PA: UNESCO vote sends ‘clear message’ to Israel, US
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PA: UNESCO vote sends ‘clear message’ to Israel, US

Jerusalem mayor asks whether cultural body would also deny Islam’s link to Mecca, while deputy FM blasts ‘shameful’ measure based on ‘Palestinian lie’

  • Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz listens to questions during a press conference at the 23rd World Energy Congress on October 13, 2016 in Istanbul. (AFP/OZAN KOSE)
    Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz listens to questions during a press conference at the 23rd World Energy Congress on October 13, 2016 in Istanbul. (AFP/OZAN KOSE)
  • Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Dore Gold attend a session of the State Control Committee at the Knesset on July 25, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Dore Gold attend a session of the State Control Committee at the Knesset on July 25, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Bob Dylan performing at the Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, March 23, 1975. (Alvan Meyerowitz/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images via JTA)
    Bob Dylan performing at the Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, March 23, 1975. (Alvan Meyerowitz/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images via JTA)
  • Books by US songwriter Bob Dylan who was announced the laureate of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature are displayed at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 13, 2016. (AFP/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND)
    Books by US songwriter Bob Dylan who was announced the laureate of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature are displayed at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 13, 2016. (AFP/JONATHAN NACKSTRAND)
  • Well-wishers of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej pray at Siriraj Hospital, where the king was being treated, in Bangkok on October 13, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / MUNIR UZ ZAMAN)
    Well-wishers of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej pray at Siriraj Hospital, where the king was being treated, in Bangkok on October 13, 2016. (AFP PHOTO / MUNIR UZ ZAMAN)
  • Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, gives a press conference to announce the laureate of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 13, 2016. (AFP/ JONATHAN NACKSTRAND)
    Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy, gives a press conference to announce the laureate of the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 13, 2016. (AFP/ JONATHAN NACKSTRAND)
  • Illustrative: Medics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service treat an Israel Police officer and border guard that were injured when a car rammed through a checkpoint outside of Jerusalem on October 13, 2016. (Magen David Adom)
    Illustrative: Medics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service treat an Israel Police officer and border guard that were injured when a car rammed through a checkpoint outside of Jerusalem on October 13, 2016. (Magen David Adom)
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu places a wreath at the memorial service for the Yom Kippur War, October 13, 2016  (Kobi Gidon/GPO)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu places a wreath at the memorial service for the Yom Kippur War, October 13, 2016 (Kobi Gidon/GPO)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Thursday’s events as they unfolded.

Foreign Ministry head Gold said to quit

Foreign Ministry director Dore Gold is resigning his post, according to a report by Ynet news.

The report, which does not include a source, says Gold, 64, is leaving the ministry for personal reasons.

Gold, who was born and educated in the US, is not immediately reachable.

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acting as foreign minister, Gold has essentially been a placeholder fulfilling his policies, including a drive to reach out to Sunni and African states as well as overseeing a rapprochement with Turkey.

Gold previously served as a top aide to Netanyahu and as head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Manhunt on for driver after suspected car-ramming attack

Police are searching for a driver who sped off after crashing into a checkpoint east of Jerusalem, injuring two officers.

The two were hurt when a car driving against traffic crashed into a police patrol car and a Border Police Jeep at the a-Za’im checkpoint, at the entrance to the village with the same name just outside East Jerusalem.

 

Ministry confirms Gold resigning as top diplomat

The Foreign Ministry confirms that Dore Gold is quitting the Foreign Ministry and has turned in his resignation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “for personal reasons.”

The statement does not say if Netanyahu accepted his resignation.

Gold says he will remain committed to helping Israel in the international arena.

“I thank the prime minister for the trust he put in me and will continue to make myself available to him to any mission he charges me with in the future,” Gold says.

He adds that during his time in the role, which began in June 2015, the Foreign Ministry saw “a blooming of international ties, and this was driven by the prime minister.”

“I feel pride over my part in that,” he says.

Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Jewish singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize in Literature, the Academy announces.

Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman, is cited “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Netanyahu thanks Gold for building ties

Responding to Gold’s resignation, Netanyahu thanks him for his “great contribution in strengthening Israel’s diplomatic relations in the world, especially in Africa and the Middle East.”

He says Gold has been with him for 25 years and he’s sure he’ll contribute in the future to any task where he’s needed.

Washington Post latest paper to endorse Clinton

The Washington Post has become the latest US newspaper to endorse Hillary Clinton for the White House, saying it was swayed as much by her competence as the disastrous specter of a Donald Trump presidency.

“Hillary Clinton has the potential to be an excellent president of the United States, and we endorse her without hesitation,” the influential US daily writes, adding, “no, we are not making this endorsement simply because Ms. Clinton’s chief opponent is dreadful.”

Clinton, in contrast, “is dogged, resilient, purposeful and smart,” the newspaper writes, while acknowledging her many political and personal missteps in the past — failings it said are outweighed by her strengths.

“She has executive experience. She does not let her feelings get in the way of the job at hand. She is well positioned to get something done,” the daily writes.

— AFP

Cop hurt in shootout with terrorist released from hospital

The Border Police officer injured in Sunday’s shooting attack in Jerusalem has been allowed to go home after undergoing surgery to mend his wounds, a spokesperson for Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem sayd.

The officer, whose name has not been released, had suffered gunshot wounds to the arm and leg during a shootout with the terrorist who killed a 60-year-old woman and another border guard near Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill on Sunday.

The officer will require additional treatments going forward, but has been cleared for release from the hospital, the spokesperson says.

The officer “wanted to give a big ‘thank you’ to the team of doctors and nurses” who cared for him, as well as the medics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service who transported him to the hospital and provided first aid.

He also said he “is waiting to get back to his unit and plans to get better and stronger quickly,” the hospital says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Israel, Turkey to talk about gas pipeline, ministers agree

Israel and Turkey have agreed to open discussions on building a gas pipeline to pump Israeli gas to Europe, as Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz makes the first ministerial visit since a crisis in ties.

Steinitz met his Turkish counterpart Berat Albayrak in Istanbul, where the World Energy Congress is taking place.

Hailing his visit as the start of economic benefits of normalization, Steinitz says the countries agreed to start examining the feasibility of building an undersea gas pipeline to pump Israeli gas to Turkish consumers and on to Europe.

“What we decided is to establish immediately a dialogue between our two governments… in order to examine the possibility and the feasibility of such a project,” he says.

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz listens to questions during a press conference at the 23rd World Energy Congress on October 13, 2016 in Istanbul. (AFP/OZAN KOSE)

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz listens to questions during a press conference at the 23rd World Energy Congress on October 13, 2016 in Istanbul. (AFP/OZAN KOSE)

He says that while Israel was also building regional energy cooperation links with Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus and Greece, “the Turkish option is very important.”

Israel “will also be glad to see Turkish companies involved in Israeli energy sector,” including in the exploration of gas fields, he says.

Albayrak says in a statement that the two ministers had agreed “to establish dialogue on exporting natural gas.”

Ankara indicated at the World Energy Congress earlier in the week they were looking to partner with Israel in bringing gas to Europe.

Revered Thai king Bhumibol dies at 88, after 70-year reign

Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej has died after a long illness, the palace has announced, ending a remarkable seven-decade reign and leaving a divided people bereft of a towering and rare figure of unity.

“At 15:52 (0852 GMT) he died at Siriraj Hospital peacefully,” the Royal Household Bureau said in a statement.

The king, 88, had been the world’s longest-ruling leader and had been a unifying figure in the often-divided country.

This photo taken on December 5, 1999 shows Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, left, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, center, and Queen Sirikit appearing at a balcony of Anantasamakom Throne Hall in Bangkok to mark the King's birthday. AFP/PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL)

This photo taken on December 5, 1999 shows Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, left, Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, center, and Queen Sirikit appearing at a balcony of Anantasamakom Throne Hall in Bangkok to mark the King’s birthday. AFP/PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL)

During a reign that spanned 70 years, the US-born Bhumibol became much more than Thailand’s constitutional monarch.

He was the nation’s one constant as myriad governments rose and fell, a gentle leader who used the influence of the throne to unify the nation and rally troops through the Cold War as Thailand’s neighbors fell under communist control.

In his heyday, the frail-looking, soft-spoken man in spectacles wielded so much power and respect, he was able to squelch coups and rebellions with a gesture or a few well-chosen words.

— Agencies

Defense Ministry to hold drill at West Bank checkpoint

The Defense Ministry’s Crossing Authority will hold a drill at the Sha’ar Efraim checkpoint near Tulkarem on Thursday night and Friday morning, the ministry says.

During the exercise, residents of the surrounding settlements and communities can expect to hear explosions and gunfire, the ministry says.

The drill will begin just before midnight and last until 7 a.m., during which time the crossing will be closed.

— Judah Ari Gross

MKs praise Dylan for Nobel win

MK and head of the Meretz Party Zehava Galon responds to Bob Dylan’s Nobel win by writing on Facebook: “It’s not every day a Nobel prize is a good opportunity to put on a beloved song.”

Erel Margalit, meanwhile, praises Dylan for “changing the lives of a whole generation, who managed to move people to action, and who turned into a symbol for the desire and demand for a better world, with values, between people.”

“He is woven into the lives of so many people and into my life, personally,” he adds, attaching a link to a YouTube video of “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

Unmentioned by the two liberal lawmakers is Dylan’s incongruous support for extremist rabbi Meir Kahane in the 1970s and his song “Neighborhood Bully,” seen as a piece of pro-Israel hasbara and a favorite of Israeli right-wingers.

 

 

Dylan Nobel win invites ignoble ire

Not everyone is happy with the Bob Dylan Nobel win.

Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh, a self-professed Dylan fan, goes on a Twitter rant, calling the prize “an ill conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies.”

The “Trainspotting” author continues: “If you’re a ‘music’ fan, look it up in the dictionary. Then ‘literature’. Then compare and contrast.”

He also begs to know if writer Don De Lillo had been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll hall of fame yet.

Novelist Hari Kunzru also joins in the Dylan bashing.

 

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, though, congratulates Dylan on being awarded the prize in literature.

“What a joy that Bob Dylan got the Nobel for literature. Many fond memories from my adolescence are associated with his music,” she tweets.

— with AP

3 Israelis charged with IS-inspired attack

Three Israeli Arab men living in the northern Israeli city of Tayibe were indicted Thursday for carrying out an arson attack in the name of the Islamic State, officials say.

After studying Islamic State ideology, Ibrahim Abdel Halim Sheikh Yusuf, Amir Abdel Hakim Jabara and Muhammad Tamim Nashaf pledged allegiance to the group in May.

In September, the trio set fire to a soccer stadium in the town where an Arab Israeli singer was performing — something they considered offensive to their religion, the Shin Bet security service says.

The night before the concert, they set fire to a control panel and to some chairs around the stage, causing NIS 78,000 ($20,000) worth of damage, according to the indictment. However, the performance took place as scheduled.

The trio also tried to dig a tunnel under the nearby security fence in order to smuggle weapons from Tulkarem in the West Bank to Israel, according to the indictment filed against them.

According to their testimonies, those weapons would be used on “judgment day” when they would have to fight the “infidels.”

In April, Jabara, 20, attempted to join the Islamic State in Syria by traveling through Turkey, but was stopped at the border by local police, the Shin Bet said.

Yusuf, 26, also planned to join the fighting in Syria, building a pedal-powered glider to cross the border from Israel, though this plan did not come to fruition, according to the security agency.

The three men were arrested on September 14, a short while after they set the fires in the soccer stadium.

They have been indicted in the Central District Court in Lod on a litany of charges, including arson and belonging to an illegal organization.

— Judah Ari Gross

German police probing ‘refugee’ baby put for sale on eBay

German police say they are investigating a refugee couple after their 1-month-old baby was put up for sale on the online auction platform eBay for 5,000 euros ($5,500).

Police launched a probe into possible human trafficking after they were tipped off about the advertisement which appeared online on Tuesday.

The 40-day-old girl has been handed to child protection officers, police from the western city of Duisburg say in a statement.

Preliminary investigations show that the advertisement was put up using the internet connection of the couple, identified by police only as “refugees.”

However, police say the internet connection was also in use by other members of the family, adding that the probe is ongoing.

— AFP

Trump calls sexual assault allegations ‘fabrications’

Donald Trump on Twitter is dismissing a growing role of sexual assault allegations against him as lies and fabrications.

The New York Times and the Palm Beach Post on Wednesday reported stories about three women who alleged Trump had inappropriately touched them. Separately, a People magazine reporter wrote a detailed first-person account of being attacked by Trump while interviewing the businessman and his wife, Melania Trump in 2005.

“The phony story in the failing @NewYorkTimes is a TOTAL FABRICATION,” Trump writes in one tweet.

Trump’s campaign earlier threatened to sue the New York Times if it did not pull the story.

In another, he questions why the People reporter kept silent for so long.

The stories come less than a week after the publication of a 2005 recording in which the Republican nominee boasted of using his fame to kiss and grab women.

In an interview broadcast Thursday, the soap opera actress in the video says Trump’s comments were offensive. But actress Arianne Zucker, on NBC’s “Today,” says she wasn’t shocked by it, given “that type of personality.” She says that’s “probably why it doesn’t mean a lot to me.”

The revelation of the video last Friday prompted a flood of Republicans to revoke their support for Trump, with some even calling for him to drop out of the race — though a handful of GOP officials have since switched back to supporting him.

The Trump campaign is now openly signaling it will spend the election’s final month relitigating Bill Clinton’s marital affairs and unproven charges of sexual assault, as well as his wife and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s unverified role in intimidating the women who were involved.

— with AP

UNESCO passes resolution ignoring Jewish connection to Temple Mount

The UN’s cultural arm UNESCO has passed a resolution that challenges Jewish and Christian historical ties to the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Twenty-four countries voted in favor, six against and 26 abstained from the vote, according to reports in Israeli media.

The resolution, postponed from July’s meeting of the board in Istanbul, refers to the Temple Mount only by its Muslim names, which critics say is tantamount to ignoring the Jewish link to the site, considered the holiest spot in Judaism.

It also deplores and condemns several Israeli actions on the site.

The statement “Strongly condemns the escalating Israeli aggressions and illegal measures against the Awqaf Department and its personnel, and against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access to their Holy Site Al-Aqṣa Mosque/Al-Ḥaram Al-Sharif.”

However, it recognizes “the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions.”

Israeli politicians furiously condemn ‘anti-Semitic’ UNESCO move

Israeli politicians on the left and right are quick to condemn the UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem

“UNESCO betray their mission, and give a bad name to diplomacy and the international institutions. Whoever wants to rewrite history, to distort fact, and to completely invent the fantasy that the Western Wall and Temple Mount have no connection to the Jewish people, is telling a terrible lie that only serves to increase hatred,” opposition leader Isaac Herzog writes on Facebook in English. “On this matter there is no disagreement among the people of Israel, and I urge UNESCO to withdraw this bizarre resolution and to engage in protecting, not distorting, human history.”

Minister Uri Ariel calls on the government to respond by upping activities on the Temple Mount.

“It’s on us as a government and on you especially as foreign minister to demand the countries of the world condemn this anti-Semitic decision and immediately stop funding the UN,” he writes in an open letter to Netanyahu.

“More than that, especially now, it’s on us as a government to act in defiance of these decisions and to strengthen the Temple Mount and the Jewish presence on the site holiest to the Jewish people — the Temple Mount,” he adds.

MK Micki Levy (Yesh Atid) calls the decision “the most absurd and anti-Semitic possible.”

“What’s next? To say Catholics have no connection to the Vatican or Muslims to the Kabaa in Mecca,” he writes on Facebook.

Regev: With or without UNESCO, Jews will visit Temple Mount

Culture Minister Miri Regev joins other Israeli politicians in condemning the UNESCO resolution on the Temple Mount, vowing that Jews will visit the site regardless.

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, February 17, 2016 (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, February 17, 2016 (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

“If this is the UNESCO standard, all declared World Heritage Sites should be measured by it. The choice of the baseless and false Palestinian narrative, given the historical facts, puts UNESCO in a ridiculous light,” she says.

“With or without UNESCO, the Temple Mount was and will remain the holiest site to the Jewish people, which Jews from around the world will ascend on the Sukkot holiday next week, as we do every year, and as we did thousands of years ago in [the time of] the first and second temples.”

PM taps career diplomat as interim Foreign Ministry head

Netanyahu taps career diplomat Yuval Rotem as interim director general of the Foreign Ministry, following the resignation of Dore Gold.

Rotem, who is currently the head of Public Diplomacy Directorate, has spent the past 30 years working at the ministry. He has also previously served as ambassador to Australia and consul general in Los Angeles.

Army Radio says the swift replacement of Gold is down to Netanyahu’s unwillingness to leave the post unfilled for any length of time.

Israel’s envoy to UNESCO: We are fighting Arab states’ UN majority

Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama Hacohen, attributes the vote on the Temple Mount to an automatic majority enjoyed by Arab states, but says the Jewish state is having some success in diminishing it.

“Israel and the Jewish people do not need the approval of UNESCO or any country [to approve] its unique connection to Jerusalem in general and its holy places such as the Western Wall and Temple Mount in particular. No other nation has a connection to any other place in the world that comes close to the strength and depth of our connection to Jerusalem from a religious, historical or national perspective. It is a connection that has stood the test of 2,000 years, in which Jews everywhere in the world remember Jerusalem every day,” Hacohen says, according to Ynet.

Israel's Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

“The Palestinians and Arab states have an automatic majority against Israel in every institution of the United Nations,” he says, adding that Israel’s objective is to “erode and drive a wedge into this automatic majority against us.

“These efforts have borne fruit in the last two years. From the previous situation in which just the US was voting for us, we have gradually increased the number to six countries, and also increased the number of abstentions.”

PM says UNESCO vote akin to denying Egypt’s ties to pyramids

Netanyahu condemns the UNESCO vote on the Temple Mount, calling it an absurd decision akin to denying other nations’ ties to their own historic monuments.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem on February 28, 2015 (Photo credit: AFP/Pool/Marc Sellem)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem on February 28, 2015 (Photo credit: AFP/Pool/Marc Sellem)

“To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China, and Egypt has no connection to the pyramids. With this absurd decision UNESCO erases the little legitimacy left to it.”

He added: “I believe that the historical truth is more powerful, and will prevail. And today we are dealing in truth.”

US congressman calls UNESCO vote ‘dangerous’ bid to rewrite history

Florida Congressman Ted Deutch writes on Twitter that the UNESCO vote on Jerusalem is a “dangerous” attempt to expunge the city’s Jewish and Christian history.

The Jewish Democrat also calls the vote a rejection of Jerusalem’s “multi-cultural heritage.”

Jerusalem mayor: Would UNESCO deny Muslim link to Mecca?

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat calls the UNESCO vote disconnected from reality, and questions whether the cultural body would apply the same logic to other religious sites, including Mecca.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat seen on top of the Tower of David Museum, on April 14, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat seen on top of the Tower of David Museum, on April 14, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

“I was outraged to hear of UNESCO’s vote today, which denies thousands of years of Jewish connection to Jerusalem’s Western Wall,” Barkat writes in a statement released to the media.

“Would UNESCO vote to deny the Christian connection to the Vatican? Or the Muslim connection to Mecca?”

He adds: “The UNESCO vote claims that there is no connection between the Jewish people and the Western Wall. In fact, it is the UNESCO vote that has no connection to reality.”

Deputy FM says UNESCO disgraced itself with Temple Mount vote

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely adds her voice to Israeli condemnation of the UNESCO vote on the Temple Mount and Western Wall, saying the cultural body has “disgraced” itself by backing a “shameful resolution” based on a Palestinian lie that denies Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem.

“The Executive Board of UNESCO has disgraced its international mandate in this politicized and distorted resolution,” she says in a statement. “The fact that more states abstained than supported the resolution underscores the deep reservations of many states with regard to this shameful resolution.

“The countries that supported this resolution have lent their voice to the lie propagated by the Palestinians that the Temple Mount is an exclusively Islamic site. This falsification of history is an affront to the ancient Jewish and Christian connections to Jerusalem.”

From a vantage point near the Temple Mount, Tzipi Hotovely waves the Israeli flag, with the Dome of the Rock in the background, May 1, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

From a vantage point near the Temple Mount, Tzipi Hotovely waves the Israeli flag, with the Dome of the Rock in the background, May 1, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s chief rabbi: Jews cannot ignore genocide in Syria

Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef tells a meeting of Israeli and Palestinian religious leaders that the Jewish people cannot remain silent about the genocide in Syria.

“As we sit here, men, women and small children are being murdered in neighboring Syria, and especially Aleppo, by biological and chemical weapons and bombing from the air,” he says, according to the Walla website. “Millions of refugees are homeless, hundreds of thousands of others are starving under siege. They are not our friends, but they are humans who are undergoing a small holocaust.

“I would like to use this platform to say, that as Jews we must not be silent, and from here we say: Genocide cannot be ignored, not in Syria or anywhere or against any people, even if they are not our friends.”

Bennett says UNESCO rewriting history to placate Muslim states

Education Minister Naftali Bennett writes to UNESCO chief Irina Bokova, accusing the cultural body of denying history in Jerusalem “in order to placate and accommodate the anti-Israel – if not anti-Semitic – motions put forward by Arab and Muslim states.”

Bennett writes: “UNESCO is obligated to teach facts, not rewrite history. In this case, thousands of years of tradition, combined with archeological evidence, paints a clear picture. Two Jewish temples stood on the site centuries before Islam was introduced to the world… Coins, inscriptions in stone, seals and other artifacts – as well as the descriptions of Greek and Roman historians – all prove Temple Mount has been the focal point of Jewish tradition for thousands of years.”

He adds: “For the second time this year, UNESCO is voting to deny history in order to placate and accommodate the anti-Israel – if not anti-Semitic – motions put forward by Arab and Muslim states. Ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount is blatant history denial.”

A letter from Education Minister Naftali Bennett to UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova on October 13, 2016, after the cultural body passed a resolution ignoring Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and Western Wall

A letter from Education Minister Naftali Bennett to UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova on October 13, 2016, after the cultural body passed a resolution ignoring Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and Western Wall

Obama hails Nobel winner Dylan as one of ‘favorite poets’

Barack Obama congratulates Bob Dylan on what he calls a “well-deserved” Nobel literature prize, calling the music legend “one of my favorite poets.”

Obama’s message on Twitter contains a link to a Spotify playlist of Dylan’s greatest hits including “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and “Like A Rolling Stone.”

“Congratulations to one of my favorite poets, Bob Dylan, on a well-deserved Nobel,” Obama tweets — and the message is retweeted nearly 3,000 times in 30 minutes.

–AP

Rivlin hosts PA’s top Sharia judge at anti-violence summit

President Reuven Rivlin hosts Israeli and Palestinian religious leaders at a pro-peace, anti-violence meeting in Jerusalem. Among the attendees is Supreme Sharia Court judge Sheikh Mahmoud Habbash, who also serves as Palestinian Authority President Mamhoud Abbas’s advisor on Islamic affairs.

Other guests include Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Rabbi Moshe Lichtenstein, who heads the Har Etzion yeshiva in the West Bank.

The meeting, which comes at the initiative of the Washington Institute, begins with a statement on behalf of participants that reads: “We believe the deliberate killing of or attempt to kill innocents is terrorism, whether it is committed by Muslims, Jews or others. In this spirit, we encourage all our people to work for a just peace, mutual respect for human life and for the status quo on the holy sites, and the eradication of religious hatred.”

Rivlin hails the encounter as “perhaps the most important meeting that could be held during these days. We all know that the tensions between Jews and Muslims are difficult and specifically for that reason we insist on meeting together here today. We must not allow this land to once again witness a sacrifice of blood senselessly spilled.”

PA calls UNESCO vote ‘clear message’ to Israel, US

A spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas says the UNESCO vote on Jerusalem sends a “clear message” from the international community to the US regarding its stance on Israel.

“[It’s] a clear message that the international community does not agree with the policy that protects the occupation and contributes to creating chaos and instability,” says Nabil Abu Rudeineh, according to the Palestinian Authority’s official news outlet Wafa.

President Reuven Rivlin, right, meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the funeral for Israeli statesman Shimon Peres at Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem, on September 30, 2016. (Photo by Mark Neyman/GPO)

President Reuven Rivlin, right, meets Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the funeral for Israeli statesman Shimon Peres at Mount Herzl Cemetery in Jerusalem, on September 30, 2016. (Photo by Mark Neyman/GPO)

Abu Rudeineh says the decision also shows the need for the US to “review its mistaken policy represented by its encouragement for Israel to continue its occupation of Palestinian land.”

He also calls the resolution an “important” message to Israel to recognize a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and to end its policies “that contribute to the negative atmosphere in the region.”

— Dov Lieber

Court lifts ban on identifying Jerusalem terrorist

The terrorist responsible for Sunday’s shooting attack, in which two were killed and five injured, can now officially be named as Mesbah Abu Sabih, following a Jerusalem court decision to partially remove a gag order on the investigation.

Sabih, a 39-year-old resident of Silwan in East Jerusalem, opened fire at pedestrians in the capital on Sunday, killing one person before he was shot dead in a gun battle with police. One of the officers in the shootout was killed, while a second was moderately wounded.

Police close off scene of a shooting attack near Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem on October 9, 2016. (Israel Police)

Police close off scene of a shooting attack near Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem on October 9, 2016. (Israel Police)

Within an hour of the attack, the Israel Police and Shin Bet security service requested and received a court-approved gag order on all details of the case, including Abu Sabih’s name and the names of the victims.

The Jerusalem District Court has partially cut the gag order, allowing the publications of the assailant’s and victims’ names.

This gag order has not prevented non-Israeli media, including Palestinian outlets, from publishing Abu Sabih’s personal information, causing some to question the efficacy of such an order.

— Judah Ari Gross

Swastikas daubed near home of US politician with Jewish-sounding name

Unknown vandals paint swastikas outside the New Jersey home of an Indian-American candidate for Congress, who happens to have a Jewish-sounding surname.

Democrat Peter Jacob is running against a Republican incumbent who is a supporter of presidential candidate Donald Trump. Jacob blames Rep. Leonard Lance’s support for Trump for the display of hate.

Jacob tells local media that he lived in his home in Union, in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional district, for six years without incident, prior to the two swastika attacks earlier this week.

“It’s very upsetting,” says Jacob, who is a Christian. “It’s very saddening for us to see this.”

Lance condemns the swastika attacks as “abhorrent,” and calls for an investigation.

— JTA

How they voted: UNESCO resolution on Temple Mount, Western Wall

The following is a breakdown of how the nations of the world voted on today’s UNESCO resolution that omits any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and Western Wall.

For: South Africa, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, Russia, Lebanon, Iran, Malaysia, Morocco, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, the Dominican Republic, Senegal, Sudan, Chad and Vietnam

Against: Britain, the Netherlands, Lithuania, the US, Estonia and Germany

Abstentions: Albania, Argentina, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, El Salvador, Spain, France, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, India, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Uganda, Paraguay, South Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ukraine

Absent: Turkmenistan and Serbia

Thousands of worshipers crowd the Western Wall in Jerusalem for traditional selihot prayers the day before Yom Kippur, October 10, 2016. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

Thousands of worshipers crowd the Western Wall in Jerusalem for traditional selihot prayers the day before Yom Kippur, October 10, 2016. (Luke Tress/Times of Israel)

— Raphael Ahren

Trump blasts media for ‘false’ groping allegations

Donald Trump launches a defiant assault on US media after news outlets publish accusations by several women that he sexually assaulted them, with the Republican presidential nominee insisting the incidents never happened.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the South Florida Fair Expo Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on October 13, 2016. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the South Florida Fair Expo Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on October 13, 2016. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP)

“These vicious claims about me of inappropriate conduct with women are totally and absolutely false. And the Clintons know it,” Trump tells a rally in West Palm Beach, as he assails Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for being complicit.

“These attacks are orchestrated by the Clintons and their media allies,” he says.

Trump, who trails Clinton in national polls with just 26 days before the election, says there is “evidence to dispute these lies” and that he is preparing a lawsuit against The New York Times, which published the accounts of two women who accused Trump of groping and kissing them years ago.

— AFP

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