Netanyahu to world leaders: I want to see outrage over this massacre

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Netanyahu to world leaders: I want to see outrage over this massacre

PM says Hamas, Islamic Movement, PA are spreading blood libel against Israel and its Jewish citizens, which fuel the ongoing campaign of violence.

Ynet, Agencies, Hassan Shaalan

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday called on world leaders to denounce the attack in a Jerusalem synagogue that claimed the lives of four worshipers.

“I call on all the leaders of countries in the Western world: I want to see outrage over this massacre. I want to see denunciation,” he said at a press conference in Jerusalem Tuesday night.

Two terrorists wielding meat cleavers, knives and guns arrived at the compound on Harav Shimon Agassi Street, which includes a synagogue and yeshiva (rabbinical seminary), and carried out two attacks in two locations.

While Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, Netanyahu said this was not enough.

 “We are in the midst of a terror campaign focused on Jerusalem. In the middle of Shacharit, while wrapping in tallit and tefillin, four rabbis were slaughtered, four innocent and pure Jews. The animals who committed this massacre came charged with vast hatred from wide-raging incitment against the Jewish people and its country,” Netanyahu said.

“Hamas, the Islamic Movement and the Palestinian Authority are spreading countless of libels and lies against the State of Israel. They say the Jews are defiling the Temple Mount. They say we mean to destroy the holy sites there, and that we mean to change the praying arrangements there. It’s all a lie. And these lies have already exacted a very steep price,” he added.

“Yesterday, a bus driver from East Jerusalem committed suicide. The pathological report’s findings, which were released to the public, prove it unequivocally. But this did not prevent those inciting to spread these blood libels that he was murdered by Jews. And this incitement played a part in the shocking massacre this morning.”

 Earlier in the day, Netanyahu warned that Israel would “respond harshly” to  the attack, calling it a “cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers.”

Security forces inside the synagogue (Photo:Reuters)
Security forces inside the synagogue (Photo:Reuters)

Netanyahu’s comments were echoed by Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz who said that “the terrorists wielded axes, but the voice was that of Mahmoud Abbas.”

The scene of the attack (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The scene of the attack (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

 An official Hamas statement said that the attack was a response to the death of bus driver Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, who was found hanged at a Jerusalem bus terminal Sunday night. Police said that he had committed suicide, a statement dismissed by some.

Other Israeli politicians reacted strongly to the attack, also suggesting that Israel’s response would be fierce.

 “These are no longer isolated incidents – we are at war,” said Shas leader Aryeh Deri, while Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat urged “the government to allocate all forces and resources; we will not let terror win.”

President Reuven Rivlin said that Israel was “experiencing a coordinated campaign; this isn’t a coincidental sequence of events.” He added that “this hour demands national responsibility and unity, and coping together — both with terrorism and with other challenges that face us.”

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett also denounced Abbas, saying that he “has declared war on Israel, (and) we must respond accordingly.”

The wounded are evacuated (Photo: Kobi Nachshoni)
The wounded are evacuated (Photo: Kobi Nachshoni)

But Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino sounded a note of caution in comments from the site of the attack. “We currently have no magic solution for these kinds of attacks,” he said.

“The terrorists will be defeated,” Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich said. “I call on citizens not to take the law into their own hands.”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni warned that the attack should not be connected to the Islamic State, stating that it was a Palestinian attack with a nationalist motive.

Likud MK Danny Danon said that  ‘Netanyahu must take charge and re-establish security for the citizens of Jerusalem.’

Meanwhile, Likud MK Miri Regev, who proposed legislation to change the status quo on the Temple Mount – a move vehemently rejected by the Muslim world – told Ynet that, “If this kind of incident had occurred in a mosque, the entire world would be against us.”

MKs from the main Arab parties provided a different point of view. Hadash chairman Mohammad Barakeh, Ibrahim Sarsour of Ra`am-Ta`al, and Jamal Zahalka of Balad, condemned the attack and expressed sorrow for the bloodshed.

They said that the cycle of violence could only end only through negotiation. They stressed that the attack stemmed from lack of hope and of a political horizon, which they saw as Netanyahu’s responsibility.

The whole world turns on Israel.

 By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

Published: November 19, 2012 407 Comments

CAIRO — While holding itself out as an honest broker for truce talks between Israel and Hamas over the Gaza conflict, Egypt’s new government sought on Monday to plunge into the battle over international public opinion on behalf of the Palestinian cause — an arena where the Israelis, more experienced in the world of the free press and democratic politics, have historically dominated.

In Egypt’s most concerted effort to win more global public support for the Palestinians, advisers to Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who has been an outspoken supporter of Hamas, invited foreign correspondents in Cairo to a background briefing at which a senior Egyptian official sought to blame Israel for the conflict while at the same time maintaining Egypt’s role as an intermediary pressing both sides for peace. “We are against any bloodshed,” the official said repeatedly, arguing that Egypt sought stability and individual freedom for all in the region.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid upsetting the talks with the Israelis, the Egyptian official argued that the West, which supports Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza, was essentially blaming the victim.

“It is so strange people are talking about the rights of self-defense,” he said. “The self-defense of whom? Of the occupied people? Of the besieged people? Of the hurt people? No, the self-defense of the most powerful state in the region and the self-defense of the occupying force of Gaza and Palestine. This is what some of the international community are talking about.”

He implicitly compared the leaders of Hamas to George Washington in America or Charles de Gaulle in France: Heros because they resisted foreign occupation by armed force. “Now, there is an occupation going on for decades and these people who are suffering this occupation are trying to resist, are trying to gain their rights,” the official said. “But we are saying no, they don’t have the rights, they have to stay calm, be killed, be occupied, be besieged, and the self-defense is the right of the occupier.”

The official called this “a huge manifestation of double standards that we will not allow.”

He argued that there was “no comparison” between the level of force used by both sides, and that the Western media had wrongly adopted Israel’s use of the term “rockets” to describe Hamas missiles that were better described as primitive “projectiles.” And he compared the Israeli killing of the top Hamas military official, Ahmed al-Jabari, which in Hamas’s view started the battle, to a hypothetical assassination of Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak. “What would be the reaction of the Israelis? Then can you understand the reaction of the other side?”

Echoing an account presented by President Morsi, the Egyptian official said that Israel’s killing of Mr. Jabari had broken an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement that both sides had accepted the day before Mr. Jabari was targeted.

The Egyptian official said that Mr. Morsi had asked President Obama to help press Israel to agree to a cease-fire, while Mr. Obama in turn had encouraged Mr. Morsi to work on both the Israelis and the Palestinians, since Egypt was already in contact with both sides. The Morsi administration appreciated President Obama’s efforts, the official said, though he added: “We differ on the blame issue, because the blame should not be directed toward the Palestinians in Gaza; the blame should be directed toward the occupation.”

In a sign of the Egyptian government’s inexperience at such public-relations campaigns, the official sought to reinforce his points by distributing a handout printed from the Internet, where it had circulated widely without clear authorship. It was titled “10 things you need to know about Gaza,” with headings like “Prison Camp” and “(Un) fair fight.”

Obama’s Disastrous Second Term begins: Scandal, cover up and war: Egypt attacks Israel.

Woman in Petraeus scandal visited White House

7:05 PM 11/16/2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The two women at the center of the David Petraeus scandal — the biographer with whom he had an extramarital affair and the socialite who received worrisome emails that led investigators to uncover the illicit relationship — visited the White House on separate and apparently unrelated occasions. Neither woman met with President Barack Obama during their visits.

Petraeus resigned as CIA director last week after acknowledging an affair with writer Paula Broadwell. In briefings Friday with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, the retired four-star general was apologetic and regretful and insisted that his resignation was related only to his personal behavior.

Paula Broadwell, who was writing a book about Petraeus and eventually became his paramour, attended meetings in June 2009 and June 2011 on Afghanistan-Pakistan policy in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is located in the White House complex, a White House official said.

 

Intel officials unable to say who changed CIA talking points on Libya, lawmaker says

Published November 16, 2012

FoxNews.com

Former CIA Director David Petraeus stoked the controversy over the Obama administration’s handling of the Libya terror attack, testifying Friday that references to “Al Qaeda involvement” were stripped from his agency’s original talking points — while other intelligence officials were unable to say who changed the memo, according to a top lawmaker who was briefed.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told Fox News that intelligence officials who testified in a closed-door hearing a day earlier, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Acting CIA Director Mike Morell, said they did not know who changed the talking points. He said they went out to multiple departments, including the State Department, National Security Council, Justice Department and White House.

“To me the question right now is who changed those talking points and why. … I’d say it was somebody in the administration had to have taken it out,” King told Fox News. “That, to me, has to be pursued.”

Petraeus left Capitol Hill around noon, after testifying in private hearings before the House and Senate intelligence committees. In his wake, Republicans and Democrats battled over whether his testimony should raise more suspicions about the administration’s handling of the attack.

King and other Republicans indicated they still have plenty of questions about the aftermath of the strike.

“No one knows yet exactly who came up with the final version of the talking points,” he said.

Petraeus’ testimony both challenges the Obama administration’s repeated claims that the attack was a “spontaneous” protest over an anti-Islam video, and according to King conflicts with his own briefing to lawmakers on Sept. 14. Sources have said Petraeus, in that briefing, also described the attack as a protest that spun out of control.

“His testimony today was that from the start, he had told us that this was a terrorist attack,” King said, adding that he told Petraeus he had a “different recollection.”

Still, the claim that the CIA’s original talking points were changed is sure to stoke controversy on the Hill.

“The original talking points were much more specific about Al Qaeda involvement. And yet the final ones just said indications of extremists,” King said, adding that the final version was the product of a vague “inter-agency process.”

King said a CIA analyst specifically told lawmakers that the Al Qaeda affiliates line “was taken out.”

A congressional source familiar with this week’s testimony also told Fox News that the language in the CIA talking points about Benghazi was changed from “Al Qaeda-affiliated individuals to extremist organizations” — which had the effect of minimizing the role of terrorists in the attack.

“It really changed the whole tone of it,” King told Fox News.

Democrats, though, suggested Republicans were taking the whole issue out of context.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., said claims the talking points were changed are “completely wrong.” Besides, he said, the affiliation of Ansar al-Sharia, the militant group suspected in the attack, to Al Qaeda is still being examined.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said the discrepancy can be attributed to the classified talking points that some saw versus the unclassified version that others, like U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, used.

Lawmakers are focusing on the talking points in the first place because of concern over the account Rice gave on five Sunday shows on Sept. 16, when she repeatedly claimed the attack was spontaneous — Rice’s defenders have since insisted she was merely basing her statements on the intelligence at the time.

But a source said Rice had access to both classified and unclassified information on Benghazi. King said the administration has “hidden behind” the claim that Rice was only using the intelligence community’s best assessment. But he said Petraeus’ testimony suggests their best assessment conflicted with what Rice said on Sept. 16.

One source told Fox News that Petraeus “has no idea what was provided” to Rice or who was the author of the talking points she used.

“He had no idea she was going on talk shows” until the White House announced it one or two days before, the source said.

Obama in his first post-election press conference Wednesday, called the criticism against Rice “outrageous” and told those lawmakers to “go after me” instead.

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff also came to Rice’s defense Thursday, saying after a House intelligence committee hearing that Rice was given the intelligence community’s “best assessment” at the time.

“Those who have suggested that Ambassador Rice was politicizing the intelligence or misrepresenting what the intelligence community was putting forward as its best assessment are either unfamiliar with the facts, or willfully disregarding them,” he said.

Report: Rockets Fired from Egypt Hit Israel

7:27 PM, NOV 16, 2012 •Bt  BY Daniel Halper  

Two major Israeli newspapers are reporting that rockets fired from Egypt have hit Israel.

“Terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula launched rockets into Israel Friday night,” reports the Jerusalem post. “The rockets fell near an Israeli village on the southern border, causing some damage, but no injuries.”

The Israeli Daily Haarretz reports, “Rockets fired from direction of Egypt toward Eshkol Regional Council.”

It appears no damage was reported in connection with the rocket fire from Egypt. Earlier today, the Egyptian prime minister visited Gaza to express solidarity with the Palestinians there.

This new front comes a day after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv and on the same day Israel’s capital Jerusalem was the target of rocket fire. Those attacks were courtesy of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“After Tel Aviv metropolitan area, capital under fire too: An air raid siren was sounded in Jerusalem and surrounding communities early Friday evening. After residents reported hearing blast sounds, security forces confirmed that one rocket had landed in the Gush Etzion area near a Palestinian village,” 

“There were no reports of injuries or damage. This was the first air raid siren sounded in the area since the IDF launched Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip. Air raid sirens were sounded in southern communities throughout the day and a barrage of missiles hit the area.”