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Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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July 24, 2017

In-Depth Issues:

Palestinian Payments to Incarcerated Terrorists and Martyrs' Families Rise in 2017 - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
    According to the PA budget for 2017, salaries to incarcerated and released terrorists will amount to $153.4 million, a rise of 13% over 2016.
    The amount allocated in 2017 for the families of those killed or wounded in the struggle against Zionism is $190.8 million.
    Altogether, PA expenditures for supporting terror in 2017 total $344 million. This amounts to 49.6% of total foreign aid expected by the PA in 2017.
    By contrast, the total PA budget for real welfare support is $211.6 million. The amount of welfare support per family is much smaller than the salaries provided to terrorists and their families.
    The writer was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.

Palestinian Stabs Israeli Arab in Petah Tikva over "Al-Aqsa" - Raanan Ben Zur (Ynet News-Ha'aretz)
    An Israeli resident of the Arab town of Arara was wounded in a stabbing attack on Monday near Petah Tikva's Central Bus Station by a Palestinian resident of the West Bank town of Kalkilya, who told police that he "did it for Al-Aqsa."

Halamish Terrorist Disguised Himself as a Religious Jew - Tovah Lazaroff (Jerusalem Post)
    Omar al-Abed, who murdered three Israelis in Halamish, had disguised himself to look like a religious Jew.
    He wore a white shirt and skullcap, and arrived at the Salomon family home just as they were about to start a celebration to mark the birth of a grandson.
    He knocked on the door and they let him in because they were expecting people to visit.
    See also Halamish Terrorist Was Arrested and Released by PA for Planning Attacks (Times of Israel)
    The Palestinian terrorist who stabbed to death three members of an Israeli family while they were eating Sabbath dinner at home on Friday night was arrested three months ago by PA security forces, his uncle said Saturday.
    Ibrahim al-Abed said his nephew Omar al-Abed spent two weeks in PA detention for planning attacks.

The Palestinian Mountain of Hate - Liel Leibovitz (Tablet)
    Khaled al-Mughrabi, one of al-Aqsa's top preachers, said in the summer of 2015, "The bread kneaded with the blood of children."
    Mughrabi said on other occasions that the Jews are the real culprits behind the 9/11 attacks and are planning to take over the world.
    Omar Abu-Sarah, another of al-Aqsa's chief preachers, said in a sermon: "I say to the Jews loud and clear: The time for your slaughter has come."
    Peaceful Muslims would likely be appalled if they knew that one of their religion's holiest sites was being desecrated by deranged bigots who've hijacked the pulpit and use it to spread hate.

Israeli Firefighters Help Extinguish Blazes in Montenegro - Daniel K. Eisenbud (Jerusalem Post)
    Israeli firefighters in two planes from the Air Force's Fire Squadron completed a five-day mission Sunday in Montenegro to put out wildfires.
    Israeli firefighters dropped 78,000 liters of fire retardant in 36 sorties.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Palestinian Terrorist Murders Three Israelis Inside Their Home - Barney Breen-Portnoy
    Three Israelis were stabbed to death and another was seriously wounded on Friday night by a knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist who broke into a home in the West Bank community of Halamish. An off-duty soldier shot and wounded the terrorist. (Algemeiner)
        See also Wife of Terror Victim Recounts Moments of Horror - Elisha Ben Kimon and Rotem Elizera
    Michal Salomon and her husband Elad arrived at Neveh Tzuf-Halamish to visit his parents. When she heard a man speaking in Arabic and realized the danger, she took three of her children and ran to the top floor of the house where her one-year-old twins were sleeping. "I started hearing screaming and shouting," Michal recounted. "I held the door with all my strength because it couldn't be locked."
        Michal said she heard "horrible screams and gunshots," and then came downstairs and realized her husband Elad, 35, was no longer among the living, murdered along with his sister, Haya Salomon, 46, an elementary school teacher, and father, Yosef Salomon, 70. Elad's mother, Tovah, 68, was seriously wounded in the attack, stabbed several times in the back. (Ynet News)
        See also Terror Victim's Young Students Say Goodbye - Shahar Hay (Ynet News)
        See also Photos: ZAKA Rescue Unit Cleans Up Murder Scene (Jerusalem Post)
  • U.S. Jewish Leaders Back Metal Detectors on Temple Mount - Rafael Medoff
    There is a broad consensus among American Jewish leaders in support of Israel's use of metal detectors to intercept terrorists on Jerusalem's Temple Mount. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations "supports taking the necessary and appropriate steps to assure security for all and to protect the sanctity of these holy sites," said the group's executive vice chairman and CEO, Malcolm Hoenlein.
        "In a world where security measures are being enhanced in major gathering places, it's only surprising that the Temple Mount didn't have such measures until now," said American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris. B'nai B'rith International said, "Metal detectors are one way, used globally, to keep the public safe. There may be other methods, as well, but doing nothing is not an option."  (
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Guard at Israeli Embassy in Jordan Stabbed; Kills Assailant - Barak Ravid and Jack Khoury
    A guard at the Israeli Embassy in Amman was stabbed on Sunday by a Jordanian carpenter who was installing furniture in his apartment. The Israeli security officer shot and killed the attacker. (Ha'aretz)
        See also Jordan Won't Let Israeli Embassy Guard Leave the Country - Raphael Ahren
    An Israeli security guard at the Israeli Embassy in Amman is being prevented from leaving Jordan, after he killed two Jordanians Sunday after being attacked by one of them with a screwdriver. The Israeli security guard, who was injured in the attack, enjoys diplomatic immunity according to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and is safe from arrest and investigation, Israel's Foreign Ministry said Monday. Israel is in talks with Jordan on ways to defuse the crisis. (Times of Israel)
  • Abbas Cuts PA Security Ties with Israel over Metal Detectors at Temple Mount - Herb Keinon
    PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced he has cut security ties with Israel until it reverses its decision regarding the metal detectors at the Temple Mount. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded that Israel has managed for many years without PA security cooperation, "and we'll manage now as well." He said security cooperation was "first and foremost" a Palestinian interest. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Muslims Reject Smart Cameras as Alternative to Metal Detectors on Temple Mount
    The Israel Police set up special surveillance cameras at one of the entrances to the Temple Mount on Sunday. The cameras can identify anyone with knives, weapons, hand grenades or other suspicious items. But Muslims at the site rejected any form of compromise inspection. (Ynet News)
  • President Rivlin: Israel Will Fight Terror "Without Compromise"
    Following the murder of three Israelis who were stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in the community of Halamish, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said on Saturday night: "We will show no tolerance for those who plot against us, and we will fight terrorism, mercilessly and without compromise."
        "This is the time for the whole free world to denounce terror and incitement, and join with the State of Israel in the war against terror and incitement. One who does not denounce terror is a partner to it, and has a hand in the deterioration of the whole region into a needless, bloody war, which no one wants."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Little Sympathy in the West for Palestinians Protesting Metal Detectors - Walter Russell Mead
    Palestinians rioted in Jerusalem on Friday following Israel's decision to install metal detectors at entrances to the Temple Mount. Last week, Palestinian terrorists smuggled guns into their own holy site, then used those guns to murder two Israeli police officers guarding one of the entrances to al-Aqsa. It's the installation of metal detectors, not the heinous use of a holy site as a launchpad for murder and terrorism, that has the Palestinians enraged.
        It would be difficult to imagine a less sympathetic grievance to attract Western support to the Palestinian cause. Metal detectors are now a fact of life in the West, found at sports events and outside religious sites like Notre Dame in Paris. There is also the irony that Palestinian terrorism has done more to force the introduction of metal detectors into our daily lives than any other cause.
        If this issue is going to be the chief grievance of the Palestinians, they shouldn't be surprised if the rest of the world shrugs. The writer is professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College. (American Interest)
  • Is Israel Changing the Status Quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque?
    Amb. Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a former legal adviser to Israel's Foreign Ministry, was asked on Saturday:
    Q: Wouldn't it be better to let the Muslim Waqf authorities manage the [Temple Mount] site?
    Baker: "It is difficult for me to think that they will prevent armed gunmen from coming out of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and shooting people....Even if you go according to the laws of occupation, the occupying power has the responsibility to ensure security and this is exactly what Israel is doing - nothing more, nothing less."
        "Negotiating the issue of Jerusalem...including the issue of the holy places is something that both Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to [in the Oslo accords]. If and when this happens, then we won't see the type of situations that we're seeing today. But in the meantime, there is an absolute necessity to protect people from being shot by terrorists using the mosques as shelters."  (Al Jazeera)
  • Lapid: PA and Wakf Are Inciting Palestinians to Murder - Anna Ahronheim
    Former Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who heads the opposition Yesh Atid party, said Saturday, "The biggest problem right now is the volume of incitement coming from the PA and numerous speakers in the Arab world and Israel." Israel's placing metal detectors on the Temple Mount "did not come in a vacuum," but as a "direct result" of the deadly attack carried out by three Muslims who were supposed to be on the Temple Mount to pray.
        "The fact that people are pretending that putting in place metal detectors to save innocent lives is in some way an attack on Islam and freedom of prayer is terrible incitement that causes violence and death for no reason."
        "Every country on earth would have done the same. Are we not allowed to respond and protect ourselves? That is grotesque. Last week two Israeli officers, who were Druse, not even Jewish, were killed by people who brought weapons into a holy place. And instead of telling them that this is the wrong thing to do, they say that those who were killed are to blame; this is monstrous."  (Jerusalem Post)

The Noble Sanctuary Is No Excuse for Murder - Mohammed Kaabiya (Newsweek)

  • Following the attack by three Arab Israelis at the Noble Sanctuary, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, which left two Israeli police officers dead, the Israeli government decided to place new security restrictions at the entrance to the holy site. The Waqf, or Islamic trust presiding over the site, and the Palestinian Authority have called on Muslims to rally against these measures, which protect first and foremost worshipers coming to pray.
  • The attackers, the Waqf and the PA are ignoring the clear prohibition in the passages of the Koran that forbid the killing of innocents and even more so, doing it in a holy place.
  • The Noble Sanctuary is a very powerful propaganda tool for many Arab and Muslim organizations that want to exploit it for disinformation, incitement and provocations. It was the well-known method used by Haj Amin al-Husseini who was the Mufti of Jerusalem in the 1930s, when he told the Arab world that the Al-Aqsa Mosque was in danger in order to divert their attention to the conflict.
  • We see today the same method used by all kinds of extremist movements and organizations that are constantly harping that the Noble Sanctuary and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are in danger and should be "liberated." Mere rumors by Palestinians regarding Al-Aqsa are enough to ignite a conflagration.
  • We have not heard a clear and unequivocal condemnation of the attack from the general Muslim society. The murdered policemen were Druze, believers in Allah, serving there to preserve the peace and protect the people of all faiths who visit the holy site.
  • Extremists are opposed to any change even if they are there to serve the safety and security of their own worshippers. Even the King of Saudi Arabia said he saw no problem with the installation of electronic means of inspection, which are the same ones used at Islam's holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina.
  • It is upon us as Arab citizens of Israel to condemn all acts of terror without doubting or blinking, in a loud and clear voice, as well as fighting incitement and those within our society who call for violence. The Palestinian leadership is abusing Islam and its holy site to incite the masses in order to promote their own agenda. The international community, including the Muslim world, should support any action that safeguards freedom of religion and the worshipers' personal safety at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

    The writer is a strategic advisor on the Arab world to Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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