November 11/14

Bible Quotation For Today/A Living Sacrifice with Humble Service in the Body of Christ and Love in Action
"Romans 12/01-21: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, ”says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Latest analysis, editorials from miscellaneous sources published on November 10-11/14
Understanding The Lebanese Distinguishable Identity/Courtesy of Cedarland/November 10/14
The countdown to the next war between Israel & Gaza has already begun/Shimon Shiffer/Ynetnews/November 10-11/14
Netanyahu: Hamas, Islamic Movement behind riots/Moran Azulay/Ynetnews/November 10/14
Iran’s nuclear talks in Oman – a breakthrough/Camelia Entekhabi-Fard/Al Arabiya/November 10/14

Lebanese Related News published on November 10-11/14
Consensus president placed on front burner
Shebaa residents back Syrian rebel ban
Jumblatt to Syria's Druze: Join the 'revolution'
Iran says ready to help Iraq fight ISIS
Lebanon aims to plant 40 million trees: Chehayeb
FSA urges Lebanon to free rebel commander
Iran arms offer would deter Israel: Musawi Iran has a duty to stand by Lebanon: Fathali
France on track to deliver arms to Lebanon: Paoli
Cost of sending remittances to Lebanon rose in Q3
Assad wants Lebanon military cooperation: Sayyed
Lebanon Army arrests Syrian rebel leader near Arsal
Running out of excuses
The Free Syrian Army Urges Lebanese Government to Release Col. Rifai
Geagea Says 'Eternal' Ties with Mustaqbal Preserve Lebanon
Aoun: Extension Aimed to Stop a Change in Parliamentary Majority
Al-Rahi Criticizes 'Cold-blooded' MPs over Baabda Vacuum, Extension
Salam Claims 'Progress' on Hostage Crisis
Berri: Local, Regional Conditions are Promising for Parties to Agree on Presidential Candidate
Mashnouq to Cairo to Purchase Egyptian-Made Military Equipment

Miscellaneous Reports And News published on November 10-11/14
Iran's Khamenei presents: How, why to destroy Israel
Iran, US, EU nuclear talks in Oman seen going to 2nd day
Iran says ready to help Iraq fight ISIS
Obama says still 'big gap' in Iran nuclear talks
Iraq: Islamic State leader hurt in US-led
Khamenei presents: How to destroy Israel
Arafat was 'a revolutionary not a statesman
Assad ready to study plan to freeze Aleppo fighting
Israeli soldier critical after ‘Palestinian stabbing,’ say police
Fate of ‘critically wounded’ ISIS chief unclear
Former head of Syrian opposition’s visit to Moscow sparks controversy
Syria’s Assad says he’ll study UN ceasefire offer
Turkey diplomat: Must counter Armenia genocide claim
Aide to Baghdadi killed near Falluja: Iraqi TV
Obama warns of big gap as US, Iran seek deal
Fate of ISIS leader unclear after airstrike
Sinai terrorists pledge loyalty to Islamic State
Syria rebels, Nusra capture southern town
Yemeni minister: Houthis and Saleh have failed to stop new government

Below Jihad Watch Posts For Sunday
Canada: “Peaceful teachings of Islam” event threatened by un-peaceful Muslims

UK officials hesitate to prosecute returning jihadis for fear of seeming “anti-Muslim”
France: Muslims firebomb kosher restaurant after calling diners “dirty Jews”
Video: UK Muslims attack police with rocket fireworks in East London
UK: Hotel footage shows Muslim rape gang member luring 13-year-old girl
Video: Robert Spencer on Sun TV on jihadis taking cruise ships to Islamic State
Libyan city of Darna pledges allegiance to the Islamic State
Friends of US aid worker held by Islamic State call for his release: he’s now Muslim
Daily Beast: Why are jihad groups so strong? Because of Israel

Jumblatt to Syria's Druze: Join the 'revolution'
The Daily Star/Nov. 10, 2014/BEIRUT: Syria’s Druze must relinquish all links with Bashar Assad’s regime and join the "revolution," Lebanon's Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt said. “It is time to make the bold decision of moving from under the umbrella of this regime, which is destined to fall sooner or later,” Jumblatt said in his weekly comments published in Anbaa Magazine Monday. Although he had made a similar call last week to Syrian Druze, Jumblatt went further this time by calling on them to join the opposition. “[It is time to] join the revolution, which has from the beginning raised the slogans of freedom, dignity and change, which are rightful and legitimate slogans for the Syrian people,” he said. The comments came after fierce clashes broke out last week in Druze villages on the Syrian side of Mount Hermon between rebels and pro-government forces. The battles killed at least 31 members of pro-government forces and around 14 insurgents, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group. Jumblatt said the recent “tragic events” have once again revealed Assad’s plan to create war between different religious groups. “The purpose is to sustain the flaming crisis and keep the regime in power, even at the cost of dead Syrians, and at the expense of the millions of Syrians who were displaced,” Jumblatt said. Jumblatt slammed Assad’s assumption that his regime would protect minorities, accusing the president of exploiting minorities for the sake of empowering his own "tyranny."

Consensus president placed on front burner
Antoine Ghattas Saab/The Daily Star/Nov. 10, 2014
The coming week will feature intense consultations by the March 14 bloc that will revive its initiative to find a consensus candidate for the presidency, sources in the coalition said. The sources said the consultations follow former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s meeting with Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai in Rome, in which he promised to pursue a resolution to the presidential vacuum following the renewal of Parliament’s mandate. They also follow Speaker Nabih Berri’s declaration that “it is now time for a presidential consensus” after the mandate had been extended. Lebanon has been without a head of state since former President Michel Sleiman’s term ended on May 25. Parliament extended its own mandate for two years and seven months last week, citing security concerns and the political vacuum that would be left if its term ended with no consensus over a new electoral law. The March 14 sources said the extension would not last for that long because movement would begin on the presidential front this week, with Berri and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt’s backing.
The contacts will focus on identifying consensus candidates with the March 8 bloc. The discussions will begin with the return of Jumblatt from his tour in Moscow, where he is expected to have discussed with Russian officials the various negotiations surrounding regional issues, including Lebanon.
The sources said Hezbollah would no longer have to back Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun as a consensus candidate, since the party declared him their candidate in a speech by its Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah last week. The endorsement will dampen any American or Saudi backing for Aoun’s candidacy due to the ongoing regional confrontation between the latter and Iran, the sources said. Hariri will personally contact Western capitals that have a stake in Lebanon on the presidential issue, as well as Lebanese leaders, while his chief of staff Nader Hariri will handle the details of the negotiations, The Daily Star has learnt. Meanwhile, Western ambassadors have urged Lebanese political leaders to reach consensus on the election of a president soon, and to avoid seeking outside involvement in the issue because foreign powers are not likely to interfere in the issue. An influential Lebanese diplomatic source said the consultations on the presidency will, if they are unsuccessful, fill time while officials await the outcome of regional and international negotiations. The negotiations in question are the U.S.-Iranian nuclear talks with a deadline to reach an agreement of Nov. 21, and the upcoming meeting in China between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Kerry and Lavrov are expected to discuss the possibility of resolving the Syrian crisis through the parameters of the Geneva I meeting that called for a transitional government. In addition, officials are following the outcome of a meeting between Kerry, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif that could touch upon a broader regional compromise, as countries begin to grasp the enormity of the sectarian crisis. The diplomatic source said that Lebanese factions are likely to begin seriously negotiating over a consensus president based on the outcomes of these meetings.

Iran arms offer to Lebanon would deter Israel: Musawi
The Daily Star/Nov. 10, 2014/BEIRUT: Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Musawi Monday called for diversifying the sources of arms for the Lebanese Army by accepting an Iranian offer to provide Lebanon with advanced weapons to deter Israel and confront jihadists. “We welcome any weapons aimed at boosting the army’s capacities in confronting the dangers eyeing Lebanon, including takfiri terrorism, and call for keeping the Iranian donation on the table and under consideration,” Musawi said at a ceremony in commemoration of the party’s fallen fighters. He argued that the United States and European countries will refrain from supplying Lebanon with effective arms that might pose a threat to their ally Israel, or lead to a balance of power between the neighbors. “The Army should be (properly) equipped to be able to carry out its national mission,” Musawi said, calling on the government to agree on accepting the Iranian arms donation. “At least two reasons dictate accepting the donations. One is the need to diversify the sources of weapons and avoid being stuck with one international (supply) party. And second, because no other country aside from Iran is willing to offer (Lebanon) quality and effective weapons capable of defeating Israel,” Musawi added. The Hezbollah lawmaker assured that the party’s armed resistance wing is stronger than ever, rebuffing insinuations that it was being undermined by the fighting on the regime side in Syria’s more than 3-year-long war. “Those who are betting to see the resistance being weakened and undermined with time, should have a look at its history since 1982. After all these years, the resistance is today stronger and more determined than it was before,” Musawi said. Hezbollah has been fighting alongside Syrian government forces for almost two years, citing the danger of rampant jihadist extremism on Lebanon. There is no official count of Hezbollah casualties in the Syrian war, but estimates put the number at several hundred between dead and wounded.

Iran has a duty to stand by Lebanon: Fathali
Nov. 10, 2014 /The Daily Star/BEIRUT: It is Iran's duty to stand behind Lebanon amid its security crisis, Ambassador Mohammad Fathali said Monday, urging the government to accept Tehran's offer of military aid. “We believe that if the military aid saw light and was approved, it will pave the way for more constructive and brotherly cooperation with the Lebanese government and the valiant Lebanese Army in the future,” Fathali said after meeting with former Prime Minister Salim Hoss. The ambassador described Hoss as a respectful statesman, and praised him for his anti-imperialist stances. “We truly and highly appreciate the national stands [Hoss has taken] in recent times, especially concerning the adoption of the resistance paradigm," he said. Hoss served as prime minister from 1976 - 1980, 1987 - 1990, and 1998–2000.

Geagea Says 'Eternal' Ties with Mustaqbal Preserve Lebanon
Naharnet /Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea described his ties with al-Mustaqbal movement of ex-Premier Saad Hariri as “eternal,” stressing their alliance was essential in preserving Lebanon.. “Our relations are eternal. They go beyond that. We consider the alliance between the LF and al-Mustaqbal essential in keeping the unity of the Lebanese entity,” said Geagea in remarks to al-Joumhouria newspaper published on Monday. The LF leader advised Hariri to remain adamant in his call on Hizbullah to withdraw its fighters from Syria and not to confront the will of the Syrian people in calling for a change in the “authoritarian” regime. “The Sunni sect in Lebanon considers that Hizbullah is waging war against Sunnis in Syria and this is clearly affecting Lebanon's situation,” said Geagea. Hizbullah fighters have gone to join Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces in their battle against Sunni rebels, drawing anger at home from Lebanon's Sunnis and stoking Sunni-Shiite tensions. This in turn led to tit-for-tat suicide bombings and several rounds of street clashes in Lebanon in the past year. Along with the Lebanese army, Hizbullah is fighting almost daily incursions by Islamic State group and al-Nusra Front militants in the eastern Bekaa valley, prompting accusations that the army is collaborating with the party against the Lebanese Sunnis, placing the army in the thick of the Sunni-Shiite confrontation.

Al-Rahi Criticizes 'Cold-blooded' MPs over Baabda Vacuum, Extension
Naharnet /Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi slammed on Monday “cold-blooded” lawmakers for violating the constitution by causing a vacuum at the presidential palace and extending their own term. MPs are using their power to cause paralysis in the presidency because of personal and foreign interests, said al-Rahi in his opening statement at the 48th meeting of the council of catholic patriarchs and bishops in Lebanon. He “condemned the lawmakers who are causing vacuum in the legislative branch and violating the constitution, and going against the will of the people.” Last week, lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to extend their mandate by another two years and seven months, skipping scheduled elections for the second consecutive time. The vote now gives parliament eight full years in power— double its allowed mandate — to June 2017. Ninety-five lawmakers among those who showed up voted in favor of the extension, while two opposed.  Thirty one boycotted the session altogether in protest over the controversial decision.
Al-Rahi has even slammed boycotting MPs, saying they should show their protest to the extension by announcing their resignations. Al-Rahi said Monday the conferees will discuss the fate of the Christian family in addition to other issues. He warned in his opening statement that the “the family is under threat in Lebanon.” “The state is responsible for guaranteeing the needs of the family,” he said at the start of the conference which was also attended by a Vatican representative, Archbishop of Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn.
“The church will double its efforts in meeting the needs of the family … Civil society should also exert efforts to preserve the family and protect it,” said al-Rahi. The meeting of the council of catholic patriarchs and bishops comes a month after al-Rahi attended at the Vatican a landmark synod of bishops on the family under Pope Francis. The bishops and a small number of lay figures spent two weeks addressing the gulf between what the church says about issues such as divorce and cohabitation and what many followers actually do.
But the bishops failed to reach a consensus on opening the church's doors to remarried divorcees and gays.

Aoun: Extension Aimed to Stop a Change in Parliamentary Majority
Naharnet /Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun said the extension of parliament’s mandate until June 2017 was aimed at preventing a change in the legislature's majority and revealed that dialogue with al-Mustaqbal movement on the presidential deadlock has stopped. “The real reason behind the extension is to stop the current (parliamentary) majority from changing and consequently to control the presidential elections,” Aoun told As Safir newspaper in an interview published on Monday.
“Where has the equation on not holding parliamentary polls before the election of a president come from?” he asked. “If al-Mustaqbal movement or any other party has suggested it, it doesn't mean its right,” Aoun said. Had the elections to find a successor to President Michel Suleiman been held, Aoun claimed he would have gotten the support of the majority of Christian MPs. He accused the March 14 alliance's majority of lawmakers of rejecting the parliamentary polls because they fear their results.The Change and Reform bloc leader claimed that a certain embassy has a report showing that if the parliamentary elections were held now, then the representation of a top Sunni politician would drop. Last week, 95 lawmakers, including Aoun's allies in Hizbullah, voted to extend the legislature's term until June 2017 amid a boycott by the Change and Reform bloc and Kataeb MPs. Only two lawmakers voted against the extension. Parliamentary elections were originally scheduled for the middle of 2013, but MPs approved a 17-month extension of their mandate in May 2013.
However, the political stalemate and security concerns that motivated last year's extension have only deepened in the intervening period. The country has been without a president since Suleiman's term ended on May 25 because lawmakers have failed to agree on a successor. Aoun was asked if he thought the parliamentary elections could have been held despite the announcement of al-Mustaqbal movement that it would boycott them amid a vacuum in Baabda. The polls could have been organized, Aoun said. “It is not right for us to abide by the movement's demands based on the hypothesis that it represents the majority of the Sunni sect.”The FPM leader revealed that “dialogue with (al-Mustaqbal chief) ex-PM Saad Hariri on the presidency came to a stop because Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal put a veto” on his name. “When the moment of truth came and we were waiting from him (Hariri) the final answer, he began to procrastinate in a sign that he did not have the necessary authorization” to engage in such dialogue, said Aoun. The FPM chief has not officially announced his candidacy for the presidency but the MPs of his Change and Reform bloc have blocked more than a dozen rounds of parliamentary sessions aimed at electing a head of state. The dialogue with Hariri was aimed at convincing the March 14 alliance at dropping its support for the candidacy of Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea. Asked whether he thought that divisions on the parliamentary crisis would have repercussions on his ties with Hizbullah, Aoun said: “What brings us together is far stronger than the extension.”
“Those thinking that I would turn against the resistance because its MPs voted for the extension, are delusional,” he told As Safir. “The resistance as a strategic choice is not affected by circumstantial political issues,” the lawmaker stressed. Aoun claimed that the FPM and Hizbullah have reached a stage where they compliment each other because “together we fight a dangerous takfiri threat in addition to the Israeli danger.”Hizbullah fighters have gone to join Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces in their battle against Sunni rebels, drawing anger at home from Lebanon's Sunnis and stoking Sunni-Shiite tensions.

Lebanon aims to plant 40 million trees: Chehayeb
The Daily Star/Nov. 10, 2014/BEIRUT: A reforestation project will be launched next month with a goal of planting 40 million trees across Lebanon, Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb announced Monday. “A 40 million tree-project will be launched next month in the governmental palace during the national conference to celebrate Tree Day,” Chehayeb said after meeting with the administrative committee of the project, called "Forestation and Reforestation of Lebanon." The committee was appointed by the Cabinet, and is headed by Chehayeb. It includes representatives of the government, the private sector and non-governmental organizations. They met to set out a road map for the project before its December 10 launch.  Chehayeb underlined the decline in Lebanon’s green cover from 13 to 11 percent in recent years, “despite the forestation projects that haven’t stopped.” The minister explained that this regression is due to the aggressive tree-cutting targeting Lebanon’s forests. “Despite referring numerous people who we can call ‘forest criminals’ to the Lebanese judiciary, the same crimes are being repeated after certain time has passed,” Chehayeb said. Chehayeb stressed that the project is the biggest in Lebanon, but said it had not yet received the necessary financial support. “The major part of the funds is not available yet, but the international organizations and donor states are ready to add funds to the Lebanese state’s budget and that of the Agriculture minister to ensure the necessary funding for this project,” he added. Chehayeb explained that the ministry has had a yearly tradition of distributing plants and seeds to municipalities, schools and universities, but a large part of them are wasted. “Unfortunately, there wasn’t any annual follow up on what has been planted, and so we are losing a huge quantity of what we plant and what we distribute,” he said, highlighting that only 20 percent of the seeds or plants grow to be part of the forests.

Running out of excuses
The Daily Star/Nov. 10, 2014
Lebanon’s political factions have traditionally had an eye on the outside world when it comes to holding national elections; this year, they exploited regional turmoil to postpone both presidential and parliamentary polls. The war in Syria, the state of relations between Tehran and Riyadh, and the negotiations between Western powers and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program are the leading “justifications” for such acts. But the moment of truth on a critically important front is approaching. The deadline for an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program agreement falls on Nov. 24, and many expect the talks to succeed. Observers and analysts are pointing to the U.S. silence on advances by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen and the lack of U.S. pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad as airstrikes single out Islamist extremist groups in his country. The American plan to increase the number of military advisers in Iraq, as part of this same campaign, would likely have only been possible with tacit Iranian approval. Moreover, U.S. President Barack Obama has been communicating via a letter with the Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a bid to reach an understanding, while Iran’s Ali Larjani has publicly affirmed that his country does not seek to obtain a nuclear weapon. All of this means that Lebanese politicians will likely be losing one of their chief excuses for taking no action, and should prepare themselves for the repercussions of a potentially game-changing event, whether this is a deal, or no deal.

Shebaa residents back Syrian rebel ban
Mohammed Zaatari/The Daily Star/Nov. 10, 2014
SHEBAA, Lebanon: Despite the ongoing battles between Syrian rebels and the regime just over the mountain, residents are keen to stress that things in the town of Shebaa are fine. “Some media outlets are blowing things out of proportion,” Samia Hamdan said as she diligently sorted lentils. “Was the world ruined because the Army prevented those wounded soldiers from entering?”The Lebanese Army barred 11 wounded Syrian rebels from entering Lebanese territory through the southern Mount Hermon border region Friday, demanding first the release of 27 servicemen held hostage by the Nusra Front and ISIS militants in Arsal.
The rebels were wounded during heavy clashes that erupted Thursday between Syrian government troops and opposition groups in the Mount Hermon area.
The wounded attempted to enter Lebanese territory after at least 40 people were killed in clashes between government forces and rebels, including the Nusra Front. Fighting in Beit Tima, a majority-Druze region, left 26 pro-government forces and 14 rebels and jihadist fighters dead.
The wounded seeking refuge included seven members of the rebel Free Syrian Army. The rebels were stopped 700 meters from the Army checkpoint on the Rashaya crossing between the Syrian town of Beit Jin and Lebanon’s Arqoub in the Shebaa region.
“We stand with the Lebanese Army,” Hamdan added. “Each house here has a green uniform [a soldier in the Army].”
Those who spoke to The Daily Star were unanimous in their support for the Army and its decision to prevent the rebels from entering the town. Even children playing under the sun sang the Lebanese anthem, dedicating it to the Army’s soldiers.
Townspeople said most cross-border activity had come to a standstill, in anticipation of fallout from the Syrian war. Lebanese charities based in the town can no longer provide relief to Syrians west of Rif Damascus like they once did. Even mules transporting items face difficulty entering the country, one resident said.
In Shebaa’s town square, where portraits of Future Movement leader Saad Hariri were raised along the main thoroughfares, Hajj Ali Daher waited for customers at his grocery store. “We are safe and nothing will disturb our village,” he said firmly.
“We salute the Lebanese Army for preventing wounded and armed Syrian rebels from entering Shebaa, since we don’t know on what side they belong,” said resident Mohammad Hamdan.
Another resident, Mohammad Abdul-Latif Qadaan, echoed Daher’s staunch support for the military. “There is no way the Nusra Front or ISIS can enter this town,” he said. “The incidents going on around Shebaa will not change this. “Every Syrian refugee in the town is known by name, and we know where they live. Strangers who enter are identified and questioned, there is no way cells or militants can infiltrate [the town] because there is constant follow-up and monitoring [of Syrian refugees].
“We’re not in Arsal, and we will not allow anyone to enter our town. We are not responsible for anyone and we will never abandon our support for the Lebanese Army.
“We won’t sympathize with anyone except the Lebanese Army.”
Touching on the fears of Shebaa’s residents over the ongoing battles just beyond Mount Hermon in Syria, Qadaan said: “As for the environment inside the town, we [Sunnis, Christians and Druze] all stand in solidarity.”
Shebaa’s muktar, Abdu Hashem, was quick to say that the town had no connection to the militants fighting in Syria, “There are no strangers in the town, we are with the Army.”
“We welcome Syrian refugees and we provide them with everything they need,” he said.
He added that the municipality had set up surveillance cameras to monitor the movements of the town’s refugees, at the behest of the military.
Shebaa’s Mayor Mohammad Saab said the security situation in Shebaa was excellent. “There are no extremists among us, and we have one choice and one choice only: to never abandon the Lebanese Army,” he said, adding that a decision had been taken by officials to prevent the entry of more Syrians into the town.
“There are no more places for them,” he said.
The mayor expressed hope that the government would provide the Arqoub area, which includes Shebaa, Kfar Shuba, Kfar Hammam, Hebbarieh and Hasbaya with aid, since the municipalities in these zones were in dire need of more funding.
Saab said fears harbored by Shebaa’s residents that Syrian refugees in the town would one day stage terrorist attacks were baseless. “There are no weapons in the town, surveillance cameras monitor refugees and there are police patrols ongoing, as well as a curfew on Syrians from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m.”
The Progressive Socialist Party held a meeting in Hasbaya over the weekend. Present were members of the Hasbani-Arqoub Union of Municipalities and representatives of civil society.
“Amid rumors broadcast by some media outlets about Hasbaya, especially Arqoub ... we would like to give assurances that citizens of Hasbaya and Arqoub are historically tied to the government and its institutions,” read a statement issued after the meeting.
A follow-up committee was created by the end of the meeting.
“[I hope] that media outlets and politicians maintain accuracy and the truth in their news about what’s going on in the Shebaa area, Arqoub and the villages of Hasbaya and their relationship with the Syrian villages in Mount Hermon,” Amal Movement MP Qassem Hashem said in a statement.
“We hope those keen to keep Shebaa, Arqoub and Hasbaya secure do their best to keep away from using the language of incitement.”

France on track to deliver arms to Lebanon: Paoli
The Daily Star/Nov. 10, 2014/BEIRUT: French Ambassador to Lebanon Patrice Paoli briefed Monday Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil on the progress to deliver French arms to the Lebanese Army, assuring him that the Saudi-funded $3 billion deal is proceeding smoothly.
“Matters are moving well with regard to the Saudi donation for (purchasing) French weapons,” Paoli told reporters after a meeting with Bassil. “We discussed ways of extending France’s biggest support to Lebanon in view of the current situation,” Paoli said, stressing his country’s commitment to help Lebanon in international platforms, including the U.N. Security Council and the European Union. Saudi Arabia and France last weel signed an agreement under which French arms worth $3 billion would be delivered to the Lebanese Army to beef up its capacity in combating terrorism. AFP last week cited a French defense official as saying that the country will start delivering the badly-needed military equipment to the Army in the first quarter of 2015.

Lebanese Information Center (LIC) Statement on the Security Situation in Lebanon and the Role of the Lebanese Armed Forces
November 07, 2014
Lebanese Information Centre
Over the past 15 months, Lebanon’s security situation has severely worsened. The country has witnessed a surge in terrorist acts perpetrated by Sunni jihadist groups with links to al-Qaeda, its Syrian affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham(ISIS). These attacks have been committed by Lebanese citizens as well as foreigners, including Syrians and Palestinians.
While early attacks targeted largely Shiite neighborhoods and Hezbollah positions, they more recently shifted to target the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), which these extremist groups accuse of being aligned with Hezbollah and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. These security incidents include clashes with the LAF, car bombs, and grenades or other explosives launched at LAF positions throughout Lebanese territories. Most notable are last year’s clashes in Saida in the south, August’s fight against militants in the border town of Arsal, and October’s clashes in Tripoli. In all the clashes combined, hundreds of Lebanese soldiers and officers have been injured, over 50 have been killed – including two by beheading – and at least twenty remain kidnapped by Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS along the Lebanese-Syrian border.
The toll on civilians, too, has been devastating. Extremist-inspired violence has killed at least 120 civilians, including many children, in the past year and a half. Shops were shuttered, schools were forced to shut down, and livelihoods were destroyed.
For its part, the LAF has acted decisively to confront armed radicals, whether Lebanese, Syrian, or otherwise. Dozens of militants have been killed and many more have been arrested. The LAF has regained control of neighborhoods, towns, and villages, working to expel radical elements from them.
Throughout this difficult time, the Lebanese Information Center has been in contact with government officials, political leaders and military commanders and has remained up to date on developments. Subsequently, the LIC:
Salutes the bravery of the LAF and the many sacrifices of the Lebanese military;
Notes with appreciation the overwhelming political and popular support for the Lebanese army, specifically from the Sunni community and leadership;
Expresses the utmost gratitude to the American people and government for the continuous and unrelenting assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces in matters of equipment, training, and weaponry. This support has exceeded $1 billion in the last eight years, with a recent increase in the rate of delivery so that one shipment reaches Lebanon every week;
Welcomes the commitment of the international community to strengthen Lebanon’s security forces as manifested through the positions and actions of the International Support Group for Lebanon; and
Recognizes the special aid provided to the LAF by Saudi Arabia, France, and the UK.
The LAF remains the ultimate shield in defense of Lebanon and its people against all kinds of extremism. Therefore, it is crucial that the Lebanese military continues to:
Enjoy the confidence and trust of the Lebanese public and polity;
Demonstrate impartiality in dealing with unlawful militias and armed groups, whether Sunni, Shia, Lebanese or aliens; and
Receive the necessary assistance from the friends of Lebanon, chief among them the United States.
However, the LIC simultaneously warns of the attempts by the radical Shia militia of Hezbollah to undermine LAF's credibility by intervening in the Army’s clashes with Sunni militants; creating and arming local militias in villages; expanding control over Lebanese territory and borders; and sending combatants to fight alongside Assad forces in Syria.
The LIC stresses that there should be no LAF coordination with Hezbollah and Syrian army forces in matters of security, intelligence, or otherwise. The Lebanese state should not tolerate any arming of local groups, particularly those affiliated with the Syrian and Iranian regimes.
Finally, the LIC once again insists that there can never be peace and stability in Lebanon or the region without control of the Lebanese–Syrian borders. It is both long overdue and now an absolute necessity, particularly with the war raging in neighboring Syria, to set a clear timeline for the exclusive control of Lebanon's eastern borders by the Lebanese armed and security forces, preferably with the contribution of international troops and according to:
The will of the international community as expressed in UN Security Council Resolutions, Presidential Statements, and the recent positions of the International Support Group for Lebanon;
The stated objectives of the US government in its assistance program to the LAF, including in budget justifications and congressional authorizations; and The decision taken by the Lebanese government in July 2012 to deploy Lebanese troops on the eastern border.

The Free Syrian Army Urges Lebanese Government to Release Col. Rifai
Naharnet /The Free Syrian Army urged on Monday the Lebanese government to release the head of FSA command council, Colonel Abdullah Rifai, who was arrested a day earlier on the eastern border with Syria. FSA also said the “Lebanese army is not our enemy.”The army said Sunday that Rifai was arrested at a military checkpoint in Wadi Hmeid on the outskirts of the northeastern town of Arsal. Rifai was trying to infiltrate Syrian territories with the assistance of Lebanese Khaled Haydar al-Hujairi in a pickup truck, it said. The suspect had a forged Lebanese identify card and admitted to belonging to an armed Syrian organization, the communique added. The Free Syrian Army is the Western-backed moderate group fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Understanding The Lebanese Distinguishable Identity
(Courtesy of Cedarland)
A great deal of debate has gone on regarding the identity of the Lebanese, many state that the Lebanese are Arabs and that Lebanon is an Arab state, whilst many argue that this is not the case, that the Lebanese are not Arab. In the Lebanese constitution (not the Taef Accord imposed in 1988), the word Arab does not appear, the constitution only makes reference to Arabic as being the official language in article 11, yet this seemingly trivial matter was deemed of such importance that an entire sentence stating that Lebanon is Arab was inserted at the beginning of the Taif agreement in 1990. The contribution of the Arabs to the development of mankind cannot be ignored, as it was truly immense in its proportion. In almost every field the Europeans learnt much from their eastern neighbours. In medicine, astronomy, chemistry, physics, geography, mathematics, and architecture the Europeans drew heavily from Arabic books. In industry the Europeans learned of the processes used by the Arabs in paper making, leather working, and textile manufacture. It seems that it would be an honour for any country to be identified as Arab, however one cannot simply state that one is an Arab just for the sake of it, similarly one cannot state that an entire country is Arab just because he wishes to please his neighbours. In order to answer the question of Lebanese identity one has to look into the history of Lebanon so as to determine the origin of its inhabitants.
The earliest recorded texts refer to the inhabitants of Lebanon as Canaanites. Philo of Byblos claims that the Canaanites were autochthonous, i.e. inhabiting the region from the earliest times, and that they were not only men but also gods and the whole human culture hail from their area. However many theories involving migration have been put forward as to Canaanite origins, which range form Eritrea, the Sinai, the Persian Gulf or as far away as Antarctica. Herodotus locates them on the Eritrean sea and Justin tells how they were driven from their original land by an earthquake and settled first on the coast of the Dead Sea and then on the Mediterranean. For migration theories to make sense they must presuppose that some kind of ‘nation’ must have existed for the Canaanites to migrate from before their appearance in the area of Lebanon but there is no historical or archaeological evidence for such a ‘nation’.
Evidence of human settlement in Lebanon dates back to the Palaeolithic period when man was differentiated from other animals by little more than the simple tools he was able to make. It was at the end of the last glaciation around 10,000 B.C. a period known as the Mesolithic, that mankind took an enormous step forward by cultivating plants and domesticating animals. Archaeologists have proven that this process began in what is known as the Fertile Crescent an area comprising the Nile Valley, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. It was around this time that small towns started to appear, the oldest in the world being Jericho in Israel and Byblos in Lebanon going back to at least 9000 B.C. as shown by carbon-14 dating. By 8000 B.C. these Canaanite towns had populations of between 2000 and 4000.
Canaanites are described as a Semitic people. The term Semitic ot Semite is frequently used and it is important to understand what it means as it applies to a number of peoples. The following definitions are found:
Pronunciation: (su-mit’ik),
a subfamily of Afroasiatic languages that includes Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Hebrew, and Phoenician.
of or pertaining to the Semites or their languages, esp. of or pertaining to the Jews
Pronunciation: (sem’It or, esp. Brit., sE’mIt),
1. a member of any of various ancient and modern peoples originating in Asia, including the Akkadians, Canaanites, Hebrews, and Arabs. These peoples are grouped under the term Semite, chiefly because their languages were found to be related, deriving presumably from a common tongue, Semitic.
2. a member of any of the peoples descended from Shem, the eldest son of Noah.
3. a Jew.
The Canaanite language was indeed Semitic as per the first definition, however the Canaanites were not the descendants of Shem. According to Genesis, Noah had three children, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The eldest son of Noah, Shem, is the traditional ancestor of Semites (Genesis 10); descendants include Hebrews, Aramaeans, and Arabs. Ham is biblical ancestor of Hamites, who included the Cushites, the Canaanites, and the Egyptians (Genesis. 8;9). According to tradition the descendants of Japheth inhabited Europe and Asia Minor along the Mediterranean coast. Ham had a son called Canaan who in turn had one called Sidon (Genesis 10;15). These decedents of Canaan, the Canaanites lived on the coast of the eastern Mediterranean (Genesis 10;19).
The Canaanites who lived in what is now present day Lebanon were later called the Phoenicians by the Greeks c. 10th century B.C. The Phoenicians are well known as having been great benefactors to mankind.
From the dawn of recorded history Lebanon has swung between independence and occupation. Long periods of independence were interrupted by Assyrian rule, then Babylonian and Persian rule, then by Alexander and by 64 BC Lebanon had become part of the Roman Empire. Throughout these years, the original native inhabitants of Lebanon were not displaced nor were they diluted, their Levantine, Canaanite origin remained intact.
It was in Roman times that a carpenter’s son who was born in a stable was to forever change world. News of the teachings of this Jesus of Nazareth was to reach Lebanon early in his ministry and it prompted people from Lebanon to go and visit him (Mk. 3:8, Lk. 6:17), and he was also to journey to Lebanon where he healed the daughter of a Phoenician woman (Matt.15:21-8, Mk. 7:24-31) and attended a wedding. After the death of Christ, upon the martyrdom of Stephen, some of the disciples that were scattered abroad to preach went north to Phoenicia (Acts 11:19), through their works and the work of Paul, Lebanon converted. The pagan Canaanites, the early Lebanese, became Christian. Christianity flourished in Lebanon and by the close of the second century Tyre had become the seat of a Christian Bishop as has Sidon, whose Bishop attended the council of Nicea in 325 in which the Nicene Creed was formulated, furthermore in the year 335 a church council was held in Tyre. At about the same time, Frumentius, a Tyrian missionary introduced Christianity to Ethiopia. From early in the 5th Century and throughout the 6th, through the works of the disciples of St. Maron the people of Lebanon, the Phoenicians, joined the Maronite Church.
For many years the Maronite Lebanese worked the land, terraced the mountains built their villages and expanded their cities. Soon a human tidal wave was not only to change the demographics of Lebanon but was also to change the history of the civilized world.
In a little know area of a Byzantine province in 570 AD was born, to a camel trading father, a child known to history by his honorific name Mohammed, or ‘highly praised’. The religion founded by Mohammed in Arabia was that of Islam, and he is regarded by his followers as a prophet. The book he, an unschooled man produced, was written by one of his followers and is considered by the Islam (Muslims) to be the literal word of God told to Mohammed by the Angel Gabriel. By the time he died in 632, Mohammed had converted the Arabian peninsula, mainly by the sword, to Islam.
In 633, a year after Mohammed’s death, in a valley just south of the Dead Sea, a group of Arabian Muslims fought their first battle outside of Arabia against the Byzantines. By 637 almost the entire Middle East had fallen into Arab hands. The victory of Islam was in three parts: Islam the state; Islam the religion; and Islam the language, Arabic.
Lebanon, however, remained a Christian island in a sea of Islam. It is in Lebanon that Islam the state did not govern, Islam the religion did not convert, and Islam the language did not take over from Aramaic Syriac for over a thousand years, and even then never as a spoken language but as the written one. In Lebanon today there is a huge difference between the spoken Lebanese and the written Arabic, Lebanese being a mixture rich in Syriac. A great part of the coastal population of Lebanon joined their fellow Christian countrymen high in the mountains out of Arab reach. The mountains offered no attraction to the desert Arabs, agriculture was considered below their dignity and and they knew little of industry and even less about maritime trade. The Arabs did not realize the strategic importance of Lebanon and they left it to itself and so opened the way for Byzantine naval raids. Such incursions were a prime reason why an inland seat of government, Damascus, was chosen by the Arabs. As a result of the coastal inhabitants of Lebanon refusing to convert and moving to the mountains the Lebanese coast was left undefended and so it became necessary for Muawiyah the Caliph, in 663, to transplant Persians and Arabians to the Lebanese coast so as to provide a measure of protection against naval incursions by the Byzantines.
By the end of the 7th century the Arabs and the Persians, newcomers to an ancient land, began to settle on the Lebanese coast and in the Bekaa valley and the native Lebanese moved deeper into the mountain.
The transplantation of outsiders into Lebanon in 663 was not the only one to occur in Lebanon’s long history. Lebanon’s refusal to be assimilated so infuriated the Mamluks that in the years following the departure of the Crusaders from Lebanon the Mamluks launched heavy military reprisals against Lebanon. In 1307 the Mamluks under al-Nasir Muhammad went so far as to occupy the coastal strip between Beirut and Tripoli and divide it between three hundred transplanted and newly introduced nomadic tribes from north east Persia. The Mamluks hoped that the settling of these thousands of pro Mamluk nomads would not only provide a measure of protection against Mongol attack or Crusader raids from Cyprus but they hoped that such a step would over time change the very orientation of Lebanon itself. These measures however failed to reorientate Lebanon and the Lebanese remained a thorn in the side of the Mamluk established order.
Over the many years that were to follow the Arab invasion, the religion of the Muslim and the mainly Maronite Christians, coupled with the Maronite siege mentality, kept the two peoples firmly apart as they had very little in common. The sea crossing and mountain dwelling Maronites share nothing in the way of culture with the desert Arab, even their language was different, the Maronites speaking Aramaic Syriac well into the 18th century. Marriage between the Shiite Muslim Persians and the Sunni Muslin Arabs was common but for the Christians of Lebanon marriage outside of one’s own village was rare and marriage between Maronite and Muslim was non-existent, even today it is extremely uncommon. The Muslim and Christian blood lines thus remained pure, even the most modern of the Lebanese are still in touch with their ancestral village and have a good knowledge of their forefathers. The resistance of Lebanon to absorption ensured it maintained an individual identity and remained a separate entity.
The history of Lebanon as a separate entity from its neighbours began many thousands of years ago, long before the modern state was born. In fact it is doubtful whether any country in the Middle East apart form Egypt can claim such a long and continuos history as a separate political entity. Certain unique features had appeared as far back as the Byzantine Empire, but the modern Lebanese entity emerged in the late 16th century during the rain of Fakhr al-Din II when within its territory an evolving form of political authority continued without interruption to our own time, giving Lebanon and the Lebanese a separate and distinct identity and a strong sense of nationality.
The Lebanese have always been great travellers, and due to the many hardships the Lebanese have had to face over the ages, they have been forced to look outside their borders for the right to live in peace and so emigration plays an important role in their history. Today the majority of the Lebanese live outside of Lebanon, some 3.5 million living inside its borders and 14 million of Lebanese origin living outside the country. Of those living in Lebanon around 2 million are Muslim and of those living abroad some 12 million are Christian.
It would seem that any country with a dual Canaanite and Arab identity should consider itself truly blessed. Since Arabs are a Semitic people originally inhabiting the Arabian peninsular who spread throughout the Middle East, N. Africa and Spain in the 7th and 8th centuries A.D., its is clear that a large part of the Muslim population of Lebanon are of Arab origin. There is no doubt however that when the Arab arrived in Lebanon it was already inhabited by the Maronites who are of Canaanite origin and not Arab. The Canaanites had lived in Lebanon for many thousands of years before the arrival of the Arab, and Lebanon was touched by Christianity some 600 years before being touched by the Arab and Islam.

Netanyahu: Hamas, Islamic Movement behind riots
Moran Azulay/Ynetnews
Published: 11.09.14/ Israel News
PM, Lapid spar as concerns over spread of unrest leads to government conflict; Netanyahu promotes zero-tolerance; Lapid decries ministers' incitement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday accused Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Israel-based Islamic Movement of orchestrating the current unrest in Jerusalem and the Arab sector, warning that anyone who called for the destruction of the State of Israel would have their citizenship revoked.
"Israel is a nation of law. We will not tolerate disturbances, and we'll act decisively against the throwing of stones, Molotov cocktails, and fireworks, the blocking of roads, and demonstrations calling for our destruction. We won't tolerate any more demonstrations where they wave Hamas or Islamic State flags and tell people to liberate Palestine with blood and fire, and in effect call for Israel's destruction," Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting.
"Standing behind this incitement are – first of all – the various Islamic movements: Hamas and the Islamic movement in Israel. In the forefront, at least vis-a-vis the agitation on the Temple Mount, are the Mourabitoun and the Mourabiat – movements engaged in incitement and which are financed by funds from extremist Islam. I have instructed that they be outlawed."
The comments come after two days of riots sparked when police shot dead a knife-wielding Arab man in the northern town of Kafr Kanna on Friday. Those protests follow on the heels of weeks of tensions in Jerusalem over rumored changes to the status quo at the Temple Mount, holy to both Jews and Muslims and currently under the control of a Muslim trust, a string of vehicular terror attacks and the attempted assassination of a right-wing activist and the subsequent killing of his suspected assailant.
Protests and riots in the wake of the shooting of 22-year-old Khair Hamdan on Friday led Israeli security forces to bolster their numbers in areas with Arab communities, while the Arab sector itself held a general strike Sunday, with schools and businesses being closed, and cars displaying black flags.
Meanwhile, the riots among the Arab population and fear of losing control in areas beyond Jerusalem have led to conflict within the government.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid lashed out at the prime minister for his comments, arguing that the government's role "is to put out the flames, not fan them."
"There has to be a limit to irresponsibility," Lapid said. "A man was killed and the police are in trouble. Ministers, members of the government, and members of Knesset must put out the flames, not fan them. We must continue to live here together. The fact that people are using this situation to gain political capital is irresponsible."
Netanyahu, on the other hand, announced a tough stance against the rioters. He said that he had instructed incoming Interior Minister Gilad Erdan "to use any means to explore the possibility of revoking the citizenship of those who call for Israel's destruction."
But Netanyahu's primary criticism was reserved once again for Palestinian Preisdent Mahmoud Abbas, who he accused of being the main instigator in the unrest. "I gave instructions to outlaw these movements," he added, "but the Palestinian Authority, with Abbas at its head, still stands behind this incitement. Fatah's site explained in the last fews days that the Israeli people have never been here. We actually have an attempt here to distort not only the current reality, but also history."
Lapid's Yesh Atid colleague, former Shin Bet chief Yaakov Peri warned that the ongoing clashes could get spiral out of control.
"The violence and incitement among the Arab population in in Jerusalem have reached dangerous heights that could easily spill over. We should all try to reduce the flames, I wish to call on the leaders of the Jewish and Arab communities to work toward calming the situation," Peri said.
"Ufortunately, statements made by government ministers have been inflammatory. They are making it harder to ease the tensions."

The countdown to the next war between Israel & Gaza has already begun
Shimon Shiffer/Ynetnews
Published: 11.09.14/Israel Opinion
Op-ed: Without an Israeli initiative, without pursuing an agreement, our leaders' refusal to look reality in the eye is leading us to another violent conflict with disastrous results. Over the weekend, a missile launched from the Gaza Strip landed in the Eshkol Regional Council without causing any damage. Hamas has announced the creation of "popular army" units which will be prepared to fight Israel. Meanwhile, the Egyptian army is still busy digging a canal and defense wall to prevent Palestinians from crossing into Sinai from the Strip. The siege, which led to the war that flooded Israel with missiles and mortar fire this past summer, required the decision makers to hurry up and negotiate with Hamas. The necessary assumption was that after 51 days in which our lives were paralyzed, days in which we suffered human loses and injuries, and after the billions the war cost, a process would begin for an agreement that would prevent the next round.
But the lesson was not learned. Nothing happened – neither indirect talks with Hamas nor discussions among the decision makers which would outline a different direction, like a full disengagement from the Strip.
Officials in the defense establishment, and mainly around Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, explain that Hamas suffered an extremely serious blow and will not dare launch missiles towards destinations in Israel in the foreseeable future. They're wrong.
In the past, between one war and another, the decision makers and intelligence directors used to talk about "low probability," and later came up with another overused expression: "Containment." In other words, we can live with the reality taking place around us.
And once again, the clear spokesman of this perception is Ya'alon. The conflict with the Palestinians is unsolvable, so we only have to "manage it." Netanyahu, who sees himself as the new "Mr. Security," likes to add "responsibly" and "securely."
Gaza Strip. 'Whoever thinks two million Palestinians living in Gaza in disgraceful conditions without an exit to the outside world will accept this reality as their fate - is wrong and misleading'
Gaza Strip. 'Whoever thinks two million Palestinians living in Gaza in disgraceful conditions without an exit to the outside world will accept this reality as their fate - is wrong and misleading'
Allow me to disagree with both of them. Without an initiative, without pursuing an agreement, the refusal to look reality in the eye is necessarily leading to another serious, violent conflict with disastrous results.
Because whoever thinks that about two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip in disgraceful conditions without an exit to the outside world will accept the reality they wake up to every morning as their fate - is wrong and misleading. The countdown has already begun.
I remember the joy and mockery directed by the government's spokespeople during Netanyahu's second term at those who anticipated that at the end of summer 2012, if there would be no real negotiations with the Palestinians, they would launch a third popular uprising.
That didn’t happen for various reasons. And do the reasons really matter, when the Netanyahu government never even intended on paying a real price for an agreement with the Palestinians?
Meanwhile, then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who anticipated a third intifada, has retired from public life. It wasn't the first time his estimates were proven wrong. That doesn’t mean that he wasn't right about the fundamental perception that the status quo between us and the Palestinians would not live forever.
Now the intifada is already here. It is taking place in the most explosive area of the Arab-Israeli conflict: In Jerusalem's holy sites and in the area surrounding the capital which is home to 300,000 Palestinians who were annexed under Israeli sovereignty.
The basic lesson hidden in the foundation of this conflict has not been written on the board of decisions that need to be made by our leaders: The Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Jerusalem area, and yes – Israel's Arabs as well, cannot be separated from the need to make a decision about them.
The "low probability" has turned into a probability of a conflict whose end cannot be estimated. Those who want to make things easier for themselves can continue to believe that this is our fate – to live between one war and another.
But many in the world do not share this belief. Look at the declarations made by countries in the international community which are warning that they are about to recognize a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Whether they are right or wrong, it makes no difference. The world around us is creating a reality which will push Israel into dark corners and make it difficult for our future leadership to operate in an atmosphere in which "the world is against us."

Iran's Khamenei presents: How, why to destroy Israel
Ynetnews/Published: 11.09.14, / Israel News,7340,L-4589942,00.html
In infographic posted to his twitter account, Iran's top spiritual leader Khamenei describes reasons and means to destroying Israel.
"Why should (and) how can Israel be eliminated?" Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted Sunday morning, posting an image with nine questions and answers detail why and how Israel can be taken out.
The post went online as Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif met with US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU envoy Catherine Ashton in Oman's capital Muscat on Sunday to address a decade-long confrontation that has raised the risk of a wider war in the Middle East.
Reiterating Iran's official line, Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Khamenei, was quoted by Iranian media as saying the Islamic Republic would not abandon its nuclear "rights" but was committed to the negotiations under Khamenei's leadership.
Western countries and close US ally Israel suspect Iran has covertly sought to develop the means to build nuclear weapons.
Iran denies any secret nuclear weapons agenda, saying it wants peaceful nuclear energy only, but has refused to curb enrichment capacity and has been hit by damaging US, EU and UN Security Council sanctions as a result.
The discussions aim to put verifiable limits on Iran's uranium enrichment work - and any other potential path to a nuclear weapon - in return for a gradual lifting of sanctions.
The negotiations at a luxury hotel appeared to be intense. The Iranian, US and European delegations met from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. local time, broke for lunch and consultations, and then resumed three-way talks just before 6 p.m. (1400 GMT).
Speaking to Iranian state television on his arrival in the Omani capital Muscat on Saturday night, Zarif reiterated that sanctions imposed on Iran had brought "no result" for the West.
"If the West is interested in reaching such a solution, there is possibility to find a solution and to reach an understanding before November 24," he said.
Quoted by Iranian student news agency ISNA in Tehran, Velayati said Iran "will not abandon our rights" over nuclear facilities at Fordow, Natanz and Arak as well over the size of its centrifuge program that enriches uranium for nuclear fuel.
Centrifuges are machines that spin at supersonic speed to increase the ratio of the fissile isotope in uranium. Low-enriched uranium is used to fuel nuclear power plants, Iran's stated goal, but can also provide material for bombs if refined much further, which the West fears may be Iran's latent aim.
"We are committed to the talks and our negotiators are acting based on a framework ... outlined by the leader," he was quoted as saying, reinforcing the widely accepted notion that Khamenei has the last word on important matters of state.
A senior Iranian official close to the talks told Reuters the Oman talks would examine "the gaps that are still huge, Iran's enrichment capacity and time frame of lifting sanctions." Iran's ties to the West have thawed since a centrist, Hassan Rouhani, was elected president last year to try to end Iran's international isolation. But Western officials say differences remain over how to guarantee Iran's nuclear path is peaceful.
Reuters contributed to this report

Iran, US, EU nuclear talks in Oman seen going to 2nd day
Asharq Al-Awsat /Monday, 10 Nov, 2014
Muscat, Reuters—Iran, the United States and European Union will hold an unscheduled second day of talks on Monday on disagreements blocking resolution of a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program, a US official and Iranian state media said.
With two weeks to a deadline for a comprehensive accord, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU envoy Catherine Ashton met in Oman’s capital Muscat on Sunday to address a decade-long confrontation that has raised the risk of a wider war in the Middle East.
Reiterating Iran’s official line, Ali Akbar Velayati, a top aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted by Iranian media as saying the Islamic Republic would not abandon its nuclear “rights” but was committed to the negotiations under Khamenei’s leadership.
Western countries and close US ally Israel suspect Iran has covertly sought to develop the means to build nuclear weapons.
Iran denies any secret nuclear weapons agenda, saying it wants peaceful nuclear energy only, but has refused to curb enrichment capacity and has been hit by damaging US, EU and UN Security Council sanctions as a result.
The discussions aim to put verifiable limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment work—and any other potential path to a nuclear weapon—in return for a gradual lifting of sanctions.
The negotiations at a luxury hotel appeared to be intense. The Iranian, US and European delegations met from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm local time, broke for lunch and consultations, and then resumed three-way talks just before 6 pm (1400 GMT).
Both US and Iranian officials said the discussions would continue on Monday, past the time when some of the participants were due to have left.
“Talks will continue in the morning,” a US official said.
“Talks between Kerry, Zarif and Ashton . . .will continue on Monday, to narrow the gaps and reach a comprehensive deal by the Nov. 24 deadline,” the official IRNA news agency reported.
Omani Foreign Minister Youssef bin Alawi gave reporters an upbeat assessment of the talks. “By the level of commitment all parties are showing, we feel comfortable,” he said. “There is no going back . . .I feel that all parties are positively willing to reach an agreement.”
The thorniest unresolved issues are the size of Iran’s enrichment program, the length of any long-term agreement and the pace at which international sanctions would be phased out, according to Western and Iranian diplomats involved in the negotiations.
Washington also wants intensive verification and monitoring measures to ensure Iran is living up to its end of the bargain.
As Kerry arrived in Oman, a senior US official said the three-way talks would be “an important meeting,” with the focus on making progress in order to meet the deadline.
US officials say major gaps still remain in negotiating positions. Kerry said last week that the United States and its partners were not contemplating an extension of the Nov. 24 deadline, although he held out the possibility that negotiations could go beyond that date if major issues were resolved and there were only technical details to wrap up.
Speaking to Iranian state television on his arrival in the Omani capital Muscat on Saturday night, Zarif reiterated that sanctions imposed on Iran had brought “no result” for the West.
“If the West is interested in reaching such a solution, there is possibility to find a solution and to reach an understanding before November 24,” he said.
Quoted by Iranian student news agency ISNA in Tehran, Velayati said Iran “will not abandon our rights” over nuclear facilities at Fordow, Natanz and Arak as well over the size of its centrifuge program that enriches uranium for nuclear fuel.
Centrifuges are machines that spin at supersonic speed to increase the ratio of the fissile isotope in uranium. Low-enriched uranium is used to fuel nuclear power plants, Iran’s stated goal, but can also provide material for bombs if refined much further, which the West fears may be Iran’s latent aim.
“We are committed to the talks and our negotiators are acting based on a framework . . .outlined by the leader,” he was quoted as saying, reinforcing the widely accepted notion that Khamenei has the last word on important matters of state.
A senior Iranian official close to the talks told Reuters the Oman talks would examine “the gaps that are still huge, Iran’s enrichment capacity and time frame of lifting sanctions.”
Iran’s ties to the West have thawed since a centrist, Hassan Rouhani, was elected president last year to try to end Iran’s international isolation. But Western officials say differences remain over how to guarantee Iran’s nuclear path is peaceful.

Iran’s nuclear talks in Oman – a breakthrough?

Monday, 10 November 2014
Camelia Entekhabi-Fard/Al Arabiya
The nuclear talks in Oman mark the first time such a meeting has taken place outside the EU since the election of Iranian President Hassan Rowhani. Oman famously played a significant role in resuming secret contact between Iran and the United States almost two years ago when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still in office. With the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei’s approval, the talks continued and led to the first interim agreement being finalized in Geneva almost year ago. The deal was extended for another six months in Vienna last July and disappointment is now clear as Iran and the United States have admitted that gaps remain. “The U.S. and Iran are both seeking a nuclear breakthrough before the deadline”Now, Oman has decided to host Iran and the United States again in another attempt to mediate between them.
EU sidelined?
The EU countries involved in the talks have complained due to their not being present at the Omani talks. However, they will join the two countries on Nov. 11 in Muscat. It is clear that these talks will see Iran and the United Sates bargaining on how many centrifuges Iran can have and the level of enrichment it will be allowed to pursue. The talks will perhaps also see the two powers arguing over sanctions that Iran wants revoked once the deal has been agreed. With less-than-stellar ties since the Iranian revolution, both countries took major steps by holding bilateral talks about the nuclear issue even if it does not suit hardliners on each side. The talks in Oman are a sign of the seriousness of the current stage of negotiations and the possibilities of some agreement being reached before the deadline.
Trusting Iran
Also, having the talks in Oman has enabled the presence of dozens of Arab journalists to come to Muscat to get firsthand insightful information about the talks. Most of Iran’s Arab neighbors are still worried that the nuclear deal may be reached between Iran and the United States. Their concern stems from the lack of trust of the regime and also lack of trust regarding the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. “Hostility with Iran does not serve Arab interests,” Oman’s Foreign Minister Yousef Bin Alwai Bin Abdullah told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. “So it is not in the interests of we, the Arab Gulf, to unite against a state like Iran. Why? Because this would have huge negative repercussions on all parties. So this diversity in relations with Iran perhaps serves both sides. We do not believe that we need any form of conflict, we trust in dialogue when it comes to our foreign relations.” There are many anxious players who want to hinder the talks. The emergenceof President Barack Obama’s secret letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei just a couple of days before the Oman talks was one of those destructive attempts. These days, Republicans are Obama’s major criticizer at home and disapprove anything he has done and at the same time the U.S. closest allies like Israel tighten its belt to prevent the nuclear deal.
The U.S. and Iran are both seeking a nuclear breakthrough before the deadline in spite of all these destructive attempts to jeopardize the talks and the Oman talks are a success on the path to this breakthrough. Whatever Iran and the U.S. agree on in Oman, the negotiators are willing to meet in Vienna on November 18 to officially declare how they will be moving forward.