Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet in Washington Wednesday with US President Barack Obama – in their first meeting in seven months.
Netanyahu will talk to Obama about the current tensions between Israel the Palestinian Authority, and is also expected to ask Obama not to cooperate with Iran as part of the campaign against the Islamic State (aka ISIS), reports IDF Radio.
Iran is ready to work with the United States and its allies to stop Islamic State terrorists, but would like to see more flexibility on Iran’s uranium enrichment program, senior Iranian officials told Reuters.
Netanyahu arrived in the United States Monday and gave a speech at the United Nations General Assembly. He criticized the international community and claimed that it had been hypocritical when it criticized Israel for its war on Hamas, at the same time as it was taking action against ISIS.
“ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree,” he said. “When it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas. And what they share in common, all militant Islamists share in common.”
He also accused Palestinian Authority chief Mahmou Abbas of complicity in Hamas's war crimes.
Netanyahu displayed a photograph showing children playing next to two Hamas rocket launchers.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is a war crime,” he said. “And I say to President Abbas, these are the war crimes committed by your Hamas partners in the national unity government which you head and you are responsible for. And these are the real war crimes you should have investigated, or spoken out against from this podium last week.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, As Israeli children huddled in bomb shelters and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system knocked Hamas rockets out of the sky, the profound moral difference between Israel and Hamas couldn’t have been clearer: Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles.”
As Israel approaches Yom Kippur starting this Friday, a full 41 years since the infamous Yom Kippur War that was underlined by some of Israel's most serious military oversights, then-IDF Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. (res.) Eli Zeira has shared some revealing new insights into the war.
In an interview with Yedioth Aharonoth Zeira spoke openly about his mistakes and the mistakes of others in not taking proper action leading up to the war - and asserted that the same fundamental issues still remain today.
"In IDF Intelligence we assumed that the Egyptians still could not do what they wanted to (to breach deep into Sinai), and that what they could do (to cross the Suez Canal and advance several kilometers) they didn't want to do," admitted Zeira.
The former army intel head acknowledged "that was our fixation. Regretfully, we had their plans. What we didn't know was that the plans could be false."
Zeira said that then-Prime Minister Golda Meir refused to believe declarations by Egyptian leaders, in which they called for the Suez Canal to be captured and to break through the Bar Lev line of Israeli fortifications along the eastern line of the canal - and he also admitted he did not try to correct her.
"I'm sitting in talks and hear Golda Meir's nonsense about the Arabs," said Zeira. "What do I need to tell them - you're saying nonsense? It's unacceptable and improper for an IDF Intelligence head to tell the prime minister 'you're wrong.' Not even in the most polite way."
The "nonsense" runs deeper according to the former intelligence chief, who declared that "today I know we don't even understand the Arabs."
"Before the (Yom Kippur) War the greatest expert on the Arab states, Prof. Bernard Lewis, came to Israel. He sat in my office and told me: 'I came from Egypt now. The situation is awful there. They can't set out for war,'" revealed Zeira.
Half-jokingly, Zeira said "if we want to understand the Arabs, we need to put (Arab nationalist MK) Ahmed Tibi into the investigative department."
The interview also shed light on how personal political considerations crept into the decision-making process.
"After the war I told myself: let's say you had said there was a 'high risk,' and they drafted reserve soldiers, and in the end war didn't break out. They would have established an inquiry committee and told me: 'Zeira, you idiot, it's true there were a hundred pieces of information about war, but there were thousands of pieces of information that there won't be war. So why did you stick to the hundred that said there would be?" said Zeira.
Thousands of Jews from all walks of life across Israel flocked to the holy city of Hevron Tuesday night, to take part in selichot prayers at the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me'arat Hamachpela).
Selichot are special prayers of repentance recited by Jews in the run-up to the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur - the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, also known as the Day of Judgement.
The Cave of the Patriarchs is the final resting place of the Biblical patriarchs Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov, (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) as well as the matriarchs Sarah, Rivka (Rebeccah) and Leah. According to some traditions it is also the burial place of Adam and Chavah (Eve).
Picture credits: Miri Tzachi
A senior Palestinian Authority (PA) source revealed to Yedioth Aharonoth that a secret channel of communication exists between Israel and the PA in parallel to the Cairo truce talks, through which Israel is negotiating with the PA, Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives.
The source exposed that a senior Israeli diplomat who was left unnamed met on Tuesday with PA unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah to speak about a number of steps by Israel to provide relief for residents of Gaza.
A senior Israeli source speaking to the Hebrew-language news source described the meeting as "coordination with a goal of changing the reality on the ground."
"These talks are not meant to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but rather they parallel the ceasefire talks," said the source. "The goal is to ensure supervision over what's happening in Gaza, and that can be done with the UN or with the (Palestinian) Authority."
The source continued "for the Authority to do that, we need to coordinate processes with them and also to change the reality on the ground for the Gaza residents. It's meant to establish a basis for the ceasefire."
Other Israeli diplomatic sources claimed the Ramallah meeting was a routine affair before Muslim holidays, as this Saturday marks Eid al-Adha which celebrates Abraham's "binding of Ishmael," in a Muslim appropriation of the original Torah story. The sources insisted there is no change in the policy of no direct talks with the PA since its unity deal with Hamas, but wouldn't reveal details of the talk's contents.
The meeting with Hamdallah is important because last week in Cairo, Hamas and the PA reportedly agreed to let the unity government take responsibility for Gaza by supervising crossings, making Hamdallah as head of that government the source to talk to for coordinating happenings in Gaza.
As part of that process, Hamas official Izzat Al-Rishq last week said 3,000 PA Security Forces troops would be deployed to Gaza, and that the wage war to have the unity government pay Hamas employees would be resolved via a third-party country acting in coordination with the PA.
Letting Gaza residents into Jerusalem?
Reportedly, dramatic relief steps are being discussed by Israel in the various talks that come following the terror war that Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists launched on Israel from Gaza.
According to Yedioth Aharonoth, Gaza has strongly demanded that male residents over the age of 60 be allowed to enter Jerusalem and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount for Muslim holidays.
In a PA unity government meeting on Tuesday, it was announced that Israel had agreed to let Gaza residents travel to Jerusalem to pray at the mosque built on the holiest site in Judaism.
Another strong demand has been that Israel allow Gaza-produced goods to be marketed in Judea and Samaria, and let students from Gaza study in Judea and Samaria or abroad.
Israel has already agreed to raise the number of Gaza merchants travelling to Judea and Samaria to 200 per day, raised the maximum age of children allowed to accompany family visits to the area to 16, and given humanitarian visit permits to grandfathers and grandmothers.
When Cairo truce talks resume in the last week of October, other major topics will be raised such as control of Gaza border crossings, their supervision, and letting Gaza goods be exported abroad.
Hamas has also leveled the extravagant demands of a sea and airport in Gaza, and according to reports Tuesday is close to achieving a terrorist swap deal for the bodies of fallen soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul hy"d.
For its part, Israel's lone demand for the disarmament of Gaza has been completely rejected by Hamas, leading many to question why Israel is negotiating numerous concessions with the terrorist group.
When Iranian nuclear physicist Ardeshir Hosseinpour was murdered in 2007, Israel was the main suspect.
Now, his sister claims he was murdered by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) because he would not cooperate with its efforts to divert nuclear work from peaceful purposes to building an atomic bomb, reports the Canadian National Post's Media Line.
If Mahboobeh Hosseinpour’s account can be confirmed, it could affect the next round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, says the National Post.
Speaking to The Media Line from Turkey via Skype in a conversation arranged by the Iranian opposition group the New Iran, Ms. Hosseinpour, 54, said she learned through her sister-in-law, Sara Araghi, of her brother’s secret research.
She added that this was stored on a DVD, which also contained research and formulae for building an atomic bomb 12 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb and methods for neutralizing it.
Ms. Hosseinpour said in November 2004 her brother was contacted by three special agents working for IRGC’s defence department. They gave him a personal message from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, enlisting him to work on increasing uranium enrichment capabilities in order to build atomic weapons.
In return, “he was offered a two-star rank in the revolutionary guard and ownership of factories.”
The woman insists Israel did not kill her brother, but the IRGC did. She says this was because he would not co-operate.
Her claims are supported by Alireza Nourizadeh, an Iranian journalist, who says she had been in contact with Dr. Hosseinpour.
This included an “email communication he had with me about the sensitivities of his work. [IRGC agents] were aware of it, even if they did not have the content.”
After Dr. Hosseinpour’s death, says the National Post, his wife went to his office at Shiraz University and removed the DVD from its hiding place. “She also found evidence the room had been searched and items were missing, including a photo of him with then-president Mohammed Khatami. The DVD was later stolen,” the report says. “Dr. Hosseinpour’s mother, who died in 2011, was also warned to be careful. She was told Ayatollah Khamenei had issued a fatwa, ordering scientists to work on enriching uranium to 20% for the benefit of the Islamic Republic."
Dr. Iman Foroutan, chairman of the New Iran, a non-profit organization that is working to overthrow the Islamic regime by non-violent means, said Ms. Hosseinpour’s claims could reinforce Western suspicious of the IRGC’s nuclear work and its plans to make atomic bombs.
The leader of Argentina's Jewish community lamented on Monday the speech President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner gave Friday at the UN General Assembly which was, he alleged, unfairly critical of the community.
The speech also appears to hint at a Jewish conspiracy behind the economic crisis experienced by Argentina in recent decades – though Fernandez never said so outright.
Fernandez blasted Jewish community leaders for their unwillingness to let Iran participate in the probe into the 1994 Argentine Jewish Charities Federation (AMIA) bombing attack in Buenos Aires, which left 85 people dead and 300 others injured.
A year ago Iran confirmed that it would cooperate with Argentina in probing the attack after charges that Tehran was behind it.
Addressing the assembly, Fernandez charged that “The Jewish institutions that always support us, they turned against us. When we signed the agreement [of cooperation with Iran] it seemed that the internal and external demons were unleashed. Jewish institutions who had accompanied us turned against us. When we decided to cooperate they accused us of complicity with the State of Iran.”
The speech was not well received by Argentina's Jewish leaders. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency quoted Julio Schlosser, head of the country’s Jewish political umbrella organization, as saying “we've always said that the Republic of Iran, or the terrorist state of Iran, is not a valid partner since they are not trustworthy in any memorandum that seeks the truth. She (Fernandez) tried to turn victims into victimizers. We were victims of terrorism. We are the victims of the only demon which is the Islamic Republic of Iran."
Kirchner appeared to draw a link between Jewish opposition to Argentina's cooperation with Iran on the AMIA bombing, the “vulture funds” – commonly known as hold-out funds – that her country owes money to, and Israel's Gaza war, in her speech at the General Assembly. She devoted a large portion of her speech to the need to confront “economic terrorists” like the hold-out funds.
The hold-out funds, having bought heavily discounted defaulted Argentina 2033 bonds remaining on the market after its 2001 default, then refused to join the the debt restructuring in 2005 and 2010, when about 90% of bondholders agreed to accept conversion of the defaulted bonds into new ones with longer maturity and lower interest rates.
According to Global-Investment.com, the leading hold-out funds that refuse to accept the restucturing are NMB Capital's Elliott Fund, run by Paul Elliott Singer, and Aurelius Capital, run by Mark Brodsky – and both Singer and Brodsky are Jewish.
Kirchner also called in the UN speech for recognition of a Palestinian state and for preventing the “disproportonate use of force” by Israel “that has caused the death of hundreds of women and children.” At the same time, she said that Israel has the right to live safely within its borders and denounced rocket fire at Israel.
Taking steps to redefine who the world's true terrorists are will be a step toward cutting the 'Gordian knots' that plague world politics currently, she said.
A 2011 poll conducted by the Gino Germani Research Institute of the University of Buenos Aires on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League and Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas showed that a majority of Argentines held anti-Semitic sentiments or prejudices. Of the 1,510 Argentines surveyed, 82% agreed with statements "that Jews are preoccupied with making money," 49% said that they "talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust", 68% said that they have "too much power in the business world", and 22% said that the Jews killed Jesus. The majority of people interviewed also expressed belief that Jews are more loyal to Israel than their country of birth.
Arab rioters hurling rocks, fireworks and molotov cocktails at a Jewish infant day care center on Ma'ale Hazeitim, the Jewish neighborhood on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, were caught on film on Tuesday in further testimony to the ongoing "silent intifada" in the capital.
The video, which was posted by Jerusalem Council Arieh King to his Facebook on Tuesday, shows four Arab criminals throwing various of projectiles with impunity for many long minutes from a protected nook on one of the rooftops, forcing infants to be rushed inside to bomb shelters.
In the video a woman can be heard saying "you don't even see a single police officer here," as the rocks continue to hail down - reportedly the police took seven minutes to arrive. The women then can be heard shouting to the police to go up to where the Arab attackers were pelting rocks.
Eyewitnesses say as many as 10 Arab attackers were involved in the assault.
After Border Patrol officers begin to fire crowd dispersal charges between eight and ten rioters are seen running away from the scene.
Writing about the video on Tuesday, King called for Interior Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich to be sacked for his inability to crush the growing "silent intifada" as it's being termed.
Aharonovich's term "will be remembered as the darkest and most depressing period for the Israeli police and in general, in the collapse of the personal feeling of security in Jerusalem in particular," wrote King.
Recently King exposed to Arutz Sheva what he called a governmental policy of de facto dividing Jerusalem by not enforcing laws in the eastern part of the city.
Attacks against security forces and civilians have included live gunfire by Fatah terrorists in Jerusalem, along with attacks with rocks, molotov cocktails and fireworks, and even anti-Semitic lynch-mobs.
Aharonovich last Wednesday ahead of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana) claimed there was a "30% drop" in rock attacks and an end to molotov cocktail attacks in Jerusalem - even as explosions rocked the Temple Mount as Arab rioters attacked and wounded police officers.
Arutz Sheva got a chance to speak with Rabbi Menachem Listman, a resident of Givat Assaf, during the prayer rally held in the Samaria town on Tuesday. The rally was held in light of indications the government may try to destroy the community in the near future.
Rabbi Listman, who is the Director of the English Department at the Machon Meir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, noted "we've been making great efforts to finalize our matter as a legal yishuv (community) that has final confirmation from our dear government, and that's what the district attorney's office declared about two years ago."
Nearly all of the town has been purchased and registered in the state land registry by residents, and further there are no Arab complainants claiming ownership of the land.
However, the rabbi noted that two-and-a-half weeks ago the state attorney's office "said to the Supreme Court 'we don't see any reason to organize this place as an organized yishuv,' which goes totally against their plan and policy that they've been saying for the past two years, and in spite of the fact that we went out and bought land that supposedly belonged to whatever Arab party."
In light of the reversal in position, Rabbi Listman said residents have a real fear that the government intends to tear down the entire community.
"The property is ours. It was given by G-d to (the Jewish patriarch) Abraham, to the Jewish people, and they told us you're living on private property. What private property? No one's been living here," commented the rabbi.
"We want to be a town like any other town in Judea and Samaria," said Rabbi Listman.
He added that the town was built in memory of the terror victim Assaf Hershkowitz, a resident of Ofra located to the north of the community, who was gunned down by Hamas terrorists on May 1, 2001 as he drove home from Jerusalem. On January 29 of that year Hershkowitz's father Aryeh was likewise shot and killed on his way home from work in the Atarot industrial zone in northern Jerusalem.