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Turning the John Wick movies into a video game   

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The game, John Wick Hex, translates the film's fast paced combat into a top-down strategy game.

          

1/32 120 Gallon Combat Tanks for F-86 Sabre Jet   

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1/32 120 Gallon Combat Tanks for F-86 Sabre Jet

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Most Common Arguments of Climate Deniers   

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Source: 247wallst.com - Monday, October 07, 2019
September’s demonstrations urging world governments to do more to combat climate change saw millions of people take to the streets, led by a grass-roots movement of young people. During the climate summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York, convened by U.N. Secretary General António Guterres to emphasize what he has called “the transformation measures necessary [to reverse climate change trends] before it is too late.” Here are 21 strategies that could help avert climate disaster . Not everyone agrees, though. There remain some climate change deniers who continue to argue that the world is not getting warmer. Others concede that the Earth is warming but deny that human activity is the cause. Still others argue that the effects of warming will be minimal and that the cost of combating these minimal changes will be too high. What arguments do climate deniers have for their unpopular and debunked position? California’s Governor’s Office of Planning and Research lists 14 arguments often used by climate change deniers, all of which also appear with different wording in Climate scientist John Cook’s 197 arguments he maintains on the website, skepticalscience.com. Using California’s list as our starting point, 24/7 Wall St. has examined 16 arguments often heard from climate change deniers. Meanwhile, climate scientists continue to make strides in better understanding the scope and severity of the climate crisis and are find

          

Suspect charged in murders of 4 homeless men in Chinatown    

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Several EVG readers shared links to the various published reports about the murders of four men in what police say were random attacks in Chinatown early yesterday morning ... the readers also shared concern about the growing homeless population citywide, including in the East Village. What follows is a recap on what has transpired (the post has been updated)...

The four men and a fifth who was found injured were all believed to be homeless. The victims were brutally assaulted in three different locations around Chatham Square, where East Broadway and the Bowery intersect.



A suspect, named as Rodriguez “Randy” Santos, 24, is in police custody. Police reportedly found Santos, holding a metal pipe, on Canal and Mulberry. He has at least 14 prior arrests, per the Post, and was believed to be homeless.

He is charged with murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of marijuana.

"The motive appears to be, right now, just random attacks," Chief of Manhattan South Detectives Michael Baldassano told reporters, adding that there was no evidence yet to suggest the victims were "targeted by race, age, anything of that nature."

The Times reported this about the streets around Chatham Square:

[T]he area has been changing rapidly in recent years, as Chinatown has expanded and young professionals, many pushed out by higher rents in the East Village, have begun to move in.

The neighborhood is a bustling traffic hub where commuter vans and long-distance buses vie for curb space. Signs for Chinese family and village associations dot the area. But at night it becomes a place where a growing number of homeless people look for a place to grab a night’s sleep on its quiet sidewalks and park benches.

The murders also highlight the city's struggle to combat the growing homeless population. According to statistics from the Bowery Mission cited by the Times, about 1 in 121 New Yorkers is homeless. The Coalition for the Homeless put the number of homeless people in the city’s shelter system in August at 61,674, and an annual count conducted in late January this year estimated that 3,588 people were living on the streets.

The Times noted Mayor de Blasio's "struggle" to address "the problem of the rising number of homeless people and the high rate of mental illness among them." The Post spoke with former Giuliani and Bloomberg administrators who said the growing, more violent homeless population in NYC "rests squarely with current City Hall policies."

“There’s been an increasing tolerance for the homeless on city streets, sidewalks and subway stations during this administration,” said Mitchell Moss, professor of urban policy at NYU and a former campaign advisor to Michael Bloomberg.

“The police are disempowered to remove the homeless — and New York has become less aggressive on quality-of-life issues. You used to be penalized for urinating on the street!”

As the Times reported, advocates for the homeless said yesterday's attacks "rattled the already struggling community of homeless people who frequent Chinatown and the Bowery."

          

Session: Interceptor Ace: Daylight Air Defense Over Germany, 1943-44:: Four missions in a Butcher Bird   

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by Mavs Fan

Flew my first four missions in an FW-190 and made ace (5 - B-17 kills (and one damaged P-47)).
Luck did play a part as one card draw was a DE and two other attacks resulted in bomb bay hits with catastrophic results. The other two were just shot to pieces and finally went down at close range.
As for the wingman, he saved my pilot by driving away a P-47 that had my pilot at a disadvantage in a badly shot up FW-190. However, in terms of his abilities against bombers, the wingman couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat.yuk

Was wounded on the first mission by return fire from the second B-17 attacked, suffered a leg wound (of course)angry, but didn't lose the extremity and returned after missing 8 weeks.


Most missions were against unescorted bombers. However, when they had escorts, the fighter to fighter combat system was excellent.

          

Session: War of the Ring:: SPI's 1978 - War of the Ring. Massive 3 player game.   

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by Rick Smith

Hi all,
3 Player Game, with Rick's House Rules & New Components:
2019, Sept 23.

This is a huge post so I'm dividing it up into parts.

Glossary:
SP = Saruman Player
FP = Fellowship Player
DPP = Dark Power Player

PT, PTS = Shadow Points.
DRM = Die Roll Modifier. If you must add 2 to the die, you have a +2 DRM.

N1 = Lord of the Nazgul.
N2 = Khamûl
N3 thru N9 = Nazgul #3 thru Nazgul #9.


INTRODUCTION:
This game has me adding a lot of new components. I've double the size of the event deck, tripled the number of magic items, and Servants of Sauron. I've created new Search cards (most cards have 2 to 4 extra locations being searched). I've added 20 'location' chits which give people more reasons to go off the path given in the books. I've added several new characters, beefed up Nazgul 3 and 4 (they are the Black Numorians).
Saruman has a number of big improvements, including the ability to make his own rings of power.

SETUP:
Each player is dealt 8 event cards, picks 4 and the rest are reshuffled into the event deck.

SP keeps: “Rivers Flooded”, “Orcs Attack From Rear”, “Orcs in State of Battle Frenzy”, & “Saruman Rides Demonic Steed”.

FP keeps: “Flee Combat and Hide”, “Nargil Pass Revealed”, “Misty Passes Open”, and “Gondor Mobilizes”. The Gondor Mobilizes is nice, but by house rules Gondor Mobilizing will cause Mordor to mobilize 2 turns later, so playing this on the first turn is not an automatic decision.

DPP keeps: “Gollum attempts to Seize the Ring”, “Sub-commander Shows Initiative”, “Fierce Storms”, & “Minor Reinforcements”.

(I'll describe the cards if they are played.)

Frodo gets the One Ring, and the following items are in Rivendell: Fine Short-Sword (+1 combat, non-magic damage) which is given to Aragorn; Elvish Spear (does magic damage) which goes to Gimli; Lesser Ring of Eregion (improved tactics in individual combat, cost 1 point of Ring Fatigue when put on) which goes to Sam; Map of Nurn (gives two new ways into Nurn: via the Nargil Pass in the south, and by going off the map to the east, from hex E1625, to E1627) which goes to Frodo.


TURN 1:
DPP gets 13 PTS. … Golum goes to DPP.

Events:
SP draws “Werewolves Track Scents” and discards face down “Orc Attack From Rear”.
FP draws “Denethor Peer into Palantir...” and discards the “Nargil Pass Revealed”. (He found the map of Nurn, so he does not need this event card.)
DPP draws “Nargil Pass” and discards it face down.

No Search on turn 1.

SP turn:
Saruman works on Ring Lore. His sorcery roll is a 2 so he gets 2 Lore Points, so his Lore Total is 2. (If he has 4 or more more, he constructs a Lesser Ring.)

FP turn:
There are a lot more areas to explore with the location chits, so all the good stuff does not follow the trail of bread crumbs given in the book. With this expansion, it is pretty much required to split the party to pick up more magic items and explore more of the map (especially the northern half). This has been done deliberately to give the DPP more time to do things with his armies, to make a military victory more of a concern.

The part splits into 3 groups: Gandalf and all the hobbits which will head south quickly. Gimli and Legolas who will search north and east, and Boromir and Aragorn who will search west. Boromir and Aragorn will search and try to find a magic weapon and then head south quickly.

Gimli & Legolas move to north Rhudaur (W2609).
Gandalf & the Hobbits are at the west gate of Moria.
Aragorn & Boromir reach Weathertop and search the location. It is the best location chit in the game with two magic items and no monster! They draw “Lembas” and “Mithril Mail”. (By house rule, this dwarven mail can be worn by hobbits AND dwarves.) Boromir takes both items for now.

DPP turn:
Lots of PTS, so he moves 6 Nazgul. He is mostly concerned with those people moving south so N1, N3, & N5 move inside Moria, while N2 & N4 move to South Eregion. N6 moves to the hex east of Bree blocking the road.


TURN 2:
DPP gets 8 PTS … Gollum stays with DPP.

Events:
SP draws “Wizards are Subtle and Quick to Anger”, and plays “Rivers Flooded”.

FP Draws “Late Reinforcements” which can only be played on turn 13 or later. She discards it face down.

DPP draws: “Late reinforcements” and plays “Minor Reinforcements”. This card can be played by anyone, and gives a handful of troops in various locations. The DPP can pick two groups and selects: (a 4-6 Murmak & a 2-7 horseman appear in the Citadel of Umbar), and (three 2-5 troll groups are placed in W2716, W2511, & E0826).

Search Phase:
SP draws: 3 Nazgul. (He controls none, so no good.)
DPP draws: 9 Hand orcs. (Also wasted.)

SP Turn:
Saruman mobilizes, and Saruman continues to work on Ring Lore. His sorcery roll is a 1, so he has accumulated a Lore Total of 3. Still not good enough.
Since Saruman Mobilized, by house rules the Western Allies will mobilize at M+5 (turn 7) and Rohan will Mobilize at M+2 (turn 4). Grima has not used his power and rolls 1d6 and gets a 6. He does not delay Rohan's Mobilization this turn. :-(

FP Turn:
Gandalf and co. back up to hex W2715 and find a magic item at that location. It is a Lesser Ring of Eregion (appropriate location for this item seeing as they are at the old capital). When this ring is put on it costs 1 Ring Fatigue, but gives the wearer +2 Movement. Frodo takes this ring, but does not put it on yet. They have 2 more movement points so move to W2518.
Gimli and Legolas move into Arnor.
Aragorn & Boromir move north of the Weather Hills to Fornost and find a 2-5 men military unit there. (This ranger force is placed on the map and when the N. Allies mobilize, it can move.)

DPP Turn:
Only 8 PTS this turn. He will move 4 Nazgul: N2, N7, N8 & N9 move to W2318.


TURN 3:
DPP gets 9 PTS … Gollum stays with DPP.

Events:
SP draws: “Press a Damaged Foe” (which allows you to do extra damage to a defeated army), and discards it face down.
FP draws: “Legolas Attacks From Long Range”, and discards, Denethor Peers in Palantir & Sees Doom” face down.
DPP draws: “Denethor Peers...” and the FP curses. The DPP must play or discard a card, and plays “Fierce Storms”.

Search:
SP draws hand orcs! The area searched includes Breeland and Eregion so the SP must decide how he wants to split 10 hand orcs. Guessing that the Ring is in the larger group heading south, 9 points of orcs are placed on the Eregion group, and 1 point is sent to Bree. The Saruman player rolls two '1's!!! Capture attempts on both groups!
Aragorn and Boromir make their save and are not captured, but Saruman has spotted them.
In the Eregion group, Sam and Pippin are captured. Merry and Frodo rolled well and dodged the orcs.
From the army 'change' bag, a 9-4 orc is placed in the fellowship's hex with the two captured hobbits. All 4 hobbits are spotted, so Saruman knows the hex where the ring is. The FP informs Saruman that one of the hobbits has 'a ring'. “Is it the One Ring?!?” “No, it is a lesser ring of Eregion.” Saruman curses the FP for twisting his tail. She smiles.

The DPP draws a hand orc, so his search phase is wasted.

SP turn:
Grima rolls a '5' so Rohan's Mobilization is not delayed. Damn it, what good is that miserable worm?
Troops start mustering. The Dunlending appear as three groups which move into Eregion south west, S, and SE of the uncaptured fellowship.
There are storms so the orcs only move two hexes south west.
Saruman plays, “Saruman rides Demonic Steed”, which allows him to move to any hex on the map. He jumps on the spotted characters, and Attempts to Seize the Ring from Frodo.

--- Individual Combat:
Note that the “Flee Combat and Hide” event card, does not work on Attempts to Seize the Ring.
Saruman will use Sorcery. The first round he does two damage.
Frodo dons the ring (+1 combat and +1 moral). Against Saruman, being invisible does NOT let his escape combat, so he must fight. His moral is now higher than Saruman's, so he rolls an extra die.
He rolls {3,2,4} for no hits.
The combat continues, with Saruman killing Frodo, and taking one wound.

Saruman takes Frodo's 3 items, and dons the Ring. This is a 'hostile act' towards Mordor, so the DPP may now attack the SP military units and characters.

FP turn:
She rolls but Merry & Sam do not escape.
Before movement Gandalf will attempt to Seize the Ring.

--- Individual Combat:
Note that Gandalf can attempt to take the ring, even if Saruman is invisible, so this attack is legal.
Both wizards use sorcery. In three rounds, Saruman does 6 hits to Gandalf and G. does 4 to Saruman. Both wizards die at the same moment! Frodo's one successful stab was decisive!

(Saruman debated playing the “Wizards are Subtle and Quick to Anger”, card, but his rolls vs. Gandalf were decent, so there was a very good chance the card would have been wasted. Still what a disappointment.)

The Ring is laying prominently in the mud, and by rule M1, Pippin picks it up and becomes the Ringbearer. Pippin picks up the Lesser Ring of Eregion, and the Map of Nurn. He is alone in his hex.

Gandalf will return in 6 turns (on turn 9). Saruman comes back next turn in Isengard, but is permanently weaker now being Combat 3, Moral 3, Endurance 5, Ring Rating (infinite), Sorcery only a 'B'. Saruman curses, with decent luck he would have had it!

The Fierce Storms slows everyone, but they move a hex or two. Pippin has masses of armies and Nazgul to the south and flees north towards Rivendell. He puts on the speed movement lesser ring, and moves 3 hexes north (this costs him 1 Ring Fatigue when he first puts it on).

DPP turn:
He chortles. Saruman has taken the ring, so the DPP can attack him if he wants. Gandalf is down for the maximum amount of time. Saruman is permanently weaker. The result was about as good as it could get.

8 PTS are used to move 4 Nazgul close to the Ring (north and NW of Pippin, blocking his way to Rivendell).

Then he plays, “Gollum Attempts to Seize the Ring”!

--- Individual Combat:
Pippin puts on the One Ring for +1 combat, +1 moral.
Pippin gets lucky, killing Gollum in two rounds of combat, and only taking one wound in return.


TURN 4:
DPP gets 11 Shadow Points (PTS). Gollum is dead, so no further rolls for him.

Pippin tries to take off the One Ring and is successful. He now has 2 Ring Fatigue.

Event Phase:
SP draws: “Araval IV Helps”. This card will give the player a Barrow Blade (magic Numenorian weapon designed to fight the Nazgul, like the Barrow Blades given to Pippin by Tom Bombadil in the book), but the player has to go to hex W1218, to claim it. Saruman has a tough decision, he can run to Eldoras to make sure that Rohan does not mobilize, finish the Lesser Ring he is working on, run north with his Dunlending armies and try to find the One Ring, or go for this item. ALL of these choices are things he wants! Indecisive, the holds this card for now.

FP draws: another Misty Passes Open and discards it.

DPP draws: “Cirith Ungol Closed”, and happily keeps it.

Search Phase:
SP draws hand orcs, but they search the wrong areas.
DPP draws hand orcs which wastes his search.

SP Turn:
Before movement, Grima does his thing. He rolls a '6', so he does not delay Rohan's mobilization. Crap. Saruman resurrects in Isengard, and moves to Eldoras to delay Rohan' Mobilization.
More troops mobilize. The Isengard troops sit still, while the Dunlending troops move north, hunting for the Ring.
The troops with prisoners move south.

FP turn:
No prisoners escape.
Legolas and Gimli moving onto Mt. Gunabad, and encounter a location: It is a Servant of Sauron and a magic item. The Servant is: An Olog-Hai troll. (Combat below.)
She does not want Boromir near the ring, so Aragorn and Boromir split up. Aragorn heads towards Rivendell as fast as possible, Boromir moves to Annuminas (the ancient capital of Arnor) and finds a 1-5 army unit.
Pippin crosses two small rivers and goes along the Great East road ending up south of Weathertop. Since he is moving on the road, he is easier to find on next turn's search. (However Breeland does not come up that often, so he risks it.)

--- Individual Combat:
Legolas attacks the Olog-Hai troll (these are the tougher trolls Sauron bred that are immune to sunlight). It is: Combat 3, Moral (1), Endurance 3. Special Power: if it takes only a single point of damage in a turn, it has a 50% chance of ignoring it.

The FP plays the event card, “Legolas Attacks from Long Range”, which does 2 points of damage BEFORE the combat starts. Legolas has poor luck, and both die on the third round of combat.

Gimli gets the magic item which is Glamdring.

DPP turn:
5 Nazgul can move. N1 moves between Pippin and Rivendell. N2, N3, N4, & N5 move between Pippin and Aragorn to try to prevent them form joining up.


TURN 5:
DPP gets 12 PTS.

Event Phase:
SP draws “Eagles!” and discards it.
FP draws “Grond: Hammer of Morgoth – Siege Weapon”, and keeps it.
DPP draws: “Jointly Organized Searches”, and discards it face down. He says to the Saruman player, “That card is a good one for you.” (Either player can use it, but the DPP does not want to discard any of his event cards.) *** I was not thinking, this was a mistake. ***

Search Phase:
SP draws Eye orcs, wasted.
DPP draws Eye orcs, but they search the wrong areas.

SP turn:
First Grima attempts to slow Rohan's mobilization, and rolls a '1', so Rohan will Mobilize next turn rather than this turn.
Saruman returns to Isengard. Having ended his movement in Isengard, he rolls for Ring Lore and gets a '6' on the Sorcery table, for 3 points. His Lore Total is 6. Since this is 4 or more, the Lore Total is reset back to 0, and he draws a Lesser Ring Card.

He has created the Ring of Puissance, which gives him +1 Combat, and the ability to do magical damage. (Which can permanently harm Nazgul.) He can keep this himself, or give it to another character. For now, he puts it on.

He gets reinforcements. His Dunlending troops continue to chase the Ringbearer.

FP turn:
The FP plays, “Gondor Mobilizes”. Mordor will Mobilize on G+2 (turn 7), but Mordor will auto-Mobilize on that turn anyway.
She plays, “Misty Passes Open”. By designer errata, this also opens the pass at Mt. Gunabad, so Gimli crosses the mountains and ends up one hex north of the Framsburg location (W3007).
Pippin (moving fast) and Aragorn find each other in the hex north of Tharbad. What luck!
Boromir moves thru the Shire (but does not use the roads so no search bonus) and ends up a hex north of the Tower Hills. He is adjacent to the Tower Hill location and can visit it next turn.

DPP turn:
6 Nazgul move SW, S, & SE of Pippin.


TURN 6:
The DPP, suggests that he and the SP ally. The SP agrees.

DPP gains 12 PTS, +1 PT = 13 PTS, for allying with the SP.


Event Phase:
SP draws from the face down discards, “Jointly Organized Searches”, and sadly discards the “Araval IV Helps” card.
FP draws “Araval IV Helps and gladly keeps it.
DPP draws “An Attempt to Seize the Ring”. (This replaces “Boromir Attempts to ...” from the old event deck.)
He plays it at once.

The character with the lowest Ring Rating (Aragorn) in the Ringbearer's hex, attacks Pippin, unless he can save verses his Ring Rating. Aragorn needs a 3 or less, and rolls a '4'!

--- Individual Combat:
Pippin puts on the Ring. Aragorn can not see him and Pippin escapes.

Pippin takes another point of Ring Fatigue (only one left), and is automatically spotted by Nazgul search, until he removes it. Well there goes the idea of sneaking past the Nazgul in Tharbad.


Search Phase:
Saruman plays, “Jointly Organized Searches”. This must be played when the DPP and the SP are allied, during the Search Phase. THREE search cards are drawn, one is discarded, one is given to the SP and one is given to the DPP.

Saruman draws: “3 Nazgul”, “3 Nazgul”, & “10 Eye Orcs”. Darn, no Hand orcs at all. Studying the cards he discards a Nazgul, gives a Nazgul to himself (wasted), and the 10 eye orcs search Arnor where Gimli is.

Saruman casually tries to toss his Nazgul card away, but the DPP wants to look at it, and the Nazgul searched Minhiriath where Pippin is. OUTRAGE! SP says, “if you want YOUR guys to get the ring, YOU should have played this card.”

After thinking about it, the DPP has to admit the point. He got greedy about discarding events, and made a mistake. The DPP should have kept and played this one himself.

The DPP spends 1 PT to search for Gimli. He finds Gimli and captures him. A 10-4 orc counter is placed in the hex.

SP Turn:
Grima does his thing, and fails to delay Rohan's Mobilization. After some thought, Saruman abandon's his studies on Ring Lore and moves to Eldoras. Rohan's Mobilization is delayed again.
The second to last reinforcements appear.
The orcs carrying the prisoners stop beside Isengard. They can not reach Isengard without entering Rohan (which would mobilize it).

The Dunlending troops move south.

FP Turn:
Merry and Sam do not escape.
Gimli rolls a '6' and does escape. He moves one hex south and encounters the Framsburg location. (This ends his move.) He discovers a 1-5 Dwarf unit. (Wow, I'm getting all the friendly army units this game.) Delighted to find a band of his brothers, he relaxes for the rest of the week. (Being in an army hex, he is immune to Search next turn.)
Boromir moves one hex south to the White Tower location which ends his move. He gets a Monster guarding 2 magic items. Drawing from the Servant of Sauron deck, he finds the Balrog!

--- Individual Combat:
Not an ideal result. Boromir plays the “Flee Combat & Hide” event card. He evades combat, and ends his movement. If he was spotted, he is no longer spotted.
We must remember that the Balrog is unhurt in that hex. The Chit with the Servant and two Items is left face up in that hex. The Balrog card is placed face up near this hex to remind us, that it is the monster belonging to that chit.

Aragorn cries, “What have I said? What have I done? Come back! Pippin! Pippin! A madness took me, but it has passed. Come back!” “OK,” says Pippin. The two friends travel together towards the sea, hand in invisible hand. (There is a second event card which can cause an Attempt to Seize the Ring in the deck, so this is not a totally safe action.)

Gondor has mobilized. Faramir and his 5-7 troop move back into Gondor to the town of Pelargir. (House rule, a 2-5 infantry, and 2-7 cavalry starts in that hex. It makes no sense to me that this bridge was not defended.)

DPP Turn:
5 Nazgul fly and cover the hexes SW, S, & SE of Pippin and Aragorn. Next turn I mobilize and this game really gets started.


TURN 7:
SP ends the alliance.

The DPP gets 8 PTS.

Pippin tries to remove the Ring and does so.

Event Phase:
SP draws: “Saruman Speeds Orcs.” This one is a keeper!
FP draws: “Allies in the Old Pukel Lands”, and keeps it.
DPP draws: “Orcs Quarrel Over Division of Spoils”, and discards it.

Search Phase:
SP draws Nazgul, wasted.
DPP draws 10 eye orcs, but they are searching the far east, so no effect.

SP Turn:
Last reinforcements arrive. The Dunlending troops are too far north to help this turn, but everything else attacks Helmsdeep.

Saruman heads to Isengard to work on Ring Lore. He rolls a '2' for one point, which is added to the Lore Total Chit.

Grima has no purpose in Eldora, so he moves to Isengard. When he arrives, Saruman gives him the Lesser Ring he made.

Dunlending troops move towards Rohan. Prisoners are taken to Isengard then the orcs head south to join the attack.

--- Military Attack At Helms Deep:
Rohan Mobilizes.
The Chief of the Dunendings is leading the orcs (moral 3), with Theodred (moral 2) is commanding the Rohan forces. SP will have a +1 Die Roll Modifier (DRM).

The odds are 126:(7 x3) → 6:1 odds. The Saruman player rolls a terrible '1' which becomes a 2 with the +1 DRM, which results in 10/50. Saruman loses 16 orcs, and Rohan loses 4 horsemen.
Saruman is willing to continue the fight, but the FP declines.

FP turn:
The Western Allies Mobilize this turn and those in the East move to Thranduil's Palace, or Dale. Those in the west move to Hobbiton (Hobbiton, has a surprisingly strong force).

Boromir decides he can't spend more time hunting down magic and moves thru the Shire on roads, and starts down the Greenway. (He is +2 for searches next turn.)

Rather than moving south, Pippin and Aragon move to hex W1218, and meet Araval IV (a descendant of a King of Arthedain). The event card “Araval IV Helps” is played. Pippin is given a Barrow Blade Dagger (which Pippin can use!), which gives +1 to his Combat and allows him to do Magic Damage. He gives the Map of Nurn to Aragorn. The two use their remaining movement to end up a bit south of the Nazgul in hex W1419.

Rohan can move its troops, and moves Eomer and his troop into Eldoras.

Gondor gets its first turn of reinforcements. About half of these troops go to Minas Tirith, the rest organize in Pelargir.

DPP turn:
Mordor auto-mobilizes this turn. This means that the Elves mobilize on M+3 (turn 10) and the Dwarves on M+5 (turn 12).

4 PTS are spent to move all armies on the board, and 4 PTS move N1 & N2 before Pippin & Aragorn.

The armies which are scattered about, move towards the front lines, (except the force in Umbar who stay put to protect that citadel).


TURN 8:
The DPP gains 13 PTS!

Event Phase:
SP draws: “Mind Battle: Elrond & Galadriel Distract Sauron”, and discards it.
FP draws: “Mind Battle: ...” and keeps it.
DPP draws: “Rivers Flooded”, and after thinking about it, plays it. It is not the ideal time to play, but it will slow down the ring bearer, and he wants to keep his current cards.

Search Phase:
SP draws eye orcs, wasted.
DPP draws 3 Nazgul, but it is mostly lands east of the Anduin, and it misses Gimli.

The Search deck is exhausted, so it is reshuffled.

SP Turn:
Most of the Dunlending troops join in at Helmsdeep (one group is a hex away). Helmsdeep is overrun and Theodred is captured. A 6-5 orc takes him to Isengard, a 15-5 orc force stays to hold Helms Deep and the rest of the force continues its move and attacks Eldoras.

The SP feels that the FP made a mistake, they should have retreated at once into Dunharrow, so he moves Saruman to direct the battle.

There are a number of advantages for taking the Citadel:
The fellowship player must discard an event card at Random. She is forced to discard, “Grond: Hammer of Morgoth – Siege Weapon”.
Saruman can draw an event card. Ignoring the card discarded by the FP, he draws “Misty Passes Open”.
The number of Event cards that SP can hold in his hand increases by 1.
Finally, any Hand orcs in searches get +1 strength.


--- Army Combat:
Leaders Saruman (moral 3) vs. Eomer (moral 3). No DRM for leadership, but Saruman can roll for his Sorcery and gets a '5' for a +2 DRM.
96 orcs attack so the odds are: 96:(16 x2) → 3:1 with a +2 DRM. The roll is a crappy '1'. But Saruman has a Sorcery rating (and is in the hex) so he plays the event card, “Wizards are Subtle And Quick to Anger”, to re-roll, and gets a '3'. (He can keep either result: the '1' or '3'.) The 3+2=5 which results in 0/30% losses and Rohan has to lose 5 troops.
Rather than continuing the Rohan forces retreat to Dunharrow, except Eomer who retreats a hex north.

FP Turn:
My house rules say that reinforcements can not appear in hexes with enemy forces, including inside citadels which are under siege, but Dunharrow is not under siege yet! All that can appear there will do so. Eromer joins the forces in East Emnet.
Gondor reinforcements appear. Mordor is going to start to build up, so the FP has to decide what she is going to do. Get adventurous and raid? Retreat into Dol Amroth and Minas Tirith. She knows that the DPP has the “Denethor...” event card, so maybe pull back to Dol Amroth, and cede Minas Tirith? (Each Citadel captured gives the DPP advantages, and more importantly saves the DPP time. Perhaps foolishly, Gondor heads a large force south to capture the City of the Corsairs (Umbar). If Gondor can take it, it will abandon Minas Tirith and try to hold Dol Amroth and Umbar.
Boromir uses the greenway and the Bridge at Tharbad to get within 1 hex of Aragorn and Pippin (who can't cross that river because of the “River's Flooded” event. Boromir used the bridge (and the road bonus) so search will have a +2 DRM to spot him.
Gimli continues to move north of Mirkwood and ends up a hex north of Thranduil.

DPP Turn:
A full 13 PTS, so 4 PTS will be spent to move all armies on the board. 2 Nazgul move onto the Location south of Pippin, and 1 Nazgul move onto Boromir and N1 moves to command the armies facing Faramir.
The units in the south appear in (or move into) hex E0638.
No attacks this turn.


TURN 9:
The DPP gains 10 PTS.

Event Phase:
SP draws: “Tom Bombadil Intervenes”, and keeps it.
FP draws: “Morgul Blade”, ugh! She keeps it. Fortunately she won't have to discard it any time soon as her hand is small.
DPP draws: “Strider Hides Party”, and discards it.

Search Phase:
SP draws Nazgul, wasted.
DPP draws 6 ST of Eye orcs, which searches north and east. Gimli is in this area, so 1 PT is spent to search for him. It is hard to spot a single dwarf with 6 orcs and they miss him.

SP Turn:
Argh, another hard choice. Use Saruman to reduce Dunharrow(1), work on Ring Lore(2), or move closer to the Ring bearer(3). Moving to Isengard helps both 2 & 3, so Saruman decides to do that. The Chief of the Dunlendings will handle the Siege.
Troops move into Dunharrow. However, Eomer is loose with the East Emnet troops, so I can't strip Isengard or Helms Deep too much.

Saruman rolls a '3' on Ring Lore and his Lore Total is now 3. Next roll is sure to make a Lesser Ring.

--- Army Combat:
The Chief of the Dunlendings (moral 3) attacks Theoden (moral 3).
90 orcs attack which results in odds 90:(30 x3) = 1:1 odds. SP plays “Orcs in State of Battle Frenzy” so he will have a +3 DRM. The attack roll is a 4 +3 = 7. Rohan loses one leader, and 30% of its force.
Eowyn was too brave, fighting at the front; we will miss her. Rohan loses 5 infantry & 3 horse.

FP Turn:
Gandalf the White comes back! He appears in W3013 on the east of the mountains. He moves south, and ends up in the hex north of Lothlorien's magic hex.

Gimli enters Thanduil's palace and is given some Lembas. This does not end his movement, so he moves a hex south west.

Boromir, Aragorn and Pippin join up, exchange magic items. Pippen ends up with the the Barrow Blade, Mithril Mail, and the One Ring. Aragorn has the Map of Nurn and the Fine Shortsword. Boromir gets the Lesser Ring of Eregion (+2 MA) & Lembas. Then they move into the Location hex. Two Nazgul get a free search.
The good guys avoid the search, and encounter the location chit in hex W1721. It is a Servant of Sauron and a magic item.

--- Individual Combat:
It is a Were-worm (mentioned in the book, “Adventures of Tom Bombadil”), which attacks the party. It has Combat 4, Moral (2), and Endurance 4. Aragorn will fight it. Aragon has poor luck and is killed but does it 3 damage. Boromir picks up the map of Nurn (currently the only way they know into Mordor), and abandons the Fine Shortsword. Boromir attacks the Wurm and kills it, but takes 3 wounds in the process. The magic item is Galadriel's light, which gives a way into Mordor, so the Map is discarded.

Moving N1 south pretty much nixed the chances of capturing Umbar, but at least the Witch King is not dogging the steps of the Ringbearer. Faramir moves his force north to the town of Pelargir.

In Rohan, Eomer collects the last of the reinforcements and considers attacking Dunharrow. The besiegers are doubled for the terrain, and he would have 1:3 odds with no tricks. Eomer decides to capture Eldoras, where he will have the defender's advantage, and moves in 76 troops there.

DPP Turn:
The DPP spends all 10 PTS this turn moving Nazgul. N2 & N3 move to W1820. N4, N5 & N6 move to W1724 to block access to the next location.



TURN 10:
The DPP gains 9 PTS.

Event Phase:
SP draws: “Eagles!”, and keeps it.
FP draws: “Strider Hides Party”. Keeping it she discards “Morgul Blade”, and hopes the DPP misses it.
DPP draws: “Black Birds”, and discards “Sub-Commander Shows Initiative”.

Search Phase:
SP draws Eye Orcs, wasted.
DPP draws 3 Nazgul, which searches east of the Anduin. Gimli is in this area, so 3 PTS is spent to search for him. N7, N8, & N9 drop in for a visit. He dodges them in the woods.

SP Turn:
Saruman finishes his second Lesser Ring and has created a Ring of Endurance. The character wearing this ring, ignores the first point of damage / round in Individual Combat. Nice! The Total Lore chit is set back to zero.

Isengard is very lightly defended, and the horsemen in Eldoras can now reach it in one turn, so 3 orcs from Helms Deep move to Isengard to beef up the defense. There are still 17 orcs in Helms Deep, but there is no leader. An attack by Eomer may well have the advantage. SP debates attacking Eldoras, but decides to try to finish off Dunharrow.

--- Army Combat:
Both leaders are moral 3 so no bonus there.
Odds are 108:(12 x3) = 3:1. The die roll is a 4 → 10k/30. The attacker loses 10%, has a leader killed, and the defender loses 30%. SP and DPP leaders are not killed in army combat, so that is OK. SP loses 11 orcs. The Rohan forces lose 4 troops, and decline any further rounds of combat.

FP Turn:
Gandalf moves thru Lorien and picks up Anduil. The turn that Gandalf enters Lothlorien, the elves Mobilize. Coincidence? I think SO.

Gimli moves uses Lembas to the Location, Rhosgobel in Mirkwood in a single turn. He finds a Location Event. Looking up the Location for Rhosobel (the abandoned home of Rhadgast the Brown), he has to fight 2 spiders. If he wins, he gains 2 magic items.

--- Individual Combat:
Each Spider has Combat 1, Moral (2), Endurance 3. Special Power: if they hit, you are paralyzed and are treated as if you are dead. Someone else must step up and fight them. If all characters are 'dead' then the spiders eat you all. Gimli is in deep trouble, he is by himself! One hit will kill him! However, they are only rolling 1 attack die and Gimli rolls well, killing both without taking any damage. A very nerve wracking fight!

Gimli finds a Numenorian Broad Sword (+1 Combat, Magic Damage), and some Elven Rope. Gimli has too many items, so dumps the Elvish Spear.

Boromir and Pippin move to W1924.
Does Eomer attack Helm's deep? After some thought, she decides to risk it.

--- Army Combat:
Eomer has a 3 moral, verses no leader, so he will have a +3 DRM.
51 troops attack so the odds are: 51:(17 x3) = 1:1. Eomer rolls a terrible '1' → 4 which is a 20/20 exchange. Rohan loses 11 troops, and 4 orcs are lost. The FP could sure use some event cards that help her army combats.

Well, the Rohan turn was disappointing. However, Gondor is in worse shape. Anything put in Minas Tirith will likely be slaughtered (because of the Denethor event card), but if too little is put in, then the city will simply be overrun. After much thought, ('thought' sounds so much better than 'dithering'), she does not move her troops, but instead plays an event card, “Mind Battle: Elrond & Galadriel Distract Sauron”. This costs the DPP 2 PTS, and he won't have enough to do much this turn.

DPP Turn:
The DPP only has 4 PTS left. Two Nazgul (N2, & N3) will move W1925, in front of Pippin & Boromir.


TURN 11:
The DPP gains 8 PTS.

Event Phase:
SP draws: “The Shadow of Sauron!”, and discards “Tom Bombadil ...”.
FP draws: “The Ring is Heavy” and keeps it.
DPP draws: “Time Passes With Elves: Healing Rest”, and discards it. This card is playable by any player (it delays the fellowship as well as healing them), but he has better cards and everyone is past the 4 elf havens.

Search Phase:
SP draws 8 Hand Orcs, excellent! (+1 orc because of the extra citadel.) There is Gandalf in Fangorn, and Pippin & company in Endewaith.
Ignoring Gandalf, all orcs search for the ring. The SP plays, “Werewolves Track Scents” (which gives the Search roll a –2 DRM). There is a capture attempt! Pippin is captured, Boromir escapes. An 9 ST orc counter is pulled out of the change pile, and placed on Pippin. (Pippin can not put on the ring and escape because he only has one Ring Fatigue left.)

DPP draws 3 Nazgul, but none of the areas searched have fellowship characters.


SP Turn:
Saruman plays the event card, “Saruman Speeds Orcs”. This speeds his own troops and characters by MA 2, and slows other character's armies and characters by 2 for this turn, within an area.

The orcs holding Pippin rush towards Isengard ending on the road, one hex south of it.

The troops in Helms Deep can't move, but 15 points Dunlending forces from Dunharrow move in to Pippin's hex to protect them. The troops in Isengard also move into this hex along with Saruman & Grima.

The rest of the force in Dunharrow attacks.

--- Army Combat:
The two leaders cancel out, so 96 orcs and Dunlendings attack. The odds are: 96:(8 x3) = 4:1 odds.
The die roll is a 3 which is a 10k/20 so 10% of the orcs die (and the leader but the SP ignores that), and 20% of the Rohan forces die. 9 orcs and 2 Rohan troops die.

--- Individual Combat:
Saruman attempts to Seize the Ring. Pippin attacks with the Barrow Blade, but Saruman uses Sorcery.
Pippin rolls well, and does 2 damage to Saruman (even after the Saruman's Ring of Endurance), but is killed by Saruman.

Grima picks up the Barrow Blade and the Mithril Mail. There are 31 ST of troops in the hex.

A great turn!

FP Turn:
The 3 remaining members of the Fellowship continue to move south.

She debates attacking Saruman with Eomer's force, he outnumbers them 2:1. However Saruman has +2 moral and using his magic, he will have an average +3.5 DRM. Eomer feels he has no chance and so attacks Helms Deep where he has a significant advantage.

--- Army Combat:
Eomer has +3 moral. He attacks with 39 troops, the odds are 39:(13 x3) = 1:1. The roll is a 4 → 7 which does 80% damage to the orcs, and no damage to Rohan. 10 orcs die, only 3 left.

In Gondor, Minas Tirith is abandoned. The event card “Denethor Peer into Palantir...” is just too powerful. Everyone runs back to Dol Amroth. (Actually they pull back to Linhir (W3132) since that is out of range of the Mordor mega stack and Minas Tirith can reach it this turn. They will reach Dol Amroth next turn.) Denethor runs off with 4 horsemen just in case we need a weak leader sometime.
(Also, this will make it easy for the DPP to reach Saruman.)

DPP Turn:
Only 8 PTS this turn. 4 points are spent to move all armies and a couple of Nazgul. Over 250 ST moves into Minas Tirith, over 170 ST of troops Pelargir. N2 joins the troops from Rhun, N1 moves to Minas Tirith, and the Mouth of Sauron moved to Pelagir.

The FP has lost a citadel so the FP must discard a random event card. They lose “Strider Hides Party”.
The DPP gets to draw a card and draws “Striders Hides...”. The DPP can hold one extra event card, so he does not have to discard this one.
Further the DPP gains +1 Shadow Point per turn, (to a maximum of 13), per citadel.
Finally, orcs from searches get +2 ST.

A great turn! Now just kill an upstart wizard and take the Ring!


TURN 12:
The SP offers to ally with the FP. She asks, “what is in it for me?” SP offers to let the two hobbits go, give the FP “Eagles!”, and not attack Dunharrow for at least 3 turns. “We both need to prevent the DPP from wiping me out and getting the Ring”, he coaxes. The FP considers for a bit. If the DPP attacks the SP, the Gondor troops might become useful. She agrees to the alliance.

The event card is handed over at once.

The DPP gains 13 +1 (max 13) = 13 PTS.

Nazgul #9 switches over to allegiance to the SP.

Event Phase:
SP draws “Cirdan Uses Rod of Ulmo”, and keeps it.
FP draws “Sauron Employs a Palantir”, and keeps it.
DPP draws “Dain II Helps Fellowship”, and discards it.

Search Phase:
SP draws Eye orcs, wasted.
DPP draws 10 (+2) ST of Eye orcs. Gimli is in Rhovanion (Wilderland). 1 PT is spent to search, but Gimli avoids the patrols of orcs near Dul Guldur.

SP Turn:
N9 moves to Isengard.
A little bit of counting shows that there is about 400 troops in Gondor which could visit Isengard very soon. SP has about 125 troops left. Tripled in Isengard, it could take a while for the DPP to break in, and every turn delay gains another Nazgul. Alternately, I could move with my army around the map, and have the DPP chase after me. Actually, that sounds cool, let's see if he can catch me.

For now, all my troops retreat, to Isengard. (Those trapped in Helms Deep can leave because, hey, we are allies.)

Having abandoned Helms Deep, an event card must be discarded, “Misty Passes Open”, and the hand size goes back down to 4.

Saruman is in Isengard, so he works on Ring Lore, rolling a 6 for 3 points. The Lore Total is now 3, the next roll is sure to create a Lesser Ring.

FP Turn:
The Dwarves mobilize.
The FP has regained Helms Deep so she gets a draw of an event card, and gains, “Rohan Mobilizes”. My adjusted event card gives 5 extra troops scattered around Rohan if Rohan is already Mobilized. The FP plays this, gains the handful of extra troops, and she discards the card from the game.
All troops (except a couple too far away), run into Dunharrow. Gandalf reaches Eldoras and in passing takes the magic item. It is “Small Shield”, which allows you to ignore 1 point of Character Combat damage per turn. (Hobbits can use this item.)
Merry and Sam are released, and they run to Dunharrow as well.

Gondor troops finish retreating to Dol Amroth except Denethor and his Palantir and a 4-7 army troop who heads east.

The Dwarves start moving towards Hobbiton in the west, or Thranduil's palace in the East.

Boromir reaches a new location (Lond Daer), and it is No Effect. Nothing happens.

Gimli moves past Dul Guldur and enters the Brown Lands.

DPP Turn:
If I charge after the Ring with every troop I have there are intact Gondor forces and almost intact Rohan forces which can chew at weak spots. However, I can afford to lose a few citadels, if I can take the Ring.

4 PTS are spent to move all armies.

The troops currently in Gondor move up the road towards Rohan. The two groups join in the forest with the Servant of Sauron symbol on the road. 104 ST moves to Minas Tirith from places in Mordor.

The Easterlings attack Brand in Dale.

4 Nazgul are moved. N1 moves to Dale. N2 moves Minas Tirith. N3 move to the big army on the road in Rohan. N4 moves to Dol Guldur. Finally the Mouth of Sauron moves to the Black Gate and the orc leader Gothmog is in Minas Morgul.

--- Army Combat:
Lord of the Nazgul (moral 4 + 2 for Sorcery) verses Brand (moral 2) = a +4 DRM.
Odds are 26:(13 x2) = 1:1 odds. The roll is a '5' → 9 = 80% loss for the good guys. Brand retreats a hex north east toward Dane II and his dwarves.


>>> END OF TURN 12 <<<

          

Session: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game:: A detailed session of the Caves of Nibin-dun try number 7 and victory    

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by jwcolo

Lord of the rings lcg by Fantasy Flight

Caves of Nibin-Dun

Date: 10/6/2019
Attempt: ….. Who knows lol like 7
Win: Yes
Money/time: 18.82 spent per hour played

The deck I have for this run is


Nori, Aragon, Gildor

Norther tracker x2
Woodland courier x2
Gandalf x3
Ancient Mathor x2
Sneak attack x3
Celebrian's stone x2
Ever vigilant x2
Unexpected courage x3
Steward of gondor x3
Nalth guide x2
Kili
Fili
Fetched voices x2
A test of will x3
Grim resolve
Dwarven sell sword x2
Orophin
Long bear orc slayer x2
Brok ironfist
Hastry stroke x2
Gimli
Andrath guardsman x2
Bofur
Light of Valinor
Farimer x3
Arwen x1





Starting threat 30.
Starting 6 cards Bofur, dwarven sellsword,fili,unexpected courage,sneak attack, ancient mathom

1a Cave torch to Gildor
1b goblin tunnels to staging area



Resource phase turn 1: Draw Faramir

Planning Stage Turn 1 Place ancient mathom attaching to Goblin Tunnels, and ready dwarven sellsword, When I ready the sellsword it makes threat decrease by 1 due to Nori’s ability when a dwarf is played threat to 29




Quest stage Turn 1`: Nori, Gildor, Sellsword commit to quest = 7 will
Draw goblin town scavengers no progress to remove from quest when revealed total threat = 3 forced to reveal a card Longbeard orc slayer cost of 4 so increases Goblin scavengers threat by 4 for the turn so total threat =7 so no progress

Travel turn 1: Travel to Goblin tunnels


Encounter stage turn 1 : Scavengers engage

Combat stage turn 1 I do not defend scavengers draw branching paths= no shadow the scavengers have 1a , I place the one damage on Gildor. Aragorn attacks scavengers 3a/ 0d resulting in 3 damage killing scavengers

Refresh stage turn 1 : threat to 30 pay 1 resource for sellsword
Exhaust cave torch adding three progress on Goblin tunnels 3/7 then torch has me discard top card which is collapsed mine.


Resource phase turn 2 : Draw sneak attack


Planning Stage Turn 2:



Quest stage Turn 2: Commit Nori, Gildor, and Sellsword = 7 willpower
Draw goblin runners they --surge--- draw Lost in the dark and I choose to take the make no progress on quest option ( cans till progress at location) . . Total threat =1 7w-1t= 6 success finishes goblin tunnels and I draw 3 cards due to ancient mathom triggering when complete the location I draw
Andrath Guardsman,ever vigilant, unexpected courage






Travel stage turn 2

Encounter stage turn 2 : runners enter engaged area

Use ever vigilant and pay a resource to ready dwarven sellsword

Combat stage turn 2: Sellsword blocks goblin runners, draw a card for shadow, I draw eyes in the dark since it is defended there is no affect Runners attack 3a/ 2d resulting in 1 damage to sellsword Aragron attacks Runners 3a/1d resulting in 2 damage killing runners



Refresh stage turn 2: Threat to 31 pay for sellsword

Resource phase turn 3: Draw Grim resolve

Planning Stage Turn 3: Play Unexpected courage on Nori, Ready Fili reducing threat to 30 due to Nori then search for and put into play kili per Fili response step. Shuffle deck

Quest stage Turn 3: Nori, Kili, Fili, Gildor commit = 7 will power, Draw goblins are upon you search deck for goblin runners and put into play engaged with me no surge affect shuffle encounter deck . no threat in staging area so 7 success finishing quest 1b

2a add goblin chieftain to staging area then add a different enemy to staging area choose goblin snipers

2b all enemies engagement cost =0 quest is 4x number of enemies

Travel stage turn 3:

Encounter stage turn 3: All engage due to 2b’s affect


Combat stage turn 3: runners blocked by sellsword. I draw goblin snipers which has no shadow 3a/ 2d 1 damage to sellsword, chieftain is undefended draw branching path whis has . No shadow. 2 damage I assign to Nori but since no progress on quest chietens attack can not remove any , sniper is undefended. FOr shadow I draw draw branching Paths which has no shadow, 2 damage Which I assign to Aragron. Aragorn attacks runnedrs 3a/1d 2 damage and kills runners

PAY 1 for sellsword


Refresh stage turn 3: Doom to 31

Resource phase turn 4: Draw unexpected courage


Planning Stage Turn 4: Ready Andrath guardsman, and with his affect choose sniper to not be able to attack

Quest stage Turn 4: Gildor and pay a resource to use bolfurs ability to put him into quest and aragorn = 7 will and reduces threat to 30 since bofur was played from my hand per Nori. Draw eyes in the dark which raises doom to 31then then I choose to raise it by 1 for each questing character =+3 so raise to 34. No threat in staging area so 7 success and bofur returns to hand ⅞ on quest 2b

Travel stage turn 4:


Encounter stage turn 4 Pay for sellsword



Combat stage turn 4: Chieftain is blocked by sellsword, for shadow I draw scavengers = no shadow 2a/ 2d no damage, remove 2 from quest due toi chieftens ability 2b = ⅝
Aragorn attacks sniper 3d/0d 3 damage kills sniper


Changes quest completion to needing 4 so is completed
3a put chieften aside , add cracked pillar to staging area
3b must reveal an extra encounter card during questing

Refresh stage turn 4 Threat to 35

Resource phase turn 5: Draw feigned voices


Planning Stage Turn 5: Ready faramir Unexpected courage on Kili

Quest stage Turn 5: Pay 1 for bofur reducing threat to 34, , Fili and Kili will= 4 draw collapsed mine total threat = 4 I exhaust Faramir to add 3 so 3 success and return return bofur to hand

Travel stage turn 5: pay for sellsword


Encounter stage turn 5:


Combat stage turn 5: attack pillar with aragorn, gildor, sellsword, = 7a/2d = 5 damage


Refresh stage turn 5: Threat to 35

Resource phase turn 6: steward of gondor

Planning Stage Turn 6: Steward on Aragorn


Quest stage Turn 6`: pay 1 for Bofur reducing threat to 34, commit Nori,Kili, Aragon = 7 draw lost in the dark choose no progress on quest option then for second draw I get lost in the dark ( lucky) choose no progress on quest 4 threat = 3 succes Bofur back to hand .












Travel stage turn 6: remove 4 damage travel to cracked pillar


Encounter stage turn 6:


Combat stage turn 6 ay for sellsword

Refresh stage turn 6 ; doom to 35 tap exhaust cave torch and discard goblin tunnels the 3 progress completed cracked pillar which advances quest to 4a goblin chieften to staging area goblin chieftain can only take damage if 8 progress on stage
Exhaust steward of gondor

Resource phase turn 7: draw northern tracker

Planning Stage Turn 7:

Quest stage Turn 7: Nori, Kili, Fili, aragorn, Gildor, sellsword, andrath pay 1 for bofur reduce threat to 34 will = 14 draw goblin runners surge draw .. goblin troop = 10 threat 14-10 = 4 success return bofur to hand aragorn pays 1 to ready, unexpected courage readies Nori and Kili



Travel stage turn 7: Travel to collapsed mine exhaust cave torch discard but was a cavern warg put into staging exhaust steward of gondor


Encounter stage turn 7: runners and warg engage


Combat stage turn 7 : warg blocked by faramir for darkness draw cave troll no darkness, 3a 2d 1 damage to Faramir , runners blocked by kili for shadow reveal scavengers= no shadow 3a 1s kills kili
Aragorn attacks runners 3a/1d 2 damage kills runners


Pay for sellsword
Refresh stage 7: Threat to 35




Resource phase turn 8: draw ancient mathom

Planning Stage Turn 8: play ancient mathom on collapsed mine


Quest stage Turn 8: Nori, bofour. Argaon, and Andrath commit = 7 I draw crumbling ruins exhaust Fili the discard sneak attack which has a cost of 1, Fii has 3 health so no result. 7 threat in staging area result = 7/7 I tap faramir to add 4 whichn then adds 4 success to location which completes abandoned mine and adds 1 to quest ⅝. I draw 3 cards due to ancient mathom and reduce the threat to 34 due to Bofour/Nori Aragorn reacts and pays a resource and Nori uses unexpected courage to ready, I exhaust steward of Gondor I drew celegrians stone and hasty strike x2



Travel stage turn 8: travel to goblin tunnels


Encounter stage turn 8:


Combat stage turn 8: cavern warg engages Fili I draw lightless passage for shadow and then use hasty strike to cancel the shadow. Warg 3a 1d = 2 damage amd kills Fili Aragorn and gildor attack warg 5d 2d = 3 damage kills warg



Refresh stage turn 8: Threat to 35




Resource phase turn 9: Draw Longbeard orc slayer


Planning Stage Turn 9: Ready Longbeard orc slayer


Quest stage Turn 9: Pay 1 for bofour reduce threat to 34, Nori, Aragorn, Gildor, Andrath =10 willpower . I draw lightless passage = 11 threat in staging area . I tap faramir add 5 Willpower = 15- 11 4 success =9/8 on quest

Bofur back to hand exhaust steward, pay for sellsword

Travel stage turn 9: Travel to Lightless passage exhaust torch and discard goblin tunnels add 3 progress to lightless passage

Encounter stage turn 9 :


Combat stage turn 9:



Refresh stage turn 9: Threat to 35

Resource phase turn 10: Draw Gandalf, use sneak attack on Gandalf 4 damage to goblin chieftain Gandalf returns to hand

Planning Stage Turn 10: Celebrias stone to aragorn


Quest stage Turn 10: pay 1 for bofoure reduce threat to 34 All commit to quest except Faramir and Dwarven Longbeard,= 14 willpower draw crumbling ruin, I exhaust longbeard discard dwarven the discard Dwarven sellsword , sellsword cost 1 Longbeard has 3 health no effect. There is 7 threat is staging area = 7 success tap Faramir = +6will power = 20-7 = 13 success 1 completes passage then next 12 no quesr 12 on quest
I use Sneak attack Gandolf dealing 4 damage to chieftain and killing him and resulting in the quest completing

I WIN


          

10/7/2019: NEWS: DRUG POLICY/OPIOID OVERDOSE EPIDEMIC   

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The Liberals pledge $700 million in additional funding between 2020 and 2014 to expand access to drug treatment and to combat opioid and meth addictions. The party will help provinces expand communitybased services, build more in-patient rehab beds,...

          

JUDO. Teddy Riner repart au combat aux quatre coins du monde - Le Dauphiné Libéré   

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JUDO. Teddy Riner repart au combat aux quatre coins du monde  Le Dauphiné Libéré

          

AEGIS Combat System Data Collection Specialist - Southeastern Computer Consultants, Inc. - Dahlgren, VA   

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The AEGIS Combat System Data Collection Specialist will provide support to the Center for Surface Combat Systems with Systems Software orientation of AEGIS ship…
From Southeastern Computer Consultants, Inc. - Wed, 20 Mar 2019 00:19:34 GMT - View all Dahlgren, VA jobs

          

GFA World Wages War Against 'Child Killer' Mosquitoes, Malaria   

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On World Mosquito Day, August 20, mission agency enlists public to help combat airborne killer

          

Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War   

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Nos conflitos dos céus vemos Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War, um novo jogo da franquia Ace Combat. Nada revolucionário mas que agradará os fãs da série. Agora em Belkan War, há menos história e mais ação. Começando com a adição de Aces e Rivals, são inimigos em especiais que aparecem no meio das missões. […]

          

Promotion of International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows   

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English
More from this author
August - November 2019

Get our app.

Download app from Android Download app from Apple

          

Help to combat neuro degenerative disorders..   

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no pain

Exit e mail  Here.
1261 S 820 E Suite 210 - American Fork, UT 84003

6547 N Academy Blvd #2128
COLORADO SPRINGS CO 80918
Press me to exit e mail

          

How to Combat Your Child’s Technology Addiction   

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As technology is becoming more advanced, the current generation spends way more time using technology than previous ones have. Now more than ever, having a technology addiction is very common, and it comes with a lot of detrimental effects. Children who are addicted to technology often can’t live without their electronics, have tantrums when they […]

The post How to Combat Your Child’s Technology Addiction appeared first on Carpe Diem Preschool - Allen, Frisco, Richardson & Southlake TX.


          

Revue de presse de l'April pour la semaine 40 de l'année 2019   

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Cette revue de presse sur Internet fait partie du travail de veille mené par l’April dans le cadre de son action de défense et de promotion du logiciel libre. Les positions exposées dans les articles sont celles de leurs auteurs et ne rejoignent pas forcément celles de l’April.

[Public Sénat] Souveraineté numérique: que contient le rapport du Sénat?

Le .

[La gazette.fr] Les logiciels open source ouvrent à des gestions plus libres (¤)

✍ Baptiste Cessieux, le .


          

10/06 Links: PMW: PA capitulates to Israel's anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law; It’s time to put an end to labeling Trump an anti-Semite; Elizabeth Warren Fundraises for Anti-Semite; Caving to BDS   

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From Ian:

PMW: PA capitulates to Israel's anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law
After initially refusing to accept any tax revenues Israel collected and transfered to the Palestinian Authority because Israel implemented its anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has now capitulated and agreed to accept the vast majority of the funds.

In February 2019, Israel's cabinet decided to implement one part of the 2018 anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law and started to deduct the sum the PA spent in 2018 paying salaries to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners from the 2019 tax revenues Israel collects and transfers to the PA.

Initially, rejecting Israel's implementation of the anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, because he argued that paying financial rewards to Palestinian terrorists is legitimate, Abbas refused to accept the money Israel tranfered and plunged the PA into a self-made financial crisis.

"[PA] Minister of Civil Affairs [and Fatah Central Committee member] Hussein Al-Sheikh said yesterday [Feb. 10, 2019] that he has conveyed an official message at the request of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas that emphasizes that 'He will refuse to receive the collected [tax] money if Israel deducts even one penny from it.'" [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 11, 2019]

When he made that decision, Palestinian Media Watch speculated that Abbas was probably planning to use the ensuing impoverishment of the Palestinian population as a tactic to put pressure on Israel to transfer to him the money he uses to reward terror. PMW also suggested that he was using the decision as a means to leverage the international community to put pressure on Israel to ignore its own laws. Abbas was also hoping that the international community would again side with the PA against Israel and further subsidize the PA.

As a show of his resolve to plunge the PA economy into the abyss, Abbas decided to cut the salaries of the PA's law abiding employees by 40-50% while guaranteeing the payment, in full, of the salaries to the terrorists. The PA also stopped allowing Palestinians to receive medical treatment in Israel, under the false claim that Israel was deducting $100 dollars a year for this service. This ban did not apply to senior Fatah figures like Jibril Rajoub who continued to receive medical treatment in an Israeli hospital.

Abbas' decision to accept the tax revenues, even though Israel continues to implement its anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, reflects an understanding that all these goals have failed.
Pay for Slay with funds from UK?
The Department for International Development (DFID) must now release documents to UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), having abandoned part of its appeal from the decision of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The ICO ordered DFID to disclose to UKLFI audits of accounts into which British grant aid was transferred and then used to pay salaries to convicted Palestinian terrorists. British Ministers relied on these audits when concerns were expressed that British money was being used to pay terrorists.

Various countries, including the UK, paid large sums of money into the World Bank’s Palestinian Recovery and Development Program Multi donor trust fund (PRDP-MDTF), which were then transferred to the Palestinian Authority’s Central Treasury Account.

Funds from this account were used to pay convicted terrorists, rewarding them for their crimes.

On 26 July 2019, the ICO ordered DFID to disclose the audit reports of the PRDP-MDTF and the terms on which the auditors were engaged. The ICO concluded that there was a significant public interest in the disclosure of the information, which outweighed any harm that may be done to diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority.

DFID had filed a Notice of Appeal on 19 August 2019, saying that it intended to appeal the release of the documents, on the grounds that the ICO’s assessment of the public interest was wrong, and that it also disputed the ICO’s conclusion that the Palestinian Authority was not a State, for the purposes of section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act.
David Singer: Netanyahu and Liberman must stop Israel’s third election in a year
Israel is surrounded by enemies – especially Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria and Hamas in Gaza that could be tempted to exploit the fractured nature of Israel’s current political circumstances.

There are pressing political issues awaiting Israel’s next Government – most notably negotiations on President Trump’s deal of the century and Netanyahu’s election promise to annex large parts of the "West Bank."

Ending this state of suspended uncertainty has now been thrust on the shoulders of Netanyahu and Liberman – following the failure of Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to achieve a deal they could both live with.

Netanyahu and Liberman would do well to heed the sage advice contained in the Ethics of the Fathers:

“Do not seek greatness for yourself, and do not lust for honor”

Achieving greatness and honor together by compromising their political expectations will secure Netanyahu and Liberman a special place in the annals of Israel.



Jonathan S. Tobin: It’s time to put an end to labeling Trump an anti-Semite
It’s that at a time when a rising tide of anti-Semitism is spreading over the globe – and Jews are facing the twin threats of white-supremacist hate from the far-Right, as well as leftist anti-Zionists seeking to delegitimize both Israel and American Jews – using it as a partisan political weapon is dangerously irresponsible.

Trump’s actions and statements are fair game for criticism and, like any other leader, can be held accountable by Congress and the courts.

But labeling him an anti-Semite is a blatant falsehood. That’s not merely because he’s clearly the most pro-Israel president America has had, in addition to someone with Jewish family, and with a staff and cabinet filled with many Jews.

It’s also true that his administration has in some respects taken anti-Semitism more seriously than his predecessors. He has ordered civil-rights investigations into attacks on Jewish students and others on US college campuses that were ignored by Obama, and Trump’s Justice Department convened a summit on the subject that addressed issues not treated seriously before this.

If anti-Semitism is just one more brickbat to be tossed around with impunity in the course of bitter and all-too-savage debate on impeachment, then those who are using it in that way are effectively saying that it’s not as important as their partisan goals.

It’s time for both Democrats and Republicans of goodwill to recognize that whatever the outcome of the impeachment battle, injecting false charges of anti-Semitism into the discussion will not advance their cause. It will, however, materially damage the fight against hate.
Elizabeth Warren Fundraises for Anti-Semite
Senator Elizabeth Warren, well-known for cultural appropriation, sent a fundraising email on behalf of Leslie Cockburn late yesterday afternoon.

Warren’s support comes well after the Republican Party of Virginia revealed that Leslie Cockburn was a “virulent anti-Semite” for espousing bizarre conspiracy theories regarding the Jewish people and Israel. It was also recently discovered that Cockburn’s work has been used as source material for a number of white nationalist organizations. Notably, at least one of those websites was responsible for promoting and organizing the deadly Charlottesville rally of last August. Cockburn’s history of anti-Semitism has been well-documented since she wrote Dangerous Liaison in the early 1990s.

It is also worth noting that Cockburn’s co-author, at a debate at Oxford in 2007, said “the Israel lobby in the United States dictates American policy.” Andrew Cockburn also had this to say about the so-called Israel Lobby: “I mean, you know, we’ve had comparisons of the National Rifle Association lobby, very powerful, supremely powerful in Congress, but you can get up and run for office against the National Rifle Association for gun control and no-one tries to demonise you or drive you out of public life. That’s different with the Israel lobby. It’s across, it’s the Congress, it’s the executive branch and it’s in the culture, in the media.”

“Either Elizabeth Warren didn’t do her homework, or she supports what Cockburn stands for; anti-Semitism.” said RPV Executive Director John Findlay. “Elizabeth Warren should answer whether she agrees with Leslie’s co-author when he said that “the Israel lobby in the United States dictates American policy.” This endorsement by a Massachusetts Democrat exemplifies the truth about Leslie Cockburn – she is an out-of-touch, out-of-state liberal who only wants to go to Congress to push a far-left agenda.”
The UN's Insane Israel Bias: Ben Shapiro on UN Watch Statistics
Ben Shapiro calls out the UN's extreme bias against Israel, reading out UN Watch's data:
The U.N. and Israel: Key Statistics from UN Watch




Seth J Frantzman: Turkey re-writes international law with “safe zone” invasion doctrine
Turkey has re-written the rules of international law in Syria, declaring that when there is a presence of what it views as a “terrorist organization,” it has a right to invade and create a “safe zone” or “peace corridor” along the border. Other countries including India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Egypt may take note and begin to study Ankara’s doctrine that has wide implications for international affairs.

In international relations, countries generally enjoy a right to self-defense. This is enshrined in various international laws, precedent and treaty law. The UN Charter, for instance, argues in Article 2 that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” Article 51 notes that nothing in the charter “shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense.”

Ankara re-written these norms, arguing that when a country has designated an organization a “terrorist group” that it will have a right to invade the neighboring country and set up a “safe zone” along the border. This doesn’t require Ankara to present any evidence that there was a threat or attacks from northern Syria. Turkey simply took over Jarabulus and Afrin in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Now Turkey says it has a right to take over eastern Syria, redraw property lines and international borders, and settle one million Syrian refugees there, creating hundreds of towns regardless of the local population’s views.

This is a new step in international law, one which has broad implications. Israel’s conquest in 1967 of the West Bank and Golan Heights have generally been seen as illegal under international law. But Israel may now argue it is setting up a “safe zone.” This could also be Israel’s argument for distancing Hezbollah from the Lebanese border.

Wider ramifications mean that India can now argue that it needs a safe zone in Pakistan to keep extremists away from parts of the border of Kashmir. Pakistan may need to take over parts of Afghanistan to create Turkey-style safe zones. Russia can say that its role in eastern Ukraine is a “safe zone” or peace corridor. Saudi Arabia now likely needs a safe zone in Yemen. The number of safe zones that can be created on the Turkish model may be endless. Many porous borders across the Sahel in Africa mean that various countries may need to set up safe zones in the territory of their neighbor.


In English, Haaretz Whitewashes Temple Mount Killings
In an article last week on the occasion of IDF's Brig. Gen. Eran Niv wrapping up his post as commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Haaretz's English edition whitewashes the July 2017 killing of two Druze police officers shot dead by three Israeli Arab assailants just outside the Temple Mount.

Haaretz's English edition, both in print (page 4, Sept. 29) and online refer to the "deaths of two Border Police officers" in the summer of 2017:
The perceived violation of religious symbols is a particularly potent accelerant for violence, Niv says, recalling the violence that erupted after Israel installed metal detectors at the Temple Mount in the summer of 2017, following the deaths of two Border Police officers, as well as the brief outburst that followed visits by Jews to the Temple Mount in August on Tisha B'Av, which coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Why does the English edition fail to note that the border police officers were killed by Israeli Arab assailants leaving the Temple Mount? Indeed, violence didn't erupt only after the officers' "deaths" -- their deaths themselves, ie murders, were violent.

The Hebrew version of the same article more precisely reported that the officers were killed
China pulls out of $5B deal to develop Iranian offshore gas field
China's state oil company has pulled out of a $5 billion deal to develop a portion of Iran's massive offshore natural gas field, the Islamic republic's oil minister said Sunday, an agreement from which France's Total SA earlier withdrew over US sanctions.

The South Pars field deal, struck in the wake of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, appears to be just the latest business casualty of America's pressure campaign on Tehran following US President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of the US from the deal.

It also comes as China and the US engage in their own trade war, as Beijing and Washington levy billions of dollars of tariffs on each other's goods.

Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh, quoted by the ministry's Petroenergy Information Network (SHANA), said Sunday that the China National Petroleum Corp. was "no longer in the project." He did not elaborate or give any reason for the withdrawal, though SHANA said the company "had pulled out of a contract" to develop the field.

Officials in Beijing didn't immediately acknowledge their decision. Phone calls to the CNPC rang unanswered on Sunday and its website bore no mention of the withdrawal.
Australia Denies Extradition of Iranian Academic to US
Australia will not extradite an Iranian academic to the United States, Australia’s attorney-general said over the weekend, following a 13-month detention of the researcher for allegedly exporting American-made military equipment to Iran.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said in a statement that “in all the circumstances of this particular case” the academic, Reza Dehbashi Kivi, should not be extradited.

“My decision was made in accordance with the requirements of Australian domestic legal processes and is completely consistent with the powers provided to the commonwealth attorney-general under our law,” Porter said.

The statement came hours after Iran had agreed to free an Australian couple from a Tehran prison who were held on spying charges. Later on Saturday, Iranian media reported that Dehbashi Kivi had already returned to Iran.

Porter would not say whether the two cases were related.

“The Australian Government does not comment on the details behind its consideration of particular cases,” Porter said in his e-mailed statement.

“And while it is likely that because of Mr Kivi’s nationality some will speculate regarding this matter, consistent with prior practice I do not intend to comment further on the particular details of this case, particularly when any such response from me may diminish our government’s capacity to deal with future matters of this type in Australia’s best interests.”
Iranian media calls on Iraqis to takeover U.S. embassy amid protests
An Iranian newspaper linked to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iraqis to seize the US embassy in Baghdad, in a move similar to the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran during the Iranian revolution of 1979, according to Radio Farda.

"Historical evidence has shown that US embassies in all countries, even in friendly and allied countries, are the focus of conspiracy. The US Embassy in Iran is a clear and exemplary example of this bitter reality," wrote Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the Kayhan newspaper, in reference to the former US embassy that was taken over and held hostage during the revolution in 1979.

Documents found in the embassy in 1979 "revealed the betrayal of some Iranian political figures and exposed the countless US crimes in Iran and some other countries in the region," according to Kayhan.

The author of the Kayhan article asked "young Iraqi revolutionary believers" why they don't "end the presence of the US Embassy in Baghdad, the same espionage and conspiracy center against the oppressed Iraqi people."

Shariatmadari claimed that "There are many documents about the presence of U.S., Israeli and Saudi Wahabi agents, as well as Ba'thist elements behind the Iraqi protests."
Iranian health workers infect hundreds, including kids, with HIV - report
More than 300 people are accusing local Iranian medical officials of infecting them with the HIV virus, according to Iranian media sources.

The residents, located in the village of Chenar Mahmoud and the towns of Lordegan, Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari, say adults and children contracted HIV from local medical centers and health clinics due to unsanitary medical practices, including from contaminated syringes used by the local health organizations during a widespread test for diabetes two months prior.

There are similar unconfirmed reports by individuals in neighboring villages.

On Saturday, large groups of the affected townspeople, along with their loved ones and supporters, stormed the office of the Friday Prayer Imam and set it ablaze. Another group protested in front of the governor's building in the province, demanding that the courts investigate the case.

Radio Farda and the Mehr-news agency (MNA) both reported on the incidents.

"A limited number of 'opportunists' attempted to create disruption and sedition outside the Governor's building, but failed," MNA reported about the incident in front of the governor's office.
Merkel’s gov’t says Iran’s call to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ not antisemitic
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government declared the Iranian regime’s call to obliterate the Jewish state is not an expression of antisemitism in an eye-popping statement to The Jerusalem Post on Friday.

On October 1, Merkel’s Foreign Ministry merely labeled the call to destroy Israel by commander-in-chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Gen. Hossein Salami “anti-Israel rhetoric.”

When the Post asked the Merkel administration if it agrees with the statement of its foreign ministry, a spokesman told the Post: “We have nothing to add to the reply of the foreign office.”

The Post specifically asked if Salami’s statements are antisemitic.

In late September, Salami delivered his call to exterminate the Jewish state before an audience of IRGC leaders that was publicized by the state-funded IRNA agency, as well as other Iranian regime-controlled outlets.

Salami said that “This sinister regime must be wiped off the map and this is no longer… a dream [but] it is an achievable goal.”

He added that his country has “managed to obtain the capacity to destroy the impostor Zionist regime” 40 years after the 1979 Islamic revolution.




JPost Editorial: Caving to BDS
We don’t believe that Lovato is an antisemite but she does need to understand that by backtracking on her praise for Israel, she is playing into the hands of antisemites and forces that seek Israel’s destruction.

By caving to BDS pressure, Lovato let herself be used as a political tool. She backtracked on her praise for Israel out of some distorted sense of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

It is true that Israel has an unsettled conflict with the Palestinians and this paper is not alone within Israel of calling – repeatedly – on the government to find ways to reengage with the Palestinian Authority and to work toward a solution.

The BDS movement, Lovato should know, does not want peace and is not interested in a two-state solution. It openly seeks the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, a right afforded to Israel by the United Nations.

Like Lorde, Lovato has joined the forces that believe the Jewish people do not deserve that right. They hold Israel to a double standard and believe that song line out the Jews is okay and not hypocritical or wrong.

She may have distanced herself from Israel and apologized for visiting here, but she needn’t be “Sorry, not Sorry,” as her famous hit song goes. Israelis might not get to hear her perform anytime soon in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv but they will get to hear Celine Dion next summer. Our hearts, as Dion famously sings, will go on.
A beginner’s guide to the SJP national conference
In a surprise to nobody, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announced that its upcoming national conference, set to commence on November 1, will be held on the University of Minnesota Campus in Minneapolis (UMN). Why is this not a surprise? Because Minneapolis happens to be the district of antisemitic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a prominent figure in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

This is not a coincidence. In fact, the very first goal stated on the conference website is to capitalize on shifts in the political climate, represented by the elections of BDS supporters Rep. Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. However, the real shift in the political climate – one that SJP itself has played a substantial role in – is the resurgence of the world’s “oldest hatred” in the US under the guise of BDS.

Countless articles and in-depth studies have delineated the various calls for violence by the SJP leadership, as well as their intimate connection with Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), all of which thrive off an ideology of Jew-hatred. It’s not just the leadership that is guilty of promoting antisemitism, but many student members of SJP as well.

How many times must an SJP chapter host convicted terrorists like Rasmea Odeh at its events before they are called out for their antisemitism? How many social media posts fawning over convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti and PFLP founder George Habash must be shared by official SJP accounts until the tech overlords ban SJP from their platforms? How many T-shirts glorifying PFLP terrorist Leila Khaled must be sold at their events before the world opens its eyes?
HonestReporting's Daniel Pomerantz Exposes BDS Co-founder Omar Barghouti
HonestReporting's Executive Director Daniel Pomerantz goes head to head with on live television with Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. This is a 3 minute highlight reel. For the full 20 minute segment click here: https://God.blue/splash.php?url=nxncmVoJCM_SLASH_paaA118B7xVpZZkdLSAdVVWC0gcdaI7ZsnRGI8hDx0D7BR56keX2Yez59V7tN1ohaXm5g_SLASH_Ph1lekV3NYDPVvNgLCS5Ji7qyw_EQUALS_
This was originally aired on CGTN's The Heat news talk program. CGTN is China's English language international channel, with an estimated global viewership of 4 million.


Financial Times misleads on Muslim antisemitism
A Sept. 27th Financial Times book review written by David Feldman, director of the UK based Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, gave a mostly positive account of “How to Fight Anti-Semitism” by NY Times editor Barri Weiss.

However, on the topic of Muslim antisemitism, Feldman is critical.

Weiss is strong on how rightwing anti-Semitism functions, and she scores some hits in her attacks on the left and radical Islam. But sometimes she misses the target. Her writing about anti-Semitism among Muslims is a case in point. It is because of the growing Muslim presence, Weiss claims, that “it is dangerous to be a Jew in Europe.” In fact, so far as we can tell, most anti-Semitism in Britain stems from white men who are nominally Christian.

This is extremely misleading.

Whilst it’s narrowly true that most antisemitic incidents in the UK are committed by “white men”, this is not a terribly significant fact given the overwhelming majority of British citizens are white. When taking into account antisemitic incidents by perpetrator, based on the size of racial and religious groups, CST’s 2018 report demonstrates that Muslims commit acts of antisemitism at a rate disproportionate to their numbers. (page 8 of the report)

Further, according to a major 2017 study of antisemitic attitudes in the UK, by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and CST, levels of antisemitism in the UK are “2 to 4 times higher among Muslims compared to the general population“.
The BBC’s take on ‘Zionism’
On its website, the BBC has an animated series entitled An A-Z of -isms – including one episode titled “Zionism: A Very Brief History” – and gives this strapline: “Writers, academics and thinkers share their takes on some of the world’s most important ideas (plus a few fun ones).”

The corporation declares that it is “the world’s leading public service broadcaster,” and creates “distinctive, world-class programmes and content which inform, educate and entertain millions of people in the UK and around the world.” Therefore, although, so far, only 79,300 or so of those millions have clicked the Zionism animation, it must be remembered that it is on the BBC’s website and not on some obscure ranter’s internet outlet.

As it is, for now, one of the most viewed -isms, it cannot be ignored and remains relevant. Also, Israel is a subject close to the BBC’s keyboards.

In setting itself up as educator, and because it is here dealing with “some of the world’s most important ideas,” the BBC is duty-bound to ensure editorial rigor of its content. Yet, the corporation shirks this duty when it complacently defers it to the author of the “potted history” of Zionism. Using drab and noisy illustrative cartoons that are in some cases inaccurate and inappropriate, with the voice-over veering high and low, further underlines the utter slovenliness of this BBC product.

Clearly, the Zionism -ism was also a “fun one” of the -isms. Theodor Herzl gets tomatoes thrown at him, Jews are swivel-eyed and other such – it adds up to a bit of a list in this 3.08-minute agitated animation.

Who or what was editing Colin Shindler’s “take” on Zionism? You won’t find out who Herzl was, a Jew, because you’re not told.

You are also not told about how Europe, with its fanatical crusades, was long ago set on its path to Hitler’s “Final Solution.” Nor is there any mention of the horrifically violent history of antisemitism across Europe, in which entire villages of Jews were regularly burned to the ground – and this was before the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, the latter of which was a wedding gift of sorts. Alfred Dreyfus was dispensable and so Shindler dispensed with him, and with this swipe, a major defining point in modern Jewish history is elided.

Russian antisemitism – the only mention of “antisemitism” – is quickly and quaintly dismissed as a “heavy hand.” Also not mentioned is the specially coined Russian term, “pogrom,” with all the wanton and brutal destruction of whole Jewish communities that it entailed. It is interesting, though, how the word “Diaspora” is used, without any irony about the way in which it has become a common term, far beyond the Jewish context – a bit like pogrom (but then again, it was not mentioned). Whereas Herzl got tomatoes thrown at him, “Arab nationalism” is treated reverentially. Not even one falafel flies (but then again, falafels are Pharaonic).
CAMERA Arabic prompts correction of three inaccuracies in one BBC report
A BBC article published on September 24th on the network’s Arabic website was corrected last week (no earlier than October 1st, based on the date attributed to a cached copy of the inaccurate version) following a complaint made by CAMERA Arabic on the day of publication.

The article – which aimed to provide a detailed, informed introduction to Israel’s major Arab parties – contained three factual errors, one memorable typo and one major omission – all in one subsection.

Under the headline “What are the components of the Joint Arab List in the Israeli Knesset and [what are] their orientations?”, the article discussed the Joint List – a union of four Israeli parties, three of which self-identify as “Arab” while the fourth, Hadash, describes itself as “Arab-Jewish” (although the vast majority of its voters are estimated to be Arab).

The inaccuracies appeared in the part of the article portraying one of the Joint List’s components: the nationalist Arab party of the National Democratic Alliance (Balad). The correction addressed all the issues raised by CAMERA Arabic. (all translations, emphasis and in-bracket remarks are by CAMERA Arabic unless otherwise specified)
Anti-Semitic hate crimes in NYC have risen significantly in 2019
The number of hate crimes against Jews in New York City has risen significantly over the first nine months of this year, part of a citywide rise in such offenses.

The New York Police Department has reported 311 total hate crimes through September, as opposed to 250 reported through the same period in 2018, according to Deputy Inspector Mark Molinari, who heads the department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

Molinari said 52 percent of the reported hate crimes, or 163, have targeted Jews. Over the same period last year, the NYPD reported 108 anti-Semitic hate crimes.

At a meeting Thursday with Jewish philanthropists, Molinari discussed the numbers and how to prevent anti-Semitic crimes in the city. He recounted a list of anti-Jewish hate crimes that had made the news just this week:
- Two Jewish men had their hats knocked off by a group of teens.
- A separate group of children broke the windows of a Brooklyn synagogue during the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
- Also during the holiday, a third group of kids harassed a Jewish woman, pulling off her scarf and wig.
Robert Kraft names new exec. director of Foundation To Combat Anti-Semitism
Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group, announced today the hiring of Dr. Rachel Fish as the founding executive director of the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism. Fish will begin her new role on Monday, October 7.

Kraft established this new foundation in response to the growing rise in antisemitism in the U.S. and abroad, particularly in light of the spread of hateful rhetoric online and the initiation of hate crimes against the Jewish people through social media. He announced the foundation when he was awarded the Genesis Prize in June in Jerusalem, along with his own $20 million founding investment and the generous donations of others.

“I am thrilled to have Rachel lead this new and important effort,” Kraft said. “Rachel’s education, experience and, most importantly, her commitment make her the right person for this role. She is equipped to face the growing epidemic of antisemitism with tenacity and a proven track record of progress through a lifetime of work in this arena. Our family is honored and privileged to have Rachel lead this new foundation, which is so close to our hearts.”

Fish brings with her a thorough background and history in the fight against antisemitism, including a strong academic understanding of the issues and varied experience in advocacy work. Most recently, Rachel was Senior Advisor and Resident Scholar of Jewish/Israel Philanthropy at The Paul E. Singer Foundation in New York City where she aided in developing the strategic approach for the foundation’s giving and worked directly with practitioners to implement their missions and initiatives.
Turkey’s Kanter Says He Was Harassed by Erdogan Supporters
Boston Celtics and Turkey center Enes Kanter said he had been harassed outside a Massachusetts mosque on Friday by two men he described as supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kanter, who filmed the incident and posted it on Twitter, is an outspoken critic of the Turkish regime and its human rights record.

He was indicted by a Turkish court last year on charges of belonging to an armed terrorist group, which he denies.

“Erdogan thugs attacked and threatened me today after Friday prayers in Boston at a mosque,” he wrote.

“Turkish Government don’t even let me practice my religion freely in America let alone my freedom of speech is under attack.”

The video does not show any physical violence, but Kanter is clearly agitated as a crowd gathers around him on the sidewalk, and he seems particularly annoyed by one man who is not speaking English.

“I told you America, this is crazy,” Kanter said in the video.
Israeli defense firm Elbit secures $153 million drone deal with Asian country
Israel defense firm Elbit has secured a drone deal with an Asian country worth approximately $153 million, the company said on Sunday.

The contract will comprise a networked, multi-layer drone system, with aerial vehicles of varying sizes and capabilities, and will be delivered to the unnamed southeast Asia country over a 22-month period.

The materiel will include over 1,000 of Elbit’s THOR mini-drones, which look like consumer rotor drones and are meant to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance operations. The unmanned aircraft can fly at altitudes of 2,000 feet and at 65 kilometers per hour (40 mph).

It will also include dozens of Skylark drones, small aircraft launched and operated by a team of two that are widely used by the Israel Defense Forces. The Sky Rider, as it is known in Hebrew, is a tactical surveillance drone operated by the Artillery Corps that provides a live video feed to soldiers on the ground.
Israeli innovation is about to disrupt the fruit industry
“Disruption” is a common superlative applied to technology startups. Craigslist disrupted the classified advertising business. Uber and Lyft have disrupted the taxi industry.

Now, a new Israeli company aims to disrupt the fruit market, encompassing some 116 million acres of fruit orchards globally.

Markets in general are ripe for disruption when inefficiencies eat away at their core. The issue with fruit is knowing how much the trees on a farm will produce in a given year.

In industrial farming, this is known as “yield estimation” and it’s accomplished today in a remarkably low-tech way: Farm crews do a manual, visual “count” from the sampling of a few randomly selected trees in the field or in photographic images. From there, they extrapolate to the entire orchard.

But because it’s very difficult to distinguish unripe green fruit from green leaves, inaccuracies ranging from 30% to 40% are common. And wrong yield estimation results in less (or even no) profitability.
Pre-Mossad: How one man used espionage to bring Poland's Jews to Israel
Miri Nahari’s father, Tzvi Netzer, was the point-man for pre-Mossad clandestine efforts bringing 250,000 out of 300,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors from Poland to Israel.

Despite that near-miraculous accomplishment, strangely, Netzer is not as much of an international household name as his boss, Shaul Avigur.

Avigur helped found the Haganah’s intelligence wing, and at points headed all of Mossad Aliyah Bet and Nativ – which, respectively, brought massive numbers of European and Russian Jews to Israel.

Still, Netzer was the operational leader on the ground for “the Bricha” (the Jewish Escape) in Poland.

That meant getting Jews out of Poland post-World War II and essentially made him the pre-Mossad Israeli intelligence station chief in one of the key countries in Europe for Jewish survivors.

But before he got to that point, he, in typical Mossad-level spellbinding style, survived quite a few precarious situations, Nehari tells The Jerusalem Post Magazine with a flicker in her eye.

At this point, Nehari herself is a grandmother, and spent aspects of her career carrying out important activities for the state.
Her dynamic and bubbly personality is on full display as we make small talk and she offers a hot drink in the living room of her Ramat Hasharon home.
'A great privilege to see Ari rejoice in Trump's J'lem decision'
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman eulogized Ari Fuld in Gush Etzion Sunday evening, lauding the murdered father of four as an ‘outstanding American, an outstanding Israeli, and an outstanding Jew’.

Speaking during a ceremony marking the first yahrzeit (anniversary of his death) of Fuld in Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem, Friedman recalled Fuld’s pro-Israel activism, and his jubilation over the White House’s decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“The voice of your brother cries out to me from this ground…and it reminds us, as only Ari can, that we must always stand for the truth. I remember how excited Ari was on the day that we opened the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, some 17 months ago,” said Friedman.

“He issued several moving videos. Through all his excitement and all his commentary, the point that reverberated over and over again was not that the opening of the embassy was good, not that it was the right policy, not that it was appropriate or that it was just. Rather what Ari said was that the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem was an act in solidarity with the truth.

“The United States did not discover something new when it opened our embassy there. Rather, the United States was the first among nations to take a stand for the truth, in recognizing Jerusalem’s undeniable eternal status as the capital of Israel, and Ari implicitly recognized this.”

“It was a great privilege to see Ari rejoice at President Trump’s decision. While we had no doubt that we had taken the right path, positive reinforcement from an American and an Israeli and a Jew of Ari’s stature was most welcome.”

Friedman went on to call Fuld, who was murdered in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian Arab terrorist near the Gush Etzion bloc last year, a ‘proud American, Israeli, and Jew’.
Yahya, a Muslim Arab Israeli Combat Soldier


5,000-year-old NYC-style metropolis uncovered in northern Israel
The ruins of a 5,000-year-old megalopolis were uncovered in northern Israel, the Antiquities Authority announced on Sunday, in one of the most significant archaeological findings in recent history.

The ruins were discovered in a major excavation project in the Ein Assur site near Harish. According to the IAA, the city was the largest and most central one in the area during the Bronze Age. According to the archaeologists, about 6,000 people lived there, a huge number at the time.

“About the same time that the first pharaoh established his rule over Egypt, this city was founded,” IAA official Yitzhak Paz, explained in a video, calling the city “the New York of that era.”

Paz explained that the location offered exceptionally good conditions to settle, such as sources of water and strategic proximity to ancient commercial routes.

The city was fortified and its urban design is clearly visible, he added.

The ruins clearly show a web of roads and alleys, as well as the design of the buildings. Among the most unique structures uncovered, was a temple where religious rituals were performed. A seal imprint featuring the figure of a stylized man raising his hands in prayer and a head figurine were found at the site.

An even earlier settlement, dating to the Chalcolithic period from 7,000 years ago, was uncovered in deeper excavations made beneath this city's houses. It seems that two abundant springs originating in the area in antiquity were a site of attraction throughout the period.

According to the authority, the finding will change everything scholars know about the urbanization process in the Land of Israel in ancient times.



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10/05 Links: Bari Weiss' revolutionary anti-antisemitism action plan; Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to headline J Street conference; Phyllis Chesler: Gilead Resembles an Islamic Theocracy, not Trump’s America   

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From Ian:

Bari Weiss' revolutionary anti-antisemitism action plan
I am intellectually curious about Weiss’s thoughts on the fourth pillar of antisemitism that contaminates Western Europe: Guilt-defensiveness antisemitism.

The Israeli psychoanalyst Zvi Rex famously remarked, with biting sarcasm, that “The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.”

Based on my nearly 20 years of writing and analyzing contemporary antisemitism in Continental Europe, I posit that Rex’s formulation about German society punishing Jews because of the memory of the Shoah, which infuses pathological guilt into many Germans, needs to be updated.

In a modernized version of Rex, one might say that Western Europeans will never forgive Israel for the Holocaust. In short, that Western European countries such as France, Sweden, Austrian, Italy and others that were complicit in the Shoah are intensely focused on imposing discipline and punishment on Israel because of their guilt associated with Holocaust. What other plausible explanation exists for Western Europe’s relentless attacks on Israel and its singling out of Israel, only Israel, for a punitive demarcation of its products from the disputed territories in the West Bank and the Golan?

There has been progress recently in Germany in the fight against contemporary antisemitism, Weiss notes, for example the Bundestag decision to classify the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting Israel as anti-Semitic.

However, there is still the problem that John le Carré described so forcefully in his novel The Little Drummer Girl (1983), when the Palestinain terrorist Khalil says, “We have many friends in Germany. But not because they love Palestinians. Only because they hate Jews.”

A 2017 German government study revealed that nearly 33 million Germans, out of a total population of 82 million, are infected with contemporary antisemitism–that is hatred of the Jewish state.

The report said, in a section titled “Agreement with Israel-related antisemitism,” that 40% of Germans who were polled approved of the following statement: “Based on Israel’s policies, I can understand people having something against the Jews.”
Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to headline J Street conference
The two most powerful Democratic politicians in America, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, will headline the annual conference of J Street, the liberal Israel lobby.

The conference, which drew 3,000 people last year, is among the most prominent liberal Jewish gatherings of the year. It will take place in late October, and Pelosi and Schumer will speak on the night of Oct. 28. Pelosi recently launched an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Schumer’s presence at the conference is especially notable because he has established a reputation as a traditional pro-Israel voice in the Senate. He is a perennial speaker at the annual conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, which is to the right of J Street. He also voted against President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement in 2015, a deal that J Street strongly supported.

J Street advocates for an end to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, and has been a frequent Trump critic. Its affiliated political action committee, JStreetPac, raised $5 million for more than 100 Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections.

“At a time when many of our core values are under threat both in Israel and here at home, J Street is proud to stand with so many allies who are defending democracy and working towards a better future,” J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami said in a statement.

Swastikas in NJ Schools Symptom of Deeper Challenge of Antisemitism, Bigotry, Democratic Congressman Says
New Jersey is experiencing a “huge increase” in antisemitic activity and “every tool” needs to be used to combat the trend, the congressman representing the state’s 5th electoral district declared on Friday.

Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer was speaking on a conference call arranged to address a spate of swastika daubings and other antisemitic offenses in New Jersey public schools in recent weeks.

Highlighting the growing threat posed by white supremacist groups across the state, Gottheimer emphasized that his office was actively assisting security enhancement at religious institutions.

“We’re working together with our communities and our religious institutions by providing them with non-profit security grants,” Gottheimer said.

Grants of over $1 million this year have assisted synagogues, mosques, temples and other religious buildings with extra lighting, better locks and other safety measures.




Phyllis Chesler: Gilead Resembles an Islamic Theocracy, not Trump’s America
Misogynist thinking and actions exist in America today but not only among right-wing conservatives. It is also flourishing among our media and academic elites. Such thinking is flying high under the banner of “free speech,” “multi-cultural relativism,” “anti-racism,” and “political correctness.” Dare to question this elite’s right to silence and shame those who challenge their views—i.e., that the West is always to blame, that jihadists are freedom-fighters, that the Islamic face veil is a free choice or a religious commandment, that polygamy encourages sisterhood, that Islam is a race, not a religious and political ideology—and, as I’ve noted many times, one is attacked as a racist, an Islamophobe, and a conservative, and swiftly demonized and de-platformed.

While MGM/Hulu’s TV series is dramatically compelling, part soap opera, part horror movie, part Warrior Queen fantasy, the series is radically different from Atwood’s 1985 novel. For example, Atwood’s narrator, Ofglen, is not an increasingly daring, crazed, female assassin, as Elizabeth Moss brilliantly plays her. She is hardly heroic at all; under totalitarianism, heroism, collective or individual, is quickly ferreted out and destroyed. It exists but is rare.

Contemporary viewers are hungry for multi-racial characters, interracial and same-sex couples, “badass” women. Hulu gives them to us. Hulu’s Canada is a multi-racial, politically correct refuge for Gilead’s escapees; same-sex couples and feminists are government leaders. This is not true in the novel. On the contrary, in her 1985 Epilogue, Atwood has Canada rounding up and returning all Gilead escapees.

Atwood the divine novelist is absolutely entitled to depict whatever she wishes. But the current crop of reviewers as well as the filmmakers are playing partisan politics with her original vision and are refusing to see other and larger global dangers contained in her work.

Women’s freedom and women’s lives worldwide are under the most profound siege. To focus solely on the United States or on the Caucasian, Judeo-Christian West is diversionary. It scapegoats one country, one culture, for the far greater crimes of other countries and cultures.
Most Wars Don't Get Named Until Years After the Fighting Is Done. Others, Like the Yom Kippur War, Are Different.
The confidence of 1967 had turned out to be arrogant pride in 1973; its optimism, the folly of wishful thinking. Although there had been ample indications of the impending Egyptian and Syrian attack, Israel’s leadership had refused to believe it would happen and had not taken the necessary precautions. Menachem Begin, then the leader of the opposition, was speaking for all Israelis when, shortly after the war’s end, he declared in the Knesset:
Grief over the terrible mistake [of not calling up the reserves in advance and/or undertaking a preventive strike] . . . will never cease to haunt us. All would have been different, militarily and politically, were it not for the New Moon to the Tenth’s blindness.

Begin, a master rhetorician, had chosen his words carefully. “The New Moon to the Tenth,” beyn keseh l’asor, is a traditional rabbinic phrase for the ten “days of awe” from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur; the literal meaning of keseh (based on Psalms 81:4) is “covering up,” that is, the disappearance of the old moon at the month’s end before the new moon is sighted. Furthermore, the literary term used by Begin for “blindness,” likuy m’orot, which in Hebrew signifies more a judgmental or moral loss of vision than a physical one, also means “eclipse.” The intended parallelism was painfully apparent: as the light of the moon is eclipsed at the beginning of the ten days preceding Yom Kippur, so was the judgment of Israel’s leaders.

Ever since 1973, Yom Kippur has had a significance in Israel that it does not have in the rest of the Jewish world. Besides being a day of judgment for the sins of the individual, it has been seared into Israeli consciousness as a day of judgment for the nation—one on which a whole country was found guilty of the sin of hubris and made to pay a terrible price for it.

In colloquial Israeli speech, the words yom kippur have come to denote any shocking comeuppance, so that saying that something was someone’s “Yom Kippur” is like saying in English “It was his Waterloo.” There will never again be a Yom Kippur in Israel without this double sense of it, and the day’s heavy somberness is felt even by those who do not relate to it religiously. It will indeed always continue to haunt.
The War of Attrition: The “War Between The Wars”
Israel is the only country in the world that lives in a status called “the war between the wars.” Since it is surrounded by enemies who seek its destruction, even when not in official wartime, it is constantly dealing with small scale attacks from those enemies. The greatest example of this status is the three-year period from 1967 to 1970, a period which is now referred to as the “War of Attrition.”

One would have thought that Israel’s resounding victory over all the neighboring Arab countries in the June 1967 Six Day War would have given the Jewish state a few years of peace and quiet.

But this wasn’t the case.

Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was determined to do whatever possible to win back the Sinai Peninsula which Israel captured during the war that ended on June 9, 1967. While the Six Day War was over, it wasn’t long until the War of Attrition began.

As early as July 1, Egyptian commandos moved to within 10 miles of the Israeli position on the eastern side of the Suez Canal. Israel, working under a plan to prevent Egyptian forces gathering in the area, attacked the commandos and lost one soldier with 13 wounded. The next day, the Israeli air force bombed the Egyptian artillery that was providing cover for its commandos. That led to an Egyptian air force strike against Israeli forces in the Sinai and, for all intents and purposes, the June 9 ceasefire was no longer relevant. Skirmishes between the two sides continued throughout July with numerous Egyptian fighter jets shot down by Israel and Israel sinking two Egyptian torpedo boats.

There was relative quiet during August, September and most of October but then on October 21, 1967, the Egyptian Navy sunk the Eilat, an Israeli naval destroyer, in international waters off the coast of Port Said, killing 47 Israeli sailors. Israel retaliated with extensive bombing of Egyptian oil refineries and depots in the region, resulting in significant artillery battles between the two sides, with the Egyptians suffering civilian casualties.
Iranian hackers reportedly targeted Trump 2020 presidential campaign
Microsoft said Friday that it believed that hackers linked to the Iranian government have recently targeted a US presidential campaign, as well as government officials, media targets and prominent expatriate Iranians.

Overall, the hackers attempted to penetrate 241 accounts — four successfully — though none of those penetrated was associated with presidential campaigns or current or past US officials, Microsoft said. A company spokeswoman declined to identify those targeted, citing customer privacy.

Reuters and The New York Times reported that the attacks targeted US President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, but this could not be independently confirmed.

A review of publicly available internet records by AP showed that the Trump campaign’s official website is linked to Microsoft’s email service.

The campaign website is the only major candidate’s site connected to Microsoft’s cloud email service, and his campaign has spent tens of thousands of dollars on the company’s products, Reuters said.

The New York Times report saying Trump was targeted cited two people with knowledge of the attacks who were not allowed to discuss them publicly, and said it wasn’t clear if the campaign had been compromised in any way.
Israel and Gulf states said working on ‘non-aggression pact’ as they face Iran
Israel is reportedly negotiating with several Gulf states on a “non-aggression pact” between them as they face off against an increasingly emboldened Iran. The deal, which Channel 12 news described as potentially “historic,” aims to put an end to the state of conflict between these states and Israel.

Advancing the Israeli initiative, Foreign Minister Israel Katz met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last month with several foreign ministers from Arab Gulf states, Channel 12 news reported Saturday night.

There was no immediate comment from the Foreign Ministry, but Katz himself on September 23 tweeted that he had held talks with an unnamed counterpart from an Arab country with which Israel does not have formal relations, and said they discussed “ways to deal with the Iranian threat” and a process for boosting “civilian cooperation.”

Katz, who is leading the effort with the backing of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, agreed with his Gulf Arab interlocutors to set up working teams to take the non-aggression pact forward, the TV report said.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz and his Bahraini counterpart Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa (R) pose for a photograph at the State Department in Washington on July 17, 2019. (Courtesy)

Katz presented his Gulf counterparts with a draft text of the intended pact, which was drawn up by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the TV report said. It reportedly highlights the opportunity to advance common interests in the context of the threat posed by Iran, and is drafted in accordance with principles of international law. Among other elements, the TV report said, the draft text specifies cooperation in the fields of war, the fight against terror, and economic interests.
Saudis said moving toward detente with Iran amid US reluctance to act militarily
Sensing US reluctance to respond forcefully to Iranian aggression in the region, and following the devastating September attack on its oil facilities blamed on Tehran, Saudi Arabia is quietly moving toward possible rapprochement with the Islamic Republic, according to multiple media reports.

The New York Times reported Friday that the Trump administration’s failure to react militarily to the September 14 missile and drone attack on Saudi oil facilities, which jolted global oil prices and temporarily knocked out nearly 6 percent of the world’s daily crude production, had led Riyadh to recalculate.

“The worst outcome for the Saudis is to move to a confrontation with Iran expecting the US to support them and find out they won’t,” Philip Gordon, a former White House Middle East coordinator told the Times. “This administration has shown it’s not really ready to take on Iran.”

The strikes were claimed by Houthi rebels in Yemen, but Saudi Arabia, the US and other Western powers have said the attack was sponsored by Tehran. In its aftermath, US President Donald Trump was presented with a range of military options, including potential airstrikes on targets inside Iran. But he was also warned that military action against the Islamic Republic could escalate into war, according to US officials familiar with the discussions.

Trump during a White House meeting last Friday put off, at least for now, any immediate military strike on Iran, but approved a broader effort to beef up security in Saudi Arabia and the region. He told reporters that showing restraint “shows far more strength” than launching retaliatory strikes now.
2 rockets fired from Gaza set off sirens, fall short of border fence, IDF says
Two projectiles fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Friday fell short of the border fence, landing inside the Hamas-held territory, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

The launches triggered incoming rocket sirens in the Gaza border community of Kissufim in southern Israel shortly before midnight.

The incident came hours after a Palestinian man was killed during riots along the Gaza-Israel border fence on Friday, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, as thousands took part in weekly protests.

Alaa Hamdan, 28, was shot in the chest by IDF soldiers in a clash near Jabalia in northern Gaza, the ministry’s spokesman said. The IDF had no immediate comment on the death.

Israel’s Channel 12 said the death may have been caused by a Palestinian grenade.

Five other demonstrators were wounded by gunfire, the Hamas-run ministry said.

Around 6,000 Palestinians took part in the day’s protests with some rioters throwing rocks and explosives at the security fence and troops along the border.
Ramallah Youths’ Discovery of IDF Camouflaged Surveillance Camera May Hurt Microsoft Startup
Youths from the village of Kober, northwest of Ramallah, posted a video and photos showing a camouflaged video camera that was hidden inside a concrete block by Israeli security forces in the village cemetery, Ma’an reported Friday.

According to Arab social network sites, the young men who found the spy device set it on fire after confirming it was a broadcast camera that transmits their movements.

In a video posted on the website of the journalist Tamer Barghouti from Kober, the young men appear to dismantle the device, which included a camera, a transmitter, and a battery, and celebrate their discovery with great joy.

On Tuesday, the IDF arrested three young men from Kober, out of whom it released two brothers and kept suspect Nassim Barghouti in detention.

According to Ma’an, the surveillance device was made by the Holon-based Israeli company AnyVision (“We build the future, Pixel by Pixel”), which specializes in facial recognition technology.

In June, Microsoft’s M12 venture fund announced its investment in AnyVision, just as soon as it is determined whether its products adhered to Microsoft’s tough AI ethics standards. Eventually, AnyVision reported that all its investors, including Microsoft, were satisfied it was a “tool for good.” But by mid-July, Haaretz reported that the IDF is using AnyVision’s face recognition technology at Judea and Samaria checkpoints as well as inside Arab communities, leading to a wave of criticism of Microsoft’s investment in AnyVision.
PA agrees to accept tax funds from Israel, ending stand-off over terror salaries
The Palestinian Authority has agreed to accept hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues collected by Israel, after months of declining them in protest over Jerusalem withholding money over payments to terrorists, Palestinian officials said Friday.

The transfers amount to some 600 million Israeli shekels (about $170 million) a month and are a key source of financing for the PA.

The PA had refused to accept the funds because Israel was withholding an amount equal to what the Palestinians pay to terrorists and their families, but the cash-strapped PA appears to be retreating in the face of an economic crisis.

Israel says the so-called Martyrs’ Fund rewards and encourages violence, while the Palestinians say it is a way to provide for needy families affected by the decades-old conflict.

Hussein al-Sheikh, an aide to Abbas, tweeted Friday that he had met with Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon the day before to discuss “all outstanding issues” and that committees would continue the negotiations on Sunday.

“The agreement was also on transferring a payment from the #PA’s financial dues. The dispute (remains) over the salaries of the families of #prisoners and #martyrs. We are determined to pay their dues at all costs.”
Egypt parliament speaker praises Hitler to defend government spending
The speaker of Egypt’s parliament on Wednesday clarified his praise of Adolf Hitler a day earlier to justify spending on government construction projects.

At the opening session of parliament Tuesday, Ali Abdel Aal implored lawmakers to back Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi amid anti-government protests. According to the Middle East Eye news site, Aal asked lawmakers to observe a minute of silence as a sign of support for Sissi’s “project to build the modern Egyptian state.”

“Hitler had his mistakes, but what allowed him to expand eastward and westward was that he created a strong infrastructure for the German state that remains the source of its leading position in the First World,” Aal was quoted saying.

After the remarks were reported on, Aal said Wednesday that Hitler “has committed a lot of crimes” and that his praise was of German civilization and development, not the Nazi leader.

“Everybody is aware of what Adolf Hitler has done to humanity; hence no one with the minimum level of knowledge can praise him for his actions,” Aal said during a parliamentary session, Egypt Today reported.
MEMRI: Warm Encounter Between Arab League Secretary-General, Syrian Regime Representatives On Margins Of UNGA Reignites Speculation About Syria's Reinstatement In Arab League
Unexpectedly, on the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Arab League secretary-general Ahmad Abu Al-Gheit approached the Syrian delegation, greeted Syrian Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Walid Al-Mu'allem and called him "brother," shook his hand and the hand of his deputy Faisal Al-Miqdad, kissed them both, and said he was happy to see them.

Apparently, this friendliness towards the Syrian leadership on the part of the secretary-general of the Arab League – which suspended Syria's membership on November 12, 2011 because of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's harsh repression of the Arab Spring protests in the country[1] – is further evidence of an uptick in Syria's status in the Arab world and of the erosion of Arab opposition to the Syrian regime.[2]

For some three years, a number of Arab states – including Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Lebanon, Algeria, and the Palestinian Authority – have been calling to allow Syria back in to the Arab League.[3] UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash even stated, in a June 7, 2018 interview, that "expelling Syria from the Arab League was a mistake."[4] In addition, the Arab Youth and Environment Union, which belongs to the Arab League, announced on October 2 that it would reinstate Syria as a member in the next few days.[5]
Seth J. Frantzman: Why did Iraqi forces shoot protesters?
A variety of videos coming out of Baghdad show security forces shooting at protesters. Over the last twenty-four hours, as Friday turned to Saturday, the number of reports of snipers gunning down activists has grown. The elephant in the room cannot be ignored: Someone in Iraq’s government told a section of the security forces to use live-fire to kill protesters. It wasn’t a mistake, it wasn’t because police were outnumbered, and it wasn’t isolated incidents.

Why would Iraqi forces shoot the protesters from the same cities and southern provinces that many of the security forces or Popular Mobilization Units are drawn from? The question may is worth asking because there have been various rumors and claims about the protests in Iraq that have posited that those doing the killing and using the most heavy-handed measures are Iranian-linked groups. This creates an easy narrative of “Iran suppressing protests in Iraq,” as part of the larger Iranian goal to control Iraq for its own purposes.

To support the narrative of Iran’s role there have been stories about “Farsi speakers among the security forces” and “units changing uniforms” before attacking protesters. There are stories about plain-clothes officers among the security forces which leads to claims those in plain clothes are outsiders. In this narrative, spread in Arabic on social media, an “Iranian Revolutionary Guard Brigade” was permitted to enter Iraq by Fatah Alliance leader Hadi al-Amiri. Evidence? Some people tweeting about it.

The claim of foreign interference goes both ways. Others have pointed out that a concerted social media effort has been made to fuel protests and some of the accounts are located abroad. Lastly voices in pro-Iranian media have portrayed the protests as directed by foreign powers.

None of these stories present a full picture of what happened. Like the proverbial elephant, they all only capture one part of what happened. From the first moments of the protest the security forces that were sent used heavy-handed tactics. Video showed men in camouflage uniforms, heavily armed, involved in clashes, as well as other police-style units in darker uniforms.
Iraqi protesters claim Iranian forces firing on demonstrations
Farsi-speaking Iranians, not Iraqi forces, have been firing on protests in Iraq in which 65 people have died, said one protester interviewed by Reuters, according to Al Arabiya.

"There is no work, you come to protest, they fire at you. Live gunfire,"said the unnamed protester."They are all Iranian-speaking in Farsi. You want to speak to them, they answer in Farsi. The Iraqis would not fire at you."

The Shi'ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) milita in Iraq is backed by Iran.

Witnesses at the protests in Baghdad said that pro-Iranian security forces opened fire on protesters.

Protests broke out throughout Iraq against the deterioration of living conditions and health services, government corruption, unemployment and Iranian interference in the country.

The protests have no clear leader and seem to consist of gatherings of angry protesters.
In apparent swap, Iran frees Australian travel bloggers charged with spying
In a possible swap, an Australian-British blogger and her fiancé returned home Saturday after being freed from a three-month detention in Iran.

The couple, Jolie King and Mark Firkin, returned to Australia after all charges against them were dropped.

At the same time, Iran’s state TV reported that an Iranian scientist, Reza Dehbashi, who was detained for 13 months in Australia over purchasing a defense system for his country from the United States, had returned home.

“We are extremely happy and relieved to be safely back in Australia with those we love,” the Australian couple said in a statement. “While the past few months have been very difficult, we know it has also been tough for those back home who have been worried for us.”

They thanked the Australian government for helping secure their release.

There was no immediate acknowledgment Saturday by Iranian officials or in the country’s state media of the couple’s release. However, that has happened in previous cases.

Iranian TV said that the Australian judiciary had planned to send Dehbashi to the US but that he was released through Tehran’s diplomatic efforts.
Man crying ‘Allahu Akbar’ tries to run into Berlin synagogue with knife
A man armed with a knife attempted to run into a synagogue in central Berlin Friday evening, German media reported Saturday.

The man, apparently a Syrian refugee, was tackled by security personnel at the entrance to the Neue Synagogue. According to the Bild website, he was heard calling out “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great” in Arabic) and “F##k Israel.”

German police said the man, identified as Murad M., was hit with pepper spray by guards and then subdued and disarmed.

Officials said he carried documentation identifying him as 23 years old, originating from Damascus and with a residency permit, which ends in December 2020.

The incident occurred at around 5:30 p.m. according to Bild, likely shortly before the start of Friday’s evening prayer service.

Police said the assailant had no prior record and was not known to authorities.

The investigation was ongoing, but German media said that the man was released from police custody on Saturday morning.
John Mann warns against risk of understating problem of antisemitism
The Government’s new antisemitism adviser has warned that between overstatement and understatement of antisemitism, “the biggest danger is that we will understate the problem.”

Speaking after his first public engagement in his new job, John Mann MP, who has resigned from the Labour Party and will become a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, explained that he accepted his new advisory role to prevent “good people, young people” from deciding to emigrate from the UK because of rising antisemitism.

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer has shown that 40% of British Jews have considered leaving the country due to antisemitism.

If action were not taken against antisemitism, he warned, “the reality will be that good people will leave. Not necessarily quickly — but good people will not see their future on the continent of Europe or on the UK because they are Jewish, and they wish for their identity to be proudly held at all times. We are not going to accept – and government is not going to accept — that impingement on civil liberties in this country.”

Observing the rise of antisemitism on university campuses, Mr Mann noted too the “pernicious, silent, isolating disdain” shown towards Jewish students “from hostile elements in their universities,” adding that he would be pushing for the adoption and application of the International Definition of Antisemitism by “our major institutions, football clubs, universities — this is achievable.”
CAA condemns University of Nottingham for inviting suspended MP Chris Williamson to speak
The University of Nottingham has defended a decision to invite Chris Williamson MP to speak on its campus.

Mr Williamson was suspended from Labour and then readmitted, only to be resuspended following a public outcry after claiming that Labour has been “too apologetic” over antisemitism.

The disgraced MP is scheduled to speak on 11th October as part of a series on “British Politics in Crisis” at the Centre for British Politics.

Jewish students at the university have reportedly called for the invitation to be withdrawn, citing Mr Williamson’s “history of Jew baiting.”

Gideon Falter, Chief Executive of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “It is a damning reflection on the University of Nottingham that it chooses to invite a politician suspended from the Labour Party over his attempts to minimise the Party’s antisemitism crisis and who has a record of praising antisemites to give a lecture. If the university wishes to teach its students why British politics is in crisis, it might start by exploring why leading institutions are so ready to legitimise Labour antisemitism by inviting one of its chief defenders to speak.”

On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.
Labour MP Emma Dent Coad likes Facebook comment claiming Israel “disgraces all of us Jews worldwide”, then apologises
Emma Dent Coad, who was elected as a Labour MP in 2017 for Kensington, ‘liked’ a comment on Facebook by another user that read: “I’ve always been a Bevanite — my ultimate political hero…and as a Jew, the current Israeli apartheid regime disgraces all of us Jews worldwide.”

The comment was posted in response to a post by another user that criticised “Blairite” MPs and “members of the Netanyahu fan club”.

Following media attention, Ms Dent Coad apologised and ‘unliked’ the comment.

On 28th May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched a full statutory investigation following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.

In recent months, twelve MPs and three peers have resigned from the Labour Party over antisemitism, along with a large number of MEPs, councillors and members.

Over 55,000 people have now signed our petition denouncing Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and declaring him “unfit to hold any public office.”
Conservative MP Crispin Blunt suggests British Jews “demand special status” and reportedly says grants for Jewish security are a waste of money
The Conservative MP Crispin Blunt made a reference to “the demand for special status” on the part of British Jews in an interview on the sidelines of the Conservative Party Conference this week.

Mr Blunt made the comment following a fringe event at the Party Conference in his capacity as patron of the Conservative Humanists group. At the event, which was held in conjunction with Humanists UK, the chair of Conservative Humanists protested previous comments by the Chief Rabbi, who had apparently suggested that some humanists were becoming intolerant of religion.

Asked for his reaction to the chair’s comments, Mr Blunt suggested: “I think what he was saying was regarding the demand for special status…what’s required is for everyone to have tolerance of other people’s position and not to impose unfair views.”

The notion, however casually expressed, that Jews demand or receive special status in British society is baseless and offensive. Any dispensations that Jews do receive, for example in the workplace, are also shared by other faith groups and protected classes.
Alison Chabloz and the Criminalization of Holocaust Denial
Late last month, a musician named Alison Chabloz was sent to prison in the United Kingdom for violating the terms of an earlier court decision prohibiting her from using social media — a decision stemming from her dissemination of videos featuring songs she wrote that mocked the Holocaust. In the UK, this story made many of the major papers, but it has hardly registered at all in the United States.

But here’s why it should:
This case was a watershed decision in the battle against antisemitism. The UK has laws expressly forbidding hate speech that tries to incite hatred of other groups or is grossly offensive in nature. As such, and in light of her social-media malfeasance, Chabloz — who has posted content on her website alisonchabloz.com with headlines such as “In Defence of a Myth–‘Holocaust’ lobby shifts into top gear” and “Hear the Jew cry out in pain as the White lady sings” was incarcerated for a couple of days before being released pending her appeal hearing. That is scheduled for late October.

Chabloz, who has remained unrepentant despite her losing cause, has become something of a symbol of resistance to anti-hate speech legislation. Her supporters argue that Chabloz shouldn’t have been put in jail just for singing songs. They claim that regardless of the fact that Chabloz perpetuated an utterly repellent ideology through her music, the idea of instituting such a harsh punishment for posting content on social media is extreme in light of a person’s right to self-expression.
Why did UK’s Holocaust memorial events remove references to Jews?
The University College Union in the United Kingdom sent an email to branches that excluded mention of Jews among the groups persecuted during the Holocaust. According to The Jewish Chronicle, the UCU has since apologized. However, in a review of several websites connected to upcoming commemorations of Holocaust Memorial Day 2020, which will be held on January 27, references to Jews appear to be too often missing.

In the case of the UCU, a long list of those persecuted were mentioned, just not Jews. This included members of “trade unions” and “Roma” and “black people,” as well as gays and lesbians and “Jehovah’s Witnesses.” In addition, “non-Jewish Poles,” were mentioned – but not Jews. The UK’s special envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Eric Pickles, said the incident sends a “chilling message.”

But the problem is much larger than just the UCU. Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 is already being wrapped into the easier to pronounce acronym “HMD 2020,” which in itself removes the word “Holocaust.” On some websites, such as the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s page devoted to “75 memorial flames,” it is clearly noted that the Holocaust was “the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis against the Jews of Europe.” However, a press release from April about the “HMD 2020” theme, called “Standing Together,” doesn’t mention the word Jew. The press release, also at the Trust’s website, notes that “HMD 2020 will also include marking the 25th anniversary of the Genocide in Bosnia.” It is interesting that while Bosnia is mentioned, the place that the Shoah began in Germany is conveniently left out, lest anyone recall it was Germany that began the Holocaust and was largely responsible for it.

The April press release of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust notes that it is “calling people to Stand Together in memory of the millions of people affected by the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.” The UCU seems to have used similar language as part of the Stand Together campaign.
Antisemitism in Victorian schools is a monumental and hidden crisis
I well up with emotion when I hear of Jewish kids being subjected to physical assaults, bigoted stereotypes and insults, exclusion, degrading text messages and social media lynching. The day is not too far off when young people will have to hide their Jewish faith so as not to be singled out and vilified by their classmates. The victims are traumatised, filled with feelings of despair and abandonment, convinced that the system has failed them. And they are right.

Not infrequently, distraught parents are concerned that the anti-Semitic abuse will escalate if they notify the school since their child will become an even-bigger target. Some remain silent believing that the school leadership will not be sympathetic to their complaint. In fact, some administrators trivialise the attacks as a childish aberrations, as "kids being kids", or blame the victims ("it's your child's fault since they provocatively choose to exhibit their Judaism" or "we are a non-Jewish school so if you don't like it, leave"), are very slow to respond, and do not impose the appropriate punishment. In effect, they are enabling the wrongdoers by sending a crystal-clear message that Jewish pupils are fair game.

The elephant in the room is that very few of our elected representatives are actually speaking out about the darkening clouds that are gathering. And so, this cancer of intolerance, which is spreading like wildfire, must end. All of it. Because we literally have no choice and because that is not who we are as a nation. Good intentions and words are not enough. We now need bold action by the state and federal governments that matches the scale of the runaway problem we face, and which effectively tackles this menace at every single step. One solution is to institute mandatory reporting so schools are obliged to notify the Education Department when such incidents occur. Such reporting will then necessitate the investigation of each individual case and if warranted, appropriate penalties for the perpetrators.

Countering religious bigotry in the long run also hinges on making anti-bias and Holocaust education compulsory in every class. One example is the Anti-Defamation Commission's Click Against Hate program, a free, groundbreaking educational program, which equips students with the skills to respond to the hate they encounter in schools, urging them to action when it happens to them or when they see it happening to others. Further training for teachers and headmasters is also urgently needed so they understand that antisemitism is a threat to our way of life and that inaction is not an option. It's time for the adults in the room to stand up and protect the defenceless and vulnerable - our children.
Minister orders review into schools at centre of anti-Semitic bullying
Victoria’s Education Minister James Merlino has ordered an immediate review into the way two Melbourne schools dealt with separate "appalling and shocking" cases of sustained anti-Semitic bullying earlier this year.

Federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg also weighed into the "completely unacceptable" incidents, calling for lessons on the Holocaust, in which about 6 million Jews were killed in Europe, to be included in the Australian curriculum.

Mr Merlino said he would also meet with the parents of the two Jewish boys; a 12-year-old year 7 student who was at Cheltenham Secondary College, and a prep student at Hawthorn West Primary School. The meetings are scheduled to take place on Monday.
James Merlino has ordered a review into how two schools handled separate cases of anti-Semitic bullying.

James Merlino has ordered a review into how two schools handled separate cases of anti-Semitic bullying. Credit:AAP

Both boys have since left the schools where they were bullied, after their parents lost confidence in the schools' handling of the matter.

The year 7 boy was made to kneel and kiss the shoes of a Muslim boy in a public park, under threat of being bashed by several other boys who were watching on.

The humiliating act was filmed and published on social media.

The boys who were watching on were not Muslim, the victim’s mother said. She sought out the offender’s parents, who were horrified.


Israeli hospital donates equipment and knowhow to Nepal
Five physicians from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center recently brought medical equipment to Kathmandu and shared their expertise on women’s and children’s health with the medical staffs of two local hospitals.

Sponsored by the Embassy of Israel in Nepal, the Israeli team led a week of workshops and continuing medical education courses in neonatology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology. They taught the Nepali medical professionals how to use the new lifesaving technologies they donated.

Senior gynecologist Dr. Ronit Almog said this was the fifth such foreign delegation sent out by Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in the past year.

“Our aim is to reduce fetal and maternal morbidity and mortality in developing nations,” she said. “We met warm and welcoming medical teams and had a great cooperation. We saw a very good health level and system in Nepal and look forward to future mutual cooperation.”

Dr. Shyam Sundar Dhaubhadel, founder and president of Siddhi Memorial Foundation – which provides accessible healthcare services for women and children through Siddhi Memorial Hospital– compared the two nations to siblings. “Nepal is a toddler; Israel is a grown-up sister that has to share her expertise.”
Eric Pleskow, Holocaust refugee and producer of Oscar-winning films, dies
Eric Pleskow, who escaped the Nazis to become a film executive whose movies won the Academy Award for best picture seven times, has died. He was 95.

Pleskow was the president of the United Artists studio when it took home the best picture Oscars for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Rocky” and “Annie Hall” in 1975, 1976 and 1977, respectively — an unprecedented three-peat for a movie studio.

Later, as the co-founder of Orion Pictures, he oversaw four more winners for top film: “Amadeus” (1984), “Platoon” (1986), “Dances With Wolves” (1990) and “Silence of the Lambs” (1991).

Pleskow was born Erich Pleskoff in Vienna in 1924. He escaped the city with his family in 1939 after the SS had seized their home, which was blocks away from Sigmund Freud’s office, according to The Washington Post.

After arriving in New York City, he briefly worked at a film company, and was later drafted into the U.S. Army, where he was tasked after the war with reviving a film studio in Bavaria. From there he was hired as an executive at United Artists’ foreign department.

Pleskow rose to become president of the studio in 1973, and raised its profile by working with directors such as Woody Allen and Jonathan Demme. He broke off to co-found Orion in 1978.
Demi Lovato's mom defends trip to Israel: 'I will undoubtedly, unapologetically go again'
While Demi Lovato apologized for her trip to Israel — after receiving backlash — her mother won’t be following suit.

Dianna De La Garza, who accompanied Lovato on the free trip this week, said their visit was one of “only love” and that she will “unapologetically go again.”

Along with a photo of their two hands touching the Western Wall, De La Garza wrote that stop in the Old City of Jerusalem “was the highlight of my trip.” She said she will “never forget that day... or that trip as we celebrated life and Christianity as we learned about the Jewish faith while listening to the Muslim call to prayer. There was no fighting, no judgement, no cruel words...only love.”

De La Garza made it clear that there will be no apology coming from her, adding, “And I will undoubtedly, unapologetically go again one day.”

On Wednesday, Lovato found herself apologizing for the free trip — during which she was baptized in the Jordan River and had a spiritual awakening — amid criticism that she was taking a side in the country’s longstanding conflict with Palestine. Lovato apologized to those she offended in a message on social media, saying the trip was not mean to be “a political statement.”
What it was like growing up as a hidden Jew in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq
When Ceen Gabbai argued with her first-grade teacher about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, she didn’t realize how big of a risk she was taking.

The year was 2000 and students across the world held strong opinions about the Second Intifada, an outbreak of violence that claimed thousands of lives and began in September of that year. But Gabbai’s situation was different: She was one of the few Jewish students in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Standing up for Israel in a Baghdad elementary school was not an advisable move.

“Saddam was all crazy about Palestine,” she told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I go to school and they’re talking about what a horrible thing that is and how Israel was horrible. And I go and I’m like, ‘I think that’s a lie.’”

Gabbai was called to the school office, took a letter home to her mother and her parents had a meeting with the principal. Soon after they moved homes and she switched schools. Following the episode, her parents did not talk with her about Israel or Judaism.

Gabbai has had a dangerous life. Born a Jew under an Iraqi dictatorship, she endured constant anti-Semitism from a young age, then survived the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the years of war that followed.

In 2015, Gabbai received asylum in the United States. She is now living in an Orthodox neighborhood in Brooklyn, raising a child, teaching elementary school and writing children’s literature. She does not look back fondly on the hardships she endured, but feels they taught her to persevere no matter the situation.
Tombs, palaces, poverty and plague: Follow Montefiore’s early Holy Land travels
You may have heard that Sir Moses (Moshe) Montefiore was the force behind Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the first Jewish neighborhood outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls. But were you aware that the wealthy English knight visited pre-state Israel seven times, most often with his wife, Lady Judith?

Dr. Louis Loewe, a linguist and author who was not only intimately acquainted with the couple but had even accompanied them on journeys around the world, greatly admired Sir Moses and Lady Judith. In a book, the “Diaries of Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore,” which he published in 1890, he depicts them as a compassionate, caring, and observant Jewish couple that lived life to the full. They were also quite the wine connoisseurs. In fact, wine is mentioned in the diaries 24 different times.

One of their most interesting trips to the Holy Land, described in detail in Loewe’s book, took place in 1839. The volume abounds with descriptions of their overnights in tents, palaces and elegant homes. They rode horses atop mountains, along easy roads and atop barely discernible paths. The Plague was rampant that year, and they were careful to stay away from infected towns and villages.

Wherever the Montefiores went they distributed money and gifts, all the while taking the time to find out what their fellow Jews needed in order to improve what was very often a miserable existence. Quite possibly it was this trip that planted the seed for the eventual establishment of Mishkenot Sha’ananim in 1860.

That pioneering neighborhood came equipped with a windmill produced in Canterbury, a copy of one that stood near the Montefiore estate. With its help, the residents were meant to grind wheat into flour and become self- sufficient. In 1892, more buildings were added and the new neighborhood was called Yemin Moshe.



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10/04 Links Pt2: Caroline B. Glick: American Jewry’s days of reckoning; Ruthie Blum: Owing Israel an apology; Bari Weiss Makes Her Case; Memorial service to be held in Ari Fuld's honor   

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From Ian:

Caroline B. Glick: American Jewry’s days of reckoning
On September 29, President Donald Trump set out his nationalist political philosophy in his address before the UN General Assembly. Arguing that the nation-state is the best guarantor of human freedom and liberty, Trump set up a contrast between “patriots” and “globalists.”

“The future does not belong to globalists,” he said.

“The future belongs to patriots. The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”

Jewish nationalists, that is, Zionists, could hear their core convictions echoed in Trump’s statement. Israeli political philosopher Yoram Hazony made much the same argument in his book "The Virtue of Nationalism," which was published last year.

One of the regimes most opposed to nationalism is the Iranian regime. Iran’s leaders view the regime not as the government of the nation of Iran, but as the leader of a global jihad, which will end with the regime’s domination of the world, in the name of Islam – not Iran.

Anti-Semitism is one of the animating doctrines of Iran’s regime. The leaders ascribe to genocidal Jew-hatred. They use their commitment to annihilating Israel and war against the Jewish state as a means to build legitimacy for their regime and revolution throughout the Islamic world.

In his speech, Trump highlighted the regime’s anti-Semitism and its commitment to annihilate Israel.

Trump also excoriated the Arab world for refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist, saying, “Fanatics have long used hatred of Israel to distract from their own failures.”

Trump pledged, “America will never tolerate such anti-Semitic hate.”

Rather than earning him plaudits, American Jews were caustic in their response to Trump’s speech. Britain’s Independent reported that several American Jews condemned Trump’s speech as anti-Semitic. For instance, Laura Seay, a political science professor in Texas tweeted, “So … Trump condemns anti-Semitism in the same speech he started with anti-Semitic code language like 'globalism.'"
Ruthie Blum: Owing Israel an apology
FINALLY, I APOLOGIZE if I have given anyone the impression that I would be bitter about whatever coalition is cobbled together, or would not accept a third round of Knesset elections, if that becomes necessary. My view – that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a great leader – has not changed; nor has my sense that the charges against him are flimsy, at best, been shaken.

In addition, I am less than thrilled about the prospect of a national-unity government, headed either by Netanyahu or by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, whether or not they reach a rotation agreement. Nor do I welcome new elections, which probably would result in an outcome nearly identical to that of the September 17 vote.

But as soon as a government is formed, including if its makeup is one I consider disappointing, I pledge to continue to use my pen to defend the country against its external enemies, such as Iran – whose regime boasts about possessing the will and means to wipe Israel off the map – and those at home and abroad who engage in equally serious efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state in order to call its existence into question.

I hope to keep the above promises in the year to come, and to live up to a different admonition by Isaiah – verse 5:20 – which is not recited on Yom Kippur, but should be remembered and applied by all of us every single day of each calendar year: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that change darkness into light, and light into darkness.”
Battling BDS, one laugh at a time
I LIKE the idea that it’s time to stand up for ourselves through stand-up, among other means. Better to deliver punchlines than be the punching bags. It’s healthy to be able to laugh at ourselves and it beats BDS bitterness. Two days after last month’s election, the Government Press Office and Foreign Ministry arranged for a special screening of a new movie called Mossad. The comedy was presented as the perfect break from politics and a good way to help Israel’s image.

The satire directed by Alon Gur Arye has a star-studded cast, including heartthrob Tsahi Halevi of Fauda fame in his first comic role. Halevi plays a bumbling spy called Guy Moran (and you can imagine how that surname turns out in English.)

When he gives a woman his card, she says: “But it’s blank.”

“That’s because I’m a secret agent,” he replies.

The save-the-world plot in which the Mossad and the CIA compete and collaborate is totally implausible, but many of the one-liners are brilliant and the slapstick stunts are well-executed. When the evil masterminds capture an American billionaire in Jerusalem, they come up against a henpecked Mossad chief whose sole aim is to finish his term without incident and to get to light one of the torches on Independence Day. The (obviously unreal) Mossad head, played by Ilan Dar, demands a videotape of the hostages holding a newspaper showing the date. This leads RBG (the “Real Bad Guys”) to scream: “Who can even find videotape anymore? Nobody reads a newspaper!”

Unlike Diplomatic Relations, where the idea is good, but the performance is at times painful, I can happily recommend Mossad. Gur Arye admits that the film was inspired by gag-filled American movies such as Top Secret! and that making it was a dream come true. Noting that most of his Israeli peers want to make dramas, he preferred parody.

“And I wanted to spoof something very Israeli,” he explained in a panel after the screening.

Gur Arye was lucky and talented enough to get veteran Israeli director Avi Nesher and American director David Zucker (of the Airplane and the Naked Gun franchise) on board and the film definitely has Zucker’s wacky touch.



Bari Weiss Makes Her Case
Does she focus too much on left-wing anti-Semitism given the danger from the right? In a way, Weiss replied, left-wing anti-Semitism is more insidious because it “speaks a language that is a siren song — the language of social justice, progress, defense of the oppressed.” It’s also far more socially acceptable: “Someone who photoshops your face into a gas chamber is not going to be received in polite society. Someone who calls you an Islamophobe and a racist for being a Zionist is going to be invited on television.”

She addressed difficult questions with both nuance and simplicity. Yes, “Netanyahu makes it harder to defend Israel” with his Arab-baiting, his alliances with racist parties and his cozying up to authoritarians in Europe. No, it’s not acceptable to blame him for anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, because “Jews should not be blamed for anti-Semitism, ever.”

I didn’t agree with everything Weiss said. I wasn’t, for instance, too impressed by her suggestion that Jews who support BDS are motivated by the desire to “belong” and fit in with surrounding society; it seemed needlessly dismissive of some people’s sincere beliefs.

I also had mixed feelings about the claim she made at the end of the evening, and which she also makes in the book: That anti-Semitism exists largely as a backlash against the “radical ideas” at the center of Jewish faith and culture. “The idea of one God, that slavery is wrong — those are Jewish ideas,” Weiss said. Obviously, the Jews’ role as the original monotheists had something to do with their historical contentious relationship with other cultures. But Weiss also oversimplifies this history and flirts with reinventing Judaism in the image of modern humanism. (Both the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud accept slavery as a given, though they also call for humane treatment of slaves.)

At the same time, Weiss had a strong point when she noted the remarkable fact that the Jewish people’s “original story is freedom of slavery” — and that Jews “often stand perpendicular to their societies,” demanding “the right to be different.” As she put it, “That drove people nuts and it still drives people nuts.”

Come to think of it, that’s not a bad description of Weiss herself. A liberal by any rational standard, she stands perpendicular to most of her social milieu, demanding the right to differ from its groupthink. And it certainly seems to drive people nuts. (h/t Dave4321)
Deborah E. Lipstadt: The Gray Lady and the Jewish State
In late April 2019, the New York Times international editionpublished a cartoon depicting a blind, kippa-wearing President Trump being led by a dachshund with a Jewish star around its neck. The dog’s face was a distorted caricature of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visage. The message was indisputable: Israelis qua Jews, despite being the national equivalent of lapdogs, have the unique ability to blind presidents and shape political events. Beguiled, not only does Trump do their bidding, but he is, like the other unwitting victims on the world stage, blissfully unaware of what is going on. The cartoon gave vivid expression to the conspiracy theory, or rather myth, that is at the heart of anti-Semitism and did so in an image that, as was widely noted, could have appeared in Der Stürmer. How did it end up receiving the New York Times’s imprimatur?

Apparently, a single midlevel editor for the international edition of the paper chose the cartoon from a syndication service to which the paper then subscribed. Subsequent events followed a familiar pattern. The paper, after being inundated with outraged comments, including some from its own staff members, issued a short apology in the form of an editor’s note: “The image was offensive, and it was an error of judgment to publish it.” Eileen Murphy, a New York Times spokeswoman, added a subsequent statement on behalf of the Opinion section of the paper, identifying the cartoon as anti-Semitic and saying it was “deeply sorry” for publishing it.

In most cases, that would have been the end of the story, except for the scores of Jewish readers and supporters of Israel who were once again forced to decide whether to cancel their subscriptions. Two subsequent events made this incident noteworthy. Writing in the New York Times, op-ed columnist Bret Stephens scathingly lambasted not only the international edition but his own paper. For Stephens, the publication of a “textbook illustration” of anti-Semitism did not reveal institutional anti-Semitism, but it wasn’t much better than that. It was that the Times, “otherwise hyper-alert to nearly every conceivable expression of prejudice,” could be so, well, blind:
Imagine, for instance, if the dog on a leash in the image hadn’t been the Israeli prime minister but instead a prominent woman such as Nancy Pelosi, a person of color such as John Lewis, or a Muslim such as Ilhan Omar. Would that have gone unnoticed by either the wire service that provides the Times with images or the editor who, even if he were working in haste, selected it? The question answers itself. And it raises a follow-on: How have even the most blatant expressions of anti-Semitism become almost undetectable to editors who think it’s part of their job to stand up to bigotry?

The answer, Stephens wrote, was that anti-Zionism has become so mainstream “that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry,” and the Times was complicit in that mainstreaming.
David Collier: St Anne’s Church in Soho, Miko Peled and an evening with antisemites
Peled in the Church

But this is Peled’s night. Peled is not a man of peace. He is a man clearly wired to seek revenge for whatever injustice his own mind has created for him. He is also someone who buckles when his weak arguments are exposed. I always put Peled’s leaving of the fold down to his inability to handle the weight of his family heritage, but it doesn’t really matter anymore what drove him over the cliff. What is certain is that he drove off it.

Peled likes provoking Jews. Those who think his ‘Holocaust, yes or no‘ comment from the Labour Party conference of 2017 is a stand-alone remark haven’t been paying attention. At UCL the same year he spoke about ‘the witch-hunt against antisemites and Holocaust deniers.’ going on to suggest to Jeremy Corbyn that he should put away the ‘nonsense about Holocaust denial and the nonsense about antisemitism‘. If you follow his threads on Twitter and Facebook you soon realise his audience is little more than an extremist, racist mob.

So Peled stands in the Church and beats his chest about how the Labour Party Conference was little more than a ‘rally for Palestine’. He isn’t wrong. With the NHS, austerity and housing as major concerns for their voters, the Labour Party did little but obsess over Israel.

Peled spoke as he normally does – blaming everything on Zionists and Israeli discrimination. Context and humanity and reason are removed. Lies are created. The end result is raw demonisation. Then look at the laugh his jokes about antisemitism gets from the crowd in the Church.

There is nothing funny about any of this. With Antisemitism visibly on the rise across the globe, the Church provides a platform to someone who ridicules racism against Jews. Peled is feeding antisemitism. He is demonising Zionism and Israel to an audience containing many who already buy into anti-Jewish conspiracy.
PMW: Does The World Karate Federation authorize tournaments named after Palestinian terrorists?
The Palestinian Karate Federation has misused the sport of karate to promote terrorist Dalal Mughrabi who led the murder of 37 Israeli civilians, among them 12 children, as a role model for young Palestinian women:
"The Sisters of Dalal Mughrabi Championship for Young Women" [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 13, 2019]

A banner displayed at the championship carried the name of the "Palestinian Karate Federation" and its logo (left), and the logo of the "World Karate Federation" (right):

[Official Facebook page of the Palestinian Karate Federation, Sept. 11, 2019]
"Palestine" is a member of the Asian Karate Federation, which is a member of the World Karate Federation. Two weeks ago, Palestinian Media Watch passed on the documentation of this Palestinian championship honoring a mass murderer to both federations, asking that they condemn the Palestinian Karate Federation and prohibit the recurrence of terror glorification by the Palestinian Karate Federation and any other of its federation members. In addition, PMW asked that if the federation's "Statutes and Rules" currently do not prohibit naming sporting events after terrorists, that the statutes be amended immediately to include such a prohibition. However, neither federation has responded.

The championship in which 55 young Palestinian female athletes participated was held in Bethlehem by the southern branch of the Palestinian Karate Federation.

Dalal Mughrabi, after whom this tournament was named, was a female Palestinian terrorist who led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history, known as the Coastal Road massacre, in 1978, when she and other Fatah terrorists hijacked a bus and murdered 37 civilians, 12 of them children, and wounded over 70. PMW has documented numerous examples of PA and Fatah leaders promoting murderer Mughrabi as a hero for Palestinian society in general and for youth in particular. The PA has named at least 6 schools after murderer Mughrabi, many sporting events have been named after her, and a PA schoolbook teaches children to "be like" her.
UK to Release ’Pay to Slay’ Audits After Freedom of Information Request
The branch of the British government responsible for administering overseas aid will disclose audit reports regarding aid money allegedly used to pay salaries to convicted terrorists, after abandoning its appeal against a ruling by UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

In July 2018, UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), a British volunteer organization of lawyers who support Israel, submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department for International Development for copies of audit reports for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program. The program is a World Bank multi-donor trust fund for the Palestinian Authority. The DFID refused to release the information, citing among other reasons the risk of potential harm diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the PA.

According to UKLFI, “Various countries, including the UK, paid large sums of money into the World Bank’s Palestinian Recovery and Development Program Multi Donor Trust Fund (PRDP-MDTF), which were then transferred to the Palestinian Authority’s Central Treasury Account.” According to the organization, “this is the account from which payments were made to convicted terrorists, rewarding them for their crimes.”

Commissioner Denham ruled on July 26 of this year that the reports were of “significant public interest,” which outweighed any potential harm that might be done to diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the PA Denham ordered the DFID to release the information within 35 days, or appeal.
Observing Labour antisemites in Brighton
For the efficient observer of anti-Israel hate mongering in Great Britain the seaside resort of Brighton in the UK was the place to be during the fourth week of September. There the Labour party's annual conference took place. This gathering also claimed 450 fringe events.

Attendance was around 13 000 people. In a few days one could receive a concentrated overview of anti-Israelism in Labour as well as smatterings of antisemitism, its minimizing and whitewashing.

A few examples illustrate this.

At the conference the great majority of delegates voted for a motion to boycott Israeli "settlement" goods. This was a first for Labour. The delegates also voted to reject trade agreements with the country. It seemed that the party furthermore backed the “right of return” of Palestinian Arabs. This is tantamount to supporting Israel’s annihilation through swamping it with Palestinian Arabs. The common way to interpret this right is that those who fled can return. In the Palestinian case it is distorted by Israel’s enemies meaning that descendants of refugees from any generation are also entitled to immigrate to Israel where they have never lived.

Palestinian flags and chants of “Free Palestine” were prominent at the Labour conference. This, despite rules prohibiting flags from being displayed on the conference floor. Last year, hundreds of Palestinian flags were also flown with the approval of the Labour leadership after these were handed out to delegates.
EHRC summons 25 former and current Labour staffers to give evidence in antisemitism inquiry in “daunting” letters
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to 25 former and current employees of the Labour Party requiring them to provide evidence as part of its inquiry into antisemitism in the Labour Party.

The inquiry, which is a full statutory investigation, was launched by the EHRC on 28th May following a formal referral and detailed legal representations from Campaign Against Antisemitism, which is the complainant.

The letters reportedly advise that “the Commission is gathering evidence to investigate this matter in accordance with the terms of reference and has identified you as a person we require evidence from. Please do not ignore this letter or the Notice. We draw your attention to the consequences of failing to comply with the Notice which…may include committing a criminal offence.” The letter requires a response within fourteen days.

The EHRC has the authority to require any individual or organisation to disclose relevant information, and the notices have reportedly been described as “daunting” by some recipients.

Over 70 Labour whistleblowers have given evidence to the EHRC in relation to the antisemitism investigation.
University and College Union which rejected antisemitism definition apologises for excluding Jews from its extensive list of Nazi victims
Extraordinarily, the e-mail did not mention Jewish victims of the Nazis, who were the principal victims of the Holocaust. This was even despite the specific reference to non-Jewish Poles.

UCU indirectly apologised for the offensive omission in an e-mail from an “equality support official” for what were described as “drafting errors” and “human error”. The official stated that “UCU apologises for the offence this caused and reassures all members that it continues to fight against all forms of antisemitism, hatred and bigotry in society.” In the updated e-mail, a paragraph was added about the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust.

Ordinarily, such an omission might not have been noteworthy, but UCU has a poor record when it comes to fighting antisemitism, including refusing to adopt the International Definition of Antisemitism, repeatedly endorsing the antisemitism-riddled Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish State and fighting a legal battle against a Jewish academic who unsuccessfully sued UCU for breach of the Equality Act 2010.

It is hardly a stretch to imagine that there is a relationship between UCU’s cavalier approach to antisemitism today and its insensitivity toward commemoration of historic antisemitism. If the Union were to show greater awareness of the antisemitism of the past, perhaps its attitude toward Jews today will also find the correction it so desperately needs.
British Teenager Goes Public About Months of Antisemitic Abuse
A British teenager has gone public about a torrent of antisemitic invective she has faced in recent months, including taunts about the Holocaust.

Charlotte Nathan, 17, who attends school in Northwich, England, was moved to speak about her experiences after she received a derogatory message on her Snapchat account that said, “I wanna fart in your face to remind you of how your grandparents died.”

The Manchester-based Jewish Telegraph quoted her as saying, “Casual racism is a common feature of daily life, especially among the millennial generation, who perceive racism as a form of humor and so-called ‘banter.’”

“Catalysts, such as memes used on social media, seem to justify and sugarcoat the underlying racial tensions that as a society we fail to address,” she stated. “This can be exemplified through the lack of education supplied about different cultural groups to schools and other communities, exacerbating ignorance.”

“I am no stranger to antisemitic abuse,” she added, “and for the last six years, being in secular education and interacting with other cultures, I have encountered a fair share of comments and remarks.”

“This is evidence of inherited, underlying racism we see daily,” she said.






Revisiting a BBC Radio 4 Christmas report from the Gaza Strip
As was noted here at the time, Husain was conspicuously silent on the topic of how many Christians actually currently live in the Gaza Strip and her report was obviously intended to promote the politically motivated narrative that Gaza’s Christian population lives happily under Hamas rule, with its only tribulations caused by Israel.

Last week Israel’s Channel 12 aired an interview (in Hebrew and Arabic) by Arab affairs correspondent Ohad Hemo with a Christian who escaped the Gaza Strip four months ago.

“Since Hamas came to power in the Gaza Strip the Christians living there have become scapegoats and the targets of that organisation as well as Salafist extremists. Due to their difficult situation most have fled and from a community of 4,200 people, now only a few hundred remain. Kamal Tarazi was there until recently. Four months ago he managed to escape: “Hamas people took over my home and turned it into a command post”, he recounts. […]

‘They put me in a number of prisons and Hamas’ prison is all just beatings and psychological torture’ he recalls. According to him the harming of the Christians in Gaza has become routine and does not stop even during times of conflict. […]

‘They harass and harm the Christian public and Christian institutions, churches and charities’.”


The calibre of Mishal Husain’s reporting on the topic of challenges faced by the Christian community in the Gaza Strip is again all too apparent.


Ha'aretz: The Fake Nazi Death Camp: Wikipedia’s Longest Hoax, Exposed
“The first gassing there took place on October 17, 1943, killing at least 150 Poles caught in a street roundup and about 20 Belgian Jews …. Bodies were either cremated in crematoriums or open-air pyres (including at a former sports stadium) or simply buried under collapsed buildings during the systematic demolition of the former ghetto .... [Some estimates] place the number of the camp’s victims well above 212,000, mainly Poles and several thousand of non-Polish.”

This dry description of the systematic murder of ethnic Poles by Nazi forces during World War II was taken from the English-language Wikipedia article for the “Warsaw concentration camp,” also known as Konzentrationslager Warschau. The site where the camp stood is an object of pilgrimage for some in Poland, who hold periodic ceremonies on what they believe is hallowed ground. They come to honor the memory of thousands of Poles murdered in a gas chamber located near the Warsaw West (Warszawa Zachodnia) train station – which still exists – and have even erected monuments and plaques in their memory.

There’s just one problem: No such death camp ever existed. There is no historical evidence of German gas chambers ever existing in Warsaw, and nowhere near 200,000 people died in the cluster of Nazi internment centers that did stand at the basis of the myth of KL Warschau.

“It’s fake history,” says Prof. Havi Dreifuss, a Tel Aviv University historian and Yad Vashem’s expert on Poland and the Holocaust, when asked about gas chambers in Warsaw. Other Holocaust historians share her unequivocal position: “It’s a conspiracy theory,” says Prof. Jan Grabowski, a Polish-Canadian historian from the University of Ottawa, when asked about the legend behind the death toll. Yet both claims appeared, almost without interruption, for 15 years on the English-language version of Wikipedia in what is said to be Wikipedia’s longest-standing hoax.

European Court: Holocaust Denial Is Not a Human Right
Denying that the Holocaust ever happened isn’t a form of freedom of expression protected under the European Human Rights Convention, a top court has ruled in a case that stretches back nearly a decade.

Udo Pastoers, a German who suggested in a 2010 speech that the Holocaust never occurred, was fairly convicted under the country’s laws against the intentional defamation of Jewish people, the European Court of Human Rights ruled while rejecting his complaints.

Pastoers’ argument that his statements were protected by Article 10, which protects freedom of expression, was “manifestly ill-founded,” given that he “had intentionally stated untruths in order to defame the Jews and the persecution that they had suffered,” the Strasbourg, France-based court ruled on Thursday. His complaint that he was denied a fair trial in Germany was also rejected by the ECHR.

Pastoers had given a speech a day after Holocaust Remembrance Day in 2010, saying that the “the so-called Holocaust is being used for political and commercial purposes” and also referring to a “barrage of criticism and propagandistic lies” and “Auschwitz projections.” He was first convicted in 2012 by a German district court, and then a regional court rejected his appeal of the verdict less than a year later.
Swastika, anti-Semitic slur painted on wall of former Krakow Ghetto
A swastika and other graffiti were painted on the wall of the former ghetto in Krakow.

“Whores Jews, get the f*** out of Poland” alongside the swastika were discovered drawn with a tar-like substance on Tuesday — the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Municipal services painted over the graffiti on the same day.

Police investigated in the area of Limanowskiego Street; there are no suspects.

“While I was extremely upset to see the hateful graffiti on the ghetto wall, especially on Rosh Hashanah, the quick reaction by the city and the police reminded me why Krakow is such a good place to be a Jew,” said Jonathan Ornstein, director of the Jewish Community Center of Krakow.

On Sunday, graffiti reading “Confederation against Jews #447” was discovered on the wall of the Jewish cemetery in Tarnow.

In 2018, the US Congress approved Law 447, or the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today, or JUST act, which insures that those who survived World War II or their heirs receive compensation for their losses, if it has not already happened. The Confederation is a right-wing political group that opposes the restitution of Jewish property.
India issues terror alert for Jewish, Israeli targets on Yom Kippur
Authorities in India have warned of a potential terror attack on Jewish or Israeli targets on Yom Kippur, which begins Tuesday night.

According a Channel 12 news report on Friday, Israeli security services are working with their Indian counterparts to thwart any potential attack over the Jewish holiday period, which runs until October 21.

The Israeli embassy in New Delhi, synagogues, Chabad buildings, Jewish schools, restaurants and hotels known as popular destinations among Israeli travelers have all been put on high alert with increased security.

The Times of India reported last month that there were fears an attack could be carried out on a Jewish target by a cell affiliated with either the Al-Qaeda or Islamic State terrorist groups.

The report said the alert was issued on the basis of intelligence received from the security agencies of other countries. No further details were given.

In 2008, there were coordinated attacks on Mumbai’s luxury hotels, the main railway station, a restaurant popular with tourists and the city’s Chabad center. The Lashkar-e-Taiba group was blamed for the attacks that killed 166 people in total, including six Israelis.
3 out of every 4 LA county Jews view antisemitism as serious - poll
Three-quarters of Jewish people in Los Angeles County view antisemitism as a serious threat, a new survey found.

“The Pat Brown Institute (PBI) for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles conducted a poll of more than 1,800 Jewish voters in Los Angeles county [and it] revealed strong support for the survival of Israel as a Jewish state and also very significant fears of growing antisemitism,” said Dr. Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of PBI.

“More than 70% reported being concerned about it,” he said. “Written comments to an open-ended question revealed concerns from both the Right and the Left on antisemitism. Clearly though, fears of growing antisemitism are widespread.”

According to the findings, 41% of the participants said that antisemitism is an extremely serious problem, and 31% said they consider it “very serious.”

Seventy-six percent of the participants said that remembering the Holocaust is “essential” for them, and an additional 19% viewed it as “important.” Thirty-six percent of participants said that caring for Israel is essential for them, and an additional third said it is important, while 25% of those polled expressed their opinion that they did not see caring about Israel as important.
Vandals smash windows of Brooklyn synagogue during Rosh Hashanah prayers
The windows of a synagogue in Brooklyn were smashed by vandals this week during Rosh Hashanah services.

A video showing people throwing milk crates at the Rivnitz synagogue in the Williamsburg neighborhood was circulated Wednesday on social media.

Police said that the incident took place on Monday afternoon and they were searching for two females who were seen in the video, according to WPIX-TV.

Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the vandalism.

“This is a shocking act of hate,” he wrote on Twitter. “We WILL find the perpetrators and hold them responsible.”

The Anti-Defamation League said it was “deeply disturbed” by the video.

“At a time when the Brooklyn Jewish community is already on edge in the wake of a series of anti-Semitic incidents, it is extremely upsetting to see this congregation targeted during what is otherwise supposed to be a joyous celebration of the Jewish New Year,” Evan Bernstein, the regional director of the organization’s New York-New Jersey office, said in a statement.


Teen allegedly attacked Jewish woman in Brooklyn, pulling off scarf, wig
Police said a Jewish woman reported being harassed in Brooklyn on Rosh Hashanah.

The 22-year-old said that she was approached on Sunday evening by a female teenager who “pulled her scarf and wig from her head,” a New York Police detective, Annette Shelton, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in an email.

The incident occurred in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and the perpetrator, who was described as being 16 years old, was accompanied by another teenager, the woman told police.

Shelton said that the police’s Hate Crimes Task Force was investigating the incident.

The incident is the second alleged attack that occurred on Rosh Hashanah in the borough. On Monday, the windows of a synagogue were broken in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

That incident drew condemnations from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

There has been a spate of attacks in recent months against visibly Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn.
Arabic-speaking man tosses rock at Israeli’s head in Germany
A 27 -year-old Israeli woman was the victim of a violent antisemitic attack in Bavaria after an Arabic-speaking man tossed a rock at her after she spoke Hebrew.

She suffered a head injury, according to the Bavarian daily Merkur, which reported on Thursday that the police are searching for the suspect who fled the scene of the alleged crime.

That attack took place on Wednesday near a cemetery in the town of Massing. The Israeli woman was walking with her two sons near the cemetery. After the woman called for one of her sons in Hebrew, the man screamed in Arabic “Jew” and tossed a stone at her head.

The Merkur reported that the suspect is between 40 and 50 years-old and has short, black hair. He spoke broken German with a foreign accent.
Israeli startups raise more than $1 billion in September
Israeli startups raised $5.9 billion so far in 2019 and are on track to pass last year’s record-breaking figure of $6.4 billion, the Israeli business daily Globes reported on Wednesday.

Based on press releases from Israeli companies that have completed financing rounds, more than $1 billion was raised in September alone.

However, the true figure is likely even higher, as some companies do not reveal investment data, according to the report.

Israeli tech companies raised $650 million in July and $350 million in August, according to the IVC Research Center.

In September, credit company Fundbox raised $326 million, fintech firm Tipalti raised $76 million and open security platform Snyk raised $70 million. In addition, drone defense company D-Fend raised $28 million, and 3D-printing company Xjet raised $45 million.
Early clinical trial for ALS sufferers shows biotech firm ‘on the right track’
Kadimastem Ltd., a biotechnology firm that develops cell therapies, said it has received “promising interim results” from a first group of patients treated with its new therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a fatal neurodegenerative condition that causes the loss of muscle control.

“Looks like we are on the right track,” said Rami Epstein, the CEO of Kadimastem, in a phone interview. “The interim results are important because they demonstrate that we have managed to inject the live cells into a human body without any treatment-related significant adverse effect, while also showing a measurable therapeutic effect. Our cell therapy managed to significantly slow down the disease progression and halt deterioration of the disease.”

The cell therapy aims to slow or even halt the progression of the disease and improve patients’ quality of life and life expectancy, he said.

ALS leads to muscle weakness, loss of motor function, paralysis, breathing problems, and eventually death. The average life expectancy of ALS patients is two to five years. According to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, there are approximately 450,000 ALS patients worldwide, 30,000 of them in the US. According to the ALS Foundation for Life, the annual average healthcare costs of an ALS patient in the US are estimated at US$ 200,000. Thus, the annual healthcare costs of ALS patients in the US alone amount to $6 billion.

In a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange last week, the firm said that the treatment administered to one group of patients in a Phase 1/2a clinical trial held in Israel apparently caused a significant slowdown in the progress of the disease and was found to be safe.
Israel Mounts See-Through-Wall Radar on Robots
Israel’s Camero is positioning its Xaver see-though-wall technology for networked use by unmanned systems, according to company officials.

Ilan Abramovich, Camero (and sister company Meprolight) senior vice-president of sales and marketing for defence, said the company’s Xavernet, a wireless Toughbook-based networking capability, enables the handheld sense-through-wall radars to be operated from 100–200 m line-of-sight.

The concept places the radars on robotic or unmanned platforms for remote control. Currently, four radars can be controlled at once, Abramovich said. It works with the Xaver 100 and Xaver 400 systems, he added.

The Xaver 100 hand-held radar was designed for teams breaching a room or a door, to give them a ‘go or no-go’ decision by simply showing if a person was behind the wall by displaying an arrow that indicates if the person is moving towards or away from the wall.

All the Xaver series systems are radar-based, and use ultra wide-band radio signals between 3 –10 GHz. They have a 120° field of view (FOV) and can see through drywall, concrete, and various structures, though not solid metal. Metal drywall studs or concrete reinforced with rebar can block the signal as well, but can still make the system function if a non-metal through-spot can be found, Abramovich said.
Israel Shipyards Sells Patrol Craft Worldwide
Israel Shipyards has received orders for its newest patrol craft, the OPV 45, and is in discussions towards the first sale of a Sa'ar S-72 vessel, according to Noam Katsav, managing director at Israel Shipyards.

The Sa'ar S-72 is 71.8 m long, has a 3,200 n mile range, an 800 tonne displacement, and a 30 kt top speed. Contract talks are ongoing with one country, and one Sa'ar S-72 has begun construction in the meantime, Katsav said.

In September Israel Shipyards has sold two OPV 45s, which are 45.7 m long, have a 3,000 n mile range, a 290 tonne displacement, and a 24 kt top speed. The yard will start building those soon, he added. The OPV 45 is driven by fixed-pitch propellers and the power plants depend on the customer's needs. It can mount stabilised naval gun systems of up to 30 mm in the primary position, and 12.7 mm machine guns.

Meanwhile, the yard is building more of its Shaldag fast patrol craft. Shaldag variants - Mk II, III, IV, and V - are broken down by size to meet user-specific needs. The Israeli Navy, for example, typically wants small and fast vessels that can be operated by younger sailors.
Army inducts Israeli 'tank killers’ till DRDO develops indigenous ones
Indian infantry soldiers now finally have a new weapon to destroy advancing enemy tanks on the western front with Pakistan. The Army has begun to induct a limited number of Israeli Spike anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) to meet immediate operational requirements till the indigenous man-portable “tank killers” being developed by DRDO are ready for induction.

Sources on Thursday said the “first lot” of the 210 Spike missiles, with a dozen launchers, “arrived in India about 10 days ago” as part of the “Army vice chief’s emergency procurement powers” exercised by the force amidst the ongoing heightened tensions with Pakistan.

The Army moved to buy the initial amount of the fire-and-forget Spike ATGMs, which have a strike range of up to 4-km, for around Rs 280 crore after the Jaish-e-Muhammed training facility at Balakot in Pakistan was bombed by Indian Mirage-2000 fighters on February 26.

“The order will be repeated if the man-portable ATGM being developed by DRDO is not ready by next year. We don’t want to be slowed down any longer in plugging our critical operational deficiencies by DRDO,” said an Army source.
Cyprus Stocking Up on Israeli Drones
Cyprus’ National Guard is said to have received its first four unmanned drones from Israel, allowing Cypriot agencies to obtain clear views from high above over land and water.

The drones, Aerostar Tactical UAS (TUAS) made in Israel, are described as accurate, programmable, and one of the most efficient and cost-effective systems of its class. The specific make has logged over 250,000 operational flight hours with missions flown worldwide.

According to Kathimerini Cyprus, four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have been delivered to Cyprus National Guard by Aeronautics, an Israeli company, extending the Cypriot range of capabilities for a number of agencies with high definition cameras that can get images from very high flying altitudes.

The purchase of the four UAV’s came at a total cost of 12 million euros the report said, adding that the use of the drones would include monitoring Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Additional uses would include patrolling forest areas in the summer to detect fires as well as assisting in rescue missions within the Nicosia Flight Information Region.
Paul McCartney to Get Back to the Yarkon, sources say
It might seem like only “Yesterday” that Paul McCartney performed in Israel, but maybe you’ll be amazed to learn that it was 11 years ago and Maariv is reporting that it’s “highly likely” that the beloved pop star and former Beatle will get back to Park HaYarkon (or possibly a different venue) for another concert.

Citing information from “close associates,” the publication said that McCartney was “in talks” with officials and promoters and the chance for another Tel Aviv show by the man once dubbed “the cute Beatle” is “extremely high.” Apparently, these sources think that they can work it out or in other words, McCartney will soon be showing us again that he loves Israel, yeah yeah yeah.

McCartney, who is currently married to the Jewish transportation mogul Nancy Shevell (rhymes with “Michelle”) - and whose first wife, the late photographer and animal-rights activist Linda Eastman, was Jewish - was able to master a few words of Hebrew in his 2008 performance, including, “Shana Tova” (Happy New Year) and “Ahava” (love) in addition to the obligatory “Shalom.” He ended that concert with the word, "Nitra'eh" -- "We'll see each other again."

If he needs more inspiration this time around, he might want to check out a Yiddish version of “A Hard Day’s Night” by Gerry Tenney which will surely inspire him to throw in a few Yiddishisms once he arrives here by jet, even if he doesn’t fly in from Miami Beach BOAC.

No word on whether Shevell will accompany him, which might prompt him to croon some silly love songs to his wife of nearly eight years. There’s also no word on whether his daughter, the acclaimed fashion designer Stella McCartney, will be leaving home to attend the show.
Kevin Spacey shows up in Israel, wearing a kippah
Kevin Spacey was spotted in an Israeli restaurant in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, catching the locals by surprise.

The former "House of Cards" star, who has recently faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, arrived in Israel to visit a friend who was sitting shiva (the traditional seven-day mourning period following the death of a family member) in Jerusalem.
Kevin Spacey at a restaurant in Tel Aviv

The actor was seen wearing a kippah during his shiva visit, but later took the kippah off when he dined at the Tel Aviv restaurant Coco BamBino.

Spacey is just one of a number of celebrities who have visited the Jewish state over the past few weeks, among them Demi Lovato and popular Eurovision contestant Mahmoud. Spacey's legal cases have been closed, but he has been fired from "House of Cards" and has remained a source of controversy.
Times Are A Changin’: Saudi Citizen Sings Jewish Prayer Marking Jewish New Year
On Thursday, outgoing U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt posted a video indicative of how much has changed in the Middle East in recent years, with a Saudi citizen singing the moving Jewish prayer “Avinu Malkeinu,” which is sung frequently during the ten days between Rosh Hashanah, which marks the Jewish New Year and was celebrated at the beginning of this week, and Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, in which Jews ask God for forgiveness for their sins.


Mohammed Saud was singing the version of “Avinu Malkeinu” written by the composer Max Janowski.

According to Jewish belief, on Rosh Hashanah God opens the book of life and death to decide who will live or die in the coming year; he closes the book on Yom Kippur, making the ten days noteworthy for serious introspection. On Yom Kippur, Jews are permitted to ask for forgiveness for their sins against God and sins they are unaware they have committed, but any sins against their fellow man must be dealt with by having apologized to the person who was hurt in the process and asking for their forgiveness personally.
Memorial service to be held in Ari Fuld's honor
On Sunday, a dedication and memorial ceremony will be held in honor of Ari Fuld who was stabbed and killed by a terrorist just over one year ago.

The Ari Fuld Project, which Fuld's widow, Miriam Fuld, founded with the non-profit organization Standing Together, completed fund raising for a "hospitality truck," something that Fuld was trying to fund around the time of his death.

The truck is meant to help IDF soldiers and was intended to be in memory of Fuld's friend Yehoshua Friedberg, a lone soldier from Canada who was murdered by terrorists in 1993. Now, the truck will have Fuld and Friedberg's photos side-by-side.

The ceremony will be held on Fuld's first yahrzeit (first anniversary of his death) at Gush Etzion Junction, where he was murdered.

Before he succumbed to his wounds, Fuld shot the terrorist that stabbed him, preventing him from harming anyone else. For this act of bravery, Fuld was posthumously awarded Israel's Medal of Valor.

At the age of 18 Fuld moved from New York to Israel and enlisted to the Golani Brigade, an IDF infantry unit. He later served as a reservist in an elite paratrooper unit and served in Efrat's counter-terrorism unit. He was a rabbi, educator, fundraiser, karate instructor and pro-Israel activist.
One of the Last Living Heroes of Israel's Fight for Independence
At 99, Harold "Smoky" Simon is one of the heroes of Israel's War of Independence. He was Chief of Air Operations in the war after flying as a navigator-bombardier for the South African Air Force (SAAF) during World War II. In 1948, as newlyweds, Simon and his wife, Myra, who had been a meteorologist in the SAAF, joined a South African Zionist Federation group to volunteer to fight in Israel. "Fighting the Nazis gave us the skills and the experience we needed to fight for Israel," he says.

"We had to muster all of our nerve to do the job against these powerful enemies. We were up against six Arab armies - the Egyptians were supplied by the Brits, the Syrians by the French, and we didn't have a single combat plane of our own." Israel had old German planes sold by the Czechs, smuggled in and reassembled.

Simon reminds us of Arab League Secretary-General Abdul Rachman Azzam Pasha, who said on May 1, 1948: "If the Zionists dare to establish a state, the massacres we would unleash would dwarf anything which Genghis Khan and Hitler perpetrated." Simon continues, "These were difficult times. None of us knew how it would turn out. But as proud as I'd been to be one of millions fighting to defeat the Nazis, it was even more emotional when you are part of a small bunch fighting for your own people, your own country."

"With all the odds against us then, there is far more than human effort behind that victory. Returning to our ancient land, we are living a miracle of biblical proportions here." In 1968, Simon was elected as chairman of World Machal, representing nearly 5,000 volunteers from 59 countries who fought in the War of Independence. He has served in that capacity for a half-century.



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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.


          

Apple Arcade takes a closer look at Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm   

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See what you're in for by taking a closer look at Oceanhorn 2. What you need to know Apple Arcade has released a new video taking a closer look at Oceanhorn 2. The game is a fantasy adventure that takes inspiration from titles like Zelda. Oceanhorn 2 is available no on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. When Apple first previewed Apple Arcade, one of the standout titles was Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Last Realm. Now, you can take a closer look at this fantasy adventure before you give it a try. Developed by Cornfox & Bros. Oceanhorn 2 is a prequel that promises console-quality gaming in your pocket. Set 1000 years before the original Oceanhorn, this is a completely reimagined world of knights and treasure-filled dungeons. Breathtaking visuals and new tactical abilities make it engaging for all players across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. The video above beautifully shows off what Oceanhorn 2 has to offer, from its thrilling combat to its varied world. If you saw this...

          

Trump defends decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria   

Cache   

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.


          

Advocates Say President Trump's Immigration Policy Is 'A Tool Of Cruelty'   

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Updated 6 p.m. ET Immigrant advocates asked a federal appeals court on Tuesday to block the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a key part of President Trump's immigration policy. The policy forces asylum seekers to wait for their immigration court hearings in Mexico. "Our chief concern right now, and it's urgent, is to prevent the suffering that is happening as a result of this policy," said attorney Judy Rabinovitz, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, during a hearing before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Government lawyers argue that the policy is a crucial part of the administration's "efforts to combat a massive and growing crisis at our southern border," as they wrote in their briefing , and urged the Ninth Circuit court to leave it in place. The Migrant Protection Protocols is the Trump administration's answer to what the president calls "catch and release" — the practice of letting asylum seekers live in the U.S. while

          

Drop the Fry   

Cache   

Elizabeth Holmes (Photo credit: HBO)

One of my first jobs was at a men’s magazine. I was the sole woman in the office, and one of my editors told me the only workspace available was at the front desk in the lobby, away from the rest of the staff. It’s the only desk left, sorry!” (Spoiler: He was lying.) “And you wouldn’t mind answering calls and grabbing packages that come in while you happen to be sitting there, would you?” “Of course not,” I remember saying. I was young. It was one of my first paid writing jobs, and maybe this was just how things worked. As much as I enjoyed my work and my coworkers, I felt like a glorified receptionist for the remainder of the summer. If I wanted to eat lunch away from my desk, editors would imply that one of my male coworkers couldn’t fill in. It had to be me (“You’re just so good at it!”).

One delivery man would, whenever he came to the office, critique everything from my facial features to my chipped nail polish to the attractiveness of my outfit. Regular callers would inform me that my voice wasn’t “perky” enough, and I eventually stopped correcting them for referring to me as a secretary. And though being a secretary isn’t a shameful profession, of course, I felt ashamed to go from being in editorial meetings where I was treated like “one of the guys” to signing for packages and being called “honey.” According to a 2016 U.S. Department of Labor survey, more than 94 percent of secretaries and administrative assistants are female. In fact, secretarial work has remained the top job for women since the 1950s, when companies realized they could pay women—who were generally less educated—less to do administrative work.

Women are still playing that role in ways we might not even realize. Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Assistant have one thing in common: They all have female-identified voices and names. You can command Alexa to play a song and then stop and engage in dialogue with Siri, whose rudimentary responses are catered entirely to you. Subway announcements, GPS navigation systems, and phone operators are among the technologies that typically use a female persona. In a recent interview with Business Insider, an Amazon executive said that people “opt for a woman to assist us” because her voice is more “pleasing,” “sympathetic,” and “better received.”

Though Alexa’s name is meant to reference the Library of Alexandria, there’s likely a reason the company chose Alexa over other names, like Alex, Lex, or a simple Al. Siri is named after the Norwegian word for “beautiful woman who leads you to victory,” and Microsoft’s Cortana for an artificial intelligence character in the video game Halo who has the outlandish proportions of a Barbie doll and sports a rather lewd blue costume. We already know that men dominate the tech industry, and the AI sector in particular. Alexa, Siri and Cortana, are not neutral decisions. It has always made sense that women who assume positions of power do so knowing that their voices will be uniquely scrutinized. Margaret Thatcher was famously advised by Laurence Olivier to hire a voice coach in order to dramatically drop the pitch of her voice. Hillary Clinton’s voice was called everything from “shrill” to “excruciating” and regularly compared to a nagging wife.

Most recently, there was Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founder and former CEO of the now-defunct blood-testing company Theranos. In addition to the Steve Jobs-ian black turtlenecks that became her trademark uniform, Holmes sported an unusually deep voice that former friends and classmates have said didn’t exist pre-Theranos, alleging that it was an effort to win the respect of her colleagues. Holmes has done a whole lot we should fault her for—like the actual criminal fraud she’ll be tried for in 2020—but cultivating a deeper voice seems like her most understandable move. According to Tim Bressmann, an associate professor of speech-language pathology at the University of Toronto, “Not using your fundamental frequency can be a way to express social power or domination. We all do it: To speak to our supervisor, we’ll raise our voice to make it seem smaller, but if we’re speaking to an underling, we lower it. Because a woman’s voice is naturally smaller, to reach a lower register in order to compete with a male frequency, at some point some may have to drop into the fry register.”

Bressmann is referring to vocal fry, a phenomenon most often associated with the Kardashians and commonly written off as shallow and ditzy. But to Bressman and any speech pathologist you’re likely to ask, vocal fry is simply a way of reaching a lower pitch and, for many people, appears at the end of a sentence when we’ve used up a breath. That means, of course, it’s not just a female thing: In fact, among the many men who have been known to use it are esteemed talkers Noam Chomsky and Ira Glass. They just haven’t received the same amount of criticism as their female counterparts because, as Bressmann puts it, “men just get away with more.”

Voice assistants, after all, are a proliferation of a role women have been assigned for decades, which is shocking considering the evolution of the form, but not so considering those at work behind the scenes.

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Indeed, whether low or high, modulated or not, a woman’s voice can’t avoid policing. Slate podcaster Jessica Grose took up the subject with Stanford linguistics professor Penny Eckert on NPR’s Fresh Air in 2015 after Grose found her own voice criticized. Eckert admitted that she was “shocked the first time I heard [vocal fry] on NPR. I thought, ‘Oh my god, how can this person be talking like this on the radio?’ Then I played it for my students, and I said, ‘How does she sound?’ and they said, ‘Good, authoritative.’ And that was when I knew that I had a problem. … That I was not a part of the generation that understood what that style means. … There’s been a change and those of us who are bothered by some of these features are probably just getting old.”

Meaning, yet again, judging women’s voices comes down to bias. For a certain demographic, something like vocal fry can be distracting, but for another, it’s just the way people speak now. It seems time for technology to adapt, too. A promising development arrived in March when a team of researchers unveiled the world’s first genderless voice assistant. In a video posted to YouTube, Q introduced itself: “Think of me like Siri or Alexa, but neither male nor female. I’m created for a future where we are no longer defined by gender but rather how we define ourselves.” The voice was developed by a team of researchers, sound designers, and linguists, and based on male, female, transgender, and nonbinary voices. Still in early stages, the developers are hoping to see companies use it expressly to challenge gender stereotypes. And in an effort to combat the way we decide who belongs in positions of power, Google now randomly assigns its assistant’s gender for users. Similarly, in response to a ChildWise report in 2018 that found kids who grow up barking orders at virtual assistants are more likely to use that communication as adults, Google also recently added a new feature called “Pretty Please” that encourages kids to be polite, as has Amazon. If they say “please” after asking for the weather, for example, the respective assistant will respond with “thanks for asking so nicely.”

These are certainly baby steps, but as the UNESCO study notes, Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana are installed on more than two billion devices around the world, while over two-thirds of voice assistants offer female-only voices. Artificial intelligence is only growing more common and more humane. Voice assistants, after all, are a proliferation of a role women have been assigned for decades, which is shocking considering the evolution of the form, but not so considering those at work behind the scenes.

by Sadaf Ahsan
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