Wednesday, September 18, 2019

US Military – Israeli Technological Developments and Cooperation

(In an extensive analysis of the two way cooperation between the USA and Israel, my friend Charles Abelsohn  writes that unlike the perception that aid to Israel is one way only, the spin off for the USA cannot be underestimated)

Let`s look at several of the mind boggling Israeli military contributions, conceived, designed, manufactured and operated by an Israeli army which, a mere 70 years ago, in May 1948, had little more than out of date rifles and home made bullets, as the world, Czechoslovakia excepted, embargoed arms and ammunition to Israel in its hour of greatest need. Perhaps it was this embargo that initiated Israel`s own military industry. 

Israel may have recently surpassed the fiction of Star Wars. This year, in July 2019, Israel`s conceived, designed, manufactured and operated, and U.S.-backed, Arrow-3 ballistic missile shield passed a series of live interception tests over Alaska. The performance was perfect - every hit a bull’s eye. 

Jointly manufactured by U.S. firm Boeing Co and Israel, Arrow-3 is billed as capable of shooting down incoming missiles in space, at an altitude that would destroy any non-conventional warheads. It passed its first full interception test over the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 and was deployed in Israel in 2017.

The Arrow-3 is a bulwark against ballistic missiles launched by enemies of Israel and now also by enemies of the USA. 

America rarely purchase weapons systems from foreign countries due to national security considerations, and Israel is among only a small handful of countries from which the U.S. occasionally buys defense technologies.

Israel`s best known missile defensive system is undoubtedly the Iron Dome. The Iron Dome provides coverage against rockets with ranges of between 5 kilometers (3 miles) and 70 kilometers (43 miles), as well as shorter mortar rounds. The system uses small interceptor missiles to shoot down incoming threats assessed by a computer as likely to hit a populated area. Iron Dome ignores rockets likely to fall in an open area. According to Israeli and U.S. officials, Iron Dome has had a 90% success rate in engagements on the Gaza border.

The U.S. Army is now planning to buy a number of Iron Dome missile defense systems from Israel as a system which is able to protect deployed U.S. military service members against a wide variety of fire (ground) threats and aerial threats. 

Recently, the US military awarded a multi-million contract to an Israeli entity for the purchase of an Israeli-developed missile defense system, known as the Trophy, to protect United States tanks and armored personnel carriers from missiles and rockets. The system is made up of a radar detection system that spots incoming missiles and predicts their trajectories, and launchers that fire buckshot-like metal pellets, which cause the incoming missile or rocket to detonate away from the tank. I doubt whether science fiction conjured up this scenario.

By now the Israel in America technological development contribution to the US military is clear. It exists in many other areas of the military such as but not only aircraft systems, communications, radar and robots.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Israeli Technologies Changing World of Medicine

What happens when surgery meets augmented reality, lasers and robots? 
Let's just say incredible possibilities for the world of medicine.

From robots that can perform spinal surgery, to augmented reality 
helmets which provide doctors with a wealth of information during 
procedures, to platforms that can analyze millions of scans and diag
nose patients, these three Israeli technologies are saving lives and 
bringing us one step closer to discovering 
the next medical breakthrough.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Israel’s global economic success

Cross posted from  Afternoon Tea in Israel  (Thanks to Michael Horesh)

I have had my complaints about how the Israeli economy has been managed over the past year. And there are still several unfavourable signs. However, it is now time to stand up and to salute a success, an achievement which other countries could be jealous about.
You see it is not just that Israeli exports have risen 3% in the first half of 2019. The two key points are that:
  1. “High-tech services exports made up some 60% of the sector’s revenue and 30% of Israel’s total goods and services’ exports.” The significance going forward is that these orders tend to be recurring. And that is good news.
  2. Israel’s exports to Europe,  an enormous but very shaky economy, rose 12%. And despite everything, exports to the USA rose 3%.
Cautionary note: Israel’s exports are dominated by 10 large companies such as Intel. The latter had held up production in 2018. And there was a particularly large one-off contract to the UK in the chemical sector.
In any event, given the global worries over downturns, this is a very impressive performance. And this is one of the key reasons why Fitch, a credit rating agency, still grades Israel at A+

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Iran shuts down UN inquiry into ‘Secret Atomic Warehouse’

contributed by World Israel News Staff

“Iran is stifling a United Nations probe of its alleged storage of nuclear equipment and radioactive material in Tehran,” reports the Wall Street Journal, citing diplomats as their source.

“Iran has refused to provide answers to important questions raised by the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over allegations that Iran had established a now-dismantled site in Tehran to store equipment and material used during past nuclear weapons work,” say the diplomats, according to the newspaper report.

It is the first time Iran seems to have refused to cooperate with the IAEA’s monitoring of its activities since the nuclear deal with six world powers was implemented in January 2016, says the Wall Street Journal.

On Friday, The Washington Free Beacon reported that an “upcoming report” by the IAEA “includes new language suggesting the Islamic Republic has not been cooperating with international nuclear inspectors who are mandated to provide oversight on the Islamic Republic’s weapons program.” The news outlet cited multiple sources familiar with the contents of the report.

The Washington Free Beacon,stated that the report was said to show that Iran “has stopped adhering to its transparency commitments under the landmark Obama-era nuclear agreement.”

For his part, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani charged Tuesday that European countries are failing to implement their commitments following the U.S. pullout from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

Iranian state TV quoted Rouhani as saying that the Europeans “did not carry out their task.”

The comments come as Iranian diplomat

Monday, September 2, 2019

90 Years Later, Last-Known Jewish Survivor Recalls Hebron Massacre

This week, however, ahead of the 90th anniversary of the August 24 massacre that decimated Hebron’s ancient Jewish community, Kiryati opened his door to journalists. He is the last known survivor of the massacre who can still recall the fatal events of that day, in which Arab rioters killed 67 Jews.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Israeli National Anthem

(Guest posting from "Grandma's Army" )

Like everything else about the Jews, probably there is not a people in the world who have a national anthem which has gone through so many countries, and versions of its origins.  It’s been wandering around for centuries,  until finally coming to rest in Palestine at the end of the 19th century. The real story of Hatikvah mirrors the story of the Jewish people – complex, convoluted, controversial.  

An ardent Zionist, Naphtali Imber moved to the land of Israel in 1882, and in 1886, he published his first book of poems in Jerusalem, which included “Tikvateinu” (our Hope). His passionate poem strongly expresses the ancient hope of the Jewish people to return and reclaim their ancient homeland. It was adopted as the anthem of the “Lovers of Zion”, and later of the Zionist Movement at the First Zionist Congress in 1897.

In its current version, Hatikvah incorporates only the first stanza from the original poem. The remaining stanzas focus on the establishment of a sovereign Israeli nation, a hope fulfilled with the founding of the State of Israel.

 “Wherever you look at Hatikvah, there is a story. Peel off the layers and you will see that, not only is there an endless history, there is also a yearning for an eternal future.” That is what concert pianist and musicologist Dr. Astrith (Esterita) Baltsan wrote in her book, “Hatikvah – Past, Present, Future.” 

In her multimedia presentations given over 350 times in 17 countries, in four languages, Dr. Balstan dividies Hatikvah into three parts: melody, lyrics and orchestration. Each element of the song, she said, proved the strength and unity of the Jewish people. She also detailed the histories of those involved in creating the song, and shared her amazing discoveries.

Most people attribute the music of Hatikvah to the familiar Smetana piece “My country”. This is not true. Actually, it was picked up by 12 year-old Amadeus Mozart who heard the folk tune in Italy and incorporated it into one of his compositions. He took the music to Prague where Smetana adopted it and it became part of his Czech nationally inspired symphony poem.
Dr. Baltsan discovered in her revolutionary research, that the melody is a Jewish Sephardic version of “Birkat Tal”, the prayer for dew, written by Rabbi Yitzchak Bar Sheshet in Toledo, Spain,  in 1400.  [On the first day of the spring festival of Passover, Jews still today change one line in their daily prayers: instead of asking God for rain, they ask God for dew].
After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, the Jews who fled Spain found temporary refuge in Italy, Holland, Balkans, etc. That explains how the tune of the prayer for dew meandered around Europe and emerged in several versions, including a 16th century Italian love song; a 17th century Baroque fugue; a Mozart piano variation; a Swedish symphony, and others.  
This tune is one of the two musical themes of Hatikvah. The Jews have come full circle from 600 years ago – which began with the Jewish prayer for dew. The second theme echoes a Romanian farmer’s folk song.
It is a song of hope, sung in joyful times, as well as tragic. In 1944, Czech Jews spontaneously sang it at the entry to the Auschwitz-Birkenau gas chamber and, as reported by a member of the Sonderkommando, were beaten by SS guards.

There is a remarkable recording of an open-air service in Bergen-Belsen, held on the first Shabbat after liberation by the 11th Armoured Division of the British Army on April 15, 1945. The BBC’s veteran broadcaster, Richard Dimbleby, sounded on the verge of tears as he witnessed the survivors singing Hatikvah. “Around us are corpses that there has not been time to clear,” said Dimbleby.

History had long ago decided that this song  (“Our hope has not yet been lost/The two thousand-year-old hope,/To be a free people in our own land”) would be the national hymn of the Jewish people. Until 2004, it  was sung by everyone but chosen by no one. Given Israel’s diverse population with a myriad of opinions, it took the government 56 years to reach a consensus and officially select Hatikvah as its national anthem.

Iranian Killer Drone Destroyed by the IDF

IDF intelligence have released the surveillance footage 
of Iranian Quds Force operatives in Syria carrying a killer drone 
that they intended to use for an attack on Israel. This killer drone 
attack could have been deadly for Israeli. Thankfully Israel destroyed 
the drone before the attack.