Secretive Black Cube sues Israeli investigative journalist for $19 million
Private intelligence firm files lawsuit in the UK after Ilana Dayan alleges it sought information to smear prominent Israelis, disrupt communications industry reform
7 June 2019, 11:23 pm
The Black Cube intelligence firm has filed a £15 million ($19 million) lawsuit in the UK against Israeli investigative journalist Ilana Dayan after she broadcast an exposé on some of the alleged workings of the secretive company.
Following the airing of Channel 12’s “Uvda” program on Thursday, in which Dayan claimed that one of Israel’s richest men hired Black Cube in 2014 to dig up dirt on Blue and White party No. 2 Yair Lapid, Dayan revealed fresh allegations on Friday, including an attempt to derail a reform in the communications sector and to discredit a leading Israeli businesswoman.
Black Cube, a company of former Israeli intelligence agents, has drawn international attention for allegedly working to discredit Obama administration officials who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear agreement, as well as to protect the reputation of disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
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The company said it was suing the TV show and its anchor in a British court for £15 million. A clerk at Britain’s Royal Courts of Justice confirmed that a lawsuit had been filed but said he was barred from providing further details.
Dayan on Friday said the lawsuit was an attempt to “silence” her.
In the fresh allegations broadcast Friday, Dayan said Black Cube agents had been hired by the nation’s largest telecom provider, Bezeq, to try and derail 2014’s so-called Wholesale Market Reform, which introduced serious telecommunications competition for the company.
According to Dayan, in March 2014 an international consulting firm hired by Israel’s Communications Ministry was invited to a meeting in the Dorcherster Hotel in London, where the company was allegedly pressed by Black Cube agents in an attempt to try and discredit it and disrupt the reform.
Bezeq did not deny the report to Channel 12, but said that sort of behavior was no longer acceptable within the company and belonged to a different time. Black Cube denied it had worked to stymie any reforms.
“The company operates only within a business and legal framework and always according to the law. Black Cube was never hired to torpedo any reforms,” Black Cube said in a statement to Channel 12. “The company would never approach a minister or a person in an official position.”
Efforts to stymie the reform are also at the heart of the Case 4000investigation into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, though the two are apparently unrelated, “Uvda” noted.
Shaul Elovitch arrives at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court for extension of his remand in Case 4000, February 22, 2018. (Flash90)Netanyahu is accused of having advanced regulatory decisions that benefited Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder in the Bezeq telecom giant, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, in exchange for positive coverage from Elovitch’s Walla news site.
In the case the attorney general has announced he intends to charge both Netanyahu and Elovitch with bribery, pending a hearing.
Dayan also reported Friday that an unnamed business official had once hired Black Cube to work against one of Israel’s richest and most powerful women, Ofra Strauss, of the billion-dollar food company Strauss Group.
Documents exposed by the report said Black Cube would try to “identify misconduct and conflicts in the professional and private lives of the individuals” and “find further possible leverage points.”
Dayan noted that it is not clear if Black Cube eventually acted against Strauss.
Dayan quoted sources close to Strauss as saying she was angered, but not surprised by the revelations.
Israeli business woman Ofra Strauss at a conference in Jerusalem March 28, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)In Thursday’s report, Dayan alleged that tycoon Idan Ofer at one point hired the firm to probe then-finance minister Lapid and other top officials as part of Ofer’s efforts to influence tax policy on natural gas finds.
Ofer, a billionaire with vast holdings in shipping, drilling and mining industries, reportedly paid Black Cube to help him undermine an advisory panel appointed by Lapid that was aiming to raise taxes on his lucrative natural resources company, according to the TV investigation. The idea was to smear Lapid and the arbitrators in order to evade high taxes on profits.
Thursday’s investigation also explored Black Cube’s ties to former Congolese President Joseph Kabila, who reportedly used the company’s services to suppress opposition activists.
Black Cube denied the allegations, saying that it never met with Ofer or targeted politicians, judges or regulators.
Israeli tycoon Idan Ofer, left, and Blue and White party no. 2 Yair Lapid, right. (Moshe Shai/Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)A spokesman for Ofer confirmed that he had contracted the agency for a brief period, but said that the Israeli tycoon ended up not using Black Cube’s intel. He stressed that the company gathered evidence only from public sources.
Lapid said in response that he could not be swayed by an influence campaign and he would “keep working without fearing anyone.”
AP contributed to this report
This Israeli Community Will be Named After Trump
WATCH: Palestinian Murderer Brags About Escaping Justice in Jordan
Apr 2, 2019
Brazen terrorist Ahlam Tamimi gloats over the fact that the Arab kingdom lacks an extradition treaty with the United States under which she could be forced to face trial on American soil for her heinous crimes.
Ahlam Tamimi was sentenced to 16 life sentences for her role in the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem, which left 15 Israelis dead, including 7 children and a pregnant woman, but was let out of prison in 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange.
In this interview with Al-Jazeera, the unrepentant terrorist brags about her new life in Jordan.
Tamimi remains wanted by the U.S. government for conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals abroad and remains on the FBI’s list of most wanted terrorists, with a $5 million reward awaiting anyone who provides information leading to her arrest or conviction.
Mideast roundup: Report suggests Israel requested U.S. Syria pullout
By World Tribune on December 26, 2018
CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE: Countdown: Top stories of 2018
by WorldTribune Staff, December 26, 2018
Israel requested the United States withdraw its troops from Syria ahead of a “winter offensive” the Jewish state plans to launch against Hizbullah, a Dec. 25 report said.
The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the roughly 2,000 American troops deployed in Syria was partially influenced by Israel’s request, according to a report by a White House correspondent for Ami Magazine.
Jake Turx, senior White House correspondent for Ami, claimed that sources had confirmed to him that Israel had encouraged the U.S. to withdraw from Syria. The White House refused to confirm or deny Turx’s report.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reportedly opposed Israel’s offensive against Hizbullah. Mattis submitted his resignation shortly after Trump announced his decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria.
Israeli media outlet Arutz Sheva noted that Turx’s claim “appears at odds with some elements of the American withdrawal.”
Israel “has long demanded, via Russia, that Iran withdraw its forces from Syria, with the Trump administration reportedly leveraging a possible U.S. withdrawal in talks for an Iranian pullout,” Arutz Sheva said.
Syrian state-run news agency SANA reported on Dec. 25 that Syrian air defenses intercepted and downed “a number of hostile targets” over the western countryside of Damascus. SANA reported “the aggression” was carried out by Israel from Lebanese airspace.
According to reports, three Syrian soldiers were wounded in the attack which targeted Hizbullah depots.
A report by Newsweek said several senior Hizbullah officials were wounded in the alleged attack.
The head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, said the targets were arms depots that belong to the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and their Hizbullah allies.
Meanwhile, Iran announced it has been holding talks with the Afghan Taliban with the knowledge of the Afghan government.
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, made the announcement during a visit to Kabul on Dec. 26, according to Iran’s Fars and Tasnim news agencies.
Shamkhani said the talks between Iran and the Taliban were held “to help curb the security problems in Afghanistan,” adding that the “Afghan government has been informed of the communications and talks carried out with the Taliban, and this process will continue.”
Abas Aslani, a Tasnim reporter, tweeted that it was the first time talks had been officially confirmed between Iran and the Taliban.
The news comes just days after the Taliban attended reconciliation talks with a U.S. peace envoy in the UAE.
Earlier this month, the U.S. special peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad held a meeting with the Taliban in Abu Dhabi.
The Taliban, however, refused to meet with an Afghan government-backed negotiating team.
Khalilzad said that, while he was certain the Afghan government wanted to end the conflict, it was unclear whether the Taliban were “genuinely seeking peace.”
Oct 29, 2018 Opinion by Avi Lipkin
This attack in Pittsburgh is a sign of what is yet to come.
At first, I thought it was an Islamic attack, but the latent anti-Semitism of neo-Nazis against Jews has existed for some time.
Though the Jews have been in America from Dutch and British colonial times, fought alongside Washington in the Revolutionary War, fought in both the Confederate and Union armies in the Civil War, the modern day Jews are different than the founder Jews.
The founder Jews assimilated into their loving Christian neighbors arms while today's Jews are more recent arrivals to America over the last 100 years.
These more recently arrived Jews look back on the horrors of two millenia of Catholic Church persecution, the Nazi Holocaust, Czarist pogroms, as well as many other forms of European anti-Semitism .
When these more recently arrived Jews arrived on American shores, they saw their new hosts, the WASP's (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) as merely an extension of what they experienced in Europe, though no Jew was ever killed in America or the Anglo countries. Jews have only been blessed by the WASP's.
I used to be like that. Just as the Jews flocked to Communism and Socialism to escape the punishment they received as God's "chosen people," I became a Jewish nationalist and moved to Israel 50 years ago because I thought the American Christians would one day also turn against the Jews.
It was only later (28 years ago) that I realized how benign and loving the Protestants and even some Catholics in America were to the Jews as I developed my lecture circuit in over 1000 churches.
But politically, these "liberal" Jews who vote Democrat, still live in the mindset of 1900 years of European Christian persecution. So the Jews side with the minorities, even if many of the minorities hate the Jews.
Individually, we Jews are very bright people. But as a collective, we are extremely stupid making the same mistakes over and over again. We almost always side against the nationalists in every country bringing upon ourselves the hatred of those faithful to their countries and their religion (Christianity).
I have spoken to many Tea Party meetings as well as Republicans. They can't understand for the life of them why the Jews vote for the anti-patriotic Democratic Party which has renounced God at its convention and is becoming increasingly anti-Israel and pro-Moslem.
As the Moslems continue to pour into the US in the millions, it is clear there will be a cataclysm even if the Jews side with these immigrants and minorities. This will lead to a massive flight of the Jews and their Christian spouses to the Land of Israel.
That is one of the main reasons I created the Judeo-Christian Bible Bloc Party which I believe will be the biggest party in Israel when all is said and done. My party will be the party of these refugees fleeing the US and the West.
Avi Lipkin: The Fall of Saudi Arabia - December 20, 2017
Mossad recovers watch of Israeli national hero Eli Cohen from Syria
July 5, 2018
Eli Cohen wearing the wristwatch in Syria. (GPO)
The Mossad made the “unequivocal determination” that the retrieved watch indeed belonged to Eli Cohen, whose intelligence gathering contributed to Israel’s stunning Six Day War victory.
By: World Israel News Staff
In a special operation, the Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, returned the wristwatch of late Mossad fighter Eli Cohen to the Jewish state recently, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s media adviser announced in a press release Thursday.
During the annual Mossad memorial ceremony for Eli Cohen several weeks ago, Mossad Director Yossi Cohen presented to Cohen’s family the wristwatch that he wore during his mission in Syria, the adviser said.
The watch is currently on display at Mossad headquarters in Tel Aviv as a memorial to the legendary fighter. It will be transferred to the custody of the family on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which falls in September.
Eli Cohen was born in Alexandria, Egypt, on December 26, 1924, “His parents, Syrian Jews from the thriving town of Aleppo, had always instilled in their educationally minded son the traditions of the Jewish people, of Zionism, and of the culture of Syria’s Jewish community in particular. In 1949 his parents and three brothers moved to Israel while Eli remained in Egypt to coordinate Jewish and Zionist activities there,” according to Jewish Virtual Library.
Famous for his espionage work in Syria from 1961 to 1965, the master spy succeeded in developing close relationships with that country’s political and military hierarchy to the point that he became chief adviser to the minister of defense.
Eli Cohen was sentenced to death and hung publicly in 1965 after his true identity was discovered by the Syrians.
The intelligence he gathered, however, is believed to have contributed to Israel’s stunning victory during the 1967 Six Day War.
Following his execution on May 18, 1965, the wristwatch was held by an enemy state, Netanyahu’s spokesman said in a statement. After it was returned to Israel, special research and intelligence operations were carried out, culminating in the “unequivocal determination that this was indeed Eli Cohen’s watch.”
Mossad: We do not forget Eli Cohen“I commend the fighters of the Mossad for the determined and courageous operation, the sole objective of which was to return to Israel a memento from a great fighter who greatly contributed to the security of the state,” Netanyahu stated.
“We remember Eli Cohen and do not forget. His heritage, of dedication, determination, courage and love of the homeland is our heritage,” the Mossad director affirmed.
“We remember and have maintained a close connection over the years with his family, [wife] Nadia and the children….
“The watch was part of Eli Cohen’s operational image and part of his fabricated Arab identity,” he said.
EICHMANN MOSSAD CAPTURER: ONLY WAY TO STOP IRAN IS TO OVERTHROW REGIME
BY YAAKOV KATZ
DECEMBER 29, 2017 17:28
“The Iranians are devious and have advanced technological capabilities... they will stick to their goal and they will cheat Trump."
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Toward the end of 1977, Rafi Eitan was summoned to the Prime Minister’s Office for a meeting. The regime of the shah of Iran was faltering, and Israel knew it was only a matter of time before Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the exiled Islamic leader, would return to his country.
The 1970s was the honeymoon of Israeli-Iranian ties. Israel had an embassy in Tehran and enjoyed close military and intelligence cooperation with the shah and his pro-Western government, which, according to media reports, included the development of long-range ballistic missiles. Eitan was serving as prime minister Menachem Begin’s adviser on counterterrorism, and Jerusalem wanted to see if there was anything it could do to help stabilize its embattled ally.
Eitan knew Iran well. In his previous post as head of the Mossad’s operations department, Eitan flew frequently to Iran, visiting the country some 50 times in five years. At the time, he was tasked with helping the Iranians establish their own operations team. Until a few years ago, some of Eitan’s old Iranian counterparts still called him ahead of Jewish holidays.
Together with Uri Lubrani who was then the ambassador to Iran, Eitan came up with an idea to establish a special Iranian military force that would work to neutralize Khomeini’s primary supporters in the country. Together with the Iranians, Israel had marked a close-knit group of Islamists who were igniting public unrest in order to pave the way for Khomeini’s return after 14 years of exile. The thinking was that if these people were stopped, the revolution everyone saw coming would be stopped as well.
In the end, the initiative never took off. And despite the 40 years that have passed, Eitan believes Iran can still change and go back to the way it once was: pro-West, allied with Israel and a country that showed the world a moderate version of Islam, as opposed to the extremism it propagates today.
Eitan is something of a legend in Israel. Born in 1926 in a small kibbutz in northern Israel, he played a key role in Israel’s defense and intelligence community for over 70 years. At the age of 12, he joined the Hagana, the underground Jewish fighting force, and later became a member of its elite strike force, the Palmah. After World War II, he got involved in smuggling Jews into the country, at a time when it was controlled by the British.
One memorable escapade involved blowing up a British radar station used to detect illegal ships approaching Haifa Port. To reach the radar, Eitan had to crawl through an underground sewer, gaining him the nickname “Stinky Rafi.”
Eitan’s name often followed mystery and controversy. In 1960, in a daring operation, he led the team of Israeli agents that located and captured Nazi SS officer Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.
In 1968, and according to US government documents, he paid a visit to a nuclear fuel plant in the United States, from which 200 kilograms of enriched uranium later went missing, widely suspected of having been diverted to Israel’s highly classified nuclear program.
In 1981, while serving as Begin’s adviser, Eitan was appointed head of LAKAM, a shadowy organization that operated under the Defense Ministry and which was responsible for collecting – some might say stealing – scientific and technological know-how. Eitan was responsible for operating Jonathan Pollard as an Israeli spy within US Naval Intelligence, an affair that would strain Israeli-US ties for decades.
In 1987, after taking responsibility for the Pollard affair (now, he prefers not to say anything that could undermine the former agent’s chances of being allowed to leave the US), Eitan resigned from LAKAM, which was eventually disbanded. He then went into business, with a particular focus on agricultural projects in Cuba.
But in 2006, Eitan returned to the public eye, when he was asked to head the new Pensioners Party. The party was the wild card of that election and ended up in the Knesset with an astonishing seven seats and two ministries, placing Eitan inside Ehud Olmert’s government and security cabinet. The party lasted one election.
At 91, Eitan today is a wealth of knowledge, experience and obvious vitality, having returned just a few weeks ago from a long trip to Havana.
I went to see him to hear what he thinks needs to be done in order to ensure the Islamic Republic does not obtain a nuclear weapon.
As a member of the prime minister’s staff in 1981, Eitan was privy from the beginning to Begin’s plans to bomb the Osirak nuclear reactor that Saddam Hussein was building outside of Baghdad. And as a member of the security cabinet in Olmert’s government from 2006 to 2009, Eitan participated in debates on the best way to deal with Iran’s nuclear program.
He is worth listening to.
On one hand, Eitan believes that nuclear weapons in the arsenal of Israel’s enemies – such as Iraq or Iran – pose an existential threat.
“Nuclear weapons in the hands of people that are willing to commit suicide in the name of Allah is a danger we cannot live with,” he said. “If you ask: ‘Who in the world today is willing to kill themselves to kill others?’ It is only the Muslims. I don’t know another religion or another place where a person is willing to take a bomb and blow up and kill himself.”
On the other hand, a military strike on Iran is not viable.
Israel and the rest of the world are also mistaken in focusing just on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program. It’s enough, Eitan said, to place a bomb in a shipping container and detonate it off the coast of Tel Aviv or Haifa and destroy both.
“So, how would you stop Iran?” I asked. “As the fate of the Iran deal remains in question – President Donald Trump decertified the agreement in October, but Congress has yet to propose an alternative – would you keep the deal in place or work to modify it, as Trump has said he would like to do?”
Eitan dismissed both options. The only real solution to the Iranian nuclear problem, he said, is for the world to invest more in overthrowing the ayatollahs.
Iran, he said, carefully studied the Israeli air strike against Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981, and understood that it not only needed to disperse its nuclear facilities, but also to bury them deep underground.
“The Iranians asked themselves who would oppose their nuclear program and who would potentially attack,” he explained. “The answer was Israel, and after studying Osirak, they dug tunnels to make it hard for our bombs to destroy their facilities.”
And while the Israel Air Force said it could destroy the openings to the tunnels and delay Iran’s nuclear program by a year, Eitan said such an operation would be a waste of time.
“The only real option to neutralize the facilities is with ground forces – to send soldiers in on the ground and destroy the tunnels,” he said. “This we could not do without the Americans, and there was no logic to use the IAF when the damage would just be for a year or two.”
While he doesn’t know for certain, Eitan believes that Iran already has enough fissionable material to make a nuclear weapon. In other words, he said, with a military strike not feasible and Trump unlikely to dramatically succeed in changing the deal, the only real way to stop Iran is to invest more in changing the regime.
“Iran’s citizens are against the ayatollah regime,” he said. “They are very similar to a Western country in their culture and the way they are as a people. They would prefer a more Western-like regime.”
Eitan doesn’t know how or when this might happen, but he is convinced that 39 years since Khomeini returned to Iran, another revolution is only a matter of time. Trump could try to renegotiate the Iran deal, but the Iranians will con him and ultimately achieve their goal of obtaining the bomb.
“The Iranians are devious and have advanced technological capabilities,” Eitan said. “They will stick to their goal and they will cheat Trump. The only real way to deal with Iran is to switch the regime.”
REPORT: ISRAEL VOWS TO DESTROY IRANIAN POSITIONS WITHIN 40 KM OF SYRIAN BORDER
BY SHOSHANA KRANISH
NOVEMBER 26, 2017 09:39
Syrian President Bashar Assad reportedly offered Netanyahu a comprehensive deal that would include a demilitarized zone stretching 40 kilometers from the border.2 minute read.
Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida revealed on Sunday that an Israeli source disclosed a promise from Jerusalem to destroy all Iranian facilities within 40 kilometers (25 miles) of Israel's Golan Heights.
The source, who remains unnamed, said that during Syrian President Bashar Assad's surprise visit to Russia last week, Assad gave Russian Premier Vladimir Putin a message for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Damascus will agree to a demilitarized zone of up to 40 kilometers from the border in the Golan Heights as part of a comprehensive agreement between the two countries, but only if Israel does not work to remove Assad's regime from power.
The report also claims that Putin then called Netanyahu to relay the message, and that the Israeli prime minister said he would be willing to accept the deal, but that Israel's goal of eradicating Iran and Hezbollah from the country would remain.
According to the source, Jerusalem sees Assad as the last president of the Alawite community, indicating that a change of regime in Syria - at least towards a government less-linked to Iran - would be favorable for Israel. The Alawites are a minority Shi'ite community in Syria, and have long been supported by Iran, which seeks to extend its influence from the Gulf across the region to the Mediterranean.
The source also commented that after the defeat of the Islamic State, the conflict in Syria would become ''more difficult,'' likely pointing towards a vacuum that would be left without the group. Russian, Syrian and Iranian-backed forces have been fighting against ISIS, while also seeking to knock out rebel groups that oppose the current regime. Russia's stated interests have been in line with Iran's in wanting to keep Assad in power.
Israel has participated mostly on the periphery of the war in Syria, responding to fire on the northern border and occasionally bombing positions, including a weapons depot and scientific research center that allegedly produces chemical weapons. Damascus and Jerusalem have exchanged heated remarks as well, with Netanyahu threatening to bomb Assad's palace, and Syrian officials warning of ''dangerous repercussions'' to Israeli strikes on Syrian targets.
Over the course of the war, Israel has operated several field hospitals near the Syrian border, where those injured from the war are treated and subsequently returned to Syria. Some of those who have been treated have been rebels fighting against the Assad regime, leading some to say that Israel is assisting the rebels to unseat Assad.
Yasser Okbi contributed to this report.
Move the Embassy
Nov 8, 2017
The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security meets today to discuss the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, the capital.
In every country worldwide, the U.S. Embassy is located in its capital. However, the embassy in Israel is in Tel Aviv, despite Congress consistently voting to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 passed the Senate by 93-5 and the House by 374-37 to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by requiring the withholding of State Department funds if was not moved. However, the law was never implemented because of opposition from former Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama.
President Donald Trump has promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Yet, he signed a six-month waiver on June 1, 2017 to delay moving the embassy. The second waiver deadline of the Trump Administration occurs on December 1, 2017.
Last May, approximately 60 Christian leaders, representing 60 million Christians across America, signed a letter that was delivered to President Trump calling on him to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and thus recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
How Israel Took a Toy and Made It a High-Tech Weapon
YAAKOV KATZ & AMIR BOHBOT / DEC. 14, 2016
‘T he agent is back,” the analyst said as he popped his head into Shabtai Brill’s office. “He has pictures.” The year was 1968. Brill, a major in the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate—known by its Hebrew acronym, Aman—set aside the report he was reading and got up.
Brill was used to seeing classified intelligence, but this day was special. The “agent” was one of the first Israeli spies to infiltrate Egypt successfully since the end of the Six-Day War a year earlier. He had photos that supposedly would help reveal Egyptian war plans, including possible preparations behind the ceasefire line.
A small crowd surrounded the agent in the department’s main nerve center. Colonel Avraham Arnan, Brill’s direct superior, was focusing on one photograph. “What do you think it is?” he asked the group of analysts. “It looks like a military bridge.”
It was. Egypt had moved the bridge to less than a mile from the Suez Canal, the strategic waterway that connected the world of commerce but separated Egypt from the territory it had lost to Israel during the Six-Day War. The bridge could be used by tanks and armored personnel carriers to cross the canal and invade Israel—far too close for comfort.
Before sending the agent to Egypt, Israel had pursued other avenues to gather intelligence on what Egypt was doing just over the canal. One officer designed a special platform to mount on tanks so that intelligence officers could stand on them and peer over the 30-foot-high sand barriers the Egyptians had erected on their side of the Suez. The platforms seemed effective until the day an Egyptian sniper took a shot at one of them.
Next, the Israeli Air Force flew reconnaissance aircraft along the border and took pictures of what was happening on the ground. But because of Egyptian surface-to-air missiles, the aircraft had to fly at high altitudes, rendering the pictures of little or no value. That left the IDF with only one viable alternative—live agents on the ground in Egypt, passing for Egyptians, looking like Egyptians, and traveling to the Suez Canal via Europe to take photos of what was happening along the border.
Arnan walked the photo down the hall to alert Aman’s top brass. Brill stood there thinking how crazy it was that one single photo held the key to Israel’s survival.
“We need to launch such an operation to get a single photo of what is happening just over the canal?” Brill asked. He could grasp the significance of the intelligence, but something felt wrong. It just didn’t make sense that there wasn’t an easier way to see what was happening a few hundred feet away.
On his drive home that evening, Brill couldn’t shake the feeling that there had to be an easier way to gather intelligence over the canal. Suddenly he recalled a movie he had seen a few weeks earlier in Tel Aviv. The feature had been preceded by a short newsreel that included a story about an American Jewish boy who had received a toy airplane as a gift for his bar mitzvah. Brill’s imagination started going. He remembered that the planes came in different colors, were wireless and pilotless, and could be flown by remote control. What Brill conceived seemed almost too easy: Buy a few remote-control airplanes, attach cameras to their bellies, and fly them over the Suez to photograph Egyptian military positions.
Brill knew he would need partners to implement his idea. So he went to air-force headquarters, snooped around, and discovered Shlomo Barak, an officer who spent his weekends flying remote-control airplanes. He was one of a handful of people in Israel at the time who had the necessary experience for what Brill had in mind.
Brill tried to get the air force to assume responsibility for the idea. He was unsuccessful. “Remote-control planes are toys, and we have no use for them,” officers from the air force’s technology branch told Brill.
So he went back to his own commander. “We can buy a few of these planes for real cheap, install cameras, and fly them over the Suez to spy on the Egyptians,” Brill told Arnan. Arnan wasn’t convinced. He first asked to see the planes in action.
Later that week, they met at a small airstrip outside Tel Aviv for a flight demonstration. Barak piloted the remote-control plane, did some maneuvers, a flip or two, and landed it flawlessly. Arnan liked the idea but wanted to know what it would cost. Brill didn’t know and, so, together with Barak, he compiled a list: three airplanes, six remote controls, five engines, a few spare tires, and propellers. The grand total: $850.
Arnan approved the budget, and a member of Israel’s defense delegation in New York went to a Manhattan toy store, purchased the equipment, and sent it back to Israel in the embassy’s diplomatic pouch. This way, no one would question why an Israeli was traveling with so many toy airplanes in his luggage.
After their safe arrival in Israel, the planes were brought to the Intelligence Directorate’s technological team for further development. They were fitted with 35-millimeter German-made cameras with timers programmed to take pictures automatically every 10 seconds.
“We’re ready to go operational,” Brill told Arnan a few weeks after the planes arrived. The senior officer was still skeptical. He feared the planes would be shot down by Egyptian anti-aircraft fire and suggested that they first see if IDF anti-aircraft teams could shoot them down.
On a hot summer day, Arnan and Brill drove down to the IDF’s anti-aircraft training base in the Negev Desert, restricted one of the roads so it could serve as a runway, and even gave the anti-aircraft gunners a heads-up as to the direction from which the planes would be flying.
The plane took off and started circling over a patch of sand, and the gunners opened fire. The sound was deafening, lasting what seemed like a lifetime. Brill lost sight of the plane and feared the worst. To his surprise, after the smoke cleared, the toy was still there, soaring above. Barak tested flights at 1,000 feet, 700 feet, and then at a mere 300 feet. The gunners could not make a successful hit; the toy airplane was too small a target. After the plane landed, the astonished Arnan turned to Brill and gave him permission to take the plane for flights over Egypt.
T he first target was a row of Egyptian military positions located near Ismalia, a town along the Suez and next to Lake Tismah, otherwise known as Crocodile Lake. The team chosen to fly the plane consisted of two people, one a “pilot” who operated the remote control and the other a “navigator” who watched it through a set of 120 x 20 binoculars and ensured that the pilot did not lose his line of sight.
The dramatic first flight, in July 1969, didn’t go as smoothly as planned. First, since there were potholes everywhere, it was difficult to find a piece of road that could function as a runway. After the discovery of a 100-foot airstrip, takeoff was finally approved. Arnan gave permission to penetrate about a mile into Egypt. But then, when the plane was airborne, it entered a cloud of sand. Its momentary disappearance triggered panic that it would crash in Egypt and Israel’s new secret weapon would be discovered. Barak, who served as the navigator, told the pilot to fly the plane in circles and to increase altitude. “Don’t be pressured. Just keep flying until we see it,” Barak told him.
After a few tense moments, the plane finally emerged from the cloud, and the pilot managed to land back in Israel. The film was immediately taken to be developed, and when the photographs came back, Arnan and Brill were stunned. The resolution was amazing. They could clearly see the trenches the Egyptian military had built along the canal. Even communication cables connecting the different positions were visible.
For the first time, Israel had clear photos of the obstacles the Egyptians were building along the Suez and how they were preparing for a future war.
After another mission, this one over the Sinai, Arnan sent the team to the Jordan Valley, where similar fights were conducted over Jordanian positions. The success was mesmerizing, and by the end of the summer, Major General Aharon Yariv, head of military intelligence, had decided to establish an official development team to build a small but sturdier remote-control airplane that could be integrated into regular service. Yariv sent Brill a letter thanking him for his invention: “You deserve praise for this invention because without innovation at all levels and ranks, there would be no IDF.”
A few weeks later, Brill was promoted and put in command of all early-warning intelligence systems in the Sinai. He was confident that he had left his pet project in good hands. It was time to move on. One day, some months later, he received a phone call from one of his original partners. The team appointed by Yariv had tried to build a new airplane, instead of relying on existing platforms, and it kept crashing. As a result, Aman’s top brass decided the project was too expensive and, anyhow, should be overseen by the air force. Aman was shutting the project down.
Brill refused to go down without a fight. Through the course of 1969, he sent a number of letters to Yariv and the rest of the country’s intelligence brass and warned of devastating consequences should the project be abandoned. He pleaded with his commanders not to end the project. They refused to listen.
On October 6, 1973, on Yom Kippur, the Egyptian military launched a surprise and successful attack across the Suez, proceeding practically unopposed up through the Sinai Peninsula. While Israel ultimately held on to the territory during the bloody debacle, when the war ended, the country was left in a state of trauma. More than 2,000 soldiers had been killed, the most since Israel’s War of Independence.
Brill could barely contain his anger. He was certain that if his project had not been canceled, Israel would have detected Egyptian military movements and had time to bolster defenses or even prevent the war. Seeing what was happening just over the border could have saved thousands of lives.
“Had we continued taking pictures of what was happening just three miles over the canal, we would have seen the Egyptian tanks, bridges, and equipment amassing and understood they were preparing for war,” he said. “Unfortunately, this didn’t happen.”
Aman understood its mistake, dusted off Brill’s old plans, and reached out to local defense companies to begin designing an Israeli lightweight unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)—what today is more commonly referred to as a drone.
It would take another few years for the Israeli design to become operational, but in the meantime two things were clear: Israel needed quality intelligence, and that meant getting into the drone business. Brill could not have known at the time, but what he started on the shores of the Suez Canal in 1969 would burgeon one day into a massive, billion-dollar industry for Israel and position it as a global military superpower.
A fter several years of research, development, and test fights, Israel’s first drone—the Scout—was finally delivered to the air force in 1979. The first version of the Scout was launched by a rocket, but soon enough, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries upgraded the model so it could take off and land on a runway, just like an airplane.
In June 1982, Israel had decided to invade Lebanon to end the rising cross-border terror and rocket attacks by the PLO. The greatest obstacle was the presence of nearly 20 Syrian Soviet-made surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries deployed in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. The SAMs severely limited the air force’s ability to maneuver.
The IAF had been preparing for war. In the weeks before, Scout drones flew over the valley to collect radar and communication frequencies from the SAM batteries. This was precious data needed for what the IAF planned to do next: electronically neutralize the batteries.
Israel’s full-force attack was launched on June 6. An electronic warfare system succeeded in blinding and neutralizing most of the missile systems, and the Scouts assisted Israeli fighter jets in identifying and bombing the missile batteries. The operation was a major success. The IAF destroyed almost all of the Syrian SAMs, and in one fell swoop, knocked 82 Syrian MiGs out of the sky without losing a single Israeli fighter jet.
That operation caused a shift in Israeli thinking. Officers who until then had refused to believe in these new unmanned aircraft had a change of heart. The potential of these miniature drones suddenly seemed unlimited.
In the meantime, while Israel’s Scouts were moving from one successful operation to the next, Israel’s greatest ally, the United States, was having difficulty getting its own drones off the ground. Billions of dollars were being poured into projects that closed down one after another. Nothing seemed to work.
A few years earlier, the Pentagon had funded the development of Aquila, a drone built by Lockheed Martin that required a few dozen people for takeoff but kept crashing. In 1987, after burning through over $1 billion, the Pentagon decided to shut the program down.
Boeing was also working on a drone—the Condor—that came with a 200-foot wingspan, as large as the reconnaissance aircraft it was being developed to replace. That program was also shut down after a $300 million investment. Only one Condor was built; today it hangs in a museum in California.
In December 1983, the U.S. finally decided to ask Israel for help. A few weeks earlier, the U.S. Navy had launched a botched attack against Syrian anti-aircraft batteries stationed near Beirut in response to the downing of an American spy plane. The attack was a disaster: Two American planes were shot down, a pilot was killed, and a navigator was captured. While a few Syrian guns were destroyed, the Syrian anti-aircraft fire forced the U.S. planes to drop their bombs far from their targets. An inquiry into the botched raid concluded that a nearby U.S. battleship had had cannons in range of the Syrian air-defense systems and that they could have been used without endangering American pilots. The problem was that the Navy had no way of knowing where the Syrian missile systems were located. It needed eyes in the sky to direct them.
A few weeks after the botched operation, Secretary of the Navy John Lehman traveled to Beirut and decided to use the occasion to fly to Tel Aviv to learn about Israel’s use of drones. He had heard about the Scouts and their success in 1982 but had never seen them up close. When he arrived at Israeli military headquarters, Lehman was taken into an operations room and asked to sit in front of a small TV. He was handed a joystick and given control over a drone in flight. Similarly, Marine Corps Commandant General P. X. Kelley visited Israel to view the drone program. At the end of his trip, he was presented with a kind of home video, shot by a circling drone. In some of the footage, Kelley’s head was fixed in the camera’s crosshairs.
After high school, Abe Karem went to study aeronautics at the Technion, Israel’s equivalent of MIT. He then joined the air force, and after his discharge he went to work for IAI.
Both men were sold. The next stage, though, was to figure out how to push the deal through the complicated U.S. bureaucracy. Lehman decided simply to skip over the usual procedures and had the Navy directly contract Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to develop a new drone based on the Scout. The Americans wanted something bigger and stronger, with a more advanced avionics system that could serve as a spotter for battleships. IAI soon had a prototype, which it called the Pioneer. After a flight demonstration in the Mojave Desert, the U.S. Navy ordered 175.
Delivery of the Pioneers started in 1986. In 1991, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Kuwait. The U.S. went to war to free the Gulf state. During one operation, a Pioneer drone flew over a group of Iraqi soldiers, who saw the aircraft and, not knowing what it was, took off their white undershirts and waved them in the air—the first time in history a military unit surrendered to a robot.
A few months after returning to the U.S. in 1983, Lehman learned of another drone under development in Los Angeles, which he was told could also potentially serve as a spotter for Navy gunships. This drone was the work of an Israeli engineer who had recently left a senior management position at Israel Aerospace Industries—manufacturer of the Pioneer—to try his luck in the U.S.
Born in Baghdad in 1937, Abe Karem had moved to Israel just after the state was established, in 1948. By the time he was eight, Karem knew he wanted to be an engineer, and a few years later, he found his true love—aviation. At 14, he built his first airplane and within two years was an instructor in his high school’s toy-plane club. After high school, Karem went to study aeronautics at the Technion, Israel’s equivalent of MIT. He then joined the air force, and after his discharge he went to work for IAI.
During the Yom Kippur War, in 1973, Karem built his first unmanned aircraft. The IAF was having difficulty penetrating Egypt’s Soviet air-defense systems, so within a couple of weeks, Karem’s team had developed a decoy—basically a missile that could be controlled with a joystick—the IAF could use to activate the Egyptian radars, detect their location, and then hit them with anti-radiation missiles fired from nearby fighter jets. Despite its success, after the war, the IAF decided to buy similar decoys from the U.S.; Karem’s version was buried. He argued for the importance of investing in domestic systems to create a local industry but failed. Frustrated, he quit and decided to try his luck in America.
Karem and his family moved to Los Angeles. He set up Leading Systems in his 600-square-foot garage in Hacienda Heights and began building a new drone. Called Amber, the prototype was made of plywood and fiberglass with a two-stroke engine that Karem pulled out of a go-kart. He had the Amber in the air for as long as 30 hours. Eventually, Karem’s company ended up a part of General Atomics, and there Karem built a later generation of the Amber called the Gnat 750.
The turning point for Karem came from a combination of the most unlikely of places—Bosnia and Israel. In 1993, ethnic war broke out in the former Yugoslavia. The combatants wore civilian clothes, and the U.S. government was encountering difficulty in assessing the situation on the ground.
During a brainstorming session one day at Langley, then-CIA Director R. James Woolsey recalled a trip he had made to Israel as undersecretary of the Navy where he had seen a new drone unit the IDF had established. Woolsey saw footage there of a convoy of three Mercedes sedans drive on a road in southern Lebanon. Intelligence, his host explained, had identified a passenger in the second car as a senior Hezbollah operative. The drone, the officer continued, “lit up” the car with a laser target designator, enabling a nearby IAF helicopter to fire a missile and destroy it.
Woolsey had seen this use of laser guidance—referred to as “lasing”—when he served as general counsel for the Senate Armed Services Committee during the Vietnam War. Back then, fighter jets did the lasing, but Woolsey had positive recollections of the accurate airstrikes that followed.
“We need a long endurance drone,” he told his staff. He was told it would take six years and cost $500 million to develop. Woolsey then called Karem, whom he’d met a few years earlier. “How much would it cost, and how long would it be before you could be up and operating over Bosnia?” he asked.
“Six months and $5 million,” Karem said. Woolsey teamed Karem up with Jane, a CIA employee (whose full name cannot be published) who had developed a special command-and-control system for drones. In six months, the Gnat 750 was flying reconnaissance missions over Bosnia. A few days later, a live feed from the drones was installed in Woolsey’s seventh-floor office at Langley, and the CIA director was able to watch foot traffic over a bridge in Mostar while communicating with the ground station through an early form of chat software.
The Pentagon awarded General Atomics a contract to develop a more robust drone based on the Gnat, with a bigger engine and new set of wings.
The biggest change to the Gnat was General Atomics’ decision to place a satellite communication link on the aircraft. The company decided that the more advanced drone needed a new name, so it held a competition. The winner was “Predator.” The drone would go on to become infamous as America’s most lethal weapon in the global war on terror, responsible for countless strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen. It took Israel and an Israeli engineer to help make that happen.
W hat makes drones appealing for militaries is that they can successfully carry out “3D” missions—dull, dirty, and dangerous. “Dull” refers to routine, mundane missions like patrols along borders or maritime surveillance of seas and oceans. These are physically demanding and are extremely tedious and repetitive. While humans tire after 10 or 12 hours, the Heron drone—the Israeli Air Force’s main workhorse since 2005—can stay airborne for 50 hours.
“Dirty” involves entering airspace infected by chemical or biological agents. While a human would have to wear cumbersome protective gear, drones can operate risk-free, making them more versatile. And “dangerous”? That’s more open to interpretation, but it basically covers missions that can be done by a robot instead of a pilot who could be injured or killed.
In today’s IDF, drones are used by all military branches. The air force, for example, maintains drones like the Heron for reconnaissance missions on all of its various fronts—Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria.
Drones have an almost endless list of advantages, which make them preferable to manned combat aircraft. They are smaller, lighter, cost less, and can hover over targets for longer. Fighter jets have the advantage and disadvantage that they can break the sound barrier, and while speed is an advantage in a dog fight or a mission that requires a quick in-and-out, it means that the aircraft’s presence can be identified almost immediately. Drones can hover over targets while their engines’ humming noise blends into city traffic. It makes them the perfect weapons to hunt and eliminate moving targets, such as terrorists.
Since the delivery of the Scout, in 1979, the Israeli Air Force has used and retired a number of different drones. But unlike the larger fighter jets, attack helicopters, and transport aircraft that are purchased overseas, Israel’s drones are strictly blue and white, developed and manufactured by homegrown Israeli companies. Since 1985, Israel has been the largest exporter of drones in the world, responsible for 60 percent of the global market, trailed by the U.S., whose market share is just 23.9 percent. The customers have been dozens of different countries, including the United States, Russia, South Korea, Australia, France, Germany, and Brazil. In 2010, for example, five NATO countries were flying Israeli drones in Afghanistan.
In today’s IDF, drones are used by all military branches. The air force, for example, maintains drones like the Heron for reconnaissance missions on all of its various fronts—Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria.
With a length of about 27 feet, the Heron is just a bit shorter than a Cessna light aircraft, although its wingspan is significantly longer, by about 20 feet. It is powered by a rear propeller, emitting a steady lawnmower-like sound. Its best quality is its autonomous flight system, allowing the operators to insert a flight route before takeoff and then get the aircraft off the ground by pressing just four buttons. The drone then flies to its target and can be programmed to return to a predesignated point at the end of the mission. This allows the operator to focus on the mission instead of on flying the plane.
Heron’s manufacturer, Israel Aerospace Industries, does not publicly divulge the drone’s exact cost, but industry estimates put the price tag at approximately $10–$15 million, far less than the cost of a manned combat aircraft. For the price of one F-35 fifth-generation multi-role fighter, one of the most recent IAF purchases, the air force can buy about 10 Herons.
The Heron can fly in two different modes, line-of-sight or satellite. The operator must be located within 250 miles of the drone at all times if it flies in line-of-sight mode. In satellite mode, the drone is controlled via a satellite linkup, meaning that distance is limited only by the amount of fuel it can carry. But the real significance of a drone is in its payload. Herons, for example, carry their cargo in more than one space—in their bellies, on their wings, and in rotating gimbals mounted under the nose. The gimbals include the sensors, which vary based on the mission—day/night cameras, infrared vision, laser targeting, as well as special sensors to identify weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
One Israeli-designed sensor shows the advantages these sensors afford. Called the Chariot of Fire, this sensor can detect changes in terrain, revealing possible locations of underground rocket launchers, a critical capability in a place like the Gaza Strip, where Hamas buries its rockets. Basically, the sensor can detect the invisible.
Israel’s drones were originally designed for ISR missions—intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance—to fly over targets and monitor developing situations. Early on, though, Israeli military planners understood that they could do more—that the unmanned aircraft could adapt.
The drones were already carrying laser designators, which could be used to “light up” targets that would then be attacked by helicopters or fighter jets. Why couldn’t they carry the missiles, too? Today, Israeli drones, including the Heron, reportedly have the ability to locate targets and destroy them as well. Israel does not confirm that it has drones with attack capabilities. It is, however, well documented that this capability exists; Israeli drones have appeared at defense exhibitions with missiles mounted under their wings, and in WikiLeaks cables, Israel confirmed that some of its strikes in the Gaza Strip were carried out by armed drones. The Heron and the Hermes 450, another medium-sized drone developed by Israel’s Elbit Systems, can reportedly carry laser-guided Hellfire missiles and smaller munitions like the Israeli-developed Spike missile. The Spike causes less collateral damage and is said to be particularly effective in accurate strikes against wanted terrorists.
The Gaza Strip is ground zero for Israel’s drone revolution. There, on a daily basis, the lawnmower hum of drones can be heard in the narrow alleyways. Gazans have given the drones the nickname “Zanana,” Arabic for “buzz” or “nagging wife.” In Gaza, drones collect intelligence and help the IDF build its “target bank” in the event of a conflict.
Weighing a mere 13 pounds, the Skylark has an operational endurance of three hours at altitudes as high as 3,000 feet.
During Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, in November 2012, the IDF attacked nearly 1,000 underground rocket launchers and 200 tunnels that had been located and identified with intelligence gathered by drones. The first salvo of that operation was ordered in a drone-assisted attack. Ahmed Jabari, Hamas’s military commander, was driving in Gaza City when a missile struck his Kia sedan. Jabari, who had been at the top of Israel’s most-wanted list and had escaped four previous assassination attempts, was finally taken out by a drone.
Before Israel bombs Gaza in retaliation for rocket attacks, UAVs are there to survey the target; as helicopters and fighter jets move in to bomb a car carrying a Katyusha rocket cell, UAVs are there to ensure that children don’t move into the kill zone; when IDF ground troops surround a compound where Hamas terrorists are hiding, UAVs are there to provide real-time air support and guide the soldiers safely inside. And when needed, the drones can reportedly also attack.
At the smaller end of the IDF drone scale are drones not flown out of air-force bases but pulled from soldiers’ backpacks and literally thrown like a quarterback throws a football. One such drone, the Skylark, was delivered to IDF ground units in 2010. Weighing a mere 13 pounds, the Skylark has an operational endurance of three hours at altitudes as high as 3,000 feet. These Skylarks can be utilized in all types of operations, from random patrols in the West Bank to large-scale ground offensives in places like Lebanon and Syria. This new state of warfare provides commanders with quick over-the-hill intelligence. Commanders are no longer solely dependent on the Israeli Air Force, which in turn can focus its attention on larger, more strategic missions. The miniature UAVs are so popular that by 2016 they were being used by military forces in Australia, Canada, the U.S., South Korea, France, Sweden, and Peru.
I n 2009, Israel reportedly achieved a new level in drone performance. It was the middle of January, and Israeli soldiers were operating deep inside the Gaza Strip, the first large-scale ground operation since the “Disengagement,” Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Palestinian territory four years earlier. The government had just launched Operation Cast Lead in response to the ring of more than 2,000 launched rockets and mortars in the previous year alone. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had decided enough was enough.
While the country’s focus was on the Israeli infantry and armored brigades operating in Gaza, a new threat was brewing far from Israel, in distant Sudan.
Intelligence obtained by the Mossad, Israel’s super-secret spy agency, indicated that a ship packed with advanced Iranian weaponry—including Fajr artillery rockets—had docked in Port Sudan, on the Red Sea. These weren’t ordinary rockets; they would change the strategic balance.
Up until then, Hamas’s arsenal had enabled the Palestinian terror group to threaten the homes of the 1 million Israelis who lived in the south of the country. The Fajrs had the capability to go much farther and strike Tel Aviv. The containers, the Mossad learned, were being loaded onto trucks, to be transported north through Sudan and Egypt, where they would then be delivered to a depot near the Gaza border. Then the rockets would be smuggled into Gaza through underground tunnels.
The chief of staff of the IDF, Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, started drafting a plan to attack the convoy, but the clock was ticking. The moment the trucks crossed the border into Egypt, the strike option would be off the table. Israel couldn’t mount an attack in Egypt, a country with which it had a fragile peace treaty. If the missiles then made it into Gaza, they would be swallowed up into one of the most densely populated territories in the world. While Israel’s intelligence coverage over Gaza was good, it wasn’t a sure bet. The rockets had to be stopped before reaching Gaza, meaning that the attack had to take place in Sudan.
An argument erupted within top defense circles. The doves—those opposed to the strike—warned of Israel’s growing international isolation. The country was already under intense criticism for the rising death toll and extensive devastation in Gaza. News of a strike in another country would be difficult to explain. The hawks, on the other hand, argued that Israel could not sit by and allow advanced weaponry to reach Gaza. The potential threat was just too big.
The final decision was brought before Olmert. In operations like this, the prime minister usually asks a few technical questions about the mission and its risks before giving approval. In this case, in addition to the usual procedures, it would have been important to ensure that the strike could not be traced back to Israel. The mission would have to be done without leaving fingerprints.
The question now was how. Sending fighter jets to Sudan was risky. The entire mission could be jeopardized if there was a malfunction or one of the planes was detected by Egyptian or Saudi radars, which covered that part of the Red Sea. There were also technical considerations, since the target—a convoy of trucks—would be on the move and, as a result, difficult to track. Timing was everything. The intelligence would have to be precise; the fighter jets wouldn’t be able to stay in Sudanese airspace for very long, and they would have limited fuel. The IDF reportedly chose an unconventional route—to strike the convoy with the help of drones. This was a first. Drones had never before been used in long-range strikes in a distant country like Sudan.
Only a handful of officers knew all aspects of the mission. Everyone knew that if word got out, the mission would be scrubbed, and the Iranian missiles would reach their destination in Gaza. The next time Israel saw them would be when they slammed into homes in Tel Aviv.
The yellow, sun-scorched Negev Desert is mostly barren, with little water or vegetation. Few Israelis settled there, leaving the large, dry terrain as the IDF’s primary training ground. Israel’s UAV operators were already experts at tracking moving vehicles, but until they began training for the Sudan mission, they had been focused on a single terrorist driving in a car or riding a motorcycle. To prepare for this one, they had to practice locating and following a couple of trucks loaded with missiles. In the expansive Sudanese desert, this would be like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.
The Heron TP, Israel’s largest drone, with the wingspan of a Boeing airliner, and the Hermes 450, the IDF’s main attack drone, were the UAVs chosen for the operation. The Heron TP would fly in first, at altitudes where it could not be detected, to locate and track the convoy. The next wave would consist of Hermes drones and, if needed, fighter jets, which would dive in for the strike.
On the night of the bombing, there were some clouds, but for the most part the skies were clear, typical January weather in Sudan. As the Sudanese and Palestinian smugglers made their way through the desert, the last things on their minds were the Israeli drones tracking them from thousands of feet above. Even if they saw the incoming missiles, it would have been too late. Forty-three smugglers were killed, and all of the trucks were destroyed.
The initial mission was a success. A few weeks later, in February, Iran tried again. Olmert reportedly approved another strike. This time, 40 smugglers were killed, and a dozen trucks were destroyed.
The Sudanese were stunned. They had known that Iran and Hamas were using their country as a clandestine smuggling route, but Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir’s government thought Israel would never do something as daring as launch an attack on a sovereign African nation. This analysis led the Sudanese government to the wrong conclusion: that America must have been behind the strike. On February 24, a few days after the second strike, the chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Alberto Fernandez, was summoned to the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, on the banks of the Blue Nile River, for a meeting with Ambassador Nasreddin Wali.
“I have sensitive and worrisome information to relate to you,” Wali told Fernandez. The U.S. official knew what was coming but played it cool. Looking down at his handwritten notes in Arabic, Wali pulled out a torn and worn-out map of Sudan and pointed at an empty patch of desert in the eastern part of the country. Fernandez listened as Wali read out the number of people killed and vehicles destroyed. “We assume the planes that attacked us are your planes,” Wali told the American diplomat.
Fernandez mostly listened as Wali lamented America’s decision to unilaterally strike Sudanese territory and to undermine the two nations’ “tight cooperation” on security.
“We protest this act and we condemn it. Sudan reserves the right to respond appropriately, at the right time, in a legal manner consistent with protecting its sovereignty,” Wali concluded. Fernandez did not deny the Sudanese accusation but promised to relay the démarche to the State Department in Washington.
Even if the U.S. knew that the strike had been carried out by the IDF, as reported, Fernandez refrained from outing Israel to Khartoum. Nevertheless, Olmert could not hold back from publicly hinting at the possibility that Israel had been involved in the operation. A few days after Fernandez’s meeting, the prime minister took the stage at a security conference near Tel Aviv and revealed that Israel had carried out counterterrorism operations in places “not that close” to home.
“We are hitting them, in a way that strengthens deterrence and the image of deterrence, which is sometimes no less important, for the State of Israel,” the prime minister said. “There’s no point getting into details, everyone can use his imagination. The fact is whoever needs to know, knows . . . there is no place where the State of Israel cannot act.”
'The better and stronger we make Israel, the safer we make the world'
Dr. Miriam Adelson sits down with former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley to discuss US diplomatic efforts in the Middle East. by Israel Hayom Staff
Published on 2019-06-27 22:54
Last modified: 2019-06-28 10:13
In a special interview at the Israel Hayom Forum for US-Israel Relations, held in Jerusalem on Thursday evening, Dr. Miriam Adelson sat down with former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.
During Haley's time representing the US at the international forum, she was a staunch defender of Israel and did not hesitate to call out UN organizations for their entrenched anti-Israel bias.
In 2018, Haley declared fearlessly that she would use her high heels to "kick" the enemies of the Jewish state.
After introducing Haley as Israel's "real-life" Wonder Woman, Dr. Adelson said, "Throughout her service, Nikki has demonstrated moral clarity and courage. She put the fear of God into a godforsaken place. She stood up to bullies and called out hypocrites."
"Nikki defended Israel, always openly, without hesitation, and often in defiance of other world powers. She did so, I believe, because Israel is good, and she did so because she knows the US is never more credible than when it honors its allies," Dr. Adelson told the forum.
Dr. Adelson: First things first: What shoes are you wearing? High heels? I ask because you once said that you wore heels to the UN so you could kick anyone you saw doing the wrong thing. Seriously now: Looking back, did that approach work?
Nikki Haley: it was the only approach we could use. You had a situation where there was this organization of 193 countries that were anti-American and anti-Israel, continuing to give us a hard time, but had their hand out for aid. I didn't want to just be another ambassador. I felt the American people deserved that.
Dr. Adelson: Would you do anything differently?
Haley: I would not. The truth needed to be said, without any apology.
Dr. Adelson: This is a busy time for US diplomacy in the Middle East. Just this week, the Trump administration held a conference in Bahrain that was meant to help the Palestinian economy, as part of the US peace plan. The Palestinians did not go to Bahrain. They have already rejected the peace plan – even though they have not seen it. And they are not even talking to the Trump administration. What do you make of this, Nikki? Is it all a waste of time?
Haley: Working toward peace is never a waste of time. We should all want peace, should all want a peace plan to be successful. I've seen the plan, it's well thought out, detailed, doable. It does things that would improve the lives of the Palestinians, but would not compromise the security of Israel.
The Trump administration has been courageous. We're not going to beg the Palestinians to come to the peace table, but it says a lot about the PA that they wouldn't want better for their own people. The Palestinians deserve better.
I think Arab community will see over time that they can't continue to babysit the Palestinians.
Dr. Adelson: If the Palestinians insist on rejecting the peace deal, what should Israel do? Should it declare that Judea and Samaria are its sovereign territory, like Jerusalem and the Golan Heights?
Haley: I think we should see how the peace plan plays out. We should be open minded. Jerusalem was stating a fact, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, no matter was Arab countries were telling their citizens, it's the truth. The Trump administration said, we have all our embassies in capitals. Jerusalem is capital, why would we not have our embassy there?
Now we have to see where the Palestinians are, this is a moment of truth for them. Do they want to continue living they way they are living, or see what opportunity could look like?
Dr. Adelson: Why is Israel mistreated and singled out at the UN? Why does the UN typically condemn Israel’s response to an attack, rather than the attack itself? Who are the ringleaders, and why do so many countries go along?
We won't allow this to happen anymore, there are too many issues in the Middle East we need to talk about. Over time, you saw other ambassadors start to do that. Arab countries realized after 1967 that they'd never defeat Israel. They did all they could, which was to go after Israel in the UN. Because of their wealth, the oil, they went to all the little countries and said, you need to vote with us.
Behind closed doors, a lot of those ambassadors respect Israel. There are so many that respect the strength and intelligence of Israel. We allowed them to stand up and not be alone.
My friend and partner Danny Danon was such an amazing ambassador at the UN.
Dr. Adelson: how can we fight back?
We call them out every time. The truth is always worth fighting for. Israel is the one bright spot in a really rough neighborhood. The better and stronger we make Israel, the safer we make the world.
Dr. Adelson: One of your achievements at the UN was to expose the lie behind the Palestinian refugee narrative – that the Palestinians count as "refugees" anyone whose parents, grand-parents or even great-grandparents were displaced in the 1948 war. Just so we’re clear: What is the true number of Palestinian refugees, as far as the United States is concerned?
Nikki Haley: The number of actual Palestinian refugees is classified. There are multiple people working to get it unclassified. I think we should, because it speaks to the truth of that scenario.
I looked into UNRWA and the Palestinian refugees. I wanted to find out what they did. What I found was an agency that didn't want to be told what to do. The way they count refugees is to say any Palestinian anywhere in the world is a refugee. They want to give it [refugee status] for generations going forward. The US has given the Palestinians $6 billion. We've done our part. But when we went toUNRWA and said, you should reform, they refuse.
When they wouldn't make the reforms we demanded, the president was courageous to say we wouldn't give any more. Why should we be more responsible for the Palestinians than the Arab world?
Dr. Adelson: Will there be war with Iran?
Haley: We don't want war. The president doesn't want war. Iran is the No. 1 threat we are facing. The Obama administration did not help. They went in thinking they could bring peace, but all they did after bringing in a planeful of money was spread war. Look at Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan. Iran's tentacles started going everywhere. The deal didn't work. The president was right to pull out - the Iranians were still testing ballistic missiles, still selling weapons, still supporting terrorism, and we were giving them money to do it. Defunding them slowed down the nuclear process, but it did not slow down their culture of hate. They're still saying 'Death to Israel,' 'Death to America.'"
Dr. Adelson: You're in the private sector, but we hope not for long. Is there any chance that you will announce, here and now, that you plan to run for president in 2024?
Haley: I think the air in Jerusalem brings clarity. I can say with great clarity that I know I'm too young to stop fighting. But I'm also very much enjoying private life. I will continue to be loud and proud about all the things that are important. 2024 is a long way away, and a year in politics is a lifetime. But I can say with clarity I will never stop fighting.
Dr. Adelson: You always protected Israel.
Haley: A lot of the strength the US is showing for Israel, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson played a very big part in.
Adelson: Is there a difference between what country representatives say and do publicly, and what they said to you privately, behind the scenes?
Haley: A couple of things. When the president issued the strikes on Syria following the chemical weapons attacks, ambassadors reached out and said, "It's so good to see the US lead again."
I think we're starting to see a shift, that countries are realizing we are blessed to have Israel in the Middle East, and even the Arab countries are starting to realize that. You can't destroy what God has blessed, and Israel is blessed.
Adelson: One of the iconic images of your time at the UN is the photo of you holding up your hand firmly as you voted No and thereby vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution that would have condemned America for moving its embassy to Jerusalem. What did that feel like? Why was the fight to move the embassy so difficult at the UN?
Haley: It was one of my proudest moments, that I could issue the veto. They were trying to veto our sovereign right. We had the right to put the embassy wherever we wanted. They were trying to humiliate the United States, and Israel, and in the end we both came out stronger.
Adelson: Thank you for joining us here, and thank you for being a real friend.
In major shift, Trump says time for U.S. to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan
Steve Holland, Matt Spetalnick5 MIN READ
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday it was time to back Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights that Israel seized from Syria in 1967, marking a dramatic shift in U.S. policy and giving a boost to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the middle of his re-election campaign.
FILE PHOTO: A couple look towards signs pointing out distances to different cities,at an observation post in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Recognition of the disputed area, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally, would mark a major shift in U.S. policy days before Netanyahu arrives in Washington to meet with Trump and address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, lobbying group.
Netanyahu has been pressing for the United States to recognize its claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and raised that possibility in his first White House meeting with Trump in February 2017.
Trump’s move on Thursday was his most overt yet to help Netanyahu, who faces an April 9 election and is locked in a closely contested race while battling corruption allegations, which he denies.
Netanyahu thanked Trump for the Golan Heights gesture.
“You’ve made history,” Netanyahu told Trump in a phone call after the announcement, according to the prime minister’s office.
Netanyahu had been expected to raise the issue again with Trump during his visit to Washington, an Israeli official said.
“At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump! @realDonaldTrump,” Netanyahu wrote in a tweet.
At the United Nations, a spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declined to comment on Trump’s decision.
A senior administration official said the president had been discussing his Golan move over the last few days with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, White House national security adviser John Bolton, senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt and U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
“Every single person was supportive of the idea,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
There was no clarity from the White House on when formal paperwork would be issued confirming Trump’s tweeted decision.
Slideshow (5 Images)Richard Haass, a former senior State Department official who is president of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in a tweet that he strongly disagreed with Trump’s Golan decision.
Haass said the move violates U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, “which rules out acquiring territory by war and serves Israel as it says all states have right 2 live in peace.”
The resolution, passed after the 1967 war, called for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied territories and guaranteed the right of countries in the region to live peacefully within secure and recognized borders.
J Street, a liberal Jewish-American lobbying group, criticized Trump’s action, saying that premature U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty of Golan is a needlessly provocative move that violates international law.
“It’s clear that this cynical move by Trump is not about the long-term interests of the U.S. or Israel, but rather about handing yet another political gift to Prime Minister Netanyahu in the hopes of boosting his chances for re-election next month,” said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami.
Trump’s announcement could complicate his administration’s plans to roll out its long-delayed Middle East peace plan after Israel’s election.
The plan, which has drawn widespread skepticism even before its unveiling, is intended not only to bring Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table but also draw Israel closer to its U.S.-allied Arab neighbors. Those states, however, have long rejected Israel’s annexation of the Golan.
Trump’s strong support for Israel has been a subject of debate in the United States. He called his Democratic opponents “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish” after the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a resolution this month that denounced bigotry of all kinds without rebuking Democratic U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar for allegedly anti-Semitic remarks.
Netanyahu had tried to take White House national security adviser Bolton to see the Golan Heights during a January visit, but bad weather forced cancellation of the trip.
The announcement could help Trump improve his standing in America’s pro-Israel camp, especially among his base of evangelical Christians, just ahead of next week’s annual convention in Washington of AIPAC, the nation’s most influential pro-Israel lobbying group. __________________________
Political rights in Palestine were granted to Jews only
Eli E. Hertz | December 14, 2018
The Mandate for Palestine a historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish legal right under international law to settle anywhere in western Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law.
At no point in the entire document, is there any granting of political rights to non-Jewish entities (i.e., Arabs) because political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs were guaranteed by the same League of Nations in four other mandates - in Lebanon and Syria - The French Mandate; Iraq, and later Trans-Jordan - The British Mandate
51 member countries - the entire League of Nations (today the United Nations) - unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:
"Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "Mandate for Palestine":
"Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected." [Italics in the original]
Watergen USA President Yehuda Kaploun discusses why his company opened a new plant in the U.S. and how the Israeli company uses technology to produce water from thin air.
Oct 29, 2018
As you are no doubt already sadly aware, this morning an obviously deranged gunman shouting “All Jews must die!” opened fire on a Jewish congregation gathered to celebrate Shabbat at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
As of this hour, national media is reporting eleven innocent people dead, multiple more injured in a scene of carnage being described by even the most weathered EMS responders as “horrific.”
This despicable, cowardly attack comes as Israel struggles to defend herself from continued terrorist rocket fire from Gaza. Today’s news is a painful reminder that anti-Semitism -- which one writer called "the longest and deepest hatred of human history" -- is alive and well, and not just in the Middle East, but in the U.S., and throughout the world.
I am deeply angered by this act today against our Jewish brethren. As deeply, I am profoundly grateful that because of you, PJTN exists to combat the hatred of anti-Semitism – not just when the news cycle screams the horror of stories such as the one from Pittsburgh. We are here on the frontlines 24/7-365—to motivate, activate and educate against the dark seeds of hatred such as we are witnessing today.
For a time such as this, PJTN exists to turn back the tides of anti-Semitism. As Christians, Jews and people of conscience, we today link arms and join hands and hearts as “family.”
PJTN family—major donors and “Watchmen”-- please join me in prayer today that God will comfort the loved ones of those killed and injured in Pittsburgh. Pray for the Jewish community of Pittsburgh and throughout America. Pray for protection for the people of Israel, who live daily with the threat of attacks from terrorists bent on destroying the Jewish state. And pray for the day when hateful anti-Semitism will be no more, and God will bless His people with His most precious gift -- the gift of shalom, peace.
Support PJTN's MissionBlessings,
President/Proclaiming Justice to The Nations
Avi Lipkin: Bless Israel August 14, 2018
Author and lecturer Avi Lipkin discusses the implications of the Israeli government’s recognition of his political party, the Bible Bloc, which he describes as a new Judeo-Christian alliance.
Analysis: The coming warThere is a feeling of calm before the storm here in Israel.
Yochanan Visser, 09/03/18 00:39
Yochanan Visser is an independent journalist/analyst who worked for many years as Middle East correspondent for Western Journalism.com in Arizona and was a frequent publicist for the main Dutch paper De Volkskrant. He authored a book in the Dutch language about the cognitive war against Israel and now lives in Gush Etzion. He writes a twice weekly analysis of current issues for Arutz Sheva
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has changed his time schedule for the destruction of Israel and at the beginning of March promised a Sunni Syrian religious scholar he would lead prayers in Jerusalem fairly soon.
His words are not merely rhetoric since the Iranians are making rapid progress in preparations for a concerted effort to destroy the Jewish state via its proxies in Lebanon, Syria and the territories controlled by the PA and Hamas.
During a meeting with Muhammad Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyid, the Syrian Minister of religious affairs and Syrian religious scholars, Khamenei promised al-Sayyid he would see the day that he would be able “to lead prayers in al-Quds” (Jerusalem).
“I hope that you and we will see the day when you are conducting public prayers in Quds, God willing. We believe that that day will come. It is possible that this humble person and people like us will not be living on that day, but it will come eventually and it will not come late,” according to Khamenei
Severeal years ago, the Iranian dictator said Israel would be erased from the face of earth within 25 years.
During the meeting with the Syrian scholars Khamenei elevated the status of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad whom he praised for being "a great example of resistance and a fighting image.”
Calling al-Assad an “example” for the resistance movement – the loose coalition of terrorist movements and rogue regimes fighting Israel- is another indication Iran and its allies in Syria are shifting their focus toward Israel now that the Russian-supported Iranian axis is on the verge of victory in the seven-year-old Syrian war.
The pro-Assad coalition of Shiite militias who make up the bulk of the Syrian army today is currently eliminating the last hubs of Islamist rebels in eastern Ghouta near Damascus and in the northern province Idlib in Syria.
At the same time Iran is continuing to build the military infrastructure which will be needed in the coming confrontation with the IDF.
A recent New York Times report indicated the Islamic Republic is building missile facilities and military bases in Syria while bringing its proxies closer to the Israeli border.
In addition, Fox News reported last week Iran is building big missile silos on a military base near Damascus.
Fox News obtained images of the base from ImageSat International which showed the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had built two hangars for missiles which can hit Israel anywhere.
A similar base was destroyed by Israel during the first direct confrontation between the IAF and the IRGC on February 10, 2018.
This week Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force, said Iran has tripled its missile production despite international efforts to curb the program.
Hajizadeh scoffed at Israel and other Western powers such as France for their “hypocrisy” in trying to stop further expansion of the Iranian missile program.
France is leading the effort to reduce the threat from Iranian missiles, however, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian failed to book progress while visiting Iran at the beginning of this week.
Another indication both Israel and Iran are preparing for war is detectable in Lebanon.
Last week, Joseph Aoun, the commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), told reporters the Lebanese army is ready for a new conflict with Israel if the IDF encroaches further on the border of Lebanon.
Aoun’s threat was related to mounting tensions between Lebanon and Israel over additional security measures the IDF is currently undertaking near the Lebanese border and a dispute over a gas field which straddles the maritime border between the two countries.
A former Syrian general who headed the chemical weapons program of Assad’s army this week disclosed Iran and Syria have supplied chemical weapons to Hezbollah.
Suhair al-Saqit told the Hebreeuw paper Maariv the chemical warheads in Hezbollah’s possession are produced in Syria.
He also said Assad had transferred a large part of his chemical weapons stockpile to Hezbollah ahead of international inspections which took place after Assad gassed thousands of Syrian civilians during the first period of the Syrian civil war.
Fox News furthermore, reported a new UN investigation revealed North Korea has delivered new chemical weapons to Syria and that satellite images showed North Korean engineers are working on chemical weapons facilities in Syria.
Republican senator Lindsey Graham who visited Israel last week said he had become increasingly worried about the Iranian threat to Israel after he visited the borders between Israel, Lebanon and Syria.
“It’s far worse than I thought it would be,” Graham said before reporting he had seen Hezbollah and Syrian army flags very close to the Israeli border on the Golan Heights.
“Southern Lebanon is a nightmare, it makes Gaza looking stable” Graham said before adding “Israel is in a no-win situation.”
He was referring to the approx. 130,000 missiles pointing at Israel from Lebanon.
Graham could have added that the Lebanese army has been turned into an ally of Hezbollah with U.S. support as columnist Caroline Glick reported this week.
Glick also wrote the presence of UNIFIL in southern Lebanon has been rendered useless against Hezbollah’s growing threat against Israel because the LAF is blocking UNIFIL from carrying out its mandate as a peace keeping force.
Israel on the other hand, is increasingly carrying out reconnaissance missions in Lebanon.
The Lebanese army almost daily reports violations of Lebanese airspace by IAF warplanes and drones while the Israeli navy briefly entered Lebanese territorial waters this week.
“There is a feeling of calm before the storm here in Israel,” blogger Vic Rosenthal wrote this week adding that the “coming war” will probably be the “toughest in Israel’s history.”
Iran and its proxies are expected to lob more than 1,000 missiles a day at Israel from at least three fronts in this ‘coming war’ as many observers, politicians and IDF officers in Israel call it.
These three fronts are Lebanon, Gaza and Syria and it is expected Israel’s various anti-missile shields will be unable to cope with this amount of missiles.
This is why some observers now think the time has come to take preemptive action against the Iranian threat on the lines of what happened in 1967 at the outset of the Six-Day-War when the IAF destroyed almost all Egyptian and Syrian warplanes before the war actually began.
“Israel is exceptionally vulnerable to attack by precision weapons, as on the one hand it is an advanced Western country dependent on sophisticated technologies, and on the other it is small, with very concentrated infrastructures and very little redundancy,” two IAF veterans wrote in a study last year.
They could have added that the bulk of Israel’s population is living in areas in the center of country and the Iranians have already warned they would flatten Tel Aviv and its suburbs in the Gush Dan area.
All the above are the reasons Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu spoke in apocalyptic terms regarding the increasing Iranian threat to Israel when he held a speech at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in the U.S.
“We must stop Iran. We will stop Iran,” Netanyahu vowed.
Hallelujah! Trump Will Recognize Jerusalem as Capital of Israel Wednesday, Begin Moving Embassy
Thomas Coex / AFP / Getty
by MICHELLE MOONS
5 Dec 2017Washington, DC
President Donald Trump will announce Wednesday that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and that the State Department will begin a process to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.Trump will first announce that the “United States government recognizes that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” according to one of three senior administration officials who spoke with reporters on Tuesday.
The officials conveyed that the change is a recognition of “reality” — both the historic reality that Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people and the Jewish faith since ancient times; and the modern reality that the city is the seat of government for Israel, housing its legislature, supreme court, prime minister, and executive agencies.
Second, Trump will direct the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. One official explained that the directive to the State Department requires it to develop a plan for this “with a minimum additional burden on taxpayers.” It was noted that there are approximately 1,000 personnel in Tel Aviv, and that it would take some time to find an appropriate site in Jerusalem. One official stated that despite hopes for an immediate move, it was a “practical impossibility to move the embassy tomorrow.”
“It will take some time to find a site, address security concerns, design a new facility, fund a new facility…[and] build it,” said one of the senior officials.
The official went on to address the issue of the semi-annual presidential waiver that has allowed presidents to delay moving the embassy over the past 22 years and several administrations of both parties. The deadline to sign the waiver passed on Monday night; however, the official stated that President Trump will sign a new waiver as the process begins to move the embassy “in order to avoid fairly significant cuts to State Department’s funding that the law requires as a consequence.” One official stated that Trump will sign the waiver each six months until the embassy is opened.
Officials emphasized that the President would not specify a timeline for completing and opening the embassy, and explained that it would take years, not months.
When later pressed on a timeframe, one official said that he expected it would take no less than three to four years, as other U.S. embassies have taken at least that long to move. One remarked that the ongoing relocation of the U.S. embassy in London took eight years.
Pressed on whether the embassy would be moved within Trump’s current presidential term so that a potential subsequent administration could not overturn Trump’s decision, one official replied, “As a practical matter, no embassy is constructed today anywhere in the world in shorter than three to four years. No embassy.”
The official dismissed the possibility that a subsequent president could reverse the decision, adding that updates would be provided on progress toward planning, funding, and building a new embassy.
One read a statement declaring that Trump is fulfilling a major campaign promise by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He added that a number of previous presidential candidates had made the same promise but had declined to fulfill it. The official further stated that the move has broad bipartisan support in Congress, with the legislative body voting for the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 10 successive congresses. The Act was first passed in 1995.
In response to questions about whether Trump’s decision would set back negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, an official said: “Delaying the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has done nothing to achieve peace for more than two decades.”
Officials were also at pains to emphasize that no other issue would be affected by the new policy. Trump is “prepared to support a two-state solution to the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians if agreed to by the two parties,” the official stated. “President Trump also recognizes the specific boundaries in Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations of such an agreement.”
“President Trump reaffirms support for the status quo at the Temple Mount, Haram esh-Sharif,” the official continued.
The decision-making process had involved the President, the Cabinet and department principals. “This was a collaborative U.S. government position,” said one official later, in response to reporters’ questions.
Reporters were also told that “departments and agencies have developed a robust security plan” to ensure the safety of U.S. citizens and assets in case of violent protests against Trump’s decisions.
One official stated emphatically that President Trump has had “very detailed” discussions with Middle East leaders about his decisions on Jerusalem, and reiterated a strong commitment to peace.
President Trump will make his announcements at 1pm ET from the White House on Wednesday afternoon.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana
Sunni Arab States Will Abandon Israel as US Abandoned the Kurds, Leading Israeli National Security Analyst Warns
by Ben Cohen
Israelis demonstrate in solidarity with Iraqi Kurds in Tel Aviv in 2015. Photo: Twitter
One of Israel’s leading national security analysts has urged caution in assessing a potential alliance between the Jewish state and the conservative Sunni Arab countries, pointing to the recent abandonment of the Kurds by the international community as a sobering reminder that perceived national interests invariably trump other values like loyalty and shared security.
“[L]et us suppose the Iranian threat disappears because Israel launches a successful attack on Tehran’s nuclear facilities,” wrote Lt. Col. (Res) Mordechai Kedar in a briefing for Israel’s Begin-Sadat Center for Security Studies (BESA). “As a result, war breaks out between Israel and Iran (including Hezbollah), Israel sacrifices hundreds of soldiers and civilians – and the Iranian problem ceases to exist. Will the Arab and Western worlds be grateful to Israel and act to protect its interests?”
“The answer is simple: look to the Kurds,” Kedar – an expert on Syria who spent 25 years with IDF military intelligence – continued. “What happened to them will happen to Israel,” he said, in a reference to last month’s onslaught on Kurdish-held areas by Iranian-backed and Iraqi government forces following the September 25 referendum in which 93 percent of Kurdish voters opted for independence.
“The Kurds fought ISIS, sacrificed their soldiers and people, and were thrown to the wolves once they had outlived their usefulness,” Kedar asserted. “That is exactly what will happen to Israel once it saves the Arab states from the Iranian threat. And why not? The immediate interests of each state, not the moral rights of the Kurds and the Israelis, are what make the world go round.”
“The Kurds expected the world, headed by the US, to stand behind them once ISIS was defeated, remembering their great contribution to that defeat and supporting their demand for independence,” he noted. “Those hopes were dashed very quickly.”
Revived concern over the prospect of a new war with Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border and the escalation of a bitter of war of words between the Saudi and Iranian regimes have fueled the expectation that Saudi Arabia and its allies and Israel will end their historic enmity. On Thursday, Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman described Iran’s “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as “the new Hitler of the Middle East” – echoing the language used by many Israeli and Jewish leaders in their responses to Iran’s frequent threats to eliminate Israel.
“Israel may indeed be the darling of the ‘moderate Sunni axis’ – for as long as there is an Iranian threat,” Kedar wrote. “Once that is gone, the possible fracturing of Iran into ethnic components (on the lines of the former USSR, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia) will obviate the need for good relations with Israel. For this reason, Israel would do well not to give up land for a piece of paper with the word ‘peace’ stamped on it. That paper can easily fly away in the desert wind while the words on it fade in the blazing Middle Eastern sun.”
Kedar argued that in addition to the Kurdish experience, Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan provided “two unassailable confirmations” of the perils of an alliance of short-term convenience.
“The [Egypt-Israel] peace treaty did not stand in [former Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak’s way when he allowed Hamas and its supporters to smuggle arms from Sinai to Gaza,” he wrote. “It was in Mubarak’s interest to bring about a war between Israel and Hamas, because it allowed Israel to do Egypt’s dirty work with the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood (Hamas). As soon as Sinai became a haven of jihadism and began fighting Egypt, the weapons smuggling from Sinai to Gaza ceased abruptly. In short, the peace between Israel and Egypt exists so long as it suits Egyptian interests.”
On Jordan, Kedar said that “King Abdullah II changed his father’s [the late King Hussein] policies and is a strong backer of the idea of a Palestinian state in the West Bank with its capital in East Jerusalem. He acts against Israel in every international forum, as if he were one of its greatest enemies. He relates to the peace treaty as an agreement to refrain from war and no more, while enjoying its attendant economic benefits.”
Palestinian Authority Paid Over $1 Billion to Terrorists in 4 Years
May 28, 2017
The PA uses seven percent of its budget and an equivalent to 20 percent of its annual foreign aid to encourage terrorism.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) issued payments to terrorists and their families totaling more than $1 billion over a four-year period, according to a recent study by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The sum accounts for seven percent of the PA’s budget and is equivalent to 20 percent of the foreign aid the PA receives annually.
The payments are written into PA law, which declares that the prisoners, who are convicted of security offenses and acts of terrorism, are “a fighting sector and an integral part of the weave of Arab Palestinian society,” and guarantees “the financial rights of the prisoner and his family.” Prisoners consequently receive a significant payment while incarcerated, as well as jobs or salaries upon their release. The time they served behind bars also counts toward their seniority in PA institutions.
A prisoner who completed a five-year sentence or longer is entitled to a civil service job in the PA. As longer sentences result in greater authority and better pay, it means that Palestinians incarcerated for more serious crimes, including terror, are rewarded more generously.
The PA’s 2016 budget allocated 488.4 million shekels (about $128 million) for salaries to imprisoned terrorists and released prisoners, according to the report. In addition, payments to families of “martyrs” — which include Palestinians killed while carrying out terror attacks — totaled 663.6 million shekels (about $175 million). Overall, the PA paid 1.152 billion shekels (about $303 million) in terror related payments in 2016.
“This equals about seven percent of the overall budget and almost 30 percent of the projected foreign aid, most of which goes to the general budget,” the report stated. “2.925 billion shekels out of the 3.881 billion in foreign aid go to the general budget and salaries to terrorists and families amount to almost 40 percent of the aid directed to the general budget.”
The PA’s budgets for 2013 to 2016 each allocated over $270 million in payments for terrorists and their families, according to the research presented in the paper.
In order to escape growing criticism of the practice, the PA ended direct payments to terrorists and their families in 2010 and instead began sending the funds to the PLO, which distributes the funds to their intended recipients.
Terrorism as a Legitimate Act of ResistanceEarlier this month, Nabil Shaath, an advisor to PA head Mahmoud Abbas, defied President Donald Trump’s call to end the payments to terrorists, calling the notion “insane.”
Despite Shaath’s dismissal, Trump reiterated his disapproval of the practice during his joint appearance with Abbas in Bethlehem on Tuesday. “Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded, and even rewarded,” he said.
The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board argued in November of last year that payments to Palestinian terrorists “are an official incentive program for murder that in any other context would be recognized as state sponsorship of terror.”
Eli Lake wrote in Bloomberg View in July, 2016, that offering salaries to Palestinians who kill Israelis “encourages” terror attacks “as a legitimate act of resistance.”
The subject of payments to terrorists came to the fore in Britain in March 2016 after The Mail on Sunday published an exposé showing that the PA paid generous salaries to a number of convicted Palestinian terrorists. That report, as well as another released by Israel Radio, was based on research done by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a nonprofit that has documented how the PA incentivizes terror since 2011.
A 2014 report in The Telegraph showed that the PA used over $90 million in British foreign aid to pay convicted terrorists in 2013. This equaled around 16 percent of all foreign aid payments to the PA.
By: The Tower
VIDEO: Prime Minister of Israel Denounces New York Times for ‘Fake News’ May 14, 2017
by Pamela GellerBenjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, called out the New York Times in a recent public remark for putting forward reports along the standard of fake news.
His scathing assessment came via a YouTube video.
Bibi was speaking of an Algemeiner report that faulted the New York Times for its coverage of Hamas. In a May 2 headline, Algemeiner wrote: “new York Times Touts Hamas ‘Moderation,’ Ignores ‘Truly Disgusting’ Video in Which Group Taunts Bereaved Israeli Parents.”
Netanyahy scolded the New York Times — to say the least.
“Netanyahu’s video, published May 7, features the prime minister asking, ‘Ever wonder what fake news is?’
“Netanyahu took the Times to task for its headline touting purported “moderation” by the Hamas terrorist group.
“‘This is a complete distortion of the truth,’ the prime minister says in the video.
“‘Is moving from calling for genocide of all Jews everywhere to calling just for the annihilation of Israel, is that progress, or moderation?’ Netanyahu asks rhetorically. Then he answers his own question: ‘Only if you have no standards whatsoever.’
“‘It’s bad enough that Hamas lies to the world, we don’t also have to lie to ourselves,’ he says.
“The Times, which hyped the so-called Hamas moderation at the top of its front page, buried the news of the Netanyahu video in a single sentence in the 16th paragraph of an article complaining about a reorganization of Israel’s public broadcasting. The article itself appeared inside the newspaper, not on the front page.”
On top of that, the New York Times failed to provide a hyperlink so that readers could view the video themselves, Algemeiner reported.
Why does US consulate in Jerusalem refuse to hire Jews?'
Open letter to members of Senate Foreign Relations Committee notes US Jerusalem consulate seems to completely ignore Jewish population.Contact Editor
Daniel Winston , 21/02/17 11:46
Dear Senators Graham, Corker, Cotton, Paul, and Rubio,
I am a US citizen living in Israel. Over the past decades I have had numerous occasions to utilize the services of the US Consulate in Jerusalem. In all those years, I have observed that I have never seen a Jewish Israeli at any of the various service points where consular staff interact with the public.
All such staff are either from the US or local Arab staffers. Not only is this consistently the case at all consular services inside the consulate, but also it can be seen, shockingly, that even the security staff are often Arabs. I can assure you that there is no shortage of qualified Jewish Israelis who could fill such consular positions - and so the question is begged: is the US State Department systematically choosing, over the course of decades, to not hire Jewish Israelis, while singularly preferring all local staffers to be selected from the Arab population?
The second matter is different but definitely potentially connected to my first query. A perusal of consular activities as reflected on the official website shows that all programming efforts are geared towards and in concert with local Arab populations in eastern Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.
There is not a single mention of any cultural, political, educational, business, or any other consular activities or programming on behalf of or in cooperation with the Jewish residents of these areas. Further to this observation, State Department Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) grants in this area appear to be given only to either Arab grantees or to organizations that work to promote Arab civic, business, cultural, and other agendas in the region.
Again, these observations beg the question: Is the US State Department systematically and systemically singling out one local population for preferential treatment to the complete exclusion of another population?
I sent these queries (twice) to the Jerusalem Consulate, and have received no reply after several weeks.
Obama and the UN Betrayed Israel today.
December 23, 2016
ORLANDO, FL - Today the UN Security Council passed a resolution betraying Israel by condemning the building of homes and businesses within its borders. Fourteen of the 15 nations approved it and the United States-refusing to veto it-abstained. Advisers denied accusations that Obama was working behind the scenes to support and push this measure, but the fact that the Obama administration abstained from voting speaks volumes. This resolution will embolden terrorists and encourage violence and bloodshed in the Middle East.
This resolution was brought yesterday by Egypt, but then dropped after President-elect Trump called Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, according to reports. However, four countries - New Zealand, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal - pushed ahead with the vote. President-elect Trump actively opposed this resolution. His pick for Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, publicly supports Israeli Jews having the right to develop their own land.
"In the last 27 days of his term Obama dishonored America's strong support of Israel, insulted Jews and Christians by his shameful act on Hanukkah and the eve of Christmas, and shook his fist at the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," said Mat Staver, President of Christians in Defense of Israel and Covenant Journey. "This pitiful and toothless resolution of the U.N. Security Council will accomplish nothing but focus our resolve to clip the wings of this albatross that has long outlived its usefulness. America should defund this bureaucratic theater of the absurd," said Staver.
"On January 20 there will be a new president who will embody our resolve to stand with Israel. In 2017, we will work hard to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, the eternal and undivided capital of Israel. Make no mistake, our resolve is stronger than ever. Every nation that has come against Israel is no more; yet Israel survives and thrives. Like rebellious nations that have long since been forgotten, Obama's parting legacy will soon be no more. We will stand with Israel and erase the memory of today's betrayal," said Staver.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics. Liberty Counsel's affiliate ministries, Covenant Journey, provides a life changing opportunity to Christian college students to experience Israel and strengthen their faith, and Christians in Defense of Israel, encourages Christians to stand in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and sisters and the nation of Israel.
SPECIAL UN ENVOY CRITICIZES BAN KI MOON FOR CONDEMNING ISRAEL WHILE IGNORING THE BLOODTHIRSTY MURDER OF AN ISRAELI CHILD
LAURIE CARDOZA MOORE: "THE UNITED NATION'S DESPICABLE MORAL EQUIVALENCE AND LINKAGE BETWEEN JEWISH BUILDING AND ISLAMIST TERRORISM MUST END!"
Nashville, Tennessee (7/6/2016) - Laurie Cardoza-Moore, Special Envoy to the United Nations for the World Council of Independent Christian Churches (WCICC) and President of Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN), expressed extreme criticism of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for his condemnation of Israel for building in Jerusalem while the Palestinian Authority continues to publicly incite violence and celebrate the death of Israelis.
This week, Ban Ki-Moon urged Israel to 'halt and reverse' a plan for hundreds of new homes. Ban stated that "settlements are illegal under international law" and called on the Israeli government to "halt and reverse such decisions in the interest of peace and a just final status agreement."
Laurie Cardoza-Moore stated, "The people of Israel are forced to endure brutal bloodthirsty attacks by Islamic terrorists almost daily while the Secretary-General of the United Nations remains silent. But as soon as Israelis build homes for their citizens, then the Secretary General finds the time to condemn Jewish building in Jerusalem. Must I remind the Secretary-General that the people of Israel's historical connection to Jerusalem goes back to Biblical times. Despite 1,300 years of Muslim Arab rule, Jerusalem was never the capital of an Arab entity. In fact, the PLO's National Covenant, written in 1964 never mentioned Jerusalem. However, in the Bible, Jerusalem is mentioned almost 700 times. If Jews cannot build in their own capital city, then where on earth can they build, Mr. Secretary General?"
She continued: "The United Nations was established to safeguard the rights of the persecuted and downtrodden people in the shadow of the holocaust. Instead of fulfilling its own mission it has become a hotbed of anti-Semitism. There can be no justification for stabbing a thirteen-year old Israeli girl to death as she slept in her bed. The United Nation's despicable moral equivalence and incitement by the UN between Jewish building and Islamist terrorism has to end. In the words of the late German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 'Silence in the face of evil, is evil itself: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."
Media Contact for Laurie Cardoza-Moore:
International Sr. Media Advisor
U.S./Christian Media Advisor
(615) 646-5990 - Direct
For more info visit www.pjtn.org
THURSDAY, JUNE 9TH | 3 SIVAN
Eyewitness to Tel Aviv Terror Carnage Recalls Seeing Uneaten Birthday Cakes Next to Pools of Blood
JUNE 8, 2016 4:32 PM
Author: Ruthie Blum
An eyewitness at the scene of Wednesday night’s Palestinian terror attack in Tel Aviv — which left four people dead and five wounded — recalled seeing “uneaten birthday cakes next to pools of blood.”
The shocking testimony was conveyed to Israel’s Channel 2by Likud MK Amir Ohana, who arrived in the area soon after he heard about the incident.
The attack, which took place at the Sarona compound – an outdoor mall consisting of shops, galleries and restaurants – across from the Kirya military headquarters.
Another witness at the scene, an Arab, said he had seen the two men, dressed in black suits and sitting at a table at the upscale Max Brenner chocolate shop/café. He said he immediately recognized them as Arabs.
A young woman who was also at Max Brenner when the terrorists began their attack told Israel’s Channel 2, “We were sitting at a table, and suddenly somebody was standing across from me and there was gunfire everywhere. We didn’t know what to do. Everybody was screaming, and began to run away. We escaped from the restaurant, but outside everybody was also trying to find a place to hide.”
Another young woman who witnessed the attack said, “Everyone was hysterical. People were shouting, ‘Terrorist! Terrorist!’ People were crying; some fainted.”
According to Channel 2, the two terrorists, one of whom is being treated for moderate wounds at the Ichilov Medical Center alongside his victims, hail from a city in the southern Hebron hills.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismayil Haniyeh tweeted about the attack, showing a photo of one of the neutralized terrorists, and calling him a “hero.”
Land Day, the mirror reflecting the failed mirage of ‘Palestine’ The demonstrations and protests that take place on March 30 in Israel are the cover up for the dismal failure of those who call themselves “Palestinians” to form a collective national entity.
By Mordechai Kedar, INN
These lines are being penned on the eve of March 30th, referred to as “Land Day” on the calendar of Arabs who have Israeli citizenship, and also by the Arabs living in Gaza, Judea and Samaria – in memory of six of their brothers killed in violent demonstrations that erupted on that date forty years ago as a result of the Israeli government’s land appropriation in the Galilee. “Land Day” is commemorated every year at public events, but those land appropriations have long been consigned to the realm of vague memories and the public events are mainly an opportunity to raise a long list of condemnations aimed at the State of Israel.
The real truth, however, is that this day personifies the crux of the Palestinian tragedy, namely, the lack of a common goal for all those who are called “Palestinians.”
The four main groups of Palestinian Arabs, described below, are the proof of the pudding.
The first group, the Arabs who live in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, the areas they call “Occupied Territories,” have failed at defining their common goal, and therefore have no chance of realizing it.
Is their goal to drive Israel out of the lands it freed from Jordanian and Egyptian occupation in 1967 and establish one state on these lands despite the lack of territorial contiguity between Gaza on the one side and Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”) on the other?
Alternately, is the goal to erase the Jewish State, the 1948 “Occupation” recognized by the UN, in order to establish the State of Palestine on the area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean?
And how can they merge the two main political forces, PLO and Hamas, nine years after Hamas established a state in Gaza and has no intentions of giving up its political gains, despite the fact that officially Gaza is ruled by the PLO?
The lack of answers to these questions leads to a lack of a collective consciousness, lack of the feeling of peoplehood among the residents of these areas, and paralyzes every attempt to make headway in peace negotiations with Israel.
The second group is something else entirely and consists of the residents of cities and villages in northern Jordan, who call themselves “Palestinians” only to prevent their being called “Jordanians.” The reason behind this phenomenon is that in 1921 Great Britain called the area in which the Transjordan Emirates and later on the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan were established by the name “Palestine.” The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was, however, based on a coalition of Bedouin tribes and the Emir Abdullah son of Sharif Hussein from Mecca. Those northern city and town dwellers did not want to be identified with the Bedouin, whom they considered lower on the cultural scale, so they refuse to be called “Jordanians” and continue to call themselves “Palestinians.” They are Jordanian citizens and do not want to be part of any other country, not even a “Palestinian State,” if that should ever become a reality.
Then we have the third group, the Arab citizens of Israel, called “internal Arabs” (meaning that they live within pre 1967 Israel) or “1948 Arabs” by those who want to avoid mentioning that they are Israeli citizens. They are full citizens of the democratic and liberal state of Israel, with civil rights identical to those of Jewish citizens. They are divided religiously, some are Muslim, others are Druze, Christian, Alawite or Ahmadi, which is the reason they have no feeling of a united people.
They are also divided on a tribal basis (“hamoulot”), and the administration of their towns and villages reflects the tribal culture deeply ingrained in the entire Middle East. Despite the fact that some call themselves “Palestinians,” they do not want to relinquish Israeli citizenship and have no desire to join a Palestinian State, should one arise.
For the last five years, as they observe the catastrophe that befell the Arab world during the so-called “Arab Spring,” they have come to understand that Israel is the preferred option, not out of love – they certainly don’t love Israel – but because life is tranquil and calm there, in contrast to all the Arab countries except for the Persian Gulf Emirates.
A considerable number find it hard to live with the strange situation that makes Israel preferable to Arab countries, and that frustration is given an outlet when they badmouth the Jewish state, as can be seen in the recent behavior and extreme statements of some Arab MKs.
This brings us to the fourth group, the “refugees” living in camps since 1948, in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Judea, Samaria and Gaza. This group is divided according to the countries and regions in which the refugee camps are located. They are called “Palestinian refugees” because they fled the battles going on in the British Mandate areas west of the Jordan up until May 14,1948, and in newly-established Israel from May 15 of that year, mainly because of the large-scale invasion of Arab armies on May 16th.
Most of them were not native residents but migrant workers who came from the entire Middle East in the first half of the twentieth century to find employment, created by the growing Jewish population. When they fled the war, the Arab League decided not to absorb them in the countries to which they had fled, but to keep them in camps so as to demand their return to Israel – for the purpose of destroying the Jewish state culturally and demographically.
Israel has succeeded in the exact places in which they have failed, its existence is the mirror that reflects their failure – and that is why they hate it.
What is odd is that even in what is called “Palestinian” territory, there are camps of “refugees” from “Palestine” – the question that arises is, of course, how a person can be a refugee in his own land. And the answer lies in tribal culture, as these people are considered strangers from another tribe who fled their homes for whatever reason and settled near the established local tribes dwelling in the area. They are seen as “not one of us” by the locals, even if they are, like them, also “Palestinians.” This is proof of the lack of collective consciousness among “Palestinians.”
Up until 2011, about 400,000 “Palestinian refugees” lived in several camps in Syria. These were destroyed in the civil war raging there and most of the residents of those camps are dispersed in Jordan, Lebanon, Europe and the USA. Lebanese law contains a long list of occupations that are off-limits to these refugees, aimed at keeping them from becoming part of the social fabric of this crisis-laden nation. They did receive citizenship in Jordan, but are considered third class.
In other words, this fourth group known as “Palestinian refugees” is not in possession of a common goal, excepting the desire to return to the state of Israel, not to a Palestinian state if that comes to pass, but to a state that is neither Arab, nor Muslim or “Palestinian.” This group, too, has no “vision” of a “Palestinian” nature.
Most of the “Palestinians” who migrated to Europe, the US and other parts of the world, have settled in those lands and lost their Palestinian identity and their feeling of belonging in the Middle East in general. Very few still want to return to “Palestine,” that is, the State of Israel.
All this brings us to the conclusion that the Palestinian dream to establish a collective consciousness has failed, while the differing agendas of the groups called “Palestinians” make it impossible that a political entity could ever be established for them all. On Land Day, they are really mourning their collective failure to present a united plan, one goal, anything that allows the building of an attainable, defined and joint future.
The abyss that separates the “Palestinian dream” from the divided and crumbling reality on the ground is what brings them out to the street to demonstrate. They are really protesting the unbelievable success of the Jewish People’s Zionist venture, that of a people who came as refugees from all over the world, a venture that succeeded despite the fact that some of them came from the crematoria of a Europe in ruins, despite the differences between them and in spite of the wars they faced. The Jewish people built a flourishing state, a thriving democracy and a prospering economy and this success gives rise to jealousy that breeds hatred on their part and on the part of the entire Arab world.
Israel has succeeded in the exact places in which they have failed, its existence is the mirror that reflects their failure – and that is why they hate it, that is why they want to get rid of it, that is why they fight and protest against it in Europe, the USA, the Arab World and even within the Jewish State. This is especially evident on March 30th, the “Land Day” that settles over the dream they cultivated for years, a dream whose fulfillment gets farther and farther away every day because of their collective failure to create a “Palestinian nation” with one common goal.
Written for Arutz Sheva, translated from Hebrew by Rochel Sylvetsky, Arutz Sheva Op-ed and Judaism editor.
Israel Defense Forces:
Iron Dome Missile Defense SystemIDF:
The Iron Dome missile defense system, designed and developed by Israel and jointly funded through the United States, is a response to the threats Israel faces from short and medium-range rockets and mortar shells fired by Palestinian terrorists inGaza. The system has the capability to identify and destroy such projectiles before they land in Israeli territory and is considered one of the most effective anti-missile systems in the world.
IDF Soldiers man an Iron Dome battery
Iron Dome is comprised of three key components:
(1) the design and tracking radar, built by the Elta defense company;
(2) the battle management and weapon control system, designed by the mPrest Systems software company; and,
(3) the missile firing unit, manufactured by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.
One of the most advanced features of Iron Dome is its capability to determine where an incoming rocket will land and to only intercept such projectiles that pose meaningful threats to populated civilian areas.
Analysis: The true history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the ‘Nakba’
May 19, 2019
A truck owned by Jews that was attacked by Arabs in 1948 on the main road to Jerusalem. (Wikipedia)
Firebomb Destroys Daystar's Jerusalem Studio
3:20PM EDT 5/20/2019 CHRIS MITCHELL/CBN NEWS
Some of the damage (Daystar/CBN News)This story has been updated from its original version with more information from Daystar.
The Jerusalem studio of Daystar, one of the largest Christian networks in the world, was firebombed over the weekend. The attack destroyed Daystar's new studio, but the network plans to rebuild.
The fire began early Saturday morning when an arsonist threw a firebomb into the facility.
According to a Daystar press release, around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday morning in Israel, security cameras revealed that an arsonist set fire to the roof before escaping by rope and fleeing the scene on foot.
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"You can't silence the life-changing truth of the gospel," said Marcus Lamb, founder and president of Daystar Television Network. "From the ashes of this tragedy, we will rise up with help from our partners around the globe and continue reaching across Israel to share God's love and forgiveness. My prayer is that this message touches the person responsible for this incident and he embraces the hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ."
Daystar was in the midst of a major renovation and upgrade of its studio here in Jerusalem overlooking Mount Zion and the Mount of Olives. The fire destroyed the new work and much of the existing facility.
"The control room, I would say, is probably totally devastated," Dave Sharett, the contractor overseeing the renovations told CBN News. "The controls actually start here with the electric panel, the main electric panel and anything plastic is totally melted."
"It was a beautiful like living-room setup, real casual setup, nice chairs, stools, tables. Nothing survived. If it didn't burn, it melted," he added.
Sharett showed CBN News the destruction. "This is where we filmed from," he said while motioning towards the studio. "There were four cameras be back in this area here. And Marcus and Joni and their interviewee would be sitting here and then you would have this fabulous view behind them."
In 2006, Daystar become the only full-time Christian television network to broadcast to nearly every home in the nation of Israel through HOT cable and YES DTH satellite. Through the support of their partners, the network then purchased and renovated the now destroyed studio in the Abu Tor neighborhood of Jerusalem overlooking the Temple Mount. And with plans to broadcast there live in less than two weeks, other Christian ministries have reached out in a show of solidarity to offer the use of their facilities.
Marcus and Joni Lamb dedicated the Daystar Jerusalem studio in October of 2009.
"In the wake of this disaster, I'm humbled by outpouring of support from our partners and other ministries," said Marcus Lamb. "It's really a beautiful picture of how the body of Christ comes together to boldly declare our unwavering commitment to the Great Commission, and we are eternally grateful!"
Armed with forgiveness and filled with faith for the future, Daystar plans to continue its efforts in Israel. Working closely with their global network of partners, the network is fully committed to the restoration of its Jerusalem studio.
Click here to read the rest of this story from our content partners at CBN News.
Muslim candidate in Netanyahu’s party gets cut off from her family
January 10, 2019
Muslim Likud candidate Dima Tayeh (Youtube/Screenshot)
Muslim Likud candidate Dima Tayeh’s family will have no contact with her “until she states allegiance to her religion and the people to whom she truly belongs.”
By Adina Katz, World Israel News
The family of Dima Tayeh, a patriotic Muslim-Israeli who announced her candidacy in Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party this week, has cut her off, issuing a public statement that her ideas are far removed from their values.
“We, the members of the Tayeh clan of Qalansawa, inform the people that we are cutting off Dima Seif Tayeh Zidan [Tayeh’s full name]. We absolutely condemn and reject all her statements in the media, which have nothing to do with us, not even remotely,” Yediot Aharonot reported.
Stressing that Tayeh’s opinions do not represent them, the statement added that they will have no contact with her “until she states allegiance to her religion and the people to whom she truly belongs.”
Referring in the statement to the destruction of 11 illegal structures in Qalansawa in July 2017, the family censured Tayeh’s “silence in response to the move” made by the Likud-led government.
In an October 2017 interview on Musawa TV, an Israeli Arabic-language channel, Tayeh, then a member of an anti-BDS delegation to U.S. campuses, stated, “Israel did not recruit me to improve its image in the world. I’m proud of my country….
“I wish that all Arab communities could live in a democracy like Israel.”
“Israel is not an apartheid state, and anyone who says it is should be ashamed of himself,” she declared.
After announcing her candidacy, she told Hadashot News, “I’m proud to run in the Likud primaries, as an Arab, as a woman, as a Muslim who is extending a hand to her community and trying to help them and the State of Israel, and to improve its image.”
She also defended the recently-passed nation-state law, which states that Israel is “the national home of the Jewish people” and that “the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”
Tayeh “found nothing racist or discriminatory” about the law.
“Israel is a Jewish state and democratic and there is no other country in the Middle East that respects its citizens and gives them as much equality as possible and democracy for all,” she said
Avi Lipkin: Bible Bloc Party Update
List of Reasons Why all Foreign Countries Should Follow President Trump on Jerusalem
It's only fair to share...Arab and Muslim leaders and spokespersons have been trying to frighten the entire world in order to prevent other nations from recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – Trump’s declaration notwithstanding – and from relocating their embassies to Jerusalem. It’s time to tell the world what it should have realized a long time ago.
1. Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people’s state, is one of the most ancient capitals in the world. It became the capital of Israel’s monarchy during the reign of King David – that is in 1003 B.C.E., 3030 years ago, when the capitals of the countries who refuse to recognize it were still boggy swamps, leafy forests or arid deserts. The history of the oldest nations of Europe, the Greeks and the Romans, proves without a doubt that Jerusalem was already the capital of the Jewish nation in ancient times.
2. The Jews are the only indigenous people of the land of Israel and lived in Jerusalem for 1613 years before the birth of Islam, which occurred in 610 C.E. Putting it bluntly, the Jews lived in Jerusalem when Islam’s forefathers were still pagan nomads in the Arabian Peninsula, so what gives the Muslims of today the right to oppose Jerusalem’s being recognized as the capital of the Jewish state?
3. Can anyone imagine Muslim threats of terror attacks, demonstrations or uncontrolled rioting having enough clout to limit or direct the political decisions made by world powers?
4. Is there any other country in the world that accepts the dictates of other states regarding the location of its capital city?
5. Why doesn’t the world recognize Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem despite Israel’s liberation of Jerusalem’s eastern sector from illegal and illegitimate Jordanian occupation that was unrecognized by the world?
6. King Abdullah II, the Jordanian monarch, is trying to pressure Israel into establishing a Palestinian state on the hills of Judea and Samaria with its capital in East Jerusalem. Why did his father, King Hussein, who assumed the throne in the year 1952, refrain from doing so until Israel liberated eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria from Jordanian occupation In 1967?
7. The Arab League demands that Israel establish a Palestinian state in the same area delineated by Abdullah II. Why didn’t it demand the same of King Hussein, who assumed the throne in 1952, but instead waited until Israel liberated eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria in 1967?
8. Many governments and international political figures back the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria with East Jerusalem as its capital. Why didn’t those intrepid fighters for justice demand the same of King Hussein before 1967, while he ruled over areas of land granted to Israel, but illegally captured by Jordan?
9. During his campaign for the US presidency, Donald Trump promised unequivocally to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and it is safe to assume that many voters, both Christian and Jewish, cast their votes for him as a result. He is therefore bound to fulfill that promise or lose his credibility, especially as Congressional elections are to take place next year, while presidential and Senate elections are a mere three years away.
10. Once all foreign embassies move to Jerusalem, Israel’s enemies will realize that their war against the Jewish state has failed, and that all they can do is admit to that failure and accept Israel as a fait accompli, one there is no reason to fight anymore. This, by the way, is the definition of “peace” in the Middle East. For that reason, relocating all foreign embassies to Jerusalem will serve as a significant step forward in the quest for peace between Israel and the Arab and Islamic world.
11. One of the international organizations calling on the world not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), consisting of 57 Islamic countries worldwide. This organizations, among other aspirations, wishes to make it illegal under international law to criticize Islam, thereby eliminating two fundamental and important freedoms basic to modern culture, freedom of thought and freedom to express an opinion. Everyone who holds dear his freedom of thought and expression is obliged to support everything this organization opposes, and make sure to place this organization outside the pale of human civilization.
12. Islamic opposition to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital comes from Islam’s belief that Judaism and all other religions are obsolete, leaving only Islam as the true faith. Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital grants Judaism the status of a living religion, one that threatens Islam, which arrived in the world in order to “supersede all existing religions” (Koran, chap. 9, verse 33). The world must inform the Muslims that they are expected to take care of their own affairs and leave other religions alone. Judaism is alive and well and does not pose a threat to any other religion. If Islam is incapable of dwelling in peace with other religions, it will have to be revised to allow for accepting “others”, including Jews, as people with living religions and holy sites – Jerusalem, for example – and the right to behave in them as they choose.
13. It is no secret that most of the Arabs living in the land of Israel (aka Palestinians), their surrounding fellow Arabs and Muslims worldwide do not consider Israel a legitimate state anywhere, because according to Islam the Jews (and likewise the Christians) must live under Islamic dominance and protection as lowly dhimmis. This, of course, means being fourth class citizens with the limited rights granted them by Sharia law. Sharia denies Jews the right to a land of their own and denies recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital because it is against Islamic law. Giving in to these demands is in essence the modern world cowing humiliatingly to the Islamic worldview and to Islamic Sharia, both of which hail from the 7th century. Can anyone who believes in the freedom of man and his right to dignity honestly support that?
14. Another Islamist reason for Muslim opposition to the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is the Islamic religious concept of land as a factor in Israel’s conflict with its neighbors.
According to Islam’s tenets, every country can join Islam and become a “House of Islam”instead of a “House of War”. There is, according to this mindset, no legitimate way for a country to be removed from Islam’s ownership once it has been under Islamic rule for whatever length of time. Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital stamps a seal of approval on the establishment of a Jewish state on land once conquered by Muslims. It is therefore in direct contradiction to the way Islam views the nations of the world. That world is going to have to ask itself whether it is willing to act according to the way Islam views the world or whether it is going to stand up for the internationally accepted behavioral norms under which no one interferes with a country’s choice of a capital city.
15. Many Muslims claim that the issue of Jerusalem must be solved as part of a peace agreement between Israel and the Arabs (aka Palestinians) living in the land of Israel. What is the connection between the establishment of some future state – should that ever come to pass – and the world’s recognition of the fact that Jerusalem is and has always been the capital of the Jewish nation?
16. Terror organizations such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah proclaimed aloud their opposition to the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. These announcements contain veiled and not-so-veiled threats about their intentions to react to the recognition by means of terror attacks. Had President Trump refrained from recognizing Jerusalem, that would have signified an abject surrender to terror that would only lead to additional threats in the future. The approval rating of these radical groups goes up in the Muslim world when politicians and states give in to them, brings more volunteers to their ranks and increases donations from their supporters. The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital deals terror a blow – a blow to its image and its ability to enlist financial support and volunteers.
17. The Arabs conquered Jerusalem in 1948, turned the Jewish Quarter of the Old City into ruins and demolished tens of synagogues. Throughout 19 years of occupation, from 1948 to 1967, they willfully destroyed large parts of the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives and used the gravestones to build houses and pave streets, prevented Jews from visiting the sacred sites located in Judaism’s holiest city. It is important to cite the criminal digging carried out by the Islamic Wakf and the Islamic Movement – with bulldozers , no less – on the Temple Mount, destroying priceless Jewish, Christian and other artifacts. The Muslim Arabs’ treatment of the city, its residents, its past history and its holy sites makes them ineligible to express an opinion on its status and future. If the world ignores their opinions and recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, they have only themselves to blame. Refraining from doing that raises their hopes of ruling over the city once again and a return to discriminating against the Jews, destroying their homes and synagogues and preventing their access to holy sites, just as they did until 1967.
18. During the 19 years of Arab occupation of eastern Jerusalem, Arab snipers shot and killed innocent Jews walking the streets of western Jerusalem, forcing Israel to build concrete walls along the streets and sidewalks in order to protect passersby. These sharpshooters would aim their shots to go through the windows of private homes, resulting in the murder and wounding of many of the city’s Jewish residents. The enlightened world must tell the Arabs: “You have shown that you are not worthy of governing this holy city, even its eastern part, because who can guarantee that you won’t go back to doing what you did for 19 years?”
19. For the past 50 years, since Israel liberated Jerusalem from Arab occupation, it is an open city – open to Jews, Christians, Muslims and any other religion. Freedom of worship is guaranteed to all (excepting Jews who are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount because of the violent reactions of Muslim hooligans), there is free access to all the holy sites. Millions of tourists have visited Jerusalem since 1967, and tell of how its unique atmosphere has had a spiritual effect on them. Israel has proven that it is the only state in the region worthy of administering Jerusalem and keeping it free – as is Israel itself.
20. Most important of all: Jerusalem appears in the Bible hundreds of times under various names, while it does not appear in the Koran at all, not under any of the four names for it in Arabic which are Beis Almaquds (the house of the Temple), – a name that appears in a Hadith (Islamic oral law); Ilya, a shortened version of Ilya Capitolina, the name given to the city by the Romans, Orshalem, used by Christians, and Al Quds, a more recent name.
Jerusalem is holy to the Sunnis, not to the Shiites, The Sunnis wanted to downplay Mecca’s importance at one point in history, ca. 682, and tried to initiate a Hajj pilgrimage to Jerusalem instead of Mecca. This fact, based on Islamic sources, turns any claims to Jerusalem as intrinsically holy to Islam into fake news originating in the seventh century power struggles among Mohammed’s followers. Does the modern world have to act in accordance with the lies , false fables and tall tales about flying horses dating from seventh century Islam?
In sum, the only conclusion to be reached from the above twenty points is that there is no logic to the fact that so many countries still do not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It’s time they took a page from President Trump and moved their embassies to Jerusalem, the sooner the better..
The Chaotic Arab World Has Nothing to Offer Israel Today in Any Deal
It's only fair to share...Behavioral science recognizes two types of responses to tense or threatening situations facing loosely-connected groups. The first is characterized by the group uniting under a charismatic leader who radiates power, wisdom, organizational acumen and the ability to protect his followers, after which the group forms a united front and prepares for a struggle against the looming threat. The opposite occurs when there is no leader to be found. In the resulting mayhem, members betray one another, and attempt to escape and go over to the other side in order to save themselves. In that case, they could not care less if the rest of the group goes to hell.
The second of the two possible scenarios is an exact description of the current situation in the Arab world where Iran has become a major threat. After years of trying to extend the scope of its control over the Arab nations, it is moving towards exerting hegemony over the entire Islamic world. This entails reestablishing Shiite rule over Islam’s holy sites – starting with Mecca and Medina – eliminating the opposition – starting with the Saudi royal family – destroying Israel and becoming a permanent threat to the Christian West, the latter seen by the Ayatollahs as merely the servant of Shiite believers.
When the two major world powers joined forces to empower the Ayatollah’s regime, the Iranian threat grew by leaps and bounds. Under Obama, US actions strengthened Iran, allowed it to develop nuclear weapons (that is the real meaning of the 2015 Agreement), ignored its ballistic rocket development program, handed it money and allowed it to sign lucrative contracts – all the while ignoring Iran’s involvement in local wars and its support for world terror.
Russia has been a partner of the Iranians for years through a complex array of agreements and joint initiatives: it supplied nuclear power stations for electricity production, thereby granting the Iranians the ability to acquire knowledge and experience in nuclear science, handed over its rocket technology, worked with Iran to regulate the world natural gas market (Russia, Iran and Qatar are the three largest gas suppliers in the world) and joined forces with Iran in the horrific war taking place on Syrian land in an attempt to save the Butcher of Damascus’ regime.
The European Union joined the US and Russia, encouraging its members to enter the lucrative Iranian contract-signing queue. Truthfully, a good number of European countries already had a history of ignoring the economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the West, so that the change was not that discernable. US Intelligence knew exactly what was going on, but said nothing – or to be more accurate, was silenced by the Obama government.
Other economic giants took part in the Iran festival: China never quite understood why it should limit is economic ties to Iran, nor did India find it a problem to maintain wide ranging business interests in the country.
The Arab world, from Iraq in the East to Morocco in the West, Syria in the north and Yemen in the south, has been noting the growing Shiite advance with undisguised apprehension. Sunni Muslim nations such as Turkey and Pakistan – and in fact, all the Sunni Muslims– are just as anxious, but are reacting to the situation by collapsing and falling apart instead of unifying and working together.
This collapse is internal and external, in each and every country, resulting in endless arguments about how each nation must react to the current state of emergency. The question is whether it is better to act against Iran in some way – economically, politically, militarily- or put an end to the problem by yielding to Iran and saving lives.
Qatar threw in the towel years ago. Iran and Qatar share a gigantic gas field where they produce the gas in partnership and share the similarly gigantic profits. Qatar’s behavior infuriates the Saudis beyond description, because Qatar is Arab, Sunni and Wahabee, as is the Saudi royal family, but it has stabbed the Saudis in the back. Saudi furor at Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and for the shenanigans of al Jazeera are nothing compared to its anger over Qatari cooperation with Iran.
Iraq, once it was freed in 2003 by the US and the West from the dictatorship of its Sunni minority under Saddam Hussein, saw its government handed over to the Shiite majority on a silver platter (made in the West and covered with the blood of US and Western soldiers). It was then caught in the Iranian net, betraying the Sunni Arab world. Iran controls politicians, parties, army officers, militias and industries in Iraq. It thus reestablished the hegemony it had in eastern Mesopotamia before the Arabs defeated the Sassanian Persian Empire’s forces at Alkadasia, a city in southern Iraq in 636, between November 13th and 16th, exactly 1381 years ago.
The Persians never forgave the Arabs for this defeat and the Ayatollahs see Iran’s takeover of Iraq as an act of historic justice and long-awaited revenge on the Arabs, whom they continue to consider primitive illiterates.
Syria, another Arab state, became an Iranian stooge after being totally destroyed by a blood-soaked civil war that led to the deaths of over half a million mainly Sunni men, women and children, who killed each other so that Shia Islam could annex their land as well. The Iranians owe a debt of gratitude to the Russian and Christian unbelievers who did the dirty work of eliminating the opposition, down to its women and children.
Lebanon, another Arab country with a large Shiite population, possibly the majority by now, due to its own demographics and the flight of Sunni Muslim, Christians, Druze and Allawites from its borders, has an armed-to-the-teeth militia – Hezbollah – whose fighting strength is greater than that of the Lebanese army. Iran has controlled Lebanon for thirty five years, while the world knew, watched and remained silent.
Yemen, another Arab state with a large Shiite population, was never really united. It was always divided by the different tribal, ethnic and ideological loyalties of its population. That allowed Iran to establish a state within a state with a well-equipped army that took over the capital, exiling the country’s president and his government to Saudi Arabia. Iran now threatens international navigation in the Red Sea and the Al Mandeb Straits, essential passages connecting Europe, the Persian Gulf – with its oil and gas – and Eastern Asia, with its merchandise and raw products.
Iran has even infiltrated the Palestinian Authority by supporting the Islamic Jihad and Hamas terror organizations. Erdogan’s Turkey, too, has joined the list of countries that do Iran’s bidding and try to find favor in its eyes.
Iran has managed to gain control over the entire Muslim east, country by country, this despite the period of tough sanctions imposed by the West, and causing much tension in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the Emirates, Israel and other Mediterranean countries. This tension has a negative effect on the internal workings of these countries, and what we saw happening in Saudi Arabia over the past two weeks is one of the outcomes of that tension.
An acrimonious debate is raging within the Saudi royal family on the way in which the monarchy responded to the Iranian threat in general and on the Iranian takeover of Yemen, a development which poses an immediate threat to the Saudis who have had rockets launched at them before the recent ones. The war in Yemen, like the support for the defeated Syrian rebels, cost the Saudi treasury billions of dollars which if continued, would have left the country on the verge of bankruptcy. The controversy over succession is going on at the same time. Crown prince, Muhammad, son of the reigning monarch Salman, born in 1985, is 32 years old and has no administrative, political or military expertise. There is a slew of much older cousins who have much more experience than he does in theeconomic, administrative and political spheres. In a traditional tribal society, age, experience, maturity and a suitable personality are what turn someone into an accepted and legitimate leader. Muhammad ibn Salman is not acceptable or legitimate in the eyes of many of his cousins. It is quite possible that a putsch is in the making. He, however, won the first round before it began by arresting some and eliminating several others.
There is no doubt that the Iranian pressure on the Saudis leads to instability in the monarchy. That is what is happening in Lebanon, where the airing of the government’s internal problems led Al Hariri to resign. The situation in Iraq is also far from tranquil and there are angry arguments raging about continued Iranian interference in the running of the country.
In response to the state of internal and inter-Arab mayhem, the Saudis have called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers, to take place this coming Sunday, November 19th. It is clear to everyone that the Arab League is powerless. This paralytic organization was unable to save a single Syrian, Iraqi, Yemenite, Libyan, Algerian or Sudanese Arab, in all the years of blood soaked civil strife that went on in every one of those countries.
One of the Arab tackbackers wrote sarcastically: “Ho, Persians. Watch out for the flood your enemies, who lay siege on one another and fight constantly among themselves, are going to rain on you. This is the political ignorance that has weakened the Umma.” It seems likely that the writer is a Qatari, disparaging the siege the Saudis declared on Qatar several months ago, an act that symbolizes the division among the Sunni nations.
Many Israelis have been encouraging the government to enter into a “Moderate Sunni Nations” accord, because “Israel is not the problem, it is the solution.” This call is based on a deep lack of understanding of the Arab way of doing things and complete ignorance about what is really going on in the countries surrounding Israel.
The only conclusion Israel must reach from this sad state of affairs is as clear as the sunshine in an arid desert: There is no one to rely on in the fragmented, splintered Sunni Arab world which is incapable of uniting against the Iranian threat. The Arabs betray one another and some are tied to Iran with every fibre of their beings. Are they really going to be loyal to whatever agreement they make with the Jews? They may ask the Israelis to save them from the clutches of the Iranian monster, but after Israel does that at a high cost in its own sons and daughters, citizens, infrastructure and cities, that “Moderate Sunni Axis” will act towards us, exactly – and I mean exactly – as they did to the Iraqi Kurds after they shed the blood of over a thousand male and female fighters in order to rescue t he Arabs from ISIS. Remember – they threw them and their aspirations for independence straight into the dustbin of petty politics, interests, cynicism and treachery.
Israel’s fate will be exactly the same once the Iranian threat has been routed from what is left of the destroyed, bankrupt, lost and divided Arab world. Israel must not pay a plugged nickel in the quest for peace with a world as fragmented as the Arab world. Not one square centimeter of land for a worthless piece of paper containing the word peace. Israel must ask the Arabs one single question: What are you giving us for our agreeing to making peace with you?
The answer is clear: Apart from poverty, hatred, treachery, neglect, cynicism and hypocrisy, the Arab world has nothing to offer Israel, because these are the only commodities it has. Sad, but true. These are Israel’s neighbors, and when we Israelis, from our prime minister down to the last of our citizens, begin to understand this, we will be capable of dealing with our neighbors the way we should.
Written for Arutz Sheva, translated by Rochel Sylvetsky
100-Year Anniversary of Balfour Declaration
Nov 3, 2017
Today, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed hope that peace in the Middle East could be reached after the 100-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration that was celebrated yesterday in Britain, Israel and the United States. The declaration was a letter approved by the British Cabinet that supported the establishment of a nation for the Jewish people. The declaration was ratified five years later by the League of Nations on November 2, 1922, which led to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. The U.S. Senate passed a resolution recognizing the importance of the Balfour Declaration and its goals to support the rights of Jewish and non-Jewish communities.
While several nations such as France, Germany, and Japan had considered, or were considering, similar plans, Britain’s action is recognized internationally as leading up to the creation of modern-day Israel.
There are several bills in Congress to support actions that facilitate peace in the Middle East. The Taylor Force Act prohibits American tax dollars going to groups that are financially rewarding the families of terrorists. In addition, The Israel Anti-Boycott Act is designed to protect U.S. businesses and individuals from being pressured into an economic boycott of Israel or their allies by international governmental organizations.
In addition, this year includes the anniversaries of the 50th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem; the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls; the 95th anniversary of the League of Nations Mandate. Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of the modern state of Israel.
The biblical and historical connection of the land of Israel to the Jewish people is undisputed. The modern legal right to the land is also clear from the Balfour Declaration to the League of Nations Mandate. Israel is the rightful possessor of the land. This small part of the world is a beacon of hope for democracy and freedom in the Middle East. The contribution this tiny country has had on technological advances, medical breakthroughs, and agricultural improvements in the world is amazing. Every aspect of our daily lives is positively affected by Israel.
Israel PM Netanyahu Bombshell: CNN, New York Times Lied To Eradicate Israel & Jews From Palestine
POSTED BY: MATTHEW BERNSTEIN 8 MAY 2017
Throughout last year’s presidential election, there was one term that was thrown around often. Other than “Crooked Hillary,” the phrase “fake news” was perhaps the most common words voters heard.
It hasn’t died down either, as foreign leaders are starting to use the term. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used the phrase in a video on Sunday.
The video concerned reports about Hamas accepting a Palestinian state. Netanyahu took the time to speak out against outlets like CNN that reported on those reports.
Netanyahu’s video said, “Ever wonder what fake news is? Last week, headlines in CNN, Al Jazeera, and the Guardian said Hamas now accepts a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines. The New York Times headline called this ‘moderation.’ The intimation is that Hamas now accepts the State of Israel.”
The Israeli Prime Minister didn’t stop there. He went on to say what the new Hamas paper really means.
The Israeli Prime Minister Spoke How He Really Feels About The Hamas Documents.
“Great news, right? Well, except for one small detail. This is a complete distortion of the truth. The new Hamas document says that Israel has no right to exist. It says every inch of our land belongs to the Palestinians. It says there is no acceptable solution other than to remove Israel.”
Netanyahu then went on to explain what the document was really about, and it was how the Palestinian group continues to avoid peace with Israel.
“It’s bad enough Hamas lies to the world, we don’t also have to lie to ourselves. Hamas murders women and children. It’s launched tens of thousands of missile attacks at our homes. It brainwashes Palestinian kids in suicide kindergarten camps,” he said.
To firmly cement his point, the Israeli Prime Minister ends the video by crumpling the document and tossing it into a trashcan.
The CNN report in question was titled, “Hamas says it accepts ’67 borders, but doesn’t recognize Israel.”
There are places in Israel that the tourists rarely go. Yet these sites are biblically significant. Aaron Lipkin and Daniel Wright from Scholar's Insider Tour discuss some of these sites as well as a forgotten feast of Israel.
MONDAY, JULY 25TH
‘Know That I Died a Dreamer’ — Arab-Israeli Teen ‘Fearful, Yet Undeterred’ by Threats From Fellow Muslims, Palestinians for Outspoken Zionism (INTERVIEW)JULY 24, 2016 9:41 PM
'Know that I Died a Dreamer'Arab-Israeli Likud youth activistArab-Israeli teen Mahti SatriBDS GuideEl-Bairuni High SchoolMK Yehuda GlickSatri and StandWithUs
Mahdi Satri. Photo: Courtesy.
A teenage boy from an Arab village in northern Israel told The Algemeiner on Sunday about the impetus behind a message he wrote describing the sense that he is about to be killed by angry Muslims for being a Zionist.
“I receive regular threats from both Arab Israelis and Palestinians, via social media and by phone,” said Mahdi Satri, 17, a resident of Jadeidi-Makr, east of Acre. “And I’m afraid, but I won’t let those who support terrorism and oppose peace deter me.”
Satri, whose father moved to Israel from Gaza 30 years ago and whose mother is an Arab from a village near Carmiel, explained that his views were shaped by his parents. “My father worked with the IDF and the Shin Bet,” he said. “And I am going to join the Israeli army when I finish my university degree.”
He was referring to the IDF’s Atuda program that enables high school graduates to defer the draft until after college and subsequently serve in a position commensurate with the studies they undertook.
Satri – the eldest of seven children – also told The Algemeiner that he is an activist in the youth movement of the Likud Party, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he supports. This is evident in many photos on his Facebook page, in which he appears with various political figures, among them Temple Mount activist MK Yehuda Glick, who entered the Knesset recently. Glick was the victim of a Palestinian assassination attempt, which involved his being shot at point-blank range.
“The Temple Mount is a holy site for Jews, Muslims and Christians,” Satri said. “The Arab and Muslim world is wrong when it says that it belongs only to Muslims. It is certainly wrong when it says that the Jews are trying to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Also displayed prominently on Satri’s Facebook page are photos of Elor Azaria, the IDF sergeant on trial for killing a subdued Palestinian terrorist at the end of March. Mere hours before Satri’s interview with The Algemeiner, Azaria testified as the first witness for the defense. Azaria claimed that he shot Abed al Fatah a-Sharif – one of two terrorists who stabbed a soldier at a post near the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron — in the head, because he believed the suspect was hiding explosives in his jacket and therefore still posed a threat.
“He is the brother of all Israelis,” Satri told The Algemeiner, referring to Azaria, who became a controversial figure among a public divided in its view of whether his action was heroic or constituted an illegal field execution.
Satri said that though Zionism was instilled in him at home, his father, who is currently battling cancer, “is afraid” on behalf of his son and family for the openness with which the El-Bairuni High School student expresses his loyalty to Israel, the country of his birth and citizenship.
The teen’s own behavior, he said, is not typical, pointing to three friends in his village who share his outlook, “But are scared to admit it.”
Satri was filmed by Israel-advocacy group StandWithUs sporting a sign — in Hebrew, Arabic and English — reading, “I’m an Arab and I love you. Hug me if you love me back.” In what the organization called a “heartwarming social experiment,” Satri is seen approached by Israelis of all stripes, who comply by embracing him.
Satri’s public message, published on Friday by the website BDS Guide and titled “Know that I Died a Dreamer,” reads:
I’m writing now with tears running down my face. I had a very long trip, and I’ll continue in this trip until the last drop of blood in my body. But I just wanted to share with you my sadness, my tears, and my pain. It’s really very hard to be a Zionist inside an arab village. A village full of hatred. I really think that the end is near. Many people are threatening me. People are promoting incitement against me in the mosques. I never ever thought that it would lead to this situation. I’m afraid to go to the shop near my house. I’m afraid to hang out in my village. I’m living in fear, the fear of getting stabbed in the street. And after that no one will remember me. No one will have that arab who’s fighting for his goal, because I’m just encouraging the Israeli Arabs to stand against terrorism and to speak out. I became a target. A target for everyone. A target for the Palestinians. A target for my village’s citizens. A target for Hamas. A target for every single man in this world. I’ve never thought that to speak the truth about my beloved country would lead to becoming a victim. When I started my way, I did take it in my hands that I might be killed because of this, but not in this way. I’m just staying home all the day. When I see a car, I’m afraid that it’s someone who wants to kill me. No one can imagine this feeling. To live in fear, live with the possibility of getting killed any moment. It’s really a very terrible feeling. But no, I won’t just keep calm and not talk anymore. I’m not this man who will just leave when he feels danger. I won’t just keep calm. I won’t!! I wont escape and just disappear! I’ll fight. I’ll fight alone. Against all the terrorists. Against all the people who want me dead because I’m going to serve in the military. I won’t!!! This is a message. it’s not an article… I want to tell you I’ll keep fighting against all the terrorists, against our enemies. The enemies that don’t want me to speak out and to stand against them… I want to tell you , that I might see tomorrow. And this message might be my last message. But just know something: if I died and if they succeeded to kill me, know that I died a Zionist defending my country. And know that I was smiling while dying because I’ll die for my country. And it’s really a very big honor. Know that I died and I have a dream. Know that I died a dreamer. A dreamer looking for a new future empty of hatred and full of love. Know that I died for a goal, not for nothing. Know that I died and Zionism in my cool blood. Know that I died a fighter against them… Like I said: Three words, one point: AM ISRAEL CHAI!
Love you all Thank you
GLOBAL PREMIERE THIS WEEK IN JERUSALEM OF LATEST PJTN DOCUMENTARY FILM
Posted on 06/07/2016 | Category: Press Release
June 8 Event
Will Host International Audience of Media & VIPS (Jerusalem, Israel) -June 7, 2016 — Laurie Cardoza-Moore, Founder and President of Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN), is in Israel this week to host the June 8th premiere of PJTN’s latest feature length documentary film production, Hating Israel: In Search of the Truth Behind BDS. The exclusive, invitation only VIP screening and reception will take place at Jerusalem’s Cinematheque Theater before a select audience of global media, local and national Israeli government leaders, special invitation VIP guests and major PJTN philanthropists. Serving as the film’s Producer, Cardoza-Moore, who has been a strong media voice globally in denouncing the anti-Semitic BDS movement, notes the new PJTN documentary is significant in its’ timing. “Not only have we been relentless in exposing the BDS movement and its leaders as anti-Semitic, but it is inherently antithetical and deeply damaging to the cause of peace, justice, equality, democracy and human rights for the people of Israel, as well as the Arabs who are employed by these companies,” she noted from Jerusalem. The documentary offers a news-driven, satirical approach to focus on the global impact of the “BDS Movement”-a movement of boycott, sanction, and divestment strategies against the State of Israel for false allegations against the Arab Palestinians. Through...(Read More...)
OBAMA CONSIDERING USING THE UNITED NATIONS TO FORCIBLY DIVIDE JERUSALEM BEFORE HIS TERM ENDS
Submitted by IWB, on March 8th, 2016
by Geoffrey Grider
The President is also considering use of a United Nations Security Council resolution to forcibly extract concessions from Israel and the PA. The US has until now vetoed any such resolutions, though Mr. Obama has in the past threatened to allow them to pass.
IN WANING DAYS OF HIS PRESIDENCY, OBAMA REPORTEDLY LOOKING TO UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO FORCE ISRAEL TO DIVIDE JERUSALEM.“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Joel 3:2 (KJV)
EDITOR’S NOTE: We all knew that Obama had a least one more nasty, end times scheme up his sleeve, and here it is. He is going to throw the ‘hail Mary’ pass of using the United Nations to attempt to force Israel to give up Jerusalem and divide their land with the mythical ‘Palestinians’. The Prophet Joel, as shown above, lists one of the main reasons for the Battle of Armageddon is because the nations of the world divided – Two State Solution – God’s holy land of Israel.
With about 10 months left in office, President Barack Obama is considering unprecedented moves to implement a two-state solution, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Senior US officials revealed that the President is looking to initiate a final negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority using United Nations Security Council resolutions, a step that would obligate not only Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but effectively determine the direction of US policy for the president’s successor as well.
The report comes ahead of Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel on Tuesday, where he is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and senior Palestinian Authority officials.
On Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office reported that Netanyahu’s annual trip to the US, planned for later this month, had been cancelled. Israeli officials remarked that the cancellation was in part due to President Obama’s refusal to schedule a meeting with the Prime Minister. Later on Monday, the White House issued a statement denying those claims, asserting that the president had in fact invited the Israeli leader to talks during his visit.
According to the plan described by senior US officials, Obama is considering reviving the dormant Middle East Quartet, a diplomatic body including the US, UN, EU, and Russia, to apply pressure to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume active negotiations.
THE PRESIDENT IS ALSO CONSIDERING USE OF A UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION TO FORCIBLY EXTRACT CONCESSIONS FROM ISRAEL AND THE PA. THE US HAS UNTIL NOW VETOED ANY SUCH RESOLUTIONS, THOUGH MR. OBAMA HAS IN THE PAST THREATENED TO ALLOW THEM TO PASS.
A Security Council resolution would be binding upon all parties, unlike General Assembly measures which are non-obligatory recommendations. Such a resolution would remain in force even after the president leaves office next January, effectively shaping the future of American policy in the region for Mr. Obama’s successors.
The resolution would require Israel cease construction over the Green Line and would force Israel to recognize eastern Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. At the same time, the Palestinian Authority would be obliged to officially recognize Israel as a Jewish state and would be pressured to give up the long-standing demand for a right of return.
Lipkin on the Influx of Islam: Not Immigration, but Invasion
Published on Nov 18, 2015Lipkin begins at 00:04:30.
It was a packed house at Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen to hear Avi Lipkin, an Israeli who anticipates the formation of a new political party in Israel as current events continue to unfold. Hosting Lipkin was the Oklahoma Conservative Political Action Committee. OCPAC meets each Wednesday at noon at Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen, 9219 Lake Hefner Parkway, Oklahoma City, OK. Video: Maggie Abel.
Published on Jul 23, 2015
Dr. Ron Wexler gives an eye opening lecture on Israel's biblical and modern day claims to the land of Israel.
If you know history you will know the future. Dr. Wexler brings these words to life as he paints a picture of Israel's roots and why President Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal is so dangerous for Israel and the West.