LCCC ENGLISH DAILY
Bible Quotation For
Today/Do Everything Without Grumbling
Philippians02/12-30/:"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon. But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me".
Pope Francis's Tweet For Today
There is so much noise in the world! May we learn to be silent in our hearts and before God.
Que de bruit dans le monde ! Apprenons à reste en silence devant nous-mêmes et devant Dieu.
analysis, editorials from miscellaneous sources published on November 18-19/14
The Emirates’ New Terror List/Abdulrahman Al-Rashed /Asharq Al Awsat/November 18/14
Lebanese Related News published on November 18-19/14
Geagea urges restraint after double murder
Hamade in second day of testimony at STL
Salam Says Baabda Vacuum Has 'Negative Burdens'
NGOs demand probe in domestic workers’ deaths
EDL strikers: Bassil blocking our salaries
Lebanon leaps to 14th place on global terror index
Study: Terror Attacks Soar in 2013, Lebanon Among Most Affected
Harb: New companies interested in telecoms
Rules for roadblocks
Lebanon to swap 5 prisoners for every captive soldier: report
Report: Crisis Cell Gives Green Light to Nusra Front Swap Deal to Free Captive Servicemen
Judge Orders Handing over of FSA Official to General Security without Charging him
Army Detains Prominent Syrian Figure in Bourj Hammoud
Berri Avoids Dispute with Aoun over Extension But Values Opinion on Compromise Candidate
Report: Mawlawi Fled North to Ain el-Hilweh, Preparing Security Plot with Asir
Jumblat: PSP Will Forge ahead in Tackling Different Aspects of Food Safety
And News published on
Canada Condemns Cowardly Attack in Jerusalem
Palestinian attackers storm Jerusalem synagogue during prayers, killing 3 Americans, 1 Briton
Netanyahu: We will respond harshly to Jerusalem terror attack
Four people killed in terror attack at Jerusalem synagogue
Abbas condemns attack on 'Jewish worshippers in their place of prayer'
Kerry: Palestinian leaders must denounce Jerusalem attack
Hamas releases video calling for more attacks in Jerusalem
Kerry condemns attack on Jerusalem synagogue, demands Palestinian leaders halt incitement
Victims of Jerusalem synagogue attack laid to rest
Israeli Prime Minister Has A Warning For The US
Report: East Jerusalem cousins suspected Palestinian terrorists in synagogue attack
Egypt widens Gaza buffer zone
Analysis: Making up is mostly about Iran
EU to Israel: If you want to get along with us, make peace
Spanish MPs to vote on PLO state
Despite autopsy, Palestinians continue to dispute suicide of bus driver found hanged
Saudi envoy back in Qatar after Gulf spat resolved
Iran files charges against Iranian-British woman
Syria Kurds Advance in Heart of Kobane
Iran nuclear deal 'can be done': Britain's Hammond
Kurds seize ISIS arms near Kobani: activists
Hollande warns on 'extreme horror' jihadist videos
Iran deal could seal historic Obama coup
'Vape' is Word of the Year for Oxford Dictionaries
Jordan Queen Says Anti-IS Fight Key to Saving Islam
Below Jihad Watch
Posts For Monday
Video: Robert Spencer on Sun TV on Obama, Assad and the Islamic State
Virginia Muslima charged with attempting to support the Islamic State
Muslim cleric: “Islamic Republic of Iran has used and will use suicide operations to send its message to the world”
Saudi groom divorces bride during their wedding after seeing her face for the first time
Islamic State crucifies senior member who was accused of embezzling funds and theft
Islamic Republic of Pakistan: Muslim murders his daughter, has no remorse, was “compelled to kill her as she wanted to marry for love”
Muslims in France “far likelier to espouse anti-Semitic views than the general population”
Germany: Muslims rob churches to support the Islamic State
Norway, may God forgive you for being responsible for my death”
Obama: Islamic State’s “actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own”
Hamade in second day of testimony at
Special Tribunal for Lebanon
Kareem Shaheen| The Daily Star/Nov. 18, 2014/BEIRUT: MP Marwan Hamade is testifying for a second day Tuesday at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. After testifying Monday that the conflict over the Syrian presence in Lebanon had paved the way for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, Hamade is going into further detail on the relationship between Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hariri. You can follow The Daily Star's Kareem Shaheen's live tweeting of the proceedings below, or catch up on yesterday's testimony here.
The Emirates’ New Terror List
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed /Asharq Al Awsat
Tuesday, 18 Nov, 2014
The United Arab Emirates has become the second Gulf country after Saudi Arabia to designate the Yemeni Houthi movement’s Ansar Allah a terrorist group. This step is significant on many levels, especially as it reorganizes relations in a region which has faced many dangerous political changes. The group was blacklisted because it takes directives from Iran and because it is being employed to take over the Yemeni state amid a regional war.
The Houthi movement was one of more than 80 groups officially designated as terrorist groups by the UAE on Saturday. The Emirati move angered some parties, and particularly angered the media outlets affiliated with Muslim Brotherhood groups, who were ranked at the top of the terror list. Instead of defending the Brotherhood’s record or attempting to exonerate them, these media outlets reacted by condemning the exclusion of Lebanon’s Hezbollah from the list. Of course, Hezbollah was blacklisted and banned a long time ago. The new Emirati list includes factions that support Hezbollah, such as the Hezbollah in Saudi Arabia’s Hijaz, a group that follows Iran, Hezbollah in the Gulf region, the Badr Organization and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq in Iraq. All these groups are extremist Shi’ites.
The list also included extremist Sunni organizations such as Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham in Syria, Ansar Al-Shari’a in Libya, Ansar Al-Shari’a in Tunisia, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis in Egypt, Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiyya in Egypt, Ajnad Misr in Egypt, and the Umma Party in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula, which are extremist Salafist groups.
In the past, terrorist groups were few in number and they had clear platforms. However, today, as a result of chaos and wars raging in so many Arab countries, these groups have grown in number and all resemble each other in the eyes of many people.
There have always been these lists and all states have them. However, keeping these lists confined to the ministries of interior and foreign affairs is no longer politically useful as making the names public is an important part of the move to combat such groups. Houthi supporters will, for example, discover that their opponents include Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in addition to the weak transitional government of Yemen. The Houthis must therefore choose which camp they prefer.
The majority of objections to the Emirati terror list came from the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been engaged in battles against the UAE for a while now on behalf of other parties. One notices that the excuses they resort to can actually be used to condemn them. They said that Lebanon’s Hezbollah was not listed and this is not true, as the party was banned a long time ago. Hezbollah is also a long-time ally of the Brotherhood itself. Another claim of theirs is that they are a political and ideological-religious group, and it makes no sense to have them banned along with the likes of ISIS and Al-Qaeda. This was true in the past; however, events in Egypt and Gaza, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in the Gulf, prove that the group will not hesitate to resort to violence to achieve its goals—just as the case is in Egypt today. Hamas, which grew out of the Brotherhood, killed dozens of Fatah members in Gaza to seize and maintain power there for years.
Brotherhood groups in the Gulf have called for revolts against local governments, seeking to ride the wave of chaos that has followed the Arab Spring into power. When it failed, it allied with these countries’ foreign rivals. The roles of the Brotherhood’s political and military wings have become blurred over the past three years as they have begun to work closely together. This prompted countries like the UAE and others to view the Brotherhood as even more dangerous than ISIS.
Clarity in the current period of chaos makes it easy for everyone to understand what’s going on, and to differentiate between an friends and foes.
Israeli Prime Minister Has A Warning
For The US
Business Insider/By Hunter Walker | Business Insider – Sun, 16 Nov, 2014
REUTERS/Gali Tibbon Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem July 6, 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on CBS' "Face The Nation" Sunday morning where he decried alleged cooperation between the US and Iran in the fight against the jihadist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL). In addition to warning against military coordination, Netanyahu stressed Iran should not be allowed to keep or grow its uranium enrichment program through the P5+1 nuclear negotiations, which have a deadline of Nov. 24. To bolster his arguments, Netanyahu argued Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has "participated in rallies and chants of 'death to America' and 'death to Israel.'" "This is not a friend, neither in the battle against ISIS nor in the effort — the great effort that should be made to deprive it of the capacity to make nuclear weapons," said Netanyahu. "Don't fall for Iran's ruse. They are not your friend." Netanyahu said Israel is "fully coordinated" with the US in the fight against ISIS, which he characterized as a "global conflict" against jihadists."The Middle East is awash with militant Islamists," he explained. Netanyahu went on to say the main groups in this tide of extremism are ISIS and Al Qaeda on "the Sunni side" and Iran and Hezbollah on the "Shi'ite side."The Israeli leader was also asked about an interview published by The Atlantic last month where an anonymous Obama administration official was quoted referring to him as "chickens--t." Netanyahu declined to directly respond to the quote, but dismissed speculation US relations with Israel have deteriorated. "Look, I'm not going to deal with anonymous sources that issue all sorts of critical statements. I think that's not appropriate," said Netanyahu. "I will say this, I think the relationship between Israel and the United States is very, very strong."
Victims of Jerusalem synagogue attack
laid to rest
Ynetnews/Published: 11.18.14 / Israel News
The four victims of the terror attack that took place at a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday morning – Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Rabbi Kalman Levine, and Aryeh Kupinsky - were laid to rest on Tuesday afternoon at Har HeMenuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem. President Reuven Rivlin took part in the funerals along with thousands of other individuals who arrived to pay their last respects to Tuesday's victims of terror. "On one street, four widows and 24 orphans were left," the head Rabbi of the community, Yitzhak Mordechai Rubin, said in his eulogy at Rabbi Twersky's funeral. Rabbi Rubin told the participants not to seek revenge for the deaths of the four Jews who were killed by two terrorists from East Jerusalem who raided their morning prayers with guns and meat cleavers.Rabbi Moshe Twersky, a 59-year-old immigrant from the US, and prominent Jewish figure in the Jewish community of Agassi Street in Jerusalem, was one of the four Jews killed during the terror attack on Tuesday morning. "He was a big and righteous man during his life – not just after his death," Rabbi Shmuel Aurbach, a leader of the Lithuanian community, said in his eulogy at Twersky's funeral. "He was so close to God during his holy life and was murdered in the middle of his prayers, while T'filin was laid on his head," said Rabbi Aurbach. Rabbi Twersky left behind a wife, five kids between the ages of 23-33, and 10 grandchildren. "Besides being a son and servant of God, he was a man with good qualities. He treated me with such love and always gave me a good feeling in every matter," said Rabbi Twersky's son at his father's funeral. Another one of Rabbi Twersky's sons began to cry and said, "I never thought that at this young age I would stand and eulogize you." Friends and family of the slain Rabbi told of Twersky's complete devotion to Torah. "A week ago he said that Hanukah is in a month, and that we must already start preparing and learning the Halachot (Jewish laws)," his sons said. "On Shabbat nights he never slept but rather learned Torah. One time I woke up at 2 am and he was still studying," his son said. Rabbi Twersky's son-in-law, Rabbi Mordechai Altulesky, said, "We never saw him rest or go on vacation. All of his time was dedicated to studying Torah. It was a marvel to see how a man could work so much. He labored almost without stop." Rabbi Twersky's father, who died 17 years ago, was the Rabbi Yitzchak (Isadore) Twersky, a Jewish Medieval History professor at Harvard University. Twersky's grandfather on his mother's side was Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, the former head of Yeshiva University, a private Jewish university in New York that has branches in Jerusalem and Los Angeles. Soloveitchik, who was known as "The Rov," ordained close to 2,000 rabbis over the course of almost half a century. Israel police and Border Police accompanied the funeral procession and burials of the victims, and a large number of Israeli police forces were scattered throughout central intersections in the capital.Noam (Dabul) Dvir, Omri Efraim, Michal Margalit, Itamar Eichner, and Kobi Nachshoni contributed to this report.
Lebanon to swap 5 prisoners for every captive soldier: report
The Daily Star/Nov. 18, 2014 /BEIRUT: Lebanon has reportedly agreed to swap five Islamist prisoners for each captive serviceman held hostage by jihadi Islamists from Syria, as part of a settlement that also requires the release of female detainees from Syrian prisons, according to a report published Tuesday in Al-Mustaqbal newspaper. The paper quoted unnamed “official sources” as saying that the government’s crisis cell had informed Qatari mediator Ahmad al-Khatib that they agreed to Nusra Front’s “third option” for releasing the 27 servicemen who have been held captive for over three months in the border region between Lebanon and Syria countries. “This option stipulated to exchange each captive with five Islamist prisoners in Lebanon in addition to 50 detainees in Syria,” the sources said.
They said General Security chief Gen. Abbas Ibrahim, who is representing the Lebanese government in the negotiations, would head to Damascus later this week to sound out the Syrian regime’s willingness to cooperate to complete the swap deal.
The sources underlined Lebanese concerns about Damascus' willingness to release its own detainees in return for the freedom of the Lebanese soldiers and policemen who were seized by Nusra Front and ISIS during clashes in the border town of Arsal in early August.
However, the Syrian regime might be cooperative if the swap list included Hezbollah fighter, Imad Awwad, who is held by the Nusra Front, the sources added. The list of Islamist prisoners requested by Nusra and ISIS varies between 40 to 50 names, including Syrians, Palestinians, Lebanese and nationals from Arab Gulf countries, whereas the list of detainees in Syrian prisons is still not completed, the sources said.
Salam Says Baabda Vacuum Has 'Negative
Naharnet /Prime Minister Tammam Salam said Tuesday that the presidential vacuum has placed burdens on Lebanon, calling for the swift election of a head of state. Salam, who is on an official visit to Dubai, also said the extension of parliament's term earlier this month was not the best solution to Lebanon's problems. Baabda Palace has been vacant since President Michel Suleiman's term ended in May. The vacuum was exacerbated by the extension of the legislature’s mandate to June 17. Pro-extension MPs claimed their move will prevent another power vacuum from forming in a country. “The regional and international conflicts and confrontations are affecting the country as they have always done,” said Salam. “And today we are confronting a huge burden and challenges, mainly the issue of Syrian refugees and terrorism that is targeting us,” he said. Lebanon has around 1.5 million refugees who have fled Syria's civil war that erupted in March 2011. Their numbers began declining this month when the government decided to stop their entry to Lebanon except in certain cases. The presence of the refugees in Lebanon and Hizbullah's fighting alongside troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad against Sunni rebels have led to the rise in terrorist activities. The Lebanese are bitterly divided over Syria's civil war. Hizbullah's presence in Syria has drawn anger at home from Lebanon's Sunnis, leading to Sunni-Shiite tensions. This in turn has led to tit-for-tat suicide bombings and several rounds of street clashes in Lebanon in the past year. Salam said only unity would help the country confront terrorism.
Geagea urges restraint after double murder
The Daily Star/Nov. 18, 2014/BAALBEK, Lebanon: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea called on the residents of the Christian villages of Btedaai and Deir al-Ahmar Monday to exercise self-restraint after a couple was killed by gunmen from the Jaafar clan. “What happened in Btedaai is a catastrophe, but no matter how long it takes, the criminals will be arrested and brought to justice,” Geagea said. Geagea called on the residents of the two Baalbek villages to avoid any acts that could jeopardize civil peace. The LF chief also compared the murderers “who have a track record of criminality” to ISIS. The husband of Nadimeh Fakhri, who was killed by gunmen from the Jaafar clan near Baalbek over the weekend, succumbed to his wounds Monday, as relatives of the alleged perpetrators offered their condolences but denied direct responsibility for the deaths. Medical sources said Sobhi Fakhri, who had suffered an internal hemorrhage from wounds in his chest, died in Dar al-Amal hospital in Baalbek early Monday.
The murdered couple’s son Romeo, who is currently being treated for his wounds in hospital, called on the Army’s airborne battalion to intervene in the largely tribal area, and vowed to avenge the deaths of his parents.
He charged that the Army’s helicopter gunships, which had been chasing the perpetrators, saw them entering and then leaving his parents’ house in the village of Btedaai. The Army “could have easily opened fire on the fugitives, but failed to do so,” Romeo said.
The fact that the Fakhri family is Christian and the murderers belong to the Shiite Jaafar clan has raised fears of sectarian tensions. Maronite Bishop Semaan Atallah called on the government to act quickly to apprehend the killers, accusing authorities of negligence and laxity in dealing with the culprits. “We are not partisans of revenge but we are champions of justice, and plead with the government to act as quickly as possible to catch the criminals and push back the evils that surround our region,” Atallah, head of the Maronite diocese in Baalbek, said Monday. The prelate accused the authorities of deliberately evading the arrest of the culprits, who are wanted by the security forces and were fleeing extensive raids by the Lebanese Army in the Dar al-Wasaa area when they committed the crime.
“In fact, the government is avoiding to go near the killers who are known by name,” Atallah said. “Their families tell us our sons are thugs and let the authorities arrest them, and we do not know who to turn to. Should we ask God Almighty to come down and arrest them?” Atallah asked. The Jaafar family released a statement after a meeting between its leaders Monday, offering condolences to the Fakhri family over the death of the couple, and wishing Romeo a quick recovery. The family’s statement, which they said was released to prevent the exploitation of the incident for political purposes, stressed that they would not be driven to strife with their Christian neighbors. “The Fakhri family knows that when Jaafar family members entered one of their houses, it was to demand protection and help, for they had known their people for several decades,” the statement said. A member of the Jaafar clan told The Daily Star that the crime was not a murder, but rather was the result of a shootout that broke out inside the house when the Fakhri family refused to give their SUV to the Jaafars, who were being chased by the Army. “This is a loss to all of us,” the clan’s statement said. “We offer condolences to our dear people in Btedaai and to ourselves, and we ask the military court to follow up on the incident.” Geagea described the Jaafar family statement as “unacceptable,” while members of the Fakhri family and Christian community leaders said the identities of the perpetrators were well known, and called on the family to turn them over.
Lebanon leaps to 14th place on global
The Daily Star/Nov. 18, 2014/BEIRUT: Lebanon ranked 14th on the Global Terrorism Index due to car bomb attacks in Beirut’s southern suburb and in east Lebanon in addition to armed violence in Tripoli, according to the 2014 report published Tuesday by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The report said Lebanon was among 24 countries that had lost over 50 lives to terrorist attacks, including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, China and Mali. It scored 6.4 out of 10 on the GTI scoreboard, an increase of 1.97, the report said, citing incidents of bomb and explosive attacks in the northern Lebanon city of Tripoli in which 47 people have been killed and 300 injured. Lebanon also witnessed a spate of car bomb and suicide attacks that mainly targeted the densely populated quarters of Beirut’s southern suburbs and Army checkpoints in eastern Lebanon on the border with Syria. The assaults included a massive suicide attack against the Iranian Embassy in November 2013. An index of active foreign fighters in the Syrian civil war estimated the number of Lebanese fighters around 850, including Hezbollah combatants and Sunni Islamist militants. The report indicated that since 2000 there had been more than a five-fold increase in the number of deaths globally from terrorism, rising from 3,361 in 2000 to 17,958 in 2013. More than 80 percent of the lives lost to terrorist activity in 2013 occurred in just five countries - Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria. The Global Terrorism Index is a comprehensive study prepared by IEP that accounts for the direct and indirect impact of terrorism in 162 countries in terms of lives lost, injuries, property damage and the psychological after-effects of terrorism.
Lebanese NGOs demand investigation in
domestic workers’ deaths
The Daily Star/Nov. 18, 2014/BEIRUT: A gathering of NGOs and right groups called on the Lebanese authorities Tuesday to investigate thoroughly in the death and injury of three migrant domestic workers last week. In a joint statement, the Migrant Domestic Workers Coordination Consortium and other civil society NGOs called on the judiciary to open “rigorous and serious” investigations after the death of two workers and the serious injury of another in just a week.
On Nov. 6, Emebit Bekele Biru was found hanged at her employer’s house in the Naameh area. Friends of her employers told MDWCC that the worker had recently engaged in a dispute with her husband on the phone, and that she seemed “very disturbed.”
“The investigation concluded that Biru committed suicide and the case was closed,” the statement said. One day after, Derhemesh Labou fell from the third floor of a building in the Shoueifat area and died immediately. The NGOs said it “remains unclear” whether any criminal charges were pressed or if the judiciary classified the death as suicide. On Nov. 10, Birkutan Dubri fell from the fourth floor of a building in the Moseitbeh area. According to the groups’ statement, eyewitnesses heard Dubri and her employer arguing minutes before she jumped off the window. The incident, which occurred right in front of the Lebanese International University, was recorded on video. The NGOs said police was unable to question the employer at the time because she was “very upset.” “Migrant domestic workers deaths could be linked to the restrictive Kafala system that ties the domestic worker to one employer for the duration of her contract and does not guarantee her the absolute right to quit or the freedom of movement,” the statement said. “While trying to escape abusive employers or poor living conditions, many migrant domestic workers end up falling to their deaths.” The groups called on the government to abolish the Kafala system entirely, and to launch further investigations in the death incidents of all migrant workers instead of automatically classifying them as suicides.
EDL contract works accuse Bassil of
blocking their salaries
The Daily Star/Nov. 18, 2014 /BEIRUT: EDL contract workers Tuesday accused Free Patriotic Movement politician and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil of using his power in pushing one of the service providers to not pay them their salaries, as they burned tires and blocked the road facing the company. “Bassil is fighting us," the head of the Contract Workers Committee Lubnan Makhoul said at a news conference in front of the Debbas company building near the Fiat Bridge. “He is the one who told Debbas not to pay us our salaries.” The workers launched protests Tuesday morning in front of Debbas subsidiary NEU Company near EDL’s headquarters, after three months since the company last paid any salaries. They burned tires and shouted slogans against the private establishment, then moved to the parent company’s location in Corniche al-Nahr to block the main road for more than one hour, and burn tires and garbage containers. The workers refused to open the road until the arrival of Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi, who said the workers must not be deprived of their wages. “We need a serious dialogue so that the contract workers receive their salaries, and I am ready to mediate and make calls to end the problem,” he told reporters as he arrived to the seen.
However, Azzi stressed that blocking the road and burning tires was “inacceptable” and the workers agreed to open the road. The workers have been on strike at EDL’s headquarters for more than three months. Employed by private service providers since 2012, they are demanding full-time employment at EDL, or a promise of full-time employment after the private companies’ contracts end in 2016. The strike erupted after EDL announced that it will only hire 897 of the nearly 2,000 contract workers. EDL says it cannot absorb all the workers with full-time positions. However, the salaries suspension by NEU and an EDL decision to start printing bills from outside the headquarters have further provoked the workers, who held banners Tuesday calling for breaking the contract with NEU. The latter is the only service provider to suspend the salaries since August, as KVA and BUS, the other two, have been paying the workers continuously.
Rules for roadblocks
The Daily Star/Nov. 18, 2014/Downtown Beirut was brought to a standstill Monday when the families of soldiers and security personnel being held hostage by jihadis in Syria blocked a main road after the kidnappers issued a threat to begin killing their captives. While the hostages and their relatives certainly deserve the support of the public and the government, blocking roads has become a national pastime, carried out by people with a range of grievances. And since the authorities are unable to enforce the clear-cut laws on disturbing public order, they should make the best of it by offering help to the many people affected by road closures. Step one: Mobilize a fleet of helicopters to monitor road closures as they take place, like in civilized countries. Maybe the long-suffering state TV channel Tele-Liban could become a 24-hour traffic channel. Step two: Deploy ambulances and mobile toilets for particularly long closures, to aid the people in need of urgent assistance. Some of the fleet could ferry anxious airline passengers to the airport, if they are in danger of missing a flight. Step three: Ensure balance. The authorities should coordinate efforts with protesters, to ensure that the closures affect all parts of Lebanon, achieving balance by sect and region, so that no one is left out or is punished excessively. Finally, if protests persist, a Ministry of Blocked Roads could be established, tasked with impartially adding up all the kilometers and hours, so that Lebanon has a fighting chance to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. Our blocked roads have become as important to national identity as hummus and tabbouleh; it’s time the world sat up and took notice.
Jumblat: PSP Will Forge ahead in
Tackling Different Aspects of Food Safety
Naharnet /Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat hailed on Monday the efforts of Health Minister Wael Abou Faour regarding food safety in Lebanon, stressing his party's keenness on the interests of the people. He said in his weekly editorial in the PSP-affiliated al-Anbaa website: “The battle waged by the PSP will not halt, but it will continue to tackle different aspects of food safety.”It will include supervising the import of food, potable water, and other related files, he added. Jumblat praised Abou Faour's “exceptional” efforts in the food safety battle that is waged for the people “against the owners of establishments who do not care about the citizens.” “They only care to make financial gains and accumulate wealth, while others seek to shy away from their responsibilities by casting doubt over the results of the scientific results” obtained by the Health Ministry, said the MP. “There are no gains or losses that will be made in this battle that has as usual been linked to the rivalry between the March 8 and 14 camps,” he noted. “Corruption in the food sector does not distinguish between people, regions, or sects,” he stressed. “The corruption affects all the people and the confrontation should be waged by them away from political affiliations,” he remarked. “This is the battle of the citizen, which the government should adopt completely and confront all who would dare to hinder it and manipulate the health of the people,” he stressed. Jumblat also questioned “how some officials would support the corruptors instead of standing by combating corruption.”He therefore called on civil society organizations and syndicates, and labor, economic, and social authorities to carry out the campaign to support the food safety battle. Last week, Abou Faour, who is also Jumblat's aide, had unveiled a list of establishments throughout Lebanon that had committed food safety violations, a step which had created uproar in the country. He also lashed out at ministers and officials who had criticized his move, vowing that he will continue in the food safety battle. Tourism Minister Michel Pharaon, who said that the Health Ministry should be held accountable like the rest of the food safety violators, slammed Abou Faour's method in dealing with the scandal.
Canada Condemns Cowardly Attack in
November 18, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today released the following statement:
“Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms today's savage terrorist attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem.
“Attacks on innocent worshippers, in what is supposed to be a place of peace and tranquility, are cowardly and must never be tolerated.
“Those engaging in these despicable terrorist acts, and those financing or morally supporting their actions, are responsible for further aggravating an already fraught and dangerous situation.
“Canada reiterates that any statements of incitement are completely irresponsible. Those leaders who regularly issue them cannot plead ignorance or look the other way when terrorist attacks like today’s occur.
“On behalf of all Canadians, we stand with the people of Israel and offer our deepest heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims.”
Palestinian attackers storm Jerusalem
synagogue during prayers, killing 3 Americans, 1 Briton
The Canadian PressBy Tia Goldenberg, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press –.
JERUSALEM - Two Palestinian cousins armed with meat cleavers and a gun stormed a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayers Tuesday, killing four people in the city's bloodiest attack in years. Police killed the attackers in a shootout.
The attack ratcheted up fears of sustained violence in the city, which is already on edge amid soaring tensions over its most contested holy site.
Police said the dead worshippers were three Americans and a Briton, and that all held dual Israeli citizenship. The attack occurred in Har Nof, an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood that has a large population of English-speaking immigrants.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to "respond harshly," describing the attack as a "cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers."
The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem identified the Americans as Aryeh Kupinsky, Cary William Levine and Mosheh Twersky.
Twersky, the grandson of a renowned rabbi from Boston, Joseph Soloveichik, was the head of Yeshivas Toras Moshe, a religious seminary for English-speaking students.
Israeli authorities identified the British man as Avraham Goldberg.
One Canadian was wounded in the attack, said Francois Lasalle, a spokesman for Canada's Foreign Affairs Department. He declined to provide further details.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he spoke to Netanyahu after the assault and denounced it as an "act of pure terror and senseless brutality and violence."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, the first time he has done so since a recent spike in deadly violence against Israelis. He also called for an end to Israeli "provocations" surrounding a sacred shrine holy to both Jews and Muslims.
The attack was the deadliest in Jerusalem since a Palestinian assailant killed eight students at a Jewish seminar in March 2008.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri identified the assailants as Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal from the Jabal Mukaber neighbourhood in east Jerusalem, the section of the city captured by Israel in 1967 and claimed by the Palestinians as their capital.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a small militant group, said the cousins were among its members, though it did not say whether it had instructed them to carry out the attack.
Hamas, the militant Palestinian group that runs the Gaza Strip, praised the attack. In Gaza, dozens took to the streets to celebrate, with some offering trays full of candy.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said six people were wounded in the attack, including two police officers. Four were reported in serious condition.
Associated Press footage showed wounded worshippers being assisted by paramedics, and a bloodied meat cleaver lay nearby. Footage released by the Israeli government showed blood-soaked prayer books and prayer shawls on the floor of the synagogue. A photo in Israeli media showed a body on the floor, covered with a prayer shawl.
Yosef Posternak, who was at the synagogue at the time of the attack, told Israel Radio that about 25 worshippers were inside when the attackers entered.
"I saw people lying on the floor, blood everywhere. People were trying to fight with (the attackers) but they didn't have much of a chance," he said.
Soon after the attack, clashes broke out outside the assailants' home, where dozens of police officers had converged. Residents hurled stones at police, who responded using riot dispersal weapons.
Neighbourhood residents, speaking on condition of anonymity for fears for their own safety, said 14 members of the Abu Jamal family were arrested.
Mohammed Zahaikeh, a social activist in Jabal Mukaber, said a relative of the cousins had been released in a 2011 prisoner swap and re-arrested recently by Israeli police. He did not say why.
Israel has been on edge with a spate of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis, killing at least six people in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Tel Aviv in recent weeks before Tuesday's casualties.
The violence has created a special security challenge for Israel, since most of the attackers come from east Jerusalem. More than 200,000 Arab residents there hold residency rights that, in contrast to Palestinians in the neighbouring West Bank, allow them to move freely throughout Israel.
Israel's police chief said Tuesday's attack was likely not organized by militant groups, making it more difficult for security forces to prevent the violence.
"These are individuals who decide to do horrible acts. It's very hard to know ahead of time about every such incident," Yohanan Danino said.
Kerry blamed the attack on Palestinian calls for "days of rage," and said Palestinian leaders must take serious steps to refrain from such incitement. He also urged Palestinian leaders to condemn the attack "in the most powerful terms."
The FBI routinely investigates attacks abroad in which U.S. citizens are killed and is expected to be involved in this investigation as well, a U.S. official in Washington said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak on the record about the investigation.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also condemned the violence.
Much of the recent violence stems from tensions surrounding the Jerusalem holy site referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount because of the Jewish temples that stood there in biblical times. It is the most sacred place in Judaism; Muslims refer to it as the Noble Sanctuary, and it is their third holiest site, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
The site is so holy that Jews have traditionally refrained from going there, instead praying at the adjacent Western Wall. Israel's chief rabbis have urged people not to ascend to the area, but in recent years, a small but growing number of Jews, including ultranationalist lawmakers, have begun regularly visiting the site, a move seen as a provocation.
Associated Press writers Mohammed Daraghmeh and Fares Akram in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Eric Tucker in Washington and Matthew Lee in London contributed to this report.
Four people killed in terror attack at
Ynetnews/Noam (Davul) Dvir, Agencies
Latest Update: 11.18.14/Israel News
Two terrorists infiltrate synagogue, yeshiva compound in Har Nof neighborhood, attack worshipers with large knives and gun; eight people wounded; terrorists killed. Four people were killed Tuesday morning when two terrorists brutally attacked worshippers in a synagogue and yeshiva in the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem. Seven people were wounded, including two police officers. At around 7am, the terrorists - wielding massive knives and a gun - entered the Kehilat Yaakov synagogue on Harav Shimon Agasi Street, which includes both a synagogue and yeshiva (rabbinical seminary), and carried out attacks in more than one location. The two were killed following a gunfight with security forces who arrived at the scene. The wounded were taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah Ein Kerem. At around noon Tuesday, the hospitals said that two people were in critical condition, two people had sustained serious wounds, one person was in moderate condition, and two more were lightly hurt. Two terrorists entered the synagogue in the neighborhood of Har Nof. They attacked with an axe, a knife and a gun. Four worshipers were killed. The police who arrived at the scene shot and killed the two terrorists," said Israel Police spokeswoman Luba Samri.
Images from the aftermath of the attack showed prayer shawls lying on the floor in pools of blood. "I tried to escape. The man with the knife approached me. There was a chair and table between us ... my prayer shawl got caught. I left it there and escaped," Yossi, who was praying at the synagogue at the time of the attack, told Channel 2 TV. He declined to give his last name. This is an area with a number of rooms," said Magen David Adom spokesman Zaki Heller. "The wounded were scattered throughout different rooms and the paramedics who arrived at the scene dispersed to deliver first aid. The wounded were quickly evacuated by ambulance to hospital." He said,"It is definitely true to say that the images there - of casualties wearing prayer shawls - are very difficult."
Akiva, a Magen David Adom paramedic, said that he was greeted at the scene by the sight of a worshiper with stab wounds.
"Inside there was someone singing. I ran into the synagogue, there was a gunshot victim lying on the floor. I tried to treat him, but the gunfire started in my direction and we fled. I pulled the wounded man along," he said. "The police arrived and surrounded the entrance and then the terrorist ran out and they shot him. there was wild gunfire. People ran out of the synagogue. It was hell."Palestinian sources named the terrorists as cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu-Jamal, from the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The two were related to a prisoner released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. An official Hamas statement said that the attack was a response to the death of bus driver Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, who was found hanged at a Jerusalem bus terminal Sunday night.
While al-Ramouni's family claimed foul play, autopsy results confirmed police's suspicion of suicide on Monday afternoon.
Hamas said the attack was also a response to "the ongoing Israeli crimes at al-Aqsa (mosque). The Hamas organization calls for the continuation of acts of revenge." The attack comes amid spiking tensions in Jerusalem, which has seen a spate of terror attacks against Israelis. At least six people have been killed in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Tel Aviv in recent weeks, prior to Tuesday's attack. Jerusalem residents have already been fearful of what appeared to be lone wolf attacks using cars or knives against pedestrians. But Tuesday's early morning attack on a synagogue harkens back to the gruesome attacks during the intifada of the last decade.
Tensions appeared to have been somewhat defused last week following a meeting in Amman by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Jordan's King Abdullah II. The meeting was an attempt to restore calm after months of violent confrontations surrounding the Temple Mount, holy to both Jews and Muslims. Israel and the Palestinians said then they would take steps to reduce tensions that might lead to an escalation. Netanyahu said last week that Israel had no intention of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount, where a Muslim trust enforces the ban on Jewish prayer at the site. This is not the first terror attack at a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem. In March 2008, a Palestinian terrorist infiltrated the Mercaz Harav rabbinical seminary in the Old City and opened fire on a crowded study hall, killing eight people and wounding six others.
Netanyahu: We will respond harshly to Jerusalem terror attack
Ynet, Agencies, Hassan Shaalan
Published: 11.18.14/ Israel News/Ynetnews
Bennett: Abbas has declared war on Israel; police chief Danino: Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino soudned a note of caution in comments from the site of the attack. No magic solution for these kinds of attacks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that Israel would "respond harshly" to a terror attack in a Jerusalem synagogue compound a short time earlier, in which four people were killed. He called it a "cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers."Two terrorists wielding axes, knives and guns arrived at the compound on Harav Shimon Agassi Street, which includes a synagogue and yeshiva (rabbinical seminary), and carried out two attacks in two locations. The prime minister said the attack was the result of incitment by Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which the world had ignored. His comments were echoed by Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz who said that "the terrorists wielded axes, but the voice was that of Mahmoud Abbas." An official Hamas statement said that the attack was a response to the death of bus driver Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, who was found hanged at a Jerusalem bus terminal Sunday night. Police said that he had committed suicide, a statement dismissed by some. Other Israeli politicians reacted strongly to the attack, also suggesting that Israel's response would be fierce. "These are no longer isolated incidents - we are at war," said Shas leader Aryeh Deri, while Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat urged "the government to allocate all forces and resources; we will not let terror win."
President Reuven Rivlin said that Israel was "experiencing a coordinated campaign; this isn't a coincidental sequence of events." He added that "this hour demands national responsibility and unity, and coping together -- both with terrorism and with other challenges that face us." Economy Minister Naftali Bennett also denounced Abbas, saying that he "has declared war on Israel, (and) we must respond accordingly." But Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino sounded a note of caution in comments from the site of the attack. "We currently have no magic solution for these kinds of attacks," he said. "The terrorists will be defeated," Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said. "I call on citizens not to take the law into their own hands." Justice Minister Tzipi Livni warned that the attack should not be connected to the Islamic State, stating that it was a Palestinian attack with a nationalist motive. Likud MK Danny Danon said that 'Netanyahu must take charge and re-establish security for the citizens of Jerusalem.'Meanwhile, Likud MK Miri Regev, who proposed legislation to change the status quo on the Temple Mount - a move vehemently rejected by the Muslim world - told Ynet that, "If this kind of incident had occurred in a mosque, the entire world would be against us." MKs from the main Arab parties provided a different point of view. Hadash chairman Mohammad Barakeh, Ibrahim Sarsour of Ra`am-Ta`al, and Jamal Zahalka of Balad, condemned the attack and expressed sorrow for the bloodshed. They said that the cycle of violence could only end only through negotiation. They stressed that the attack stemmed from lack of hope and of a political horizon, which they saw as Netanyahu's responsibility.
Abbas condemns attack on 'Jewish
worshippers in their place of prayer'
Elior Levy, Yoav Zitun /Ynetnews
Published: 11.18.14/ Israel News
Palestinian president also calls for end to Israeli provocation on Temple Mount; clashes erupt in East Jerusalem as security forces move in to terrroists' home village. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday condemned the deadly attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem earlier in the day, and called for an end to what he said was Israeli provocation over the Temple Mount. "The presidency condemns the attack on Jewish worshippers in their place of prayer, and condemned the killing of civilians no matter who is responsible," said a statement from Abbas' office. "We condemn all acts of violence from all sources, and demand an end to the invasions of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the provocations of settlers and the incitement by some ministers in the Israeli government."The statement said that, "It's time to end the occupation and to put an end to everything that makes violence and tension." US Secretary of State John Kerry had demanded that the Palestinain leadership condemn the attack "to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement."
Meanwhile, clashes broke out Tuesday morning in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, home to the two terrorists who carried out the brutal attack. The violence erupted after Israeli security forces entered the neighborhood, to investigate the attack in which four people were killed and eight wounded. Those considered close to the terrorists were questioned by the Shin Bet on Tuesday morning, in order to determine the extent of their involvement in the attack. The two terrorists, cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, were close relatives of Jamal Abu Jamal, a Palestinian prisoner released by Israel as part of an agreement but rearrested two weeks ago. Checkpoints have been set up around Jerusalem, including at the entrance to the city. Residents of Gaza Strip praised the brutal attack Tuesday. Fireworks were set off in celebration and from the mosques were heard chants of "Allahu Akbar" (God is most great) in honor of the attack. Islamic Jihad also issued a statement, calling the attack "a natural response to the crimes of the occupier."
Hamas also praised the attack and called for further "acts of revenge". An official Hamas statement said that the attack was a response to the death of bus driver Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, who was found hanged at a Jerusalem bus terminal Sunday night. While al-Ramouni's family claimed foul play, autopsy results confirmed police's suspicion of suicide on Monday afternoon.
Kerry: Palestinian leaders must
denounce Jerusalem attack
Reuters, Roi Kais, Itamar Eichner /Ynetnews
Published: 11.18.14/ Israel News
Secretary of state says attack 'has no place in human behavior'; tells Palestinian leaders to end incitement. British, French, German, Turkish foreign minister condemn attack. US Secretary of State John Kerry has branded Tuesday's deadly terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue as "pure terror", and demanded that Palestinian leaders condemn the attack.Two terrorists wielding axes, knives and guns arrived at the compound on Harav Shimon Agassi Street, which includes a synagogue and yeshiva (rabbinical seminary), and carried out attacks in more than one location. Kerry commented after speaking by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vowed to "respond harshly" to the attack. "People who had come to worship God in the sanctuary of the synagogue were hatcheted and hacked and murdered in their holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality," said Kerry. "To have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement, of calls for 'days of rage,' of just irresponsibility, is unacceptable," he said.
"The Palestinian leadership must condemn this and they must begin to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement ... and exhibit the kind of leadership that is necessary to put this region on a different path. This simply has no place in human behavior and we need to hear from leaders who are going to lead their people to a different place."
Last week, Kerry traveled to the Jordanian capital and won commitments from Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II, who serves as the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, to reduce tensions.
Kerry, who spoke Tuesday before meeting in London with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, noted that Israel had acted to calm the situation by easing age restrictions on Muslim worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque. He did not mention any steps taken by the Palestinians despite what had been described in Amman as a pledge from Abbas to rein in incitement.Hammond made a statement following his meeting with Kerry. “Alongside Secretary Kerry, I condemned in the strongest possible terms the appalling attack that took place this morning at a synagogue in Jerusalem, in which at least four people have been murdered in a place of worship," he said. "I call on all world leaders to step up and condemn this brutality. Both sides must do everything possible to de-escalate tensions, which are extremely dangerous for the Israeli and Palestinian communities." US Ambassador Dan Shapiro said the attack marked a new low, and that his embassy condemned it in the strongest possible terms. He added that there was no possbile justification.
Several other foreign ministers condemned the attack. The French foreign ministry said that "President Hollande strongly denounces the awful attack carried out in a synagogue in Jerusalem and those who dared to commend this act. He shares the grief of the families and of the Israeli people."The German foreign minister, Frank Walter Steinmeier, said he hoped the attack would serve as a wake-up call, and that the overlap of political and religious issues in the conflict added a new and dangerous dimension.
Turkey's foreign ministry condemned the attack, saying, "We cannot accept attacks against the holy places of any religion."
Hamas said the attack was a response to the death of bus driver Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, who was found hanged at a Jerusalem bus terminal Sunday night. While al-Ramouni's family claimed foul play, autopsy results confirmed police's suspicion of suicide on Monday afternoon.Hamas said the attack was also a response to "the ongoing Israeli crimes at al-Aqsa (mosque). The Hamas organization calls for the continuation of acts of revenge
Hamas releases video calling for more
attacks in Jerusalem
Elior Levy/Published: 11.18.14/Israel News/Ynetnews
Video released by Hamas after Arab community rejects autopsy report declaring death of Arab Egged bus driver Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni was not result of foul play.
Hamas released a video threatening acts of revenge after the death of Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, an Egged bus driver who was found hanged in a bu in Jerusalem on Sunday. Members of the Arab sector and al-Ramouni's family refused to accept the death was a suicide despite an official autopsy by the Forensics Institute reporting no foul play.
The video released by Hamas was made in colloquial Hebrew and warned of an "eye for an eye" and mentioned the previous hit and run attacks in Jerusalem as well as the death of the Arab bus driver.
Meanwhile, clashes broke out in the Abu Dis neighborhood in East Jerusalem between Palestinian rioters and Israeli security forces.
In East Jerusalem, residents have refused to accept the results of the autopsy of al-Ramouni. The bus driver's family said they did not accept the autopsy results and that al-Ramouni was "killed by the hands of Jews.
Molotov cocktailsa and fireworks launched at police in East Jerusalem.
In the Sur Baher neighborhood of East Jerusalem, a young Palestinian was caught throwing a Molotov cocktail towards an Israeli vehicle and hitting it on surveillance video in East Jerusalem.
Several other Palestinian riots were reported in various locations in East Jerusalem on Monday night.
Security forces clashed with Palestinian rioters in the Sur Baher, Wadi al-Joz, Al-Ram, and Abu Dis neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.
Israeli police said that stone throwing was reported near the Palestinian town of Sur Baher and that police forces used riot control measures against the Palestinian rioters.
Various Palestinian organizations called for a general strike of businesses, bus drivers and Arab officials as a protest against al-Roumani's death.
Egged bus drivers who were friends of al-Roumani did not show up to work on Monday causing public transportation delays in Jerusalem. The delays were expected to continue on Tuesday.
"After the unfortunate death of the Egged bus driver who put an end to his life and committed suicide, delays are occurring in Jerusalem's public bus lines. These delays are caused by the absence of drivers from the Arab sector, from East Jerusalem," Egged said in a statement.
"At Egged we are gathering former drivers and retired drivers of the company in order to minimize the affect on passengers. With that, Egged apologizes for the inconvenience and asks passengers to act with restraint and patience," Egged wrote in the statement.
Earlier on Monday, an IDF officer sustained a hand wound from a firework launched at security forces by Palestinian rioters near Ramallah. The soldier was taken to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem with two of his fingers partially amputated.
Dozens of Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security forces at security forces during the incident. IDF soldiers responded with riot control measures.
After the incident, Israeli security forces entered an Arab village in northern Jerusalem.
Increased Israeli police presence will continue in Jerusalem in the coming days.Noam (Dabul) Dvir contributed to this report.
Kerry condemns attack on Jerusalem
synagogue, demands Palestinian leaders halt incitement
The Canadian PressBy Matthew Lee, The Associated Press | The Canadian Press –
The Canadian Press - US Secretary of State John Kerry looks down as Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond speaks to the media about the attack that took place this morning on worshippers in a Jerusalem …more
LONDON - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry angrily condemned Tuesday's deadly attack on a Jerusalem synagogue and demanded that the Palestinian leadership take immediate steps to end incitement to violence as Israeli-Palestinian tensions soared.
"This morning in Jerusalem, Palestinians attacked Jews who were praying in a synagogue," Kerry said shortly after Israeli authorities reported that two Palestinians had stormed the synagogue, attacking worshippers with knives, axes and guns, and killed four people before being killed in a shootout with police. Kerry spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express condolences and offer support. Following a meeting in London with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Kerry spoke with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and expressed support for his statement condemning the attacks while urging him to do everything possible to de-escalate tension. He agreed to stay in close touch with both leaders.
Netanyahu vowed to "respond harshly" to the attack. Abbas said in a statement that he "condemns the killing of the worshippers" while adding that Israel should stop "the invasion" of a key Jerusalem holy site and halt "incitement" by Israeli ministers.
"Innocent people who had come to worship died in the sanctuary of a synagogue," Kerry said, his voice quavering. "They were hatcheted, hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder. I call on Palestinians at every single level of leadership to condemn this in the most powerful terms. This violence has no place anywhere, particularly after the discussion that we just had the other day in Amman."
Last week, Kerry travelled to the Jordanian capital and won commitments from Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordanian King Abdullah II, who serves as the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, to reduce tensions.
Kerry, who spoke Tuesday before, noted that Israel had acted to calm the situation by easing age restrictions on Muslim worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque. He did not mention any steps taken by the Palestinians despite what had been described in Amman as a pledge from Abbas to rein in incitement. "To have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement, of calls for 'days of rage,' of just irresponsibility, is unacceptable," Kerry said. "The Palestinian leadership must condemn this and they must begin to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement ... and exhibit the kind of leadership that is necessary to put this region on a different path. This simply has no place in human behaviour and we need to hear from leaders who are going to lead their people to a different place."
Analysis: Making up is mostly about Iran
By ARIEL BEN SOLOMON/ 11/18/2014/J.Post
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain agreed on Sunday to return their ambassadors to Qatar after withdrawing them in March, in what is likely an effort to form a united front against Shi’ite Iran and its proxies throughout the region.
In a sign of worry, the tribal trait of uniting against a threatening outside force seems to be at play, expressed as Sunni unity in the face of external Shi’ite opposition, as well as concern over Islamic State.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, with the exception of Qatar, have been trying to keep revolutionary Islamic extremist forces at bay, favoring the status quo. From their perspective, Iran is expanding its influence and power in the region.
Whether it is the move by the West to seek a nuclear deal with Iran and ally itself with the Shi’ite axis against Islamic State and al-Qaida, the advance of Iranian- backed Houthis in Yemen, or the advance of Shi’ite forces in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, Sunnis are alarmed.
In an article in the Saudi-backed Arab daily Asharq Alawsat, which was republished on the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya website, journalist Abdul Rahman al-Rashed noted that the UAE is the second Gulf state after Saudi Arabia to designate the Yemeni Houthi movement Ansar al-Allah a terrorist group.
“This step is significant on many levels, especially as it reorganizes relations in a region which has seen dangerous political changes,” Rashed said. “The group was blacklisted because it takes directives from Iran and because it is being employed to take over the Yemeni state amid a regional war.”
In his book Culture and Conflict in the Middle East, Philip Carl Salzman, a professor of anthropology at McGill University and an expert on Arab tribal culture, described how the ethos of Arab tribal culture functions and how it is still relevant today.
“The principle of affiliation used is ‘always side with closer kin against more-distant kin.’ This is expressed in the famous Arab saying, ‘I against my brothers; my brothers and I against our cousins; my brothers and cousins and I against the world,’” Salzman explained.
In this case, it is the Sunni Gulf’s leading families that are uniting against the more distant enemies that seek to topple the regional order.
David Andrew Weinberg, a specialist on Gulf affairs and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Jerusalem Post that Sunday night’s Riyadh summit was “historic.”
“It represented the Sunni states of the Gulf coming together during a period of increased threats from the Islamic State as well as Shiite extremists allied with Iran,” he said.
However, Weinberg noted, “this basic tension within the Gulf Cooperation Council is not going anywhere.”
“Qatar and its TV station [Al Jazeera] are going to continue being mouthpieces for the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said.
“Doha and its neighbors will continue to clash over which factions to support in conflicts like Libya and Syria,” said Weinberg, adding that at times it could include proxy wars between them.
“This is a good day for the GCC, but it isn’t the ‘new page’ that the summit participants hailed it as being,” he concluded.
Eran Segal, an associate researcher at the Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at the University of Haifa, told the Post the reconciliation “was expected and needed before the annual summit,” but “that does not mean this is final.”
Segal does not see the warming of relations in the Sunni-Shi’ite context, but rather that it has more to do with Islamic State.
Reuters contributed to this report.
EU to Israel: If you want to get along
with us, make peace
By TOVAH LAZAROFF/11/18/2014 /J.Post
The EU warned on Monday that continued growth of its bilateral ties with Israel and the Palestinian Authority was directly linked to their actions with regard to the peace process.
“The EU recalls that the future development of the relations with both the Israeli and Palestinian partners will also depend on their engagement towards a lasting peace based on a two-state solution,” the EU’s foreign ministers said after a council meeting in Brussels.
The meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council comes amid increasing tension between Israel and the EU over settlement activity.
On Sunday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that it was a mistake for the EU to link its ties with Israel to the peace process.
The EU and Israel have strong ties, and Israel is awarded a status similar to that of an EU member state. But that status only applies to areas within the Green Line.
Still, Israel is worried about the increased threat of an EU boycott against products manufactured in settlements and calls from parliamentarians in EU member states to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.
In Brussels on Monday, foreign ministers vowed to continue working against the sale of goods produced in Jewish communities over the pre- 1967 lines. This includes West Bank settlements, Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem and Jewish communities on the Golan Heights. The EU believes that all those communities are illegal. Recently, dairy and poultry products from over the Green Line were banned from the European market.
While the ministers’ words implied a boycott or a ban of those products, many of which already have consumer labels marking them as produced in settlements, the council’s conclusions did not state that outright.
The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council said that “the EU and its member states remain committed to ensure continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products.”
It added that “the EU closely monitors the situation and its broader implications and remains ready to take further action in order to protect the viability of the two-state solution.”
It issued a three-page statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as part of a renewed effort by the EU to be involved in any US-led revival of the peace talks, which have remained frozen since April.
After the meeting, the EU’s new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said that the EU supports the initiative US Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing to relaunch the peace process.
As part of that effort, Kerry spoke with PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday evening.
The EU was looking at a regional framework that involved the US, EU and UN Security Council, and that would also include Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Mogherini said.
“We decided that we cannot just wait and see. We are running out of time. There is an element of desperation in the area,” Mogherini told reporters.
She said that media reports of pending EU sanctions against Israel were not true.
In response to a question by a reporter about possible EU recognition of a Palestinian state, she said that the question was misplaced.
“To me, the real point is not so much the recognition of a Palestinian state, but what can we usefully do to have a Palestinian state,” Mogherini said.
EU member nations can recognize “Palestine” as a state, but that would not necessarily change anything on the ground, she said.
But, “You could have a wave of pressure that could lead to a positive result,” she added.
So her focus, she added, was a “road map for political action” that could have a positive impact on achieving a solution that would allow Israel and a Palestinian state to live side by side in peace and security.
The Foreign Affairs Council meeting was the first one to be chaired by Mogherini, who entered her post at the beginning of November, replacing Catherine Ashton. She immediately made a two-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, including Gaza.
EU states are sharply divided on the topic of unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, and the EU would need unanimous consensus among its member states to take the step to recognize “Palestine.”
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told reporters that he believed that such recognition should only come after a negotiated agreement for a two-state solution.
“We have to chose to avoid any unilateral steps, because the endgame is clear, a two-state solution, with everyone behind it,” he said.
The question is how to reach that goal, he said, adding that he believed the only way to do so was through negotiations.
The governments of the UK and Germany have the same stand on this issue as Lithuania.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier explained this position to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas when he met with him in Ramallah on Saturday.
But in October, Sweden voted to recognize a Palestinian state.
Poland and Hungary did so before they became EU member states. France and Denmark have also scheduled nonbinding votes on the issue.
Israel has said that such recognition is harmful to the peace process because it doesn’t give the Palestinians any incentive to return to the negotiating table.
Obama: Islamic State’s “actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own”
Robert Spencer/Jihadi Watch/Nov 17, 2014
obama-shhh1“Least of all.” So apparently it is far more likely that the beheading of Abdul-Rahman Kassig represented the Buddhist faith, or the Baptist faith, or the Jain faith, or the Methodist faith, than that it represented the Muslim faith. This is despite the fact that the man who actually beheaded Kassig stood over his severed head and explained what he had done solely and wholly in Islamic terms. Obama’s use of the acronym “ISIL” cannot obscure the fact that the first word of the beheading group’s name is “Islamic.” This sentence in the Bloomberg article unwittingly points up the cognitive dissonance: “‘ISIL’s actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own,’ the president said, using another name for Islamic State.”
Will Obama ever explain how it came to be that a group that calls itself “the Islamic State” and says that everything it does is based on the Qur’an and Sunnah actually has nothing to do with Islam? No, he never will, and the mainstream media will never call upon him to do so. “Obama Confirms Kassig Beheaded By Islamic State,” by Greg Giroux, Bloomberg, November 16, 2014 (thanks to Darcy):
The president offers condolences to the family of a U.S. aid worker beheaded by Islamic State and condemns the “act of pure evil” by the terrorists.
President Barack Obama has confirmed the execution of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig by Islamic State terrorists.
Kassig, who had converted to Islam and changed his name to Abdul-Rahman Kassig, “was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity,” Obama said in a statement. Islamic State had posted a video online showing the severed head of Kassig, who’s the sixth foreign captive executed by the militants since they took control of parts of Iraq and Syria earlier this year. It was similar to videos that showed the executions of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. “ISIL’s actions represent no faith, least of all the Muslim faith which Abdul-Rahman adopted as his own,” the president said, using another name for Islamic State. “Today we grieve together, yet we also recall that the indomitable spirit of goodness and perseverance that burned so brightly in Abdul-Rahman Kassig, and which binds humanity together, ultimately is the light that will prevail over the darkness of ISIL,” Obama said….
Islamic State crucifies senior member who was accused of embezzling funds and theft
Robert Spencer/Jihadi Watch /Nov 17, 2014
He must have been accused of more than just theft, the penalty for which in Sharia is amputation of the hand (Qur’an 5:38). Or perhaps the scale of his thefts and embezzlement made it eligible to be considered as spreading corruption in the land — and one of the Qur’anic penalties for that is crucifixion. “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment” (Qur’an 5:33)
“Islamic State militants behead senior member for theft: Monitor,” AFP, November 15, 2014 (thanks to Twostellas):
BEIRUT (AFP) – The Islamic State (IS) extremist group has executed a senior member who was accused of embezzling funds and theft, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said on Friday.
“The Islamic State executed a senior leader in the group of Syrian nationality, beheading him and hanging his body on a cross” in eastern Deir Ezzor province, it said.
The man was accused of “taking money from Muslims… and embezzling Islamic State funds”, the Britain-based monitor added.
Isranian Muslim cleric Mehdi TAEB: “Islamic Republic of Iran has used and will use suicide operations to send its message to the world”
Robert Spencer/Jihadi Watch /Nov 17, 2014
Mehdi TAEBAnd clearly that message must be one of love and peace. “Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah , so they kill and are killed.” (Qur’an 9:111)
“Cleric: Iran Will Use ‘Suicide Operations to Send its Message to the World,’” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, November 17, 2014:
A hardline Iranian cleric affiliated with the country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said Iran has used “suicide operations” in the past and will use them again “to send its message to the world,” according to a translation of his original Farsi remarks.
Iranian cleric and political leader Mehdi Taeb issued these threats as negotiations between Tehran and the West enter their final stages.
Tensions between negotiators have run high in the lead up to the Nov. 24 deadline for nuclear negotiations, with Obama administration officials putting the odds of reaching a deal at “40 to 50 percent,” according to sources who spoke to the New York Times.
As Iran digs in its heels over preserving its right to enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, the Islamic country’s hardline leaders have begun to step up their anti-American rhetoric.
Taeb, commander of the country’s hardline Ammar Garrison, admitted that Iran has utilized “suicide operations” in the past and that these types of operations will continue into the future.
The “Islamic Republic of Iran has used and will use suicide operations to send its message to the world,” Taeb said, according to an independent translation of his remarks first reported in the Persian language press.
Taeb enjoys close ties with IRGC, which is known to conduct terror operations across the globe, and his brother, Hossein Taeb, serves as the IRGC’s head of intelligence.
Taeb’s Ammar Garrison is comprised of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei’s most faithful followers.
Saeed Ghasseminejad, an Iranian dissident and associate fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), explained that suicide operations are a key tool in Iran’s war against the West.
“Nowadays when we think about suicide attacks we automatically thinks of Sunni jihadists, but one should not forget it was the Islamic Republic of Iran that skillfully crafted suicide bombing as a religious weapon, popularized the concept, and made it an effective tool in fighting against infidels,” Ghasseminejad said, noting that the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was carried out by such groups.
“Martyrdom, suicide bombing, and victory of blood over sword are backbones of the revolutionary version of Shi’ism on which the Islamic Republic was established and shaped,” he said.
As Iranian hardliners in Khamenei’s camp line up to oppose a deal, some of Iran’s state-controlled media outlets have begun to report that the Obama administration is prepared to permit Iran to retain large portions of its nuclear infrastructure under a final deal.
“The issue of enrichment capability is no longer the main stumbling block to agreement,” Iran’s state-run Fars News Agency reported on Monday, claiming that the United States has agreed to allow Iran to operate at least 6,000 nuclear centrifuges, which enrich uranium.
This number is larger than the ceiling of 4,000 centrifuges previously proposed by the administration, according to Fars.
U.S. negotiators also said European sanctions imposed on Iran’s oil exports would be fully lifted under a deal, according to the report.
However, the United States intends to keep at least some of its own sanctions on Iran in place, a position that has “elicited strong objections from the Iranian delegation,” according to Fars….
'Vape' is Word of the Year for Oxford
Naharnet /Oxford Dictionaries picked "vape" -- the act of smoking an e-cigarette -- as their new word of the year on Tuesday, with the affectionate "bae" and the more pragmatic "contactless" as runners-up. "Vaping has gone mainstream," with usage doubling in 2014 compared to 2013, editorial director Judy Pearsall said. "The language usage of the word vape and related terms in 2014 has shown a marked increase" due to celebrities "vaping" and "growing public debate on the public dangers and the need for regulation", she said.
The word, which was first used in the 1980s, can be employed as a verb to mean inhaling and exhaling the vapour produced by electronic cigarettes but also as a noun to refer to the devices themselves. It was added on OxfordDictionaries.com in August and is being considered for inclusion in the official reference Oxford English Dictionary. E-cigarettes only began to be produced around a decade ago but the first use of the word is believed to be a 1983 magazine article by Rob Stepney which imagined the use of inhalers instead of cigarettes. "The new habit, if it catches on, would be known as vaping," it said. Oxford Dictionaries said the word only began to appear regularly in mainstream sources around 2009. "Contactless" also made it on the list because of the growing use of cards with special chips to make payments in retail outlets and on public transport. The Oxford Dictionaries editors defined "bae", which is used by hip hop artists and R'n'B stars, as "a term of endearment for one's romantic partner". The word is seen as a shortened form of "babe".
The list also had "normcore", defined as "a trend in which ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn as a deliberate fashion statement", and "slacktivism" -- "actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement". Agence France Presse