Thomas Jefferson once wrote in a letter to John Jay that "our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it." Those words written over two hundred years ago by one of our nations foremost thinkers of the time could not ring more true today.
Benjamin Netanyahu wants to make peace — with Barack Obama. The Israeli prime minister met with the U.S. president on Monday for the first time in more than a year and following their heated dispute over the Iran nuclear deal, and Netanyahu used his public remarks ahead of the meeting to repeatedly thank Obama for supporting Israel, especially at a time of rising Middle East violence.
Twenty-four-year-old shopkeeper Darya Zelenkov was working her shift in a downtown clothing shop in this central Israeli city when she was startled by a knife-wielding Palestinian trying to burst in. The quick-thinking saleswoman quickly slammed the glass door in his face. "I looked him straight in the eye. He had this lost look about him," said Zelenkov. "Until yesterday I thought all the troubles were 'there.' I thought it had nothing to do with me."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provoked a Holocaust controversy on Wednesday, hours before a visit to Germany, by saying that the Muslim elder in Jerusalem during the 1940s convinced Adolf Hitler to exterminate the Jews. In a speech to the Zionist Congress late on Tuesday, Netanyahu referred to a series of Muslim attacks on Jews in Palestine during the 1920s that he said were instigated by the then-Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.
On October 6, as Jerusalem began its descent into some of its worst street violence in years — with Palestinian knife and car attacks killing several Israelis, worsening clashes and protests that have ended with a number of Palestinians dead, and families from both sides keeping their children home from school out of fear they might not make it back — one of the world's foremost experts on Jerusalem arrived in Washington, DC. Danny Seidemann, executive director of the Israeli organization Terrestrial Jerusalem, spoke that day at a lunch for journalists hosted by the Foundation for Middle East Peace.
Israel set up roadblocks in Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and deployed soldiers across the country on Wednesday in an effort to stop a wave of Palestinian knife attacks. In the latest incident, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded a 70-year-old woman outside Jerusalem's central bus station, at the entrance to the city, before an officer shot him dead, a police spokeswoman said.
After an emergency meeting, the cabinet said soldiers would also be deployed to help police in some areas. The moves come after police said three Israelis were killed and more than 20 hurt in shooting and stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and central Israel. Two attackers in Jerusalem, identified as Palestinian, were shot by police.
Palestinian men armed with knives and a gun killed at least three people and wounded several others in a string of attacks in Jerusalem and near Tel Aviv on Tuesday, police said, on a "Day of Rage" declared by Palestinian groups. With the worst unrest in years in Israel and the Palestinian territories showing no sign of abating, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting of his security cabinet to discuss what police said would be new operational plans.
A new generation of angry, disillusioned Palestinians is driving the current wave of clashes with Israeli forces: Too young to remember the hardships of life during Israel's clampdown on the last major uprising, they have lost faith in statehood through negotiations, distrust their political leaders and believe Israel only understands force. Some say they want to emulate those killed or wounded in confrontations or attacks on Israelis — like Mohannad Halabi, the 19-year-old law student from the West Bank who stabbed to death two Israelis in a bloody rampage in Jerusalem's Old City over the weekend before being shot dead by police.
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