Period: August 2013


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JERUSALEM (AP) — By KARIN LAUB and MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH - August 11, 2013 12:14 PM EST Israel approved building nearly 1,200 more settlement homes Sunday and prepared the release of more than two dozen long-held Palestinian prisoners — highlighting an apparent settlements-for-prisoners trade-off that got both sides back to peace talks after a five-year freeze.
Yet concerns were mounting, especially among Palestinians, that the price is too steep. Sunday's announcement was Israel's third in a week on promoting Jewish settlements on war-won lands the Palestinians want for a state. It fueled Palestinian fears of a new Israeli construction spurt under the cover of U.S.-sponsored negotiations.
In Israel, the most vocal protests came from relatives of those killed in attacks carried out by Palestinians slated for release.
Bereaved relatives held up large photos of their loved ones during a Supreme Court hearing on an appeal against the upcoming release. "Why are we releasing butchers now? What for?" asked Gila Molcho, whose brother, lawyer Ian Feinberg, was stabbed to death by Palestinians who broke into a European aid office in Gaza City in 1993.
Israelis and Palestinians arrangements and deciding the fate of Palestinian refugees.
The Palestinians want a state to include the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. However, they are willing to swap some West Bank land for Israeli territory to allow Israel to annex some of the largest Jewish settlements. In all, Israel has built dozens of settlements since 1967 that are now home to some 560,000 Israelis.
The diplomatic paralysis of the last five years was largely due to disputes over the settlements, deemed illegal by most of the international community.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas long insisted he will only resume talks if Israel freezes construction. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a freeze. Abbas, under pressure from Kerry, eventually dropped it as a condition for talks.
In exchange, Kerry won Israeli agreement that it will release 104 Palestinian prisoners serving long sentences, many for involvement in killing Israelis. Continued: http://dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Dec-25/199795-

By Reza Kahlili - August 11, 2013 - WND -
Iran’s supreme leader promises in a newly released audiotape the destruction of Israel and Palestinians’ return to that land. Fars News Agency, an outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards, last week posted an audiotape of excerpts of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s speeches to Palestinian officials and others with a title “Palestine will surely become free.”
In the audiotape, which is partly in Arabic, Khamenei gives blessings to those who fight against Israel and says, “Peace be upon the children of our nation, peace be upon the brave jihadists in Palestinian and Lebanese resistance. Today the Islamic world and the whole world are witnesses to great revelations that show change in international affairs.”
The ayatollah promises a restructuring of the Middle East: “Palestine will be free, have no doubt in this. … Palestinians will return there and there will be a Palestinian government … and that is based on the truth revealed by God. A new Middle East will be … an Islamic Middle East.”
Khamenei attacks Israel for defending itself: “They attacked Lebanon – a mistake. They attacked Gaza – a mistake. They attacked those (Turkish) ships – a mistake. These mistakes, one after another, show that the murderous Zionist regime of Israel is reaching the final fall and destruction of its own non-existence.”
In promising the annihilation of Israel, the supreme leader also says, “There is no doubt that victory awaits the Palestinian people in the future, and the myth of Zionist power over this region will completely vanish, Allah willing.”
Become a part of the investigative reporting team uncovering the truths about Iran, and get author Reza Kahlili’s “A Time to Betray” about his life as a double agent inside Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. Continued: http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/destruction-of-israel-guaranteed-ayatollah-says/#SWRZ2dffYIxwG0fd.99

An area collapsed near the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque late Tuesday. Arabs blamed Israel.
By Elad Benari First Publish: 8/22/2013, 4:15 AM - Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem
An area collapsed near the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem late Tuesday, reported the Turkish Anadolu news agency. An eyewitness told the agency that the collapse occurred near the Bab as Silsila, on the western part of the mosque. It is the second collapse near the western wall within five years, Cum'a Usayle, an eyewitness, told Anadolu. "The collapse has caused a deep hole there. It is dangerous for the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It poses danger especially for children and women," he said.
The report claimed that no security precautions around the area have been taken by Israeli officials so far, nor has there been a statement about the incident. The Al-Aqsa Foundation and Cultural Heritage Organization accused Israel, as it usually does, of paving the way for demolishing the Al-Aqsa Mosque by “building new settlements and digging dozens of tunnels.” Arabs continuously accuse Israel of "Judaizing" the Temple Mount, sometimes resorting to ridiculous propaganda such as accusing Israel of using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse. At the same time the Waqf, which was left in charge of the Temple Mount after Israel liberated it during the 1967 Six Day War, consistently destroys Jewish antiquities on the compound in a direct violation of a ruling by the Supreme Court.
The Waqf has removed every sign of ancient Jewish presence at the site. At the entrance to the Temple Mount, a Waqf sign says, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard and everything in it is Islamic property.”
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas several months ago accused Israel of trying to “destroy” the Al-Aqsa Mosque by allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.
Speaking to a Saudi-based newspaper, Abbas said that "the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger," claiming that Israel prevents PA Arabs from praying at the mosque, while allowing “extremist Jews" to worship there. This, he claimed, is proof that Israel has a "malicious" and dangerous plan to destroy the mosque and rebuild the “false” Holy Temple in its place, as he put it. Most recently, Jordanian King Abdullah II added fuel to the ongoing debate over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, when he told visiting Muslim and Christian dignitaries from Jerusalem that he will continue his efforts to “safeguard” Islamic and Christian sites in the holy city of Jerusalem from what so-called "Judaization."

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 6:20 AM
Agreements with the Vatican are capitulation to their plans for the Old City and the Temple Mount - or should we say the "Holy Basin".
Giulio Meotti
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He is at work on a book about the Vatican and Israel.
A long-awaited agreement between the Vatican and Israel appears to be near finality.
The two main points revolve around the Church's requests to build two centers in Israel: a church in a section of the Caesaria National Park where a site dedicated to Paul once stood, and the use of a plot on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
The structure on Mt. Zion, the highest point of Jerusalem, is known as the Cenacle, where the Last Supper is believed to have taken place, and according to the deal which will be signed in the coming months, it will become open to Catholic worship once again.
The Vatican asks Israel to allow the Church to build a passageway through the Diaspora Yeshiva, which takes care of the area known as David's Tomb, and to enable thousands of Christian worshipers to access the Last Supper Room more easily .
The area has strategic value, since it is a few hundred yards from the Temple Mount, so the Catholic Church will turn it into the international center for Catholics all around the world.
As the New Sanhedrin stated in 2009, those in the Vatican who initiated the concept of the “Holy Basin”, which is pivotal in this agreement, intended to remove exclusive Jewish sovereignty from the Temple Mount and the Old City and - in effect - aimed at "the total removal of Jewish sovereignty".
Father Athanasius Macora, secretary of a Franciscan commission monitoring holy sites, declared that "Franciscan control of the Last Supper room would open the site to regular Christian prayer services, Masses and other ceremonies". Now the Franciscans are permitted to have a mass only twice a year: on the day of Pentecost and on the Holy Thursday. Christian pilgrim groups have there a short silent prayer when visiting.
Recently Father Peter Stravinskas told Vatican Radio: "It is unfortunate that this site of the Lord's last supper is not accessible to Christians for worship. It is controlled by the Israeli civil authorities. In fact when Pope John Paul went to Jerusalem there had to be a special permission for him to be able to celebrate mass in the Cenacle. There is some talk now, of course, that perhaps there's a negotiation going on in order to return the Cenacle to the care of the Church".
Continued: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/13430

Beneath the manicured sunken flower garden of Tel Aviv’s Habima Square lies Israel’s first municipal nuclear and chemical weapons shelter. While aboveground, Israel’s national theater and the newly renovated Philharmonic Hall border the square, down in the bunker, the walls are flanked by stacks of emergency water containers. Close to the ceiling, there’s just enough room for an air-filter system designed to repel the toxic gas from chemical weapons.
Author: Inna Lazareva - Posted on: August 30 2013
Almost three years after the start of the Arab Spring, the clouds of war are gathering around Israel. As the United States contemplates a strike on Syria, senior officials from Damascus and Tehran have threatened that Israel will bear the brunt of their wrath should the attack go ahead. But while the situation in Syria is the most imminent concern, Israel is also seeing other dangerously volatile fronts opening up.
In the south, global jihad-affiliated militants in the lawless Sinai region of Egypt have launched several rocket attacks targeting Israeli citizens, most recently in Red Sea resort town of Eilat. Rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have also increased in recent weeks. From Lebanon, four rockets were fired by al-Qaeda-inspired cells into northern Israel only last week. Violence has escalated in the West Bank since the beginning of 2013, and the recent killing of three Palestinians by Israeli soldiers has provoked further riots and cast a shadow over the peace talks.
Israel is preparing for war on all fronts, against old, new and sometimes barely known foes, facing missiles which for the first time can target with precision Israel’s major cities all over the country. The scenes of panic characterized by long queues outside gas mask distribution centers this week show that Israelis understand that they can no longer be secure in the knowledge that the IDF, the Middle East’s strongest army, would be able to keep the violence hundreds of kilometers away. Many also remember the Iraqi Scud missiles that rained down on Tel Aviv during the first Gulf War in 1991, followed by the three-weeklong barrage of rockets from Hezbollah in 2006, and most recently the unprecedented missile attack on Tel Aviv by Hamas in November 2012. Yet all these might very well appear to be a mere dress rehearsal to what is lying in store.
“They used to call him Shasha the Crazy (Shasha Meshuga in Hebrew) in the media,” says Sara Paperin of Western Galilee Hospital, situated just 6 miles from the Israel-Lebanon border. She is talking about the hospital’s former director-general, who was convinced of the need to build an underground hospital even back in the early 1990s. “They crucified him in the media, because it seemed to them like he wanted to take government money and just throw it underground.” But in 2006, when more than 800 missiles landed within a 1-mile perimeter of the hospital — and one directly in its ophthalmology department — the doctor was vindicated. Today, the hospital has “more protective beds — below and above ground — than in our entire hospital capacity.” This is being replicated across the country where entire hospitals, complete with sophisticated surgery equipment, are now being built underground in anticipation of rockets from Lebanon or Syria, or even farther afield. Continued:

Sunday, July 07, 2013 - Israel Today Staff Jerusalem 133 COMMENTS
An Israeli cabinet minister last week publicly stated that perhaps the time has come to rebuild the biblical Temple on Jerusalem's Temple Mount. Most Israelis has no aspirations of rebuilding the Temple. Even among those who would like to see the Temple restored, most do not believe Israel can undertake something so controversial absent a direct act of God.
But that didn't stop Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) from stating that "we need to build a real Temple on the Temple Mount."
Ariel was speaking at a press event in the Samarian community of Shilo, where archaeologists have uncovered remains of the biblical Tabernacle that was located there for hundreds of years before King David's conquest of Jerusalem.

An American Jew stated before the 2012 Presidential Election: “The answer is so simple. They are US Jews. Their parents and grand parents like them before voted for Roosevelt even though he closed the doors of escape to Jews who later went up in smoke as a result. US Jews in their country club they call Jewish centers are all in name only. They make me sick! This ex- Democrat will vote to replace anti- Semite Obama. By the way I left my over 3 decades party when I discovered that it was infected with the anti- Semitic virus. The enormous scream of “NO!” for the Jewish capital in Jerusalem was truly horribly a proof of what I discovered.”
I stated: NO! NO! NO! The people who closed the doors of escape to OLD-SICK-YOUNG POLISH Jews who later went up in smoke as a result, were ZIONISTS!
Rabbi Dr. Chaim Simons - P.O.B. 1775, Kiryat Arba - 90100, Israel tel and fax: 02-9961252 (within Israel),
972 2 9961252 (from outside Israel) - e-mail: chaimsimons@gmail.com

In a surprising move, Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani tweets a Rosh Hashanah greeting for Jews.
By Elad Benari, Canada - First Publish: 9/5/2013, 1:20 AM
In a surprising move, Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday joined those who sent well wishes to the Jewish people on the occasion of Rosh Hashanah.
“As the sun is about to set here in Tehran I wish all Jews, especially Iranian Jews, a blessed Rosh Hashanah,” he tweeted, according to Al-Monitor.
The greeting by Rouhani, who has been hailed by the West as a “moderate”, is a sharp contrast to his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denied the Holocaust and openly called to wipe Israel, the Jewish state, off the map.
“Not even under the monarchy do we remember such a message,” Haleh Esfandiari, an Iranian-born scholar who heads the Middle East program at the Woodrow Willson International Center, told Al-Monitor of Rouhani’s message.
Rouhani’s well wishes to the Jewish people come as the Iranian mission at the United Nations confirmed to Al-Monitor that he will travel to New York later this month to address the United Nations General Assembly and participate in a disarmament meeting.
Rouhani is scheduled to address the General Assembly on the afternoon of September 24th, the same day that U.S. President Obama will address the body in the morning.
Ahmadinejad traditionally used his speeches at the UN to launch into a tirade against Israel. Continued:

IN ENGLISH http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay42HCyifh0&feature=youtu.be
September 4, 2013 "I want to wish Jewish communities around the world a very happy Rosh Hashanah. I hope the New Year will bring the Jewish people everywhere security, prosperity and peace. The New Year is of course a time for taking stock, it’s a time for reflection, and as we look back over the last year, there have been many achievements of which we can be proud. Just in the last week we have witnessed some remarkable achievements. We’ve successfully relaunched the Amos 4 communication satellite. You should know that Israel is among a very small and elite group of countries capable of launching such satellites. This is yet another testament to Israel’s technological prowess. Today, Israeli technology and innovation are sought after commodities around the globe, and as a result and despite the world’s economic downturn and malaise, Israel leads the developed countries in sustained growth. Israel stands out economically and in so many other ways. Our young people continue to make us proud. Israeli high school students have brought home numerous prizes from global competitions, including gold, silver and bronze medals from the Science and Computer Olympics. These are important, they are intellectual sports events and I think they are very, very indicative. In international test scores, Israeli youngsters lead the Western world in math and they are in the top tier in science.
During a period in which the rest of our region is experiencing unprecedented turmoil, violence, extremism, we in Israel held elections and we formed a new government. I am proud to serve as Prime Minister. We remain an oasis of democracy, an oasis of stability, of tolerance and liberty where the rights of all are protected, where all are equal under the law. Of course we have many challenges too. We have to make sure that our economy continues to grow, that all Israelis enjoy the benefits of that economic growth and we also have external challenges.
We seek to advance peace with the Palestinians while maintaining our security and ensuring that the peace will be a real and enduring peace. Not a ceremony, not an agreement that we celebrate for two minutes and then collapse. We want a real, genuine and enduring peace and this must be anchored in recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and in our security. This is what ultimately is needed. Now of course as we look around we see the situation in Syria, it’s of great concern, great tragedy, and we follow the developments there very closely, and while we’re not involved in the internal conflict in Syria, we will defend ourselves and if it is necessary, we will act with resolve to protect our people. No one should doubt our resolve. And of paramount importance, we also see Iran continue to pursue its nuclear weapons program, and this poses a great threat to Israel, to the region, to the peace of the world. Iran’s nuclear program must be stopped. We simply cannot allow the world’s most dangerous regime to obtain the world’s most dangerous weapon. We already have enough indication of what this could do. Cont'd: http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=61840

[Ednote: so far Obama doesn't have the majority vote.]
President Obama commented Friday on whether he would strike Syria if Congress voted against the use of force, saying 'I am not going to engage in parlor games now.'

By JPOST.COM STAFF 09/06/2013 12:24
Initiative calls for Assad's resignation, interim gov't in Syria.
Assad Photo: reuters - European countries will present a "last resort" initiative to avoid a US-led strike against Syria and resolve the Syrian crisis peacefully at the sidelines of the G20 Conference in St. Petersburg, Lebanese newspaper Al Joumhouria reported on Friday.
According to the report, European diplomats are working to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to accept the initiative, that sets three conditions to preventing the possible US strike: Syrian President Bashar Assad's resignation within three months, installing a transitional government, and finally, bringing both the Syrian government and the opposition to the Geneva peace conference.
Related: •Oren: Assad resigning would hurt Iran, aid Israel•
Assad: Little chance peace talks would succeed
The initiative, European sources told the paper, would save Syria from further ruin and destruction, and at the same time save the credibility of the international community.
The sources however raised doubts Assad would agree to accept this initiative.
Meanwhile, Lebanese newspaper Al Mustaqbal quoted an unnamed source as saying that after "intensive talks" with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Assad has agreed to resign under certain conditions, an offer Washington rejected.
According to the unnamed source, Assad has asked that specific mechanisms are developed in order to facilitate the quick handover of power through elections, as well as to be given assurances he will not be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court, and that he, his family and those close to him are assured a safe exit to another country.
The US administration, the source said, rejected the offer, insisting Assad stepped down without providing him guarantees, and saying it cannot make such a decision instead of the Syrian opposition.