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October 26, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Special Report: The Role of Palestinians and Arabs in the Holocaust
    See below in

Palestinians in Jerusalem Area Have Hundreds of Rifles - Alex Fishman (Ynet News)
    Palestinian security officials remind their Israeli colleagues that in the Arab village of Qalandiya - between Jerusalem and Ramallah - there are at least 400 M-16 rifles. That figure does not include other weapons - guns, explosives and grenades - that are in the hands of militant groups there.
    The Arab neighborhood of Shuafat in eastern Jerusalem is said by Israel to contain some 3,000 weapons, including M-16 and Kalashnikov assault rifles, grenades, and IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
    As the IDF prepares to face a long-term wave of violence, it takes into consideration that at any given moment - and without prior warning - thousands of militants in the West Bank, mostly affiliated with Fatah's Tanzim, could join the fight.
    The Tanzim operate as Fatah's "shadow army," operating on the Palestinian street alongside the PA security forces. But these days, Abbas' security forces can't enter some of the refugee camps because the Tanzim militants kick them out.
    Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has instructed the army to prepare for long-term deployment of increased forces in the West Bank.
    Hamas is making every effort to execute a large-scale terror attack in the West Bank that would serve as the final nail in the coffin for the Palestinian Authority as it is today.
    The large sums of money feeding the propaganda Hamas is spreading through social media are coming from Hamas headquarters in Turkey.
    Saleh Al-Aruri, who was exiled to Qatar by the Turkish government several months ago, has returned to Istanbul with the Turks' consent, and is leading Hamas' campaign of incitement under the slogan: "Stab, stab!"

Beersheba Bus Station Shooter Was in Touch with Hamas (Times of Israel)
    Muhanad Alukabi, who carried out a deadly shooting attack at the Beersheba central bus station a week ago, was in contact with Hamas for an extended period, police said Sunday.
    He had photos of Hamas operatives, guns and other weapons saved on his phone.
    According to the Israel Security Agency, Alukabi's mother was originally from Gaza and was granted citizenship because she was married to an Israeli Arab.

CIA-Armed Rebels March on Assad Homeland - Michael Weiss (Daily Beast)
    Three weeks of Russian aerial bombardment in Syria hasn't helped the Assad regime in its push north of Damascus.
    Social media has been awash with images of burning Syrian Army tanks, wrecked by TOW anti-tank missiles supplied (via Saudi Arabia) by the U.S. to certain CIA-backed anti-Assad militias.
    Far from being pushed out, the rebels are actually pushing in on the eastern hills of Latakia, the coastal province that is the Assad family's homeland - and the area where Russia has constructed a forward operation base and headquarters for its Syrian adventure.
    Western and regional intelligence services have displayed a newfound willingness to allow more defensive weaponry to their proxies arrayed against the pro-Assad forces.
    See also Jihadist Groups Form Anti-Russian Alliance in Damascus Countryside - Thomas Joscelyn (Long War Journal)
    Three jihadist groups in Syria have formed a joint operations room in the Damascus countryside to combat the Syrian regime and Russian forces. They include Al Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham and Ajnad al Sham.
    The writer is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Iran Slams U.S. Jailing of Engineer for Documents Smuggling (AP)
    The Iranian government has criticized a U.S. court's decision to sentence an engineer with dual citizenship to eight years in prison for trying to send sensitive military documents to Iran. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said, "the sentence for Mozaffar Khazaee is totally unfair."
    Khazaee, 61, was sentenced Friday after seeking to export 1,500 documents containing trade secrets and 600 documents with sensitive defense technology.
    Prosecutors said Khazaee, a former employee of U.S. defense contractors, stole and shared with contacts in Iran materials related to the Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the F-22 Raptor and other U.S. military jet engine programs.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Kerry: Israel, Jordan Working to Ease Holy Site Tensions - Matthew Lee
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday that Israel and Jordan have agreed on steps aimed at reducing tensions at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, after meeting with King Abdullah II and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Amman. Kerry said the steps include round-the-clock video monitoring and Israel's reaffirming of Jordan's special and historic role as custodian of the site. Israel has pledged to maintain the rules of worship at the site. (AP)
        See also Israel Welcomes Al-Aqsa Monitoring, Palestinians Suspicious - Ali Sawafta
    Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday that Israel "has an interest in cameras being deployed everywhere on the Temple Mount" to refute claims that it is changing the status quo. Netanyahu said such surveillance would also "show where the provocations are really coming from" and enable Israel to thwart them from the outset.
        Palestinian officials reacted warily, however. Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said, "He (Netanyahu) wants to install cameras in order to monitor and arrest our people."  (Reuters)
  • With Violence Surging in Israel, Washington Retreats from New Diplomatic Push at UN - Colum Lynch
    Seven months ago, President Obama warned Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that he would "reevaluate" U.S. policy on Israel and the Middle East peace process. Behind the scenes, senior U.S. diplomats hinted to European allies they were prepared to restart talks at the UN on the creation of a Palestinian state. But now, as the violence surges, the U.S. is sticking to its traditional stance that the UN should butt out of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
        Former Kerry advisor Ilan Goldenberg cited "a genuine process of reassessment, but I think they came to the conclusion that the options are not good." "In the aftermath of the Iran deal, there is no interest among Democrats to have another fight with Israel," said Goldenberg, now director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. "Nobody is talking about a resolution in the UN Security Council now," an Arab diplomat said. (Foreign Policy)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • 5 Israelis Wounded in Firebomb Attack - Chaim Levinson
    Palestinians hurled a firebomb at an Israeli family's car near Beit El in the West Bank on Friday, wounding the parents and three children. The 4-year-old girl sustained burns to 35% of her body. (Ha'aretz)
  • Israeli Seriously Wounded in Kiryat Arba Stabbing Attack - Tovah Lazaroff
    A Palestinian stabbed a 19-year-old Israeli in the neck on Monday morning near Kiryat Arba in the West Bank, seriously injuring him. Security forces killed the terrorist. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Terrorist Stabs Israeli in West Bank - Elisha Ben Kimon
    An Israeli was wounded in a stabbing attack at the entrance to Metzad in eastern Gush Etzion on Sunday morning. The Israeli's car was pelted with stones and he was hit in the head, causing him to pull over and leave his vehicle. He was then stabbed by a Palestinian man. The Israeli opened fire at the terrorist and wounded him, but the terrorist managed to flee towards the nearby village of Sa'ir. (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Stabs Israeli in West Bank
    A Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli Sunday afternoon at a bus stop near Ariel in the West Bank. According to Channel 2, the suspect approached the bus stop wearing a kippa (Jewish skullcap). The attacker was later apprehended by security forces. The Israel Security Agency identified the attacker as Tamer Khadir, 26, of Beita, near Nablus. (Times of Israel-Ha'aretz)
  • Israeli Wounded in Synagogue Massacre Last Year Dies - Kobi Nachshoni
    Chaim Yechiel Rothman, 55, who was seriously wounded during a massacre at a synagogue in the Haf Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem in November 2014, succumbed to his wounds on Saturday. (Ynet News)
        See also Thousands Pay Last Respects to Rabbi Murdered in Har Nof Synagogue - Tamar Pileggi
    Rabbi Howie Rothman suffered a number of blows to his head from an axe when he tried to fight off the terrorists who stormed the Bnei Torah Synagogue. His daughter Yaffa praised him for confronting the terrorists and saving others during the attack. The Toronto-born Rothman immigrated to Israel 30 years ago. (Times of Israel)
  • Palestinian Stabbing Attack Foiled at West Bank Checkpoint
    Muhammad Zakarnah, a Palestinian pretending to be a candy salesman, attempted to stab Defense Ministry security guards at a checkpoint near Jenin in the West Bank on Saturday. As he charged at the guards with a knife in his hand, he was shot and killed. (Ynet News)
  • Palestinian Stabbing Attack Foiled in Hebron
    A Palestinian woman at the entrance to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Sunday was asked for identification, but suddenly took out a knife and started walking toward the police, while screaming at them. She was killed by border policemen before injuring anyone. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • U.S. Sees New Need to Engage Russia, Iran on Mideast - Jay Solomon
    Secretary of State Kerry and his European allies are increasingly reliant on two countries the U.S. has historically argued only undermine stability in the Middle East - Russia and Iran. The engagement of Moscow and Tehran exemplifies the shifting balance of power in the region, as President Obama has made clear his intent to minimize the U.S. military role there. But the West is taking risks by including the Russians and Iranians in diplomacy, said Emile Hokayem, a regional analyst at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies. Neither country shares the same long-term interests as Washington or European capitals.
        In a sign of the diplomatic shift underway, Jordan, one of the staunchest U.S. allies, announced on Friday it was establishing an office in Amman to jointly coordinate military operations with Russia in Iraq and Syria. Arab officials said the perception of U.S. acquiescence to Russia and Iran is likely to create more hedging among some Mideast states. Few Arab governments will want to directly oppose Russia if they feel the U.S. is abdicating its traditional role. (Wall Street Journal)
  • The Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula - Zack Gold
    On Nov. 10, 2014, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a militant jihadi consortium that formed in Sinai following the 2011 uprising in Egypt, changed its name to Wilayat Sinai, the "Sinai Province" of the Islamic State. Over the past year, Wilayat Sinai developed into a paramilitary force undertaking larger, more frequent, and more complex operations.
        Yet Wilayat Sinai poses a much larger threat to the local population. The group has killed dozens as alleged spies and has publicly threatened opposing tribal leaders. The group has also interdicted the smuggling of cigarettes and marijuana for being "Islamic vices." Finally, Wilayat Sinai has attacked and harassed the international troops of the Multinational Force and Observers - the largest employer of Sinai's Bedouin.
        The influx of foreign fighters into Sinai creates an opportunity that the Egyptian government can exploit. The perceived external interests of these new outsiders could perhaps bring the local population to the government's side under the right circumstances, especially since, for the first time, the local population needs the Egyptian state to protect it from militancy.
        Despite unprecedented levels of Egyptian troops and weaponry in Sinai, and the reported killing of approximately one thousand "terrorists" this year, military operations have resulted in no enduring impact on Wilayat Sinai strongholds or operations. And despite a clampdown on Sinai's entryways from Gaza, the mainland, and the sea, advanced weaponry and fighters are still able to reach the peninsula. The writer, a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, was a researcher at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy. (Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv)

Special Report: The Role of Palestinians and Arabs in the Holocaust

Investigating the Role of Palestinians and Arabs in the Holocaust - Joel Fishman (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • On Oct. 24, 2015, Ha'aretz columnist Chemi Shalev criticized an "ostensibly academic" article entitled "Palestinians, Arabs, and the Holocaust," that appeared in the Jewish Political Studies Review in March 2015, written by Prof. Joseph S. Spoerl, Professor of Philosophy at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.
  • Prof. Spoerl had written: "The claim that Palestinians and Arabs had nothing to do with the Holocaust is false. In fact, Arab and Palestinian leaders played a significant role in aiding and abetting the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jews in Europe and they hoped to implement the genocide in the Middle East. A growing number of publications, including extensive original, high-quality archival scholarship, proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Among the major authors are: Zvi Elpeleg,Klaus Gensicke,Klaus-Michael Mallmann and Martin Cuppers,Matthias Kuntzel,Jeffrey Herf, Wolfgang Schwanitz,and Barry Rubin."
  • "A careful examination of this history shows that...the Arab-Israel War of 1947-9...was a war of self-defense against a ruthless, pro-Nazi, and openly genocidal Palestinian leadership that enjoyed enormous popularity among the Arab and Palestinian masses....If [the Palestinians] cared about justice, they would apportion a substantial share of the blame for the nakba or 'catastrophe' of 1948 to themselves and would admit the existence of widespread Jew-hatred in the Arab and Islamic world and its role in undermining peace between Jews and Arabs from the 1920s to the present."
  • The historical role of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, his active collaboration with Nazi Germany, its consequences and living legacy are subjects that need to be discussed honestly and in depth,independently of the constraints of politics and political correctness.
  • For a contrasting view on this issue, see a book review by Johannes Houwink ten Cate, Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Amsterdam, of Nazis, Islamists and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Barry Rubin and Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, in the Jewish Political Studies Review.

    Dr. Joel Fishman is editor of the Jewish Political Studies Review, published by the Jerusalem Center.

        See also Mufti of Jerusalem Played a Key Role in Hitler's Plans - Brent Scher
    Dr. Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, a scholar at the Middle East Forum, said that the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Hussein, told Hitler he wanted Germany to end its immigration policy which allowed for 10,000 Jews to leave Germany each year and travel to British Mandate Palestine. Early in 1941, Hitler agreed to a pact advanced by al-Husseini that there would be no more Jewish immigration. Schwanitz says that al-Husseini was the only foreign guest Hitler ever received who was told the details of Hitler's plan for the Jews.
        Hitler's plan was to first rid Europe of Jews, then the Middle East, and then the rest of the world. Hitler told him that once the plan reached its Middle East stage, al-Husseini was his man to lead that effort. "There was an oral agreement between al-Husseini and Hitler - we have ample documentation about this," said Schwanitz. There were specific plans in place for al-Husseini and his allies to greet the invading German armies to provide support once they reached the southern exit of the Caucuses.
        Al-Husseini had already been helpful by recruiting and training Muslims to join the Nazi SS. Following the war, Yugoslavia declared him a war criminal due to the atrocities committed by the Muslim units he put together. Al-Husseini began to contact Hitler just as he came to power in 1933 and was a reliable partner in his "uncompromising war against the Jews."  (Washington Free Beacon)

        See also Text: Full Official Record - What the Mufti Said to Hitler
    Here is an official German record of the meeting between Adolf Hitler and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, on Nov. 28, 1941, at the Reich Chancellory in Berlin:
        Grand Mufti: The Arab countries were firmly convinced that Germany would win the war and that the Arab cause would then prosper. The Arabs were Germany's natural friends because they had the same enemies as had Germany, namely the English, the Jews and the Communists. Therefore they were prepared to cooperate with Germany with all their hearts and stood ready to participate in the war, not only negatively by the commission of acts of sabotage and the instigation of revolutions, but also positively by the formation of an Arab Legion. (Times of Israel)

        See also Netanyahu, Husseini and the Historians - Jeffrey Herf
    Haj Amin al-Husseini's importance in Nazi Berlin lay in assisting the Third Reich's Arabic language propaganda toward the Arab world and in mobilizing Muslims in Eastern Europe to support the Nazi regime. Husseini played a central role in Germany's Arabic language radio broadcasts. He became world famous for his incitement on the radio to "kill the Jews" in summer 1942 as Rommel's Afrika Korps threatened to overwhelm the British and capture the Jews of pre-state Palestine. The record of Husseini's ranting and raving on Nazi radio was well documented by American diplomats at the Embassy in wartime Cairo. I used those thousands of pages of translations when I wrote Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World.
        Husseini absolutely wanted to exterminate the Jews, above all, the Jews of pre-state Palestine, and then the Jews of Israel. He did all that he could to help the Nazis in a failing effort to spread the Holocaust to the Middle East. Far from denouncing Husseini for spreading lies, absurd conspiracy theories and radical anti-Semitism, he has remained a revered figure in Palestinian political memory. The writer is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland. (Times of Israel)

        See also The Mufti Planned to Build a Crematorium in the Dotan Valley in Samaria - Daniel Siryoti and Erez Linn
    While researching an article on Jerusalem Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini's actions in 1942, when the Jewish community in then-British Mandate Palestine was preparing for the possibility of a Nazi invasion, veteran journalist Haviv Kanaan met with Faiz Bay Idrisi, a senior Arab officer in the Mandate Police, who spoke of al-Husseini's intention to build a crematorium in the northwest Samarian hills.
        "Haj Amin Husseini was gearing to enter Jerusalem at the head of the Muslim Arab Legion squadron he'd created for the Third Reich. The mufti's plan was to build a huge Auschwitz-like crematorium in the Dotan Valley, near Nablus, to which Jews from Palestine, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and North Africa would be imprisoned and exterminated, just like the Jews in the death camps in Europe."
        Shortly after Hitler's rise to power, al-Husseini sent a message to the German envoy in Jerusalem, expressing support for the new Nazi regime. He received generous funding from the Nazis in return. (Israel Hayom)

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