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Sunday, Oct. 19 '14, Tishrei 25, 5775


by Ari Soffer

On Sunday morning, Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount - the holiest site in Judaism - were appalled to find that Muslim worshippers had daubed anti-Semitic graffiti equating the Jewish Star of David to the Nazi swastika.

Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick first uploaded a photo of the shocking graffiti onto his Facebook account, along with a statement blaming the lack of proper response by authorities to Islamist rioting and provocations, and accusing the government of burying its head in the sand.

"When they make light of the torching of a police station on the Temple Mount, when the sole response to daily Muslim violence on the Temple Mount is to blame the Jews, there should be no surprise over swastikas as well.

"If this ostrich-like policy of the State of Israel continues we can be sure that the Arab violence will also cost human lives."

Glick, who head the LIBA Initiative for Jewish Freedom on the Temple Mount, said that the swastika graffiti at Judaism's holiest site should serve as a wake-up call "before it's too late."

"The only solution in the immediate-term is to deal uncompromisingly with those behind the violence," he added.

Glick also suggested authorities prevent friction between Jews and Muslims at the site by implementing a similar arrangement to the one currently in force at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron. That holy site is split between Jewish and Muslim worshippers in a complex arrangement, but one which generally has kept the peace and avoided the kind of violence regularly seen on the Temple Mount.

Currently, Jews are forbidden from praying on the Temple Mount and face arrest for doing so, in what Jewish activists have decried as capitulation to Islamist intimidation and violence; indeed, even those Jews who visit the site and adhere to the restrictions are regularly harassed and even attacked by Muslim extremists. There have been growing calls among activists and legislators for Jews to be granted equal prayer rights at their holiest site, citing the fact that police have ignored numerous court rulings in favor of Jewish prayer rights.

Wake-up call? Tom Nisani

The Temple Institute's International Director, Rabbi Chaim Richman, also condemned "the abhorrent graffiti", and echoed Glick's sentiments regarding the lawlessness on the Temple Mount.

"The fact that this could occur at the holiest site in the world for the Jewish people - the location of the Holy Temple - in the very heart of Jerusalem, should serve as a wake-up call to rouse Prime Minister Netanyahu from his slumber of 'status quo' on the Temple Mount.

"This despicable act is yet another indication of the lack of Israeli sovereignty on the Mount. Jews seeking to visit and pray at their holiest site, should be able to do so without fear of intimidation or violence. We call upon the government of Israel to immediately put an end to Hamas rule on the Temple Mount and permit non-Muslims to worship freely at the site."

The latest incident follows a string of incendiary statements by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, who called on Palestinians to prevent Jews from stepping foot onto the Temple Mount using "all means" at their disposal.

by Shimon Cohen, Cynthia Blank

A survey by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs demonstrates the resistance of a vast majority of Israelis to Palestinian statehood, the division of Jerusalem and giving up the Jordan Valley, Israel Hayom reports Sunday. 

The newspaper reported that in response to the question of whether the spread of Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq altered one's position on Israeli concessions of land in Judea and Samaria, 70.1 percent answered that this phenomenon did not change their opinions.

16.8 percent of respondents said that because of ISIS, they are now less willing to concede land than before. In contrast, 4.8 percent of respondents answered that because of regional changes, now is especially the time to offer political concessions. 

As to the question of supporting or opposing the establishment of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders, 74.3 percent answered that they oppose the establishment of such a state, while 18.2 percent said they support it. 7.5 percent of those surveyed did not respond. 

Regarding the possibility of an Israeli withdrawal from the Jordan Valley, 74.9 percent said they oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state which requires Israeli withdrawal from the Jordan Valley. 11.5 percent support such a withdrawal and 13.7 percent chose not to answer this question.  

The newspaper also reported on the controversial issue of the division of Jerusalem. If such a division were to occur, part of the city would serve as the capital for the State of Israel, with the other part representing the capital for a potential future Palestinian state. 

76.2 percent of respondents oppose the division of Jerusalem. 16.2 percent support the division of Jerusalem and 7.5 percent did not answer. 

The survey was conducted by the research institute Shavakim Panorama, under the direction of Yossef Vadana. The survey questioned a representative sample of 505 residents of Israel, not including Israeli Arabs. 

by Cynthia Blank

The Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon released an announcement Sunday morning that an intern who had worked at the hospital in early 2014 left to join the Islamic State (ISIS). Channel 2 published the story. 

According to Arab media reports, the doctor, a resident of a Bedouin settlement in the Negev, was killed fighting for the terrorist organization. 

Othman Abed Elkian, a man in his 20s, finished his medical studies in Jordan a few years ago. After passing the exams, he accepted a temporary Israeli medical license and began practicing at the Barzilai Medical Center in February, according to the hospital. 

Elkian chose to continue practicing at Soroka Hospital in Beersheva, and was supposed to begin in May. Shortly thereafter he disappeared. "Security officials contacted us and questioned us about him," Barzilai said Sunday. "We became aware that he chose to join ISIS."

The terrorist organization has taken control of large areas in Iraq and Syria in recent months. It continues to fund an extensive recruitment campaign of potential activists from around the world - including Israel.

Security services estimate that the number of Israelis who have joined the Islamic state is relatively insignificant, consisting of dozens only. However, the concern still remains that even a small number of extremists could pose a security threat should they successfully return from Syria or Iraq undetected.

Last week it was reported that three Israeli Arabs from the Galilee joined ISIS. They flew to Turkey, ostensibly to celebrate the recent Eid al-Adha holiday, and from there continued to Syria.  

Another Israeli citizen, Ahmed Habshi, from the village of Iksal, was recently killed fighting in Iraq. His family spoke to press in order to send a message to young people like him. 

"My son went to Syria last January. We did not know his intentions. He was an outstanding student studying sociology and statistics at Kinneret College. Suddenly, one day he disappeared and then we received a phone call from Syria that he was fighting there with ISIS" his father lamented to Channel 2. "I told him that this was not our religion, it is not the message of Islam."

by Tova Dvorin

Following the end of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in August, Israel has allowed Palestinian fishermen to venture six nautical miles (about 9.5 km) from shore.

But as fisherman continue to complain over restraints on their movement - designed to prevent terrorism and to separate Hamas from its weapons suppliers - and IDF officials have raised concerns that they may be systematically creeping toward Israeli shore, it was revealed Sunday. 

Egyptian sources told Israel early in ceasefire negotiations that Hamas would demand a radius of 12 nautical miles (22 km) for Gazan fisherman, but official declarations to that effect were never taken. 

But Naval Corps officers told Walla! News Sunday that frustrated fisherman have begun casting their lines beyond that boundary on their own - "systemically deviating" from the agreement while also making obscene gestures at soldiers and ignoring calls to remain within the naval limit. 

As a result, tensions along the Gaza coastline have been eddying, they said. 

Navy Commander Colonel Ram Rothberg increased patrols along the six-mile border to prevent further infiltration into Israeli waters, but public defiance of this has only increased. 

Over the past two weeks, an Israeli ship apprehended one vessel and took it into Israeli custody; at least three Palestinian fishermen have been arrests; and in one case, a fishing boat was forced to be apprehended long-distance, by naval personnel disabling the boat. 

"There is no doubt, the fishermen in Gaza have become bolder and more brazen," a Navy officer told the daily. "On the one hand we know that they want to throw nets and fish in areas where there are more fish, but on the other hand they ignore ostentatiously international guidelines."

"I do not want to say that this is the Palestinian Marine Intifada," he added, "but in some cases they act as if they have nothing to lose."

"This raises suspicion that they are not just there to catch fish, but also to gather intelligence about the Navy, so that one day they can carry out a terror attack."

The officer affirmed that, despite this, border patrols along the nautical line have been frequent, and have kept terror at bay - for now. 

Meanwhile, the defense establishment has expressed growing concern over attempts to smuggle weapons by sea, in attempts to replenish the arsenal the IDF destroyed during the Gaza war.

To combat this, the Navy has been working closely with the Egyptian Navy, sources said, as Egypt is also in the midst of its own crackdown on Islamist terrorism. 

by Benny Toker and Tova Dvorin

Emotions are running high in Nepal, Rabbi Hezki Lifshitz, the Chabad Lubavtich envoy in Kathmandu, stated in an Arutz Sheva interview Sunday, as a search-and-rescue effort for survivors of last week's avalanche continues. 

"There is an Air Force delegation here to assist trauma victims," Lifshitz noted. He escorted injured Israelis to local hospitals and to the airport to arrive in Israel for medical treatment. "People continue to flow to the area at all times, but there are still a number of missing persons - an, as you know, we are all fearing for the life of one of them." 

Lifshitz was referring to Michal Gili Chierkowsky, from Givatayim, whose family fears she may be trapped without aid supplies or communications equipment at 5,000 meters (approximately 16,000 feet) high along the mountain pass. Chierkowsky's family told the press Saturday night that they are "praying for a miracle." 

There may be more like her, Lifshitz said. But he remained optimistic.  

"There are some who may be missing because we lost contact with them, who may be in a safe place and are simply waiting for the [snow] drift level to fall," he said. 

Meanwhile, survivors face another avalanche: emotional trauma. 

"Over Shabbat and the holiday [Thursday - Simchat Torah - ed.] we made kiddush in the hospital for the injured, and had mixed feelings of joy and sorrow," he recounted. "[There is] joy for those who survived and sadness for those who did not. There were those who understood that if they stayed with their friends they would die, and there were those who helped their friends but were killed [in the process]." 

Tourism and hikes along the Thorong pass, and in Nepal in general, have stopped as travelers assess the situation. 

"Most people are debating whether they want to take that hike, or a different hike, or return to Israel," Lifshitz stated. "Everyone is in shock, because everyone knew everyone else. We're still waiting for good news, but until then, there are forty people dead here." 

"We tried to celebrate the holiday, but there were such mixed feelings," he added. "There were people whom we saw on Yom Kippur [last week - ed.] and left the next day for a hike, with the intent to return on Simhat Torah."

"Unfortunately, not all of them came back." 

Lifshitz also addressed reports of a tour guide who allegedly died after charging tourists money to save them.  

"They took cover in a sort of tea house which is at the highest point along the trail," Lifshitz said. Breathable air at sea level has about 21% oxygen; air at the highest point reduces this by half. "The tea house owner offered to take them down - but for a price. He was apparently experienced in trekking through heavy snow. The tourists paid him and they shuffled through the blizzard, and he disappeared in the whiteout." 

"It's hard to judge people in situations like this," Lifshitz affirmed. "What is clear is that, if he's still out there, he's dead." 

Lifshitz is familiar with the trek itself, and claims that it would have been possible to save more people if travelers had been notified about the oncoming storm. 

The avalanche was atypical for the season, however, and he predicts that the issue became simply an error of unpreparedness. 

"This period is characterized by pleasant weather, so people do not equip themselves with lifesaving tools, like a thermal blanket," he said. "Cyclones rarely come from eastern India to Nepal. But unfortunately, no one saw the forecast and alerted the hikers."

"It's probable that the tourism industries charged money to announce the news; there are many accusations flying over the disaster," he continued. 

Between 30-40 people have been killed and 60 people are missing after the avalanche, military and police officials said Saturday night. 

by Ari Soffer

Israeli humanitarian workers have joined the effort to provide desperately-needed supplies to displaced victims of the brutal Islamic State terrorist group in northern Iraq and Syria.

IsraAID supplied beds, blankets, and food to over 1,000 families in the Kurdish city of Duhok, in northern Iraq. The Israeli aid agency worked with Canadian ONEXONE to deliver a convoy to a 14,000-strong refugee camp carrying 2,000 blankets and mattresses, as well as enough powdered milk for all the 1,015 babies under one year of age.

The emergency supplies could not have come soon enough. Many of those at the camp arrived with only the clothes on their back and are living in nothing more than tents or makeshift huts. As winter approaches their misery has increased still further, with recent rainstorms and cold weather just a harbinger of worse to come: some parts of the region receive a meter of snow on average amid subzero temperatures.

IsraAID's Founding Director Shahar Zahavi told Arutz Sheva that the Israeli team were warmly received by the Kurdish residents of the camp.

"They were aware that we were Israel, and they received us very well. The Kurdish people really love Israel," he said.

Indeed, the Jewish state has good - if somewhat covert - relations with the Kurdish Regional Government in particular, and many Kurds and Israelis see eye-to-eye on crucial issues such as the wave of Islamic fundamentalism sweeping the Middle East, which threatens both nations.

IsraAID has provided aid to disaster zones across the world, from Haiti to Japan, and from the Philipines to South Sudan. But Zahavi explained that the mission to help Kurdish victims of ISIS resonated particularly strongly with them. As the Middle East's only full democracy, Israel has a special duty to aid the Kurds - who are the largest stateless nation in the region - in their struggle for freedom against Islamist forces, Zahavi said.

The mission - which was the first of its kind by an Israeli aid agency - went smoothly enough, and was coordinated with the KRG. But aid workers soon witnessed the extreme conditions faced by refugee when a massive storm tore through the camp, flooding the entire area and destroying many of the tents.

Duhok is part of the autonomous Kurdish region run by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), where nearly two million refugees - including Christians and Yazidis - have fled ISIS's genocidal military campaign. 

Although most refugees there were originally from parts of Iraq under attack or occupied by ISIS, as the battle for the Kurdish city of Kobane in northern Syria rages on, roughly 1,000-1,500 refugees from the city are arriving at the camp each day via Turkey, placing even more pressure on already-overstretched aid efforts.


Photo credit: IsraAID

by Cynthia Blank

A Nazi-themed beauty pageant has been organized in Russia, so far featuring 14 women and girls from Russia and other eastern European countries, the British Daily Mail has reported. 
The contest, which has been dubbed 'Miss Hitler 2014', is encouraging attractive females who love Hitler and hate Jews, to apply for the competition on the social media site VKontakte. 
The VKontakte page, which boasts more than 7000 followers, describes itself as a group of Russians and Ukrainians paying tribute to Adolf Hitler.
The competition, officially titled 'Miss Ostland', is named for the territory occupied by the Nazis in eastern Europe where more than a million Jews were murdered.
Contestants must post a steamy Nazi-themed selfie and write in the photo caption why they "love and revere the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler."
The contestant who received the most 'likes' will be declared the winner. 
First prize is a piece of jewelry from a company called 'Magic Workshop'. The piece features one of the Nordic runes so beloved of Heinrich Himmler and the SS.
A pendant combining the classic German Iron Cross and Third Reich heraldry is being offered as second prize.
The contestants include Katya Shkredova, from Mogilev, Belarus. She is pictured wearing a Nazi hat, saying she "adores" Hilter, because he was willing to "experiment on people." 
Irina Nagrebetskaya from Kiev, Ukraine, wrote under her photo: "Don't forget! Adolf is his name, he's our eternal race, he has been given eternal life."
Ekaterina Matveeva from St. Petersburg, Russia, said she believes "Adolf Hitler's position is genius and true, that races are different not only in appearance, but also in intelligence."
The competition has sparked massive outrage on Twitter and other social media sites.
Some protestations include "This is absolutely disgraceful, why would you organize a Miss Hitler competition?" from Miriam Stoke.
Andrew Gross commented: "A 'Miss Hitler' pageant is a reminder of the global #antisemitism circulated today online that we need to fight." 

by Arutz Sheva Staff


Thirty-nine people have been killed and sixty people are missing after Tuesday's avalanche along the Thorong La mountain pass in Nepal, military and police officials said Saturday night. 

Meanwhile, 36 Israelis have yet to contact their families since the disaster, which occurred roughly 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of the capital city of Katmandu. Alarm for their safety had been raised on Friday, as a storm began approaching rescue crews. 

Concern is also rising that another Israeli tourist may have died in the disaster: Michal Gili Chierkowsky, from Givatayim. Chierkowsky's family told the press Saturday night that they are "praying for a miracle," and that information regarding her fate indicates that she is trapped at 5,000 meters (approximately 16,000 feet) high along the mountain pass without communications equipment or access to rescue facilities. 

So far, at least three Israeli tourists have been confirmed dead in the disaster, including Nadav Shoham of Mitzpe Hoshaya; Agam Luria, 23, of Kibbutz Yifat; and Lt. Tamar Ariel, 25, of Masuot Yitzchak - Israel's first religious female air force navigator.

Shoham's body is due to arrive in Israel on Saturday night, and Ariel's and Luria's bodies will be transferred later in the week. 

In the meantime, Har-El insurance officials, Magen David Adom (MDA) staff, and civilian volunteers have joined rescue efforts. 

Dozens of Israeli tourists who have been found are being transferred to Kathmandu for treatment, a Har-El insurance company official working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nepal confirmed to Arutz Sheva on Saturday night. 

Har-El Staff 669, which has been engaged on a special rescue mission to find stranded hikers, has released the above footage from rescue efforts over Friday and Saturday. 

The staff, which is headed by Yohai Lilior and Nadav Klipa, has rescued some 50 hikers so far. 

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