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Pompeo: US Policy on Turkish Attack on Kurds Hasn't Endangered Israel

By the Jerusalem Post & Reuters
The US pullout of its troops from northeast Syria has not endangered Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said amid reports that he was heading to Jerusalem to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after visiting Ankara on Thursday. Channel 13 reported that Pompeo will discuss the removal of US troops with Netanyahu. Prior to that meeting, Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence will meet with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and ask him to halt his attack on the Kurds. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is a strong supporter of Israel, tweeted that he is worried that as a result of the pullout of US troops – a move seen as an abandonment of America's alley the Kurds – "We will not have allies in the future against radical Islam, ISIS will reemerge, & Iran's rise in Syria will become a nightmare for Israel. I fear this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making and I hope President Trump will adjust his thinking." He warned it could prove to be a worse disaster than when former US President Barack Obama left Iraq. But in an interview with Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business Network, Pompeo dismisses the idea that US strategy was bad for Israel. "You heard earlier in our montage of comments from people – the former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Barak, was in the studio earlier this week, and he said the winners in all of this are Russia, Assad, Iran, and ISIS. Is it your belief that Israel today is less safe as a result of this move?" Bartiromo asked. "No," Pompeo responded. What is happening in northeast Syria, he said, is "a small part of our Middle East strategy," explaining that people should focus on the larger picture, which is "the world's largest state sponsor of terror, the Islamic Republic of Iran." To "focus singularly on what's taking place in a part of Syria neglects the true risk to the American people, and how effective this administration has been at preventing that risk from impacting security for the American people," Pompeo said. At a Washington news conference, President Donald Trump said that other parties such as Russia, Iran and Syria could combat the terrorist organization. "Russia, Iran, Syria and to maybe a slightly lesser extent they all hate ISIS as much as we do, and it is their part of the world. We are seven thousand miles away," Trump said. "Russia is tough, they can kill ISIS just as well and they happen to be in their neighborhood," he added. He noted that some of the Kurdish groups, which people were pressing the US to support, were actually worse than ISIS. "The PKK (the Kurdistan Workers Party), which is a part of the Kurds, as you know, is more of a terrorist threat than ISIS," Trump said. The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday, 356 to 60 to condemn Trump's decision to withdraw US forces from Syria. Dozens of Trump's fellow Republicans joined the majority Democrats in favor. Since the start of the Turkish assault last week, Netanyahu has issued one statement in support of Israel's Kurdish friends, but has otherwise been largely silent on the issue. Syrian government forces, backed by Washington's adversaries Russia and Iran, have swiftly advanced into territory formerly patrolled by US troops.

Three Democratic Anti-Semites Endorse Bernie Sanders for Presidential Nomination

By Reuters, Israel Hayom & World Israel News High-profile Democratic lawmakers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) have endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for president. The three US congresswomen were both endorsing the Democratic socialist candidate's bid for the White House, Sanders' campaign said. The endorsement of Ocasio-Cortez, known as AOC, the newest star on the leftist stage, and Omar, a Muslim congresswoman who has been the frequent target of President Donald Trump, suggested Sanders remained the Left's favored nominee. "Bernie is leading a working-class movement to defeat Donald Trump that transcends generation, ethnicity and geography," Omar said in a statement. Omar has been repeatedly criticized for her anti-Israel views and her calls for a boycott of the Jewish state. Just recently, she stirred controversy after she insinuated the pro-Israel lobby in Washington was all but buying votes. She was also slammed for comparing Israel to Nazi Germany. Omar and Ocasio-Cortez are part of a group of four female Democratic lawmakers nicknamed "The Squad" that has advanced a socialist agenda and has been a prominent critic of Israel, along with fellow "squad" member Rep. Rashida Tlaib from Michigan. The support of three of the four members of "The Squad," is good news for the Sanders campaign, CNN reported, and should help it "win over voters of color and create the kind of diverse coalition that mostly eluded it in 2016." But it remains to be seen if the backing of the three freshman Democratic stars will staunch the flow from Sanders' campaign. Omar issued a statement confirming her support. She praised Sanders for "leading a working class movement to defeat Donald Trump that transcends generation, ethnicity, and geography." She also said in the statement that Sanders is "fighting for a humane immigration policy that treats immigrants as human beings and not criminals." Sanders had defended Omar, who is a Somali Muslim, from attack after she was accused of anti-Semitism for comments that borrowed heavily from anti-Jewish stereotypes. She had accused AIPAC, America's largest pro-Israel lobby, of buying power. In July, Omar introduced a resolution supporting the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement. Ocasio-Cortez signed onto the bill, which was co-sponsored by Tlaib.

Israel, Jordan and PA agree: Palestinian Elections Would be a Disaster

Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority don't agree on much, but they do agree that Palestinian elections would mean the rise of Hamas in Judea and Samaria, Israel Hayom reported on Wednesday. "Between Jerusalem, Ramallah and Amman there is complete consensus and rare agreement that arranging elections for the parliament and Palestinian presidency in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank, as Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] declared in his U.N. speech last month… "`Will bring about the victory of Hamas over Fatah and the control by the organization over the rule of the Palestinian Authority with the swift and brutal ousting of Fatah people from all the ruling institutions, government authorities and security and intelligence apparatus of the Palestinian Authority.'" Israel Hayom reported that senior PA officials say that recent polls show that if elections were held for the Palestinian parliament, Hamas would beat Fatah and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah would best Mahmoud Abbas in presidential elections. The last time elections were held in the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria – in 2006 – Hamas won a majority. Fatah and the international community refused to recognize the results and boycotted Hamas. Abbas built up his own power base in Ramallah. According to Israel Hayom, the `Arab street' is angry at Abbas and Fatah, blaming them for the lack of reconciliation between the two sides. The newspaper says the reasons is that eight Palestinian organizations from Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip developed a plan of reconciliation which Abbas rejected but Haniyeh accepted. Therefore, Abbas is blamed for the continued hostility. Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the PA's General Authority of Civil Affairs, said "We don't reject any initiative of reconciliation. The initiative put together by the organizations was a waste of time and deepened divides. It would have only widened the split in Palestinian society." But a senior PA official told Israel Hayom in response to al-Sheikh's comments, "General elections in the Palestinian Authority won't happen, especially so long as Abu Mazen is there."

Palestinian Authority Accuses Americans of `Dangerous Medical Experiments' on Sick Palestinians

By Palestinian Media Watch & United with Israel A private American organization is to build a hospital at the northern end of the Gaza Strip. Israel has already admitted hospital equipment into the Strip. But the project is being condemned by the Palestinian Authority`s Ministry of Health, which claims that "the American hospital project is not innocent, and its goals are dangerous." [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 27, 2019] Elaborating on these alleged "dangerous goals," an op-ed in the official PA daily Al-Jadida claimed that the hospital is run by "the CIA," and its purpose is not to treat the sick Palestinians but "to carry out experiments on the sick Palestinians," and "to be a partner in trafficking in human organs": "The American administration and the CIA, which are actually supervising the hospital and its staff, transferred it to the southern Palestinian districts (i.e., the Gaza Strip) to serve the US as an early warning, monitoring, and espionage station where it was established. This was in addition to a matter that I think not one of the observers have noticed: The hospital has an additional functional role, which is to carry out experiments on the sick Palestinians, and not to treat them and care for their health… and it is possible that the hospital will be a partner in trafficking in human organs." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 2, 2019] The PA Ministry of Health said that it considers it Israel's "deliberate step to finally and completely separate the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) by preventing any connection on any level between our people in the two parts of the homeland." Also in Gaza, Hamas is prepared to inaugurate a playground near the area it shuttled children to serve on the front lines of violent Gaza border riots. The steering committee that spearheads weekly violence and unrest on the Israeli border with Gaza is reportedly preparing to inaugurate a "children's park" near an area that has been "a focal point for the often violent disturbances," according to the Algemeiner, citing a Yediot Ahronot report. This "Park of Return" is apparently ready to go and includes "games, entertainment facilities, lawns, gardens, a promenade, shaded areas for picnics, and fountains." Since launching the violent riots in March 2018, Hamas faced a chorus of condemnation from Israel and its allies for singling out children and forcing them to the front lines. The park appears to be part of a campaign to put a positive spin on the terror group's sick exploitation of children in its never-ending war against the Jewish state. Tragically, Hamas specifically preys upon impoverished children, who are installed among other rioters and sent to the border fence to provoke IDF forces. Children of wealthy Palestinians are spared from this fate, according to claims in the Algemeiner report. The park's inauguration is being launched with "further riots were held under the name `Our Martyrs,'" reported the Algemeiner, which the steering committee cynically called "an appeal to the international community to appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague against Israel for its crimes against the children in the Gaza Strip."

New Jerusalem Research Center Tackles Questions of Tech and Jewish Law

By JNS and Israel Hayom

A newly established research center at the Jerusalem College of Technology seeks to answer pivotal religious questions, such as: Can you send Alexa voice commands on Shabbat? The Jerusalem College of Technology recently announced the launch of the Torah and Technology Research Center, which will provide specialized expertise necessary to respond to the complex ethical and halachic (Jewish legal) issues of our times. Supported by the Walder Foundation and operating under the direction of Rabbi Yosef Zvi Rimon, head of its yeshivah and Jewish-studies programs, the center pioneers a working relationship between halachic experts and renowned faculty members from the college's computer science, engineering and health-sciences departments in order to address the influx of emerging questions pertaining to both Torah and technology. Is it permissible to ride in an autopilot vehicle on Shabbat? Can "meat" grown using cells taken from a pig be kosher or even pareve? Can you send Amazon's Alexa voice commands on Shabbat? These are some of the matters to be considered. Questions like these, in addition to ethical issues related to technology, are already being asked in the Jewish religious community and show demand for answers informed by both Halachah and technology, Rimon told Jewish News Syndicate. Budding technology companies, he added, have also come to him asking him how to make their products more user-friendly for the religious community. "We have deep answers in Judaism, and want adults and children alike to be excited about how deep they are," he said.

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