Secrets under the Al-Aqsa Mosque: A Photographic Essay - Lenny Ben-David (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
The current Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Ahmad Hussein, declared on Oct. 25 that the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built "3,000 years ago, and 30,000 years ago…since the creation of the world."
He also insisted that there never was a Jewish Temple or shrine atop the Temple Mount.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque suffered a major collapse during an earthquake in 1927. During the years of renovation,
photographers ventured into and under the mosque, documenting the mosaics, passageways, cisterns, and lumber that apparently were part of the ancient Jewish Temples.
The writer, who publishes Israel Daily Picture.com, served as Israel's Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington.
Life under Islamic State Rule Is One of Constant Fear - Kiran Nazish (USA Today)
In Mosul, Iraq's second largest city which was captured by Islamic State in 2014, the militants executed 15 local journalists as suspected spies in September in front of a large crowd and forced children to watch, said Yousuf Saba, 41, a former journalist who witnessed the killings.
Mohamma Bakour, 32, a schoolteacher who escaped in September, said, "Islamic State has created a society where it's normal for children to watch their elders being murdered by them."
Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Saudi Mosque Bombing (Reuters)
Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on Monday that killed one person and wounded several others at a Shi'ite mosque in Najan in southern Saudi Arabia.
Foreign Armies Send Soldiers to Israel to Learn Combat Tactics - Judah Ari Gross (Times of Israel)
Twelve of the graduates of the IDF's latest combat officer training course were from seven foreign armies, including those of the U.S., Brazil, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands and Italy.
An American participant, 1st Lt. Mauricio Izaguirre, noted that one main difference was the way soldiers interacted with their superior officers. "After a while [the Israeli commanders] would start to get mad because we kept calling them sir," Izaguirre said.
Israeli Start-Up Uses Trojan Horse Technology to Kill Cancer Cells - David Shamah (Times of Israel)
BioSight, an Israeli medical technology start-up, has figured out a way to fool cancer cells into allowing themselves to be killed off - without harming normal cells.
"Our interim results in a major study of patients with leukemia shows that our system yields the maximum efficiency from chemo, with a minimum of toxicity," said Dr. Ruth Ben Yakar, CEO of BioSight.
"We believe it will be effective in many other kinds of cancer as well. It's a matter of finding the amino acid that a specific cancer is 'allergic' to."
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- Obama Weighs Moving U.S. Troops Closer to Front Lines in Syria, Iraq - Missy Ryan and Greg Jaffe
President Obama's most senior national security advisers have recommended moving U.S. troops closer to the front lines in Iraq and Syria. The proposed steps would for the first time position a limited number of Special Operations forces on the ground in Syria and put U.S. advisers closer to the firefights in Iraq. The changes would represent a significant escalation of the American role in Iraq and Syria.
The recommendations came at Obama's request and reflect the president's concern that the battle in Iraq and Syria is largely stalemated and in need of new ideas to generate momentum against Islamic State forces. However, more costly and ambitious measures, such as no-fly zones or buffer zones, did not receive backing. (Washington Post)
- Hundreds of UK Academics Call to Boycott Israel - Sandy Rashty
A letter signed by 343 British academics calling to boycott Israel appeared in the Guardian on Tuesday. The letter was in response to a pro-Israel initiative last week backed by 150 writers, artists and musicians, including "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling. (Jewish Chronicle-UK)
See also Israel Responds to Boycott Call by UK Academics - Itamar Eichner
The Israeli embassy in the UK responded to the British academics' boycott ad, saying, "Boycott movements only aim to sow hatred and alienation between the sides, rather than promoting coexistence.
The only path to advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians passes through the negotiation room. Israel has called time and again for the renewal of talks immediately, without any preconditions."
"Those who call for a boycott against Israel during a month which saw 45 stabbing attacks - in which more than 100 Israelis were wounded, and 10 were murdered - blatantly ignore the lives of Israelis, and the conditions necessary for peace." (Ynet News)
See also Author JK Rowling Defends Decision to Oppose Boycott of Israel
"Harry Potter" author JK Rowling has defended her decision to oppose a cultural boycott of Israel,
tweeting that she had "never heard of a cultural boycott ending a bloody and prolonged conflict."
"I believe strongly that cultural dialogue and collaboration is more important than ever before and that cultural boycotts are divisive, discriminatory and counter-productive." (JTA)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Israel, U.S. Begin Talks on Maintaining Israel's Military Edge - Yaakov Lappin
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter have begun talks in Washington on a new defense package Washington will offer Israel for the next decade, following the Iran nuclear deal. Ya'alon said Monday, "We will discuss how to further increase the IDF's capacity and capabilities to maintain our qualitative edge, given increased and growing regional threats on the security of our country."
Ya'alon also addressed the ongoing Palestinian attacks on Israelis, saying that "an intense wave of terror attacks" is being "perpetrated by Palestinians, who have been driven by incitement and lies against the State of Israel. This is an opportunity to say it again, loud and clear: we extend our hand in peace to our Palestinian neighbors. The State of Israel is not violating the status quo on the Temple Mount, whatsoever. This is a lie. We uphold freedom of religion and respect the beliefs of every person." "We will fight terror and win, because we have no other choice," Ya'alon vowed.
- American-Israeli Victim of Palestinian Bus Attack Dies
Richard Lakin, an American-Israeli who was critically wounded in a Palestinian terrorist attack on a bus in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv two weeks ago, succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday. Lakin, 76, was shot in the head and stabbed in the chest during the attack.
- Police: Jerusalem Terrorism Wave Largely Curbed - Daniel K. Eisenbud
Following three weeks of heightened security - including roadblocks at violent Arab neighborhoods, an extra 1,200 Border Police officers, and coordination with the IDF and Israel Security Agency - Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Monday that the emergency security plan has prevented additional terrorist attacks from taking place in Jerusalem for the past week. However, the frequency of attacks over the last week against IDF soldiers in the West Bank has increased. (Jerusalem Post)
- The Boycott Campaign Is the Enemy of Peace - Ben-Dror Yemini
It is interesting that there are no calls for a boycott of the Palestinian Authority, even if time and again the Palestinian leadership refused any settlement based on the idea of two states for two peoples, and even though the PA makes monthly payments to terrorist murderers of Jews, including members of Hamas, who are sitting in prisons. There is no call for a boycott against the PA that continues to fund anti-Semitic incitement against Israel.
There is something very racist about the absolute exemption from criticism granted to the Palestinian side, but obsessive criticism directed to the Israeli side. The day when supporters of peace understand that the Palestinian side has some responsibility, the day when they demand that Palestinians end incitement and terrorist funding, will be a better day for the prospect of peace.
- Double Standards and Doublespeak - Micah Halpern
On Oct. 21, a man wielding a knife lunged at a border patrol officer. The assailant was shot four times.
Did you hear about this incident? Probably not. That's because the incident took place not in Israel, where all incidents of this type are recorded and broadcast around the world, but at the U.S.-Mexican border crossing in Calexico, California. This incident did not make international headlines. There was no outcry and no rage for the poor guy even after details emerged that he was denied entry into the U.S. and that was why he went on his rampage.
Israel is showing great restraint - especially because they are the people being attacked. Most of the Palestinians who have died were killed in the midst of an act of terror. Shooting someone who wants to take your life is as correct and appropriate a response at the border between California and Mexico as it is in the clash between terrorist Palestinians and Israeli citizens. (New York Observer)
- The Palestinian Jihad - Bassam Tawil
This is not a "popular uprising." We are not seeing thousands of Palestinians participating in violence or protests. It is just another wave of terrorism: targeting Jews for being Jews.
Most Palestinians see Israel as one big settlement that needs to be uprooted and destroyed. They do not draw a distinction between a Jew living in a West Bank settlement and a Jew living in an Israeli city. The terrorists do not see a difference between an Israeli soldier and an Israeli baby. They do not ask their victims about their political affiliation before sticking a knife into them.
The appropriate term for the current wave of terrorism is "jihad" (holy war). The attacks on Jews in Israel and the West Bank are part of the global jihad that has been waged for many years against Jews in particular, non-Muslims in general, and even against other Muslims who might follow a differing version of Islam. (Gatestone Institute)
Iran's Khamenei Changes the Terms of the Nuclear Deal - Bret Stephens (Wall Street Journal)
- The Iran nuclear deal, officially adopted on Oct. 18, is already a dead letter.
Earlier this month Iran test-fired a new-generation ballistic missile, called Emad, whose only practical military use is to deliver a nuclear warhead. The test was a bald violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, adopted unanimously in July, in which "Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons" for at least eight years.
- Then Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei weighed in on the nuclear deal by way of a public letter to President Hassan Rouhani. In it Khamenei demands that the U.S. and Europe completely lift, rather than temporarily suspend, their economic sanctions, putting an end to any possibility that penalties could "snap back" in the event of Iran's noncompliance.
- Khamenei also demands that sanctions against Iran for its support of terrorism and its human-rights abuses must also go.
- Khamenei changes the timetable for Iran to ship out its enriched uranium and modify its plutonium reactor in Arak until the International Atomic Energy Agency gives Iran a pass on all "past and future issues (including the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program)." So much for the UN nuclear watchdog even pretending to monitor Iran's compliance with the deal.
See also Khamenei's Letter Sets Conditions Nullifying the Iran Nuclear Agreement - Yigal Carmon and Ayelet Savyon (MEMRI)
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