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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Will Israel do what it takes to degrade Hamas after 400 rockets?

Israel’s deterrent strength is on the line after the Palestinian Hamas fired more than 400 rockets in 5 and-a-half hours on Monday, Nov. 12. After their massive barrage, Hamas and its terrorist allies threatened to expand their targets beyond the South if the Israel air force on missions in Gaza Monday night goes beyond its routine tit-for-tat reprisals against empty buildings in the Gaza Strip.
An escalation of violence is therefore unavoidable in the next hours.  It is up to the IDF to switch its tactics to attacks that cause the Palestinian terrorists real pain. Monday night, the IDF dropped small rockets on the Hamas Al Aqsa TV channel building in Gaza City as a warning of the coming bombardment. The building was evacuated before it was demolished and their were no casualties. Israeli jets and drones went on to strike more buildings in Gaza City and Rafah, still within the usual norms, while Hamas confined its rocket launches to the South, although an anti-tank missile on an Israeli bus in the afternoon occurred minutes after 50 soldiers debarked, and could have caused a massacre. One of the soldiers was critically hurt.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his security and military chiefs are convinced that if the air force starts seriously attacking Hamas’ missile stores and the residences of its leaders, then the rockets will start exploding in Tel Aviv.
At the end of a top-level security assessment of the Gaza crisis, led by the prime minister on Monday it was announced that “operational decisions had been reached” and the security cabinet would resume the discussion on Tuesday. DEBKAfile’s military sources deduced from this comment that no final decision had yet been reached for the IDF to embark on a serious ground operation to cut down the terrorist forces plaguing Israel from the Gaza Strip. It is hard to believe that they are still hesitating after  hundreds of thousands of civilians were hammered by 400 missiles, confined to small shelters with their children, and 50 soldiers escaped harm by a hair.
For a successful large-scale military operation of this kind, two things are essential:
  1. Firm resolve to achieve a clearly-defined target.
  2. Concentration of a sufficiency of armed military strength ready to go
Since all those in authority have been barred from making public statements, it is hard to estimate whether Netanyahu and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkot have finally dropped their insistence on avoiding a major conflict in the Gaza Strip on the grounds that, after it is over, Israel will be back where it started. Countering this argument, critics say: Yes, but Israel will have regained the whip hand and be able to enforce a long period of calm. A former Deputy Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen (res) Yair Golan has dismissed the current Netanyahu-Eisenkot position as “unwillingness to win the battle.”
This unwillingness is challenged by a determined opponent. Yahya Sinwar is Hamas’ one-man decision-maker. It is he who runs the war on Israel. So long as he sees Israeli planes attacking empty buildings in the Gaza Strip, he will continue to turn the screw on the Netanyahu government for more concessions and a steady supply of cash and fuel against empty promises of calm. This strategy works perfectly. Last week, Qatar delivered $15m in cash to Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel began running convoys of fuel tankers into Gaza. And yet, on Friday, Hamas staged its regular mob assaults on the Israeli troops defending the Gaza-Israeli border fence and unleashed this incredible rocket barrage.
This situation is untenable. It can only be altered if the IDF changes its tactics and goes for targets of military value and hits Hamas armed wing’s actual locations without prior warning. If Israel is ready for a real showdown with Hamas on those lines, it has a good chance of winning the current round with the Palestinian terrorists, regaining its deterrence and achieving a lengthy period of calm for the battered population of the south.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Three Iranians caught entering Bulgaria on fake Israeli passports

The three Iranian men, aged 21, 28 and 32, arrived at the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint on Bulgaria’s border with Turkey on Nov. 2. They presented Israeli passports which proved to be false and were taken into custody by the Bulgarian Border Police, who established their Iranian identity. The Bulgarian Interior Ministry said that “fast-track proceedings” had been initiated against the trio, without explaining whether this means court proceedings or instant deportation.

Why Israel is a Leader in Cybersecurity

Israel takes security very seriously, and that sentiment spills over into the cybersecurity world as well. The country has become a leader in cybersecurity. Last year, Thomas Bossert, Assistant to the U.S. President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, announced the U.S.-Israeli bilateral cyber working group. Israel is also helping smaller nations, assisting in the creation of 300+ cybersecurity startups, exporting $6.5 billion in cybersecurity products and attracting foreign investors.
Just last month, U.S. Governor John Bel Edwards met with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss partnerships on cybersecurity.

Like other security-related things, Israel is taking on the role of teacher, guiding other countries in the right direction and sharing our knowledge.
Part of the reason why Israel is leagues ahead of other countries in terms of cybersecurity is because the government has taken an active role in pushing the industry along. There is constant collaboration between the government, universities and businesses. The government usually takes an advisory role, guiding things along.
There are more than 400 cybersecurity companies in Israel, and many of them are working with automakers to address security issues associated with self-driving vehicles.
These companies are also working with both local and foreign web hosting companies to improve their security measures, like ensuring SFTP is available to customers and improving server maintenance. These measures allow web hosting companies to offer a deal on web hosting without having to compromise their customers’ security.
The military is also playing a major role in pushing the industry forward. The 8200 Unit, which is an elite part of the Israeli Defense Force, is actually serving as a training ground for some of the top cybersecurity companies in the world.
In a rare move, the Israel Defense Forces issued a press release this year stating that the 8200 unit prevented an ISIS air attack against a Western country last year.
The military recruits individuals with strong language and computer skills when they enter the armed forces at the age of 18. They spend three years working on cybersecurity before heading back into civilian life. During their time in the military, these individuals face real-life challenges and employ leading-edge solutions to these problems.
These units usually operate in the same way a startup operates. Individuals work together as teams, have opportunities to lead other people, are responsible for making significant decisions, and they must survive failure. These are essential entrepreneurial skills, which is why many of the individuals in these units go on to launch their own cybersecurity startups.
Going beyond the military, Israel is the only country in the world that offers cybersecurity as an elective in high school and is the first country to offer a PhD in cybersecurity. The country has six university research centers dedicated to cybersecurity.
To say that Israel takes cybersecurity seriously is an understatement. All of the above-mentioned efforts to make online security a priority is why the country is miles ahead of others in this important industry. It’s no surprise then that investment in cybersecurity companies may triple in the next two years.
 Jacob Maslow is passionate about internet marketing and writing. For more than ten years, he's used that passion to transform the web presence of a number of legal and medical professionals in creative, innovative and effective ways that get them noticed in a crowded field. Always learning and reaching for the next wave in e-marketing, Jacob funnels his creativity and desire to help into writing on LinkedIn and for publications such as the Huffington Post.  Currently employed as a marketing consultant; Jacob is originally from Brooklyn. He packed up his five children and made Aliyah in 2014. Jacob's experience and varied interests lend themselves to a diverse palette of topics ranging from technology, marketing, politics, social media, ethics, current affairs, family matters and more. Jacob owns several sites including an affiliate site and Legal ScoopsIn his spare time, Jacob enjoys being an active member of social media including groups on Facebook and taking in the latest movies. 

Friday, 2 November 2018

Nicola Sturgeon visits Auschwitz with Scottish students

Image copyrightPANicola Sturgeon with students in Auschwitz
Image captionFirst Minister Nicola Sturgeon joined 200 students on a trip to Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz where they heard the camps history
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged people not to stand by "in the face of hate", while on a visit to the former Auschwitz concentration camp.
The first minister joined 200 students from schools across Scotland for the trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau, organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust.
During World War Two, one million Jews were murdered at the Nazi concentration and death camp. 
Six million Jewish men, women and children were killed in the Holocaust. 
While visiting the former Nazi concentration camp in Poland, Ms Sturgeon said: "What happened here (at Auschwitz-Birkenau) was one of the darkest periods in human history and it's really important that we remember all those who suffered and were murdered but it is equally important that we don't just see this as a history lesson."
Image copyrightPAFirst Minister outside the camp in Auschwitz
Image captionThe first minister called the events that took place during the Holocaust a "mass murder of people simply for who they were"


The first minister said that the Holocaust did not start at the camp, it started with the "dehumanising of Jews" in everyday discrimination and anti-Semitism. 
She also said that the attack on a synagogue in the US on Saturday where 11 people died showed anti-Semitism was not confined to history.
"Although it was perpetrated by the Nazis, it was facilitated by hundreds of thousands of people who went along with it or turned a blind eye to it," she added.
"Today as anti-Semitism, as intolerance and prejudice more generally starts to rear its head again in the world that we live in. 
"I think it's all the more important that we learn the lesson of this for our own lives and our own time and for all of us to resolve never to be bystanders in the face of hate." 
She said that seeing what had happened at the camp gave an insight into the individuals who lives were cut short, calling it "mass murder of people simply for who they were". 
The trust's Lessons from Auschwitz programme gives pupils the chance to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau and pass on the what they have learned there at home.

'It's real life' 

Scottish pupils heard the camp's history and viewed the belongings and Book of Names listing victims at Auschwitz, set up by the Nazis in 1940. 
They saw the camp's gas chamber and crematorium and the first minister signed the camp's visitors' book. 
They also travelled to Birkenau, where they saw the remains of the four huge chambers which victims were told were showers before being gassed to death.
Candles were placed at the end of the camp's notorious railway track while Rabbi Daniel Epstein held a service in memory of the dead. 
Image copyrightPANicola Sturgeon signs visitor book
Image captionMs Sturgeon visited the camps gas chamber and crematorium before signing the visitor book

Gas chambers 

One of the pupils, Mollie Graham, 17, from Baldragon Academy in Dundee said: "When we walked into the gas chambers, all you saw was this big empty space and the size of the furnaces.
"Seeing that there were capsules to put people into, that was pretty moving and a pretty horrible thing to see."
Navkiran Kooner, 17, of Craigholme School, Glasgow, said: "It's made me a lot more appreciative of my life.
"To be able to see what people went through is so important because it's more than just reading out a textbook, it's real life."
Holocaust Education Trust chief executive Karen Pollock thanked the first minister for taking part in the visit.
She said: "Seeing this place and hearing some of the stories, it's something you carry with you for their rest of your life."

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Don’t ignore anti-Semitism. It’s lethal

Swastikas are spray painted on schools and sidewalks, while a Jewish school is vandalized with anti-Israel slurs.
Online, Jews are defamed and threatened while police hate crime statistics mount.
A memorial for the 11 worshippers murdered there is set up at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Monday.
So-called progressives on campuses, unions and churches boycott and slander Israel and the Jewish people.
White supremacists plaster communities with newsletters and march, yelling “Jews will not replace us.”
Islamists hold “Al Quds” rallies calling for the destruction of Israel — the embodiment of the Jewish people
There is a failure of understanding by the community at large that anti-Semitism is a multi-faceted scourge that permeates society. Universities excuse it — calling it free speech; authorities choose to look the other way when it comes to anti-Semitic demonstrations; hate crime laws continue to be decimated by inaction; and church groups and unions call it social justice — when in fact, they are emboldening a rising anti-Semitic narrative. 
There is no single factor that contributed to the hate and ignorance that transforms a person into a white supremacist and then a killer. It is a combination of ideologies, of beliefs, of conspiracy theories and stereotypes that infect people and bring them to heinous crimes.
From time immemorial, Jewish people have been accused of poisoning wells; murdering Christian babies for their blood in order to make Matza; trying to control the world (Protocols of the Elders of Zion); and for being part of any social ill-conceived by humanity. They are at the same time labelled communists, capitalists and socialists — whatever libel works on any given day — to dehumanize them. 
For these defamatory mythological accusations, we have been driven out of our lands and murdered and raped over centuries. We were driven from our ancient homeland (Israel) over 2,000 years ago — we were driven from Spain and Portugal in the 14th and 15th centuries (Spanish Inquisition); suffered through pogroms and we were accused of treason (Dryfus Affair) when we were in fact and as always patriotic to our nation. All this culminated in the worst genocide known to humanity — the Holocaust — the wholesale murder of 6 million Jewish children, women and men. 
The Holocaust did not only happen at the hands of the Nazis through its system of 42,000 concentration camps across Europe. Catholic priest, Rev. Patrick Desbois, has carefully interviewed and documented over 2,700 mass shooting sites across Europe, mostly in small villages. What he found was shocking — ordinary villagers who lived with Jewish neighbours for decades and sometimes centuries participated in the wholesale murder of their Jewish friends. 
By today’s standards, we cannot fathom this kind of racism and discrimination. People of all faith groups have reached out in support in the aftermath of the Pittsburgh synagogue murders. But let’s be honest here — it’s 2018 and we are seeing unprecedented levels of anti-Semitism. 
Several years ago, the Anti-Defamation League ran a global study finding that over 1 billion people on the planet hold anti-Semitic attitudes. In Canada, my organization, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center, commissioned Nanos Research to find that 15 per cent of Canadians hold anti-Semitic sentiments. That’s over five million neighbours.
Given these factors, the manifestation of an anti-Semitic killer is hardly surprising. What is surprising is the wholesale community allowance of the multi-level indicators of anti-Semitism described above. Individuals who are involved in promoting everyday anti-Semitism as described above and otherwise — they are complicit in its compounding effect. 
They are aiding and abetting its permeation and acceptance into society. Anti-Semitism targeting Israel, as the embodiment of the Jewish people, and anti-Semitism targeting the people through white supremacist ideology — it’s still anti-Semitism with the same effect. 
Anti-Semitism is lethal. Everyone must pay closer attention. 
Avi Benlolo is the president and CEO of Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies.

Nicola Sturgeon: Anti-Semitism must not be 'weaponised' to score political points

Nicola Sturgeon: Anti-Semitism must not be 'weaponised' to score political points
Nicola Sturgeon: Anti-Semitism must not be 'weaponised' to score political points
THE First Minister has urged MSPs not to "weaponise" issues such as anti-Semitism for "petty, party political reasons".
Nicola Sturgeon was responding to calls from Scottish Labour to suspend SNP councillors who shared a link to a Grouse Beater blog post attacking GMB official Rhea Wolfson over her role in public sector strikes in Glasgow.
The article referenced Hitler "accusing 'the Jew' of gradually assuming leadership of the trade union movement".
The author, Gareth Wardell, who denied claims of anti-Semitism, has now been suspended by the SNP
Meanwhile West Lothian councillor Frank Anderson has apologised after he was criticised for sharing a link to the post on social media.
Addressing the issue during First Minister's Questions at Holyrood, Nicola Sturgeon: "The author of that blog was suspended from SNP membership earlier this week. Obviously there be due process that has to be gone through, so I won't say any more about that at this stage.
"What I will say is that the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definitions around anti-Semitism will be used in the consideration of that disciplinary complaint.
"The councillor in question has written to the young woman mentioned today with an unreserved apology... fully recognising that he made a significant error of judgement and that error of judgement arose out of a lack of understanding and knowledge."
Sturgeon said she had discussed the issue with members of the Jewish community during a trip to Auschwitz earlier this week.
She said the SNP also consulted with the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC) in determining its response.
"Where people do get things wrong through a lack of understanding and knowledge, it is sometimes important that we give them a chance to learn, because education and learning is an important part of combating anti-Semitism, intolerance and racism of all forms," she said.
The First Minister said she could "run through a whole list of alleged failures of Labour and other parties to take these things seriously, and indeed to act as seriously we have done this week".

"Yes in democracy it is really important that we hold each other to account, that we check each other's behaviour and we call out unacceptable behaviour," she added.
"But I think it's equally important that we don't rush to weaponise these things against each other for petty party political reasons, because on the fundamentals of this it is really important that we stand united to say that anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry, intolerance in any form is completely unacceptable."

Sheffield Labour Students accused of betraying Jewish students by inviting Labour MP Chris Williamson to campus

Sheffield Labour Students accused of betraying Jewish students by inviting Labour MP Chris Williamson to campus 

One committee member described him as ‘part of our movement’.

Sheffield Labour Students will welcome an MP who called antisemitism claims "a dirty trick" and "smears" to campus, which Sheffield JSoc have said will endanger Jewish students.
The student group will host Derby North MP Chris Williamson next Thursday (8th November) as part of a "Stop the War" event, focusing on Yemen and arms trade with Saudi Arabia.
Despite being contacted by Sheffield Jewish Society (JSoc), who warned them his appearance will endanger the safety of Jewish students, Sheffield Labour Students committee voted on Tuesday to run the event.
In a statement released this afternoon, JSoc said the decision to invite Williamson to the event is "a betrayal of Jewish students in Sheffield and the Jewish community as a whole."
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He said: "I’m not saying it never ever happens but it is a really dirty, lowdown trick, particularly the antisemitism smears.
"For all the talk about Venezuela and antisemitism, Jeremy’s overwhelming landslide victories in the leadership elections and the general election mean people have stopped listening to the smears."
He has defended people expelled by Labour over antisemitismtried to stop a motion on the issue at a party meeting, and praised Vanessa Beeley, a blogger who claims that Jews control the Human Rights Watch organisation and that Zionists rule France.
Minutes from the Sheffield Labour Students committee show six members voted in favour of the event with Williamson, with three voting against, and one abstaining.
One committee member described him as "part of our movement", and another said that uninviting him would be "damaging to [the] society's support".
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The statement issued this afternoon by JSoc reads: "We strongly condemn the invitation of Chris Williamson onto campus by Sheffield Labour Students.
"Williamson has repeatedly defended, and shared platforms with, anti-Semites expelled from the Labour Party. Notable cases include Tony Greenstein (who called a Jewish woman a 'Nazi bitch' and a Zio), Jackie Walker (who claimed that 'Jews were the chief financiers of the slave trade') and Ken Livingstone, who has asserted that 'Hitler was a Zionist'.
"In addition, just this weekend, when our community was at its most vulnerable, instead of giving condolences to the victims of the Pittsburgh massacre, he tweeted an attack piece against a Jewish community organisation – only retweeting condolences from Jeremy Corbyn hours later after outrage against him. He has called antisemitism allegations in the Labour Party 'proxy wars and bullshit'.
"We as a committee believe that Chris Williamson’s actions have encouraged a culture of antisemitism. As such, any society inviting him onto campus, for any reason, is a betrayal of Jewish students in Sheffield and the Jewish community as a whole."
The Union of Jewish Students said: "We are deeply concerned that Sheffield Labour Students have decided to ignore the concerns of Jewish students on campus and host Labour MP Chris Williamson.
"Williamson has repeatedly attacked Jewish communal organisations for calling out antisemitism and shared platforms with those expelled from the Labour Party over antisemitism.
"We believe the decision by Sheffield Labour Students to invite Chris Williamson to speak on campus shows a total disregard to the legitimate concerns that the Jewish community have raised over antisemitism in the Labour Party. It sends a strong message that antisemitism, and those that deny it, will be tolerated in a movement which claims to be anti-racist."
The full statement provided to JSoc and The Sheffield Tab by Sheffield Labour Students can be found below, it reads: "Chris Williamson has never been and is not accused of anti-semitism through disciplinary procedures within the Labour Party.
"[Banning] Chris Williamson based entirely on his associations…means we would have to ban those Labour Party MPs who voted in favour of the Iraq War, or those who, more recently, voted in support of air strikes on Syria or continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which have contributed greatly to the humanitarian crisis we are witnessing today.
"As the event is taking place in a University building, the University security team have done their own screening procedure on the speakers coming to this event, including Chris Williamson, and have confirmed that they do not feel that staff or students are in danger. 
"We will take all grievances into account and are very happy to work with the Jewish Society, alongside our own BAME members, on the structural planning of the event, taking suggestions on how to run the event in order to ensure that no member feels alienated or unsafe. The Chair of the event will ensure that the discussion is strictly related to the advertised topic – the war in Yemen.
"The event is a means of showing solidarity with the Yemeni people, and we feel that for this reason, cancelling it would be a real shame and an injustice to the cause."
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