Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Fajr 5 - The Hamas Rocket That Threatens Millions of Israelis

The Fajr-5, an Iranian-made rocket in Hamas' arsenal, has a range that
threatens more than 3.5 million Israelis. Since the beginning of
Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF has destroyed a significant
portion of Hamas' Fajr-5 arsenal.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Why did Abbas suddenly dissolve the PA parliament?

This a condensed version from Palestinian Media Watch

After 12 years, during which the Palestinian Parliament (Legislative Council, PLC) has not met, Mahmoud Abbas suddenly announced yesterday, that the Palestinian Constitutional Court had dissolved the PA parliament:

Abbas: "The [PA] Parliament (Legislative Council), which has not been active for 12 years... The topic reached the constitutional court, and it issued a decision to dissolve the parliament and call for elections for the parliament within six months." 
[Official PA TV, Dec. 22, 2018]

Why would Abbas suddenly do something that he has not done for 12 years?

In the last PA elections held in 2006, Hamas won a clear majority of Parliamentary seats in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. With Hamas holding the absolute majority, it was convenient for Abbas that the Parliament never met. Abbas and Fatah ruled the PA directly through government decisions and regulations. Abbas justified the freezing of the Palestinian Parliament due to the Civil War which led to Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Abbas' change of heart is not because he is suddenly interested in democracy. Rather Abbas is recognizing that at 83 years old he must consider what will happen the day he leaves office. Under PA law should the president leave office without a successor, the Speaker of the Parliament takes over as President of the Palestinian Authority for two months after which presidential elections are held. The current Speaker of the Palestinian Parliament is Aziz Al-Dweik from Hamas.

So under PA law Hamas would rule the PA, should Abbas leave his position.

Significantly, a large majority of Palestinians support implementing PA law and having Al-Dweik lead the PA should the position of president be empty. A July 2018 poll by Khalil Shakaki's Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR), found that 60% of Palestinians agreed that "in the case of Abbas' absence, the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Aziz Al-Dweik from Hamas, must become president for two months in implementation of the Basic Law."

Although Abbas has refrained from explaining his decision to disband the parliament, the rationale underlying the move would appear to be his fear that Hamas would legally take control of the PA, even without new elections. While the PA Basic Law does limit the interim presidency to two months there is no guarantee that Hamas once ruling the PA would allow for new elections.

Hamas could use a number of justifications, citing the fact that Mahmoud Abbas himself has been president of the PA for 13 years without calling elections even though the presidency under PA law is limited to 4 years. If Abbas could breach PA law and remain president for such an extended period of time, there is no reason to believe that a Hamas president would rush to relinquish his powers simply because of PA law.

The potential result could be, that having legally taken control, Hamas would have no incentive to call a general PA election and they could extend their rule indefinitely as did Mahmoud Abbas.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Nikki Haley delivers BOLD And FEARLESS remarks at UN Security Council meeting

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers
her final remarks at UN Security Council meeting.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

PA to Lead World Group of Developing Nations

  • The "Group of 77” (G-77) developing nations is a powerful entity on the UN and the international stage. It is the largest Third World bloc, today numbering 134 member states with 80 percent of the world’s population.
  • The "State of Palestine” – the Palestinian Authority – is set to chair the G-77 for a year beginning on January 1, 2019, and will likely use this clout to advance its own political agenda.
  • The Palestinian Authority should not be allowed to chair the group due to incompatibilities between the principles of the G-77 and the laws, policies, and actions of the Palestinian Authority. These incompatibilities are evident when juxtaposing the Palestinian Authority’s laws, policies, and actions with some of the fundamental principles of the G-77, as delineated in their 2014 declaration, "For a New World Order for Living Well.”
  • These principles include gender equality, improving the practice of democracy, eradication of poverty, coexistence with the environment, and fighting corruption.
  • This study’s findings show that the Palestinians have violated over two dozen articles of the 2014 declaration.
  • By appointing the Palestinians as chairman, the G-77 is sending a message that abusive, undemocratic, corrupt governance is entirely permissible and even rewarded.
  • The G-77 should immediately annul the Palestinian appointment, and instead elect one of its numerous other members who would be much more suitable for the position. If the Palestinian Authority were to change its method of government to more closely align with the principles of the G-77, their nomination could be reconsidered.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

UN to accept UNIFIL has not done its job?

Ahead of tomorrow's special meeting of the United Nations Security Council, UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer visited the Israel-Lebanon border to examine the Hezbollah terror tunnels that have just been discovered.
The cross-border tunnels, a massive, multi-million dollar building project financed and masterminded by the Islamic Republic of Iran, were designed for a Hezbollah surprise attack against Israel in which gunmen would suddenly emerge into nearby Israeli towns, in order to kidnap and murder civilians.
The tunnels dug under and into Israel by Iran's proxy terrorist organization amount to a flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701—which prohibits any military activity or even presence of Hezbollah south of the Litani River—and constitute a threat to the peace under the UN Charter.
Moreover, at lease one tunnel was dug from a civilian home in Lebanon — a war crime under international humanitarian law because Hezbollah sought to use Lebanese civilians as human shields to protect their military infrastructure.
When the UN Security Council meets tomorrow, they must send a strong message by demanding that the Government of Lebanon—and the world body’s own UNIFIL forces—implement the requirements of Resolution 1701, concretely and immediately

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Food for Thought

A number of years ago, a quote from Mark Twain went viral - as we would say. Not sure if that term was used back then, but it did create waves.

Skeptics would question the sincerity of his statement. It appears to be only grudgingly stated, but that might make it even more powerful.

Here's what he said about the Jews, in September 1897:

"If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one quarter of one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and abstruse learning are also very out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.

He has made a marvelous fight in this world in all ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself and be excused for it. The Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greeks and Romans followed and made a vast noise, and they were gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, and have vanished.

The Jew saw them all, survived them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities, of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert but aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jews; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?"

When Non-Jews Help Save Jewish Lives

When emergencies occur, rapid medical treatment increases chances of survival exponentially. Using specially equipped motorcycle ambulances, United Hatzalah’s network in Israel, of more than 5,000 volunteer medics help save thousands of lives each year across Israel by providing medical treatment in an average response time of 3 minutes or less. The humanitarian services are free, universal and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On a recent day at 11:15PM Khaled Rishek, a Muslim volunteer EMT with United Hatzalah who lives in Jerusalem, was at home preparing to go to sleep when he received an urgent alert from United Hatzalah’s Dispatch and Command Center. The emergency took place when a 30-year-old woman was in a major car accident on Derech Hevron road. The woman had been speeding down the street when she lost control of the vehicle causing it to slam into a guardrail and flip upside down.

Khaled immediately jumped out of bed, grabbed his jacket and helmet, and raced to the scene on his ambucycle. Khaled, together with other United Hatzalah responders (including a doctor in a United Hatzalah ambulance) assisted in extricating the woman from her overturned vehicle, staunched the bleeding from her facial wounds, applied trauma bandages, affixed a neck brace, performed a field neurological assessment, and helped the woman recover from the emotional shock of the incident.

Amazingly, despite the severity of the crash the lucky woman escaped with relatively few injuries. After the initial treatment she was rushed to the nearest trauma center in a United Hatzalah ambulance.

After the incident Khaled said: “I am very proud to see my fellow Muslim volunteers from across Jerusalem responding to emergencies with me. In this incident, all of the volunteers who arrived at the scene, including the doctor, are Arab-Israelis who feel a tremendous sense of pride and responsibility being United Hatzalah responders. We all believe that no matter who you are you have a responsibility to help, and that no matter who is in need of help we have a responsibility to help them, regardless of religion, race or gender. All of United Hatzalah’s volunteers, Muslim, Christian and Jewish and alike, are always ready, at any moment, to rush out to save a life.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Hope for the Future

Thanks to Israel the body no longer has to reject a donor organ!
Israel has given so many people hope for the future. 25% of kidney recipients and 40% of heart recipients have some type of acute rejection within the first year after a transplant. That is not a small percentage.
But with Israel’s new breakthrough, these patients no longer have to experience that!
Professor Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University’s Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology and Sagol Center for Regenerative Biotechnology said, “With our technology, we can engineer any tissue type, and after transplantation, we can efficiently regenerate any diseased or injured organ.”
Can you believe that a country that has existed for under 100 years has had such a medical breakthrough?
It is time the world starts showing appreciation for Israel. The tiny, tiny Jewish state surrounded by enemies has become a place for everyone to turn to. They have helped Jews and non-Jews alike with their inventions, innovations, breakthroughs, and volunteer work.
Despite needing to put so much time and energy into security, fighting against the media bias, and fighting the word’s bias, Israel still manages to create things for the world that save lives, change lives, and overall improve lives.
So, it is time to stop benefiting from Israel when you also fight against them.
It is time to just say thank you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Hezbollah tunnels reach Israel

The IDF has found another Hezbollah tunnel extending into an
Israeli apple orchard, just 200 meters from Israel's border with
Lebanon. Israeli resident and farmer Levav Weinberg
discusses with host Tracy Alexander.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

A Defiant Nation

Guest post from Gloria of "Grandma's Army"

Last week I mentioned my son living in Ashkelon and that two of his sons – two-thirds of triplets – have joined the IDF. The family has also two older sons who finished their army service some time ago. One of the triplets has recently joined the same fighter unit as his cousin (the one who just got engaged and finished his IDF service last month). His brother joined the IDF last week in the “Combat Engineering Corps., an unknown aspect of the IDF in our family’s tradition.  [The third triplet has yet to change his civilian clothes into an army uniform. In Israel, after completing high school,  boys and girls are allowed to study for some time in special religious frameworks  before beginning their army service]. 

The Combat Engineering Corps  was founded in 1947 when its soldiers were mainly drawn from Jews who had served in the UK’s Royal Engineers. Their official motto is "Always First" - the unofficial being “The hard, we shall do today; the impossible, we shall do tomorrow". They took  an indispensable part in all of Israel’s wars:

In the 1948 War of Independence, the CEC blasted bridges over the Jordan River and the streams of the southern coastal plain in order to stop the advance of the Arab armoured forces into the Israeli civilian rear. While helping to breach the “Burma Road” into besieged Jerusalem there were many casualties. To commemorate the fallen soldiers, a “Road of Heroism” memorial was erected near the Hulda forest at the Burman Road.
In the 1956 Sinai War, the CEC destroyed the Egyptian military infrastructure in the Sinai Peninsula and was awarded with a battalion recommendation of honour.
In the 1967 Six-day Warthe CEC stormed Jordanian fortifications along the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. After Israel annexed the Old City, the CEC removed landmines planted in the city by the Jordanians.
In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the combat engineering battalions bridged the Suez Canal  while carrying tanks and paratroopers across the canal with amphibious tank-carriers. This effort enabled the armored divisions to cross the canal and surround the 3rd Egyptian Army, forcing it to surrender. The bridging of the canal is regarded by many as the turning point of the war on the southern front. On the northern front, a CEC Caterpillar D9 bulldozer was the first ever motorized vehicle to reach the summit of the Hermon – Israel’s highest mountain.
The 1982 First Lebanon War, dubbed Operation Peace for Galilee, began when the IDF invaded southern Lebanon, after repeated attacks and counter-attacks between the PLO  operating in southern Lebanon and the IDF, that had caused civilian casualties on both sides of the border. The CEC worked intensively to open routes for Israeli forces, as well as building fortifications and outposts.
By expelling the PLO, removing Syrian influence over Lebanon, and installing a pro-Israeli Christian government led by Bachir Gemayel, Israel hoped to sign a treaty which the Prime Minister Menachem Begin promised would give Israel "forty years of peace". Unfortunately, Israel’s desire for peace was again thwarted. Following the assassination of Gemayel in September 1982, Israel's position in Beirut became untenable and the signing of a peace treaty became increasingly unlikely. The Lebanese civil war would continue until 1990, at which point Syria had established complete dominion over Lebanon.
In the 1991 Gulf War, the  CEC were on a "code red" alert for disarming Iraqi scud missiles, armed with non-conventional warheads.
During the al-Aqsa Intifada, which broke out in September 2000, the CEC were employed to disarm many Palestinian  explosive charges and booby traps. They also dynamited Palestinian houses inhabited by terrorists, bomb labs. and smuggling tunnels.
The CEC took a significant part in the Second Lebanon War that erupted in 2006 after Hizbullah attacked an IDF patrol, abducted two soldiers and killed another 8 with anti-tank missiles  that hit the rescuers.
During the Gaza War (2008–2009) codenamed "Operation Cast Lead", the CEC were the first to enter the Gaza Strip to clear IED's, booby traps and open safe routes to armour and infantry.
During Operation Protective Edge (July–August 2014), the CEC played a major role in destroying the Hamas cross-border underground infiltration tunnels. In total, about 32 tunnels were destroyed! In addition, combat engineers participated in the battles, neutralized Hamas-planted improvised explosive devices, cleared booby-traps, opened routes for armour and infantry, and destroyed terrorist infrastructure.
The CEC has an excellent record of professional achievement and decoration. Their first chief engineer, Brigadier General David Leskolv developed many combat engineering systems for the IDF, and won three Israel Security Prizes. He served in the IDF until his death at the age of 86, making him the oldest soldier in the world!
Looking at the above list chronicling the wars and military campaigns incited by its enemies, is the stark reality of Israel’s fight/right to exist.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

There are insane levels of wealth in the Palestinian territory. There are palaces everywhere, not just in Ramallah, but in tiny villages scattered across the land.

Is this where the billions of dollars donated to the PA have gone?

Peace with Our Arab Neighbours

Prime Minister expressed optimism about the prospects of peace in the Middle East and underscored Israel’s evolving and rising status in the region.
Speaking at the Knesset on Monday, Netanyahu said that “the Arab Spring did not live up to its expectations, and we are standing as the world’s frontline position against radical Islam. Unfortunately, there are hypocrites who still condemn us and not the bloodthirsty zealots.”
Despite the regional turmoil and the looming dangers, Netanyahu said he was “encouraged” by the situation.
“Our relations with the countries of the world are flourishing in an unprecedented manner. Our relations with the moderate countries in the Arab and Muslim world are being forged openly,” he stated.
Earlier this month,  Netanyahu visited the Gulf country of Oman and met with its ruler Sultan Qaboos bin Said. It is the first trip made by an Israeli prime minister since Shimon Peres in 1996.
Israeli Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev and Communications Minister Ayoob Kara have recently visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Regev attended the Abu Dhabi Judo Grand Slam, where the Israeli team won two gold medals and had the Hatikva national anthem played for them.  Kara spoke at a communications conference in Dubai.
 “For years there was a consensus that the path to peace goes through peace with the Palestinians, but this does not guarantee that they will last,” Netanyahu noted. “Relations that have been forged after the Oslo Accords were severed due to the Palestinian stubbornness, and they are being forged again despite the fact that there are no negotiations with the Palestinians.”
“We will move forward with our neighbors who want peace, and many do,” he stated.
On Sunday, Israel and Chad renewed ties, 46 years after they were cut off, as Chad’s President Idriss Deby met with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Netanyahu will soon make a visit to the Muslim-majority African country, where they plan to establish full diplomatic relations.
Israeli media estimates that Israel is on the way to establishing ties with Sudan in Africa, currently in a state of warfare with Israel, and with the Gulf state of Bahrain.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Double standard anti-Semitism pure and simple

Following the Airbnb decision to give in to the BDS campaigners, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging its 400,000 constituent members and Jews the world over to boycott Airbnb after its CEO announced it will no longer allow its services to be used by Jewish residents on the West Bank.

“This is double standard anti-Semitism pure and simple. Nowhere else on the planet has Airbnb stopped making its service available in disputed territories, except Judea and Samaria,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Founder and Dean and Associate Dean and Director, Global Social Action Agenda.

“To be clear, no Israeli leader, left, right, or center, would ever return to the indefensible ‘Auschwitz borders,’ a term coined by the founder of Israel’s peace movement, the late Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban,” they added.

"We take note that Airbnb has no problem doing business in the territory of the Palestinian Authority, which names schools and shopping centers in honor of mass murderers who have killed innocent civilians and have a ‘pay to slay’ policy when it comes to killing Jews.

“We don’t expect Airbnb to be geo-political experts, but today’s draconian and unjust move, which only empowers extremists and terrorists, merits only one response—taking our community’s business elsewhere," the Rabbis concluded. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Why is Israel Suspicious of United Nations?

With thanks to

1. Before 1990, Security Council passed 175 resolutions, 97 were directed against Israel (It is 55% of all resolutions).
2. Before 1990, UN General Assembly voted on 690 resolutions, 429 were directed against Israel (It is 62% of all resolutions).
3. The UN was silent when Jordanians destroyed 58 Synagogues in Jerusalem.
4. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
5. The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
6. The UN was silent while for 18 months Israel was terrorized by indiscriminate suicide bombing campaign unleashed by PA leadership.
7. There are 60 Muslims countries in the UN. As well as many more are others Arab oil dependant states.
8. Due to an institutional bias against Israel, it is the ONLY MEMBER of the UN that will NOT BE PERMITTED MEMBERSHIP ON THE SECURITY COUNCIL. (The Palestinian Authority gained its non-member observer state status at the UN in November 2012 with 138 votes.)
9. Israel is the only country excluded from the UN's regional group system… Since Israel does not belong to any group, it is the only country of 190 member states that is not eligible to serve on the numerous UN commissions.
10. In recent years, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights has annually passed five resolutions condemning Israel. This year, they passed seven. By contrast, each of the following countries/regions has been the subject of only one resolution: Afghanistan, Burundi, Congo, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Russia/Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Southeast Europe and Sudan…
11. Nov. 29 is the United Nations Day of International Solidarity with the Palestinian People. No other people have a UN Day of Solidarity!
12. Israel is the only state to which a special investigator with "an open-ended mandate to inspect its human rights record" is assigned by the UN.
13. It is the only state targeted by two special committees and special units of the UN Secretariat ostensibly devoted to the Palestinians but in reality dedicated to Israel-bashing worldwide, costing millions of dollars a year.
14. UNIFIL, the UN force stationed on the Israel-Lebanon border, hid a videotape of Israeli soldiers being abducted by Hezbollah in October 2000. After finally admitting to having the tape, the UN would only show an edited version (in which Hezbollah faces were hidden) to the Israeli government.
15. UNESCO, in Paris, began passing resolutions about protection of Jerusalem holy sites and access for Muslims in 1968. No resolutions about protection or Jewish access were passed from 1946 to 1967 when Jordan controlled Jerusalem and barred Jews from entering…

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

IAF Strikes Multi-story Buildings in Response to Gaza Rockets

Yoav Zitun, Elior Levy:  11.13.18 ,

At least 11 Palestinians were reported killed in a series of wide-scale airstrikes carried out by Israel Air Force (IAF) in response to some 400 rockets fired from Gaza at southern Israel since Monday afternoon, claiming the life of a 40-year-old Palestinian man who was in Ashkelon illegally.

 IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manlis said "We are in the midst of a wide-scale process of accumulating more infantry, armored and other forces to the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, and we are mobilizing reserves for Iron Dome operations and the Home Front Command," he said. 

 “We struck four multi-story buildings that Hamas uses for terror activity. We attacked the buildings in an orderly manner after the inhabitants have been evacuated," he explained."Hamas is behaving as if we have moved on to targeted assassinations, as their men have been in hiding since Monday afternoon," Manelis added.

"Hamas knows very well what we are attacking and what the cost of the confrontation with the IDF is. We will continue to act with full force,” Manelis wrote on Twitter.

IAF strikes in Gaza (Photo: AFP) 

The IDF spokesman added that in light of the escalation of hostilities, the evacuation of the Gaza border communities’ residents is something the military is considering, although it is not yet necessary.

In response, the armed wing of Hamas threatened to step up attacks and fire rockets at the southern cities of Ashdod and Be'er Sheva if Israel continues to carry out airstrikes in Gaza.

 The spokesperson for Islamic Jihad went as far as to imply the faction will strike the center of the country next.

The IDF said some 150 targets were attacked in the Gaza Strip on Monday evening and overnight Tuesday, including the Gaza City headquarters of Hamas' Al Aqsa TV station. Israel had fired warning shots ahead of the airstrike, prompting the station to halt programming and replace it with a logo. Minutes later, the airstrike flattened the three-story building and the station went black. 
IAF destroys building in Gaza (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

 "The station broadcasts violent propaganda against the State of Israel and its citizens, as well as operational messaging to militants, which include methods for carrying out attacks against civilians and soldiers and way to obtain weapons," the IDF said.

 Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum condemned the bombing as "a barbaric, brazen aggression." Ten minutes later, the station resumed broadcasts, airing pre-recorded national songs.

 Senior Hamas official abroad Izzat al-Rishq said, "We are holding talks with a large number of Islamic Arab countries, as well as with western countries and international organizations to condemn the escalation caused by the Zionists, and to end the ongoing aggression against our people, during which innocent civilians are hurt.

 The IAF also hit Hamas's interior security headquarters, which were disguised as the Al-Amal Hotel. The activity conducted in the structure apparently included the planning of terror attacks against Israeli targets. The hotel is located in the heavily populated a-Rimal neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip. Gaza’s health ministry is located nearby.

Another high-quality target attacked was Hamas' military intelligence force for research and development—a high-rise structure located near a school.

In addition, the IAF hit a weapons storage facility in Khan Yunis, a military complex in Zeitoun, and a weapons manufacturing site in Sheik Omdan.
House bombed in Khan Yunis (Photo: AFP)

The Israeli Navy attacked a vessel belonging to the Hamas naval force at the Nuseirat port in the southern Gaza Strip.

These strikes represent an escalation in the IDF's response, as it has resorted to softer targets over the past few months.

The Security Cabinet convened Tuesday to decide on the next steps of fighting against Hamas.

Meanwhile, an IAF aircraft struck a terror cell launching rockets in northern Gaza, during which one Palestinian was killed and another was wounded, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

In addition, two Palestinians breached the security fence at the Karni crossing in northern Gaza. They sabotaged the fence and shortly thereafter returned to the strip.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Thousands To Attend Flagship Israeli Homeland Security, Cyber Conference

Eytan Halon  Nov 11, 2018

Five thousand people, 175 companies and representatives from more than 80 countries are set to attend a flagship homeland security and cyber defense conference starting Monday in Tel Aviv.

The fifth biennial International Homeland Security & Cyber Conference will present Israeli know-how and technology that has propelled the country to the forefront of the world’s security industry, both on the ground and online.

Among those due to address thousands of conference-goers at Expo Tel Aviv are the head of the  Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Director-General of the Israel National Cyber Directorate , as well as executives and government officials from countries, including the United States, Cyprus, Germany, India, Italy, Singapore, South Korea and Spain.

US Transportation Security Administration Chief Information Officer Russell Roberts and New York Police Department Commissioner James P. O’Neill are set to provide attendees with an American perspective at the conference, which is backed by a range of government bodies, including the Israel Export Institute, the Economy Ministry and the Innovation Authority.

Alongside the keynote addresses and panels will be a large exhibition showcasing an extensive array of innovative technologies designed by 170 Israeli companies in the fields of national security, intelligence, crowd protection, mass transit security, cybersecurity and financial tech.

Adiv Baruch, chairman of the Israel Export Institute and the conference, told The Jerusalem Post that the conference represents one of the “main pillars” positioning Israel as a leader in the homeland and cybersecurity innovation fields.

“Israel has become one of the leading hubs in homeland security and cybersecurity in the last few years,” Baruch said. “They are two different markets and solutions, but are all connected as they are supposed to provide a better, safer life for civilians in each country.”

In addition to the exhibition space featuring Israeli innovation, the conference supports companies by arranging business-to-business meetings with visiting officials, including chief security officers and procurement managers. Some 2,500 meetings have already been arranged prior to the conference.

“The conference brings the decision-makers to Israel rather than Israeli companies chasing the market and committing to additional expenditure. In a very condensed period of time, we are exposed to a large sum of decision-makers in that space,” Baruch added.

Israeli companies operating in the fields of homeland and cybersecurity, he said, are expected to exceed $10 billion in exports this year for the first time.

“The conference materializes into contracts and revenue in large numbers for Israeli companies,” Baruch said. “We don’t have the means to follow each company, but feedback based on the will to participate every year and be part of it is only based on the positive productiveness of previous conferences.”

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

4,000 Students from 60 Nations Sing in Tel Aviv

Four thousand college students from 60 countries gathered in Tel Aviv in October for the latest mass singalong sponsored by the social music project, Koolulam. 

The event, at Ganei Yehoshua, was attended by GA 2018 participants, graduates of MASA programs, MASA CEO Liran Avisar Ben Horin, Jewish Agency Chairman Yitzchak Herzog, Government Secretary Tzahi Braverman, and Masa Chairman Ilan Cohen.

Koolulam was founded with the goal of strengthening society through mass singing events in which large groups of non-professionals come together to create a collaborative happening.

The organization gathers as many as 12,000 people at a time from a broad spectrum of Israeli life, and then films the joint singing productions to share on social media.

In June this year, Jews, Muslims and Christians joined together at the Jerusalem Tower of David Museum to sing Bob Marley’s “One Love” in three languages as a show of unity from Israel. The video of the event went viral. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Israel silent as Iran hit by computer virus more violent than Stuxnet

Iranian infrastructure and strategic networks have come under attack in the last few days by a computer virus similar to Stuxnet but “more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated,” and Israeli officials are refusing to discuss what role, if any, they may have had in the operation, an Israeli TV report said Wednesday.
The report came hours after Israel said its Mossad intelligence agency had thwarted an Iranian murder plot in Denmark, and two days after Iran acknowledged that President Hassan Rouhani’s mobile phone had been bugged. It also follows a string of Israeli intelligence coups against Iran, including the extraction from Tehran in January by the Mossad of the contents of a vast archive documenting Iran’s nuclear weapons program, and the detailing by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN in September of other alleged Iranian nuclear and missile assets inside Iran, in Syria and in Lebanon.
“Remember Stuxnet, the virus that penetrated the computers of the Iranian nuclear industry?” the report on Israel’s Hadashot news asked. Iran “has admitted in the past few days that it is again facing a similar attack, from a more violent, more advanced and more sophisticated virus than before, that has hit infrastructure and strategic networks.”

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New Palestinian "Concern" for International Conventions

Bassam Tawil  October 30, 2018 

While Hamas has been violating international laws by denying visits or any communication with the Israelis it holds captive, Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons continue to enjoy basic rights, including meeting with an attorney, receiving medical treatment, religious rights, basic living conditions (such as hot water, showers and sanitation), proper ventilation and electric infrastructure.

The families of the Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli prisons know where their sons are. They also know that their sons receive proper medical treatment and while away their days reading, exercising and watching TV. But the Israelis held by Hamas can only dream of seeing daylight as they languish in captivity.

Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, does not like a bill making its way  through Israel's Knesset that would prevent visits by family members of terrorists in Israeli prisons. The bill, sponsored by MK Oren Hazan (Likud), would prevent such visits to terrorists who are members of groups that hold Israeli prisoners and deny them visits.     

The proposed Israeli law is a temporary measure, aimed at forcing Hamas to release information about the Israelis held in the Gaza Strip. There would be no need for the law were Hamas prepared to honor international and humanitarian conventions and allow visits by the Red Cross and other international agencies to the Israelis it is holding.

In response, Hamas denounced Israel's proposed law as "racist," and said in a statement that it was a "flagrant violation of all laws and humanitarian conventions." Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem claimed that the bill was "part of Israel's policy to impose restrictions on the prisoners."

Suddenly, Hamas is concerned about "international law and humanitarian conventions"? Not quite. There is a catch. Hamas is only concerned about them when Palestinian terrorists are involved. As for the rights of Israelis held by Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group apparently still believes they are not entitled to any rights.