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Ha'aretz
Time: Wed, 10.24.2018 04:51 AM Local file generated: Wed, 10.24.2018 04:07 AM
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Haaretz cartoon

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 04:33:43

 Haaretz cartoon


Measles outbreak in Israel spikes to nearly 900 cases in year to date, 60% of them in Jerusalem

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 04:06:05

The number of people diagnosed in Israel with measles has spiked since the start of the year to 882, the Health Ministry said Tuesday.

Some 60% of these cases, a total of 529 people, were in the Jerusalem district. In Safed, 115 cases were diagnosed. An additional 74 cases were reported in Petah Tikva, 55 in greater Tel Aviv, 27 in Acre and 27 in Ramle.

The figures reflect a continued rise in the infection rate. Last week Haaretz reported 679 cases since the start of 2018. More than half, 341, were in Jerusalem. In September, 213 new cases were reported.


 Measles outbreak in Israel spikes to nearly 900 cases in year to date, 60% of them in Jerusalem


Khashoggi case: Erdogan tries to be Saudis' judge, jury and executioner - but Trump may save Riyadh yet

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 03:31:15

When CIA chief Gina Haspel takes the trouble to fly to Turkey, she's not going there just to check out a few DNA samples or try to piece together a corpse from body parts found outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Haspel wants to persuade and be persuaded.

She wants to be persuaded that Turkey has a critical mass of evidence based on photographs and recordings for a political if not criminal indictment against the Saudi crown prince. She also wants to convince Turkey that the United States isn't going to ignore the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, contrary to the impression that President Donald Trump made by saying he found the Saudi explanation œcredible.

It's no coincidence that Haspel timed her visit for the day President Recep Tayyip Erdogan published the main findings of the Turkish inquest. The revelations and Erdogan's declarations reveal politically planned intent to focus any action on the case against Saudi Arabia. Erdogan isn't a police chief announcing the results of an investigation, he's a politician handling the crime in a way designed to trap Saudi Arabia while not turning Turkey into any more of an enemy than the Saudis and several Arab countries think.


 Khashoggi case: Erdogan tries to be Saudis' judge, jury and executioner - but Trump may save Riyadh yet


Israeli chief justice slams officials for not defending courts in the face of criticism

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 02:55:07

Public officials, including elected representatives, are failing to defend Israel's judicial system in the face of criticism of the courts that borders on incitement, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut said Tuesday.

œWhen comments are made regarding us judges that are far from to the point or disrespectful, one would expect that someone would bother to condemn them in the name of statesmanship, the court president said.

œUnfortunately, such condemnation is late in coming, in light of the purported inaction on the part of public officials to come to the courts' defense, some members of the public take that as license to engage in harsh rhetoric of their own, Hayut added.


 Israeli chief justice slams officials for not defending courts in the face of criticism


Overriding human dignity

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 02:44:03

The right-wing government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues its relentless struggle against asylum seekers. The government is determined to find a loophole that will let it deport them, or at least lock them up for an unlimited period.

In the meantime, or until the government manages to deport the asylum seekers, it's striving to make their lives intolerable. On Sunday the Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss inserting an override clause into the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty regarding the prevention of illegal entry into Israel, as well as expulsions. This clause would prevent the High Court of Justice from annulling decisions that deport asylum seekers, as it has done in the past.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz


 Overriding human dignity


Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat makes rare visit to Shoafat refugee camp as part of anti-UNRWA campaign

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 02:43:07

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat made a rare visit to the Palestinian refugee camp Shoafat, in East Jerusalem, Tuesday. Residents said it was Barkat's first visit, but the mayor's office said he had been there a few times in the past.

Barkat came to the camp as part of his campaign against the activities of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in the city. Before the mayor's visit, and for the first time since the city was unified in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War, municipal sanitation crews came to the camp to clean up.

The city said its sanitation department will take over from the UN agency in cleaning Shoafat. œAs part of Mayor Barkat's plan, the municipality, in coordination with the government, will gradually replace all the failing services now given through UNRWA in sanitation, education, welfare and health, with Jerusalem municipal services.


 Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat makes rare visit to Shoafat refugee camp as part of anti-UNRWA campaign


'Worst cover-up ever': Trump slams Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi killing

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 00:18:25

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Saudi authorities staged the "worst cover-up ever" in the killing of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi this month.

Asked by a reporter in the White House Oval Office how the Khashoggi killing could have happened, Trump said: "They had a very bad original concept. It was carried out poorly, and the cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups."

>> Like a mafia boss, Erdogan plans to milk the Khashoggi investigation for all it's worth | Analysis


 'Worst cover-up ever': Trump slams Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi killing


U.S. to impose penalties on Saudi Arabia for dissident killing, bar 21 Saudis from entering

Wed, 24 Oct 2018 00:00:27

The United States has identified some Saudi officials responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and is taking action, including revoking visas and exploring sanctions, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

"These penalties will not be the last word on the matter from the United States," Pompeo told reporters. "We're making very clear that the United States does not tolerate this kind of ruthless action to silence Mr. Khashoggi, a journalist, through violence."

Twenty-one Saudis will have their U.S. visas revoked or be made ineligible for U.S. visas over the killing, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. The vast majority of the 21 have U.S. visas, a U.S. State Department official added.


 U.S. to impose penalties on Saudi Arabia for dissident killing, bar 21 Saudis from entering


Amateur hour with BDS: The real scandal in Al Jazeera's Israel lobby investigation

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 23:04:49

In 2016, Al Jazeera carried out undercover investigations on pro-Israel organizations operating in the United States and Israel. The British version, which consisted mainly of a junior temporary employee of the embassy in London being caught making boastful remarks about government ministers, caused a minor scandal leading to the firing of the employee and an apology from Israel's ambassador, Mark Regev.

The American version has never been broadcast. The head of Al Jazeera's investigations, Clayton Swisher, announced he was taking a sabbatical, and more than hinted that at the behest of Jewish-American organizations, the Qatari regime had decided to put its foot down and suppress the show.

Haaretz recently obtained the entire four episodes of œThe Lobby and, having finally watched them, I can honestly say there was no reason to suppress it.


 Amateur hour with BDS: The real scandal in Al Jazeera's Israel lobby investigation


Israeli Foreign Ministry official: If Trump delays peace plan, France will offer alternative

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 21:57:49

France will submit its own plan a few weeks after the U.S. midterm elections if U.S. President Donald Trump does not lay out his peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Foreign Ministry Political Director Alon Ushpiz said Tuesday in a closed meeting.

Speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, as reported Tuesday night on television news shows, Ushpiz said that France were waiting for the elections, after which they would demand that Trump make his plan public, otherwise they would reveal their own plan.

œThe elections in November are critical for Israel. A third of the members will be replaced and it's not clear if they are all for us. We are starting from zero. We believe the Democrats will grow stronger and therefore there's an effect on Israel due to their influence on Trump, Ushpiz said.


 Israeli Foreign Ministry official: If Trump delays peace plan, France will offer alternative


Turo, the Airbnb of car-sharing, gets rolling in Israel

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 21:42:14

If you were able to rent your neighbor's car over the weekend or rent out your car while you weren't using it, would you? This isn't an imaginary scenario but an actual option. Without fanfare, the Turo car-sharing startup has arrived in Israel.

Through San Francisco-based Turo, TheMarker managed to rent a Toyota in Tel Aviv for $78 a day, with a free 300 free kilometers (186 miles), or $295 for five days with 1,200 free kilometers. Beyond that it's 30 cents per kilometer. Since studies show that private cars are parked 95% of the time, this initiative sounds like an obvious way to make a shekel.

>>The solution to Israel's traffic problem: Tax those who drive at peak hours


 Turo, the Airbnb of car-sharing, gets rolling in Israel


#MeToo vs. the capital markets regulator

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 21:29:51

The first decision the new commissioner for capital markets, insurance and savings, Moshe Bareket, made on his first day on the job was to replace the female driver of his predecessor, Dorit Salinger, with a man. Bareket explained to journalist Sharon Shpurer, who broke the story on the Hebrew website The Hottest Place in Hell (ha-makom.co.il), that he had done so out of caution.

œI have always acted very respectfully to women and no one can claim otherwise. I have high regard for women, but in this case, it involves an intimate space, and I prefer to be cautious, because someone could accuse me falsely. For the same reason, you wouldn't find me alone with a woman in a room with the door closed, Bareket said.

>>As America grapples with sexual abuse, Israel still lags far behind. Here's why | Opinion 


 #MeToo vs. the capital markets regulator


Spain's parliament votes against blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia despite Khashoggi furor

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 21:07:18

Spain's parliament voted on Tuesday against blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia, despite increasing international pressure to punish Riyadh for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

Spain's socialist government said on Saturday it was œdismayed by the death of the Saudi journalist but it decided to join forces with the main opposition party, the conservative People's Party, to defeat a parliamentary motion that called on the government to stop such trade.

Spanish arms sales to Saudi Arabia were already in the spotlight last month when the Spanish government announced it would halt the sale of 400 laser-guided bombs to Riyadh only to reverse its decision a few days later.


 Spain's parliament votes against blocking arms sales to Saudi Arabia despite Khashoggi furor


One Palestinian said killed, five wounded by live Israeli fire during Gaza protests

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 20:57:21

One Palestinian was killed and five were shot and wounded by live Israeli fire Tuesday evening in clashes along the border fence in the central Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. 

The Gaza Health Ministry identified the fatality as a 17-year-old male, Monetsir Mohammed Elbaz.

Three fires reportedly broke out Tuesday in the area around the Gaza Strip, sparked by incendiary balloons launched from the Strip. Firefighters assisted by the Jewish National Fund and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority took control of all the blazes.


 One Palestinian said killed, five wounded by live Israeli fire during Gaza protests


Arizona's Democratic candidate in Senate race takes heat for radical past, but is bulletproof on Israel

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 20:50:01

The neck-and-neck race in Arizona between Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally is among the most closely watched Senate midterm contests. Democrats see it as a rare chance to flip a seat from red to blue if Sinema wins and replaces retiring GOP senator Jeff Flake. 

The fact that both candidates are female congresswomen one a former air force colonel and combat fighter pilot; the other who entered politics as a fierce anti-war activist has given the race a particularly dramatic cast. Polls over the summer gave Sinema a healthy lead over her rival, but the most recent poll, conducted by the New York Times last week, gave the GOP candidate a two-point lead.

With the race so tight, Arizona's estimated 108,000 Jewish voters can have a decisive impact, if, as predicted, Jews turn out in high numbers: A recent Democratic-sponsored survey found that 74 percent of Jews are expected to cast their ballots in the midterms.  


 Arizona's Democratic candidate in Senate race takes heat for radical past, but is bulletproof on Israel


Business in Brief: Israeli defense chief 'halts Israel Aerospace IPO'

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 20:23:33

Defense minister halts Israel Aerospace IPO, citing security fears: report

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered a halt to preparations for an initial public offering of Israel Aerospace Industries over fears of possible security breaches, Israeli business daily Globes reported Monday. State-owned IAI was considering offering a minority stake in the company but Lieberman ordered a halt to the IPO preparations after ministry officials expressed concerns that outside investors might become privy to highly classified information, the report said. It added that the freeze would remain in place at least until senior Defense Ministry officials complete a detailed report on the implications and possible risks if IAI shares were to be issued to the public. The Defense Ministry declined to comment and an IAI spokeswoman was not immediately available. IAI Chief Financial Officer Eyal Younian told Reuters in March 2017 that to help finance acquisitions the government should move ahead soon with plans to sell a 20% stake in the company on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. (Reuters)

Gazit-Globe accepts precommitments for $151m in bond offering


 Business in Brief: Israeli defense chief 'halts Israel Aerospace IPO'


Letters to the Editor: Colonialism, King Abdullah and B'Tselem

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 20:13:53

Both colonialism and national liberation

In response to œThe big denial of Zionist colonialism (October 19) and œIf Zionism were colonial it would have ended long ago (October 21). 

Haaretz is an excellent newspaper and once again, a splendid debate took place in its pages between two prominent historians: Ishay Rosen-Zvi and Alex Yakobson.


 Letters to the Editor: Colonialism, King Abdullah and B'Tselem


Why isn't Netanyahu willing to bring all the Ethiopian Jews to Israel?

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 20:07:08

œIsrael will be open to Jewish immigration and to the ingathering of the exiles. This quote, from the Declaration of Independence, apparently isn't relevant to the Jews of Ethiopia; since the 1980s their aliyah has been the subject of political-rabbinic horse trading.

Last month's cabinet resolution to bring 1,000 of the Ethiopian Jews still waiting in Addis Ababa and Gondar undermines a 2015 cabinet resolution calling for bringing to Israel all the remaining Ethiopian Jews ” 8,000 people. Why has Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu neglected his promises and is bringing only 1,000? Why leave 7,000 behind? The new resolution shows demonstrates just how difficult it is for Israel to absorb black Jews.

The Jews in Ethiopia have been waiting for many years. They are on Interior Ministry lists and their families live in Israel. But the latest resolution says only parents whose children are already in Israel can immigrate, and only with their single children. Parents who have been waiting to immigrate for years will have to leave behind their married children and grandchildren. Who will they choose? The children in Israel or those in Ethiopia?


 Why isn't Netanyahu willing to bring all the Ethiopian Jews to Israel?


Israel's defense chief now needs approval if he wants to cut fuel transfers to Gaza

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 20:04:54

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will now need the consent of the security cabinet if he wants to stop the delivery of fuel and humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, defense officials said Tuesday following criticism of Lieberman's actions.

Earlier this month, security-cabinet members were surprised by Lieberman's decision to halt supplies of diesel fuel and gas to the Strip, contrary to the stance of the wider defense establishment. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the rest of the inner cabinet learned of Lieberman's decision in the media.

>>Gaza escalation: Netanyahu and Lieberman are talking Israel into a corner | Analysis 


 Israel's defense chief now needs approval if he wants to cut fuel transfers to Gaza


Next time you're in Jerusalem, book a room at the post office or cinema

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 19:25:30

Until a few years ago, backpackers and low-budget tourists had few options for lodging in Jerusalem. Most of the city's hotels were large and far from the city center, or they were expensive boutique hotels. Recently, though, an increasing number of hostels and three-star hotels have opened in Israel's capital. The reason? The municipality has begun to encourage the renovation of abandoned buildings, the Tourism Ministry is offering a package of incentives, and entrepreneurs have at last noticed the growing need.

œThe agent who showed me the site told me that everyone who saw it was immediately turned off, says the 27-year-old entrepreneur Adir Amsalem. He and his friend Michael Pearlstein recently established the Cinema Hostel in the building that once housed the Orion movie theater, which ceased operation a quarter of a century ago.

œEveryone who visits the hostel and is interested in entrepreneurship dreams of this; when you manage a hostel it's like you're always on vacation, Amsalem adds. The hostel, currently in a trial run, is due to open officially in December.


 Next time you're in Jerusalem, book a room at the post office or cinema


'Pipe bomb-like' explosive device found in mailbox of George Soros' New York home

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 19:09:27

A device found outside a suburban New York residential compound owned by liberal philanthropist George Soros "had the components" of an actual bomb, including explosive powder, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.

"The components were there for an explosive device," said the official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the continuing investigation. "It was not a hoax device."

The official said the investigators were reviewing surveillance video Tuesday to determine whether the package had been sent through the mail or otherwise delivered.


 'Pipe bomb-like' explosive device found in mailbox of George Soros' New York home


From Space Force to missiles over Iraq with cake: A look at some of Trump's craziest moments

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 19:08:52

U.S. President Donald Trump demanded, in June this year, that the Pentagon create a new military service, a Space Force to assure œAmerican dominance in space.

However, his approach has left many struggling to understand basics such as what a Space Force would do and how much it might cost - so much so Defense Secretary James Mattis's lack of action on the program has reportedly driven a wedge between him and the president.

The idea has taken on a life of its own at Trump's rallies. That's partly due to his conflating of the nation's civilian space program with the military's separate role of providing space-based navigation and communications satellites.


 From Space Force to missiles over Iraq with cake: A look at some of Trump's craziest moments


Israeli man convicted of years-long sexual assault on siblings from same family

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 19:07:52

Shlomi Cohen, a 42-year-old resident of the religious settlement of Mevo Horon, near Latrun, was convicted on Monday of a long list of sex crimes that he committed against three siblings from the same family. The Be'er Sheva District Court ruled that Cohen committed sodomy, indecent acts, attempted rape and other sex crimes against five children, two boys and three girls, members of the same family, from 1996 through 2009. In the case of two of the children, however, the statue of limitations had run out.

Cohen was originally indicted in 2015 for committing sex crimes involving a sixth sibling, but the youth committed suicide later, during his military service, and the claims against the suspect were removed from the charge sheet.

Cohen began to assault the children some years ago, when he lived near their family in Gush Katif. He helped the children out financially, invited them over to his house, helped them with their homework, taught them to play musical instruments and took them to the beach. They also stayed with him during school vacations. After the disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2006, when he and the family moved to central Israel, Cohen continued to commit sex crimes in their new house and in his own home.


 Israeli man convicted of years-long sexual assault on siblings from same family


Report: Saudi journalist Khashoggi's remains found

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 19:02:50

The remains of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been found, Sky News reported on Tuesday, with one source saying remains were found in the garden of the Saudi consul general's home.

Multiple sources suggested Khashoggi had been cut up and his face "disfigured," Sky News reported.

Sources in the Istanbul Prosecutor's office denied that Khashoggi's remains were found at the consul general's home, adding that a picture on social media purportedly showing the corpse is fake.


 Report: Saudi journalist Khashoggi's remains found


Israel plans to export too much natural gas, leading geologist says

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 18:54:30

Yossi Langotsky, the geologist who predicted the discovery of Israel's major natural gas reserves, has criticized his country's plans to export nearly half its gas discovered to date.

œThere are no more chances of finding major gas reserves in Israel, he told TheMarker in response to comments by government officials that Israel could export current volumes and simply find more.

Langotsky was also responding to remarks by a senior researcher for the Institute for National Security Studies, Oded Eran, who told TheMarker last week that exporting gas to Egypt was important for Israel's energy economy as well as its geopolitical and security interests.


 Israel plans to export too much natural gas, leading geologist says


Israeli ministers expected to OK bill bypassing High Court rulings on asylum seekers

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 18:35:09

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss on Sunday legislation of a new provision that will override the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty in the case of asylum seekers. The provision allows the Knesset to re-enact parts of the Prevention of Infiltration Law, despite opposition from the High Court of Justice. The court has annulled or frozen a number of government moves to imprison or deport asylum seekers.

A coalition source estimated that the committee will support the proposal on Sunday, and enable it to advance in the Knesset.

On Monday the Kulanu party announced that it will support the move in principle, but will examine whether changes need to be made in the wording of the new provision. A senior party member said: œWe will support the law, as Kahlon has promised. If necessary we will request the introduction of changes relating to the minor details.


 Israeli ministers expected to OK bill bypassing High Court rulings on asylum seekers


Do Jews believe in the Devil?

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 18:24:43

When Jews believed in multiple gods, there was no difficulty in explaining why bad things happen to good men. A vast array of spirits, demons, evil gods and things that go bump in the night could be blamed for their misfortune. But once God was elevated to supreme and then the only god, the problem became vexing: Was God unfair? With help from the Persians, Jews came up with an answer: Satan.

First Temple Period (700-586 B.C.E.): Satan the lawyer

In the early books of the Bible, which were written roughly in the First Temple period, there is no Prince of Darkness, just demons called se'irim. Some had names, such as Belial and Azazel, but none reigned supreme.


 Do Jews believe in the Devil?


Turkish president's full remarks on Khashoggi killing

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 18:22:13

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday commented in parliament about the investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Here is a Reuters translation of his comments. The original comments were in Turkish:

>> 'Bring me the head of the dog': How top MBS aide ran Khashoggi's killing via Skype -  Turkey takes aim at MBS: What's driving Erdogan in the Khashoggi scandal -  Like a mafia boss, Erdogan plans to milk the Khashoggi investigation for all it's worth


 Turkish president's full remarks on Khashoggi killing


Like a mafia boss, Erdogan plans to milk the Khashoggi investigation for all it's worth

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 18:21:52

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the leader of a government that has jailed more journalists than any other in the world. Yet he opened the section of his speech devoted to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi with condolences not just to his family and friends, but to the œmedia world as well.

Interestingly, he said nothing on Tuesday about Khashoggi's work as a journalist, his criticism of the Saudi leadership and his support for a brand of political Islam similar to the one Erdogan himself has championed. Erdogan didn't show much emotion or outrage and, despite promising the œnaked truth, didn't add much to what was already known.

>>UPDATE: 'Saudi journalist Khashoggi's remains found at consul general's home'


 Like a mafia boss, Erdogan plans to milk the Khashoggi investigation for all it's worth


Saudi crown prince receives standing ovation amid Khashoggi furor

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 18:04:25

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Tuesday he was satisfied with the Future Investment Initiative conference as he toured the venue.

"Great, more people more money," he told reporters. MBS received a standing ovation as he made an unannounced appearance reported the New York Times. 

>> Report: Saudi journalist Khashoggi's remains found


 Saudi crown prince receives standing ovation amid Khashoggi furor


Israeli police arrest 26 suspects for indecent acts and sexual harassment of minors

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 18:04:06

The Israel Police arrested 26 people suspected of committing indecent acts and sexual harassment of minors on Tuesday. The suspects were caught with the aid of an undercover officer who masqueraded as a 13-year-old girl, and who conversed with them on social networks and via video calls.

Almost all the suspects carried out their alleged sex crimes repeatedly in front of the police agent. Some asked her to strip during the conversations and a few proposed meeting with her, said the police.

The suspects, whose ages range from 21 to 44, include a high-school teacher from the Haifa area, a municipal employee and a man who teaches swimming to youths from the upscale town of Omer, near Be'er Sheva. Some of those detained have been arrested before for similar crimes.


 Israeli police arrest 26 suspects for indecent acts and sexual harassment of minors


Will Saudi Arabia commit economic suicide just to save the crown prince's skin?

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 18:00:41

Saudi Arabia has managed to revive the image so widespread during the 1973 oil embargo of wicked sheikhs threatening the West by withholding their oil. 

It's not the kind of image that the Saudis should be trying to cultivate these days, especially when their real power over the global petroleum market is nothing compared to what it was 45 years ago. But it seems the anger and embarrassment over the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi killing has gotten the better of the regime, or more particularly of the crown prince and heir apparent, Mohammad bin Salman.

Officially, the word oil hasn't been uttered in the threat over retaliation. A government statement put out last week made do with a veiled threat about its œinfluential and vital role in the global economy.


 Will Saudi Arabia commit economic suicide just to save the crown prince's skin?


Trump threatens nuclear build up as Kremlin blasts treaty withdrawal as 'dangerous'

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 17:59:43

The Kremlin said Tuesday that U.S. President Donald Trump took œa dangerous position by deciding to abandon an existing nuclear weapons treaty with Russia without offering anything to replace it.

As Trump's national security advisor prepared to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Putin's spokesman acknowledged the 1987 arms control deal had œweak spots. But Dmitry Peskov warned Washington against withdrawing from the agreement without proposing improvements or a substitute treaty.

œRight now, we don't have any prospects whatsoever for a new deal, Peskov said. œIt's important to figure out if it's possible or not.


 Trump threatens nuclear build up as Kremlin blasts treaty withdrawal as 'dangerous'


Israel's very own McCarthy

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 17:39:59

Our culture minister isn't trying to pretend that she's concerned about culture. Sometimes it seems as if the right is shooting in the dark. But a more careful examination of the facts shows that the right has a well-defined plan. It has decided to fight three fronts by dismantling and reconstructing them in order to make them absolutely loyal.

The first front is the media. As part of the right's efforts to get it to heel, an attempt was made to close Channel 1 because it wasn't acting like œone of ours, to shut down Channel 10 in order to silence Raviv Drucker and Lior Shlein, along with other actions, some of which are being investigated by the police.

>>Regev's loyalty law | Editorial 


 Israel's very own McCarthy


Saudi Arabia, Italy drag down U.S. stocks

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 17:22:03

Wall Street sank more than 2 percent on Tuesday as disappointing forecasts from industrial bellwethers Caterpillar and 3M piled on to concerns over Saudi Arabia's diplomatic isolation, Italy's finances and trade-war fears.

All the three major Wall Street indexes were trading below their 200-day moving averages, a key technical indicator of long-term momentum and all 11 major S&P sectors were in the red, continuing what has been a punishing month for U.S. stocks.

Caterpillar tumbled 8.3 percent after the heavy-duty equipment maker maintained its 2018 earnings forecast, while 3M Co slid 6.4 percent after the company cut its full-year profit forecast due to currency headwinds.


 Saudi Arabia, Italy drag down U.S. stocks


Indicted Russian oligarch accused of ordering beatings and killings, Russian media reports

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 17:04:03

A security aide to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman who has been indicted by American investigators for allegedly trying to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election, says the mogul has been involved in attacks on several people and at least one killing, an independent Russian newspaper reported Monday.

Prigozhin has been dubbed œPutin's chef for organizing catering events for Russian President Vladimir Putin and even personally serving him and his guests on some occasions.

The Novaya Gazeta article Monday by reporter Denis Korotkov came out several days after unknown people sent a funeral wreath to the journalist's home and left a basket with a severed goat's head at the newspaper's office.


 Indicted Russian oligarch accused of ordering beatings and killings, Russian media reports


Israeli lawmaker pushes bill requiring Knesset approval before Netanyahu is put on trial

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 17:00:42

Likud Knesset member Miki Zohar submitted a bill a few days ago that could make it much harder to put Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on trial if the attorney general should decide to file an indictment against him.

The proposal sponsored by Zohar, chairman of the Knesset House Committee, is in its preliminary stages and essentially calls for Knesset approval before an indictment is filed. As things stand today, an MK who has been formally charged with an offense has 30 days to ask the plenum to vote and grant him immunity from prosecution.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz


 Israeli lawmaker pushes bill requiring Knesset approval before Netanyahu is put on trial


Israel dismantles alternative housing site meant for Khan al-Ahmar evacuees

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 16:59:51

Personnel from the Defense Ministry and the army's Civil Administration in the West Bank began dismantling temporary structures on Tuesday at the site slated to house residents from the village of Khan al-Ahmar, after its planned evacuation. The work began after a freeze was put into effect on Saturday, as reported in Haaretz, on the evacuation of the contested Bedouin locale, due to residents' objections to moving to the new site, located just east of Jerusalem in Azzariyeh.

Dismantlement began following several weeks of building at Azzariyeh. Because the process of rebuilding them if it is ordered would also take time, this suggests that the government will not remove the Khan al-Ahmar villagers any time soon, despite government declarations that postponement of the evacuation will be brief, pending efforts to convince the residents to leave of their own free will.

The Azzariyeh site includes a number of mobile homes meant to serve as an alternative to the œtire school that exists today in Khan al-Ahmar, along with a number of tents, each of them 90 square meters, which Civil Administration staff have now taken down.


 Israel dismantles alternative housing site meant for Khan al-Ahmar evacuees


Israeli army's visual intelligence unit unprepared for war, state comptroller says

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 16:30:45

State Comptroller Joseph Shapira believes that the Israel Defense Forces' elite visual intelligence unit is not properly prepared for an emergency. The report his office released Monday stated that VISNT Unit 9900 of Military Intelligence, and its subunits, suffers from a shortage of manpower, an absence of requisite standing orders for shifting to a war footing and also a problematic operational doctrine.

MI has three main intelligence-gathering branches, and Unit 9900 is responsible for gathering visual intelligence including geographical data from satellites and aircraft, as well as other sources, and mapping and interpreting the information for decision makers and combat forces alike.

Some of its soldiers are deployed on the frontlines, mostly in the Southern and Northern Commands. The unit, whose operations are usually kept secret, serves a critical role during periods of fighting and also has a major role in shaping the IDF's intelligence map during periods of calm.


 Israeli army's visual intelligence unit unprepared for war, state comptroller says


Turkey takes aim at MBS: What's driving Erdogan in the Khashoggi scandal

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 16:20:59

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday dismissed attempts by Riyadh to blame Jamal Khashoggi's "savage" killing on rogue operatives, saying the person who ordered the death of the prominent Saudi journalist must "be brought to account."

In a speech to parliament about a case that has sparked outrage around the globe, Erdogan did not mention Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS, by name, who some U.S. lawmakers suspect ordered the killing.

>> 'Bring me the head of the dog': How top MBS aide ran Khashoggi's killing via Skype -  Why we should go easy on the Saudi crown prince | Opinion -  Like a mafia boss, Erdogan plans to milk the Khashoggi investigation for all it's worth


 Turkey takes aim at MBS: What's driving Erdogan in the Khashoggi scandal


Netanyahu calls meeting with Chinese vice president 'a sign of our growing friendship'

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 16:09:10

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan met Monday in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said, œThe fact that the vice president of China came to Israel at my invitation for the Prime Minister's Innovation Conference is a tremendous compliment to Israel."

Netanyahu added that the arrival of the Chinese leader and his entourage "is a reflection of the growing ties between China and Israel. And I look forward to our discussions."

>>How close to China is too close for Israel? | Analysis 


 Netanyahu calls meeting with Chinese vice president 'a sign of our growing friendship'


D.C. Bible museum says five of its Dead Sea Scroll fragments are fake

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:47:13

The Museum of the Bible in Washington on Monday said five of its artifacts thought to be part of the Dead Sea Scrolls were fake and would not be displayed anymore.

German-based researchers tested the fragments and found five "show characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin and therefore will no longer be displayed," the museum said in a statement.

Academics have long questioned the authenticity of Dead Sea Scroll fragments sold by antiquities dealers. The museum established by the Green family of Oklahoma, who own U.S. craft-store chain Hobby Lobby, funded research over the past two years into whether its 16 Dead Sea Scroll fragments were genuine.


 D.C. Bible museum says five of its Dead Sea Scroll fragments are fake


'Bodyguard' is Netflix's newest addictive thriller. Who cares that it's implausible?

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:44:52

Here's an easy one for you: What begins with a œB and has been the talk of Great Britain recently? Go to the back of the class if you answered œBrexit and pat yourself on the back if you said œBodyguard.

The series premieres worldwide on Netflix on October 24, but over 10 million Brits' Sunday evenings in September were spent being more concerned about cliff-hanger endings involving a fictitious politician and her bodyguard than any potential œcliff-edge exits from the European Union in the process making œBodyguard the BBC's most watched show in a decade.

It's easy to see why. It's one of those crowd-pleasing thrillers that manages to be both cerebral and terrible, where characters constantly do dumb things that leave you howling at the screen. Yet despite or because of this, it's totally engrossing and leaves you eagerly awaiting the next installment. Just remember to collect your disbelief from wherever you leave it suspended during each episode.


 'Bodyguard' is Netflix's newest addictive thriller. Who cares that it's implausible?


U.S. Conservative rabbis now allowed to attend intermarriages

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:43:50

The Conservative movement's rabbinical association will allow its rabbis to attend intermarriages.

The policy change, which reverses a ban of four decades, was made last week in a vote of the Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, which determines the centrist movement's Jewish legal rulings.

While Conservative rabbis still may not officiate in any way at marriages between a Jew and a non-Jew, they can now attend those weddings without fear of punishment. The ban on attending an intermarriage, which was instituted in 1972, was not enforced, although many rabbis said they heeded it.


 U.S. Conservative rabbis now allowed to attend intermarriages


Why Jordan is nixing parts of its peace deal with Israel and what it means

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:37:01

What happened on Sunday?

King Abdullah of Jordan announced that he will not renew the agreement relating to two annexed areas the enclaves Zofar in the Arava and Naharayim in the Jordan Valley. Israel leased the land there for 25 years under terms outlined in a bilateral peace treaty signed in October 1994.

What are the enclaves used for at present?


 Why Jordan is nixing parts of its peace deal with Israel and what it means


'First Man,' starring Ryan Gosling, portrays the moon landing as a solo mission

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:28:00

Will all the wackos who believe the moon landing of Apollo 11 in July 1969 never happened, but was fabricated in a studio, calm down after seeing the portrayal of the touchdown on the moon and the first human steps taken on it, in Damien Chazelle's new film, œFirst Man? Of course not. The very opposite, actually. This is a movie, after all, in which an actor, Ryan Gosling, plays Neil Armstrong, who spoke the iconic sentence, œThat's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. So, if the event can be reconstructed in a movie studio, it could just as easily have been faked.

I don't know whether this accounts for the tone chosen by the director to tell the story of the first person to tread on the moon. In any event, it isn't the heroic, patriotic cinematic spectacle we might have been expecting. In many ways it's a paradoxical film that fuses technology, of the aviation and space variety, with sentimentality not an easy combination to pull off. Moreover, it's served up in a casing of dry emotion, deriving from the character of the protagonist. According to the film, at least, he wasn't able to express emotions. As the plot progresses, and his involvement in the project intensifies, that difficulty insulates him increasingly within himself and distances him from his wife and children.

From the outset, the focus is entirely on Neil Armstrong. It's 1961. Armstrong is a NASA test pilot who encounters trouble and is extricated from it, in a long scene presented mostly as Armstrong experiences it. He occasionally communicates with the crew on the ground, but the opening sequence is primarily a visual blast, augmented by tremendous noise (more on the film's use of noise later).


 'First Man,' starring Ryan Gosling, portrays the moon landing as a solo mission


Sarah Silverman says Louis C.K. consensually masturbated in front of her

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:18:56

Sarah Silverman said Monday that fellow comedian Louis C.K. had masturbated in front of her when they were young.

C.K. took a career break late last year after admitting that he had sexually harassed five female comedians by masturbating in front of them without gaining their permission.

During an interview on Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show on Monday, and later reported by Variety, Silverman said the comedian had occasionally consensually masturbated in front of her.


 Sarah Silverman says Louis C.K. consensually masturbated in front of her


Shin Bet unit that probes alleged violations of suspects' rights operates without leader

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:14:38

The head of the department of the Shin Bet security service responsible for investigating complaints about violations of suspects' rights during interrogations, has left her post and while a tender process is underway to replace her, no decision has yet been made on the new head.

Jana Mudzgurishvilly, the outgoing head of Mivtan (as known by its Hebrew acronym), left at the end of September after serving for five years as head of the department.

The ombudsman's unit for investigating complaints by those under Shin Bet investigation, similar to the Justice Ministry's unit for investigating police officers, handles complaints against Shin Bet officers.


 Shin Bet unit that probes alleged violations of suspects' rights operates without leader


Trump's last-minute 'Arabs are voting in droves' campaign push

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:12:55

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump continued tweeting what many pundits see as his closing argument this campaign season, making grandiose threats about using the U.S. military to stop a migrant caravan of thousands of people from Central America including children, parents and the elderly from entering the United States.

Trump is using the caravan to energize crowds in rallies across the country, where he paints Democrats as a national security threat for being willing to allow these dangerous immigrants from crossing the border.

Trump claimed in a Monday tweet that œcriminals and unknown Middle Easterners" are amid the crowd, for which he offered no evidence. Earlier in the week he threatened to deploy the U.S. military on the southern border and even to close the U.S.-Mexico border, all which, according to Michael Tomasky, is part of œTrump's closing argument: The brown people are coming!"


 Trump's last-minute 'Arabs are voting in droves' campaign push


Iran says 15 militants arrested who planned attacks on Shi'ite pilgrims

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 13:04:39

Iran said on Tuesday it had arrested 15 militants planning attacks on Shi'ite Muslims making an annual pilgrimage to Iraq. 

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians travel to the Iraqi city of Kerbala each year for the ritual of Arbaeen, which marks the end of a 40-day mourning period for the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, Imam Hussein. 

Iran's Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi, visiting the Iran-Iraq border area, was quoted by state television as saying that "three terrorist groups that wanted to target Arbaeen mourners were arrested." 


 Iran says 15 militants arrested who planned attacks on Shi'ite pilgrims


Erdogan: Khashoggi's 'ferocious murder' was planned, Saudi king should extradite killers

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 11:57:57

Turkish President Recep Tayyup Erdogan said on Tuesday called the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi "ferocious" and demanded Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud extradite those who killed him to stand trial in Turkey.

A team of Saudi agents began arriving in Turkey the day before journalist Jamal Khashoggi's "savage" killing, and cameras at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul were removed, Erdogan said, speaking before parliament.

"Intelligence and security institutions have evidence showing the murder was planned.... Pinning such a case on some security and intelligence members will not satisfy us or the international community," he said. 


 Erdogan: Khashoggi's 'ferocious murder' was planned, Saudi king should extradite killers


Jewish Agency chairman calls crisis between Israel, U.S. Jewry ˜existential'

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 10:35:03

Terming the crisis between Israel and American Jewry œexistential, Jewish Agency Chairman Issac Herzog said on Tuesday that he was œshaken to my core by the growing rift between the two largest Jewish communities in the world.

Addressing a plenary session of the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America, Herzog said: œDear friends, let me speak candidly, even emotionally, from the bottom of my heart: I am worried. I see the demography of the Holy Land and I understand that if Israel does not change course, it will endanger itself. I see the identity crisis of many North American millennials and I understand that if American Jewry does not redefine itself, its phenomenal success story might be jeopardized.

In Israel, he said, œthere are those who shamefully refuse to recognize the great non-Orthodox Judaism of North America, while in North America, œthere are those who disavow the centrality of Israel to Jewish life. œ 


 Jewish Agency chairman calls crisis between Israel, U.S. Jewry ˜existential'


Palestinian Authority and Hamas systematically torture detainees, report finds

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 10:04:22

In the West Bank it's called a œcloset and in Gaza it's called a œbus. Both are euphemisms for means of incarceration and torture used by the security forces of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas on detainees, according to an inquiry released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch.

œ˜Two Authorities, One Way, Zero Dissent': Arbitrary Arrest and Torture Under the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, is a 149-page report describing how the Palestinian authorities suppress dissent, using arbitrary arrest that contravenes basic Palestinian law itself, attacks on protesters, criminalization of criticism on social media, and torture to extract confessions and deter opposition.

To really understand the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz


 Palestinian Authority and Hamas systematically torture detainees, report finds


CIA director Gina Haspel travels to Turkey for Khashoggi probe, sources say

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 08:14:17

CIA Director Gina Haspel was traveling to Turkey on Monday to help investigate the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, two sources familiar with the matter said, as security agencies examined what role Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have played in the case.

Khashoggi, who was living in Washington, disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

Earlier on Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was still not satisfied with what he had heard from Saudi Arabia about the killing.


 CIA director Gina Haspel travels to Turkey for Khashoggi probe, sources say


Fed up with critics, Netanyahu opens back channel to undermine U.S. Reform, Conservative leaders

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 08:14:14

In an effort to resolve the crisis with Reform and Conservative Jews in the United States, the Israeli government is bypassing the movements' leaders and reaching out directly to congregational rabbis viewed as less critical of its policies.

Last week, a delegation of 20 congregational rabbis most of them non-Orthodox met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem to discuss ways of mending relations, which have come under unprecedented strain in recent years.

The mission was organized with the help of Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, with the Foreign Ministry covering most of the costs. Leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements were not invited or involved in its planning.


 Fed up with critics, Netanyahu opens back channel to undermine U.S. Reform, Conservative leaders


'We are working on foreign soil and have to be very cautious': Shelved Al Jazeera film details Israel's ˜covert war' against BDS in U.S.

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 03:38:15

WASHINGTON Al Jazeera's censored 2016 documentary about the pro-Israel lobby in D.C. reveals new information about the work of Israel's Strategic Affairs Ministry against critics of Israel in the United States.

The ministry's director general, Sima Vaknin-Gil, is shown discussing Israel's efforts against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which is increasingly vocal on American college campuses.

œWe are a different government working on foreign soil and we have to be very, very cautious, Vaknin-Gil is shown saying at an off-the-record session of a pro-Israel conference. œWe have three different sub-campaigns which are very, very sensitive, she adds. œRegarding data gathering, information analysis, working on activist organization, money trail, this is something that only a country, with its resources, can do the best.


 'We are working on foreign soil and have to be very cautious': Shelved Al Jazeera film details Israel's ˜covert war' against BDS in U.S.


Haaretz Cartoon

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 03:04:55

 Haaretz Cartoon


Business in Brief: Weak Wall Street opening erases most of TASE gains

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 02:02:06

3D bio printer Collplant shares surge on news of deal

Shares of tissue repair company Collplant Holdings shot up nearly 30% on Monday to a market cap of 95 million shekels ($26 million) after reporting a developing, licensing and commercialization agreement with United Therapeutics Corporation. The two companies will develop artificial lungs based on 3D bio-prints for lung transplants. The collaboration is based on human collagen that Collplant develops through genetic engineering of the tobacco plant using patented technology developed by Prof. Oded Shoseyov. Collagen is the dominant protein in the human body. According to the agreement, Collplant will provide the biological printing for several years during the development process and will provide technical support when United Technologies builds a production plant in the United States. Collplant also granted United Therapeutics an option to expand use of Collagen to develop and market three additional organs. Shares of Collplant closed up 29.6% at 50 agorot, while United Therapeutics ended down 0.9% at 12.19. (Yoram Gabison)

Paz board avoids confrontation with Meitav Dash over permanent chairman


 Business in Brief: Weak Wall Street opening erases most of TASE gains


Jordan's warning message

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 01:36:45

The decision by Jordan's King Abdullah not to renew Israel's lease of two parcels of land in southern and northern Israel when it ends in October 2019 sends a clear message to the government. Amman, which could have permitted the lease to renew automatically, chose to demonstrate that nothing can be taken for granted in its relations with Jerusalem.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz

As part of the 1994 peace treaty signed between the two countries, as a direct continuation of the Oslo Accords, Jordan gave Israel ” without receiving anything in return ” the right to use these border areas for 25 years. The agreement states it will renew automatically as long as neither side announces otherwise. That is what Israel expected, in its complacent assumption that its strong relationship with the kingdom ” which includes military and economic cooperation ” would be sufficient to guarantee that the Israeli farmers who work the land could continue to do so indefinitely.


 Jordan's warning message


In Jerusalem election, candidates compete for a spot in the final round

Tue, 23 Oct 2018 00:51:03

One week before the polls open, the fog surrounding the local election in Jerusalem refuses to disperse. The large field of candidates and the question marks hanging over ultra-Orthodox voters make it harder than usual to predict the city's next mayor. Whatever happens, though, it's pretty clear that the decision will be made in a runoff election. The vote next Tuesday is for a spot in the finals.

Most candidates believe that Ofer Berkovitch, the only serious nonreligious contender and the youngest of the bunch, will make it to the expected second round. Maneuvering for the second spot are Environmental Protection and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin, Deputy Mayor Yossi Daitch and City Council member Moshe Leon, with the latter considered the likeliest bet. How that might turn out is anyone's guess; for Jerusalem, a runoff election ” when polls open later and workers won't get a day off ” is something totally new.

To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz


 In Jerusalem election, candidates compete for a spot in the final round


'Bring me the head of the dog': How the top MBS aide behind Khashoggi's murder ran the killing via Skype

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 23:14:22

He ran social media for Saudi Arabia's crown prince. He masterminded the arrest of hundreds of his country's elite. He detained a Lebanese prime minister. And, according to two intelligence sources, he ran journalist Jamal Khashoggi's brutal killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by giving orders over Skype.

Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is one of the fall guys as Riyadh tries to stem international outrage at Khashoggi's death. On Saturday, Saudi state media said King Salman had sacked Qahtani and four other officials over the killing carried out by a 15-man hit team.

>> Erdogan: Khashoggi's 'ferocious murder' was planned, Saudi king should extradite killers -  A timeline of Saudi Arabia's shifting narratives on Jamal Khashoggi's death


 'Bring me the head of the dog': How the top MBS aide behind Khashoggi's murder ran the killing via Skype


Jordanian FM: We will not negotiate our sovereignty with Israel

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 23:04:34

Jordan will not negotiate its sovereignty over two annexes leased to Israel as part of the 1994 peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Monday. Speaking to local reporters, Safadi added that Amman has not received any request or demand from Israel to discuss issue.

Should there be terms or demands, Safadi said, they would revolve around the expiration of the two annexes.

œWe are a country with international standing. We acted by the letter of the law and we have the tools to protect our interests, he said.


 Jordanian FM: We will not negotiate our sovereignty with Israel


Two Israeli military policemen charged with groping, robbing Palestinian women at checkpoint

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 22:08:19

Two Israeli military policemen were charged Sunday in military court with robbing and groping Palestinian women at a West Bank checkpoint over a period of six months.

The two policemen, whose names were not disclosed, were also charged with attempted robbery and with abuse of authority. They will be court-martialed in the Jaffa Military Court.

According to the indictment, the defendants were motivated by anti-Arab racism.


 Two Israeli military policemen charged with groping, robbing Palestinian women at checkpoint


Netanyahu's current politics reopen 23-year-old wound of Rabin's assassination

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 21:39:24

Anniversaries of Yitzhak Rabin's assassinations traditionally create tension between left and right, but this year's commemoration was different. The ceremonies and speeches that mark the day an Israeli prime minister was murdered for political reasons showed that, despite the 23 years that have passed, the feelings of bitterness and resentment in both camps are, if anything, stronger than ever. Rather than healing with time, the wound is as gaping, festering and venomous today as it was in the days following November 4, 1995.

Rabin's grandchildren, Noa Rothman and Yonatan Ben Artzi, usually address the annual memorial ceremony, but their words have never been harsher. Leaders of the Labor opposition routinely allude to the right-wing incitement that preceded the assassination, but not in the blunt and damning terms used by Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni and former Labor chair Shelly Yechimovich in the Knesset on Sunday. 

Benjamin Netanyahu and other right wing politicians always rebuff the claim that they inflamed and incited and created the atmosphere that inspired Rabin's assassin Yigal Amir, but Culture Minister Miri Regev declared this year that right wing incitement simply never happened and her colleague, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, asserted that the left is just as dangerous.


 Netanyahu's current politics reopen 23-year-old wound of Rabin's assassination


Jordan's king nixes peace treaty annexes as payback against Trump, Netanyahu

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 21:21:19

Jordan's King Abdullah knew 10 months ago that he would have to make a tough decision that was likely to get him into trouble with Israel, the U.S. administration or the Jordanian public.

The question of whether to let the lease agreement for Naharayim in the Jordan Valley and for Zofar in the Arava renew itself automatically, which is one of the options in the peace treaty with Israel, was first debated with his senior advisers back in January. This came amid the large demonstrations in Jordan against the country's new tax law, when there were also calls to cancel the peace agreement with Israel, or at least not to extend the leases.

The king asked then-Prime Minister Hani Mulki to prepare a comprehensive survey on the status of the leased lands, and the conclusion was that Jordan could take the lands back, since it owns them and under the peace agreement either party can cancel the lease agreement after 25 years, with a year's notice.


 Jordan's king nixes peace treaty annexes as payback against Trump, Netanyahu


Israeli claim consultants effective only at highest disability levels, report says

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 20:57:04

A report compiled by the National Insurance Institute and submitted to the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee Monday showed that only people with the highest levels of disability benefit significantly from hiring a consulting company to help them with their claims.

The committee met to discuss the consequences of the so-called Livnat Poran law, named after a well-known Israeli disability claims consultancy . The law, passed in July 2015, caps the fees that a disability lawyer or consulting firm can charge for representing an individual submitting a disability claim with the National Insurance Institute.

The NII study found that the average claimant with a disability rating of 90% or above who used the services of a consulting firm received 200 to 250 shekels ($55 to $68) more a month than individuals who filed their own claims. For insureds with lower disability levels the differences were negligible, and sometimes individuals without representation received even more. These outside consultants notably charge substantial fees for their services.


 Israeli claim consultants effective only at highest disability levels, report says


Why speak of the Israeli occupation abroad? So that this disgrace will end

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 20:34:10

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked this week by the editor of the most-read propaganda paper in Israel an obsequious question at a conference for the Christian press. The concealed propaganda appeared in the question itself: The hint, not to say the explicit statement, that the activities of B'Tselem are œanti-Semitic. Netanyahu did not reject what had been placed before him, and added his own definition for B'Tselem: œa disgrace.

And so, let us add even more to it. Netanyahu, what is a disgrace?

A disgrace is when during protests over the past months, Israeli snipers killed three 11-year-old children in the Gaza Strip. Nassar Musbah, Yassar Abu Al-Haja and Majdi al-Sitri are three of the 31 minors the army killed. We killed paramedics and journalists, too, and injured with live fire over 5,300 people. Some will remain disabled for their entire lives.


 Why speak of the Israeli occupation abroad? So that this disgrace will end


Relax. Trump won't put all the Jews in camps. Only the Democrats

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 20:15:49

Relax. It won't happen for a while yet.

There's really nothing to worry about, at the moment.

When it starts to happen, it won't be a big deal. These things take preparation. Groundwork. They have to be done right.


 Relax. Trump won't put all the Jews in camps. Only the Democrats


Mismanagement brought Israel's water economy to edge of crisis, state watchdog report says

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 20:11:16

The State Comptroller's Office slammed the Water Authority and the Water Ministry Monday for what it called its poor management of Israel's water supply, at a cost of 1.1 billion shekels ($300 million) and counting.

œThe Water Authority walked on the edge time after time, loosening the reins immediately after one rainy year while ignoring the long-term effects in the region of climate change, the state watchdog's report on Israel's water economy said. œThe absence of sustainable planning and mismanagement by the authority have caused another water crisis."

The report covers mainly the term of former Water Authority Director Alex Kushnir, who was replaced in mid-2017 by Giora Shaham, and former Energy Minister Silvan Shalom. He was replaced by Yuval Steinetz in 2015.


 Mismanagement brought Israel's water economy to edge of crisis, state watchdog report says


Israel's big pension tender: Higher management fees set as agents return to game

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 19:56:55

The latest tender to select default pension funds announced last week returns insurance agents to the game. While the previous tender, which set low management fees that didn't leave the winning pension funds the ability to pay agent commissions, the new one set significantly higher management fees, enabling them to market themselves through agents.

The capital markets authority set minimal management fees of 1.5% of deposits and 0.05% of the principle in the tender, below which funds cannot offer even if the package is more attractive. The winners were Meitav Dash, which raised its fees for deposits and the principle from 1.31% and 0.01%, respectively, in the previous tender to 2.49% and 0.05%, respectively; Psagot (1.68% and 0.09%, respectively); and Althshuler Shaham and Hellman Aldubi (both 1.49% and 0.1%, respectively).

Notably, Meitav Dash focused on raising the management fee for deposits to be able to pay substantial commissions to insurance agents returning to the market. Insurance agents had given Meitav Dash the cold shoulder over the past two years, after it won the previous tender, because it wasn't paying them commissions. Consequently, Meitav Dash lost an estimated 6 billion shekels in business to its competitors during this period.


 Israel's big pension tender: Higher management fees set as agents return to game


Only specialist medical clinic for asylum seekers in Israel due to close over lack of funding

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 19:41:21

The only clinic in Israel that provides specialist medical testing and treatment for asylum seekers at a nominal fee will be shutting down within a month, as the Health Ministry declined to take over funding of it, Haaretz has learned.

The company that has been operating the clinic, Terem, said the project has been run with volunteer staff since it opened in 2010. A second Terem clinic, which provides emergency medical care in the same building near the Central Bus Station in south Tel Aviv and which receives major Health Ministry funding, will remain open.

>> How to treat asylum seekers: A lesson to Israel from Canada


 Only specialist medical clinic for asylum seekers in Israel due to close over lack of funding


Israel-China ties are a very good thing

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 19:08:10

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan is visiting Israel from Monday through Thursday. Wang, along with Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will head the fourth meeting of the China-Israel Innovation Committee, a kind of intergovernmental meeting that includes 13 government ministries from each side, in which they will discuss increasing cooperation in varied areas of the economy and trade, science and technology, health, agriculture, environmental quality, education and academy.

Netanyahu and Chinese President Xi Jinping also agreed last year to upgrade the relationship between the countries to a Comprehensive Innovation Partnership. This means that the huge Chinese economy, the second largest in the world, and Chinese government ministries, are getting a loud and clear message from the leadership in Beijing: Go and do business and invest in the advanced and innovative Israeli economy.

>> How close to China is too close for Israel? | Analysis


 Israel-China ties are a very good thing


Kushner says he told Saudi Crown Prince MBS to be 'fully transparent' in Khashoggi probe

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:54:55

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law, said on Monday the United States is still in a fact-finding phase on the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and has its "eyes wide open." 

Kushner, who has a close relationship with powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, deflected questions in a CNN interview about whether he trusted the Saudis to investigate themselves. 

Saudi Arabia has given shifting explanations about what happened to Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and strong critic of the crown prince, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Riyadh confirmed on Saturday he was dead and said he was killed in a fight in the building. 


 Kushner says he told Saudi Crown Prince MBS to be 'fully transparent' in Khashoggi probe


One day, Palestinians will thank Trump for his years of hostility

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:45:08

There has been some shock and awe at how, within the space of two years, the Trump administration has turned accepted orthodoxy on Israeli-Palestinian peace on its head. The awe is understandable, given the depth and breadth of the policy shifts. The shock, however, makes less sense.

After all, the duo responsible, David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, and Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special advisor on international negotiations, are the same two who drafted Trump's campaign position paper which outlined exactly what the administration intended to achieve.

Their success thus far may not be all that they bargained for, if bipartisan support for Israel is a key priority. Regardless, they should be credited for being both transparent and consistent in an administration that is generally viewed as less than such.


 One day, Palestinians will thank Trump for his years of hostility


Khashoggi's murder at Saudi consulate 'monstrously planned,' Turkey's ruling party says

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:35:14

Turkey's ruling party said on Monday Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a œmonstrously planned murder, dismissing Riyadh's assertion he died in a fight, as Western incredulity deepened over varying Saudi accounts of the journalist's disappearance.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the powerful Saudi crown prince, disappeared three weeks ago after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for an upcoming marriage.

Riyadh's reaction since - it initially denied knowledge of his fate before saying he was killed in a fight in the consulate - has left several Western governments deeply skeptical and strained ties with the world's largest oil exporter.


 Khashoggi's murder at Saudi consulate 'monstrously planned,' Turkey's ruling party says


Saudi investment conference website hacked, then taken down

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 18:13:16

The Future Investment Initiative, the Saudi conference which has grabbed headlines in the past two weeks as participants have pulled out, appears to have had its official website hacked on Monday.  

The website's main page was taken over with an image of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wielding a sword aimed at dead journalist Jamal Khashoggi's head in a scene reminiscent of Islamic State beheadings.

Siemens's chief executive said on Monday he would not attend the three-day conference in Saudi Arabia after the country admitted that journalist Khashoggi had been killed in its consulate in Istanbul.


 Saudi investment conference website hacked, then taken down


Israel uncovers Hezbollah post near Lebanon border, in violation of UN resolution

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:47:56

Israel says it has recently uncovered an observation post Hezbollah established near its border with Lebanon, in violation to a UN Security Council resolution.

This position, the sixth Israel says it has identified along the border, was erected under the guise of an activity by an environmental non-governmental organization.

In July Danny Danon, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, presented photos of five other such position. Israel has yet to act to remove those positions.


 Israel uncovers Hezbollah post near Lebanon border, in violation of UN resolution


How a Jewish historian helped Benigni fend off Holocaust denial charges in ˜Life is Beautiful'

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:47:39

In October 1998, Italian filmmaker Roberto Benigni's œLife is Beautiful was released in the United States. It was a runaway success at both the box office and end-of-year awards ceremonies, winning three Oscars including best actor for Benigni himself.

But 20 years on, the film's historical consultant, Jewish-Italian Marcello Pezzetti, tells Haaretz that Benigni originally wanted a different ending for the film, one that risked alienating the Jewish community and corroborating accusations of Holocaust denial.

The film begins in fascist Italy in 1939, and goes on to chronicle how an Italian-Jewish father, Guido (Benigni), convinces his young son, Giosué (Giorgio Cantarini), that their incarceration in a German concentration camp is all an elaborate game. This œgame sees the inmates competing to score points, with the first to 1,000 points winning the star prize of a tank.


 How a Jewish historian helped Benigni fend off Holocaust denial charges in ˜Life is Beautiful'


Israeli soldiers filmed standing by in West Bank as settlers throw rocks at Palestinians

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:36:27

Israeli soldiers were filmed on Saturday watching settlers in the West Bank throw rocks at Palestinians and doing nothing to stop them.

At 10:30 AM on Saturday, a group of Israelis coming from the settlement of Yitzhar threw rocks at Palestinians they saw on farmland between the Palestinian villages of Burin and Hawara.

After the incident the Israelis returned to Yitzhar and half an hour later, an even bigger group came out of the settlement and threw rocks at Palestinians who were building a fence at Burin, a village near Nablus, according to Palestinian reports via the Yesh Din organization.


 Israeli soldiers filmed standing by in West Bank as settlers throw rocks at Palestinians


Midterms 2018: Why the 2016 Trump Tower meeting still matters

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:24:14

 Adoptions of Russian children? Opposition research on Hillary Clinton?

President Donald Trump has for the first time acknowledged that a June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower was the latter. But he and his team have offered shifting explanations on the confab. That's key to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.

A look at the details, the Trump team's shifting explanations of the meeting, and why it matters:


 Midterms 2018: Why the 2016 Trump Tower meeting still matters


GOP fight over leadership after November vote to be messy

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:19:23

Win or lose in the race for the majority, House Republicans are at risk of plunging into a messy leadership battle after the November election, with the party lacking a clear heir apparent to take the place of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

U.S. President Donald Trump has signaled he'd be happy with next-in-line Kevin McCarthy, the majority leader, a longtime ally whom the president calls œMy Kevin.

But Trump is also saying kind words about the No. 3 Republican, GOP Whip Steve Scalise, whom he calls the œlegend from Louisiana. Scalise survived life-threatening injuries after he was shot at a congressional baseball practice in 2017.


 GOP fight over leadership after November vote to be messy


After the midterms, could a threatened, volatile Trump flip on Israel?

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:15:17

November 6th is report card day for the U.S. government. The results of the hotly contested midterm elections will speak volumes to the Trump administration's prospects moving forward. Many millions of dollars are pouring into the coffers of both major parties for precisely that reason to either promote or obstruct the president's agenda for the remainder of his term.

Republicans and Democrats assert equally that their faithful were fired-up by Brett Kavanaugh's bitter confirmation process for the Supreme Court, but indications are that Donald Trump's GOP will take a hit. The party controlling the White House traditionally loses seats in the midterm ballot and, indeed, polls are forecasting a Democratic takeover of Congress; Republicans are expected to retain their hold on the Senate.

Among those watching closely to assess the fallout will be Israeli policy-makers. Prominent friends of the Jewish state are heavily invested in the campaign on both sides of the aisle and relations between Israel and its chief benefactor and ally stand to be impacted by the outcome.


 After the midterms, could a threatened, volatile Trump flip on Israel?


Saudi Arabia, reeling from Khashoggi scandal, battles a new front: Arab media

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:58:23

Over the past two weeks, the nightly news on Al Jazeera has become a fount of reports on the Khashoggi affair. Evidently the Turkish authorities have chosen to use the Qatari network to dribble out new sensational bits of information daily.

Al Jazeera was the first to show pictures of the killers who dismembered Khashoggi's body; it knew how they arrived and what they did; it reported on the Saudi consul's actions in the room and that Khashoggi was injected with a drug to stop him from screaming in pain. It almost seems that the network's correspondent in Turkey was present at the scene when it all happened.

While the Turkish government maintains proper restraint, stating that it is cooperating with the Saudi authorities or announcing that an investigation has been launched, Al Jazeera is providing the color and the harsh analysis that is roiling the Saudi royals.


 Saudi Arabia, reeling from Khashoggi scandal, battles a new front: Arab media


Resistance fighter who thwarted Nazi nuclear ambitions dies at 99

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:44:04

Joachim Roenneberg, the leader of a daring World War II raid to thwart Nazi Germany's nuclear ambitions died Sunday in his home country of Norway at the age of 99, Norwegian government officials said.

Born in 1919 in the town of Aalesund, Roenneberg left Norway in 1940 following the Nazi invasion. He went to Brtain, where he joined a special commando unit operating under the British Special Operations Executive. 

Roenneberg, serving behind enemy lines in his native Norway during the German occupation in 1943, blew up a plant producing heavy water, or D2O, a hydrogen-rich substance that was key to the later development of atomic bombs.


 Resistance fighter who thwarted Nazi nuclear ambitions dies at 99


Israel and BDS Take Center Stage in Heated Florida Governor's Debate

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:27:38

Israel doesn't normally play a starring role in U.S. governor races.

But in Sunday night's gubernatorial campaign debate in Florida, Rep. Ron DeSantis repeatedly pivoted to Israel-related issues from the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to President Donald Trump's Jerusalem embassy move in an effort to paint his opponent as being hostile to the Jewish state.

At the height of the debate, DeSantis, 40, tried to cast Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum's positions as being appropriate if he was œrunning for mayor of the Gaza Strip.  


 Israel and BDS Take Center Stage in Heated Florida Governor's Debate


Revealed: Israeli taxpayers helped bankroll illegal West Bank outposts for decades

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:27:06

The World Zionist Organization's Settlement Division has provided dozens of loans over the past two decades to fund the establishment of unauthorized Jewish outposts and farms across the West Bank, an investigation by Haaretz has revealed. Documents obtained by Haaretz show a pattern in which settlers have established farms and unauthorized outposts over the past 20 years with loans from the Settlement Division ” financed entirely through taxpayers' money and frequently secured by liens on agricultural equipment or livestock. The World Zionist Organization refused to respond for this article.

By cross-referencing maps at the offices of the Israeli Civil Administration for the West Bank with the names of individuals who have obtained mortgages, along with their places of residence and the year in which the loan was granted, it becomes apparent that the division repeatedly gave loans to people who were establishing unauthorized outpost, and did so during the period when the outposts were being set up. In most cases, the collateral for the loans were assets associated with the land on which the outposts were built, such as a flock of sheep, a chicken coop or agricultural equipment.

The Haaretz investigation was based on dozens of documents relating to mortgages pertaining to 26 outposts across the West Bank. These included large outposts such as Amona, which has since been evacuated. Mortgage financing was also provided for illegal structures in authorized settlements such as Yitzhar; and for the Havat Har Sinai, Einot Kedem and Shkedim farms.


 Revealed: Israeli taxpayers helped bankroll illegal West Bank outposts for decades


Israel has reached 'a situation of no choice' with Hamas, defense chief says

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 16:21:03

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that he doesn't believe in reaching an agreement with Hamas. "It didn't work, it doesn't work and it will not work in the future," he told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

"The State of Israel doesn't have the luxury to manage 'we have a choice'  wars and operations, but we have reached a situation of no choice. We have reached a point where decisions must be made," he added.

It was also reported Monday that a delegation of Egyptian intelligence officials arrived in the Gaza Strip to continue meeting with Hamas in order to attain a long-term calm in the region.


 Israel has reached 'a situation of no choice' with Hamas, defense chief says


Drought is killing off Israel's trees, says groundbreaking nationwide study

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 15:59:56

Israel's forests have been declining for years, and now a groundbreaking study has found a correlation between increasing tree mortality and the mounting incidence of drought.

During arid periods, the study pointed out, not only are forest fires more frequent: the trees are also more vulnerable to harmful insects.

The study, "A nationwide analysis of tree mortality under climate change" was published in the Elsevier journal Forest Ecology and Management. The research was conducted Dr. Tamir Klein of the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, with members of the Jewish National Fund and Prof. Gabriel Schiller of the Volcani Institute for Agricultural Research.


 Drought is killing off Israel's trees, says groundbreaking nationwide study


Kremlin: we'll respond in kind if U.S. develops intermediate missiles

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 15:20:56

The Kremlin said on Monday that Russia would be forced to respond in kind if the United States began developing new missiles after quitting a landmark Cold War-era treaty.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that Washington would withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty because Russia was violating the pact, triggering a warning of retaliatory measures from Moscow.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that the U.S. move would make the world a more dangerous place and said Russia would be forced to act to restore the balance of military power if Washington quit and started developing new missiles


 Kremlin: we'll respond in kind if U.S. develops intermediate missiles


Funding blacklists of U.S. citizens, playing D.C. against Iran: Israeli gov't implicated by shelved Al Jazeera investigation

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 14:05:33

The Strategic Affairs Ministry coordinated with a Washington D.C.-based think tank that lobbied against the nuclear deal with Iran, the ministry's director-general says in a shelved Al Jazeera documentary about the Israel lobby. The documentary was obtained and seen by Haaretz blogger in Hebrew John Brown.

Brown reports of a special screening of the documentary, which took place in Bethlehem, on the security wall Israel built, near Banksy's "Walled Off Hotel." Only a small number of people attended the screening of the first episode of the Al Jazeera investigative report into the Israel lobby in D.C.

The documentary, spanning four episodes of 50 minutes each, tracked an undercover Al Jazeera reported who infiltrated the lobby in late 2016. Brown reported that he has obtained all four episodes.


 Funding blacklists of U.S. citizens, playing D.C. against Iran: Israeli gov't implicated by shelved Al Jazeera investigation


Since spy-plane downing, Russia toughens stance against Israel in Syria skies

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 14:00:11

In recent weeks Russia has been taking a more forceful stance toward Israel concerning Israel Air Force activity in the north.

The Russians are demanding further clarifications from the Israel Defense Forces via the œhotline that is meant to prevent any aerial clashes between the two parties, and there have been several instances in which Russian air defense radars in Syria were activated in connection with Israel's air force activity in the north.

Russia's behavior is being interpreted in Israel as a response to the incident in which a Syrian anti-aircraft missile downed an Ilyushin Russian intelligence-gathering plane on September 17 at the end of an Israeli airstrike near Latakia in northwestern Syria.


 Since spy-plane downing, Russia toughens stance against Israel in Syria skies


Jordan revoking part of peace treaty with Israel an economic 'death sentence' for farmers

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:50:59

King Abdullah II's announcement on Sunday that Jordan would be terminating its lease to Israel of two small areas along the countries' shared border surprised farmers from Moshav Zofar in the southern Arava region.

On Sunday afternoon, after the announcement, children from the area were selling cold lemonade for two shekels (50 cents) outside the local library. One of their mothers suggested sarcastically that they raise their price, saying œthey're taking away our agriculture and we won't have money left.

Officials at the Central Arava Regional Council and the farmers who work in the enclave near the moshav say they had no idea that the move by Jordan was in the offing, though the treaty gives Jordan the right to exercise the option of terminating the lease of the land every 25 years.


 Jordan revoking part of peace treaty with Israel an economic 'death sentence' for farmers


How India's Modi chose Moscow's S-400 missiles, defied Trump and spurned Israel

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:42:58

Vladimir Putin knows how to pack a punch. The combative Russian president, an avid judoka, applies the martial art's two principles to diplomacy. One: move rapidly. Two: use the weight and strength of the opponent to your advantage rather than combating them directly.

In a deft move, Putin closed a $5.4 billion arms deal with India, selling the Russian S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile defense systems at the beginning of October.

India, bordered by Pakistan's 20 fighter squadrons, and China's 1,700 fighter planes, must "match the force level of our adversaries," the head of India's Air Force has declared. 


 How India's Modi chose Moscow's S-400 missiles, defied Trump and spurned Israel


Top U.S. general confirmed wounded after Afghanistan shooting

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:37:18

U.S. Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley, was confirmed as one of two Americans wounded in Thursday's attack that killed the police chief of the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, a spokeswoman for the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said.

Smiley, commander of Resolute Support's training and advisory mission in southern Afghanistan, was shot when a member of the provincial governor's bodyguard opened fire on a group of officials leaving a meeting with the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller.

"I can confirm US. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley was wounded during a recent insider attack in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province," a spokeswoman for the NATO-led force said in an emailed statement.


 Top U.S. general confirmed wounded after Afghanistan shooting


Saudi operative seen on camera in Khashoggi's clothes after he was killed, report says

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:15:32

CNN reported early Monday morning that one member of the 15-man team suspected in the death of Jamal Khashoggi dressed up in his clothes and was captured on surveillance cameras, according to a senior Turkish official.

The revelation came the same day as five Turkish employees of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul are giving statements as witnesses under an investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkish broadcaster NTV said on Monday.

Read more: More Khashoggi-MBS Links Revealed as Suspected Killer Dies in 'Suspicious Car Accident'


 Saudi operative seen on camera in Khashoggi's clothes after he was killed, report says


Germany stops arms exports to Saudi Arabia, urges Europe to follow

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 13:08:55

Germany wants other European Union member states to follow its example in stopping arms exports to Saudi Arabia as long as uncertainty remains over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday.

Riyadh has given multiple and conflicting accounts on what led to Khashoggi's death on Oct. 2 at its consulate in Istanbul. On Sunday, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir called the killing a "huge and grave mistake" but sought to shield Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that Germany would stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia as long as the uncertainty around Khashoggi's death persisted.


 Germany stops arms exports to Saudi Arabia, urges Europe to follow


Top GOP and Democratic leaders accuse MBS of journalist's 'murder'

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 12:54:05

A leading Republican U.S. senator said on Sunday he believed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"Do I think he did it? Yes, I think he did it," Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union."

Corker said he was waiting for investigations to be completed and hoped that Turkey would share any audio tapes of the killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.


 Top GOP and Democratic leaders accuse MBS of journalist's 'murder'


Why are some pro-Israel voices speaking out against Jamal Khashoggi?

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 12:47:05

Two weeks after he disappeared, Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Washington Post columnist, is getting his reputation run through a wringer, and some pro-Israel voices are joining the pile-on.

Even as gruesome allegations emerge that he was tortured, murdered and dismembered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, some Israel supporters have joined other figures on the right in describing Khashoggi as a terrorist sympathizer and fierce opponent of Israel. Their goal appears to be to counter a portrait of Khashoggi as a Saudi reformer and free speech activist, and perhaps derail pressure building on the White House to punish Saudi Arabia for his disappearance and presumed murder.

Latest: Truth or Trap? Saudi Explanation for Khashoggi's Murder Puts Trump to the Test | Why the Khashoggi Murder Is a Disaster for Israel | Trump Changes Tune on Saudi Arabia, Accuses Key Ally of 'Lies'


 Why are some pro-Israel voices speaking out against Jamal Khashoggi?


Trump reportedly now sees Kushner's close relationship with MBS as a 'liability'

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 12:43:59

Six days after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared, U.S. President Donald Trump tried to play down the crisis, saying "hopefully that will sort itself out".

It did not, and on Oct. 10, amid a growing outcry, Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and national security adviser John Bolton pressed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, in what one U.S. official described as a "stern" phone call, to identify who was responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance or death.

Kushner, who had cultivated a close personal relationship with the crown prince, commonly known as MBS, urged Trump to act with caution to avoid upsetting a critical strategic and economic relationship, a senior administration official told Reuters.


 Trump reportedly now sees Kushner's close relationship with MBS as a 'liability'


As the Khashoggi crisis grows, Saudi king takes back authority

Mon, 22 Oct 2018 11:57:00

>> Trump reportedly now sees Kushner's close relationship with MBS as a 'liability' | Why we should go easy on the Saudi crown prince | Opinion | Saudi Arabia, reeling from Khashoggi scandal, battles a new front: Arab media | Analysis

So grave is the fallout from the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud has felt compelled to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family said.

On October 11, the king dispatched his most trusted aide, Prince Khalid al-Faisal, the governor of Mecca, to Istanbul to try to defuse the crisis.


 As the Khashoggi crisis grows, Saudi king takes back authority






US  US NO






Peace demonstrations in the US October 26-28 2007
29.10 - 2007

tn_10-275.jpg

Large number of US citizens demonstrated against the war in Iraq (and the possible war in Iran) during this October weekend. Massive turnout in Boston and San Fransisco, and also in Chicago, LA and DC people took to the streets.
The message was: NO more war in Iraq! NO to a war with Iran!