Clinton, Obama urge voters to reject ‘dark, mean-spirited’ politics
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Live updates (closed)Latest: Polls show tight race, with Clinton edging ahead

Clinton, Obama urge voters to reject ‘dark, mean-spirited’ politics

Trump calls Obama ‘worst ever’ for Israel as candidates and allies make frenzied final push for votes in battleground states; mass grave with 100 decapitated bodies found near Mosul

  • Members of the traveling press surround Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before she boards her campaign plane at Westchester County Airport on November 7, 2016 in White Plains, New York. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)
    Members of the traveling press surround Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before she boards her campaign plane at Westchester County Airport on November 7, 2016 in White Plains, New York. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)
  • Members of the traveling press surround Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before she boards her campaign plane at Westchester County Airport on November 7, 2016 in White Plains, New York. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)
    Members of the traveling press surround Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before she boards her campaign plane at Westchester County Airport on November 7, 2016 in White Plains, New York. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)
  • Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump walks off the stage after holding a rally at Loudoun Fairgrounds in Leesburg, Virginia, early in the morning on November 7, 2016. (AFP/MOLLY RILEY)
    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump walks off the stage after holding a rally at Loudoun Fairgrounds in Leesburg, Virginia, early in the morning on November 7, 2016. (AFP/MOLLY RILEY)
  • Religious Jews visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem under police guard on November 7, 2016. (Sebi Berens/Flash90)
    Religious Jews visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem under police guard on November 7, 2016. (Sebi Berens/Flash90)
  • A magazine cover with US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is displayed at a newsstand on a street in Beijing on November 7, 2016. (AFP/WANG ZHAO)
    A magazine cover with US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is displayed at a newsstand on a street in Beijing on November 7, 2016. (AFP/WANG ZHAO)
  • Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog arrives to a faction meeting in the Knesset on November 7, 2016. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
    Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog arrives to a faction meeting in the Knesset on November 7, 2016. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
  • Asra Jabas at the District Court in Jerusalem on November 7, 2016 for a sentencing hearing. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Asra Jabas at the District Court in Jerusalem on November 7, 2016 for a sentencing hearing. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

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

Palestinian minor sentenced to 12 years for stabbing attack

A court has sentenced a Palestinian teenager Monday to 12 years in prison for a knife attack against two Israelis, his lawyer said.

The boy, 14, was earlier found guilty of the attempted murder of a 20-year-old and a 12-year-old boy in the Jewish settlement neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev in East Jerusalem, lawyer Lea Tsemel said.

He was 13 at the time of the attack in October 2015, which was one of the most high-profile in a recent wave of violence.

A Palestinian minor, who identity is under court-imposed gag order, convicted of the attempted murder of two Israelis in a stabbing in October 2015, leaves the District Court in Jerusalem after his sentencing hearing on November 7, 2016. (AFP /AHMAD GHARABLI)

A Palestinian minor, who identity is under court-imposed gag order, convicted of the attempted murder of two Israelis in a stabbing in October 2015, leaves the District Court in Jerusalem after his sentencing hearing on November 7, 2016. (AFP /AHMAD GHARABLI)

The court put a gag on naming him, even though he was earlier named in the press regularly.

The Jerusalem district court also ordered the Beit Hanina resident to pay NIS 80,000 ($21,000) in compensation to the adult victim and 100,000 to the boy.

The Palestinian, who was hit by a car as he fled, carried out the attack along with his 15-year-old cousin, who was shot dead by security forces.

— AFP

Austria urges crackdown on Turkey over crackdown

Austria’s foreign minister says the EU should change its stance on Turkey following the recent crackdown and stop the flow of billions of euros in aid if Ankara fails to stick to its migrants deal with the bloc.

Sebastian Kurz tells Oe1 radio that Turkey must “top the agenda” of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers next Monday that should agree a “different EU policy.”

“Over recent years Turkey has moved further and further away from the EU, but our policy has remained the same. That can’t work. What we need are clear consequences,” Kurz says.

“In Turkey, opposition figures are being arrested, journalists are being persecuted, officials are being fired if they think differently and the return of the death penalty is being talked about.”

Under the EU’s deal with Turkey in force since March, the EU has promised an acceleration of accession talks, visa liberalization and three billion euros ($3.3 billion) in return for taking back migrants who make it to Greece.

— AFP

Jordan king vows to protect Jerusalem holy sites

Jordan’s King Abdullah, opening his country’s parliament, vows to protect Jerusalem holy sites for Muslims and Christians.

“Jordan will remain at the forefront of defending Arab and Muslim causes and we will continue to uphold our historical duty in safeguarding Muslim and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem,” he says in the speech.

The remarks come as in Jerusalem, Israeli lawmakers are attending a conference to push for allowing greater Jewish access to the Temple Mount, if not Jewish prayer there, a powder keg issue that could enrage Jordan and the rest of the Arab world and which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to prevent in the name of keeping the status quo on the holy site.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) calls on Netanyahu to open the gates of Temple Mount to Jews.

“Enough of the shame, enough of the insult, enough of the lack of sovereignty,” he says.

Minister: Temple Mount status quo wrong, but won’t change

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has accepted an award from Temple Mount activism group “Dorshei Zion” at a conference hosted at the Knesset.

The issue of the Temple Mount is “very, very complicated, and very explosive,” says Erdan at the event, which was organized by fellow Likud MK and former Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick.

Distinguishing between his personal views on the subject and his professional responsibilities, Erdan says: “In my personal view, our right to the Temple Mount is unshakable.”

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan at the scene of a Jerusalem terror attack, October 9, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan at the scene of a Jerusalem terror attack, October 9, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

“The Temple Mount is the holiest site for the Jewish people,” he says.

The minister, who oversees the police, adds that the status quo “is discriminatory toward the Jewish people. What can you do? That’s the truth.”

But he emphasizes that neither the police nor any single lawmaker can change the status quo, but only “the political leadership,” in an apparent reference to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He says the situation on the Temple Mount in the past few months has seen “changes, and changes for the better,” and he “is very happy” that more Jews are visiting the site.

— Marissa Newman

Palestinians sentenced to prison for attacks

A court has sentenced two Palestinian minors from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat to 11 years in prison each over a stabbing attack near the Old City of Jerusalem that took place in January.

The two attacked a group of Jews walking near the Damascus Gate and lightly injured one person.

They are also ordered to pay NIS 50,000 in damages.

Earlier, a court also sentenced Asra Jabas, 31, to 11 years in prison for an attack last year in which she tried to attack a checkpoint in the West Bank.

Asra Jabas at the District Court in Jerusalem on November 7, 2016 for a sentencing hearing. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Asra Jabas at the District Court in Jerusalem on November 7, 2016 for a sentencing hearing. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In October 2015 Jabas approached officers guarding a checkpoint near Maale Adumim and yelled “Allahu Akbar” and blew up a gas balloon in her car. An officer was injured in the attack.

Herzog warns Netanyahu not to meddle in US election

Speaking at the weekly Zionist Union faction meeting, opposition chair Isaac Herzog says that Israeli interference in tomorrow’s US election “will only damage the Israeli public.”

Calling the ballot between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, “the most important election in the world,” Herzog says that Israeli politicians should stay out of the US’s business.

“Recently there have again been reports of Israeli leaders interfering in the elections through overseas proxies,” he says.

“I call on Netanyahu to instruct those close to him to make sure no damage is done,” he says, without elaborating on who he was referring to.

Earlier in the meeting, the first after a rally held by the party on Saturday in memory of slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Herzog says that if hatred and incitement had been dealt with appropriately 21 years ago, the assassination could have been prevented.

“I will not allow anyone to spread hatred – not the head of the coalition, not a minister, no one,” he says, referencing coalition chair David Bitan’s statement that Rabin’s assassination was “not politically motivated.”

“Twenty-one years after that terrible night we continue to hear incitement against soldiers, journalist judges, police — anyone who doesn’t think like those spreading the hate,” Herzog says. “We will petition the attorney general, the relevant courts and the supreme court to stop this disease.”

— Raoul Wootliff

Syrian state mouthpiece says Raqqa op just propaganda

The Syrian Al-Watan newspaper, which is close to the government, is dismissing a new assault on the Islamic State group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa as a “media” operation.

The daily says the fight, led by the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), was intended to “focus American public opinion on the ‘war on terror’ and show the seriousness of the current administration in the fight against the terrorist group Daesh (IS).”

Western special forces, supporting the US-backed Kurdish-Arab forces, deploy on the frontlines some 50 km north of Raqqa on November 6, 2016, as they launched an offensive on the Islamic State group's de facto Syrian capital. (AFP PHOTO/DELIL SOULEIMAN

Western special forces, supporting the US-backed Kurdish-Arab forces, deploy on the frontlines some 50 km north of Raqqa on November 6, 2016, as they launched an offensive on the Islamic State group’s de facto Syrian capital. (AFP PHOTO/DELIL SOULEIMAN

Citing what it described as a “Western diplomatic source in Paris,” the newspaper says the SDF lacked the capacity to fight IS “even if they were backed by Washington and Paris with all their power.”

The daily says the operation’s “sudden announcement” was intended to “cover up the inability of the US to make quick and qualitative progress in cooperation with the Iraqi army in Mosul,” citing the same source.

It also says the operation was timed to coincide with the US presidential elections, which take place Tuesday, especially “with the scandals surrounding the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.”

— AFP

Amid new judge hubbub, Jewish Home head says no to judicial activism

In the face of criticism over a recent proposal by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to change the makeup of the Supreme Court, Jewish Home chair Naftali Bennett says his party, of which Shaked is a member, has made it clear that it opposes judicial activism and does not plan to back down.

Speaking at the weekly faction meeting at the Knesset a day after Shaked revealed the list of nominees to fill four upcoming seats on the Supreme Court, Bennett says that “the court needs to be varied and that is a good thing.”

“We have a clear ideology. Lawmakers need to make laws, the government needs to implement them, judges need to judge.”

— Raoul Wootliff

Heavy fighting reported as Kurds lead assault on Raqqa

Kurdish-led Syrian fighters are clashing with Islamic State militants north of the city of Raqqa in Syria as they push ahead in their offensive aiming to liberate the city that has been the de facto capital of the extremist group since 2014.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says heavy fighting is underway on Monday north of Raqqa between IS and SDF fighters.

A Kurdish media official in the area, Rania Mohammed, says several farms and villages have been captured since Sunday, without providing further details.

The Syria Democratic Forces, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters, says its fighters destroyed a vehicle rigged with explosives in a farm north of Raqqa.

The IS-linked Aamaq news agency said IS militants hit an SDF armored vehicle north of Raqqa with a missile, killing everyone inside.

The Raqqa-based Syrian activist group known as Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently reports that SDF fighters shelled the village of Tweila’a north of Raqqa forcing its residents to flee.

— AP

Netanyahu: Israel-US ties steadfast no matter who wins vote

Speaking at the opening of the weekly Likud faction meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel’s ties with the US will remain strong no matter the outcome of the election, echoing comments he amde at the cabinet meeting a day earlier.

“Whatever the result, the relationship between Israel and the US with will remain strong and steadfast,” he says.

Stressing that the relationship is based on both “joint values” and “joint interests” Netanyahu says the US public views Israel and its strongest ally.

“A recent Gallup poll showed that the US support for Israel gets stronger stronger ever year,” he says. “I’ll repeat what I said in the Congress last year: Israel has no better friend than the US and the US has not better friend that Israel.”

Minutes earlier, opposition head Isaac Herzog warned Netanyahu to make sure none of his allies in Israel or the US meddle in the election.

— Raoul Wootliff

Trump may make Gingrich top diplomat, Flynn Pentagon head

Sources close to Donald Trump tell NBC news he is considering several high-profile Republicans for cabinet positions should he be elected president.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks before introducing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, Wednesday, July 6, 2016. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks before introducing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, Wednesday, July 6, 2016. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Among those mentioned are former House speaker Newt Gingrich as secretary of state, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for defense secretary, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani for attorney general, Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s campaign finance head, for Treasury secretary and top Jewish Republican Lew Eisenberg as Commerce Secretary.

In July Flynn came under fire for retweeting an anti-Semitic message. He later apologized and said he meant only to tweet an accompanying article.

Egypt says Saudis shut fuel supply over Assad support

Egypt says Saudi Arabia has halted fuel shipments indefinitely, in a sign of lingering tensions following a dispute over the conflict in Syria.

The move ratchets up pressure on Egypt as it implements austerity measures in the hope of securing billions of dollars in loans to stabilize its ailing economy. Cairo floated its currency last week and cut fuel subsidies, leading to across-the-board price hikes in the Arab world’s most populous country.

Egyptian Oil Ministry spokesman Hamdi Abdel-Aziz says that Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, stopped sending the fuel shipments to Egypt “without giving a specific timetable or reasons.”

Saudi Arabia agreed in April to provide Egypt with 700,000 tons of fuel monthly for five years on easy repayment terms, but Egypt said last month that October’s shipments had been halted. The Saudi government has not spoken about the matter, and Aramco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The move appears to have been taken in response to Egypt’s support of a UN Security Council resolution on Syria that was fiercely opposed by Riyadh. Saudi Arabia is a leading supporter of the rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad. Egypt, fearing the rise of Islamic militants, has pushed for a political solution that might keep him in power.

— AP

Trump aide not good at predicting wives, turnout, Twitterati

A top Trump official is being criticized for saying predicting voter turnout Tuesday will be like “predicting your wife’s mood.”

“It’s like predicting your wife’s mood. You have no idea what you’re going to get until you get home,” Trump digital director Brad Parscale is quoted telling Bloomberg News.

He apparently also couldn’t predict the mood of Twitter’s many pundits, who have responded with de riguer snark, including Clinton aide Teddy Goff.

Netanyahu on immigrants: They get the job done

Speaking ahead of the first official “Aliyah Day,” set to be marked tomorrow to honor immigrants, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells his Likud faction meeting that immigrants have made a “tremendous contribution” to the State of Israel.

“The contribution of so many different communities is so broad and deep,” he says.

Handing out new identity cards to French immigrants in July 2014 (Hadas Parush/Flash 90)

Handing out new identity cards to French immigrants in July 2014 (Hadas Parush/Flash 90)

The prime minister also praises immigrants’ contribution to Israel’s relationship with the countries they came from.

“I see it in Russia, in Ukraine, in France. They don’t just contribute to Israel, they contribute to Israel’s foreign relations,” he says.

— Raoul Wootliff

Trump staffers deny they took Twitter away from candidate

Donald Trump’s campaign manager says it’s not true that his staff has stopped him from tweeting.

Trump has exhibited unusual restraint on social media in the final days of the campaign, just tweeting thank yous to his various stump spots. The New York Times reported on Sunday that aides “have finally wrested away” his Twitter account.

President Barack Obama seized on the report at a voter rally in Florida, telling the crowd that anyone who can’t be trusted with a Twitter account shouldn’t be trusted with control of the America’s nuclear weapons.

When asked Monday about the Times report by NBC’s “Today Show,” campaign manager Kellyanne Conway says “No, it’s not true.”

— AP

Bennett says bill to save illegal outpost to move ahead Sunday

Jewish Home chair Naftali Bennett says a bill to recognize unauthorized West Bank outposts and illegal construction will be brought for a vote on Sunday, calling on Knesset members to support the measure.

The proposal, designed to avert the court-ordered demolition of the Amona outpost by the end of the year, will be mulled over by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which decides on coalition support for bills.

“The time has come for thousands of people to live normal lives,” he tells his weekly faction meeting at the Knesset. “These people have been discriminated against just because of where they live.”

Right-wing lawmakers have been seeking a legal loophole to prevent the evacuation of the Amona outpost — built on private Palestinian land and ordered by the Supreme Court to be demolished — with a bill that would formally recognize West Bank outposts.

But the earlier version of the bill, proposed by Jewish Home MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli, was deemed unconstitutional by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

“I call on all of my colleagues in the Knesset to support the new bill,” Bennett says.

— Raoul Wootliff

Miami area targeted with ad of Trump ‘calling for ban on Jews’

An ad showing Donald Trump calling for a ban on Muslims, only replacing the word “Muslim” with “the Jews,” is reportedly airing in heavy rotation in south Florida, where some analysts predict the candidate may actually be leading Clinton in the crucial swing state.

The ad was put together and distributed by Truth Pac, a group recently founded by former Microsoft and Oracle exec Dick Brass, according to the Huffington Post.

A similar ad, only replacing “Muslims” with “Mormons,” is also playing in Utah, where Republicans are hoping candidate Evan McMullin can win enough support to keep Trump from the White House.

According to the report, Truth Pac’s ad buys in the last few days of the election reach six figures.

South Florida is home to nearly half a million Jews, according to recent estimates (though its large population of snowbirds make the tally uncertain), and is considered a central battleground in the upcoming election.

Clinton ahead by four points as she embarks on final push

Polls in Fox News and CBS show Hillary Clinton leading by some 4 points nationwide as the campaign reaches its final hours.

Fox News has Clinton leading Trump 48 percent to 44% and CBS has the Democrat in the lead and CBS has her up 45% to Trump’s 41%.

The numbers are consistent with the last several days as Clinton has rebounded from a sudden drop in support a week ago, as the race became almost neck and neck.

Members of the traveling press surround Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before she boards her campaign plane at Westchester County Airport on November 7, 2016 in White Plains, New York. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

Members of the traveling press surround Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton before she boards her campaign plane at Westchester County Airport on November 7, 2016 in White Plains, New York. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

Despite the polls, analysts are undecided on whether Trump can garner enough electoral votes, particularly in Florida, to take the White House anyway.

Departing on a multi-stop swing of the presidential battleground states on the day before the election, Clinton tells reporters that “we’re just going to work until the last vote is counted.”

Clinton says that while she thinks she has “some work to do to bring the country together,” she wants to be the president for those who vote for her and those who don’t.

Clinton says she has “a big agenda ahead of us” and is vowing to “get a lot done” if she defeats Trump.

— with AP

German minister expresses post-vote turmoil jitters

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, one of Europe’s most powerful officials, says he feared a messy stalemate in the US presidential election.

Schaeuble’s comments come amid repeated warnings by Republican contender Donald Trump that a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton would be rigged, illegitimate and only due to the backing of a liberal media establishment.

“(We) hope that it will be an election result which is accepted by everyone and that we do not possibly get a delayed stalemate,” Schaeuble says as he arrived for talks with his eurozone counterparts in Brussels.

“(Let us) believe in the rationality of democracy,” Schaeuble adds when asked if he was expecting turmoil in the markets after Tuesday’s election.

“I suppose that the financial markets have already priced in every conceivable election result in the United States,” he adds.

“But let’s wait and see what the Americans are going to vote for,” he says.

— AP

Italian ex-soccer player says sorry for anti-Semitism

A former Italian soccer player who was suspended as a TV commentator after displaying on air a pro-fascist tattoo says he repudiates “anti-Semitic, racist, discriminatory, and violent” views.

Paolo Di Canio makes his statement in a letter to Noemi Di Segni, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, or UCEI, saying he wanted to send a message to the entire Jewish community.

In September, the Sky Sports Italia channel suspended Di Canio after he appeared during soccer coverage wearing a short-sleeved shirt that revealed his tattoo reading “DUX.” The Latin term for leader, Dux is the origin of the Italian term “Il Duce,” which was the title chosen by Benito Mussolini, who ruled Italy for two decades and was an ally of Adolf Hitler.

Paolo Di Canio gives a straight-arm salute in 1995 (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

Paolo Di Canio gives a straight-arm salute in 1995 (YouTube screenshot)

“I believe, without ifs, ands, or buts, that Mussolini’s racist laws were a terrible infamy for the history of our country, an infamy that caused immense tragedy for thousands of Jews in Italy,” Di Canio writes to Di Segni in a letter published Monday, saying that this was his “convinced and determined” position.

Di Segni does not respond directly, but according to the UCEI website moked.it, notes: “A sense of responsibility in stemming any hatred, which weighs even more heavily on those who address the general public and who, by playing a specific role has clear media recognition, inevitably contributes to form the conscience and opinions, especially of young people.”

— JTA

2 arrested in Kosovo as anti-IS sting widens

Police in Kosovo say they have arrested two people for alleged involvement in terror activities on behalf of the Islamic State group.

Seven others were arrested over the weekend in Kosovo and four in neighboring Albania as part of the same investigation.

Authorities say the suspects all were detained for allegedly funding or recruiting for the Islamic State group in Syria and for allegedly planning attacks in Kosovo and other Balkan countries.

A defense lawyer for one of the people arrested in Kosovo over the weekend disputed the charges and said officials have no proof.

Authorities in Kosovo and Albania say none of their citizens have joined extremist groups in Syria and Iraq during the last year, although Kosovo officials think about 70 of their citizens are active there.

— AP

Yesh Atid asks far-right rapper not to help it protest lefty NGO

The Yesh Atid party youth wing is planning on protesting against an event with IDF watchdog Breaking the Silence at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev tonight, but say they don’t want to be joined by far-right rapper The Shadow in their demonstration.

Israeli rap singer Yoav Eliasi takes part at a right-wing demonstration in support of Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, in Tel Aviv, Israel, August 9, 2014. (Flash90)

Israeli rap singer Yoav Eliasi takes part at a right-wing demonstration in support of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, in Tel Aviv, Israel, August 9, 2014. (Flash90)

In a press release sent out by the party, the group calls the rapper, whose real name is Yoav Eliasi, “the other side of the same coin as Breaking the Silence, as both of them cause great damage to Israel.”

“Nobody invited him and there’s no room for him at this protest,” the statement reads. “Yesh Atid is against extremists from both sides that hurt the image of the State of Israel.”

Also planning on protesting the event is far-right student group Im Tirtzu.

Breaking the Silence, which collects testimonies regarding military wrongdoing by IDF veterans, has been roundly criticized by many on the Israeli right and plans for the university to award it a prize were nixed in June after the head of the school decided they were “outside the Israeli consensus.”

Instead the group is holding an alternative “prize” ceremony at the university to be keynoted by author Amos Oz.

Deri: Reform, Conservative are ‘not our Judaism’

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, being grilled by Knesset members during a “Question Time” session, says he doesn’t consider Reform Jews to be true members of his faith.

“I agree with you that Reform and Conservative Jews are our brothers but I think they are causing terrible damage to Judaism,” the head of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party says after MK Elazar Stern (Zionist Union) asks if he feels OK about pushing away Jews.

Deri describes hearing about Jews who had a get-together on Yom Kippur, when religious Jews refrain from eating and drinking and most of the country refrains from using cars, with “a trampoline and drinks and food for the kids and people came in cars.”

“That’s the Judaism we want to keep? That is not our Judaism,” he says, before asking if they pray at the Western Wall, where non-Orthodox Jews have pushed against the ultra-Orthodox establishment for greater religious rights. “This is a political, an ideological debate. ​We wo​n’​t let them destroy what we have built for 2,000 years.”

As interior minister, Deri is in charge of deciding which Jews are allowed to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return and who can take part in life cycle events.

In February, Deri reportedly refused to meet Reform Jewish leaders in France. He and other ultra-Orthodox politicians vowed to not recognize Reform Jewry and pushed against a plan that would create an egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall.

— with Raoul Wootliff

Trump in Florida: Obama was a disaster for Israel

Speaking in Sarasota, Florida, Donald Trump calls Obama the worst thing for Israel.

We will stand strong, we have to stand strong with the State of Israel in their fight against Islamic terrorists,” he says.

“Barack Obama was the worst thing that ever happened to Israel … Barack Obama was a disaster for Israel,” he adds, to loud boos.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives for a rally in the Robarts Arena of the Sarasota Fairgrounds on November 7, 2016 in Sarasota, Florida. (AFP / MANDEL NGAN)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives for a rally in the Robarts Arena of the Sarasota Fairgrounds on November 7, 2016 in Sarasota, Florida. (AFP / MANDEL NGAN)

“Believe me, the Iran deal, where we made them rich, we also gave them a direct path to nuclear weapons, but we’ll be working with Israel closely, very closely,” he says.

Trump, kicking off an election day blitz, also tells the Sarasota crowd that “the system is rigged, but at least we know it.”

He claims that “our country is a laughing stock all over the world.”

The Republican nominee then pantomimes quotation marks when he says the word “justice” as he hits the FBI and the Department of Justice for their handling of the case.

FBI Director James Comey notified Congress Sunday that a review of new emails connected to Clinton’s servers did not produce evidence that would warrant charges.

with AP

Mass grave with 100 headless bodies found near Mosul

The Iraqi military says it has found a mass grave south of Mosul, with some 100 decapitated bodies inside.

Troops are struggling to push ahead on the eastern edge of the Islamic State-held town, as the fight against has quickly morphed into close-quarters urban combat. With it, casualties among Iraq’s troops and civilians are spiking.

An Iraqi soldier from the Iraqi army 9th armored division holds a death certificate issued by the Islamic State group next to a base adjacent to the Al-Intissar neighborhood of Mosul, on November 7, 2016. (AFP/Odd ANDERSEN)

An Iraqi soldier from the Iraqi army 9th armored division holds a death certificate issued by the Islamic State group next to a base adjacent to the Al-Intissar neighborhood of Mosul, on November 7, 2016. (AFP/Odd ANDERSEN)

Residents fleeing the town after two years under IS rule have reported the terror group killing hundreds of people, many by decapitation, as they dug in and attempted to root out anyone who might work against them from inside the city, Iraq’s second largest.

— with AP

Palestinians back French peace push

Israeli refusal to participate in a French-led peace conference is not mentioned in official report of talks between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Paris’s special envoy to the Middle East peace process.

During the meeting in Ramallah on Monday, the PA official news outlet Wafa reports, Abbas told Pierre Vimont the Palestinians “fully” support the initiative.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat (second right) greets French peace process special envoy Pierre Vimont ( second left) during his arrival for a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on November 7, 2016. AFP/ABBAS MOMANI)

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat (second right) greets French peace process special envoy Pierre Vimont ( second left) during his arrival for a meeting with Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on November 7, 2016. AFP/ABBAS MOMANI)

Earlier in the day, Israeli National Security Adviser Jacob Nagel and Netanyahu confidant Isaac Molho told Vimont that Israel will not attend a peace conference slated to take place before the end of the year, saying they would only back efforts to bilateral talks.

— Dov Lieber

Teams to investigate mass grave found at Iraqi college

Iraqi police say the mass grave with 100 decapitated bodies was found in Hamam al-Alil area, about 14 kilometers (8 miles) from the southern outskirts of Mosul, the last major IS-held Iraqi city.

“Federal police found a mass grave west of Hamam al-Alil in the agricultural college,” the police said in a statement that did not elaborate.

The Joint Operations Command said that “Iraqi forces found… 100 bodies of citizens with their heads cut off” at the college, and that specialized teams would investigate.

Iraqi forces have previously provided estimates of the number of victims in mass graves before they have been excavated and counted.

— AFP

Clinton says voters should reject ‘dark’ future

Clinton is ending her campaign with a decidedly positive message, after days of focusing on attacking Donald Trump.

Clinton tells voters they don’t have to accept a “dark and divisive” future, saying she doesn’t recognize the country Trump describes in his campaign speeches.

The Democratic presidential candidate is promising a brighter future that will address the economic inequality facing America.

“Tomorrow you can vote for a hopeful, inclusive, bighearted America,” she says in Pittsburgh, a crucial area in a key battleground state.

She’ll return to Pennsylvania on Monday night for a campaign rally with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

She’s also making stops in Michigan and North Carolina.

— AP

Reject ‘divisive, mean-spirited politics’ Obama tells voters

US President Barack Obama is urging Americans to make history by electing Clinton to succeed him in the White House.

“I ask you to do for Hillary what you did for me,” Obama tells a rally in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the first of three he is holding for Clinton on the eve of the vote.

“You have the chance to reject a coarse, divisive, mean-spirited politics that would take us backwards,” he says. “The chance to elect our first female president.”

He also makes an explicit pitch to Michigan’s auto workers that Trump doesn’t care about their future.

Chelsea Clinton, left, prepares to embrace US President Barack Obama at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, November 7, 2016, during a campaign rally for Chelsea's mother, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (AP /Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Chelsea Clinton, left, prepares to embrace US President Barack Obama at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, November 7, 2016, during a campaign rally for Chelsea’s mother, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (AP /Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama says auto workers shouldn’t be “bamboozled” by the Republican business mogul.

He says he and Democrats have “earned some credibility here,” after saving Michigan’s auto industry through federal bailouts early in Obama’s presidency.

Obama says in contrast, Trump said Washington could have let the auto companies go bankrupt. He said if even two of the major auto companies had gone bankrupt, it could have cost a million US jobs and killed Michigan’s auto industry.

— Agencies

Planes nearly collided over Tel Aviv last year, report reveals

A report issued today shows that a passenger jet nearly collided with a private plane above Tel Aviv last year, in what investigators say could have ended in a major disaster, the Ynet news website says.

According to the report, a Cessna 172 was flying above north Tel Aviv to photograph Tel Aviv University in December 2015 when an Arkia plane carrying passengers from Eilat was directed to land at the nearby Sde Dov airport via a path that would have put them in direct contact.

A view of the Sde Dov airport in Tel Aviv, October 11, 2013. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

A view of the Sde Dov airport in Tel Aviv, October 11, 2013. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The crash was only avoided after the pilot in the small plane notified the control tower, which directed him to drop to 800 feet to get out of the way.

At one point the two aircraft were only 450 meters (1,500 feet) away from each other, according to the report.

Knesset extends state of emergency for record 68th year

The Knesset has voted overwhelmingly to extend Israel’s state of emergency for a 68th straight year.

The measure, in place since the state’s founding, allows Israeli authorities to keep in place some British Mandate-era rules, such as the controversial administrative detention, which allows suspects to be held without charge indefinitely.

Pillorying the 71-17 decision, MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List) says a country as unjust as Israel is indeed in a state of emergency.

“A state of emergency because of racism. A state of emergency because of the occupation. A state of emergency because of a prime minister who allows himself to use the discourse of hatred, of incitement, of brutalization against its citizens and its Arabs. Indeed there is a state of emergency,” he says, according to a Knesset transcript.

Polls show tight race, with Clinton edging ahead

The latest polls and projections the day before Americans vote shows the race remains close, but with Hillary Clinton slightly ahead.

The Democratic presidential candidate’s lead over her Republican rival Donald Trump has widened to 3.2 percentage points in an average of polls by the website RealClearPolitics.

Several US media sites, projecting the likely distribution of electoral votes, also predict victory for the former first lady.

NBC predicts she will win 274 electoral votes compared to 170 for Trump, saying polls in states holding the remaining 94 electoral votes were too close to call. However, that would be enough for Clinton to get past the finish line of 270 electoral votes needed to win a majority.

The influential news website FiveThirtyEight.com on Monday gives Clinton a 68.3 percent chance of winning compared to 31.6 percent for Trump, based on the polls and predictions.

A Quinnipiac University survey shows an extremely tight race in the crucial swing states of Florida and North Carolina. But it also gives Clinton the lead with 46 percent in Florida compared to 45 percent for Trump, and 47 percent in North Carolina against Trump’s 45 percent.

— AFP

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