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Comment on What Time Machine Doesn’t Back Up by Brian Webster   

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Photos does keep a separate set of journal files that it backs up instead of the main SQLite database. I presume this is largely so that it doesn’t have to back up a potentially 100MB+ file every time one small change is made to the library. The first time you open a library after restoring it from Time Machine, Photos does rebuild the database from the journal files.
          

Shinnie backs Sluga to make amends   

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The Hatters travelled to Pride Park in good form, having gone two matches unbeaten in the Championship. Sluga, Luton’s record signing, made two crucial errors which led to both Derby goals on Saturday afternoon. He allowed Matty Pearson’s back-pass to roll under his foot for the first, before then letting Tom Lawrence’s cross beat him … Continued
          

3D Mammography Exams Outperform Conventional Mammography for Women With Both Dense and Nondense Breasts   

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ANCHOR LEAD: A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that 3D MAMMOGRAPHY exams reduce the chances of stressful callbacks and find more invasive cancers for women with de
          

Could Ultracapacitors Realize Their Full Potential?   

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The drawbacks of ultracapacitors means we’ll be stuck with batteries for a while. However, experiments with a new class of materials that are related to soap and laxatives (yes, laxatives) could change that. »
          

Great Pacific Garbage Patch clean up back on track after setback   

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Despite a series of setbacks a project to clean up plastics in the Pacific Ocean is back on track with an ambitious target of cleaning up 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area more than three times the size of PNG's land mass.
          

Slow-Motion Whiplash   

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Slow-Motion Whiplash Brian October 7th, 2019 at 1:15 PM
[Bryan Fuller]

10/6/2019 – Michigan 10, Iowa 3 – 4-1, 2-1 Big Ten

The story of the last 20 years of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry is Jim Tressel gradually transitioning Ohio State from what was then accurately termed "pro style offense" to a spread option system that's been at or near the bleeding edge for 15 years. He inherited Steve Bellisari and Craig Krenzel, neither of whom will be confused with a gazelle any time soon, and transitioned to Troy Smith in a bumpy 2004 season that saw the Buckeyes reach The Game with a 3-4 Big Ten record.

One-loss, #7 Michigan entered a heavy favorite. Four hours later a nuclear bomb had gone off. Smith threw for 241 yards on 23 attempts. He ran for 145 on 18. Ohio State got 52 yards on 14 carries from fullback Brandon Joe; everything else was Smith gaining 9.4 yards per whatever he did.

OSU did not look back. Since November 20th, 2004, Ohio State has had zero sharp turns with their approach. They've pushed things around based on whether their QB was Braxton Miller or Cardale Jones; they've constantly iterated to keep up with the Joneses. At almost no point have they tried to do something completely different.

When they found themselves forced into something pretty different a year ago when it turned out Dwayne Haskins would rather eat a turtle than run a zone read, things were rickety to the tune of a 49-20 blowout at Purdue where the Buckeyes tried a WR screen on fourth and goal from the two.

Doing different things is hard. Especially all at once.

---------------------------------------

By contrast, Michigan has had no set offensive identity for longer than a few years. The tail end of the Carr era was almost nothing but outside zone from under center because the Broncos made it cool. Michigan imported Rich Rodriguez, then fired him after two years of Denard Robinson. Brady Hoke put Robinson under center a lot, because he is a neanderthal, and then recruited nothing but battleship pocket passers (and air). Michigan imported an Alabama OC who was no better than the guy putting Robinson under center; Hoke got fired.

In comes Jim Harbaugh, who had a fascinating period manballing it up from every formation that had ever been invented, lost Jedd Fisch, hired Pep Hamilton, threw Tim Drevno overboard two years too late, hired Ed Warinner, turned to Warinner after the Notre Dame debacle, developed a nice arc read package, ditched Hamilton, and hired Josh Gattis.

In the opener Gattis showed an arc read with an option attached that looked like the natural evolution of what Michigan had been running last year, and then for whatever reason all of that got stuffed in a garbage disposal. Michigan cited an oblique injury to the quarterback. Since then they've done various things, with nothing that you can actually call a base offense. Giving total control to Josh Gattis appears to have resulted in Michigan tossing some adequate babies out with the bathwater, and now the babies are not very adequate.

The number of whiplash moments here is approaching double digits, all while Ohio State calmly whittles a stick into a cruise missile. Michigan has repeatedly thrown over their offensive approach midseason.

Michigan doesn't need to go to Columbus for a counter-example, either: after getting ripped by Ohio State last year Don Brown has moved to a bunch of zone coverages. This is a pretty radical makeover itself, but since it's run by the same guy the terminology hasn't changed; the playbook is still the playbook, but different things are coming out of it. You can see where the defense is heading as it adapts to its personnel. Since that personnel has a decided lack of NFL defensive tackles it's been bumpy.

There's no comparison between the two units. Even after getting imploded by Wisconsin, Michigan sits 2nd in SP+ defense. In reality they're probably a few notches down from that—SP+ is still including a healthy preseason component. The offense is 66th, down over 40 spots from last year after returning nine starters. And there, too, optimistic preseason projections are propping that number up.

It's time to start moving certain pieces around, if only to experiment. Piece number one is quarterback, where it's time to see if any of the offseason Dylan McCaffrey hype was warranted.

Maybe that'll be enough for Michigan to dig in at some spot that—while vastly disappointing relative to preseason expectations—allows Michigan to entrench and see a way forward. Maybe not. Either way Michigan has another hard choice to make: continue on with an unproven coordinator off to a confusing, awful start, or throw it all away and try to build another sand castle before Ohio State can stomp it flat.

[After THE JUMP: defense though!]

AWARDS

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Clark Kent mode: still dormant [Fuller]

Known Friends And Trusted Agents Of The Week

you're the man now, dog

-2535ac8789d1b4991f1c37dee-a502-44d9#1 Kwity Paye/Aidan Hutchinson. 2.5 TFLs each; Paye's were all sacks; Hutchinson had one sack. Hutchison also added a forced fumble on the first play from scrimmage—nice when that happens to the other guys—and a PBU when he deflected a pass at the LOS. The relative proficiency of both guys on the interior allowed Michigan to put their rush package on the field on anything resembling a passing down and survive.

#2 Khaleke Hudson. 11 tackles, a QB hurry, a TFL, and suffered a hold so blindingly obvious that it drew a flag. Missed one tackle on a crossing route; otherwise excellent.  

#3 Cam McGrone/Jordan Glasgow. McGrone had some off moments but was also instrumental in Michigan's constant Stanley-shattering pressure; he's getting a +3 in UFR for a sack on which he took off from the linebacker level on the snap, dusted the RB, and finished. Glasgow converted a run blitz to a similar sack.

Honorable mention: Nico Collins was most of Michigan's touchdown drive, and he also got targeted two more times. Dax Hill had an impressive fourth-down PBU. Josh Metellus got over the top for an INT; so did Lavert Hill.

KFaTAotW Standings

NOTE: New scoring! HM: 1 point. #3: 3 points. #2: 5 points. #1: 8 points. Split winners awarded points at the sole discretion of a pygmy marmoset named Luke.

13: Aidan Hutchinson(#1 Army, HM Rutgers, T1 Iowa)
10: Zach Charbonnet (#2 MTSU, #2 Army)
9: Shea Patterson(HM MTSU, #1 Rutgers), Josh Uche (#3 MTSU, #3 Army, T2 Rutgers), Ambry Thomas (#1 MTSU, HM Rutgers)
7: Kwity Paye (T2 Rutgers, T1 Iowa).
5: Khaleke Hudson (#2 Iowa).
3: Ronnie Bell (HM Army, T3 Rutgers), Cam McGrone(HM Rutgers, T3 Iowa), Jordan Glasgow (HM MTSU, T3 Iowa)
2: DPJ (T3 Rutgers), Nico Collins (HM Rutgers, HM Iowa), Dax Hill(HM Rutgers, HM Iowa), Josh Metellus (HM Army, HM Iowa), Lavert Hill (HM Army, HM Iowa)
1: Will Hart (HM MTSU), Josh Ross (HM, MTSU), Sean McKeon (HM, MTSU),Brad Hawkins (HM Army), Christian Turner (HM Rutgers), Christian Turner (HM Rutgers).

Who's Got It Better Than Us(?) Of The Week

Nate Stanley is buried under an avalanche of persons on fourth and forever.

Honorable mention: The many and various sacks. Nico Collins catches a bomb.

X4OROG3KOKTIFUY4YU4SNSLDIY_thumb_thu[2]MARCUS HALL EPIC DOUBLE BIRD OF THE WEEK.

Moody misses a chip-shot field goal that would have essentially ended the game.

Honorable mention: Nordin gets iced at the end of the first half. Patterson throws a pick trying to get over a dropping defender on hi/low read. Patterson… well, just read the next section.

OFFENSE

McCaffrey time. Shea Patterson had one 51-yard bomb to Nico Collins and 25 other attempts on which Michigan advanced 96 yards, 3.8 yards an attempt. He threw a very bad interception and tried to throw another one. Both of his sacks were on him; he sat in the pocket forever on the first and then ran himself into pressure on the second.

I like Joel Klatt but when going over the game I about passed out when he lamented how no one was open on the first sack.

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Literally everyone is open! This coverage is a giant Iowa bust on which a corner playing outside leverage expects safety help and that safety help is moving up on a crossing route, which is also open. It really seems like this is the whole point of the play, as Bell takes his route vertical for a few steps to draw the safety's attention before breaking to the crossing route.

I should note that after attempting to match this up with the rush, the point at which Patterson needs to decide to throw is this:

image

Since both LBs are moving left and the safety has committed these guys are in fact all open but I didn't want to be accused of cherry picking a moment too late. We saw McCaffrey make a nice anticipation throw to McKeon against Wisconsin, it's not unreasonable to expect Patterson to decide any of these guys are open. Also the wide open post needs no anticipation.

Various other incidents where Patterson sat in the pocket and couldn't find anyone didn't get the downfield cam treatment but I imagine many of them were like this, because this has been a consistent issue any time Patterson goes up against a zone defense.

There is no reason to expect this to improve, so I'm on Team McCaffrey as soon as he returns from injury.

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rarely does it come easy [Fuller]

A brief bit of sun. Michigan's other drive—the one that ended in the missed field goal—was frustrating even when things were working: it interspersed one two-yard run with completions to Collins, DPJ, and Black on two hitches that wobbled their way out there but were still easily completed and an out on which Tru Wilson picked up a CB blitz and Patterson threw it where that came from.

It's impossible to see that bit and not think about why it couldn't be this easy all the time. After the deep shot to Collins Iowa cornerbacks were playing in the parking lot or showing more aggressive coverage and bailing just before the snap. Michigan threw one hitch at that until the fourth quarter, that the Sainristil third down conversion.

To be fair to Gattis, Michigan did try to high-low Iowa on a couple of different instances only for Patterson to throw an interception on one. And the wobble on those hitches may have been oblique-induced. They were not confidence inspiring.

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no sale [Fuller]

Legitimate complaint. One complaint about the WR corps that I do think was legitimate was a distinct lack of Grant Perry route artisanship on red-zone corner routes, which were continually well-covered because Michigan's double moves on them were weak or nonexistent. Perry liked the weak first move followed by a more convincing second one inside, and then he'd break out. Iowa's a lot better than Hawaii and Geno Stone in particular was amazing in this game; still would like to see some guys bite on your moves.

Wildcat. I'm of two minds about the wildcat snap: yes, it was sort of a six-v-six situation on which the OL didn't win. (I say sort of because the overhang linebacker flew into the box on the snap.) On the other, Michigan took a passing down and waved a giant flag that they were going to run. Pass protection gets worse once the opposition doesn't have to worry about the run—Michigan had 15 pass protection positives before their first negative against Wisconsin, and from there things went to hell—and no doubt that dynamic exists for obvious runs.

Meanwhile, Michigan's other trick play was supposed to be an end-around pass from DPJ to Erick All. All fell over, Iowa didn't bite anyway, and DPJ seemingly had not been coached to get rid of the ball if his passing option was not there.

Ground woes continue. More whiplash: after a week where Michigan ran power, outside zone, and inside zone with meh success and seemingly quite a bit of confusion Michigan flipped to approximately one run play: inside zone. There was some split zone in there and a couple of arc plays, but after some early success Iowa got locked in on the one thing Michigan was doing and turned it into a struggle.

It is depressing that Michigan's gone from a team that can throw a lot of stuff at your face and run it all pretty well to one that does literally nothing well enough to be a base play. That goes double given the returning starters Michigan has. A lot of this has to do with the suddenly non-functional QB run game—that one arc read outside of four-minute-drill time was so open it was painful—but I don't know what to do with a team-wide regression so comprehensive. Players are supposed to get better as they get older.

I don't even know man. Michigan threw one bubble in this game, when they put Eubanks outside of DPJ. Iowa rolled their CB up to the LOS and slid their LB corps heavily to the field, with an OLB, who is a real OLB since it's Iowa, head up on Eubanks. The presnap look was a giant blinking DO NOT THROW A BUBBLE.

image

Bubble. I'm going to walk into the ocean now.

Michigan can't throw a screen of any variety. No TE screens, no WR screens, no RB screens. No tunnels, no bubbles, no flash screens. Speed in space is nonexistent.

DEFENSE

Dax Hill: a man. Hill got another chunk of playing time and flashed eye-popping ability. His fourth and two PBU was a drag route on which he lined up with outside leverage, got a step behind, and then made up the distance in a flash. Almost casually. I look forward to fully actualized Dax Hill.

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at least there's someone missing a tackle [Fuller]

Mesh: a plan. Michigan got hit with a few different crossing routes in this game, but in almost all cases this was because someone messed up. McGrone had one; Hudson missed a tackle; I think Thomas was late recognizing his responsibility on the one to Iowa's little scatback. Like last week's not-quite switch-em-up that seemed like Dax Hill busting a trap coverage. Michigan is still getting used to a much more diverse defensive approach but it's working pretty well; see the column section above.

Drop-out blitzes: a canal. Michigan's TFL issues were always a product of who they played. Army is Army. MTSU and Rutgers have offenses designed around the fact they can't block anyone. Wisconsin is Wisconsin, and they only had to throw 15 passes. It wasn't likely that a Don Brown defense was going to be bad at getting to the QB.

But even the most optimistic view wouldn't have projected eight sacks and an intentional grounding that was functionally a ninth. Michigan obliterated Iowa's pass protection. They were extremely eager to throw their rush package on the field—second and seven+ was good enough—and in the second half they threw in a ton of threatened rushes and late drops that sent a ton of guys through untouched. McGrone zipped through the interior of the line when Uche dropped out multiple times; Hudson got a free run off the edge; etc.

Panama. I like Panama because on a continent where way too many countries have national anthems titled "The National Anthem," the Panamanian national anthem is "The Hymn Of The Isthmus."

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how Stanley didn't fumble in this game is unknown [Fuller]

McGrone, up and down. As mentioned above, Cam McGrone had some negative blips here. He was set to jam a crossing route from Smith-Marsette and airballed on him; there was a chunk iso run where he got thwacked by the fullback and didn't funnel to help.

But the dude has the Devin Bush thing where he can come from the linebacker level with no warning and get in on the quarterback in a flash. Iowa was constantly turning him free on blitzes up the middle in part because of that—there are guys who seem dangerous and guys who don't based on their positioning. McGrone was also excellent at not tipping when he was coming.

Handsy. A pretty frustrating game for both offenses in the PI department. Michigan had an open-drive TD that didn't quite come off because a DB who was beaten clean by Black yanked him from behind without a call. For Michigan's part it seemed like they dodged a couple of penalties: an official made the uncatchable signal after Ambry Thomas mugged Oliver Martin on a fade, and a Lavert Hill PBU saw some serious jersey tugging both ways.

On the latter play an official had tossed his hat to indicate the WR had stepped out of bounds. If you step out of bounds and are ineligible to touch the ball first, can you be interfered with? It seems like the answer should be no. But I don't know.

Michigan did get hit with an inevitable flag on a badly underthrown go route.

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[Fuller]

All right-thinking persons believe these flags are an affront to momentum and should not be called. Michigan was the beneficiary of one against Army, which felt dirty but was badly needed at the time. It is unfair to penalize someone when they are running in a straight line and the WR decides he needs to go through your body.

SPECIAL TEAMS

What are you doi—ok. DPJ fielded a punt at the four, which was bad. Then he DPJed his way out to the 40, which was good, and then he fumbled, which was bad, and then Michigan jumped on it, so that was okay again. Michigan got some fluck in this game to offset earlier bad luck.

Golden godhood: nah. Aussie drifter Michael Sleep-Dalton only averaged 38 yards a kick and didn't pin Michigan inside the 10. (Punting stats should record inside the 10, not inside the 20.) He did have a very frustrating line drive he hammered to the left after rolling right; DPJ had no shot at fielding it and it ended up being 56 yards with no return. Sleep-Dalton put a couple in the sideline as compensation.

By contrast Will Hart was his usual self: boom everything, live with the consequences. Iowa picked up 54 yards on four punt returns with a long of 17—ie, everything that got fielded came back a long way, and six of the eight punts either got returned or went into the endzone. So despite a 46 yard average, Michigan only netted 34 yards a punt once touchbacks and returns are accounted for.

These are the costs of Michigan's punting approach.

What was with the pop-ups? Michigan popped up their first two kickoffs. Smith-Marsette caught the first one on the dead run but had fair-caught it. The second one he took out to the 50. The opening kickoff of the second half went into the endzone, and you have to wonder why Michigan wasn't doing that from the beginning.

Nordin: very large leg. Consecutive 58-yarders were easily long enough; the second one got pushed wide after a bad snap.

MISCELLANEOUS

End of half, again. The end of half bugaboo struck again. Michigan was rightfully turtling until Kirk Ferentz called a somewhat unusual timeout on third and one; Haskins ripped off Michigan's longest run of the day—18 yards—and Michigan decided to try to get something with 20 seconds left and one timeout. Out of the timeout they threw a hitch, and DPJ got tackled in bounds. Michigan let the clock roll, threw another short pass, and then called timeout with one second left.

After the hitch the announcers clucked about how DPJ had to get out of bounds, something that would have been much easier if he'd been running an out. Why was he getting a throw at the numbers, five yards from the sideline?

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homecoming without lots of homecoming [Bryan Fuller]

No halftime show. Homecoming didn't have the alumni band performance. No Temptation, no War Chant. I don't even know what we're doing here if we're not preserving even extremely easy-to-preserve traditions. Let's become the mauve and taupe.

HERE

Best and Worst:

Meh: The Offense

I'm going to be a contrarian here and say the offense legitimately looked like it was making solid strides against what is a very good (if unspectacular) defense. Yes, Jim Harbaugh is probably trolling a bit when he says he thinks the offense is hitting its stride, as 10 points in any game is rarely a sign your team is firing on all cylinders. But I re-watched this game and there were a number of times where a play here, a play there turns what was a nail-biter into a blowout and we aren't having as many existential conversations about the state of the program. I know Iowa players said they didn't make adjustments to the pass defense, and I guess if your philosophy is "zone them hard and grab anyone who tries to get away", then in broad strokes that's probably correct. But Michigan still ground down the field at a decent clip (4.1 ypc after you excise sacks, kneel-downs, and whatever happened during that DPJ play), and perhaps most importantly stayed ahead of the sticks consistently (Iowa only picked up 4 TFLs, and two of those came on sacks and a third was the aforementioned DPJ play). Iowa's one of the worst teams in the country in generating tackles behind the line, but as we've seen past performance does not remotely portend future results. And heck, Patterson actually kept the ball on a couple of plays and picked up a couple of first downs in the process.

Also podcast, Ace's recap:

This was ¡El Assico! 2: This Time in Blue. Neither team cracked 270 yards of total offense. Of the game's 26 real drives, there were:

  • 15 punts
  • four interceptions
  • a lost fumble
  • two made field goals
  • two missed field goals
  • a single, solitary touchdown
  • Iowa's eight-play, 12-yard drive to end the game.

The defense, obviously, emerged as the game's heroes.

ELSEWHERE

Go Iowa Awesome:

THE BAD: ROAD NATE STANLEY

This is Nate Stanley’s worst performance on the road against a ranked conference opponent since…well…the last time Nate Stanley was on the road against a ranked conference opponent. In 2018 it was against Penn State, when he completed a pathetic 37% of his passes for 205 yards, threw for two interceptions and was sacked three times. In 2017 it was at Wisconsin where he completed eight (8!) passes for 41 yards, one interception and was sacked four times. His QBR against Wisconsin was 6.0. Six, point, zero.

Comically, this was statistically his best performance of those three games, as he threw for 260 yards and completed a more impressive 54.8% of his passes. Unfortunately, there were also the three interceptions and, oh yeah, the EIGHT sacks. Some of those weren’t his fault (which we’ll talk about), others, like the one where he had about 5 seconds to throw the ball away as he was running towards the sideline and decided instead to take the sack, were. Stanley turtles on the road in tough conference games and his decision-making is about a full two seconds slower. That was the case when he first started and unfortunately, that’s the case in his final year.

HSR:

A win is a win. Which is something you say when your team wins ugly.  But Michigan really needed this win, which, of course, will be immediately devalued by the national press because of how bad Iowa looked, and Iowa was overrated because who had Iowa played really?  It's going to happen because it's what always happens.  But things need to get fixed this week on the offensive side.  Figure something out, because you can't keep telling the defense it's all on them week in, week out.

Sap's Decals:

DEFENSIVE CHAMPION – I’m just going to come right out and say it, the ENTIRE DEFENSE played lights-out for Michigan. I mean, this was a total TEAM EFFORT. From Don Brown mixing up his schemes and his calls, to the d-line sacking the Iowa QB eight times, to the defensive secondary getting 3 interceptions, to the linebackers limiting the Hawkeyes to just one yard rushing. It wasn’t perfect, but in a one-possession game where the offense was having problems getting into the end zone, you just knew the defense was going to have to make the last stop – and they did.

Profile picture for user los barcos

los barcos

October 7th, 2019 at 1:35 PM ^

Poor sam webb – probably going to throw out his back carrying all the water for this offense.  I usually appreciate his level-headed takes, but listening today makes me think we’re in two different worlds (cue Brian’s Sinbad/genie reference).

We *should* be 3-2, and a coin toss away from 2-3.  Think about that.  Objectively, this team as presently constructed cannot beat PSU (at night) or ND, they’re a 50/50 against MSU, and don’t even get me started about OSU…

You have to make a change – Shea looks utterly loss out there and the Offense has no confidence whatsoever.  I’m not one to usually call for the backup, but at this point what do you have to lose?  This isn’t even a hot take.  Pre-season everyone was raving about Dcaff – “we have two starting QBs” – and it wasn’t just smoke because they played both Shea and Dcaff together. 

So you liked Dcaff earlier, why not trot him out now? 

jdemille9

October 7th, 2019 at 1:55 PM ^

All signs say "yes, play McCaffery now!" but something tells me Shea is gonna be the guy for the rest of the season.. barring injury. I hope I'm wrong and they go back to him once he's cleared but I'm cynical and jaded after years and years of Michigan not doing what they should to help right the ship. 

I've resigned myself to a 7-5 regular season and a (hopefully) McCaffery-led bowl win over some cupcake to get us to 8-wins and once again re-ignite the offseason hype train. 

bronxblue

October 7th, 2019 at 2:43 PM ^

I don't know where all these "signs" that McCaffrey is any better are coming from?  One drive against Wisconsin?  Assorted spots from last year where he ran the ball reasonably well?  The only sign I see is people angry about Patterson (and the entire offense) looking bad and thinking any change is worth it.  Which is a fine decision if you accept that, no, Michigan probably loses 6 games then and the fat part of the bell curve ends with McCaffrey on the sideline injured and a combination of Milton and Patterson finishing off the year.  That's fine, but he isn't going to come in and suddenly turn this team into a monster.

 

umchicago

October 7th, 2019 at 4:21 PM ^

well, mccaffery isn't afraid to run the ball, which would help open up this offense.  he just needs to be coached-up to protect himself better.  add in that shae is terrible in the pocket.  i believe mccaffery will move the chains much better than shae on a consistent basis due to his legs alone.  shae is likely the better passer now, but i will leave with a mccaffery learning curve and some of the freshman mistakes..  if healthy, he has a full week to prepare against illinois than the real fun starts.

HollywoodHokeHogan

October 7th, 2019 at 4:59 PM ^

Yeah, he also isn't afraid to run like this is the first time he's played football.  I don't know that I've ever seen a QB who is so willing to run and also unwilling to protect himself.  I mentioned in another thread that even his "slides" are just him kneeling down with his upper-body perpendicular to the ground, waiting for an inevitable crushing hit.  If he doesn't fix that, he'll never make it through a game. 

jigsmcgee

October 7th, 2019 at 8:23 PM ^

to some degree, I’m happy he got savagely destroyed.  Maybe he will change how he plays so he can actually, you know, provide another option for the team instead of just being an idiot while running.  McCaffrey, if you are reading this, you Dumb fuck, I can’t believe I have to remind you that you broke your collarbone and got concussed in 15 plays over the past 2 seasons.  It’s not hard to see that you are not capable of taking hits like you think you are.  Manage risk and And take the job from Shea.  It’s literally being handed to you. 

All I see is stupidity on this team.  In every facet save for defense but even then, they end up playing man against osU

Yo_Blue

October 7th, 2019 at 5:27 PM ^

Does anyone legitimately think McCaffery can survive an entire game, let alone the remainder of the season?  In the two extended play situations he has 1) broken his collarbone, and 2) received a concussion after two blows to the head.  
I'm not ready to put the chinadoll label on him yet, but based on evidence....

jigsmcgee

October 7th, 2019 at 8:28 PM ^

Michigan 10, Iowa 3 Ace October 5th, 2019 at 4:26 PM
Cam McGrone danced through Iowa's backfield all afternoon [Bryan Fuller]

It's a win.

Let's start there. Savor it. Michigan beat a ranked team. They even covered the spread.

You'd like more details? Well, that's unfortunate.

This was ¡El Assico! 2: This Time in Blue. Neither team cracked 270 yards of total offense. Of the game's 26 real drives, there were:

  • 15 punts
  • four interceptions
  • a lost fumble
  • two made field goals
  • two missed field goals
  • a single, solitary touchdown
  • Iowa's eight-play, 12-yard drive to end the game.

The defense, obviously, emerged as the game's heroes. The Hawkeyes, a team that still utilizes a fullback, mustered only three yards per non-sack carry. That's an important distinction to make, as Don Brown's group hounded Nate Stanley for eight sacks that, by the NCAA's tally, took Iowa's rushing output from 66 yards down to one. Kwity Paye (2.5 sacks), Jordan Glasgow (2), and Cam McGrone (1.5) were frequent uninvited guests in Iowa's backfield, and Khaleke Hudson sealed the win with a blitz that forced a desperation left-handed throw from Stanley on fourth down—Daxton Hill chased down the receiver near the line of scrimmage.

The touchdown. [Fuller]

After a rocky start for both teams, Michigan briefly looked poised for a blowout. Aidan Hutchinson handed the offense a quick field goal drive with a forced fumble, and after another defensive stop, Josh Gattis opened things up a bit. Shea Patterson hit Nico Collins down the middle for 51 yards to open the drive and picked up another first down with a crisp throw to Mike Sainristil to set up a short Zach Charbonnet touchdown. At the end of the first quarter, the Wolverines held a 10-0 lead and 101-57 edge in total yardage.

Then the game got trapped in the proverbial muck. Both quarterbacks were erratic; Stanley tossed three interceptions after going 140 attempts without one, while Patterson averaged 3.8 yards per attempt outside of the Collins bomb. Neither team could establish a reliable running game. The wind was the game's most impactful player for large swaths of the second half.

You can choose your favorite moment of absurdity, from Iowa calling a timeout to set up a fade to Oliver Martin, to Gattis dialing up a direct snap to Charbonnet from a covered receiver formation, to Kirk Ferentz taking an intentional delay of game before a 28-yard punt fair caught at the 14, to Stanley throwing a perfect fly route to Lavert Hill, to Donovan Peoples-Jones eating a nine-yard loss on a botched trick play, to Michigan unintentionally taking a delay of game before a punt that netted 25 yards, to Iowa punting from their own 49 on a drive that had reached the Michigan 25, to Stanley's final yakety-sax throw that looked for a moment like it might inconceivably work out. That probably doesn't cover all of it but I can't take responsibility for the damage that game did to my brain.

Ultimately, Michigan's defensive aptitude prevailed, or Iowa's offensive ineptitude lost out, or however you'd like to interpret that game, which we're all glad is over.

[Hit THE JUMP for the box score, if you dare.]

Phaedrus

October 5th, 2019 at 9:29 PM ^

This was the type of game I enjoy watching when it's not Michigan. The Nebraska v. Northwestern game was very similar and I thought it was great (except the end, I was hoping Northwestern would prevail).

Tight defensive games are awesome except when you're a fan of one team and have higher expectations for the offense. If it was a tight game because Iowa genuinely had a great defense I would have loved it. But when I see our QB spend the game not passing the ball to various open receivers it gets frustrating.

skegemogpoint

October 5th, 2019 at 4:33 PM ^

Anyone got Jedd Fisch’s cell number?  Jesus, Gattis, you’ve got to be the best bullshit artist on the planet to land a job as a D1 OC. 

lhglrkwg

October 5th, 2019 at 5:59 PM ^

Jedd made a pretty clever offense out of a transfer QB who'd only been around a few months. It started slow, but once everyone settled in it was pretty good. Most creative offense in Harbaugh's 5 years for sure.

I still dream fondly of the double fake screen to TE up the seam against BYU. Or that fullback counter vs Northwestern(?). Just a lot more creativity that year

          

Corporate Whistleblower Center Is Now Urging A Rehabilitation Center Employee to Call About Whistleblower Rewards If They Have Proof Their Employer Is Giving Physicians Kickbacks for Admissions   

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The Corporate Whistleblower Center says, "If you work at a rehab center, a skilled nursing facility or an acute care facility and your employer is bribing physicians for admissions please call us about potential significant whistleblower rewards."
          

SG552: Experimental Gardening with Megan Phelps   

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Megan Phelps approaches gardening with curiosity and a guilelessness that makes her experiences and experiments utterly fascinating and even shocking. Defying tradition, Megan (who often uses the image of a single dandelion as her profile picture on social media) grows plants that mainstream gardeners have long ago turned their backs on - burdock, dandelion, and amaranth, to name a few. Megan blogs at Seeds, Mulch and Weeds where she shares her tales and photos of her Northeast Kansas garden.

Author information

Jennifer Ebeling

Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers!

Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota.

P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.

The post SG552: Experimental Gardening with Megan Phelps appeared first on 6ftmama.


          

10/07 Links Pt2: The Zionist Movement Did Not Seek to Dispossess the Palestinian Arabs; Interior minister moves to deport Palestinian BDS founder; Yom Kippur 1967: The Return to the Western Wall   

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From Ian:

Efraim Karsh (WSJ): The Zionist Movement Did Not Seek to Dispossess the Palestinian Arabs 
David Ben-Gurion's stature as Israel's founding father would seem to be eminently secure, given his crucial, perhaps indispensable, role in salvaging the Jewish people from political oblivion and reinstating it in its ancestral homeland. Tom Segev's A State at Any Cost: The Life of David Ben-Gurion is an effort to tarnish his reputation and reinterpret Israel's founding period.

On May 14, 1948, Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, becoming its first prime minister and defense minister, posts he held until 1963 (with a brief retirement from office in 1953-55). Segev casts Israel's founding father as the destroyer of Palestinian Arab society - deeply implicated in what Segev and his fellow revisionists see as the "original sin" of Israel's creation: the supposedly deliberate and aggressive dispossession of the native Arab population.

The truth is that, far from seeking to dispossess the Palestinian Arabs as claimed by Segev, the Zionist movement had always been amenable to the existence of a substantial Arab minority in the prospective Jewish state.

No less than Ze'ev Jabotinsky, founder of the faction that was the forebear of today's Likud Party, voiced his readiness (in a famous 1923 essay) "to take an oath binding ourselves and our descendants that we shall never do anything contrary to the principle of equal rights, and that we shall never try to eject anyone." And if this was the position of the more "militant" faction of the Jewish national movement, small wonder that mainstream Zionism took for granted the full equality of the Arab minority in the prospective Jewish state.

In December 1947, shortly after Palestinian Arabs had unleashed wholesale violence to subvert the newly passed UN partition resolution, Ben-Gurion told his Labor Party that "in our state there will be non-Jews as well" and all of them will be equal citizens; equal in everything without any exception; that is: the state will be their state as well."

The Haganah's operational plan - adopted in March 1948 to reverse then-current Palestinian Arab aggression and rebuff the anticipated invasion by the Arab states - was predicated, in the explicit instructions of the Haganah's commander in chief, on the "acknowledgment of the full rights, needs, and freedom of the Arabs in the Hebrew state without any discrimination, and a desire for coexistence on the basis of mutual freedom and dignity."
To the Arab World, Jewish Sovereignty Is a Rebellion against Islam Itself
Arab anti-Zionism, Shmuel Trigano argues, has little to do with land, the fate of the Palestinians, or Palestinian self-determination—and everything to do with religion. Citing the historical status of non-Muslims in the Islamic Middle East, he points in particular to two concepts: that of the ummah, a nation of all Muslim believers that transcends ethnic and political boundaries, and that of the dhimmi, protected religious minorities who are allowed to live in Muslim society with legal disabilities:

The concept of the ummah inspired the Arabs to rebel against the [European] colonial powers: not so much for their colonial nature (the colonial yoke of the Ottomans was by and large tolerated), but for their Christianity. A decisive turning point was the rise of nationalism: while the ummah dissolved into nation-states, the pan-Arabism that emerged in its wake provided indirect continuity.

To this situation, . . . an additional factor came to the fore: the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine, under the British Mandate, as provided by the Balfour Declaration of 1917. The problem derived not from the emergence of a new political force in the midst of the Arab countries, but from its Jewish character: as sacrilegious to the Islamic conscience as the Christian colonial powers had been. . . . In these terms, Jewish sovereignty is understood as nothing short of a rebellion against Islam.


Thus, Trigano argues, the conflict between Israel and its neighbors can be understood in relation to the gradual and long-ongoing destruction of the Jewish communities of the Middle East and, more broadly, to the destruction of Christian and other non-Muslim communities. The latter began not recently, with the rise of Islamic State, but with the bloody anti-Armenian pogroms of the 1890s:

The Armenians . . . committed an act of rebellion against [their status as] dhimmi by fighting for national autonomy. . . . A violent response ensued: several massacres were carried out by the Ottomans in 1894-5. . . . Often overlooked is the jihadist nature of these massacres: not only in their motivation and their legitimation, but also in the nature of the acts themselves and the fact that the surviving women and children (some 150,000) were forcibly converted to Islam. The same pattern was to reappear in the second wave of massacres, this time instigated by the Young Turks [in 1915].
Michael Lumish: The White Jew
When I was growing up to be a "white" person meant to be a person of European descent. This is no longer the case.

To be "white," today, means to be a "bad" person, particularly if you tend to be of the manly persuasion.

In contemporary political parlance, "whiteness" is a signifier of racism, oppression, colonialism, imperialism, privilege, sexism, Islamophobia, transphobia, capitalism, and, most particularly, racism.

The irony is delicious.

"Progressives" -- throughout politics and the academe and, even, corporate America -- consider "white" to be a category of ethnic guilt. In the name of "social justice" they are condemning innocent young kids, particularly boys, of some sort of original sin.

They are, in fact, damaging your children and most of you are A-OK with it.

In this way, the "progressive" movement is deeply religious and increasingly medieval. The movement used to be about open-mindedness. Today it is about hysterical dogma. Mario Savio would not recognize it.

It used to be about social libertarianism and freedom of expression. Today it is about ideological conformity and a Puritanical patrolling of the borders of acceptable thought.



Interior minister moves to deport Palestinian BDS founder
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri announced on Sunday that he had directed the Population and Immigration Authority to prepare a legal opinion to be used in the deportation of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions founder Omar Barghouti.

Barghouti holds Israeli permanent residency status, which he obtained after marrying an Arab Israeli woman, with whom he lives in the northern city of Acre.

“I intend to act quickly to deprive Omar Barghouti of residency status in Israel, Deri said in a statement announcing the move. “This is a man who does everything to harm the country and therefore must not enjoy the right to be a resident of Israel.”

The Interior Ministry said that the opportunity became available to push for Bargouti’s deportation after Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber notified his office that it had the authority to revoke the BDS founder’s residency status.

This was thanks to a 2018 amendment to Israeli residency laws that makes breach of trust a crime significant enough to allow the interior minister to strip an individual of his or her residency status. According to an interpretation of the law, boycotting Israel could constitute such an offense.

Israel has barred Barghouti from leaving the county a number of times in recent years by refusing to renew travel documents granted to Palestinian residents of Israel who do not have full citizenship.
David Collier: Miko Peled, Ian Fantom and the secretive ‘neo-Nazi’ group
Last Thursday there was a ‘Keep Talking’ event at St Anne’s Church Soho. It was an event organised and attended by some truly nasty antisemites. The event shows how the suggested differences between ‘far-right’ and ‘far-left’ are illusions. There is just a sewer of extremism – those who build conspiracy theories, and all too frequently pin the blame on the ‘Jews’.

We can begin with this image, which shows Miko Peled speaking at the Church. On his right (our left) – set apart from the audience- are Ian Fantom and Alison Chabloz.

Ian Fantom is a hard-core conspiracy theorist. He wore this t-shirt, suggesting both 9/11 and 7/7 were staged, to an event he organised in 2016:

In 2010, Ian Fantom co-founded a group called ‘Keep Talking’ that was set up because other ‘9-11 truth’ groups were ‘sabotaged from within’. Conspiracy theories about conspiracy groups. Fantom explains this himself in an article he wrote for ‘UNZ review’. The website UNZ is described as ‘extreme-right‘ and pushes Holocaust denial. The founder of Unz is known to have contributed funds to a ‘quasi white-nationalist’ group.

Fantom co-founded ‘Keep Talking’ with the Holocaust denier Nick Kollerstrom. It was interesting to read that the two of them agreed ‘Keep Talking’ would avoid discussion of Holocaust denial because they didn’t want to be ‘derailed’ by the ‘Zionist lobby’.

At the Peled event, Fantom is sitting next to Alison Chabloz. Chabloz is a convicted Holocaust denier. She was able to attend the event because she was recently released from jail pending an appeal. Chabloz is best known for teasing Jews over the Holocaust through the use of music, creating songs that turn the Holocaust into a fictional joke that she sets to classic Jewish tunes. Other far-right activists were also in attendance. The images suggest that James Thring was present. Thring is a confidante of David Duke and is a regular attendee of the ‘Keep Talking’ events.
Church ‘sorry’ for leasing room for Miko Peled talk
St Anne’s Church in Soho has apologised for leasing a room to the controversial Keep Talking Group for a talk by Israeli-born anti-Zionist activist Miko Peled.

Peled spoke at the church last Thursday for an event titled “Miko Peled, Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.”

The anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate expressed concern about the event in a series of tweets on Saturday.

St Anne’s Church said on Sunday that it will donate the room hire fee to the Community Security Trust and will review its own booking procedure.

The church apologised “for the offence that has been caused to members of the Jewish Community” and said it opposes “any form of hatred: be it racism, homophobia or antisemitism.”

But Peled denied accusations of prejudice, saying in a statement: “The suggestion that the event in which I spoke in any way shape or form represents hate, racism, homophobia or antisemitism is outrageous and libelous.
Petra Marquardt-Bigman: Zahra Billoo’s “pro-Palestinian” anti-Semitism
Given that Billoo has almost 34 000 Twitter followers, she may not have seen the responses, and she may also not have seen a blog post that highlighted her updated blood libel. But it is also unlikely that she would have cared much if she had noticed the criticism. Like her good friend Linda Sarsour, Zahra Billoo despises anyone who dares to notice contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism propagated by the left. That includes the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), to which Billoo devoted a Facebook post and an almost identical Twitter thread last year in order to educate her followers about the ADL’s supposedly vicious record and odious history.

If you consider an organization that has been fighting anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry for more than a century as an unmitigated evil that must be denounced and shunned, you shouldn’t be surprised when lots of people doubt that you’re just out to criticize Israeli policies.

In this context it’s particularly depressing that Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib decided to issue a full-throated declaration of solidarity with Billoo. Tlaib linked to a thread in which Billoo attributed her ousting from the Women’s March board to “an Islamophobic smear campaign led by the usual antagonists,” which she identified as mainly “right-wingers, from the President’s son to the Anti-Defamation League and troll armies.” It seems fair to assume that Tlaib intended to endorse Billoo’s take when she wrote: “They won’t silence us for speaking out against human rights violations. They will lie, smear our names and call us anti this and that, but we always be pro- humanity & we have the truth on our side.”

Well, if you think it is “pro-humanity” to endorse the kind of blatant anti-Semitism Zahra Billoo propagates, you probably agree with all the Jew-haters who have thought for centuries that Jews are not quite human.

I can easily imagine that neither Rashida Tlaib nor Linda Sarsour nor Zahra Billoo would think I have any standing to define what’s “pro-Palestinian,” but if they insist that it’s “pro-Palestinian” to update age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes by substituting “Israel” or “Zionists” for “Jews”, their Palestinian cause can only attract vile bigots.
Open letter to Mayor DeBlasio and the NY Democrats machine
As the perilous scourge of visceral anti-Semitism continues unabated in New York City in the form of attacks on Orthodox Jews as well as their homes and synagogues, our elected officials have stubbornly remained mute on the issue of clearly identifying from whence these attacks are emanating.

This past week a synagogue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn was vandalized on Rosh Hashanah and a hassidic woman was attacked as well. Video footage shows two minority youth throwing a milk crate and a metal mailbox at the synagogue. They were with at least three other young people of color outside the Throop Avenue synagogue. The impact broke a window.

It appears that the best that New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio could muster up in response to these attacks was to call them a "hate crime" on his Twitter account but he never offered a clear and decisive plan on how to deter these attacks.

Having said this, it is long overdue to squarely confront Mayor DeBlasio as well as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James and others who are committed to furthering the Democratic party agenda of transforming anti-Semitism into a politically "right wing" phenomenon that will only cease to exist when President Trump vacates office.

In response to this dangerous political chicanery of dismissing anti-Semitic attacks when they are committed by minority youth, I thought a letter to the Mayor and his cohorts would be in order.




College slammed for hosting Labour MP suspended for alleged antisemitism
Several Jewish groups and UK Members of Parliament have slammed a decision by the University of Nottingham to host Labour MP Chris Williamson, who was suspended from the party in February for claiming it has been “too apologetic” about antisemitism.

Williamson was readmitted back into the party in June, but was suspended again two days later after a backlash from the Jewish community and Labour MPs. In August, he announced he was suing the Labour Party over its decision to re-implement his suspension.

Last week the University of Nottingham announced that Williamson would speak on Monday in a lecture series on “British Politics in Crisis” hosted by the School of Politics and International Relations.

The Union of Jewish Students together with the Nottingham Jewish Society called the decision “unacceptable,” adding that they were “surprised wholly.”

“Williamson has been suspended by the Labour Party over antisemitism and has a consistent history of Jew-baiting and defending antisemitism,” read the statement. “Williamson has been invited to Nottingham to add a perspective of an individual who is an ally of Jeremy Corbyn, yet there are plenty of individuals the university could have invited who are not suspended for antisemitism.”
Reporter complained about ‘stingy’ Jew, hired by Liberty University
Emily Austen, a reporter who was fired by Fox Sports in Florida for derogatory comments about Jews and minorities, has been hired by the evangelical Christian Liberty University.

Fox dismissed Austen in 2016 as a sideline reporter for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team and the Orlando Magic basketball team after she recorded an interview with Barstool Sports in which she said she “didn’t even know that Mexicans were that smart,” and that the “Chinese guy is always the smartest guy in math class,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

In the interview, she also talked about “Jews in Boca,” including one who was “stingy,” and said Jews “would complain and b**** about everything.”

Liberty, the Virginia school run by Jerry Falwell Jr. that was founded by his televangelist father, announced on Wednesday that it was hiring Austen to appear on “Game On,” a sports TV show it produces.

“This is much more than a second chance at my ‘dream career,'” Austen said in a statement posted on Facebook by “Game On.” “I am here to honor God, share the Gospel through athletics, and promote Liberty student-athletes, coaches and staff and their walks with Christ. I once was lost but now I am found.”










Demi Lovato Apologizes, Had No Idea Jews Lived in Israel (satire)
Following backlash, singer Demi Lovato has profusely apologized for her recent concert in and praise of Israel, insisting she had no idea that the people who treated her so well on the trip were in fact Jews.

Lovato spent her time in the country, which she billed as a spiritual journey, visiting the Western Wall and Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, after being baptized in the Jordan River. But soon after she returned, Twitter user @FreePalestine42069 called her out for legitimizing the presence of Jews in the country.

“Debbie (sic) Lovato is an apartheid-loving Zionist!” the user said in a post that earned seven retweets, including three from Democratic presidential candidates. “She is a war crime (sic) and must be brought to the Haig (sic) right now!”

Lovato immediately apologized, claiming she did not know that Israel was full of Jews and that her visit would spark such a negative reaction.
CNN Rewrites History of 1948, 1967 Wars
Sam Kiley, a senior international correspondent based in CNN Abu Dhabi’s bureau, has rewritten the history of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence and the 1967 Six-Day War. In his Oct. 3 analysis (“Any war between the US and Iran would be a catastrophe. And no one could win it“), Kiley absurdly asserts that those fateful wars were “to expand territory”:
Close to 200,000 descendants of Palestinians who fled their country in successive Israeli wars to expand territory in 1948 and 1967, now live in Lebanon. A similar number are in Jordan.

The 1948 and 1967 wars were fought to fend off Arab campaigns to annihilate the Jewish state, not “to expand territory.” As CNN has in the past reported, in May 1948: “Forces from Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon invade, leading to the first in a series of Arab-Israeli wars.”

In 1967, Israel attacked Egypt preemptively to once again thwart a campaign to eliminate the Jewish state. Before Israel’s preemptive attack, Egypt expelled United Nations troops from the Sinai peninsula and blockaded Israel’s port of Eilat, under international law a casus belli. These belligerent Arab actions were accompanied by explicit calls from Arab leaders to destroy Israel. For instance, as President Nasser declared: “Our aim is the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, we aim at the destruction of the State of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel” (Nov. 18, 1965).
The Washington Post Isn’t About to Let Facts Get in Its Way
The Washington Post, for example, gives inordinate column space to the tiny fraction of Jews, American and otherwise, who are against the right of Jewish self-determination. In a Sept. 20, 2019 tweet, Mairav Zonszein of +972 magazine cheered that her publication was “all up in The Washington Post opinion pages today,” with two pieces from the same organization appearing on the same day. Zonszein proudly noted that editors of “mainstream outlets” were no longer editing out or tweaking her use of the term “apartheid.”

As NGO Monitor has documented, “972’s articles promote a marginal agenda from the fringes of Israeli discourse, thus presenting a distorted sense of the debate in Israel.” The blog-based magazine “promotes the Durban strategy to demonize and delegitimize Israel” and its writers and contributors have accused the Jewish state of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “racism.” Indeed, the magazine’s content is completely self-discrediting and its donors are largely foreign and anti-Israel.

A previous editor-in-chief, Noam Sheila, referred to his critics as “the Jewish KKK” and in May 2012, +972 published a cartoon that depicted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raping US President Barack Obama and eating his limbs. In May 2019, they published an article titled, “By going vegan, Israelis can avoid talking about human rights.”

Elsewhere, the Post has published opinion pieces by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), described by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as “a radical anti-Israel activist group that advocates for a complete economic, cultural, and academic boycott of the State of Israel.” JVP, ADL’s report on the group notes, has celebrated Palestinian terrorists like Rasmea Odeh and Marwan Barghouti.
Indy writer: levels of antisemitism in the UK are almost “negligible”.
First, the fact that there were, as Shamash writes, no antisemitic incidents reported during the 2018 high holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) may have something to do with the fact that the UK deployed counter-terror police to protect synagogues on those days. (Indeed, all throughout the year, every Jewish institution in the UK is protected by some kind of security presence.)

Moreover, according to CST, 2018 saw the highest levels of antisemitism ever recorded in a single calendar year.

Finally, the writer’s final claim that, compared to the experiences of Muslims in the UK, “levels of antisemitism are almost negligible” is not supported the data.

CST (a charity that fights antisemitism) recorded1652 antisemitic incidents in 2018.

In that same year, Tell Mama (a charity that fights anti-Muslim bigotry) recorded 1072 anti-Muslim incidents.

Now, let’s look at hate crime data (which is distinct from the data recorded by CST and Tell Mama) reported by the Home Office. It does show more hate crimes in 2017-18 against Muslims than Jews in total numbers . But, given Jews’ significantly smaller population (Jews represent .05% of the population), the RATE of hate crimes against Jews was significantly higher than those against Muslims (who represent nearly 5% of the population).
BBC News silent on PA climb down over tax revenues
In late February of this year the Palestinian Authority announced that it would refuse to accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel due to deduction of the amount paid to terrorists and their families.

BBC audiences heard nothing about that financial own goal (or the subsequent salary cuts endured by PA employees) until June, when they were informed that the PA “could be bankrupt by July or August”. The BBC’s explanation of that claim included the topic of tax revenue transfers from Israel:

“The financial crisis was exacerbated this February by a dispute with Israel over the transfer of tax and tariff revenues it collects on the PA’s behalf.

Israel announced it would freeze the transfer of about $139m (£109m) – an amount it said was equal to that paid by the PA in 2018 to families of Palestinians jailed by Israel or killed while carrying out attacks.

Israeli officials say the payments incentivise terrorism. But the PA insists they are welfare payments for relatives of prisoners and “martyrs”.

The PA responded to the freeze by refusing to accept any further Israeli revenue transfers, which account for about half its budget.”
McGill Daily Continues To Malign Israel
Up to its old tricks, the McGill Daily continues to malign Israel on its pages. This is not surprising from a publication which recently peddled in antisemitism by claiming that Zionism is racism and for having an editorial policy of banning Zionist opinions.

On the September 30 edition, the Daily featured a polemic by its Science and Technology editor, Willa Holt, about “Israel’s September Knesset Election”.

How did the Daily depict Israel? With a Palestinian flag, a freudian slip perhaps!

Instead of providing a neutral analysis of Israeli democracy in action, here’s how Ms. Holt described Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu:
Netanyahu ran his campaign on violent colonial promises and racist, hypernationalist anti-Arab statements, including a promise to annex the Jordan Valley”

Holt later claimed that: “Both parties (Blue & White and Likud) in question are advancing further violence on Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, which is already under a de facto annexation, which stands in violation of international law.”

If this isn’t opinion disguised as news, then what is? On what basis can these Israeli political parties be said to have advocated for “advancing further violence on Palestinians…”? As well, it goes without saying that Israel disputes claims that its presence in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) is in violation of international law. Israel claims it has legal standing to presently administer these areas and it asserts ancestral and religious rights too.

Holt concludes by observing the following: “For Palestinians already living under a violent occupation, the election has no positive outcomes. The international community’s inaction in the face of illegal occupation is itself a violation of human rights.”

So much for journalistic objectivity!
Accused Poway synagogue gunman pleads not guilty to deadly shooting
The accused gunman in the deadly shooting at a San Diego-area synagogue pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder.

In addition to entering pleas on Thursday in a San Diego court for firing an assault rifle inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue, John Earnest, 20, also pleaded not guilty to arson charges for a fire a month earlier at a nearby mosque, the ABC affiliate in San Diego, 10 News reported.

One woman, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, was killed and three people were wounded, including an 8-year-old girl and the synagogue’s rabbi, who lost a finger, in the April 27 shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue.

The murder charge has been classified as a hate crime, making Earnest eligible for the death penalty, though prosecutors from the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office have not said whether they will seek that punishment.

Earnest is being held without bail. He is due back in court on December 5, when a trial date will be set.

Earnest also faces more than 100 hate crime-related counts filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and could also face the death penalty in the federal case, the Times of San Diego reported.

Earnest told a 911 operator in the moments after the attack that he did it to save white people from Jews.


Why a Japanese-American artist painted a mural of Nazi fighter Hannah Senesh
Hannah Senesh, the Jewish woman who died fighting Nazis as a British paratrooper, may seem an unlikely motivation for Japanese-born artist Julie Robertson.

But the 35-year-old Christian artist, who just spent four days painting a 30-by-40-foot mural of the late Jewish poet, learned about Senesh earlier this year and was struck by her bravery. A national hero in Israel, Senesh parachuted into Europe to help anti-Nazi forces in 1943. She was captured and killed at the age of 23, but despite being tortured refused to reveal any details of her mission.

“To be able to hear the story of such a young girl that had such conviction to do something so dangerous, and then she never gave up information when she was captured, that’s my hero,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Wednesday in between finishing work on the mural. “So I really wanted to paint her.”

Robertson, who goes by the name JUURI professionally, painted the mural in the East Village neighborhood of San Diego. She learned about Senesh earlier this year while on a trip to Israel organized by Philos Project, a Christian pro-Israel group. She had been to Israel two other times as part of delegations organized by Artists 4 Israel, a group that brings creatives to the Jewish state.

The Oklahoma City-based artist says she had always wanted to go to the Jewish state because “it’s the starting place of my faith.”

“I’ve always heard about Israel my entire life, but you can’t really know what it is until you go there,” she said.

US Ambassador Friedman at Evangelical rally: ‘Jerusalem literally keeps us safe’
Shared values and a common history, not soldiers and weapons, guarantee a nation’s security, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said Sunday.

Addressing a rally of pro-Israel Evangelicals, Friedman hailed the recently inaugurated Pilgrimage Road, a new archaeological site in Jerusalem’s City of David, which lies underneath the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, as a “once in a century discovery” that proved beyond any doubt the existence of the Jewish Temple in the city.

“Jerusalem does not only move us spiritually. It literally keeps us safe,” said Friedman. “Let me be clear about an important point: no quantity of bombs or fighter jets or troops really guarantees anyone’s security. What makes a people safe, what makes us all safe, is when we stand for something, when we collectively share values, beliefs, goals and a common history. That’s what Israel’s enemies try to deny it when they object so angrily to the Pilgrimage Road. Because if Israel, God forbids, loses its history, it stands for nothing, and it is no longer safe.”

On June 30, Friedman and other US officials used a sledgehammer to hammer through what they later said was a newly erected cardboard wall in front of the Pilgrimage Road, a now-subterranean stairway that was said to have served as a main artery for Jews to the Temple Mount thousands of years ago.
The Temple Mount's treasure trove
A small clay bulla, or seal, that was used to sign official letters in the days of the kingdom of Judea waited nearly 2,600 years amid the rubble at the foundations of the Western Wall to be discovered by Israeli archaeologists. For eight years, the rubble has been cleared away, one bucket after another, and taken directly to the site of the Ancient Jerusalem Sifting Project, which is run under the auspices of Ir David Foundation.

Comparatively large finds, such as a chisel used to carve the stones of the Western Wall, turn up immediately. Small discoveries usually come to light only after some time has passed. The dirt that contained the royal seal had been waiting six years to be sifted. A few weeks ago, project volunteer Batya Ofan, dumped it onto a large sieve, washed it down, and uncovered a royal seal from the seventh century BCE bearing the name "Adoniyahu asher al habayit" (translation: Adoniyahu, who is over [oversees] the house) in early Hebrew script.

The Bible uses the epithet "asher al habayit" for only eight people. It was a title reserved for the most senior administrator of a kingdom – in this case, the kingdom of Judea. However, the name Adoniyahu does not appear among those eight. Three different biblical figures – King David's son, a Levite from the days of Jehoshaphat, and a tribal leader from the time of the Prophet Nehemiah - bear the name, but none of them lived in the seventh century BCE. The seal, therefore, introduced archaeologists to a fourth Adoniyahu, who was hitherto unknown.

Archaeologist Dr. Eli Shukron, who once directed the project to excavate the foundations of the Western Wall and oversaw many of the discoveries made there, suggests a possible connection between the seal that belonged to the fourth Adoniyahu "asher al habayit" and another inscription from the same century that was discovered in a burial cave dating back to the First Temple era 150 years ago.
Yom Kippur 1967: The Return to the Western Wall
On Yom Kippur in 1967, thousands arrived at the Western Wall for the concluding prayers and to hear the long awaited sound of the shofar.

Prior to the advance of Israeli paratroopers into the Old City of Jerusalem in June 1967, the Western Wall area had been occupied by Jordan and off-limits to Jews.

The 20th century was a transitional time for the land of Israel, and the Western Wall had been under many rulers, from the Ottoman Turks, to British Mandatory rule, to the Jordanians.

Yom Kippur of 1929 followed the devastating pogroms in the land of Israel. Death and destruction was incited largely by the vehement anti-Zionist Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin Al-Husseini. In the aftermath, British authorities allowed the Mechitza (dividing screen between men and women) at the Western Wall, which was prohibited the prior year. Still, the sounding of the shofar was prohibited, due to pressure from the Mufti and his cohorts. That decree remained in effect throughout the years of the British Mandate.

The independent State of Israel was declared on May 14, 1948 and preserved only through desperate defense in bloody conflict. But despite valiant efforts to hold onto it, the Old City fell to Jordanian forces. The Western Wall was then declared off limits to Israelis and Jews.

For the next 19 years, the Western Wall remained that way. When Yom Kippur arrived, the wall stood in solitude, devoid of its faithful. Jews could only gaze from afar — from the Israeli side of the armistice line.

However, that would soon change.
'There is going to be a war tonight' - Israel opens Yom Kippur War archive
The Defense Ministry has published new archival material describing the drama of the critical hours prior to the outbreak of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

“There is going to be a war tonight,” said IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. David “Dado” Elazar at 4:30 a.m. on October 6, 1973, the day the war broke out, to commander of the IAF Maj.-Gen. Benny Peled and the head of Military Intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Eli Zeira. “There are military signs, moves and reports that should be taken seriously.”

An hour later, Elazar warned Zeira that the military should go on high alert and mobilize thousands of reservists.

At 7:15 that morning, in another meeting with commanders, Elazar concluded: “If no preventative strike will be approved by noon, we will be on immediate alert,” since it was estimated that the war would break out at 6 p.m. Elazar also addressed the issue of evacuating civilians from the Golan Heights to the center of the country.

“I am aware of the political limits of this, but when we are confident that a war is going to break out, it is important that we win as fast as possible,” he said.

The Yom Kippur War came almost as a complete surprise to Israel. A warning notice was given too late for an orderly call-up of the reserves, before the Syrian and Egyptian armies launched a joint surprise attack on IDF positions in the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula.
Fearing shortages, Dayan mulled drafting young, old in 1973 war, papers show
In the early hours of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, as Israel struggled to beat back invading Egyptian and Syrian forces, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan told his staff to begin looking into drafting teens and elderly ex-reserves soldiers into the fight, fearing the Jewish state may not have the manpower it needed for the battle.

The comments are part of a series of transcripts and reports declassified by the Defense Ministry on Monday, showing the fears, deliberations and painful internal conversations by the Israel Defense Forces’ top brass and senior political leadership during a conflict that even at the time was considered poorly prepared for and managed.

The ministry’s archive released the transcripts from IDF General Staff meetings for the first five days of the war, as well as the final intelligence report given to IDF chief of staff David “Dado” Elazar and defense minister Moshe Dayan on October 5, 1973, one day before the war broke out.

The following day, the Egyptians and Syrians launched their attacks, catching the IDF off-guard. The war was hard-fought and grueling with significant setbacks in the early days, leading to candid expressions of concern by the country’s leaders over Israel’s ability to win it.

“What do I fear in my heart more than anything? That the State of Israel will in the end be left without enough weapons to defend itself… There won’t be enough tanks, there won’t be planes, there won’t be people, there won’t be people trained to protect the land of Israel,” Dayan told the IDF General Staff according to the newly released transcripts.

The then-defense minister told the army to consider conscripting people too old to perform reserve duty or too young to have yet been drafted.
Golda Meir’s letter to bereaved families on eve of Yom Kippur War uncovered
A letter of condolence to bereaved Israeli families written by then-prime minister Golda Meir on the eve of the Yom Kippur War recently was discovered.

In the years following the establishment of the Jewish state, it was customary for the prime minister to have contact with the families of killed soldiers, including sending letters for holidays and official occasions. Meir was scrupulous about the custom and frequently corresponded with bereaved families both privately and officially.

On the eve of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Meir sent a letter, dated October 5, to bereaved families in which she wrote: “Your pain is the pain of the entire nation… Our main concern is achieving peace for Israel. The memory of our loved ones motivates us to do anything in our power so that there be no more casualties, and we know no more bereavement.”

A day later saw the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, which claimed the lives of 2,500 Israeli soldiers.

Meir resigned in April 1974, amid public criticism and a loss of confidence in the government.

The letter will be offered for sale at the Kedem auction house in Jerusalem in December.
Inaccurate BBC Yom Kippur war claim – 14 years and counting
Six years ago we documented the BBC’s correction of inaccurate Israeli casualty figures during the 1973 Yom Kippur War:

BBC Yom Kippur war accuracy failure perpetuated over years

However as was noted at the time, at least two other items of BBC content include the same error, stating that the number of Israeli casualties in that war was “about 6,000”.

That claim is found for example in a backgrounder titled ‘A History of Conflict’ which is undated, but appears to come from around 2005.

It also appears in another side-box of ‘context’ appended to an ‘On This Day’ feature – likewise undated, but apparently from around 2005 at the latest.
Forty-Six Years Since Israel's Yom Kippur War
Retired IDF General Yom-Tov Tamir was stationed on the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War. Tamir joins us the in studio to speak of the attack on its 46th anniversary. More: On October 6, 1973, a combined attack by the armies and air forces of Egypt and Syria, breached Israeli defenses and launched a nearly three week war that cost the lives of some 3,000 Israelis and maimed and scarred thousands of others. The surprise pincer attack on Israel's holiest day reshaped the country's history, shaking the confidence of the region's most formidable power.




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Molly Crabapple - a respected leftist artist who was enamored with a Neo-Nazi   

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Recently, another set of the usual Jewish leftist academics and no-name students signed a petition against Trump's handling providing funds to Duke/UNC after it had an anti-Israel conference.

This is no big deal. But +972 Magazine's coverage of the story mentioned some prominent names that signed the petition:

The open letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose signatories include renowned scholar Judith Butler, Noam Chomsky, and artist Molly Crabapple, condemns the Education Department’s recent investigation of the consortium and subsequent ultimatum...

Who is Molly Crabapple, whom +972 puts on the same pedestal as the discredited Judith Butler and Noam Chomsky?

Well, although she has tried to erase her many tweets about the topic, Crabapple was a huge fan of a neo-Nazi known as "Weev."

Here is Weev:



As documented in this Medium article about Crabapple's relationship with Weev:
 Weev is a self-professed admirer of Hitler, and currently serves as the webmaster/IT guy for The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website. He has bragged about faxing threats to kill Jewish children to synagogues. (There are 28 total mentions of the alias “Weev” on The Southern Poverty Law Center’s website, filled under the sections “Hatewatch” and “Extremist Profile.”) He waged a targeted harassment campaign against a prominent woman programmer, taunting her and her family with rape and violence threats until she was scared to go out in public. He tried to organize people to crash the funeral of Heather Heyer. He has a large swastika tattoo on his chest.

A few years ago, Quinn Norton lost her job at the New York Times partially because of her friendship with Weev. But for some reason, Molly Crabapple's friendship with him hasn't turned the Left - or Leftist Jews - against her.

Crabapple wrote an article about his trial where he was accused of hacking AT&T. The merits of the case are not so clear; he really didn't hack AT&T. But Crabapple's care about Weev went way beyond her support for his civil rights and to her admiration of him as a person, as she wrote in an article for Vice:

On the morning of March 18, I was sitting with friends at the Federal Courthouse in Newark, waiting to hear how long Weev would spend in jail.

I didn't go there to write an article. I went because his conviction was wrong, and my friends and I cared for him. I meant to be another body filling the courtroom, to provide whatever support that's good for.

...While he's instantly likeable in person, he's done things that have offended.

...One after the other, his friends embraced him, warm and hard. Official internet asshole or not, Weev inspires ride-or-die love.

Four hours earlier, we'd been downing whiskey to celebrate Weev's last night of freedom.

...Weev tried to touch his tablet. Suddenly, giants in hoodies pounced on him. Weev is small. Their huge backs walled him off. They pounded his head into the table, cuffed him, and dragged him from the room. Weev's friends sprang to their feet. This is the cruel trick of seeing a loved one handcuffed. You want to protect them. You can't. A black-haired girl from last night's party balled up in tears.

...Weev returned in shackles, grinning.
Molly Crabapple was practically in love with a proud neo-Nazi with a swastika tattooed on his chest.

And today she is considered a leading light of the Left, to the extent that she is name-checked by +972 to be in the same category as Butler and Chomsky.

Since people started pointing out Crabapple's entirely inappropriate love for her Nazi friend, she had been furiously removing all her loving tweets to Weev, and now claims that she never liked him. But she can't erase this love-letter to the bigot and misogynist.

Crabapple has signed other anti-Israel  and pro-BDS petitions. Jewish Voice for Peace happily gets her signature when they need it. She reliably shows up when anti-Israel groups ask her to.

The question is, why the Left is so quick to excuse one of their own who embraced a far-right asshole?

(h/t Kweansmom)






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10/07 Links Pt1: Whatever Happened to the Palestinian ‘Diplomatic Tsunami’?; FM confirms initiative to sign ‘historic’ non-aggression pact with Arab states; Fatah attempts to hide its terror promotion from Facebook   

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From Ian:

Jonathan S. Tobin: Whatever Happened to the Palestinian ‘Diplomatic Tsunami’?
At the United Nations, where once-hardened ex-generals like Barak quaked about the prospect of the world uniting to force Israel to accept a Palestinian state, the situation for the Jewish state’s foes is particularly dismal. It’s true that many UN agencies, like its Human Rights Council, are still cesspools of antisemitism and hypocrisy, focusing almost exclusively on bogus attacks on Israel while ignoring real human-rights catastrophes in countries around the world.

But as is the case elsewhere, the diplomatic isolation that Barak and so many others feared never happened. Indeed, as Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon recently wrote, the world body is no longer the “home court” for those who oppose Israel. The majority of member states joined the United States and Israel in condemning Hamas terrorism in the past year. In a variety of steps, both large and small, Israel’s presence there has become normalized.

At the same time, the Palestinians have become more of an afterthought. It’s probably better for Abbas that even the Palestinians’ usual cheerleaders on the left paid no attention to his recent address at the UN General Assembly, where he spoke of his devotion to democracy and his plans to hold an election. Abbas is so devoted to democracy that he is currently serving the 15th year of a four-year term as president of the PA, to which he was elected in 2005. No one takes his talk of finally holding another vote seriously, since there is no way he would risk being defeated by his more radical Islamist rivals in Hamas, who currently rule Gaza.

The Arab and Muslim worlds may still be hotbeds of antisemitism and may have successfully exported their Jew-hatred to the West in the form of the BDS movement. However, Arab states have effectively dropped the Palestinian cause as a priority and instead are increasingly looking to Israel as an ally against Iran. Though they still pay some lip service to the Palestinian cause, the governments of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt have little interest in creating another failed and unstable Arab state for the Palestinians.

To note these facts is not to deny that the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians is not going away and remains a serious problem. But as long as both the PA and Hamas are stuck in the mindset of their century-long war on Zionism, peace will have to wait until the Palestinians are ready to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state.

The fact that the “tsunami” that so many Jews feared has fizzled into the BDS flop that can only intimidate someone like Lovato demonstrates that the conventional wisdom peddled by Israel’s noisy critics shouldn’t be taken seriously. Those who listen to the counsels of despair in 2011 have turned out to be as confused as a second-tier pop star.
FM confirms initiative to sign ‘historic’ non-aggression pact with Arab states
Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Sunday confirmed that he has been advancing non-aggression treaties with several Arab countries in the Gulf, a “historic” démarche he said could end the conflict between Jerusalem and those states.

“Recently I have been promoting, with the backing of the prime minister, a diplomatic initiative to sign ‘non-aggression agreements’ with the Arab Gulf states,” Katz wrote on Twitter.

“It’s a historic move that will end the conflict and enable civilian cooperation until the signing of peace agreements,” he said, in what appeared to be a tacit acknowledgement that no Arab country is currently willing to establish full diplomatic relations with the Jewish state as long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved.

Katz further confirmed that he presented his plan to several Arab foreign ministers during his visit to New York last week at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. He also discussed the proposal with the US administration’s outgoing special envoy for the peace process, Jason Greenblatt, Katz said.

“I will continue to work to strengthen Israel’s standing in the region and around the world,” he pledged.

Katz’s tweet included a link to a report aired Saturday night by Channel 12, which first revealed the existence of the potentially groundbreaking initiative.
PMW: Fatah attempts to hide its terror promotion from Facebook
In fact PMW's reports show that Fatah does all of that and worse on its Facebook page, and PMW has pointed this out to Facebook more than once. Yet Facebook continues to leave the platform open for Fatah's terror promotion.

Fishman further explained that Facebook finds that governments and academics are acting too slow in terms of designating who are "terrorist actors" and therefore designates such themselves:
"We [Facebook] designate terrorist actors ourselves. This is pretty unique, but the reason we do this is because although there are a variety of lists of terrorist organizations in the world that are maintained by academics, that are maintained by governments, we find that academics and governments act too slowly. They don't actually maintain comprehensive lists in real time, and the expectation on us by our users and by the community globally is that we are able to respond to these things in near real time."

One can only marvel at the speed with which Facebook claims that it responds to terror promotion when looking at its inaction in the face of PMW’s thorough documentation. Nine months ago Facebook was supplied by PMW with explicit evidence that Fatah’s mission includes terror and violence. Yet in its statement to the Jerusalem Post last week Facebook said:
"We have received reports about potentially violating content on this page and, as we do with all such reports, are in the process of reviewing that content to determine whether it violates our policies."

Facebook boasting would be laughable, if its behavior was not life-threatening. Facebook claims to have a policy according to which “there may be no praise, support, or representation of a terrorist organization, a terrorist actor, a terrorist event,” and boasts ‘we are able to respond to these things in near real time.”

In the case of Fatah, Facebook has failed repeatedly to deal with the terror promotion on its platform. Despite being provided with the evidence, Facebook did nothing to remove Fatah’s terror glorifying and promoting posts. While their actions were no more than piece-meal, it appears that even Fatah accepted PMW’s claim that many of their posts contained terror glorification and promotion and decided to take them down.

Facebook removes terror promotion in “real time,” except when the murder of Israelis is being celebrated and promoted. For Israelis a full nine months is necessary and Facebook is still “in the process of reviewing that content,” that clearly celebrates and promotes terror.

While Facebook is bragging about fighting terror, Palestinian terror is being embedded in the hearts and minds of the next generation of potential terrorists, thanks to Facebook.

PA wipes peace agreements from schoolbooks, encourages incitement and intolerance
The Palestinian Authority has removed any mention of past agreements with Israel from their school textbooks, with the exception of the Oslo Accords, which are mentioned in far less detail than in previous editions of the schoolbooks, according to a new report by Yedioth Aharonot.

The new curriculum, which has been progressively implemented throughout the past three years, and the textbooks in particular, are studied between 1st and 12th grades in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem and refugee camps. They, unlike their previous editions, make no mention of the historical Jewish presence in Israel, and speak about every quarter in Jerusalem's Old City – except the Jewish Quarter.

The portions of the textbooks that do mention the Oslo Accords portray Israel in a negative light, claiming that "the Zionist occupation was forced to recognize the PLO after the First Intifada in 1987."

In addition, the old textbooks contained the full contents of the letter written in 1993 by then-PA chairman Yasser Arafat to then-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, which detailed the values of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

The new textbooks, however, censor the part in which Arafat writes that the declaration of principles "is the beginning of an era of coexistence in peace without violence and any action that may risk the peace."

The few times in which Israel is mentioned throughout the rest of the textbooks are in parentheses, a habit typically taken on to claim the illegitimacy of the state by extremist organizations such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, according to Mako.



Seth J. Frantzman: Trump gives green light to Turkey to take over Syria, displace U.S. partners
Turkey will soon move forward with its long-planned military operation to create what it calls a "safe zone" in northern Syria – and U.S. forces will not support or be involved in it, the White House press secretary announced early Monday morning. The move is an extraordinary reversal of US policy that leaves America's allies wondering whether they can still rely on the Trump administration.

The statement came after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump discussed in a phone call Turkey's plans to establish a "safe zone" east of the Euphrates River in Syria. For four years, the US and mostly Kurdish fighters have fought and defeated Islamic State in northeast Syria.

The White House decision will effectively displace the partner forces the US had been working with. For more than a year and a half, Trump has been seeking to leave Syria. In the midst of the impeachment crisis, he has now made the decision to sacrifice US allies in the war on ISIS as opposed to pressuring Ankara with diplomatic means.

"Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria," the White House press secretary said in a statement.

"The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial 'Caliphate,' will no longer be in the immediate area," it added.

The White House looks at the overall picture in eastern Syria, not as one in which the US fought and sacrificed alongside Kurdish partner forces, but as a simple transactional issue.

In this view, the US has no interests in eastern Syria, except the ISIS fighters. Washington has no interests in creating stability, preventing Iranian influence, defending its partners, preventing ethnic cleansing or the destruction of property, or in managing the crisis. Instead, it decided that its mission was tailored and narrow, and nothing beyond the ISIS issue.
US Throws Kurdish Allies Under the Bus; Turkey "Opens the Floodgates" to Europe
Turkey's Erdogan government will be invading northern Syria to slaughter the Kurds, America's loyal allies against ISIS; release captured ISIS fighters, and doubtless seek to stay permanently in control of the area. The horror is that it will be doing all this with the tacit blessing of the US.

"I am saying this today: We have not got the required support from the world -- particularly from the EU -- to share the burden of the refugees we have been hosting, so we might have to [open the gates] to get the support." — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Takvim, September 5, 2019

"If we open the floodgates, no European government will be able to survive for more than six months. We advise them not to try our patience." — Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Anadolu Agency, July 21, 2019.

Erdogan's threats are not new... and his claims are flawed.... Ankara has not lived up to its commitments.

"The most important question is why the refugee camps are not open to civil monitoring. Entry to refugee camps is not allowed. The camps are not transparent. There are many allegations as to what is happening in them. We are therefore worried about what they are hiding from us." — Cansu Turan, a social worker with the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), to Gatestone Institute, August 2016.

"Turkish authorities are detaining and coercing Syrians into signing forms saying they want to return to Syria and then forcibly returning them there." — Human Rights Watch, July 2019.
Netanyahu says cooperation with Russia 'critical' with U.S. to leave Syria
Israel has “great challenges around us” and it's cooperation with Russia is “critical,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, a day after US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw troops from Syria and allow a Turkish incursion there against Kurdish forces.

Netanyahu made the comments at a holiday toast with workers in his office, during which he relayed that he just had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Netanyahu phoned Putin to wish him a happy birthday.

“I met with him a few weeks ago about issues that are important for the security of the State of Israel, and this conversation as well was important to Israel's security,” he said. Though he did not provide details, the Netanyahu-Putin conversation is believed to have dealt with the changing dynamics in Syria resulting from the White House's dramatic announcement on Sunday.

“We have great challenges around us, but we enjoy important cooperation and coordination with Russia, something that is critical for us, and which we will continue to deal with,” he said.
Lindsey Graham, Nikki Haley on Trump's Syria plan: Disaster in the making
The Trump administration's move, which opens the way for a Turkish strike on Kurdish fighters long aligned with Washington, runs counter to the positions of even some of Trump's top allies in his own party.

Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator who is generally a vocal Trump supporter, wrote in a series of Twitter posts that he was trying to set up a call with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and would introduce a Senate resolution opposing the withdrawal decision and calling for it to be reversed.

"It's never in our national security interest to abandon an ally who's helped us fight ISIS," Graham said in an interview with Fox News Channel, using an acronym for Islamic State.

"This impulsive decision by the president has undone all the gains we've made, thrown the region into further chaos."

Former US Ambassador the United Nations, Nikki Haley also responded on Twitter, saying, "We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake."

Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that "If reports about US retreat in #Syria are accurate, the Trump administration has made a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria."
US troops begin Syria pullout as Turkey readies offensive, alarming Kurds
US-backed Kurdish-led forces in Syria said American troops began withdrawing Monday from northeast Syria ahead of a Turkish invasion that the Kurds say will overturn five years of achievements in the battle against the Islamic State terror group.

The Syrian Kurdish fighters also accused Washington of failing to abide by its commitments to its key allies in the fight against IS. It’s a major shift in US policy.

The American withdrawal came just hours after the White House said US forces in northeastern Syria will move aside and clear the way for an expected Turkish assault — essentially abandoning Kurdish fighters who fought alongside American forces in the years-long battle to defeat IS.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened for months to launch the military operation across the border. He views the Syria Kurdish forces as a threat to his country as Ankara has struggled with a Kurdish insurgency within Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey was “determined to ensure our country’s existence and security by clearing terrorists from this region.”

“From the start of the Syria war, we have supported that country’s territorial integrity and will continue to do so from now on,” Cavusoglu wrote on Twitter. “We will contribute to bring serenity, peace and stability to Syria.”
UN ‘preparing for the worst’ from Turkey’s Syria operation
The United Nations said Monday it was “preparing for the worst” in northeast Syria after the United States said it would step aside to allow for Turkish military operations in the area.

“We don’t know what is going to happen… we are preparing for the worst,” UN regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, Panos Moumtzis, said in Geneva, stressing that there were “a lot of unanswered questions” about the consequences of the operation.

Moumtzis added that the UN was “in contact with all sides” on the ground.

But he made clear his office did not have advance warning about the US decision that effectively abandons the Kurds, who were Washington’s main ally in the long battle against the so-called Islamic State group.

Moumtzis said the UN’s priorities were to ensure that any prospective Turkish offensive not result in new displacements, that humanitarian access remain unhindered and that no restrictions be put in place on freedom of movement.

The UN has a contingency plan to address additional civilian suffering, but “hopes that will not be used,” Moumtzis said.


Netanyahu: Israel Needs Air Defense System Against Iranian Cruise Missiles
In a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a massive air defense system to defend against Iranian attacks, especially cruise missiles like those used in attacks on a Saudi Arabian oil facility last month, according to KAN.

Last month, cruise missiles and explosive drones were used in an attack on two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the attack on Iran, which denies involvement in the strike.

The attacks on the two facilities cut Saudi Arabia’s crude oil supply by around 5.7 million barrels per day, or about 50% of its output.

The plan proposed by Netanyahu will cost billions of shekels. Some of the funds for the project won’t be allocated officially until after a government is formed, assuming that there aren’t third elections.

The funds for the project will either come from cuts within the security establishment or from funds cut from social services. According to KAN, it’s more likely that the funds will be taken from social services.
Iran unveils kit to convert artillery rockets into guided missiles
The Iranian military says it has produced a new conversion kit to upgrade artillery rockets to surface-to-surface missiles, technology that Israel has accused Tehran of attempting to deliver to the Hezbollah terror group.

The Iranians unveiled the new guidance system upgrade, called Labeik, at an event Thursday at which a number of new military technologies were showcased, according to Jane’s Defence Weekly.

Jane’s reported that Labeik appeared similar to the guidance systems on the Fateh-110 series of rockets, many of which are believed to be in the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon. According to the report, the new system also looks to be compatible with Zelzal heavy artillery rockets.

Video footage of the new conversion system aired on Iranian television shows a short body featuring four inverted fins that can be fitted between the rocket and its payload.

According to Iran’s Fars News, the “anti-armor ‘Labeik 1’ missiles… enjoy precision-striking power.”

“There is nothing new in the conversion itself, they have been doing it for years, and they already showed conversion kits for the Fatah 110 family of missiles,” Uzi Rubin, one of the pioneers of Israel’s earliest attempts at missile defense, told The Times of Israel.

“What’s new here are the aerodynamics of the winglets — very unique, unseen in Iran to date and unseen in any other country. Going to indigenous design rather than copying others indicates self-confidence. The purpose of the new and unique aerodynamics is probably to increase the maneuverability of the converted rockets.”
Congresswoman: Antisemitism, Iran threat highlight need for US-Israel ties
Growing global antisemitism and the dangers of Iran make it more important than ever that the US maintain close ties to Israel, leading Republican Representative Ann Wagner of Missouri said during a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, in which she spoke against BDS and promoted joint Palestinian-Israeli business ventures over the Green Line.

“Israel is deeply invested in achieving peace in the Middle East, and so is the United States of America,” said Wagner, who is a member of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. “And we will all stand collectively with Israel as they work toward the achievement of this goal.”

At “a time of heightened antisemitism that we are seeing across the globe, it is more important than ever that we maintain a strong connection to this very key ally of ours in Israel,” said Wagner. Such a stance is also significant given that Iran is threatening Israel, including through its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas.

Part of a small congressional delegation that traveled to Israel in August, Wagner was on a trip sponsored by the US Israel Education Association (USIEA). The trip focused on security issues and the work of the Judea and Samaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry, co-led by Avi Zimmerman of the Ariel settlement and Ashraf Jabari of Hebron.

According to the chamber, it has a membership of some 250 Israeli and 250 Palestinian business people. Jabari was among a small number of Palestinian entrepreneurs who attended the US-led economic workshop in Manama, Bahrain, in June.
'The days of the Ottoman Empire are over'
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz has ordered his office to draw up plans to stop the Turkish government's efforts to undermine Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and protect Jordan's special status as guardian of Muslim holy sites in the city.

Katz intends to present the plan to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu soon, so he can authorize its implementation. Due to the sensitivity of the plan, whose implementation will almost certainly lead to a direct confrontation with Ankara, it is also expected to be raised for discussion by the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet. According to ministry officials, as the plan pertains to security matters, there is nothing preventing it from being implemented by a transition government.

The issue of Turkey's influence on members of Jerusalem's Arab population has weighed on security and diplomatic officials' minds for years. As Israel Hayom has previously reported, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been buying influence over sites and prominent figures in east Jerusalem for years. Nevertheless, Jerusalem has not made any effort to challenge these efforts up until now.

The Foreign Ministry's plan would see the Muslim Brotherhood, which has close ties to Erdoğan's Justice and Development party, deemed an illegal association in Israel. Further ministry recommendations for thwarting Ankara's efforts include restricting the activities of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, or TIKA, in Israel. The organization, whose stated objective is "preventing the Judaization of Jerusalem," spends some $12 million annually on activities aimed at undermining Israeli sovereignty in east Jerusalem. It should be noted that these activities are personally managed by Erdoğan.

The plan's architects propose obligating TIKA to coordinate its activities with Israel in advance and preventing the association from act unequivocally in Jerusalem. In addition, they propose Jerusalem not renew the head of TIKA in Jerusalem's, a move that would strip the organization head of his diplomatic status in Israel and render his presence in Israel illegal.

Additional steps would include restricting communications between members of the Islamic Waqf.
How to get Erdogan off the Temple Mount
This is why a new plan from Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz should be seen more as a declaration of intent and less as an operational plan. For the plan to take effect, defense and security officials who have been dealing with the issue for several years already must supply the top political echelon with evidence. Anyone who wants, for example, to limit the activity of TIKA, a well-endowed Turkish government agency, in Jerusalem will have to first prove that its activity goes beyond the bounds of civil/community service and slides into violence and incitement. Thus far, no evidence of that has been found, although attempts have been made to do so.

The steps the Foreign Ministry wants to take against the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood organization could also turn out to be complicated. It's doubtful whether Israel can point to direct activity by the Muslim Brotherhood. On the other hand, it is definitely possible to identify violent activity by groups or individuals with ideological links to the Brotherhood or its international headquarters in London. Steps have been taken against the Muslim Brotherhood in the past, and we can assume that more will be done in the future. Only recently, two female rioters were barred from the Temple Mount for a period of six months.

It looks like the best way to fight Erdoğan, who is hostile to Israel and trying to buy influence in Jerusalem, is to continue to expose Turkey's ties to Hamas. For years, Turkey has served as a haven for Hamas terrorists and commanders. For years, terrorist attacks or attempted terrorist attacks on both sides of the Green Line have been initiated and directed from Turkish territory. Erdoğan has repeatedly made it clear that as far as he is concerned, Hamas is not a terrorist organization, but the facts on the ground prove differently. Dozens of Hamas cells handled from Turkey have been exposed over the past few years, and the Shin Bet recently reported, "Turkey contributes to the military empowerment of Hamas, through methods that include the SADAT company, which was founded on the orders of Adnan Basha, a close advisor to government officials in Turkey."

This is where Israel has to operate, both operationally and in terms of public diplomacy and traditional diplomacy. The Turkish nonprofits active in Jerusalem are tough to check unless legislative changes can be made that alter the definition of "hostile" activity in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.
Israel backs Cyprus as Turkey moves gas drill into its waters
Israel’s envoy to Cyprus on Monday expressed backing for the Mediterranean island state after Turkey moved a gas drilling rig into Cypriot waters last week.

“Friends should stick with each other,” Ambassador Sammy Revel tweeted.

He added that Israel is “following closely and with concern” the Turkish move.

Revel’s comments come after Cyprus lashed out at Turkey’s new attempt to drill for gas in Cypriot waters where European energy companies are already licensed to conduct a search, calling it a “severe escalation” and vowing to fight the move.

Israel and Turkey, once close allies, have had increasingly strained relations since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan became the country’s leader. Erdogan is a staunch supporter of the Palestinians and launches frequent verbal attacks on the Jewish state.

Israel also voiced support for Cyprus in July over Turkish operations in the country’s exclusive economic zone.

Israel, Cyprus and Greece have forged an energy-based partnership that has steadily grown following the discovery of gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean. The United States began joining the talks earlier this year.
German Jews blast WJC's decision to give Merkel the Herzl Award
Members of Germany's Jewish community are speaking out against the World Jewish Congress's decision to honor Chancellor Angela Merkel with its prestigious Herzl Award.

Every year, the organization bestows the award to figures who act to promote Zionist visionary Theodor Herzl's "ideas for the creation of a safer and more tolerant world for Jews."

Along with Merkel, former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has also been selected for the award, which the two women are set to receive in separate ceremonies.

However, the announcement of WJC's plan to honor Merkel with the award has been met with piercing criticism from members of Germany's Jewish community, who note the change in Merkel's stance toward Israel in recent years, her support for the 2015 nuclear deal, and the increasing sense among the country's Jews that Berlin is not doing an adequate job of contending with the growing threat to Jews as a result of the anti-Semitic views of Arab and Muslim migrants to the country.

Among the points of contention raised by the local Jewish community: Germany's continued pattern of voting against Israel in UN and other international bodies; Berlin's continued funding for organizations that support the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement; its refusal to ban Hezbollah activities in the country; and Germany's increased financial support for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, without conditioning those funds on the cessation of incitement against Israel. There also those who cite Merkel's vocal opposition to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's official capital and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
IDF Sets Up New Anti-Tunnel Company to Detect, Destroy Threats in Israel’s North
The Israel Defense Forces have set up a special engineering corps company to discover and prevent terror tunnels dug across Israel’s northern border from Lebanon.

The new company is intended to deal with the long-term threat from tunneling attempts by Hezbollah, Israeli news website Mako reported on Sunday. It will use cutting edge technology to do so, most of it tested on Hamas tunnels dug from Gaza, but adapted to the northern terrain, which is quite different.

The main tactic employed by the company is the use of new technology, and as a result is heavily invested in research and development.

One department deals with developing technologies to detect tunnels and tunnel digging activity, while another examines the practical engineering means of interdicting and destroying them.

The head of the company, Captain Moshe Asraf, said it was established according to the “lessons” learned during last year’s Operation Northern Shield, during which he served as a commander in the engineering corps.
Arabs Hurl Firebombs, Burn Tires as Jews Pray at Joseph’s Tomb
Dozens of Palestinians rioted on Sunday night following the pilgrimage of some 1,000 Jews, under Israeli security escort, to the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem/Nablus to pray. The rioters threw firebombs and burning tires at security personnel.

Israeli security forces responded with riot dispersal methods.

There were no Israeli reports of casualties during the incident, however the PA’s Wafa news agency reported that seven rioters were wounded after “Israeli forces escorted a convoy of buses packed with over a thousand fanatic Jewish settlers to the site, located in the Palestinian-controlled area, sparking confrontations with Palestinian residents.”

Wafa stated that the injured Palestinians had been “protesting” the “raid” and “attempting to block settlers’ access to the site”

“Among the settlers who raided the site were Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen, leader of the council of settlers in the occupied West Bank Yossi Dagan, and Knesset member Moshe Arbel,” Wafa reported.
Palestinian Authority Continues to Pay Salaries to Terrorists
Abbas' remarks, which were less acerbic in tone than those he made in previous addresses to the General Assembly, reflected a concern over the ineffectiveness of his policies and the sidelining of the Palestinian issue from the international, regional, and Israeli agenda.

It is also nevertheless evident from Abbas' remarks that he does not intend to bend as far as his fundamental positions on the conflict are concerned. This was given clear expression in Abbas' stated enthusiastic commitment to continue to pay salaries to Palestinian terrorists and their families, despite the fact that Israel has deducted this amount from the tax revenues it transfers to Ramallah. While there is nothing new about this declaration, Abbas' decision to repeat it in a major international forum is indicative of the PA chairman's commitment to the expectations of the Palestinian street, as he perceives and shapes it.

In practice, despite the cuts in the transferred funds and the Palestinian decision to avoid accepting a further installment of payments Israel is willing to transfer, the PA continues to pay these terrorist salaries as usual. According to the PA budget implementation report for 2019, the Palestinian Authority transferred 276 million shekels (around $79 million) in payments – i.e., salaries – and another 75 million shekels (around $22 million) in "social" payments to families, family expenses, medical insurance coverage, and legal expenses, among other things. In total, the PA Prisoner Affairs Ministry spent some 364 million shekels ($105 million) on these terrorist payments.

These numbers reveal that the PA's payments to terrorists in 2019 were similar in scope to those made the previous year. The significance of this is that despite increasing pressure, the Palestinians are sticking to their guns, as it were, and as a result, the chances of the PA
becoming a partner for peace under Abbas' leadership continue to be slim to none.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Shtayyeh: We received NIS 1.5 billion from Israel
The crisis between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over Israeli deductions of payments made to security prisoners and families of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis remains unresolved, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday.

Speaking at the weekly meeting of his cabinet in Ramallah, Shtayyeh announced that the PA has received NIS 1.5 billion from Israel in accordance with the deal reached between the two sides last week.

“The problem with Israel [over the funds withheld by Israel] has not been resolved until this moment,” Shtayyeh said. “There is no government in Israel that is capable of making a political decision on this matter.”

Despite Israel’s decision to deduct the payments from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians, the PA government continues to fulfill its duties toward the prisoners and the families of the “martyrs,” Shtayyeh said, and the PA government will remain committed to paying salaries to the families of the prisoners and “martyrs.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas also said that the PA’s position regarding payments to the security prisoners and families of “martyrs” remains unchanged.
Abbas says he’ll discuss elections with Hamas, factions but provides no timeline
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he would discuss plans for new parliamentary elections with all factions, including longtime rivals Hamas.

Meeting with senior Palestinian leaders in the PA’s administrative capital of Ramallah in the West Bank, Abbas renewed a pledge to hold the polls — the first since 2006 — but without giving a timeframe.

He announced that they had formed committees to “communicate with the election commission and factions such as Hamas and all factions, as well as with the Israeli authorities.”

He said any elections should take place in “the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”

Hamas and Fatah have been at loggerheads since 2007, when the terror group seized Gaza and threw out Abbas’s forces, which retained control of the internationally recognized Palestinian government, based in the West Bank.

No parliamentary elections have been held since 2006, with the two sides trading blame.
Khaled Abu Toameh: What Iran's Friends Are Doing in Gaza
In other words, Islamic Jihad's promise is one of unending toxicity: to go on poisoning the hearts and minds of generation after generation of Palestinians – as well as to continue investing millions of dollars in building tunnels and amassing weapons to ensure that the fight against Israel continues forever.

"The policy of resistance and jihad is the genuine policy to liberate all Palestine, and the Palestinian people will not abandon this path. We will not accept any agreement that contradicts the project of jihad and liberation. Under no circumstances will we give up one inch of the land of Palestine." -- Senior Hamas official Salah Bardaweel.

For [Hamas and Islamic Jihad] , a ceasefire means further amassing weapons and preparing their people for war without worrying about Israeli military action. When will the international community pull its head out of the sand in which it has so long been buried and understand that with organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad running the show, the Gaza Strip will remain the humanitarian disaster that is so bitterly blamed on Israel?


Lebanon arrests Syrian for making phone calls to Israel
Lebanese authorities have arrested a Syrian national accused of having made phone calls to neighboring Israel, the army said Friday.

An army statement said the suspect, who was not identified, was referred to court for “contacting Israeli phone numbers and communicating with Israelis present in the occupied Palestinian territories.” It did not elaborate.

Lebanon is home to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees who fled the war raging in their country.

In August, tensions spiked between Lebanon and Israel after two drones packed with explosives were sent into the Beirut bastion of the Shiite movement Hezbollah.

Iran-backed Hezbollah and the Lebanese army accused Israel of being behind the drone launch.

Lebanon’s government and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah both described the apparently botched operation as an act of aggression.

A few days after the August 25 drone incident in Beirut, the army opened fire on Israeli drones flying over southern Lebanon.
Does Iran’s Leader Leave Room for Iran’s Return to the Negotiating Table?
At the same time, over the past few weeks, there have been increasing calls from senior religious figures in Iran and the leadership of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard for the destruction of the State of Israel. This is similar to statements issued by the Supreme Leader in 2016 that Israel would cease to exist in another 25 years. It is possible that this round of criticism against Israel serves a smokescreen while negotiations are taking place between Iran and the United States to enable Iran’s return to the nuclear deal.

In any case, by November 7, 2019, a further reduction is expected in Iran’s commitment to the nuclear agreement (including the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent and even higher). There is a window of opportunity for diplomacy and European efforts to try what has failed until now – to promise economic compensation to Iran for the American sanctions or alternatively to bring Washington back to the negotiating table. Iran’s oppositional regional policy (against Israel and Saudi Arabia, in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria) will apparently make it harder for Europe and the United States to advance the negotiations with Iran. However, in the past, Europe has shown that it is prepared to ignore repeated violations of human rights in Iran, such as its role in terror activities (including within European territory!), to fulfill the nuclear agreement, which eventually leads to investment and economic cooperation with Iran. Iran is well aware of Europe’s modus operandi and uses it and U.S. weakness to achieve maximum profit to renew negotiations regarding the nuclear agreement.

“Today, the Nuclear Deal Is in the Intensive Care Unit”
In this regard, Abbas Aragchi, deputy foreign minister and one of the patrons of the nuclear deal, stated at a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the opening of the German embassy in Tehran that, “today the nuclear deal is in the intensive care unit.” He added that to save it, cooperation was necessary between the P5+1 states. This could “bring down the walls of American sanctions and one-sided policies, which have become its weapon against independent countries.” According to him, Iran, along with the European countries, China, and Russia, are attempting to reach a balanced agreement through negotiations, but because of America’s one-sided policies, this balance has been violated and lost.5
Iran says Russian journalist held over visa issue, not Israel spy claim
Iran has confirmed the arrest last week in Tehran of a Russian journalist, saying the case was a matter of a visa violation.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters that Yulia Yuzik’s case is under “quick review” by authorities and wasn’t related to matters concerning the “counter-espionage” department. Her ex-husband said last week she had been arrested for allegedly spying for Israel.

The Russian Embassy in Tehran said on Friday that Yuzik flew into Tehran the previous Sunday and that Iranian officials seized her passport at the airport for unknown reasons. She was arrested from her hotel room on Wednesday.

The Russian foreign ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador to Moscow to explain Yuzik’s arrest.

Prior to her arrest, Yuzik posted photographs from her trip on Instagram, saying she loved being in Iran.






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10/04 Links Pt1: The EU Demonstrates a Distinct Political Bias Against Israel; Meet the Palestinian Villagers Living Out the American Dream; Arab citizens of Israel undergo quiet revolution   

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From Ian:

Seth Frantzman: Israel appears strong, but there are risks ahead
BUT ISRAEL has some issues on the horizon that, if they would come together at the wrong time, would be a perfect storm. Among these is the increasing hostility of Turkey. Ankara has become more nationalist and religious-nationalist, a toxic mix. It is flexing its muscles, taking over swaths of northern Syria and seeking to keep on track to totally remove the Americans from the region. That would be a setback for the US – and setbacks for the US also impact Israel. Turkey is buying the S-400, not in itself a problem for Israel. Ostensibly, both Ankara and Jerusalem have an interesting relationship with Moscow today, borne of Russia’s increased role in the region, particularly in Syria.

Russia’s role in Turkey is strategic and also related to energy and Syria. This can impact Israel in a complex way. Turkey’s current government is seeking to take up the mantle of being the main opposition to Israel in the region. It bashes Israel over Jerusalem, and its media run hyperbolic stories about Israeli abuses. Turkey is close to the Muslim Brotherhood today and wants to see Hamas have a more prominent role in Ramallah. Yet Israel can deal with Turkey’s anger. The question is whether it can deal with the emerging Turkey-Iran relationship.

Iran has been a challenge for Israel due to a variety of reasons, but lately it is capitalizing on the weakness of its adversaries. That means it is increasingly playing a role in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. That means it is transferring precision missile technology to Hezbollah.

Iran’s IRGC says that it can destroy Israel. It launched an attack on Saudi Arabia on September 14 that has ramifications for Israel. That Riyadh did not respond shows that Israel’s supposed common interests with the Gulf are more problematic than in reality. Saudi Arabia won’t confront Iran. So who will confront Iran? The US? No. The US has signaled it will not. And the next US administration may be more pro-Iran than this one. That could give Tehran what it wants in Syria, which means a kind of “land bridge” that ends near the Golan and threatens Israel.

What Israel faces today is potentially two strong adversaries in Turkey and Iran, although they are quite different in how they confront Israel. Turkey uses soft power; Iran uses hard power. But Israel, appearing strong, now faces these challenges in some ways alone. It is not like the 1950s, when Israel was truly alone. Israel has made major inroads in India, China and elsewhere. But the immediate challenges are still there. It is dangerous to be too confident and arrogant today, and it is essential that Jerusalem seek to analyze and deal with these challenges in the long-term because short term planning won’t work. Iran thinks in the long term – and its role in the region is a long-term role.
Jpost Editorial: No Third Election
Against that backdrop, the 22nd Knesset was sworn in on Thursday in Jerusalem. Many are wondering if, like the 21st Knesset, it will also last for less than two months and perhaps become the shortest-lived legislature in Israel’s history.

As the Post’s Lahav Harkov pointed out on Wednesday, there are only eight new members of this Knesset, as well as another nine who are returning from past stints as legislators, which means that 103 members of the 22nd Knesset will be sworn in for the second time this year.

A proud institution, the Knesset is in danger of becoming a laughing stock. But it’s no joke. Israel needs a stable government and a stable Knesset. Every attempt must be made to prevent the newly sworn-in Knesset from becoming the shortest Knesset in Israeli history.

All parties should take the responsibility upon themselves as if they alone are charged with insuring that a third election is not called for. The country has survived some nine months of paralysis, but it’s only a matter of time before the string starts to unravel out of control and the situation begins to do irreparable damage to Israel and its population.

At Thursday’s ceremony, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein led the MKs with “I pledge allegiance to the State of Israel and to faithfully fulfill my mission in the Knesset.” And the newly sworn-in lawmakers responded: “I pledge.”

Let’s hope they take that allegiance and mission seriously and prevent a third election.

Amb. Alan Baker: The EU Demonstrates a Distinct Political Bias Against Israel
European Union Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal, writing in the Jerusalem Post on Sep. 21, evidently believes that incessant repetition of the phrase "two-state solution" adds some element of legitimacy and feasibility to the idea. But the two-state solution has never been agreed-upon between Israel and the Palestinians, and does not figure in any of the agreements between them. It is nothing more than an expression of wishful thinking within the UN and the EU.

To the contrary, the Oslo Accords, to which the EU itself is a signatory, clearly leaves the issue of the permanent status of the territories to be decided in negotiations. Thus, whether the outcome will be one, two or three states, or a federation or confederation, remains on the negotiating table. By incessantly plying a two-state solution, the EU is in fact prejudging an agreed negotiating issue.

Suggestions by Israeli leaders to "apply sovereignty" led EU representatives to complain that unilateral modification of the Oslo Accords "undermines the entire agreement" and "dismantles Oslo." One wonders why the EU did not view the recent declarations by the Palestinian leadership canceling the territorial division between areas A, B and C in a similar light. Did this not undermine the accords?

The EU representative also expressed support for a "Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines." Yet the issue of borders is an agreed-upon permanent-status negotiating issue, and her presumption of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines clearly contradicts and prejudges both the Oslo Accords and UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967.

The EU cannot in good faith claim that it does not take sides in the conflict. The EU has not only taken sides, but clearly demonstrates a distinct political bias against Israel in virtually all its positions, policies, statements and dealings regarding the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process.



Iran displays ancient clay tablets, returned by US, from empire that freed Jews
The National Museum of Iran opened on Wednesday an exhibition of around 300 cuneiform clay tablets returned from the United States after a drawn-out legal saga.

The tablets were found at the ruins of Persepolis, capital of the Persian Achaemenid Empire (6th – 4th c. BC) in the south of Iran. Cyrus the Great, who ruled during the Achaemenid Empire, is said to have liberated the Jews from Babylonian captivity in 539 BCE, allowing them to return home and build the Second Temple.

The works on display belonged to a group of 1,783 clay tablets or tablet fragments returned to Iran by the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.

In the 1930s, the university had received on loan around 30,000 tablets or tablet fragments found at Persepolis for research purposes, Iranian media reported.

A large portion of the tablets were returned in three batches between 1948 and 2004 before their restitution was blocked by legal action initiated by American survivors of an attack in Israel in 1997 carried out by the Palestinian Hamas terror group.

Blaming Tehran for supporting the armed group, the plaintiffs demanded the seizure of the tablets and their sale put toward the $71.5 million that Iran was ordered to pay in the case.

The proceedings only ended in February 2018 when a US Supreme Court decision banned the seizure of the works.
Yossi Cohen: The Mossad Spy Chief Who Stole Iran's Secret Nuclear Archives
In March 2018, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, 58, updated then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo on what the Mossad had found inside Iran's secret nuclear archives that it had stolen from the heart of Tehran in January 2018. Sources close to Cohen told the Jerusalem Post that the information the Mossad seized is "still being used right now" to glean high-quality and valuable intelligence. A map of nuclear sites captured in the operation has yet to be made public. These revelations "even go beyond Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's revelation of the Abadeh nuclear site" earlier this month. Cohen says Pompeo praised the Mossad for redefining "daring and boldness."

Dozens of agents were involved in surveillance missions and the heist itself. Neutralizing any electronic surveillance that could expose them, they spent six hours and 29 minutes nabbing Iran's secret nuclear files, which were kept in 32 safes. They used special torches to slice into these safes. They loaded the vast files onto trucks and used Iranian smugglers to get across the border.

Cohen's view is that relations with Sunni countries in the Gulf are "not as much about personal trust, but about overlapping national interests" - especially when it comes to Iran. For example, while Cohen would be against sharing sensitive Israeli technologies with the Saudis to combat the drone threat from Iran, he would seek to help states in the Gulf combat Iran together in other ways.

Regarding the Palestinians, sources close to Cohen indicate that he does not believe anything will move on the peace process until PA President Mahmoud Abbas leaves office.
FDD: The Israeli–Palestinian Struggle, Continued.
There is no chance of a “peace party” returning to Jerusalem unless Israelis see that Palestinians have unequivocally denounced the past, that the celebrations of those who’ve died killing Israelis are rejected. That is impossible to envision in the near-term: neither Fatah, nor Hamas, nor the Israelis, nor Washington want the Palestinian people voting. All fear the worst—the wrong side winning. Perhaps most perversely, the Israelis are invested in a security status quo with Fatah that likely negates the chance of any Palestinian change, and surely makes Hamas more popular on the West Bank than its tyranny in Gaza has earned. But it’s possible that if there were a free vote among Palestinians the hostility towards Israelis—the fundamental rejection of the legitimacy of a Jewish state—could be the common denominator among Palestinians who otherwise loathe Fatah’s and Hamas’ dictatorships. Palestinians again voting could lead to intense violence, among Palestinians and against Israelis. Nonetheless, Palestinian popular sovereignty is likely the only way out of this cul-de-sac. We have two peoples wanting the same land with national and especially religious narratives that negate the other’s. For even non-practicing Muslims, Moses is a great prophet, trying to lead his people toward the one, true calling—Islam. A Jewish homeland wasn’t in Allah’s message. Yet the unrelenting secularism of Westerners reduces the most compelling stories we have to differences about water rights, East Jerusalem, and security checkpoints.

The basic character of a people and faith can change, but that usually happens after a truly devastating military defeat or a long evolution. The Palestinians haven’t actually seen a society-crushing catastrophe; they have endured foreign, non-Muslim overlords, with all of the indignities, and incompetent, avaricious, ambitious, insouciant, deluded and sometimes brutal native rulers (they, however, get a middling score in hideousness in the modern Middle East).

Since 2002, the Israelis appear to have a consensus: Palestinians cannot be trusted. On the other side, Palestinians seem more conflicted about the Jews, more divided religiously and culturally, more prone to internecine violence today than they were when the Israelis directly ruled all of the West Bank and Gaza.

The continuing decline of America in the Middle East will unavoidably remove certain delusions about what might be possible between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The torpor of the peace process under Obama and Trump is likely the new American standard. If they haven’t already, Palestinians will give up on the idea of Washington’s intercession, of American democracy coercing Israeli democracy into making concessions to unelected Palestinian officials. For the Palestinian people that will, at least, change the rhetoric and excuses of the ruling elite.

America’s retreat may tempt the Israelis to act more hubristically towards the Palestinians, to take land in the West Bank that has no plausible security value. But the most effective check on ugly Israeli actions has always been the internal debate, the tension between the executive, legislative, and judicial authorities in Israel’s messy democracy.

For decades out, it’s hard to see anything better than an unpleasant modus vivendi between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Given that it is the Middle East, however, that isn’t an awful state. Americans always want to believe that honesty is the best policy, that without honesty solutions aren’t possible. We are certainly tardy in applying that principle to the Israeli–Palestinian clash.
The Missile War in Southern Arabia: Lessons for Israel
UAV Warfare
Another hint of the effectiveness of Patriot defense are Houthi/Iranian alliance efforts both to suppress it and evade it. To elucidate this point, we need to refer to another aspect of the Houthi/Iranian war machine in Yemen: UAV warfare. UAVs are one of the main pillars of Iranian military doctrine. Together with other weapon shipments, Iran has been providing the Houthis with numerous types of UAVs, both of the larger types used for armed reconnaissance such as the Shahad 129 (roughly equivalent to Israel’s Hermes 450) and smaller “suicide” UAVs (such as the Ababil, used by Hezbollah in 2006 for attacks deep within Israel, which for the sake of Iranian deniability has been renamed Kasef 2). The Houthi arsenal is augmented by the acquisition of mail order UAVs such as the Chinese “Skywalker” available online from Ali Baba. More remarkable, the Iranians have provided the Houthis with knowhow, production machinery and expertise to set up a UAV industry of their own in their stronghold of Sad’ha in northern Yemen. The Houthi UAV industry is now producing unique designs of long-range machines, some equipped with jet engines, obviously designed in Iran. Beyond the classic UAV roles of reconnaissance and light bombardment, the Houthi/Iranian alliance is using them for direct “suicide” attacks on Patriot batteries. Three incidents of direct attacks on Patriot batteries have been claimed: Two attacks were within Yemen, probably targeting UAE batteries in Mocha and Marib, and one attack on a Patriot battery defending the Saudi border city of Najran, with unknown results.

Even more significantly, the Houthi/Iranian alliance exploits the Patriot’s system limitations in engaging low and slow threats in order to penetrate beneath the Saudi air/missile defense shield. In fact, UAVs are now being used by the Houthi’s as ersatz land attack cruise missiles. With immunity against air and missile defense, and with much better accuracy than ordinary ballistic missiles, UAVs now seem to be the preferred weapons for imaginative and audacious strikes deep within Saudi territory. For example, the civilian airport of the Saudi town of Abha, about 120 km. from the Yemeni border, was attacked by Houthi suicide UAVs no less than three times during the month of June 2019, wounding 28 passengers and airport workers. In August 2019, the Houthis managed to strike the Shaybah oilfield deep within Saudi Arabia, almost 1200 Km from the Houthi stronghold in Sad’ha. The attack was carried out by no less than 10 UAVs and sparked a fire in gas storage tanks. Such a complex attack needs precise coordination and excellent navigation, which demonstrates the proficiency achieved by Iran’s UAV operators. While those strikes did not cause excessive damage – perhaps intentionally so – they were propaganda coups for the Houthis, providing them with solid achievements in the cognitive battlefield.

The fourth lesson for Israel is the growing military role of UAVs both for missile defense suppression and for evasion. UAVs were first used by Hezbollah for reconnaissance over Israel even prior to the 2006 Lebanon war. At the closing stage of that war, four suicide UAVs were launched by Hezbollah against Israeli targets (One suffered a failure and fell near the border, two were intercepted by Israeli jet fighters, and the fourth vanished). In the 2014 Gaza war Hamas tried to attack Tel Aviv with its own UAVs (Two, perhaps three UAVs were shot down by Patriot air defense batteries). This experience is not indicative of the future. The Yemen war demonstrates how UAVs will be employed in future wars in significant numbers to erode Israel’s missile defense capabilities by attacking the Iron Dome, David Sling and Arrow batteries. Hostile UAVs, in conjunction with precision rockets, may well be tasked to damage Israel’s critical infrastructures such as desalination plants. Consequently, Israel needs to integrate air defense capabilities into its missile defense systems, and to provide its critical infrastructures with their own point defenses.

The current civil wars in the Middle East – especially in Syria and in Yemen – resemble the Spanish civil war of the 1930s inasmuch as they are exploited by outside powers to test new doctrines, weapons and tactics in realistic battle conditions. What the Axis powers (and to a lesser extent the USSR) did in Spain during the 1930s is being done today by Iran in Yemen.

It would be advisable for Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the IDF to closely study the civil war in Yemen, particularly its rocket and drone warfare aspects. The weapons and tactics in use in Yemen today will be employed against Israel tomorrow.
Israeli President Tells Papal Diplomat Israel Wants to Share Land with Palestinians
Israel wants to “share the land and find a way to live together” with the Palestinians, President Reuven Rivlin told Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, one of the highest-ranking Vatican diplomats, when they met at the President’s Residence on Thursday night.

Sandri, who is the Prefect of the Congregations for the Oriental Catholic Churches, came with a delegation that included several Franciscan priests, as well as the Papal Nuncio and the Custos of the Holy Land.

He is in the region to mark the 800th anniversary of the Pilgrimage of Peace to the Middle East by St. Francis of Assisi and his dialogue with the Sultan of Egypt.

Rivlin, who has met with Pope Francis and is aware of the efforts being made by the Vatican to bring about a cessation of hostilities in the Middle East in general and between Israel and the Palestinians in particular, told Sandri that he knows how hard the Vatican is working to find a solution to this century-old tragedy.

Knowing that Sandri is also going to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Rivlin asked him to convey his regards, and noted that Abbas had sent New Year greetings to the people of Israel.

Emphasizing the need to build understanding between Israelis and Palestinians, Rivlin was of the opinion that a valuable asset in this regard was the restoration of the baptismal site at Qasr el-Yahud on the Jordan River near Jericho, where Jesus first met John the Baptist.

The restoration project was approved by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian leadership, said Rivlin, who was personally involved in the process.
Dr. Martin Sherman: Alternative Jordans?
Although the details of the “Deal” are as yet obscure, it would appear the Jordan is slated to play a major role in it—grudgingly or otherwise. Accordingly, the feasibility of the “Deal”—indeed its acceptability—will be dramatically impacted by the nature of the regime east of the Jordan River and its prospective stability (or lack thereof).

After all, although some may hope otherwise, there seems little prospect that any successor regime in Amman will be more favorably disposed toward Israel than the current one.

This takes us back to the crucial strategic importance for Israel of the highlands of Judea-Samaria and the Jordan Valley. As I have been at pains to point out on numerous occasions, not only are these highlands the only topographical barrier between Jordan and the heavily populated coast plain, but any forces—regular or renegade—deployed on them will have complete topographical command and control of virtually all Israel’s airfields (military and civilian, including Ben Gurion, the only international airport), its major ports and naval bases, is principal traffic axes (rail and road), vital infrastructure installations/systems (electrical power, desalination plants and water conveyance), centers of civilian government and military command and 80% of the civilian population and commercial activity.

All of these will be in range of cheap, readily available weapons that have already been used against Israel from areas evacuated by it and transferred to Arab control.

Thus, the rationale of any plan that entails Israeli evacuation of this vital territory will hinge critically on the nature of the regime-type in Jordan, which abuts it from the East.

For whatever other grave detriments their might be in such a plan, it will matter greatly if Jordan is ruled by a government that strives to reign in forces hostile to Israel, or one that is indifferent to their aggressive intent—or worse, is complicit with it.

After all, should the Trump plan entail significant territorial concessions, Israel may well find itself in a situation in which it will have to contend with a huge expanse of hostile territory, stretching from the fringes of Greater Tel Aviv to the border of Iraq—and perhaps beyond.

Accordingly, Israel’s security establishment should indeed draw up plans to deal with prospective alternatives in Jordan—not only how to cope with them once they arise, but to prevent them from arising at all.
Why Israelis should support the Iraqi protesters
Another Arab Spring-like protest movement now seems to be arising, seeking to topple the present Iraqi government. As Israelis, we should support the Iraqi people in their quest for true freedom and democracy.

Mendi Safadi, heads of the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights, has noted that if we want to prevent the creation of another Syria, we should call upon the community of nations to intervene as soon as possible to uphold the rights of the protesters, prevent additional bloodshed, and stop the radical Islamists, Iran, and the former Baathists from overtaking the protest movement.

“Today, this Arab Spring has begun to take over Iraq against a government that is corrupt and loyal to Iran,” Safadi said. “These protesters are against the Iranians taking over Iraq. Talks with activists on the ground and the leaders of the protest movement reveal that the people are repulsed by the government, who betrayed their nation by becoming a proxy of Iran. The Iranian takeover of Iraq has gotten the people to revolt, to take to the streets and to demand that Iraq be returned to its rightful owners. They seek freedom and basic human rights that every citizen of this world deserves.”

According to a report from the Internal Commission of Iraq, “The Iraqi government takes instructions from Iranian Revolutionary Guard Commander Qassem Soleimani. Over 700 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard shot live fire at Iraqi demonstrators. There were demonstrators who were killed including men, women and children. The Iranians even went as far as burning a 2-year-old child in a car with her father. The Iraqi people are calling upon the international community to intervene urgently in order to save the Iraqi people, who have suffered under Iran and political Islam. We demand that all pro-Iranian parties be banished from Iraq and to take away all of Iran’s influence in the country. We seek to hold the regime accountable and to change from a parliamentary system to a republican form of government. We seek that the rights of women be respected, as the number of women in the country is very high. The Iraqi people will stop protesting only once our demands are met.”
Iraq crisis: Protests say anger could boil over Friday after 44 deaths
Protesters in Iraq prepared Friday for bloody clashes with security forces in Iraq after three days of protests that saw the government order live fire against the demonstrators. The protesters are angry. They have tried to block roads to the airport in Baghdad and break into the “Green Zone” where foreign embassies are located. They are shocked that officials have ordered live fire used against them.

The protests began on October 1 in the wake of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi sidelining a popular Counter-Terrorism service commander named Abdul Wahab Al-Saadi. But the real reason for the protests are much larger. They are angry over corruption and wage stagnation and lack of opportunities.

The Prime Minister has closed down internet and sought to isolate cities in Iraq. He gave a speech on Thursday evening and has indicated he could meet the protesters. But there are no clear leaders of the protests. The demonstrators gained some solace when the Shi’ite religious leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani appeared to express sympathy on Friday. Many believed that after prayers on Friday there would be bloody clashes unless the government retrains its tactics. It is not entirely clear which police have been ordered to fire on the protesters, because protesters say they cannot identify them by uniform. Some said it was not the Federal Police but other interior ministry forces. Others claims it was members of Shi’ite militias loyal to Iran, including the Saraya Khorosani unit. But much of this is rumors and has not been confirmed. What is clear is that security forces can be heard in dozens of videos using gunfire. Up to fifty demonstrators may have been killed and thousands injured, including members of the police.

The UN has called on Iraq to have a transparent investigation about the shooting of the demonstrators. “We call on the Iraqi government to allow people to freely exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
Iran tries to blame Israel and US for Iraqi protests
Iranian media and local sources in Iraq have reported on the protests sweeping the country with increasing concern that the protesters oppose Iranian influence. This concern has now reached the highest levels of Iran’s regime where the narrative that has been concocted is to blame “foreign” hands for the unrest. Under this logic tens of thousands of young men, leaderless and braving the gunfire of security forces, have been sacrificing themselves by the dozens all because of some complex conspiracy.

Iraq’s government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has shut down internet, social media and even made phone calls difficult in areas across Iraq, all to stop the protests. Yet the protests continue. To discredit them an Iranian cleric on Friday claimed the US and Israel are behind the protests. Supposedly it was to “disrupt a major annual Shi’ite Muslim pilgrimage planned to be held in Iraq later this month,” Reuters reported. “The enemy is now determined against the Islamic nation, America and Zionism are targeting the Arabaeen pilgrimage in Iraq, causing trouble,” claimed Ayatollah Mohammad Emami-Kashani.

His full Friday sermon, published at Tasnim News in Farsi claims that “America and Zionism are the enemies of God.” He mentions the Houthi rebels in Yemen who “have shown themselves against the miserable Saudi rulers,” and notes that Saudi Arabia’s reputation has been weakened. This is a reference to the September 14 drone and missile attack on Saudi Arabia. He also mentions the US “maximum pressure” sanctions on Iran and says that it has not been successful. “Endurance is the way of the martyrs.” It is in this context he says that the “enemies” are targeting the religious pilgrimages to the holy sites in Karbala, where Shi’ites make pilgrimage. He calls on people to take refuge in the shrine of Imam Hussein.

In Iraq the senior Shi’ite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, lamented the deaths of dozens of protesters and called for an end to the deaths, casualties and destruction. He called on the government to listen to the people’s demands about corruption and other issues.
Russian journalist arrested in Tehran on suspicion of spying for Israel
A Russian journalist has been arrested in Iran on suspicion of spying on the Islamic Republic on behalf of Israel, according to family members and Russian media reports.

Yulia Yuzik was first declared missing earlier this week by family members who said she was arrested in Tehran days ago. Her ex-husband Boris Voytsekhovskiy posted on Facebook that Yuzik was facing charges of cooperating with Israeli intelligence services, and that her trial is scheduled for Saturday.

According to Voytsekhovskiy, Yuzik’s charges carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.

It wasn’t clear when Yuzik was arrested; her last post on social media was a series of Instagram pictures taken in Kashan, a city in northern part of Isfahan province.

Voytsekhovskiy told Russian media outlets that Yuzik used to work as a correspondent in Tehran several years ago, and she returned to the Iranian capital last week at the invitation of an unknown party.
Engel bows to Arab lobbyists, pro-Israel friends are silent
An anti-Hamas bill has been severely watered down by Congressman Eliot Engel. It’s a turn of events that should trouble every supporter of Israel.

The New York Post revealed this week that Engel (D-NY), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, agreed to change the bill after heavy pressure from Qatar and the Palestinian Authority (PA)

The Post quoted “a personal acquaintance of Engel’s” as saying, “Eliot told me directly that he was getting a lot of pressure from the Qataris” about the bill. At the same time, Engel or his representatives held seven meetings this past spring with lobbyists for the PA, apparently to discuss the bill.

The Qataris didn’t like the fact that the bill mentioned Qatar’s massive financial support for Hamas. The PA didn’t like the fact that it would have penalized regimes—like the PA—that assist Hamas in various ways.

So the bill, which was authored by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Florida), was changed. The language about Qatar was removed, and loopholes were added so that aid to Hamas which is considered “humanitarian” would not be blocked.

We put “humanitarian” in quotation marks because we all remember how “humanitarian” concrete, which supposedly would be used to build homes, instead was used to build tunnels to kidnap and murder Israelis.

At this point in the story, you would imagine that those Jewish leaders who claim to be Engel’s buddies would have intervened to restore the original language of the Mast bill.
Behind the Lines: Pakistan and Israel: Much ado about nothing?
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan last week dismissed speculation that his country was moving toward the establishing of open diplomatic relations with Israel. Speaking at the Asian Society in New York City last Thursday, as reported by the Middle East Eye website, Khan reiterated Pakistan’s traditional stance on the issue:

“Pakistan has a very straightforward position,” the Pakistani prime minister and former cricket star said. “It was our founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who was very clear that there has to be just settlement, a homeland for Palestinians, before Pakistan can recognize Israel.”

His remarks, according to Middle East Eye, were met with enthusiastic applause. They came amid widespread recent speculation at a possible diplomatic breakthrough between Jerusalem and Islamabad. Prominent Pakistani journalist Kamran Khan launched the rumors with a tweet on August 25, asking “Why can’t we openly debate pros cons of opening direct and overt channels of communication with the State of Israel?”

What is the background to the recent speculation, and is there a realistic chance of a breakthrough, or do Imran Khan’s remarks settle the matter in the negative?

THERE IS a school of thought in Pakistan that favors the abandonment, or at least the questioning, of Islamabad’s long rejection of formal ties with the Jewish state. Why now?
'Recent convert' to Islam stabs 4 to death at Paris police headquarters
A 45-year-old technology administrator at the police headquarters in central Paris went on a knife rampage inside the building on Thursday, killing three police officers and an administrative worker before he was shot dead by an officer, French officials said.

French broadcaster BFM TV said the attacker had converted to Islam 18 months ago.

Officials did not say anything about the motive for the attack and said they were still trying to discover if there was a terrorism link.

The man launched the attack in his office then moved to other parts of the large 19th-century building across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral.

An officer stopped the attack when he shot the assailant in the compound's courtyard, said a police official. The official was not authorized to talk publicly about the case and requested anonymity.
IDF thwarts weapons smuggling attempt from Lebanon to Israel
The IDF and Israel Police thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons from Lebanon into Israel in September, according to an IDF spokesperson.

An IDF field observer from the 869th battalion spotted two suspects acting suspiciously on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel near the border fence. IDF soldiers went to the scene to check the issue.

Bags found in the area contained about 40 pistols and magazines which were meant to be smuggled from Lebanon into Israel. The background of the incident is being looked into.

One suspect was arrested on the Israeli side of the border and was transferred for questioning by security forces.

"I saw a suspect approaching the fence and immediately realized that this was an unusual incident," said Pvt. Adi ben Naim, the field observer who identified the suspects. "I alerted the troops and directed them to the location. It was only after the incident that I realized that a very large weapon-smuggling attempt was thwarted. My job as a field observer is to identify what takes place in the field and alert my commanders; which is exactly what I did in this incident.




Israeli military marks ‘Mean Girls Day’ by trolling Iran on Twitter
The Israel Defense Forces marked “Mean Girls Day” this week by tweeting a meme of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah.

The meme, posted on Thursday, October 3, was an altered version of a “never before seen” photo published by the Iranian government showing the supreme leader, Nasrallah and Qassem Soleimani — the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force.

The IDF photoshopped the Iranians into a “Mean Girls” scene alongside Lindsay Lohan, with the caption: “There’s no one meaner than the mean girls of the Middle East…”

The IDF added #DontSitWithThem and #MeanGirlsDay to their post.

October 3 was a date that was mentioned in passing by Lohan’s character to her crush in Mean Girls, and has since become a pop cultural phenomenon marked annually by movie fans.

The “Don’t sit with them” refers to a line in the movie when Rachel McAdams’s character Regina George is turned away from popular clique’s table at lunch because she’s wearing sweatpants.


Arab citizens of Israel undergo quiet revolution
The Arab citizens of Israel need rapid development of their areas. They dream of having high-tech zones and industrial centers; they seek enhanced police work to battle the crime that is raging in the streets of Arab cities; and they resent the vicious incitement against them that was led for years by the prime minister and the ruling party. Will the future government, which for now is still nowhere to be seen, be able to fulfill all of these demands and build bridges between the establishment and one-fifth of Israel’s population?

During the recent political campaign, the Likud party accused Gantz numerous times of “planning to create a government with [Joint List MKs] Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh,” but the leaders of the bloc had ruled it out many times. When Blue and White MK Ram Ben-Barak, ex-deputy director of the Mossad, turned to the Arabs this summer, he said that Blue and White needed them “to change the government.” But what will happen the day after such a change is accomplished?

Amjad Iraqi, a contributing editor at +972 magazine, said to The Media Line that what is missing from the tactical decision of the Joint List is thought about the day after. “This decision is quite some gamble that could also backfire, especially if a unity government will be formed eventually between Likud and the Blue and White bloc. I do understand the logic —Ayman Odeh decided to prioritize getting rid of Netanyahu, and most of the public endorsed him because they want to change at least some part of the equation. But how do we know that the Blue and White bloc, whose leaders had their share of critical and negative remarks about Arabs, will be able to live up to its promises?” said Iraqi.

El-Sana believes that if the Joint List is unable to maximize its gains this time around, the alternative for the next time will be voting for existing Jewish parties or for a joint Arab-Jewish party, a project that el-Sana tried to run this time together with the former Knesset speaker, Avrum Burg. There are also many question marks about the participation of the Balad party, which is increasingly seen by many in the Arab public as a destabilizing element that fails to serve its people. “If they were to participate in the elections today by themselves, they would go down. They have three seats in the Joint List, but they are worth only 1.5 seats, or even less” says Darawshe. On the opposite side, Iraqi believes that Balad gives legitimacy to the Joint List, serving as a link between them and the wider Palestinian cause. “Balad still represents a significant portion of voters. They need the Joint List, and the Joint List needs them,” he concludes.

For now, Arab voters seem to be quite satisfied with the result. They proved to be resilient against incitement and intimidation, increased their representation at the Knesset, and now will wait just like everyone else to see how the current political reality TV unfolds.

The leaders of the Joint List will now have to prove to their voters that they can make some real gains with the increased power that they received this time. Considering the shaky structure of the bloc, which includes four different parties with contradicting ideologies, this will not be easy. If no government is formed and Israel goes to a third round of elections, the bloc will have to campaign extremely hard to maintain its success. For now, it is unlikely that the Joint List will top its current result—13 seats. The quiet revolution in the Arab sector, however, will continue, sweeping Arab Israeli citizens away from segregation and isolation, toward integration and equality.
Thousands of Arab Israelis march, block roads to protest deadly crime wave
Thousands of Arab Israelis held protests Friday at the conclusion of prayers, a day after a general strike over a wave of deadly violence within the minority community.

Protesters blocked roads, including sections of the major highways in the north of the country. Demonstrators carried signs with slogans such as “our children’s blood is not cheap” and chanted slogans about what they say is police inaction on the issue.

Ayman Odeh, the head of the Knesset’s predominantly Arab Joint List faction, called on the Jewish community to join the protests, saying that a society without weapons should be the ideal for everyone.

“I also urge the Jewish public to join the protests. A society without firearms is a civil and social aim for us all,” Odeh tweeted.
Some Israelis to Celebrate Sukkot with 4 Species Holders Made in Gaza
Some Israelis — many, in fact — will celebrate the holiday of Sukkot this year holding their four species bound with holders produced in the Gaza Strip.

Ahead of the Jewish holiday, the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has approved the import of tens of thousands of four species holders, used for the traditional customs of the holiday.

The four species – the etrog, a citron fruit; the lulav, a frond of a date palm; the hadas, a myrtle bough; and the aravah, a willow branch – are the species the Jewish people are commanded to bind together during the holiday.

The holders are made out of dried palm leaves, woven into a shape that allows the four species to be held together comfortably during the holiday prayers. The abundance of palm trees in Gaza, as well as cheap labor, makes the enclave a prime location for the production of the holders.

Despite the growing tension between Hamas, the terror group that controls Gaza and Israel, COGAT was able to facilitate the import successfully, passing it through the Kerem Shalom Crossing under heavy security inspection.
Ha'aretz: Meet the Palestinian Villagers Living Out the American Dream
Halfway between the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Nablus, the road gives way to an exit unlike any other along Israel’s Highway 60. At first glance, this route — lined with palm trees and polished sidewalks that lead up to lavish stone villas — looks like a well-funded Jewish settlement. But a closer look reveals that unlike other typical settlements, there is no security gate at the entrance to the community and its houses are not lined up in rows along the hilltops.

The expensive homes scattered on slopes among olive trees, reminiscent of the famous Hollywood Boulevard, are actually a window into the Palestinian diaspora. The majority of their dwellers are dual American-Palestinian nationals who live in the United States for most of the year and treat the village of Turmus Ayya as their summer home.

Turmus Ayyans are not only based in the United States. These Palestinian villagers are spread throughout the world, with members of the community living in Spain, Panama, Cuba and Brazil. According to the village’s municipal office, there are some 11,000 Turmus Ayyans in total; 4,000 are permanent residents, while 7,000 made their home abroad.

Unlike the majority of Palestinians living in the diaspora, Turmus Ayyans are not refugees of the 1948 war. Rather, they are economic immigrants who chose to leave this West Bank village in pursuit of better financial opportunities. Residents told Haaretz that the first villager to immigrate was Odeh Abdel Qader, who left for the United States in 1909 and worked in Manhattan's Little Syria (where the Financial District is situated today). Local Wadi Abu Awad recalls Qader’s return to the village: "He was the guy who came from America," he says. Throughout the 20th century, Qader’s legacy became an inspiration for other Turmus Ayyans who wished to chase the American Dream.

Hamas Facing Growing Criticism in Gaza
A picture making the rounds on social media shows the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, with his six sons, standing healthy in tailored suits, and beneath it, a picture of Gaza youths who have had a leg amputated after rioting at the Gaza fence.

Another example is a recording by a Gazan father whose son was wounded at the border confrontations.

"I was told I needed to provide his medicine out of my own pocket. If he were the son of one of the Hamas higher-ups, the whole world would have given aid."

"Where am I supposed to get money for medicine? They told my boy to get on the bus and protest, and then they threw him out to die."


Iran not 'drawing back' militarily after Saudi attack-US admiral
Iran has not drawn back to a less threatening military posture in the region following the Sept. 14 attack on Saudi Arabia, the top U.S. admiral in the Middle East told Reuters, suggesting persistent concern despite a lull in violence.

"I don't believe that they're drawing back at all," Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, commander of the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said in an interview.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the attack on Iran, which denies involvement in the strike on the world's biggest crude oil-processing facility. The Iran-aligned Houthi militant group in Yemen has claimed responsibility.

Malloy did not comment on any U.S. intelligence guiding his assessment. But he acknowledged that he monitored Iranian activities closely, when asked if he had seen any concerning movements of Iranian missiles in recent weeks.

Malloy said he regularly tracks Iranian cruise and ballistic missile movements -- "whether they're moving to storage, away from storage." He also monitors whether Iran's minelaying capabilities head to distribution sites or away from them.

"I get a briefing of movements on a daily basis and then assessments as to what that could mean," he said.

Relations between the United States and Iran have deteriorated sharply since President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord last year and reimposed sanctions on its oil exports.

For months, Iranian officials issued veiled threats, saying that if Tehran were blocked from exporting oil, other countries would not be able to do so either.

However, Iran has denied any role in a series of attacks that have followed, including against tankers in the Gulf using limpet mines earlier this year.
UN nuclear watchdog says Iran taking ‘step in right direction’
The UN’s nuclear watchdog said Friday Iran had taken “a step in the right direction” towards dealing with questions on its nuclear program but cautioned that the issues have not been “completely addressed.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not detail what the questions related to but said it was “discussing substance” with the Iranians.

There has been “engagement” from Tehran in recent weeks on questions relating to its nuclear safeguards declarations to the agency, IAEA acting head Cornel Feruta told journalists in Vienna.

“[That] engagement doesn’t mean that the issues are completely addressed but it’s a step in the right direction,” he added.

Feruta said the queries did not touch directly on the faltering 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers but rather on Iran’s separate safeguards agreement with the agency.

Diplomatic sources in Vienna say the agency has been waiting for information from the Iranians relating to samples taken earlier this year from a warehouse near the capital Tehran.
France: Iran, US have one month to come to negotiating table
Iran and the United States have one month to get to the negotiating table, France's foreign minister warned, suggesting Tehran's plan to increase its nuclear activities in November would spark renewed tension in the region.

French President Emmanuel Macron attempted but failed to broker talks between US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York last week.

"We consider that these initiatives, which didn't succeed, are still on the table and it is up to Iran and the United States to seize [them] in a relatively short amount of time because Iran has announced new measures to reduce its commitments to the Vienna accord in November," Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament's foreign affairs committee.

Iran is breaching the restrictions of its 2015 nuclear deal with major powers in response to US sanctions imposed since Washington pulled out of the agreement in May of last year.

It has said its next roll-back would be at the start of November, and diplomats fear that this next breach could force European powers, which are trying to salvage the accord, to respond.
Iran rejects French call for release of dual national scholar
Iran said on Friday that France's call for it to release a detained French-Iranian scholar was an interference in its internal affairs and would not help resolve the issue, the official news agency IRNA reported.

France's Foreign Ministry on Thursday demanded Iran release dual national Fariba Adelkhah, a senior research fellow at Sciences Po university in Paris, who was detained on unspecified charges earlier this year.

"(Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas) Mousavi said the French Foreign Ministry's interference in the case of an Iranian citizen was irrelevant..., and added: 'This will not only fail to help resolve the issue, but rather make the legal process more complicated'," IRNA reported.

Rights activists have accused Iran of arresting a number of dual nationals to try to win concessions from other countries - a charge that the Islamic republic has regularly dismissed.

Adelkhah's arrest came at a time when France and other European powers were caught up in an international standoff over Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal, which the United States abandoned last year.
U.S. Sanctions Paralyze Imports via Iranian Ports
More than 20 ships carrying around one million tonnes of grain are stuck outside Iranian ports as US sanctions create payment problems and hamper the country’s efforts to import vital commodities, sources directly involved in the trade said.

Trading companies such as Bunge (BG.N) and China’s COFCO International have been hit by payment delays and additional costs of up to $15,000 a day as the renewed US restrictions stifle the processing of transactions, trade sources said.

According to Reuters, food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington re-imposed after US President Donald Trump said he was walking away from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

But the US measures targeting everything from oil sales to shipping and financial activities have deterred several foreign banks from doing any Iranian business, including humanitarian deals such as food shipments.

The few remaining lenders still processing Iranian business face multiple hurdles to facilitate payments as financing channels freeze up.
U.S. Sanctions Squeezing Iran-Backed Hizbullah in Lebanon
The conflict between Iran and the U.S. that has created tensions throughout much of the Middle East is now also being felt in Lebanon, where Washington has slapped sanctions on the Iran-backed Hezbollah and warned they could soon expand to its allies, further deepening the tiny Arab country’s economic crisis.

The Trump administration has intensified sanctions on the Lebanese militant group and institutions linked to it to unprecedented levels, targeting lawmakers for the first time as well as a local bank that Washington claims has ties to the group.

Two U.S. officials visited Beirut in September and warned the sanctions will increase to deprive Hezbollah of its sources of income. The push is further adding to Lebanon’s severe financial and economic crisis, with Lebanese officials warning the country’s economy and banking sector can’t take the pressure.

“We have taken more actions recently against Hezbollah than in the history of our counterterrorism program,” Sigal P. Mandelker, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the U.S. Treasury, said in the United Arab Emirates last month.

Mandelker said Washington is confident the Lebanese government and the central bank will “do the right thing here in making sure that Hezbollah can no longer have access to funds at the bank.”
Iran’s regime lashes out at German antisemitism commissioner in response to 'Post' article
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s foreign ministry blasted a prominent German official on Wednesday after the commissioner tasked with combating antisemitism told The Jerusalem Post that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration should withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on Tehran for its nefarious conduct.

The Iranian regime-controlled PressTV wrote that "in an online statement on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the remarks by Uwe Becker, commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against anti-Semitism.”

PressTV added that “Becker on Monday called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to put Israel's security above ‘possible economic interests’ that comes with the deal – known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).”

Becker, the commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism, told the Post on Monday that “the current escalation with Israel should be reason enough for Germany to advocate the.... Iran nuclear agreement, which has been undermined by Iran... [as] dead, and for the necessary sanctions against Tehran to become effective again in their entirety.”



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Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria   

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday cast his decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from “endless war” in the Middle East, even as Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility.

Trump declared U.S. troops would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on the Kurds, who have fought alongside Americans for years, but he then threatened to destroy the Turks’ economy if they went too far.

Even Trump’s staunchest Republican congressional allies expressed outrage at the prospect of abandoning Syrian Kurds who had fought the Islamic State group with American arms and advice. It was the latest example of Trump’s approach to foreign policy that critics condemn as impulsive, that he sometimes reverses and that frequently is untethered to the advice of his national security aides.

“A catastrophic mistake,” said Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican leader. “Shot in the arm to the bad guys,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Trump said he understood criticism from fellow GOP leaders but disagreed. He said he could also name supporters, but he didn’t.

Pentagon and State Department officials held out the possibility of persuading Turkey to abandon its expected invasion. U.S. officials said they had seen no indication that Turkey had begun a military operation by late Monday.

Trump, in late afternoon remarks to reporters, appeared largely unconcerned at the prospect of Turkish forces attacking the Kurds, who include a faction he described as “natural enemies” of the Turks.

“But I have told Turkey that if they do anything outside of what we would think is humane ... they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy,” Trump said.

In recent weeks, the U.S. and Turkey had reached an apparent accommodation of Turkish concerns about the presence of Kurdish fighters, seen in Turkey as a threat. American and Turkish soldiers had been conducting joint patrols in a zone along the border. As part of that work, barriers designed to protect the Kurds were dismantled amid assurances that Turkey would not invade.

Graham said Turkey’s NATO membership should be suspended if it attacks into northeastern Turkey, potentially annihilating Kurdish fighters who acted as a U.S. proxy army in a five-year fight to eliminate the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate. Graham, who had talked Trump out of a withdrawal from Syria last December, said letting Turkey invade would be a mistake of historic proportion and would “lead to ISIS reemergence.”

This all comes at a pivotal moment of Trump’s presidency. House Democrats are marching forward with their impeachment inquiry into whether he compromised national security or abused his office by seeking negative information on former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, from Ukraine and other foreign countries.

As he faces the impeachment inquiry, Trump has appeared more focused on making good on his political pledges, even at the risk of sending a troubling signal to American allies abroad.

“I campaigned on the fact that I was going to bring our soldiers home and bring them home as rapidly as possible,” he said.

The strong pushback on Capitol Hill prompted Trump to recast as well as restate his decision, but with renewed bombast and self-flattery.

He promised to destroy the Turkish economy “if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits.”

Sunday night the White House had said the U.S. would get its troops out of the way of the Turkish forces. That announcement came after Trump spoke by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

One official described that White House announcement as a botched effort appeared aimed at making Trump look bold for ending a war. The official said attempts by the Pentagon and State Department to make the statement stronger in its opposition to Turkey’s military action were unsuccessful.

That official, like others interviewed, was not authorized to speak on the record and was granted anonymity to comment.

The official added that Erdogan appeared to be reconsidering his earlier resolve because he was relatively quiet Monday.

But damage done to relations with the Kurds could be irreparable.

An official familiar with the Erdogan call said the Turkish president was “ranting” at Trump, saying the safe zone was not working and that Turkey couldn’t trust the U.S. military to do what was needed. And in reaction, Trump said the U.S. wanted no part of an invasion and would withdraw troops.

The announcement threw the military situation in Syria into fresh chaos and injected deeper uncertainty into U.S. relations with European allies. A French official, speaking on condition of anonymity on a sensitive topic, said France wasn’t informed ahead of time. A Foreign Ministry statement warned Turkey to avoid any action that would harm the international coalition against the Islamic State and noted the Kurds had been essential allies. It entirely omitted any mention of the United States.

U.S. involvement in Syria has been fraught with peril since it started in 2014 with the insertion of small numbers of special operations forces to recruit, train, arm and advise local fighters to combat the Islamic State. Trump entered the White House in 2017 intent on getting out of Syria, and even before the counter-IS military campaign reclaimed the last militant strongholds early this year, he declared victory and said troops would leave.

Trump defended his latest decision, acknowledging in tweets that “the Kurds fought with us” but adding that they “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.”

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” he wrote.

In his later remarks, Trump asserted that American troops in Syria are not performing useful work. They are, he said, “not fighting.” They are “just there,” he said.

Among the first to move were about 30 U.S. troops from two outposts who would be in the immediate area of a Turkish invasion. It’s unclear whether others among the roughly 1,000 U.S. forces in northeastern Syria would be moved, but officials said there was no plan for any to leave Syria entirely.

Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that a U.S. withdrawal from Syria would be a major boost to Russia’s position there.

He added that other allies in the region, including the Kurds, will “look at this withdrawal as U.S. unwillingness to stand up for its rights and maintain its alliances in the region.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., another strong Trump supporter, said in an appearance on “Fox & Friends” that he had concerns.

“I want to make sure we keep our word for those who fight with us and help us,” he said, adding that, “If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word.”

Former Trump administration officials also expressed concern.

Nikki Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the U.S. “must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. ... Leaving them to die is a big mistake.”

Turkey considers the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged an insurgency against Turkey for 35 years.

___

With contributions from Associated Press writers Zeynep Bilginsoy in Istanbul; Zeina Karam and Sarah El Deeb in Beirut; and Lori Hinnant in Paris.


          

Hogs offer McDonald, plans to visit the Hill    

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Arkansas extended a scholarship offer to a third Memphis Whitehaven linebacker when the Razorbacks offered Tamarion McDonald on Monday evening.
          

The Patriots’ Defense Is Good. That Doesn’t Mean It’s Going To Stay Good.   

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After four full weeks of play, the New England Patriots are one of only three undefeated teams left in the NFL, and their defense is getting much of the credit for their early success. The Patriots lead the league in point differential at +95 and, on the strength of defensive backs Jonathan Jones and Jason […]
          

10/8/2019: WORLD: Kurds left behind as Trump backs Turkish withdrawal   

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US FORCES in northern Syria began pulling back on Monday from areas along the Turkish border ahead of a feared military invasion by Ankara that Kurdish forces say would spark a jihadist resurgence. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said...
          

Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria   

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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday cast his decision to abandon Kurdish fighters in Syria as fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from “endless war” in the Middle East, even as Republican critics and others said he was sacrificing a U.S. ally and undermining American credibility.

Trump declared U.S. troops would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on the Kurds, who have fought alongside Americans for years, but he then threatened to destroy the Turks’ economy if they went too far.

Even Trump’s staunchest Republican congressional allies expressed outrage at the prospect of abandoning Syrian Kurds who had fought the Islamic State group with American arms and advice.

“A catastrophic mistake,” said Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican leader. “Shot in the arm to the bad guys,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Trump said he understood criticism from fellow GOP leaders but disagreed. He said he could also name supporters, but he didn’t.

Pentagon and State Department officials held out the possibility of persuading Turkey to abandon its expected invasion. U.S. officials said they had seen no indication that Turkey had begun a military operation by late Monday.

Trump, in late afternoon remarks to reporters, appeared largely unconcerned at the prospect of Turkish forces attacking the Kurds, who include a faction he described as “natural enemies” of the Turks.

“But I have told Turkey that if they do anything outside of what we would think is humane … they could suffer the wrath of an extremely decimated economy,” Trump said.

In recent weeks, the U.S. and Turkey had reached an apparent accommodation of Turkish concerns about the presence of Kurdish fighters, seen in Turkey as a threat. American and Turkish soldiers had been conducting joint patrols in a zone along the border. As part of that work, barriers designed to protect the Kurds were dismantled amid assurances that Turkey would not invade.

Graham said Turkey’s NATO membership should be suspended if it attacks into northeastern Turkey, potentially annihilating Kurdish fighters who acted as a U.S. proxy army in a five-year fight to eliminate the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate. Graham, who had talked Trump out of a withdrawal from Syria last December, said letting Turkey invade would be a mistake of historic proportion and would “lead to ISIS reemergence.”

This all comes at a pivotal moment of Trump’s presidency. House Democrats are marching forward with their impeachment inquiry into whether he compromised national security or abused his office by seeking negative information on former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, from Ukraine and other foreign countries.

As he faces the impeachment inquiry, Trump has appeared more focused on making good on his political pledges, even at the risk of sending a troubling signal to American allies abroad.

“I campaigned on the fact that I was going to bring our soldiers home and bring them home as rapidly as possible,” he said.

The strong pushback on Capitol Hill prompted Trump to recast as well as restate his decision, but with renewed bombast and self-flattery.

He promised to destroy the Turkish economy “if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits.”

Sunday night the White House had said the U.S. would get its troops out of the way of the Turkish forces. That announcement came after Trump spoke by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

One official described that White House announcement as a botched effort appeared aimed at making Trump look bold for ending a war. The official said attempts by the Pentagon and State Department to make the statement stronger in its opposition to Turkey’s military action were unsuccessful.

That official, like others interviewed, was not authorized to speak on the record and was granted anonymity to comment.

The official added that Erdogan appeared to be reconsidering his earlier resolve because he was relatively quiet Monday. But damage done to relations with the Kurds could be irreparable.

An official familiar with the Erdogan call said the Turkish president was “ranting” at Trump, saying the safe zone was not working and that Turkey couldn’t trust the U.S. military to do what was needed. And in reaction, Trump said the U.S. wanted no part of an invasion and would withdraw troops.

The announcement threw the military situation in Syria into fresh chaos and injected deeper uncertainty into U.S. relations with European allies. A French official, speaking on condition of anonymity on a sensitive topic, said France wasn’t informed ahead of time. A Foreign Ministry statement warned Turkey to avoid any action that would harm the international coalition against the Islamic State and noted the Kurds had been essential allies. It entirely omitted any mention of the United States.

U.S. involvement in Syria has been fraught with peril since it started in 2014 with the insertion of small numbers of special operations forces to recruit, train, arm and advise local fighters to combat the Islamic State. Trump entered the White House in 2017 intent on getting out of Syria, and even before the counter-IS military campaign reclaimed the last militant strongholds early this year, he declared victory and said troops would leave.

Trump defended his latest decision, acknowledging in tweets that “the Kurds fought with us” but adding that they “were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so.”

“I held off this fight for almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” he wrote.

In his later remarks, Trump asserted that American troops in Syria are not performing useful work. They are, he said, “not fighting.” They are “just there,” he said.

Among the first to move were about 30 U.S. troops from two outposts who would be in the immediate area of a Turkish invasion. It’s unclear whether others among the roughly 1,000 U.S. forces in northeastern Syria would be moved, but officials said there was no plan for any to leave Syria entirely.

Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that a U.S. withdrawal from Syria would be a major boost to Russia’s position there.

He added that other allies in the region, including the Kurds, will “look at this withdrawal as U.S. unwillingness to stand up for its rights and maintain its alliances in the region.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., another strong Trump supporter, said in an appearance on “Fox & Friends” that he had concerns.

“I want to make sure we keep our word for those who fight with us and help us,” he said, adding that, “If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word.”

Former Trump administration officials also expressed concern.

Nikki Haley, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the U.S. “must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back. … Leaving them to die is a big mistake.”

Turkey considers the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which has waged an insurgency against Turkey for 35 years.


          

NBA chief laments "economic impact" as Chinese TV nixes broadcast plan   

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Commissioner Adam Silver backs Houston Rockets general manager's right to free speech, but admits the damage caused by a single tweet about Hong Kong "will take some time to heal"
          

UseNodeModules Updated for .NET Core 3    

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UseNodeModules is a NuGet package I put together a few years ago. The package gives you an easy way to install middleware for serving content directly from the node_modules folder in an ASP.NET Core project.

 public void Configure(IApplicationBuilder app)
{
    app.UseNodeModules(maxAge: TimeSpan.FromSeconds(600));
}

The idea is that during development you can use npm to manage all your client-side dependencies and you can use those dependencies immediately instead of setting up a process to copy files into the wwwroot folder. In production, you might use environment tag helpers to serve files you’ve bundled during a build, or to use minified files from a CDN. During development, however, you don’t have to wait for bundling, minification, and copying to occur.

Here's an example with Bootstrap 4. In development we'll serve directly from the node_modules folder. In any other environment we'll serve a minified file from a CDN, but with fallbacks to the node_modules folder in case the CDN is unavailable.

<environment include="Development">
    <link href="~/node_modules/bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.css" rel="stylesheet" />
</environment>
<environment exclude="Development">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="//ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/bootstrap/4.3.1/css/bootstrap.min.css"
    asp-fallback-href="~/lib/bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.min.css"
    asp-fallback-test-class="sr-only" asp-fallback-test-property="position" asp-fallback-test-value="absolute" />
</environment>

Be aware that dotnet publish will not copy the node_modules folder to the published output directory. You can change this behavior by adding the following to the .csproj file.

<ItemGroup>
    <Content Include="node_modules\**" CopyToPublishDirectory="PreserveNewest" />
</ItemGroup>

A nice side benefit of the above code is how Visual Studio users will also see node_modules in the Solution Explorer view. Otherwise, the folder is hidden by Visual Studio, which I’ve never understood.

Thanks to Shawn Wildermuth for the help!


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