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First Trump Approval of Two-State Solution, Peace Plan in 2-3 Months

By DEBKAfile & VOA News

President Donald Trump said for the first time that he "likes a two-state solution" during a joint news conference at UN Center with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during their meeting on Wednesday. He said that his peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians would be released in two-to-three months provided it is "good for both parties." Israel will have to do something good for "the other side," he said, after US recognition of Jerusalem. Trump praised Israel's independent actions in its self-defense in a difficult part of the world. "We are with you; we are with Israel, he said." Netanyahu thanked Trump for his strong positions against the "corrupt regime" of Iran and declared Israel would continue to do what is necessary against threats from Iran and Lebanon. The two leaders spent the first 10 minutes of the meeting one-on-one before being joined by advisers. Trump dodged a reporter's question about the Il-20 plane crash crisis between Israel and Russia. "I like [a] two-state solution," Trump said as he posed for photographs with Netanyahu. "That's what I think works best. That's my feeling. Now you may have a different feeling. I don't think so. But I think two-state solution works best." The Palestinians have heavily criticized Trump for a series of moves that they say show distinct bias toward Israel, starting with his recognition last year of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Palestinians also claim the holy city as the capital of an eventual state. Earlier this year, Trump followed up on the recognition by moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a step that was widely protested by Palestinians and others in the Arab world. His administration has also slashed aid to the Palestinians by hundreds of millions of dollars and ended U.S. support for the U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees. Trump and his national security team have defended their position, saying that decades of attempts to forge Israeli-Palestinian peace have failed. He said Wednesday that the embassy move would help peace efforts by recognizing the reality that Israel identifies Jerusalem as its capital. But, he added that Israel would have to make concessions to the Palestinians in any negotiations. "Israel got the first chip, and it's a big one," Trump said. "By taking off the table the embassy moving to Jerusalem, that was always the primary ingredient as to why deals couldn't get done. Now that's off the table. Now, that will also mean that Israel will have to do something that is good for the other side." Netanyahu thanked Trump for his support, his decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and said U.S.-Israel relations have never been better than under his administration. On Tuesday, Trump attacked Iran in his annual address to the U.N. General Assembly, accusing its leaders of corruption and spreading chaos throughout the Middle East and beyond. He also vowed to continue to impose sanctions on Iran. "Thank you for your strong words yesterday in the General Assembly against the corrupt terrorist regime in Iran," Netanyahu said. "They back up your strong words and strong actions. In a media briefing after the meeting, Netanyahu said, "I heard the United States' unreserved support for Israel, its right to self-defense in general, and also regarding the incident of the downing of the Russian plane in Syria. I made specific requests and got everything I asked for. The president gave explicit instructions regarding Israel's security." Referring to Trump's support for the establishment of a Palestinian state, Netanyahu said: "We are concerned with essence. The question is, what is a state? What state will it be? Will it be Costa Rica or Iran? As far as I am concerned, as long as I am prime minister, the security control of Israel will be full to the west of the Jordan River." He added that he heard during his meeting with Trump from his adviser Jared Kushner that everyone interprets the concept of a "Palestinian state" differently. He was asked why Israel does not initiate an attempt to renew political negotiations. "It is absurd to think that if the Americans are preparing a plan, we will bypass it. Nevertheless, this does not indicate that we have no contacts with the Palestinians." Netanyahu was asked to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza. "Two sinkholes have been created: On the one hand, the economic situation in Gaza and in the Palestinian Authority is very difficult because the Americans have stopped their financial aid to UNRWA and other projects. On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority does not transfer the funds and salaries to Gaza. " A political source in Netanyahu's entourage also responded to reports that President Vladimir Putin rejected the Prime Minister's request to meet with him following the incident of the downing of the Russian plane. "The issue was raised during the prime minister's conversation with the Russian president, and he did not reject any possibility, but rather left it open. At the moment the atmosphere in Russia is not suitable for such a meeting, but it can be assumed that a meeting with the Russian president will take place soon," he said. Netanyahu said that the IDF would carry on operations to prevent Iran from establishing a military foothold in Syria while continuing to coordinate action with Russia. He was summing up of the security cabinet meeting Tuesday on the deployment of Russian S-300s in Syria after the IL-20 crash, before flying to New York and the UN General Assembly. Netanyahu said he and Putin had agreed IDF and Russian army officers would meet soon. He added: For three years we have been very successful in averting Iran's military consolidation in Syria and its attempts to transfer lethal weapons to Hizbullah, despite some digressions. However, DEBKAfile also reported that these remarks do not address the new conditions set up by Russia against Israeli operations in Syria, including jamming measures against its air force and navy.

Bolton Warning: Iran Will Have `Hell to Pay' if it Crosses US

By World Israel News

President Donald Trump and several of his top national security aides have issued stern warnings to Iran, both at a session of the United Nations General Assembly and at events on the meeting's sidelines. National security adviser John Bolton spoke at a New York City hotel to United Against a Nuclear Iran, an organization that opposed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, an agreement from which the Trump administration withdrew in May. In Bolton's address, he warned that there would be "hell to pay" if Tehran crossed the U.S., its allies or their partners. "If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay," he was set to declare, according to prepared remarks released by the White House. "The murderous regime and its supporters will face significant consequences if they do not change their behavior. Let my message today be clear: We are watching, and we will come after you," Bolton warned.

Nazis' Aerial Photography Helps Map, Preserve Jewish Cemeteries


When German air force pilots took aerial photographs of western Ukraine in 1941, they did it to help Nazi Germany defeat the Soviet Union in a war that saw the genocide of 6 million Jews. But in a twist of fate, the German government has recently started funding an effort that uses the photographs to identify and preserve Jewish cemeteries. The effort, in which the Luftwaffe archives are only one of several ingenious tools, began in 2015 with the establishment of an organization called the European Jewish Cemeteries Initiative, or ESJF. The largest-ever international project of its kind, ESJF has since fenced more than 100 Jewish cemeteries in seven countries on a modest annual budget of approximately $1 million. And in Eastern Europe, fencing Jewish cemeteries is "not as straightforward as it may sound," according to Philip Carmel, a British former journalist, the organization's CEO since its creation. Even determining the location of such graveyards can be challenging in towns with entire Jewish populations that were murdered and cemeteries plundered for construction material and then stolen for development. That's where the Luftwaffe aerial photographs enter the picture, Carmel said. "Obviously they were taken to help the German war effort," Carmel said of the prints and negatives that he pulled from German state archives. "But they were accurate enough to help us identify some Jewish cemeteries right before the destruction." In the western Ukrainian town of Buchach — the birthplace of the Jewish Nobel Prize laureate Shmuel Yosef Agnon and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal — Jews for generations buried their dead atop a mound that in 1941 stood on the town's northern margins. But after the murder of the area's 10,000 Jews during the Holocaust, the forest adjacent to the cemetery was allowed to swallow it up, leaving exposed only a few dozen headstones. Fragments of others used to lie in piles on the shoulders of the potholed asphalt road that snakes along Buchach's Torgova Street. The forest's progression and the destruction caused to the headstones – locals throughout Eastern Europe steal them to use as sharpening stones or building material – complicated efforts to map the cemetery. The Luftwaffe aerials show its borders clearly, explained Carmel, who last year oversaw its demarcation. It is now set for fencing later this year, complete with retaining walls.

Program Recruits Israeli Girls for Cyber Warfare

Tali Ben Aroya knows what it's like to feel intimidated. As the founder of an Israeli social network startup, she recalls more than once being the only female in a room full of male business executives. "I remember myself asking where all the other women were," she said. "I realized then that if I wanted to change things, it's not enough to be an entrepreneur. I also have to help cultivate other women to be entrepreneurs." Even now, as she pursues a master's degree in computer science at Ben-Gurion University in Be'er Sheva, Ben Aroya, 33, is one of only three women in her class of 30. "The problem is that tech is not being marketed in a way that gets girls interested," Ben Aroya said. "Girls want to do something that contributes to society, like finding a cure for cancer, but they don't realize that technology is the best way to do that. In our society, boys tend to be more competitive. We don't push girls to achieve higher goals." Ben Aroya is trying to change that. She is the chief of content development at CyberGirlz, a program that aims to cultivate interest and skills in technology among high school girls with an aptitude for it. About 2,000 girls already participate in the CyberGirlz Club and the CyberGirlz Community, which hosts hack-a-thons, training sessions, meetups, and events where the girls get advice and guidance from other female mentors — many of whom have served in elite technology units of the Israeli military. At the moment, demand for high-tech professionals in Israel outstrips supply by about 15,000 individuals, according to Start-Up Nation Central, a Tel Aviv-based nonprofit that monitors the tech ecosystem. The need for those with specific technical skills like coding, algorithms, encryption and big data is especially pressing. Given the centrality of the tech sector to Israel's GDP, ensuring that there is a pipeline of capable people available to work in tech has become a national priority. More often than not, that pipeline is the Israeli military – especially the famed intelligence Unit 8200 — where tech-oriented young people get the crucial training and experience they need to become successful tech innovators. Yet female soldiers comprised just 27% of all programmers in the Israel Defense Forces in 2015, the last year for which statistics were available. And only 12% of conscripts in the IDF's highly competitive cyber units were women — about the same percentage as women in the high-tech industry in general. CyberGirlz is ramping up its effort to change that with the September launch of an afterschool club in the central Israeli city of Modiin for a select group of about 60 high school sophomores and juniors. The idea is to prep them for high-skilled technology units of the IDF. Israel's Defense Ministry jointly finances the CyberGirlz Club along with the Rashi Foundation and Start-Up Nation Central, backed by the hedge fund titan Paul Singer. "Our aim is to bring the girls to this process already skilled, with the knowledge needed to pass the exams for Unit 8200 and serve in the military as programmers," said Maty Zwaig, Start-Up Nation Central's director of human capital programs. Zwaig herself was a lieutenant colonel in a computer unit within the IDF Intelligence Corps.

The girls will meet once a week for four hours over a two-year period. They'll learn network science, coding and digital frameworks, and be trained in using complex algorithms to track Israel's potential enemies. Unlike conventional high school computer classes, this curriculum is focused on teaching hacker skills. The girls will practice penetration testing, which simulates cyber attacks to find potential vulnerabilities, do network analysis and learn the programming language Python.

Boy Wins $31 Million in Lawsuit Due to Botched Circumcision

By Blake Harper

On the verge of his fifth birthday, a young boy has won a landmark lawsuit; he won $31 million after his parents sued when his circumcision was mishandled, leaving him with a severely deformed penis. The unnamed boy was born in October 2013, and when he was just under three weeks old, his parents took him to Riverdale's Life Cycle Pediatrics so he could be circumcised, like an estimated two-thirds of boys in America. However, the standard procedure went awry when the boy's penis was partially severed. In the years since the botched circumcision, the boy's parents claim that he has faced a myriad of issues emotionally and physically, including chronic scabbing and the long-term trauma he is sure to experience due to his deformed penis. Terrell W. Benton, the defense attorney for the nurse-midwife and doctor who had been found responsible for the botched circumcision, argued that a million dollars would be sufficient to cover any medical expenses, plus counseling or anything else he may need to assuage his emotional suffering. However, Neal Pope, who represented the boy, argued that the incompetence of the staff warranted a much higher payout. According to testimony, after the boy's penis had been severed, he was sent home without any emergency surgery, even though an operation may have been able to reattach the severed tissue to the penis without any long-term health problems. Instead, the child has had to undergo multiple surgeries to be able to urinate and, at this time, doctors are unsure if he will ever be able to have children. At this time, it is not clear exactly who will be forced to pay the $31 million. While only the nurse and attending doctor have been found liable, Stacie Willis, the boy's mother, and the official plaintiff, requested that the family's pediatrician, the owner of the clinic, and Daffodil Pediatric and Family Medical all be forced to pay.

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