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.”
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.
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.