Thursday, October 30, 2014

PM Netanyahu Blames Abbas For Inciting Shooting, Abbas: Closure Of Al-Aqsa Site A 'Declaration Of War'

PM Blames Abbas For Inciting Shooting Of Jewish Activist

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that incitement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was to blame for the shooting of a Temple Mount activist a night earlier

Netanyahu convened a meeting of top security officials Thursday morning, a day after Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a prominent activist for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, was shot in an apparent assassination attempt.

“I said only days ago that we are facing a wave of incitement by radical Islamic elements and by Palestinian Authority head Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas], who said that the ascent of Jews to the Temple Mount needs to be prevented by every means,” Netanyahu said, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Netanyahu held the meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Shin Bet security service head Yoram Cohen, Israel Police commissioner Yohanan Danino, Jerusalem Police commissioner Moshe Edri, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, and representatives of the IDF and Justice Ministry, according to statement from the PMO.

“I still have not heard one word of condemnation from the international community against this incitement. The international community needs to stop its hypocrisy and act against the inciters, those who are trying to change the status quo,” Netanyahu said.
Police on Thursday said they killed the suspected shooter in a raid in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor.

The shooting came amid an uptick in violence in Jerusalem and a bolstered police effort to crack down on near daily incidents of rock throwing and Molotov cocktail attacks.
Netanyahu said that he ordered a further reinforcement of security forces in Jerusalem, and that the effort would take significant time.

Israel’s closure of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, following an assassination attempt Wednesday, is tantamount to a “declaration of war,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday morning.

Abbas’s remarks came after a suspect in the shooting of a prominent right-wing Jewish activist was killed in a gunfight with the police in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor. Police closed the compound early Thursday out of fear of clashes in the wake of the shooting of Yehuda Glick, who campaigned for Jewish rights on the site, and as Israeli right-wing groups vowed to march on the site.

“This dangerous Israeli escalation is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people and its sacred places and on the Arab and Islamic nation,” his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina quoted him as saying.

The director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque called the site’s closure unacceptable.
“It is unacceptable that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is paying a toll for the events in Jerusalem,” he said.

Wednesday night, in a cowardly and vicious attack, Rabbi Yehudah Glick, an activist for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount was shot at close range by an assailant on a motorcycle.

Arab neighborhoods were reportedly awash in celebration.

Yehudah argued that Jews should be able to pray on the Temple Mount — just like Muslims and Christians do. The current situation is such that while Muslims are allowed on the Mount at any time, Jews have restricted hours.

Not only are the hours restricted, but so are our movements and rights. We can only go with escort of both Israel police and the Waqf (the Muslim authority of the Mount). This is not for our protection, but to ensure that we do not pray during our escorted walk.
Jews may not pray on the Temple Mount.
Rabbi Yehudah Glick has advocated for peaceful coexistence with Arabs and called on them to preach the same.
In this video, he speaks of the Dome of the Rock sitting adjacent to the Third Temple and the Muslims and Jews worshipping God in harmony.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations called late Wednesday for the anonymous US “senior administration official” who called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “chickenshit” to be “held to account” for his comments.

Robert G. Sugarman, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, wrote that they were “deeply concerned by a number of recent public and private criticisms, personal insults and inappropriate characterizations emanating from official sources.”

The two welcomed statements from the administration distancing the White House fromcomments cited in a Tuesday column by Jeffrey Goldberg,published in The Atlantic, but believe that the administration’s characterization of the comments as “inappropriate” and “counterproductive” was insufficient.

A Conference statement called for “the person responsible be held to account and the appropriate steps be taken by the administration.”
Speaking with The Times of Israel, Hoenlein said that he would not specify what constituted “appropriate steps,” saying that such a decision was “for the administration to determine.” No apology has been issued, he noted, and while the administration criticized the comments, it did not call for any apology – an action that would presumably “out” the anonymous source of the comments.

“It is less important that we know who said it than that appropriate action is taken,” said Hoenlein, who characterized the views expressed by the official in Goldberg’s article as “very extreme.”
The organization led by Sugarman and Hoenlein represents 55 Jewish organizations in the United States, including all three major streams of Judaism and political groups on both the right and left.
Hoenlein said that he was concerned with “putting an end to the divisiveness, the name-calling and the sniping,” and added that “addressing this issue seriously will help put this issue behind us.”

Mideast experts are dismayed, GOP and Jewish leaders are enraged and the White House is conducting damage control while not actually apologizing, after a pair of senior Obama administration officials used an obscenity to describe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as cowardly.
This latest foreign policy crisis for the Obama administration was sparked when one White House aide anonymously told the Atlantic, using the prime minister’s nickname, “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickensh-t,” and another aide concurred.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called the remarks “pitiful” and tweeted, “The president should find out who said this, and fire them immediately. Anything else would be … well, the unnamed official put it best.”
Middle East expert and Iran specialist Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy told WND, “Such personal attacks on the leader of one of America’s closest allies are petty and very much beneath the dignity of America’s senior leadership.”
“It is foolish of the Obama administration to so alienate an ally like Israel. The vicious personal attacks on Netanyahu are beyond the pale and frankly unseemly, if coming from an administration official as reported,” she added.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was livid, releasing a lengthy and blistering statement that read, in part: “When the president discusses Israel and Iran, it is sometimes hard to tell who he thinks is America’s friend and who he thinks is America’s enemy … Over the last several months, I have watched the administration insult ally after ally. I am tired of the administration’s apology tour. The president sets the tone for his administration. He either condones the profanity and disrespect used by the most senior members of his administration, or he does not. ”

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Temple-Rebuilding Activist Shot In Jerusalem: Assassination Attempt

Temple-Rebuilding Activist Shot In Jerusalem

One of Israeli’s most well-known activist rabbis who pushed for Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount was shot multiple times in the chest Wednesday night and is fighting for his life in a Jerusalem hospital.
Rabbi Yehuda Glick, chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, appeared in the new documentary released by WND Films, “End Times Eyewitness: Islam and the Unfolding Signs of the Messiah’s Return,” which was directed by Joel Richardson.
Glick had just left the Menachem Begin Heritage Center where he was one of the speakers for a conference titled “Israel Returns to the Temple Mount.”
He was putting some posters from the conference into his car when a man reportedly drove up on a motorcycle and asked Glick to identify himself. When he said he was Yehuda Glick, the man pulled a gun and shot him three times at point-blank range before speeding off, according to witnesses.
According to police, the shooting took place at approximately 10:30 p.m. Israel time outside the memorial center, located near the Temple Mount. The shooter is still at large.

“Shots were fired and the victim was rushed to an area hospital in serious condition,” Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Vos Iz Neias (What is News), a news site that publishes in Yiddish and English. “Special patrol units are searching the area for the suspect, and we are investigating the background of the incident.”
A city official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the attack, said the victim is believed to be Glick, who has a long history of advocating for Jewish prayer rights at the Temple Mount.
“It was an assassination attempt,” the official said. “This is very serious.”
Following the shooting, Police Chief Yohanan Danino ordered the police readiness level raised to the second highest level in every district nationwide.
The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation is an umbrella organization of several Temple Mount groups and Glick has been actively involved for at least 25 years, Richardson told WND.
“He’s been going up to the Temple Mount and letting the people know the importance of the Temple Mount to the Jews,” Richardson said. “What’s real sad is all the headlines will say ‘right-wing rabbi’ and make him sound like a zealot, but he is one of the sweetest, kindest, almost silly at times, just fun, yet passionate guys you will ever meet. You know my heart is just broken. I know he has a family.”

Glick was also a spokesman for the Joint Committee of Temple Organizations.
Glick was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Bayit Yehudi Minister Uri Ariel said following the shooting, “I am praying for the full recovery of Yehuda Glick. The bullets fired at him tonight were directed at all the Jews that want to exercise their Jewish and moral right to visit the most holy place to the Jewish people and to pray at the Temple Mount.
“I call on the prime minister to immediately allow every Jew to freely go to the Temple Mount and to act with an iron fist against the criminals responsible for this deed.”

Israel decided Wednesday night to prohibit access to the Temple Mount Thursday to both Muslims and Jews until further notice, following the shooting in Jerusalem of Rabbi Yehudah Glick, a right-wing activist with the Temple Mount Faithful.

Jerusalem District Police Commander Moshe Edri together with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch assessed intelligence reports on the ground, according to a police spokesman, and issued a directive barring Muslim and Jewish worshipers from accessing the holy site.

Right-wing activists, including some members of Knesset, had called to march on the Temple Mount en masse Thursday morning in response to the suspected attempted assassination which left Glick in serious, but stable, condition.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for an increased police presence in Jerusalem, as security forces were on high alert across the country.
“We are all praying for Yehudah’s well-being,” said Netanyahu.

Glick had finished a speech at a conference at the Begin Center, entitled “Israel returns to the Temple Mount.” Eyewitnesses said that after the event, a man with an Arabic accent approached Glick and asked him for his identity. The man then shot the victim, got on the motorcycle and fled, suggesting this was possibly an assassination attempt on Glick specifically.
Moriah Halamish, who was at the conference, described the suspected gunman.
“When the conference ended, we went outside. No one was there except a man with dark skin, dressed in black, waiting by a motorcycle. He approached Yehudah and addressed him, telling him ‘Yehudah, I’m sorry, you’ve made me angry,’ before firing [his weapon]. He spoke with a clear Arabic accent,” she said.
Channel 2 reported Wednesday night following the incident that Glick had turned to police at least five times recently to complain about threats to his life.

A message on a jihadist Palestinian website about the conference he attended prior to the shooting, which included details on the time, location and attendees, was being looked into by police, Channel 2 reported. The post also called on Palestinians to prevent the meeting, according to the report.

MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud), who was in attendance at Wednesday evening’s event at the Begin Center in Jerusalem before the shooting of leading Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick, said that “the writing was on the wall”.

"The shooter made ​​sure that it was Yehuda before he shot him," Feiglin told Arutz Sheva, adding that the incident took place after a "calm and simple conference at the Begin Heritage Center.”
"Every Jew who ascends the Temple Mount is a target of violence. It starts with shouting, continues with spitting, throwing rocks and then with Yehuda being followed,” said Feiglin.

He stressed that "the writing was on the wall. The weakness of the government, the security forces and of the Minister of Public Security against the Arab conduct on the Temple Mount and the harassment of Jews, stimulates the continuation of violence and leads to attempted murder."

Feiglin called for the Temple Mount to be opened to Jews freely as a response to the shooting, “but knowing the police, they will actually close the Temple Mount instead of opening it.”

Witnesses said that Glick was shot outside the Begin Heritage center inJerusalem, after a terrorist pulled up in a scooter or motorcycle and shot him before fleeing the scene.

Initial reports are indicating that Glick - who founded and heads the LIBA Initiative for Jewish Freedom on the Temple Mount - was deliberately targeted for nationalistic reasons, but police have not yet officially announced a motive.

Glick is in serious but stable condition at the Sha’arei Tzedek Medical Center in the capital, and is undergoing surgery.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on the international community to establish a new world order with the aim of preventing future conflicts. Speaking at an international discussion forum in Sochi, Putin affirmed the immutability of Russia’s position and called on the West to enter into a dialogue to solve today’s problems.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of precipitating the collapse of the international security system and abusing its role as global hegemon
Speaking on Oct. 24 in Sochi during a meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, an annual forum which brings together experts from dozens of countries to debate the role of Russia in the world, Putin called for priority to be placed on building a new system of relations that would prevent global and interstate conflicts.
He laid the majority of the responsibility for today’s problems on the United States, whose policies he said have led to the collapse of the global security system and a series of coups in the Middle East and Ukraine.

Netanyahu: I Am Being Attacked Because I Defend Israel, U.S. And Israel: A Fractured Alliance Becomes An Open Conflict

Netanyahu: I Am Being Attacked Because I defend Israel

"I respect our ties with the US," Prime Minister Netanyahu said Wednesday in his first public comment after reports revealed unprecedented criticism of Netanyahu from the White House, brining tensions with the US to a new time high.

"I am being attacked because I'm defending Israel," Netanyahu told the Knesset.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein commented on unprecedented criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu by US officials, saying that "the unrestrained criticism at Israel and its leader, as attributed to 'unnamed' White House officials – have crossed a line."

Edelstein added that "I suggest those anonymous officials take a lesson from the American people, who show respect to every president."  

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that he will not be deterred from “defending Israel” by personal attacks, in response to a report that quoted an anonymous US official calling him a “chickenshit.”

“I was personally attacked purely because I defend Israel, and despite all the attacks against me, I will continue to defend our country, I will continue to defend the citizens of Israel,” Netanyahu told the Knesset.

The prime minister made his comments following the publication of a story in the Atlantic that portrayed the rift between the US and Israel as a “full-blown crisis.”
The report quoted one Obama administration official calling Netanyahu a “chickenshit,” and others saying they increasingly see the Israeli leader as acting out of a “near-pathological desire for career-preservation” and not much more.
Earlier in the day, Netanyahu’s fellow Likud party-members came to his defense.
“The unrestrained criticism against Israel and its leader quoted today from “officials” in the White House crossed all lines,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said in his opening remarks to the parliament Wednesday. “You can have disagreements, but in diplomatic relations — certainly among close allies — it is appropriate to maintain a respectful dialogue.”
International Relations Minister Yuval Steinitz charged that insulting the prime minister was tantamount to insulting the Israeli people.
“The prime minister of Israel is not a private [citizen] and he represents the position of the democratic and sovereign State of Israel and its constant fear for its existence and security,” Steinitz said in a statement. “Therefore offensive comments toward him are insults against the State of Israel and its citizens.

Very publicly, very nastily, and very worryingly, we are witnessing the collapse of an alliance.

Not between the United States and Israel — the ties run too deep, and the common interests (if not necessarily the common values) are abiding. But between their current leaderships, the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government.

Each regards the other as arrogant, incompetent, wrongheaded and ill-intentioned.
And here’s what’s new: Neither much cares anymore about hiding it. A fracturing partnership has given way to open conflict.
How and why has it come to this?

The Obama administration, most emphatically including the president and the secretary of state, believes that Israeli building anywhere over the pre-1967 lines deepens Palestinian and wider Arab hostility to Israel and, by extension, to the United States — especially when there are no Israeli-Palestinian peace talks going on. It believes settlements are destroying international support for Israel. It is aghast at the announcement of more construction plans in recent days, as the drumbeat of a possible third intifada — weeks of Palestinian violence in Jerusalem escalating and spreading to the West Bank — grows louder.
The administration’s opposition might be less vehement if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly declared that he would not be approving new construction outside East Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods and the major settlement blocs, areas Israel intends to retain under any permanent accord, and if he backed Palestinian building in West Bank areas that would come under Palestinian sovereignty under such an accord.
But as things stand, the criticisms are coming fast and bitter, with administration spokespeople openly musing on whether Israel “wants to live in a peaceful society” and warning that East Jerusalem housing plans will “distance Israel from even its closest allies.” The use of the term “chickenshit” by an unnamed administration official to describe Netanyahu in an article by Jeffrey Goldberg on Tuesday marks a descent into outright vulgarity that may well be unprecedented in the annals of US-Israel ties.

What does this deterioration in relations hold in store for Israel? It may be unsurprising come post the November mid-term elections to see the Obama administration take the gloves off and even publicly laying down the terms for an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians including delineating the two-state solutions borders. This is something that will not go down lightly with the Israeli government. There is an increasing likelihood that the US administration could even withhold defense of Israel against hostile resolutions.

Homeownership Rate 2014We just learned that the homeownership rate in the United States has fallen to the lowest level in 19 years.  But of course this is not a new trend.  As you will see in this article, the homeownership rate in the United States has been a continual decline for more than 7 years.  Obviously this is not a sign of a healthy economy.  Traditionally, homeownership has been one of the key indicators that you belong to the middle class.  When people define "the American Dream", it is usually one of the first things mentioned.  So if the percentage of Americans that own a home has been steadily going down for 7 years in a row, what does that tell us about the health of the middle class in this country?

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