroes"
    On an Oct. 16 children's show on the Palestinian Al-Kitab TV channel, the child host praised the Palestinians who stabbed Israelis as heroes. "We revere the young heroes who have sacrificed their lives for Jerusalem and who carried out all those great heroic acts." The Israelis "executed many [Palestinians] in cold blood, and then...they throw a knife next to him, and claim that he was trying to carry out a stabbing operation."  (MEMRI)
  • Her Dad Was Killed by Palestinian Stone Throwers. Weeks Later, She Saved a Stabber's Life - Ruth Eglash
    Outside her office at Israeli police headquarters in Jerusalem, Maya Stolero, who is trained in first aid, saw a 17-year-old Palestinian woman from east Jerusalem with gunshot wounds who had attempted to stab an Israeli border policeman. "I saw she needed medical help and I did what I could," said Stolero. Stolero's father, Alexander Levlovitz, was killed by Palestinian rock throwers just over a month ago.
        "At that moment, I put my personal pain and views aside and drew on my training as a security official and on the values I was brought up with," she said. (Washington Post)
        See also Jerusalem Hospital Treats Victims and Attackers - Aron Heller
    The Hadassah Medical Center prides itself on checking politics at the door and treating Palestinian attackers and Jewish victims alike. A mixed Jewish-Arab medical team works together to treat the city's wounded. More than 20 members of the hospital staff were either killed or lost close relatives during the last decade's Palestinian uprising. They are accustomed to separating their own feelings from the task at hand and treating those on the other side. (AP-Seattle Times)
  • Time for Palestinians to Stop Pretending that We Can Destroy Israel - Bassem Eid
    I am a proud Palestinian who grew up in a refugee camp. I want peace and prosperity for my people. I want an end to the misery and destruction. It is time we Palestinians stopped pretending that we can destroy Israel or drive the Jews into the sea. It is time that we stopped listening to Muslim radicals or Arab regimes that use us to continue a pointless, destructive, and immoral war with Israel.
        In the West Bank, the only good jobs are with Israeli companies, and the BDS movement is doing its best to take those jobs away from us. Abbas runs a corrupt dictatorship that uses international funds to consolidate its own administration rather than to develop the Palestinian economy.
        Despite what we tell ourselves, Israel is here to stay. What's more, it has a right to exist. It is the nation of the Jews but also a nation for Israeli Arabs who have better lives than Arabs anywhere in Arab countries. We must accept these facts and move on.
        We know that Israelis want to live in peace, and that the vast majority of Israelis are friendly and neighborly. We know that Egypt was able to secure a very favorable peace deal with Israel because Egypt agreed to accept Israel and to give up on violence. The writer is the founder and former director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group. (Times of Israel)
  • Deafening Silence - Rachel Huebner
    Last week in Israel, scores of terrorist attacks occurred around the country. Imagine that terrorists were stabbing to death Americans who were on their daily walks to the supermarket. Imagine that terrorists were driving their cars into crowds of New York commuters waiting for the train. Imagine if driving on a Chicago highway were dangerous because a lynch mob could surround your car at any moment.
        Last time I checked, killing people as they attempt to stab you to death is not an instance of excessive force. Israel is under attack and it is outrageous that the world has remained silent. (Harvard Crimson)

  • Other Issues

  • Were There Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount? Yes - Ruth Schuster and Ran Shapira
    The contention that there is no proof the Jewish Temples existed on the Temple Mount is an artifact of the recent Israeli-Arab conflict. Jewish, Christian and Muslim tradition has always held the Mount sacred and none queried the existence of the Temples. A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif, published in English by the Supreme Muslim Council itself in 1925, states: "The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute." "There is no scholarly school of thought that doubts the existence of the First Temple," Prof. Israel Finkelstein, a world-renowned expert on Jerusalem archaeology, told Ha'aretz.
        Archaeologist Gabriel Barkay noted: "Two copies of inscriptions prohibiting the entry of nonbelievers to the Temple have been found on the Temple Mount, which Josephus wrote about. These inscriptions were on the dividing wall that surrounded the Second Temple, which prevented non-Jews from accessing the interior of the courtyard." The "warning" stone is at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum.
        Another inscription in stone, "To the trumpeting place," was found in 1968 at the southwest corner of the Temple Mount. "It is known that trumpets were blown at the corners of the Temple Mount, to declare the advent of Shabbat and other dates," Barkay explains. The stone is now at the Israel Museum.
        We don't need to rely exclusively on digging in Jerusalem for solid evidence that the Mount housed the Second Temple. Roman Emperor Titus boasted of crushing the Jewish rebellion in 70 CE and destroying the Temple in Jerusalem. "The Arch of Titus in Rome shows the procession following the gleeful plunder of the Temple by the Romans, even showing the menorah they removed," says archaeology writer Julia Fridman. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Ancient Temple Mount Warning Stone Marked Off Section of Jerusalem's Most Sacred Site - Ilan Ben Zion (Times of Israel)
  • Expose the Criminal Regimes that Seek to Destroy the West - Daniel Doron
    Israel's public diplomacy is usually defensive, focusing on our historical rights to the land and our legitimacy as a state - crucial issues, except that few care about them. Israel must bring the battle to its enemies, exposing their murderous nature, the danger they pose not only to Israel but mostly to world peace, nay, to the survival of the West and its values. It has to expose the criminal regimes that try to destroy it as dark and evil dictatorships that deny the human rights of their citizens, especially women, children and minorities. It must clarify that their wish to destroy the "small Satan" Israel is a prelude to destroying the "great Satan" America, representing Western culture and Christianity, which Islam is determined to vanquish.
        Secular Westerners are oblivious to the power of religious faith. They therefore overlook Iranian determination to have Shi'ite Islam vanquish Christianity and the West, even at immense cost to its people. The ayatollahs are true believers and they will do their utmost to first vanquish Sunni Islam. They could then lead a united Muslim jihad against the West.
        The PA is a clan-based coalition made up of murderous political gangs. It foments rage against Israel by incessant incitement that calls on even little children to kill Jews. Can granting it statehood bring about peace? The writer is the founder and director of the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Iran's Stake in Syria - Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall
    According to Hojjat al-Islam Mehdi Taeb, a former senior official of Iran's Basij militia, Iran's line of defense passes through Syria, and that is why the Iranian government proposed creating battalions of Basij-style militias in Syria. The price that Iran is paying to protect Assad's regime is increasing. The number of Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) forces and Shiite volunteers from various countries has continued to rise, and recently senior IRGC commanders have been killed on Syrian soil.
        The crisis in Syria is gradually turning from a protracted regional crisis into an international one in which regional (Iran, Saudi Arabia) and international (Russia, the United States) powers are involved. Iran sustains Syria and Assad's minority regime because this serves its strategic interests. For Iran, Syria constitutes the first line of defense against Israel, and also a line of defense for the Shiite population in Lebanon against Islamic State incursion. The writer, an expert on strategic issues with a focus on Iran, is a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center and at Foresight Prudence. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Show Time for President Sisi - Zvi Mazel
    Parliamentary elections are underway in Egypt. Official results are due on Dec. 2. The Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood, which received 47% of the votes in the 2011 elections, will be kept out this time, since the Brotherhood has been outlawed. The Al Nour party of the Salafist movement, which won 25% of the votes in 2011, has been allowed to compete, perhaps because of its unflagging support for Egyptian president Sisi. The new electoral law stipulates that out of the 596 seats in the House of Representatives, 448, or 75%, must be attributed to independent candidates, and only 120 will go to political parties. The remaining 28 seats will be appointed by the government and will go to Copts, women and other minorities who did not manage to achieve suitable representation. The writer is a former ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Israel Needs Cultural Bridges, Not Boycotts - Letter from JK Rowling, Simon Schama and others
    In February 2015 the Guardian published a letter from UK artists announcing their intention to culturally boycott Israel. We do not believe cultural boycotts are acceptable or that the letter you published accurately represents opinion in the cultural world in the UK. Therefore we are writing to declare our support for the launch and aims of Culture for Coexistence - an independent UK network seeking to inform and encourage dialogue about Israel and the Palestinians in the wider cultural and creative community.
        Cultural boycotts singling out Israel are divisive and discriminatory, and will not further peace. Open dialogue and interaction promote greater understanding and mutual acceptance, and it is through such understanding and acceptance that movement can be made towards a resolution of the conflict. Cultural engagement builds bridges, nurtures freedom and positive movement for change. We wholly endorse encouraging such a powerful tool for change rather than boycotting its use. (Guardian-UK)
  • Israel Welcomes Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite - Greer Fay Cashman
    Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Monday welcomed Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, who is in Israel to participate in the Lithuanian Global Economic Forum, which is being held in Israel for the first time. Grybauskaite spoke of her many Jewish friends and how shocked she had been as a student in St. Petersburg to see the city emptied of its Jews when they were permitted to leave for Israel.
        She said that she is also in Israel "to acknowledge our history." Though Vilnius was known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania, she was well aware that there were some very shameful episodes in Lithuania's treatment of its Jews. She had first discovered this when she toured the Holocaust Museum in Washington and came across the section devoted to Lithuania. What she saw was entirely new to her and shocked her.
        Today, she said, Lithuanians have a more positive attitude toward Israel. As a member of the UN Security Council, Lithuania frequently defends Israel, a fact for which Rivlin voiced appreciation. (Jerusalem Post)

Things We Need to Stop Hearing about the "Stabbing Intifada" - Bernard-Henri Levy (Algemeiner)

  • It is painful to hear the phrase "lone wolves" applied to the killers of Jews. It is equally painful to listen to the refrain about "Palestinian youth no longer subject to any control," after seeing the sermons in which preachers from Gaza, dagger in hand, call upon followers to take to the streets to maim as many Jews as they can, to inflict as much pain as possible and to spill the maximum amount of blood.
  • It is doubly painful to hear that refrain from Mahmoud Abbas, describing as "heroic" the murder of the Henkins in the presence of their children, and then expressing indignation at seeing the "dirty feet" of Jews "defiling" the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Also inapplicable is the phrase about "political and social desperation" that is used to explain - or excuse - criminal acts.
  • Everything we know about the new terrorists, their motives and the pride their relatives take in converting crime into martyrdom is much closer to the portrait of the jihadist who today turns up in Syria or Iraq. It is highly doubtful that "intifada" is the right term to apply to acts that bear more resemblance to the latest installment of a worldwide "jihad" of which Israel is just one of the stages.
  • It is doubtful that the question of a negotiated partition of the land has anything to do with fanaticism and theories of vast conspiracy, in which some decide to stab random others as they pass by because of a vague rumor reporting a secret plot to deny Muslims access to Islam's third holiest site.
  • Intolerable and inapplicable, too, is the cliche of the "cycle" or "spiral" of violence, which, by putting the kamikaze killers and their victims on the same footing, sows confusion and amounts to an incitement to further action. Intolerable, again, that most of the major media have paid the grieving Israeli families only a fraction of the attention they have paid the families of the perpetrators.
  • Intolerable, finally, the minor mythology growing up around the story of daggers. When I see those blades, I think of the one used to execute Daniel Pearl; I think of the beheadings of Herve Gourdel, James Foley and David Haines. I think that the Islamic State's videos have clearly gained a following, and that we stand on the threshold of a form of barbarity that must be unconditionally denounced if we do not want to see its methods exported everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

    The writer is one of France's most famed philosophers, a journalist, and a bestselling writer.
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