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CULTURE & HERITAGE - Culture & History

By Gilberte JACARET

Kerry links 'increase in violence' to Israel's settlement activity
Top US diplomat says Palestinian 'frustration' fueled by increase in West Bank construction, indicates he will visit region to push for renewal of talks

BY REBECCA SHIMONI STOIL AND AP October 14, 2015, 2:35 am 181

In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, US Secretary of State John Kerry gives a news conference at the National Palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (AP/Dieu Nalio Chery)
BOSTON — Expansion of building in settlements has increased Palestinian frustration, leading to the current upswing in violence, Secretary of State John Kerry told an audience at Harvard University Tuesday evening. Speaking about America's ability to impact outcomes throughout the world, Kerry warned that "unless we get going, the two-state solution will be conceivably stolen from everybody."
"There's been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years," Kerry said during a question-and-answer session, "and there's an increase in the violence because there's this frustration that's growing." Kerry noted that there was also "a frustration among Israelis who don't see any end."
"I look at that and I say if that did explode — and I pray and hope it won't — and I think there're options to prevent that, then we would inevitably be at some point engaged in working though those kinds of difficulties," Kerry continued. "So better to find the ways to deal with it before that happens than later and I think what always perplexes me – we've been through Oslo, Wye Plantation, Madrid, countless negotiations. Most people I talk to have a pretty damn good sense of what has to be done."..........
"This violence and any incitement to violence has got to stop," he said.
Kerry said he spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend to stress his concerns.
Netanyahu said Tuesday he would take a series of "aggressive steps" to halt a wave of violence in Israeli cities after two attacks in Jerusalem left three Israelis dead. Three Palestinians, including two attackers, were also killed.

What Do Palestinian Terrorists Want?
by Bassam Tawil
October 15, 2015 at 5:00 am

Palestinian terrorists are not driven by poverty and deprivation, as many have long argued. Instead, they are driven by hatred for Jews -- because of what their leaders, media and mosques are telling them.
These young people took advantage of their status as permanent residents of Israel to set out and murder Jews. Their Israeli ID cards allow them to travel freely inside Israel. They were also entitled to the social welfare benefits and free healthcare granted to all Israeli citizens.
Muhannad Halabi wanted to murder Jews because he had been brainwashed by our leaders and media, and was driven by hatred -- he was not living in misery and deprivation. The family's house in the village of Surda, on the outskirts of Ramallah, looks as if it came out of a movie filmed in San Diego.
This conflict is not about Islamic holy sites or Jerusalem. Murdering a Jewish couple in front of their four children has nothing to do with the Aqsa Mosque or "occupation."
For the terrorists, all Jews are "settlers" and Israel is one big settlement. This is not an intifada -- it is just another killing-spree aimed at terrorizing the Jews and forcing them out of this part of the world. It already succeeded in the rest of the Middle East and is now being done there to the Christians as well.
The current wave of terrorism is just another phase in our dream to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. The terrorists and their supporters are not struggling against a checkpoint or a wall. They want to see Israel destroyed, Jews slaughtered, and the streets of Israel running with Jewish blood.
During the past few days, I had occasion to visit the homes of some of the Palestinian men and women involved in the ongoing wave of terrorism against Israelis -- the violence that some are calling an "intifada," or uprising.
What I saw -- what you or anyone could see during these visits -- was that none of these Palestinians had suffered harsh lives. Their living conditions were anything but miserable. In fact, these murderers had been leading comfortable lives, with unlimited access to education and work.
Four of the terrorists came from Jerusalem and, as permanent residents who had not applied for citizenship, held Israeli ID cards. They enjoyed all the rights of an Israeli citizen, except for voting for the Knesset -- but it is not as if the Arabs of Jerusalem are killing and dying because they want to vote in Israeli parliamentary elections.
These young people took advantage of their status as permanent residents of Israel to set out and murder Jews. They all had Israeli ID cards that allowed them to travel freely inside Israel, and even own and drive vehicles with Israeli license plates. They were also entitled to the social welfare benefits and free healthcare granted to all Israeli citizens, regardless of their faith, color or ethnicity.
None of the young Palestinians involved in the recent terror attacks lived a mud house, a tent, or even a rented apartment. They all lived in houses owned by their families, and had unlimited access to the internet. They all carried smartphones that allowed them to share their views on Facebook and Twitter and, among other things, to engage in wanton incitement against Israel and Jews.
At the home of Muhannad Halabi, for example, the Palestinian who murdered two Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem last week, you would discover that his father is a businessman who deals in air-conditioning systems and has his own business in Ramallah. The family's house, in the village of Surda on the northern outskirts of Ramallah, looks as if it came out of a movie filmed in San Diego.
Muhannad Halabi, his relatives said, was a spoiled boy who had gotten everything he asked for. He had been studying law at Al-Quds University near Jerusalem, and was able to commute freely between Ramallah and the campus. But the good life Muhannad had did not prevent him from joining Islamic Jihad and murdering two Jews. He wanted to murder Jews because he had been brainwashed by our leaders and media, and was driven by hatred -- he was not living in misery and deprivation.
The case of Shuruq Dweyat, an 18-year-old female student from the Tsur Baher village in Jerusalem, is not really different from that of Muhannad Halabi. She is now receiving treatment in an Israeli hospital, free of charge, after being shot and seriously wounded by the Jew she tried to murder inside the Old City of Jerusalem. She was studying history and geography at Bethlehem University, to which she travelled four times a week from her home, without facing any obstacles or being stopped by Israeli soldiers.
Photos Shuruq posted on social media show a happy woman who never stopped smiling and posing for "selfies." She has her own smartphone. Her family, like those of all the other terrorists, own their own house and lead an extremely comfortable life. The Israeli ID card Shuruq holds allows her to go to any place inside Israel at any time. She chose to take advantage of this privilege to try to murder a random Jew in the street. The reason? She, too, was apparently driven by hatred, anti-Semitism and bigotry. She, too, was the victim of a massive propaganda machine that ceaselessly demonizes Israel and Jews.
If you had met 19-year-old Fadi Alloun, you would have seen possibly the most handsome man in Jerusalem. Fadi, who came from Issawiyeh in Jerusalem, had also been enjoying a good life under Israel's administration. He too had an Israeli ID card and was able to travel freely throughout the country. His family told me that he had loved going to shopping malls in Israel to buy clothes from chain stores such as Zara, Renuar, Castro. With his snazzy clothes and sunglasses, he looked like more like an Italian fashion model than your average terrorist. He, too, had unlimited access to the Internet and his family owned their own house.
Fadi's good life in Israel, however, did not prevent him from setting out to stab the first Jew he met on the street. This happened last week, when Fadi stabbed a 15-year-old Jew just outside the Old City of Jerusalem. Fadi was shot and killed by Israeli policemen who rushed to the scene of the attack. Fadi did not set out to murder Jews because he had a harsh life. Nor was he driven by misery or poverty. He had almost everything to which he aspired, and his family were well-off. The life Fadi had, in fact, was much better than the lives of many of his fellow Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As an Israeli resident, Fadi was able to go anywhere he wanted in Israel and had free access to restaurants, shopping malls and gyms.
The other young men and women who have carried out the current wave of terror attacks were also leading good lives; some had jobs inside Israel, in part thanks to their Israeli ID cards. Those who came from the West Bank were able to bypass checkpoints and the security barrier, just as thousands of other Palestinian laborers do, who cross into Israel every day in search of work and better lives.
To be honest, I envied these terrorists because of the comfortable lives they had. The furniture in their homes is far better than my furniture. Still, their luxuries did not stop them from setting out to murder Jews.
What does all this mean? It shows that the Palestinian terrorists are not driven by poverty and deprivation, as many have long been arguing. Palestinian terrorists are driven by hatred for Jews because of what their leaders, media and mosques are telling them: that the Jews are the enemy and that they have no right to be in this part of the world.
It also shows that this conflict is not about Islamic holy sites or Jerusalem, but about murdering Jews whenever possible. Murdering two Jews inside the Old City of Jerusalem or a Jewish couple in front of their four children has nothing to do with the Aqsa Mosque or "occupation." It is simply about the desire to murder as many Jews as one can. The terrorists did not draw any distinction between a Jew living in east Jerusalem, the West Bank, Tel Aviv or Afula [northern Israel]. For the terrorists and their sponsors, all Jews are "settlers" and Israel is one big settlement that needs to be eliminated.
Our conflict with Israel is not about "occupation" or Jerusalem or holy sites or borders. Nor is it about poverty and poor living conditions or walls and fences and checkpoints. This conflict is really about Israel's very existence in this part of the world. The current wave of terrorism is just another phase in our dream to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. This is not an intifada. It is just another killing-spree aimed at terrorizing the Jews and forcing them to leave this part of the world. It already succeeded in the rest of the Middle East, and is now being done to the Christians as well.
The terrorists and their supporters are not struggling against a checkpoint or a wall. They want to see Israel destroyed, Jews slaughtered, and the streets of Israel running with Jewish blood.

The intifada of the young and hopeless

Analysis: The young male and female murderers flooding Israel's streets are not lunatics from the margins of the Palestinian society; they are part of an army of unemployed academics and hopeless high school students who could care less about the regional political problems.
Ynet, October 14, 2015 Alex Fishman

There is no calm and rational solution to the "intifada of the young," which has been taking place here for nearly a month. As bad as it may sound, the current wave of terror can only be stopped by using force, a lot of force.
I am not talking about occupying the West Bank or imposing a general siege on the territories. This fire can be suffocated by flooding the ground with forces, regular presence in centers of friction and sensitive sites, wide-scale arrests of rioters and heavy punishment, including of the parents of the minors involved in the acts of violence.
Sisyphean persistence, over a long period of time, with these aggressive moves may eventually suffocate the fire - but it won't put out the sizzling embers which will break out again every time someone adds fuel.
This intifada is being led by young men and women under the age of 20, who are going out on the streets to murder Jews. The possibility that they themselves will get killed plays no major part in their calculations, as the chance of becoming a national hero and gaining appreciation from their immediate surroundings is much more alluring to them.


A 16-year-old Palestinian boy preparing to stab passersby at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on Saturday. The current wave of terror can only be stopped with a lot of force (Photo: Zipi Malkov)

Here, however, we are finding it difficult to accept the fact that the outburst of hatred and anger among this layer of young men and women in Palestinian society cannot be stopped at once. It's hard for us to understand that it's not "only" an outburst over political distress, which will disappear if we force the Palestinian Authority to order them to stop, or if we reach some kind of agreement with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to resume the talks.
Some kind of solution regarding the Temple Mount won't guarantee immediate calm, either, as the "intifada of the young" has put on the streets, in the meantime, only representatives of the huge army of unemployed people living in the territories.
We are talking about hundreds of thousands of young people, mostly educated, many of them academics, who don't work and walk around bored, poisoned, without any hope on the horizon.
The dry statistics point to 31.4 percent of young people in the Palestinian Authority who are not part of any system, but the real rate is likely higher. These academics, who have failed to find proper jobs in the PA, work in agriculture and construction, increasing the sense that their lives are worthless. And this abscess, which has been festering for years, is now bursting on our streets.
Meanwhile, Israel and the PA are trying to prevent wider circles from joining the wave of violence. Israel is therefore still providing laborers with entry permits and avoiding imposition of economic sanctions on the West Bank, setting up roadblocks or imposing sieges and curfews. The pattern is to create a distinction between the rioters and the rest of the population in the West Bank.
The stabbers and murderers flooding the streets are not lunatics from the margins of society. Nearly all of them are under 20 years old, high school and university students, without a record of security offenses. This bomb was created by years of neglect in the PA and by Israeli disregard.
They couldn't care less about the PA, which used the billions it received from the world to grease the palms of the administration and security mechanisms in order to maintain their loyalty. They are not go out on the streets to stab because of the regional political problems. While the damage to national dignity on the Temple Mount is a key reason for the events, for these young people it mainly serves as an engine pushing them to blow up on police officers, soldiers and Israeli citizens.
It's starting to look like sacrifice attacks, as only some 50 percent of the young murderers remain alive. The young Palestinians in 2015 are not like the previous generations. They are much more aware of their abilities, their rights, the international support for their struggle. The calls for calm issued by Abbas and members of his security organizations and Israel's threats don't have a particular effect on the ground, as these young people have gone out to kick the establishments - the Palestinians and the Israelis. They may be stabbing Israelis, but they despise the PA.
This phenomenon of an army of unemployed youngsters is well known on the ground. Professionals in the defense establishment have been following it, writing about it, warning about it for years, but no one - neither in Israel nor in the PA - has done anything about it. After all, this requires a long-term process with huge investments, and who in the Middle East has time to invest in long-term processes?
This army has a lot of strength. More than 200,000 students study in the academic institutions in Gaza and the West Bank. Every year, 40,000 complete a bachelor's degree. Most of them will not fulfill their dream. Several thousand will find work in the PA. The others will settle for physical unskilled labor for meager salaries. The majority won't do anything.
Thirty-six percent of the West Bank's youth have a high school education or more. Eleven percent have at least a bachelor's degree. In Gaza, the level of education is even higher: Forty-five percent have a high school education or more, and more than 14 percent have a bachelor's degree. In the West Bank, almost 30 percent of the 19-24 age group are unemployed. In Gaza, their rate reaches 63 percent.
This bustling explosive cannot be stopped at once. It has serious ramifications on the Palestinian society as well. The crime rate in this society, mainly in Gaza, is reaching dimensions which have not been seen before in their extent and severity. The speech Benjamin Netanyahu delivered at the Knesset on Monday - in which he called on the Arab public to look at the consequences of the Arab Spring in the neighboring countries compared to its wonderful situation here - demonstrates that the prime minister and those surrounding him don't realize, and don't really care about, what is really happening in the Palestinian society.
One of the scenarios for the breakout of a general intifada on the ground, which the army exercised recently, describes an outburst as a result of lone wolves' terror in huge dimensions and in an intensity we have yet to experience, but we are definitely headed in that direction.

So the necessary thing to do is to immediately, aggressively curb this violence. And in order to curb what is happening in the West Bank, we must stop the growing wave of riots and stabbings among Israel's Arabs. Here Israel has more leverages of pressure and an ability to influence.
Stopping the riots in the Arab sector will make it possible to divert thousands of police officers to Jerusalem and to the Jerusalem vicinity. We need them there in order to prevent a regional flare-up.

Spoutnik:09:43 14.10.2015(updated 09:44 14.10.2015)
According to the statement, the Israeli Special Forces will be deployed to fortify the Israeli police units in the cities and along highways.

TEL AVIV (Sputnik) — The Israeli Cabinet decided early on Wednesday to send troops to patrol its cities in the wake of deadly Israeli-Palestinian clashes in the country, and gave police the right to impose a blockade on certain areas of Jerusalem, which is the epicenter of the current outbreak of violence....
According to the statement, the Israeli Special Forces will be deployed to fortify the Israeli police units in the cities and along highways.
The move comes a day after three Israeli nationals were killed and at least 17 injured in shooting and stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and central Israel on Tuesday.
Following the attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the country was preparing a set of measures to counter terrorism amid recent developments, adding that the government would use all measures necessary to restore peace in Israeli cities.
In total, since the beginning of October, at least seven Israeli nationals, as well as dozens of Palestinians, have died in clashes, including knife stabbings mostly initiated by Palestinians, some of whom were killed or wounded by the Israeli police.
The core of the long-standing Palestinian-Israeli conflict is essentially a struggle over land. Palestinians are seeking the recognition of their independent state on the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, territories partially occupied by Israel.
The international community did not recognize the annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War.

Making Sense of the Ankara Bombing
by Daniel Pipes
Oct 12, 2015
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner

It's an especially delicate time in Turkish politics, between a first round of voting in June that resulted in a hung parliament and a second round scheduled for Nov. 1. The frenzied run-up to the latter election has witnessed growing violence against the country's Kurdish minority, starting with an attack in July on peace marchers, leaving 33 dead; a spate of Kurdish revenge attacks on policemen and soldiers; an entire Kurdish town, Cizre, placed under siege; and Kurds responded by declaring autonomous zones.
Then, on Oct. 10, came the worst act of violence in modern Turkish history, a double bombing outside Ankara's central railroad station that killed at least 105 marchers for Turkish-Kurdish peace and injured over 400. No one claimed responsibility for the assault, prompting politicians and analysts – myself included – to engage in intense speculation about the perpetrators' identity and purpose.

The bomb went off as the Ankara demonstrators danced arm in arm.
The first hunch, that the Islamic State (or ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) independently undertook this operation against Kurds makes no sense, for although Kurds are ISIS' most effective enemy in neighboring Syria, to target them in the capital of Turkey against the wishes of the Turkish state would be an act of folly, as ISIS depends heavily on Turkish aid and does not want to provoke Turkish air strikes.
ISIS involvement must have taken place with the connivance of Turkish intelligence. The government has a motive: Eager to win a majority of seats in the next election both to avoid corruption probes and legitimately increase his power, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has initiated a quasi-war against the Kurds of Turkey hoping thereby to rouse Turkish nationalist feelings. The Ankara bombing exactly into this pattern. Further, it conforms to Turkish intelligence's history of dirty tricks, including some against Kurds, as well as a pattern of fabricating evidence against domestic rivals (such as the military or the Fethullah Gülen movement).
No less important, eyewitnesses recounted how the police used tear gas "as soon as the bomb went off" and "would not let ambulances through," leading angry victims to attack police cars.

Obama Will Be the Only Person Sticking to Iran Deal
by Amir Taheri
October 12, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Sometime this week, President Obama is scheduled to sign an executive order to meet the Oct. 15 "adoption day" he has set for the nuclear deal he says he has made with Iran. According to the president's timetable the next step would be "the start day of implementation," fixed for Dec. 15.
But as things now stand, Obama may end up being the only person in the world to sign his much-wanted deal, in effect making a treaty with himself.
The Iranians have signed nothing and have no plans for doing so. The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has not even been discussed at the Islamic Republic's Council of Ministers. Nor has the Tehran government bothered to even provide an official Persian translation of the 159-page text.
The Islamic Majlis, the ersatz parliament, is examining an unofficial text and is due to express its views at an unspecified date in a document "running into more than 1,000 pages," according to Mohsen Zakani, who heads the "examining committee."
"The changes we seek would require substantial rewriting of the text," he adds enigmatically.
Nor have Britain, China, Germany, France and Russia, who were involved in the so-called P5+1 talks that produced the JCPOA, deemed it necessary to provide the Obama "deal" with any legal basis of their own. Obama's partners have simply decided that the deal he is promoting is really about lifting sanctions against Iran and nothing else.
So they have started doing just that without bothering about JCPOA's other provisions. Britain has lifted the ban on 22 Iranian banks and companies blacklisted because of alleged involvement in deals linked to the nuclear issue.
German trade with Iran has risen by 33 percent, making it the Islamic Republic's third-largest partner after China.
China has signed preliminary accords to help Iran build five more nuclear reactors. Russia has started delivering S300 anti-aircraft missile systems and is engaged in talks to sell Sukhoi planes to the Islamic Republic.
France has sent its foreign minister and a 100-man delegation to negotiate big business deals, including projects to double Iran's crude oil exports .
Other nations have also interpreted JCPOA as a green light for dropping sanctions. Indian trade with Iran has risen by 17 percent, and New Delhi is negotiating massive investment in a rail-and-sea hub in the Iranian port of Chah-Bahar on the Gulf of Oman. With help from Austrian, Turkish and United Arab Emirates banks, the many banking restrictions imposed on Iran because of its nuclear program have been pushed aside.
"The structures of sanctions built over decades is crumbling," boasts Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Meanwhile, the nuclear project is and shall remain "fully intact," says the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Akbar Salehi.
"We have started working on a process of nuclear fusion that will be cutting-edge technology for the next 50 years," he adds.
Even before Obama's "implementation day," the mullahs are receiving an average of $400 million a month, no big sum, but enough to ease the regime's cash-flow problems and increase pay for its repressive forces by around 21 percent.
Last month, Iran and the P5+1 created a joint commission to establish the modalities of implementation of an accord, a process they wish to complete by December 2017 when the first two-year review of JCPOA is scheduled to take place and when Obama will no longer be in the White House. (If things go awry Obama could always blame his successor or even George W Bush.)
Both Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry have often claimed that, its obvious shortcomings notwithstanding, their nuke deal with the "moderate faction" in Tehran might encourage positive changes in Iran's behavior.
That hasn't happened.
The mullahs see the "deal" as a means with which Obama would oppose any suggestion of trying to curb Iran.

"Obama won't do anything that might jeopardize the deal," says Ziba Kalam, a Rouhani adviser. "This is his biggest, if not the only, foreign policy success."
If there have been changes in Tehran's behavior they have been for the worst. Iran has teamed up with Russia to keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria, mocking Obama's "Assad must go" rhetoric. More importantly, Iran has built its direct military presence in Syria to 7,000 men. (One of Iran's most senior generals was killed in Aleppo on Wednesday.)
Tehran has also pressured Iraqi Premier Haidar al-Abadi's weak government to distance itself from Washington and join a dubious coalition with Iran, Russia and Syria.
Certain that Obama is paralyzed by his fear of undermining the non-existent "deal" the mullahs have intensified their backing for Houthi rebels in Yemen. Last week a delegation was in Tehran with a long shopping list for arms.
In Lebanon, the mullahs have toughened their stance on choosing the country's next president. And in Bahrain, Tehran is working on a plan to "ensure an early victory" of the Shiite revolution in the archipelago.
Confident that Obama is determined to abandon traditional allies of the United States, Tehran has also heightened propaganda war against Saudi Arabia, now openly calling for the overthrow of the monarchy there.
The mullahs are also heightening contacts with Palestinian groups in the hope of unleashing a new "Intifada."
"Palestine is thirsty for a third Intifada," Supreme Guide Khamenei's mouthpiece Kayhan said in an editorial last Thursday. "It is the duty of every Muslim to help start it as soon as possible."
Obama's hopes of engaging Iran on other issues were dashed last week when Khamenei declared "any dialogue with the American Great Satan" to be" forbidden."
"We have no need of America" his adviser Ali-Akbar Velayati added later. "Iran is the region's big power in its own right."
Obama had hoped that by sucking up to the mullahs he would at least persuade them to moderate their "hate-America campaign." Not a bit of that.
"Death to America" slogans, adoring official buildings in Tehran have been painted afresh along with US flags, painted at the entrance of offices so that they could be trampled underfoot. None of the US citizens still held hostages in Iran has been released, and one, Washington Post stringer Jason Rezai, is branded as "head of a spy ring "in Tehran. Paralyzed by his fear of undermining the non-existent deal, Obama doesn't even call for their release.
Government-sponsored anti-American nationwide events are announced for November, anniversary of the seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran. The annual "End of America" week-long conference is planned for February and is to focus on "African-American victims of US police" and the possibility of "self-determination for blacks."
According to official sources "families of Black American victims" and a number of "black American revolutionaries" have been invited.
Inside Iran, Obama's "moderate partners" have doubled the number of executions and political prisoners. Last week they crushed marches by teachers calling for release of their leaders. Hundreds of trade unionists have been arrested and a new "anti-insurrection" brigade paraded in Tehran to terrorize possible protestors.
The Obama deal may end up as the biggest diplomatic scam in recent history.
*This article was first published in the New York Post.