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Jerusalem Experiences a Day of Violence

By YnetNews.com

Firebombs, a stabbing, and riots Wednesday marked a day of violence in Jerusalem, as police battled a constant flow of popular terror.

Several firebombs was thrown at a border police vehicle in East Jerusalem's A-Tur neighborhood on Wednesday night, mere hours after a convicted killer stabbed a border policeman near Damascus gate in Jerusalem's Old City. One of the firebombs hit the border police jeep, setting the vehicle alight. The policemen in the vehicle managed to free themselves, while the fire began spreading to nearby cars. One policeman was lightly wounded from smoke inhalation. The fire was reported to be under control soon after the incident.

Firebombs have posed a huge problem for Israeli police and the IDF. Most recently, nine Palestinians were arrested for allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails at a vehicle on Route 20 near Beit Hanina. The men threw three Molotov cocktails at a vehicle on Route 20, moderately wounding a woman and burning the car completely.

The indictment against the group also mentioned them throwing of a Molotov cocktail at a Jewish home in Beit Hanina, wounding two people, and alleged that that the group threw firebombs at the house on three other occasions over the past six months without causing casualties.

Earlier Wednesday a Palestinian man attempted to attack a group of border guards near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. The guards managed to overpower the Palestinian, who stabbed one of them in the leg, wounding him lightly. The suspect was arrested. The wounded policeman was taken by ambulance to Hadassah Medical Center.

The suspect in the attack is a 56-year-old resident of Hebron, who does not have a permit to enter Israel and was previously He was imprisoned for the murder of Menahem Stern in 1989 during a terror attack in Jerusalem. He was released in 2013 as part of the third round of Palestinian prisoner releases. Stern was a recipient of the Israel Prize for History and was one of the most prominent researchers of the Second Temple period.

Stabbing attacks have been on the rise in Israel for many months. On August 17, a Palestinian was shot dead while attempting a knife attack at Tapuach Junction in the West Bank, while on August 15, two different stabbings occurred in the West Bank.


Abbas Builds Himself a $13 Million Royal Palace

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas is building a $13 million palace for himself in Ramallah, the PA governmental seat in Samaria, as revealed in an official website recently. The Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR) official website published an announcement of the massive construction project.

PECDAR, established by the Palestine Liberation Organization terror group in 1993 as part of the Oslo Accords, posted "The Presidential Guest Palace in Surda, Ramallah" as a two year project. Abbas often refers to himself as the "president of Palestine," leaving no doubts that the palace is indeed intended for his luxury.

The palace is to sprawl over 27,000 square meters of land, and is itself to be 4,700 square meters in size. Along with the palace, a "building for the Presidential Administration and Guards" is also to be built spanning 4,000 square meters.

Two helipads for helicopter transport are also to be built on the grounds of the palace, which according to architectural sketches on the site - that can be viewed on the website - is to be nothing short of royal in terms of its design and scale.

The $13 million for the palace is to be financed by the PLO's budget, which is deeply debt ridden and largely propped up by US donations. According to the PECDAR website, "donor's funds are disbursed effectively and efficiently and in the most transparent manner. Funds are project oriented in accordance with national priorities."

The website adds that PEDCAR is "accountable to a Board of Trustees which is headed by President Mahmoud Abbas." The fact that PEDCAR, which answers to Abbas, found the construction of a $13 million palace for Abbas to be a "national priority" throws into further relief the massive corruption in the PA, where Abbas continues to rule despite his term having expired in January 2009.

Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh wrote an article in the Gatestone Institute last week detailing the corruption, after PLO unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah the same week told visiting Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Majority Leader of the US House of Representatives, that the US invested $4.5 billion into the Palestinian cause over the last 20 years.

Abu Toameh pointed out that figure did not include money forked over to the PA, and noted that "Palestinian economic analysts estimate that the PA has received a total of $25 billion in financial aid from the U.S. and other countries during the past two decades," ever since the PA was established in the Oslo Accords. "One does not have to be an expert on Palestinian affairs to see that the billions of dollars have neither created democracy for the Palestinians nor boosted the Israeli-Palestinian peace process."

The journalist noted that the PA was "actually a one-man show called Yasir Arafat; he and his cronies were the main benefactors of American and European taxpayers' money. ...At the time, the assumption in the U.S., Europe and other countries was that a corrupt and repressive Arafat would one day make far-reaching concessions for the sake of peace with Israel."

Those delusions blew up in the 2000 Camp David talks when Arafat rejected then Prime Minister Ehud Barak's unprecedented concession offers, and went on to launch the Second Intifada terror war.

In comments that echo resoundingly given the new palace construction project, Abu Toameh wrote, "one does not need to ask Palestinian Authority officials about the way they spent the American aid money because the reality on the ground is too obvious. The PA took the billions of dollars and continues to operate as a corrupt and undemocratic regime. Democracy is the last thing the Palestinians expect to see from the PA or Hamas."


Only Israel, Not the West, Grants Civilization Any Hope of Survival

By Giulio Meotti (Commentary)

St. Elian was a young doctor originally from Homs, in Syria, who was killed in 284 C.E. by his father, a Roman legionnaire, for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. His bones were preserved in a monastery in Qaryatayn. The Islamist bulldozers of IS razed it to the ground and scattered the bones of the Christian saint.

The image is reminiscent of another digger who in 1931, under the orders of Stalin, razed the Church of the Savior. On the ruins of this beautiful church the largest pool of the Soviet Union was then built.

"All forms of collective violence have a religious dimension" Roger Scruton, the most influential English philosopher, professor at St. Andrews University, a fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature told me in our conversation. "Christians are vulnerable and ISIS will go on with their decimation and will not stop until the West militarily attacks the Islamic State.

"The West is in retreat from the world, has lost all the spiritual and cultural values on which Europe was founded. Otherwise, facing these reports of Christians killed and churches destroyed, the West would immediately intervene against ISIS. But it will be punished, even by its own European multiculturalism."

According to Scruton, the fault lies in the culture of repudiation. "The Christians of the East are the scapegoat of our weakness in this existential moment. There is a deep sense of guilt, but also the elimination of war from our public and political imagination. Muslims, instead, want to fight for something and are eliminating in their passage entire cities, cultures, innocent people. Feminists and those who have defended the 'minorities' are silent on the return of the sexual slavery for Yazidi girls. The fate of Christians in the Middle East is important for us Westerners. We must not turn our backs on these communities since their fate, in the long run, it will also be our destiny.".

But the West is letting Islamic forces destroy people and civilizations. Who in the West would be capable of the sacrifice of Khaled Assad, the archaeologist of UNESCO's jewel, Palmyra, beheaded by ISIS for refusing to tell them where he had hidden its treasures?

Barack Obama only cares about LGBT causes and is closing his eyes and big mouth on the killing of Christians and other minorities (he has already abandoned the Israeli Jews under the Iranian atomic umbrella). Europe is living as if it is the last generation there ever will be, inspired only by hedonism, science and a horrible cult of the present. A few days ago, Le Figaro, a French newspaper, published an interview between Alain Finkielkraut and Michel Houellebecq, the most important philosopher and writer in France. It is an amazing piece, shedding light on our tragic times.

Finkielkraut says: "God is gone, and getting Him back is beyond our control. 'Where there was God, is today's melancholy' said Gershom Sholem." Answers Houellebecq: "On that, Alain, I totally disagree with you. Only those who believe in eternal life survive. Religion always wins in the end - if only for demographic reasons".

They are both right, Finkielkraut and Houellebecq, and they both explain why only Israel and its people, not the West, are the ultimate hope of civilization. Only Israel still uses war and military force for good reasons, and only in Israel you have that mix of vibrant modernity and ancient spirit which give reasons for survival.

Ask not only the ordinary Jews who live and fight for Eretz Israel. Ask the Lebanese Marronite "collaborator" with Israel who until the withdrawal in 2000 fought Islamists and now lives in Israel. Ask the Druze serving in the military. Ask the Arab Christians who fight for recruitment in the IDF and don't want to be called "Arab". Ask the loyal Bedouins, the Circassians, the Bahai ... For all of them, Israel is really a light unto the nations. As it should be for all of us.

(The writer is an Italian journalist with Il Foglio)


Israeli Professor Wants to Purchase 1.4% of the Earth

By YnetNews.com

How much would it cost to save the world? As it turns out, not that much. At least that's what Prof. Uri Shanas of the University of Haifa at Oranim, who has started a crowdfunding project that aims to preserve the biological diversity in danger of extinction on earth, believes. In a few weeks, the professor has managed to pass his initial target sum of $20,000, and donations are still coming in.

Shanas, a faculty member of the Department of Biology and Environment at the University of Haifa, has started an open, democratic, international "purchasing group" whose entire purpose is saving the planet. "We don't have to, and we can't, defend the earth at all times," said Shanas. "But if we can preserve the part that has an extraordinary diversity of plants and animals that are at risk of extinction, we can stop the disappearance of species that is happening today."

Shanas asked for help from the public in raising $25,000 to create an organization dedicated to conservation of the world's species. He said there are already many species of plant and animal in danger of going extinct, with the list only growing with global warming and the continued destruction of open pastures.

"We don't always know what the extraction of one species from the system will do, but there are examples of systemic collapse that went so far as to affect mankind that were the result of one species' extinction. For instance, the extinction of the sea otter in the Pacific Ocean caused a rise in local sea urchin populations, which ate the algae in the area, causing fish populations to starve, causing many fishermen to lose both their livelihood and food supply," explained Shanas.

According to him, the path to conservation of the biological diversity is simple. 1.4% of the world's surface is comprised of areas that are considered "hot zones" of biological diversity – areas where many plant and animal species are on the brink of extinction. Purchasing these areas and turning them into nature resorts could save these species, and life on earth.

Shanas wants to create an organization called This Is My Earth (TIME), which every person on earth will be invited to join at a (starting) cost of $1 per year. All members will vote each year on where to invest the organization's money, choosing from a list of "hot zones" that will be put together by an international team of scientists. All members will have an equal vote, no matter how much they paid in membership fees.

"The main difference between TIME and other groups and individuals who are purchasing land for conservation today is the democratic, international, and public nature of the project," said the professor, "as well as the fact that responsibility for taking care of each zone purchased will be given to TIME members in that zone's country.

The goal isn't to maintain some sort of 'green colonialism', but to let local residents handle their own natural resources. We're interested in building an organization that can educate people to be involved, conserve the environment, and be democratic from an early age. And yes, also to save the earth."

The University of Haifa mentioned that in the two weeks since the project was started, the crowdfunding campaign has surpassed expected targets by about 25%. Most donations came from the United Stated, Israel, China, and Canada. However, some also came in from distant countries like Georgia, Cambodia, Thailand, Kenya, and New Zealand. Readers who would like to help create TIME can do so at Indiegogo.


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