Monday, November 21, 2016
RUMORS MIKE HUCKABEE TO BE ENVOY TO ISRAEL.WILL MOVE EMBASSY HEADQUARTERS FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE
Mike Huckabee said set to be US envoy to Israel, tasked with moving embassy to Jerusalem-Ex-Arkansas governor meets Trump; transition source says Huckabee, a bitter opponent of Palestinian nationalism, ‘is going to see through’ embassy relocation-By Times of Israel staff and Stuart Winer November 18, 2016, 11:14 pm
President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly sending former Arkansas governor and failed Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to be his ambassador to Israel, where Huckabee will be charged with overseeing the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.Britain’s Daily Mail on Friday quoted an unnamed source in the Trump transition team confirming both the appointment and that the embassy move would be a first item of business for ambassador Huckabee. “That’s going to happen,” the transition source said. “Governor Huckabee is going to see it through.”Huckabee met with Trump on Friday at Trump Tower in New York City, but did not comment on the rumors of his posting to Israel, and there was no official confirmation from the Trump team. “I’m just here for the Starbucks,” Huckabee quipped before going into his meetings.Huckabee is a strong supporter of Israel, and a frequent visitor.He is also a bitter opponent of Palestinian nationalism. “I have to be careful saying this, because people get really upset—there’s really no such thing as a Palestinian,” Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, told a rabbi in Massachusetts in 2008, according to the New Yorker. “That’s been a political tool to try to force land away from Israel.”Last year, in similar vein, he told the Washington Post, “The idea that they have a long history, dating back hundreds or thousands of years, is not true.”Jason Greenblatt, a top adviser to Trump on Israel, said earlier this month that the president-elect would follow though on campaign promises to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — a campaign claim made by previous presidential hopefuls but never acted on.During the campaign, Trump called Jerusalem “the eternal capital” of Israel and said he was “100 percent for” moving the embassy there.Congress passed a law in 1995 mandating the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, but allowed the president a waiver. Each president since then has routinely exercised the waiver, citing the national security interests of the United States, despite repeated campaign promises. For Trump to break with decades of precedent would put Washington at odds with nearly all United Nations member states.“I think if he said it, he’s going to do it. He is different for Israel than any recent president there has been, and I think he’s a man who keeps his word. He recognizes the historical significance of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, unlike, say, UNESCO,” Greenblatt said.Last month the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) approved a controversial resolution that ignored Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount. The decision came a week after a similar resolution was approved by the body and elicited angry responses from Israel, several world leaders and even the body’s own director-general.In the wake of the UNESCO resolution, Huckabee wrote on his website that UN stands for “utterly nuts.”“We rightly excoriate Holocaust deniers, so why do we offer money and support to an organization that is hardly any less anti-Semitic in its absurd denial of the Jewish people’s historic and religious heritage?” Huckabee wrote. “It’s time for America once again to stand up forcefully beside our staunch ally, Israel. The last time we were silent in the face of attempts to erase Jews from the pages of history, it didn’t turn out well.”Many right-wing Israeli politicians have hailed Trump’s victory as an opportunity to have the embassy relocated, and to expand settlement construction. Education Minister Naftali Bennett even said Trump’s election meant Israel could officially drop its commitment to the two-state solution.The current US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, is an Obama administration stalwart, who has worked with the president for more than eight years, ever since Barack Obama was originally campaigning for the presidency.
Jerusalem chief rabbi calls homosexuality an ‘abomination’-Gay rights activist files police complaint against Shlomo Amar for comments during interview in which he also takes aim at Reform Jews-By Times of Israel staff November 18, 2016, 6:17 pm
Jerusalem’s chief rabbi lashed out at Israel’s gay community in an interview released Friday, calling homosexuality an “abomination” and earning himself a police complaint for incitement.Shlomo Amar, who previously served as the country’s Sephardi chief rabbi, told Israel Hayom newspaper that homosexuality is an “abomination,” and that Jewish law advocates the death penalty for those who choose to engage in same sex relationships.“I call it a cult. It’s a cult of abominations, it is obvious. It’s an abomination,” he said. “The Torah says it is punishable by death. It is in the first rank of severe offenses… They say ‘leaning,’ ‘perversion’ – this is nonsense. There is lust, and a person can overcome it if they want to, like all lusts. This is among the most forbidden lusts, the most severe. ”Amar said he declined to attend a memorial service for a teenage girl stabbed to death by an ultra-Orthodox zealot during last year’s Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem, after her family declined to read aloud his condemnation of homosexuality.“When Shira Banki was killed, they commemorated the thirtieth day of her death. They asked me to attend, and I would not. I wrote to them a letter expressing great sadness and opposition in the strongest terms to the deeds” of her killer, Yishai Schlissel,” he said.“On the other hand,” he said he wrote to Banki’s family, “‘I call on you, if you want to elate her soul to the heavens, to repent from your evil ways. It is forbidden by the Torah.\ I gave them a condition that they read my letter in full [and then I would attend]. They wanted to read half. I did not agree [to attend].”Amar said that his attendance would have “blasphemed the name of God.”He also came out against rabbis trying to build bridges with the LGBTQ community: “There is no such thing, to show understanding or tolerance for this. A simple truth needs to be stated – there is a severe prohibition, and there is no allowance for it.”The rabbi emphasized he would not budge on his position, even at the price of estranging secular Jews from religious life.Amar’s comments were met with fury by members of the LGBTQ community and champions of civil liberties in Israel.Oded Fried, a gay rights activist and former head of the Israeli LGBT Taskforce, filed a complaint with Israel Police, saying Amar’s comments constituted incitement to bigotry.Meretz MK Michal Rozin, co-chair of the Knesset’s Gay Caucus, wrote to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked following the interview, calling for her to take action against Amar.“Statements such as these fuel and strengthen violent attacks against the LGBTQ community and the pluralist Judaism community, especially when made by municipal rabbis. In light of these comments, I ask that you consider disciplining the rabbi, according to your jurisdiction to do so, following his comments,” Rozin wrote.Rabbi Noa Satat, manager of the Reform Center for Religion and State, accused Amar of “unjustified hatred” that harmed the very people whose taxes pay his salary.“Rabbi Amar proves once again that he is unworthy of the title of chief rabbi of the city of Jerusalem,” she said. “His comments, which constitute nothing more than unjustified hatred seasoned with ignorance, hurt Israeli men and women, Jewish men and women who finance his salary, paid for by public funds. Rabbi Amar is cursing just before Shabbat, his comments push more and more people from the medieval Judaism he represents.”Amar also took aim at Reform Judaism, telling the newspaper that there was only a small number of Reform Jews in Israel and saying that “in recent years, they have been importing it, this culture.”He accused Reform Jews of “inciting” against the Torah for political gain and vowed to resist any moves to include the stream in Israeli Jewish life.“It’s not a matter of personal distress, it is politics. I will not agree to change what the Torah says,” Amar said. “I say what is written in verses such as ‘Move back from the tents of these wicked men.'”He also said unequivocally that public transportation could not be allowed on Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, and said he was against civil marriage for Jews in the State of Israel.
Trump win spurs plans for Jerusalem building spree over Green Line-Officials unconcerned by potential rebuke from outgoing Obama administration, say new housing will ‘send message’ to president-elect-By Tamar Pileggi November 20, 2016, 3:39 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
The Jerusalem municipality is set to authorize the construction of thousands of new housing units over the Green Line in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, city officials said Sunday.Some 1,400 new apartments in the capital’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood would be approved by the Jerusalem Municipality Planning and Construction Committee later in the day, city officials told Channel 2, hailing Trump’s victory as an opportunity to expand Jewish building in the eastern part of Jerusalem unhindered.“In Jerusalem, it’s as if Trump is already in office,” a committee member told the TV station. “The problem is that nobody knows what his policies will actually be.”“There’s an understanding between us that whatever we’ll be able to accomplish in the coming months may not always be an option later,” the official said. “Even if the [current] State Department of White House issues a condemnation, it won’t be worth much at this point.”“We must send a message to Trump that in Jerusalem, we build,” he added.While Israel has continually maintained its right to build in areas of East Jerusalem, construction there has always been met with international condemnation, especially from the US, which does not recognize Israel’s de facto annexation of the eastern half of the city.Last week, committee chairman Meir Turgeman told Channel 2 that Israeli fears of antagonizing Washington delayed the municipality’s approval of wider construction plans for Jerusalem that would see some 7,000 housing units built over the Green Line.In addition to the 1,440 apartments in Ramat Shlomo, the plans include an additional 3,000 units in Gilo and 2,600 in the planned Givat Hamatos neighborhood.“Now that Trump [won], I hope we will put Jerusalem as a priority, I hope we are heading for a fresh start,” Turgeman said last week. “All these plans in Givat Hamatos, Gilo, Ramat Shlomo, all these have been waiting for two years at least.”While much of the international community considers these neighborhoods as settlements, Israel considers them neighborhoods of annexed East Jerusalem and argues that it will be part of Israel in any negotiated peace agreement.Trump’s vocal support of Israel’s settlement enterprise is at odds with traditional US opposition to construction beyond the Green Line.The Obama administration routinely and bitterly criticizes the Netanyahu government for building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, since it considers such construction to undermine efforts for a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.In 2010, a major diplomatic rift was sparked when the Interior Ministry approved new housing in Ramat Shlomo while US Vice President Joe Biden was visiting.Senior officials said the move was made without Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s knowledge. According to a diplomatic cable leaked earlier this year, Netanyahu turned to European leaders to help patch up ties with Obama in the wake of the affair.Trump, however, has called Jerusalem Israel’s undivided capital and vowed to move the US Embassy there, essentially offering support for Israeli moves there.He has also indicated he will more receptive to building in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, with Israel’s defense minister calling last week for Jerusalem to reach an agreement with the US allowing for construction in mainline settlement blocs in exchange for a freeze elsewhere, reviving a George W. Bush-era understanding.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
Jerusalem said to welcome Trump’s ‘pro-Israel’ security picks-Source says incoming CIA chief Pompeo and national security adviser Flynn are both supporters of Israeli policies, Army Radio reports-By Times of Israel staff and JTA November 19, 2016, 8:00 pm
Israel welcomed US President-elect Donald Trump’s new round of appointments to top administration positions, a source in Jerusalem said Saturday, as a former general known for his anti-Islam rhetoric and a strident opponent of the Iran nuclear deal were tapped for top defense positions.The source specifically hailed both Rep. Mike Pompeo, the incoming CIA chief, and new national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn as supporters of Israeli policy, according to Army Radio.Pompeo has been one of the leading critics of last year’s deal with Iran that traded sanctions relief for a nuclear rollback, aligning him with much of the centrist and right-wing pro-Israel communities. He is a reliable backer of Israel and last November had high praise for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after they met on an Israel tour.Pompeo tweeted on Thursday: “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” Pompeo had warned last year that the agreement is “empowering an Iranian regime that is intent on destroying America.”I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism. https://t.co/bifC97jWpY— Mike Pompeo (@RepMikePompeo) November 17, 2016-The Kansas Republican backed the House vote this week for a 10-year extension on Iran sanctions, many of which are currently under presidential waiver because of the nuclear deal.“Extending sanctions on Iran’s weapons programs is an important part of keeping Americans safe,” Pompeo said in a statement. “Re-authorizing existing prohibitions for an additional 10 years provides President-elect Trump and Congress a solid foundation from which to pursue additional action against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”During the election campaign, Trump also described the nuclear deal as “disastrous” and said it would be his “number one priority” to dismantle it.While Pompeo has expressed saber-rattling views on how to deal with Iran, he also is the single choice Trump made Friday that attracted friendly noises from the establishment — even from Democrats.“While we’ve had our share of strong differences, I know he’s someone who is willing to listen and engage, both key qualities in CIA Director,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. on Twitter. The Jewish lawmaker is his party’s most senior member on the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, where Pompeo also serves.Meanwhile, Flynn — a Defense Intelligence Agency chief sacked by President Barack Obama because of his allegations that the agency was in disarray — has been one of Trump’s most incendiary surrogates.The former general shares Trump’s disdain for nuance in criticizing militancy among Muslims. Unlike the majority of Republicans, who single out “Islamists” or “radical jihadists” or some variation thereof, Flynn emphatically targets the entire faith. In August, he spoke at an event in Dallas hosted by the anti-Islamist group Act for America, calling Islam a “cancer” and a “political ideology” that “definitely hides behind being a religion.”“Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL,” he said in one February Tweet now making the rounds.Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL: please forward this to others: the truth fears no questions… https://t.co/NLIfKFD9lU— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) February 27, 2016-More troubling for Jews, in July, Flynn retweeted a tweet attached to a CNN story in which the Clinton campaign blamed the theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee on Russia.Flynn’s comment attached to the retweet was incendiary but not untypical: “The corrupt Democratic machine will do and say anything to get #NeverHillary into power. This is a new low.”What was shocking was that the tweeter whom Flynn was approvingly retweeting, “Saint Bibiana,” bearing an icon showing a Confederate soldier, was not just blaming Democrats: “’The USSR is to blame!’” said Saint Bibiana. “Not anymore, Jews. Not anymore.”Flynn deleted his tweet and apologized.In security briefings with Trump, Flynn reportedly has alarmed intelligence officials who have blamed cyberattacks on Russia. Flynn has been paid for a speech in Moscow and attended an official dinner with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The closeness of a national security adviser to a regime that has joined Iran in a loose military alliance with the Assad rule in Syria is sure to rattle some in Israel’s security establishment.“The president-elect would be better served by someone with a healthy skepticism about Russian intentions,” Schiff said in a statement.Flynn’s consulting firm has also done work for Turkish clients. Flynn said that he would divest himself of the company should he go into government service.A number of Israeli politicians, including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, have seized on Trump’s victory by asking him to make good on his promises to recognize the city as Israel’s undivided capital and move the embassy there, breaking with long-standing US policy to await a final status agreement. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the right-wing, pro-settler Jewish Home party, said that Trump’s win was also a chance to end of any possibility of a Palestinian state.
Security, not cronyism, behind submarine deal, PM insists-Amid growing calls for an investigation, Netanyahu says defense concerns ‘only consideration’ for multi-billion shekel plan to purchase German vessels-By Tamar Pileggi and Raoul Wootliff November 20, 2016, 12:53 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday denied allegations that personal interests played a role in a multi-billion shekel deal to purchase German submarines, saying bolstering Israel’s long-term security needs was his “only consideration” for the purchases.The statement came as the prime minister has found himself icnreasingly under fire, with some lawmakers demanding an investigation after it was revealed that Netanyahu’s personal lawyer represents the German shipbuilder selling Israel the vessels.Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing or conflict of interest amid a tangle of claims and counter-claims by former and current defense officials over whether the submarines were actually needed.“The security of Israel necessitates the purchase of new submarines, and the renewal of the naval fleet,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday.“These strategic weapons systems guarantee [the navy’s] future, and I assure you, will safeguard the existence of Israel for the coming decades,” he said. “Strengthening the security of Israel was my only consideration in deciding to purchase the submarine. It is the consideration that always guides me and no other.”On Tuesday, Channel 10 reported the prime minister’s longtime attorney David Shimron had a stake in the NIS 6 billion ($1.5 billion) defense deal with the German shipbuilder.According to the report, Shimron serves as a local representative of the Germany-based conglomerate ThyssenKrupp, and Netanyahu in recent months has been pushing for Israel to buy several ThyssenKrupp submarines against the will of the IDF and former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon.Over the weekend, opposition MKs demanded an official investigation be launched to review the allegations.On Saturday, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid called on Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to open a criminal investigation into the Netanyahu-backed deal, while Mertetz’s Michal Rozin urged the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee to hold an “urgent” hearing to review the matter.Ya’alon last week also urged a “thorough probe by the relevant authorities” into the “very disturbing” allegations made in the report.Last month, Netanyahu announced in a cabinet meeting that Israel was in the process of negotiating the purchase of three new submarines for the Israeli Navy, which currently maintains a fleet of five underwater vessels, with another slated to be delivered in coming years.The new submarines — valued at around NIS 6 billion ($1.5 billion) — were intended as replacements for the military’s older models.But according to Channel 10, neither Ya’alon, who served as defense minister when the deal was first proposed, nor the IDF was in favor of purchasing the new submarines — somewhat of a change of pace in the normal narrative of the defense establishment fighting for acquisitions — as the decision did not fit with the Defense Ministry’s multi-year plan for the army.Shimron’s alleged involvement has raised questions about a possible conflict of interest for both him and the prime minister, especially given Netanyahu’s determination to complete the deal despite the reported IDF opposition.Netanyahu is said to have started dealings with the German government without informing Ya’alon, who only learned of the plan after news of it leaked out.Apparently furious, the then-defense minister sparred with Netanyahu in the Prime Minister’s Office, with the two reportedly shouting at one another over the issue.Ya’alon succeeded in torpedoing the plan, but once he stepped down as defense minister in May, Netanyahu renewed the negotiations with the Germans for the new submarines.After the report aired last Tuesday, Netanyahu denied that he had any prior knowledge of Shimron being involved in the deal, and said the negotiations were done in an “orderly, professional manner with no outside influence and with the recommendation of all the professional bodies in the Defense Ministry, the IDF and the National Security Council.”Shimron also denied a conflict of interest, saying he “did not discuss these matters with the prime minister,” and denied any effort to influence a decision over the deal.According to a Channel 2 report, the state prosecution’s office announced that it would look into the matter.
France vows to follow through with international peace summit-Merkel says she’ll seek reelection in 2017; invoking Trump, officials say thousands of housing units planned for E. Jerusalem-By Elie Leshem November 20, 2016, 1:47 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
15:01-Man critically stabbed in Petah Tikva-Magen David Adom medics are trying to resuscitate a man who is in critical condition after being stabbed in Petah Tikva, MDA says.The man, 35, was stabbed during an altercation, according to reports.14:44-Merkel says she’ll seek reelection in 2017-German Chancellor Angela Merkel tells her conservative party that she wants to seek a fourth term in elections next year, according to national news agency DPA.After months of feverish speculation, she tells leaders of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) that she is prepared to carry the party banner into the poll, expected in September or October 2017.Merkel is due to hold a news conference at her party headquarters this evening.— AFP-14:33-France vows to follow through on peace summit-France is denying reports that it has shelved plans to hold an international conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Paris next month.Recent reports quoted President Francois Hollande as saying he is facing difficulties convening the summit, in light of the results of the US election and Israel’s vehement opposition to the conference.“As President Hollande reaffirmed in his speech to the UN General Assembly on September 20, our goal is to convene an international conference in order to help relaunch the Middle East peace process,” a spokesperson from the French Foreign Ministry says. “We are working closely with our partners and in collaboration with the parties to that end.”Paris’s special envoy to the planned conference, Pierre Vimont, recently visited the United States, days after he came to Jerusalem and Ramallah for talks with senior officials.“He will continue this work during his upcoming visits to our main partner countries,” the statement reads.— Raphael Ahren-14:05-Hamas warns Israel ‘playing with fire’ in bid to quiet mosques-Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, in a statement to the official Turkish news agency Aandolu, says a bill up for debate in Israel that would cap the volume of mosques’ calls to prayer is “playing with fire.”“What the Israel occupation state is doing at the Al Aqsa Mosque, as well as preventing the call to prayer in Jerusalem, is playing with fire,” he says. “This created a fierce reaction in the Palestinian community and the entire Islamic nation.”Mashaal adds, mirroring an earlier statement this month, that there can be no “stability in the region without the Palestinians attaining their rights and the departure of the occupation.”— Dov Lieber-13:49-5 Jewish minors detained for ‘violating regulations’ at Temple Mount-Police in Jerusalem detain five Israeli minors at the Temple Mount.An Israel Police spokesperson says the five were taken in for questioning after they “violated the regulations” at the holy site, where Jews are allowed to visit but not pray.-13:48-Thousands of new apartments planned for E. Jerusalem-Jerusalem City Hall is set to authorize the construction of thousands of new housing units in Jewish neighborhoods over the Green-Line in the wake of Donald Trump’s election in the US, municipal officials say.Some 1,400 new apartments in the capital’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood are expected to be approved by the Jerusalem Municipality Planning and Construction Committee, the officials say.“In Jerusalem it’s as if Trump is already in office,” one official tells Channel 2. “The problem is that nobody knows what his policies will actually be.”“There’s an understanding between us that whatever we’ll be able to accomplish in the coming months may not always be an option later,” the official adds. “Even if the [current] State Department or White House condemns it, it won’t be worth much at this point.”— Tamar Pileggi
Ultra-Orthodox minor, men arrested for anti-IDF draft attacks-3 held in Beit Shemesh for taking part in 2 incidents earlier this month, including assault of Haredi soldier-By Stuart Winer November 20, 2016, 1:36 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Three people in the central city of Beit Shemesh were detained over separate violent assaults to protest the drafting of ultra-Orthodox conscripts into the IDF, police said Sunday.An ultra-Orthodox teen, 14, was arrested for attacking a soldier, as were two men alleged to have hurled stones during a violent protest against the draft, injuring a police officer.Both incidents occurred earlier this month and the arrests took place in the overnight hours between Saturday night and Sunday morning.As cops moved in to make the arrests they also prepared to counter any attempts by local protesters to hinder the operation, police said in a statement. The arrests came after “a complicated and determined investigation” that included an undercover operation “to gather precise information and evidence,” police said.The suspects were taken in for questioning and are expected to be arraigned in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court and kept in custody.Many in the ultra-Orthodox community shun the mandatory military service that applies to most Israelis, and the community has historically enjoyed blanket exemptions in favor of religious seminary studies.Reforms passed in the Knesset in 2014 — later rolled back in 2015 — sought to do away with the exemptions and gradually increase ultra-Orthodox recruitment.Although many Haredi men have joined the IDF, their service is often reviled by other members of the community, leading to incidents of assault on ultra-Orthodox soldiers.“Police will not hesitate to continue to take a firm hand against anyone who attacks those in uniform anywhere, and will act to take criminal proceedings against them and bring them to justice,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in the statement. “Police are working hard to deal with the trend, by gathering intelligence information against perpetrators of the attacks and incitement against those in uniform, in order to preemptively identify and, as much as possible, prevent offenses being committed.”According to police, on November 11 an ultra-Orthodox IDF soldier walking in Beit Shemesh was set up on by a crowd of Haredi protesters. During the assault another IDF soldier, a serving ultra-Orthodox officer who was on leave from the army, was driving past with his family and stopped to help.He left the vehicle and went to extract the other soldier but the crowd then attacked him and his vehicle instead, throwing stones at the car and preventing him from driving away.Police did not report any injuries in the incident but opened an investigation.A week earlier earlier, during a protest against the arrest of an ultra-Orthodox draft-dodger, dozens of Haredi men blocked roads and threw stones, injuring a policeman in Beit Shemesh. Similar protests were held at the same time in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem.Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.
Palestinian leadership struggle tangled in deadly infighting-Gunmen loyal to Abbas rival battle with PA security forces in refugee camp over control of future of Fatah-By Mohammed Daraghmeh November 20, 2016, 3:29 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
BALATA REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank (AP) — Hatem Abu Riziq used to prowl the narrow alleyways of the West Bank’s largest refugee camp battling the Israeli army. But these days he is turning his gun’s barrel toward the Palestinian leadership.With the long-ruling Palestinian Fatah faction torn by rivalries, fierce shootouts between Palestinian security forces and Fatah-aligned gunmen have erupted in recent months, plunging the Balata camp into unrest and lawlessness.The violence, much of it directed at a Fatah leadership seen as corrupt and out of touch, comes as the movement prepares to hold an overdue leadership conference at the end of the month and reflects a combustible power struggle between the faction’s aging leader, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and exiled rival Mohammed Dahlan, a former top aide who has the backing of some gunmen and disaffected Fatah activists.“I no longer want to fight Israel. I’m not willing to die for these officials who are only taking care of their families and letting us suffer,” said Abu Riziq, 30, who spent nearly seven years in an Israeli prison for assisting in a suicide bombing.The violence has left about a dozen people dead this year. Observers warn it could spiral out of control the longer that Fatah remains divided.Abbas, 82, is pushing for leadership elections in his Fatah movement and the Palestine Liberation Organization, an umbrella movement dominated by Fatah, before the end of the year, as part of what officials say is largely an elaborate attempt to cement his power and block Dahlan’s return.Abbas has no plans to step down or designate a successor, despite a recent health scare in which doctors ordered an unscheduled heart exam prompted by complaints of fatigue. Those elected to top Fatah and PLO posts could form a pool of potential successors, though none would likely challenge Abbas as long as he is in office.The last Fatah convention was held in 2009, and one should have taken place in 2014. Abbas repeatedly delayed it, both because Dahlan still enjoyed strong support and because the Palestinian leader had no great interest in making changes. Since then, many Dahlan followers have been purged from Fatah.Abbas’ fierce opposition to Dahlan’s return is both personal and political.The two men, who had been close for years, fell out after Dahlan made thinly veiled corruption allegations against Abbas’ two businessman sons, Yasser and Tarek, in 2010. A Palestinian court has since convicted Dahlan in absentia on corruption charges, and he would face arrest if he attempted to return to the West Bank without Abbas’ blessing. He now lives in exile in Abu Dhabi.Fatah leadership elections are tentatively set for November 29, to be followed a month later by a vote for the PLO’s main decision-making body, the Executive Committee.While the internal elections are being held to revive the flagging appeal of Fatah and the PLO, organizations seen as stale and ossified, the upcoming convention is whipping up the tensions that have sparked waves of internecine violence around the West Bank. Clashes have spread to Jenin, another city in the northern West Bank, and to the Amari refugee camp near Ramallah.“The fighting in the streets is a sign of the fighting within the movement, and it’s a small scenario of what will happen if the succession battle takes place,” said Jihad Harb, a Palestinian analyst.The clashes have also been fueled by the tough economic situation in the West Bank, where the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, the area’s largest employer, can no longer dole out jobs to its supporters the way it used to.Each side is believed to be pumping funds to supporters, among them armed men, in a bid to buy loyalty. Palestinian officials have accused Dahlan, who receives financial support from the United Arab Emirates, of purposely fomenting chaos to pressure Abbas.Palestinian police say their incursions into Balata, a teeming slum of 20,000 people crammed into just one square kilometer (less than half a square mile), are an attempt to arrest 10 gunmen wanted for a number of crimes, including murder.Gunmen like Abu Riziq have defended their turf, and the resulting clashes have struck fear in the camp’s residents. On Wednesday, a gun-battle between Palestinian police and gunmen in the nearby city of Nablus killed a 39-year-old woman caught in the crossfire.Akram Rajoub, the governor of Nablus, said the raids are meant to arrest criminals whom the gunmen are protecting. He said the gunmen are fighting the police “in an attempt to weaken the Palestinian Authority,” adding that “they are being provided with expensive guns and ammunition to fight us.”He did not provide evidence or say where the guns have come from, but residents agree outside forces are involved because of the steep price of the weapons.The Palestinian Authority has struggled to disarm militants since the end of the second Palestinian uprising in 2005, and some parts of the West Bank are still flush with weapons.Israel has been cracking down on weapons in Palestinian hands, shuttering gun-producing factories and seizing caches, but illicit trade continues nonetheless. Military-grade M16s, bought from the Israeli underworld or produced in makeshift Palestinian factories, are the weapon of choice, but gunmen also use handguns and more crude arms based on the Swedish “Carl Gustav” sub-machine gun.The gunmen deny Dahlan is providing the money for their weapons. They described gun buying and selling as a legitimate occupation for men who “are jobless and need to make a living.” But with the Israeli crackdown driving up prices, it remains unclear how these men can afford M16s that cost upward of $15,000 apiece.Dozens of M16 guns were displayed in a recent parade in the camp to mark the death of Fatah’s founder, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Abu Riziq delivered a speech during the event, surrounded by men armed with M16s, as he criticized the Palestinian Authority for the raids into the camp.Abu Riziq and other gunmen are digging in their heels, vowing not to lay down their arms so long as Abbas remains in power.“We will never vote for Abbas again,” said Abu Riziq. “If he remains, we will remain suffering.”
Palestinian leadership may choose Abbas’s successor, and tear itself apart-An imminent Fatah congress in Ramallah will shape the future of the Palestinian movement, laying bare its rivalries and its rifts-By Avi Issacharoff November 20, 2016, 3:23 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
On November 29, in the muqata’a in Ramallah, 1,400 members of Fatah will hold the organization’s Seventh General Congress in the recently opened Ahmad Shukeiri Conference Hall, which is named for the Palestine Liberation Organization’s first chairman. On the third day of the conference, they will elect Fatah’s leadership, the Central Committee, which — it seems likely — will, at some subsequent stage, decide who Mahmoud Abbas’s successor will be.This is not as it should be. According to Palestinian law, if the president is unable to continue in the position, the speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, the parliament, is supposed to stand in for him, at least until general elections are held. But the Palestinian Legislative Council has not met since 2007, and its speaker happens to be Sheikh Aziz Duwaik — a high-ranking member of Hamas. No one in Fatah plans to allow Duwaik to serve as president, not even temporarily.It is therefore quite likely that President Abbas’s “temporary” replacement, who could become permanent, will be chosen by the PLO’s Executive Committee, the organization’s leadership. That PLO’s Executive Committee, in turn, is composed mainly of Fatah delegates. Hence the significance of the Fatah Central Committee elections: These Palestinian leaders will choose a candidate for the PLO leadership — and, for all practical purposes, for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority as well.At this month’s congress, 18 Fatah Central Committee will be chosen. Soon afterwards, they themselves will choose four additional Fatah members to join the committee. Abbas himself, chairman of Fatah and chairman of the PLO, will also join, making a total of 23 members. They will elect a secretary-general of the Central Committee, who will be considered the acting chairman of Fatah. Whoever is chosen for this position will naturally become one of the leading candidates to be appointed Fatah’s chairman after Abbas’s departure, and to succeed him as rais.Who, then, is likely to win the coveted post of secretary-general of the Fatah Central Committee? Who will be the members of that committee? It’s far from clear. Quite a few names are being mentioned, none of them surprising.One thing we can say for certain is who will not be at the general conference or serve on the Central Committee: Abbas’s great rival, Mohammad Dahlan.Indeed, one of the unstated goals of the upcoming conference is to keep Dahlan’s associates out — and it seems that Abbas has so far succeeded in doing so. He recently threw dozens of Dahlan’s supporters out of Fatah and told Egypt that he was not willing to postpone the conference — acts that have led to a severe increase in tension between Cairo and Ramallah.The bottom line: Dahlan’s camp, and Dahlan himself, will be kept out of the assembly and out of the circle of Fatah’s decision-makers.Dahlan, whom Abbas expelled from the Palestinian territories in early 2011, is considering how to respond. At one point, his supporters in Gaza threatened to hold their own conference in the Strip to parallel the general conference in Ramallah. But now Dahlan’s associates are quietly indicating that they are looking into the option of establishing a whole new movement. Refusing to call it a split within Fatah, they are talking of calling themselves the “original Fatah.”If this threat should be carried out, it could constitute a historic split within Fatah. Dahlan would try to recruit prominent Fatah activists from all over the West Bank who are on his side, such as Jamal Tirawi and Jihad Tummaleh. He would also likely present it as a temporary movement, to operate until Abbas is removed from power.But this would be a high-risk strategy for Dahlan. If Fatah’s next leader should turn out to be an ally of Abbas or a long-time rival of Dahlan’s, such as Jibril Rajoub, he could be sentencing himself to long-term exile.-The soccer chief-Jibril Rajoub, meantime, has emerged as a prominent contender in the elections for the Central Committee, and also for the position of secretary-general. The Palestinian Football Association Chairman, Rajoub has used the sport to build himself up politically in recent years, acquiring many fans among Fatah’s members. The largest number of delegates to the Ramallah conference will be coming from the Hebron sector, Rajoub’s home court. (He was born in Hebron-area Dura.)-Ex-security chief Rajoub has also allied himself with other figures who are considered highly influential in Fatah’s upper ranks, such as Mahmoud Aloul, Hussein al-Sheikh, and, some say, Palestinian intelligence chief Majid Faraj. While Faraj is not running for a seat on the Central Committee, he may still be brought on board by the Central Committee’s elected members as one of the four appointees. Former top PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat may also be appointed to one of those four positions due to his closeness to Abbas.Another important camp in these elections is that of Marwan Barghouti, the would-be Abbas successor who is serving five life-terms in Israeli jail for orchestrating Second Intifada murders.Two of his close associates, Qadura Fares and Ahmed Ghanem, are seeking seats on the Fatah Central Committee.But the most important camp is that of Abbas himself. While it is not yet fully clear who he wants to bring into the Central Committee, several of his “recommended ones” will likely be elected, as happened at the previous congress in 2009. Erekat and Faraj are worth watching in this regard.Several more independent figures, such as Yasser Arafat’s nephew Nasser el-Qidwa, Mohammad Shtayyeh, and Tawfik Tirawi, are also seeking Central Committee seats.Elections for the second most important Fatah body, the Revolutionary Council, will also be held at this congress. Quite a few unknowns are running, as are journalists (how could they not?). Among them are Amira Hanania, a well-known presenter on Palestinian television, and Nasser Abu Baker, a reporter for Radio Falastin. Abu Baker, who used to maintain close ties with his Israeli colleagues, has boycotted Israeli journalists since he began nurturing his political career.There will also be a rearguard action at the congress by the members of the old generation, such as Abbas Zaki and Zakariya Al-Agha, who are trying to keep themselves in the leadership, though they have little chance of doing so. Zaki, for example, is holding many parlor meetings and assemblies in the Hebron sector in hopes of boosting his status.How does the Palestinian public regard this congress? With a great deal of indifference, and in some cases outright hostility. Fatah has not managed to improve its status or image in the public’s eyes over the past several years, giving rise to the demand by Barghouti’s camp to “update” its platform. Barghouti’s supporters want Fatah to issue a statement at the close of the conference in support of “resistance by peaceful methods” (al-muqawama al-silmiyya) — in other words, demonstrations.-A divorce from the Arab world-As noted, a dark cloud looms over the upcoming congress and the elections — the threat of a possible split the next day if Dahlan and his supporters should decide to form a competing movement. But Abbas and the PA have an even bigger problem than Dahlan or his emissaries in the West Bank, who have been trying to heat things up against the PA in many refugee camps.A severe, unprecedented crisis has broken out between the Palestinian Authority and the moderate Arab world. Abbas is close to cutting off relations with the Sunni Arab states, Egypt and Saudi Arabia first among them. Cairo stands behind Dahlan and encourages his various activities. Saudi Arabia has suspended its financial aid to the PA. The United Arab Emirates is giving Dahlan official protection, and Jordan could not care less about what happens in Ramallah.Together only with part of Fatah, Abbas, 82, stands alone, in near-isolation, against Hamas, the State of Israel, the Arab countries, and his own enemy from within — Mohammad Dahlan.And yet there is no shortage of would-be successors.
Canada's national bird loon-acy: Twitter reacts to the whisky jack-[CBC]-November 19, 2016-YAHOONEWS
After a countrywide vote, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society has ended its two-year National Bird Project and unveiled its pick for Canada's newest national symbol.In the end, the whisky jack — also known as the grey jay or the Canada jay — prevailed over the common loon, black-capped chickadee, snowy owl and Canada goose.The loon actually led the national poll with nearly 14,000 votes out of the 50,000 cast. The grey jay didn't even make second place — that went to the snowy owl, with the jay falling third.But a spokesperson said staff vetoed the loon and snowy owl because they are already provincial symbols in Ontario and Quebec.The decision, of course, ruffled some feathers with Canadians.The society will now lobby the federal government to adopt the whisky jack as the nation's official bird to mark Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.With files from Lien Yeung.
Best weather satellite ever built rockets into space-[The Canadian Press]-November 20, 2016-YAHOONEWS
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The most advanced weather satellite ever built rocketed into space Saturday night, part of an $11 billion effort to revolutionize forecasting and save lives.This new GOES-R spacecraft will track U.S. weather as never before: hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, volcanic ash clouds, wildfires, lightning storms, even solar flares. Indeed, about 50 TV meteorologists from around the country converged on the launch site — including NBC's Al Roker — along with 8,000 space program workers and guests."What's so exciting is that we're going to be getting more data, more often, much more detailed, higher resolution," Roker said. In the case of tornadoes, "if we can give people another 10, 15, 20 minutes, we're talking about lives being saved."Think superhero speed and accuracy for forecasting. Super high-definition TV, versus black-and-white."Really a quantum leap above any satellite NOAA has ever flown," said Stephen Volz, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's director of satellites."For the American public, that will mean faster, more accurate weather forecasts and warnings," Volz said earlier in the week. "That also will mean more lives saved and better environmental intelligence" for government officials responsible for hurricane and other evacuations.Airline passengers also stand to benefit, as do rocket launch teams. Improved forecasting will help pilots avoid bad weather and help rocket scientists know when to call off a launch.NASA declared success 3 1/2 hours after liftoff, following separation from the upper stage.The first in a series of four high-tech satellites, GOES-R hitched a ride on an unmanned Atlas V rocket, delayed an hour by rocket and other problems. NOAA teamed up with NASA for the mission.The satellite — valued by NOAA at $1 billion — is aiming for a 22,300-mile-high equatorial orbit. There, it will join three aging spacecraft with 40-year-old technology, and become known as GOES-16. After months of testing, this newest satellite will take over for one of the older ones. The second satellite in the series will follow in 2018. All told, the series should stretch to 2036.GOES stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite. The first was launched in 1975.GOES-R's premier imager — one of six science instruments — will offer three times as many channels as the existing system, four times the resolution and five times the scan speed, said NOAA program director Greg Mandt. A similar imager is also flying on a Japanese weather satellite.Typically, it will churn out full images of the Western Hemisphere every 15 minutes and the continental United States every five minutes. Specific storm regions will be updated every 30 seconds.Forecasters will get pictures "like they've never seen before," Mandt promised.A first-of-its-kind lightning mapper, meanwhile, will take 500 snapshots a second.This next-generation GOES program — $11 billion in all — includes four satellites, an extensive land system of satellite dishes and other equipment, and new methods for crunching the massive, nonstop stream of expected data.Hurricane Matthew, interestingly enough, delayed the launch by a couple weeks. As the hurricane bore down on Florida in early October, launch preps were put on hold. Matthew stayed far enough offshore to cause minimal damage to Cape Canaveral, despite some early forecasts that suggested a direct strike.___Online:NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov/ NASA: https://www.nasa.gov/ Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press.
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