Here's former Israeli Consul General Yoram Ettinger talking about that $4 billion that US Secretary of State John FN Kerry wants to provide to the 'Palestinians.' He asks some really good questions that ought to concern both Israelis and Americans.
Red Cross: Okay for 'Palestinian' Red Crescent to use Red Cross funds to honor terrorists
As some of you may recall, the International Red Cross only recently admitted Israel's Magen David Adom after forcing it to change its symbol to a 'neutral' one. But when it comes to the 'Palestinians,' as is so often the case, the rules are different. While the International Red Cross claims not to have participated in a ceremony glorifying terrorists, they are happy to let the 'Palestinian' Red Crescent Society use Red Cross funds for the ceremony.
Earlier this month, Palestinian Media Watch
reported on a ceremony in the Palestinian Authority celebrating the
International Red Cross' 150th anniversary. The official PA daily
reported that the International Red Cross (ICRC) together with the
Palestinian Red Crescent planted 150 trees bearing the names of "veteran prisoners," meaning security prisoners who have been imprisoned for many years.
Following PMW's report, the International Red Cross, in a letter to
Weekly Press Pakistan - Canada, denied its involvement in the ceremony:
"Please note that ICRC was not present during the planting of the trees ceremony reported by your website."
However, not only did ICRC not condemn the Palestinian Red Crescent's
glorification of terrorists in the ceremony, it chose to justify the use
of ICRC money by the Palestinian Red Crescent. The ICRC issued a
statement defending their right to use donor money any way they choose,
even though the issue being raised was the use of ICRC money for terror
"Over the decades, the ICRC has provided support, including financially,
both to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and to [Israeli] Magen
David Adom for their humanitarian programs. It remains the prerogative of the National Society to define its own priorities and activities and to allocate funds accordingly."
The official PA daily wrote that "the International Red Cross and the
Palestinian Red Crescent... planted 150 fruit trees that carry the names
of the veteran prisoners jailed in the occupation prisons... [during] a
ceremony called 'My Honor is My Freedom'... to mark the 150th
anniversary of their founding."
The PA uses the term "veteran prisoners" to refer to those who have been
in jail the longest, and in most cases these prisoners are serving life
sentences for murder or multiple murders.
Read the whole thing. Icing on the cake: The European Union's Red Cross and Red Crescent representative participated in the ceremony.
But the EU missions to Ramallah and Jerusalem are apparently
reluctant to take such a position because of their direct and indirect
involvement in funding and supporting the Palestinian Authority and
various Palestinian institutions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The EU also seems to be afraid of criticizing the Palestinian
Authority and Hamas out of concern for the safety of its
representatives, especially those who operate in the West Bank and Gaza
As the human rights group's report shows, there has been a 10%
increase in the number of complaints of torture and mistreatment by
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority during 2012 compared with the year
More than half of the 306 complaints about torture that were received
last year came from Palestinians who had been detained or imprisoned by
Abbas's security forces in the West Bank, the report revealed.
Altogether, 11 detainees died in Palestinian Authority and Hamas prisons last year, according to the report.
Still, the EU did not see any need to refer to these cases. Nor did
the EU comment on the report's accusations that Abbas's security forces
are continuing to crack down on journalists and academics and ignore
Expressing "concern" over serious human rights violations will not
deter the Palestinian Authority or Hamas from pursuing their
anti-democratic practices against their own people.
Praising Abbas for instructing his security forces to stop torturing
Palestinian detainees is like welcoming a convicted armed robber's
promise to retire.
All of that is true. But what's also true is that the world could care less about the 'Palestinians' - unless they can be used as a club against Israel.
Russia to provide Syria 10 MiG-29's; Netanyahu warns Putin
Russian sources say that their country will provide Syria with 10 MiG-29 fighter planes. The timing of the delivery was not disclosed. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israel will stop the Russians from setting up the S-300 missile defense system in Syria.
On Friday, journalist Ali Branstien reported in Hebrew daily Ma'ariv that
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hinted in his meeting earlier this
month with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israel will prevent the
Assad regime of making the S-300 missiles operational.
reported the Russians were "shocked" from the prime minister's
"boldness." Sources that were briefed on the meeting told Ma'ariv that
Putin had "understood exactly what Netanyahu meant," and that "it came
as no surprise to Moscow" when National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror
warned European diplomats Israel might take such an action.
Well, at least there's still someone left in the world who doesn't kiss up to the Russians....
By the way, the MiG-29 is not the most recent edition of the fighter jet.
Report: Haredi yeshiva student attacked in bus station by IDF soldiers
A deeply disturbing report on a Haredi web site (link in Hebrew) claims that four IDF soldiers - apparently pictured above - tried to force a yeshiva student out of the line for a bus from Jerusalem to Bat Yam this past week, including physically attacking him to force him out of the line.
According to the report, which is described in some detail on the Facebook page of Haredi yeshiva student Eliran Sabah, four soldiers approached him while he was standing in line for a 404 bus from Jerusalem to Bat Yam in the Central Bus Station, and demanded that he give up his place in line, because they serve in the IDF and he is 'simply a parasite.' (As of now, by the way, that Facebook page doesn't work, nor does the video in the first link - I suspect someone complained to Facebook and they did the wrong thing for a change...).
When that didn't work, they called him a 'disgusting Haredi' and a draft dodger, and tried to physically force him out of the line. The female soldier attempted to grab and destroy Sabah's cell phone, with which he was documenting the incident, claiming that 'I am a soldier in the IDF and therefore you must respect me.'
Sabah, who claims that he seriously considered enlisting (a Haredi with a Facebook page is unusual in this country, and I suspect that Sabah is in fact much more open than the average Haredi), says that he will file a complaint with the military police.
And from his hot oven in the heat of summer, many levels below the ground, Tommy Lapid SR"Y is smiling at the civil war that his son Yair has wrought.
The Almagor anti-terror organization expressed concerns Wednesday
that Israel could be preparing for another mass release of Arab
terrorists from Israeli prisons, among them terrorists who directly
participated or plotted murders of Israelis. The organization said that
it had obtained information that in recent weeks, Justice Minister Tzipi
Livni has ordered staff to examine the cases of over a hundred of these
terrorists, with the suspicion being that she is seeking loopholes in
the law that would enable their release.
Most of the terrorists have been in Israeli prisons for years or even
decades, with many of the terrorist acts undertaken before the signing
of the Oslo Accords.
Almagor chairman Meir Indor told Arutz Sheva that he had requested an
urgent meeting with Livni in order to discuss the matter. Indor said
that the Palestinian Authority had launched a massive campaign aimed at
pressuring Israel to release “long-term prisoner” terrorists, who are in
prison for terrorist acts that occurred over two decades ago. The
release of the terrorists, along with a full building freeze in all of
Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, are the two preconditions the PA has given
Israel for a return to negotiations.
Indor said that his organization had obtained a list of 120 such
terrorists. “All of them are murderers,” Indor said. “And they are all
in good health. We are not talking about old men or sick men.” Indor
added that the terrorists in question had participated in terror attacks
that had cost Israelis their lives, not just “attempted” attacks. These
are terrorists that Yitzchak Rabin, who signed the Oslo Accords along
with chief PA terrorist Yasser Arafat, himself refused to release in the
mass exodus of terrorists from Israeli prisons after the signing of
Aren't you glad that Netanyahu brought Livni into the government with a position that far exceeds the pay grade of a party with six MK's? What could go wrong?
Russia is scheduled to deliver the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Syria
next year, two Russian newspapers reported on Friday, rejecting claims
the missiles had already been transferred to the regime of President
Bashar Assad, according to AFP.
The Vedomosti cited a Russia defense source as saying it was unclear if the weapons would be delivered to Syria this year, while the Kommersant quoted a source as saying the delivery was only planned for the second quarter of 2014.
claims by Assad to Al Manar television that the missiles had already
arrived in Syria, both sources said said the delivery has yet to take
Remember a couple of years ago when we were going back and forth over whether and when the Russians were going to deliver the S-300 to Iran? I think the Russians get a kick out of playing this game.... I doubt that they have delivered anything, and unless Assad is winning, I doubt they will. But they'll enjoy toying with everyone else.
If you want to boycott Israel, you'd better give up your mobile device
If you have a mobile device, it's likely protected from viruses by a company called Red Bend Software. Red Bend protects 1.75 billion mobile devices around the world. And, you guessed it, they're an Israeli company.
Let's go to the videotape.
So it’s up to manufacturers, cellphone service
providers and app writers to help customers remain secure. One way to
do this is through preemptive operating system and software updates. The
company dozens of major service providers and manufacturers turn to for
that service is an Israeli one called Red Bend.
Established in 1999, Red Bend has become the
go to provider of FOTA (Firmware Over the Air) updates for phones and
devices made by manufacturers like Kyocera, LG Electronics, Motorola,
Sharp, Sony Ericsson and ZTE. Currently, Red Bend’s technology is used
by more than 80 mobile device manufacturers, mobile operators and
semiconductor vendors, and is present on more than 1.75 billion devices.
Using Red Bend’s technology, said company
product marketing director Roger Ordman, service providers and
manufacturers can keep their customers’ devices up to date with the
latest firmware. “As devices have become more sophisticated we have
expanded our offerings,” he told The Times of Israel in a recent
interview. “Now we also do application management, and mobile
virtualization. It’s more than just configuring software — it’s managing
the operating system on a device.”
That has become much more important in the era
of BYOD — Bring Your Own Device — in which employees use their own
devices to check company email and access documents on company servers.
This mixing of personal and business use on the same device could lead
to compromised security, said Ordman. “Devices are integrated in the
lives of people, both for work and personal use. People use the same
device for work, and to access Twitter and Facebook. People want to be
online anytime and anywhere.
“The problem arises when they use insecure
networks to access services,” Ordman said. “Hackers could use those
connections to get valuable information off the device, including
corporate data. It’s a big concern for corporations, and our BYOD
protection technology is able to solve this.”
The Water and Energy Ministry announced, Thursday, that the maximum
price of 95-octane unleaded gasoline will be going up Saturday evening
at midnight, when the value-added tax (VAT) rises from 17 percent to 18
percent. The VAT increase, coupled with the price of petroleum products
in the European region and the current dollar-shekel exchange rate will
result in an increase of 3.58 percent to 7.52 shekels per liter
(comparable to $7.66 per gallon) for self service, up 26 agorot from the
current price, plus an additional 18 agorot per liter for full service.
Eilat, where VAT is not charged, the price is going up 16 agorot (2.58
percent) to NIS 6.37 per liter ($6.49 a gallon) for self service, plus
15 agorot for full service.
I'm sure that you'll be shocked to hear that nearly all stations charge the 'maximum price.'
The refugees at the Palestinian Ain el-Hilweh camp in
Sidon called on Hizbullah to withdraw its fighters from Syria and not to
interfere in Syrian affairs, NNA said.
The military support of Hizbullah has helped Syrian
regime forces gain the upper hand in the battle for control of Qusayr, a
key town for both the regime and the insurgents, where a fierce army
assault began 12 days ago.
Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah had previously
justified the group's involvement in Syria by saying they were defending
Lebanese-inhabited border villages inside Syria and Shiite holy sites.
But the offensive on the mostly-Sunni town of Qusayr forced the movement to change its argument.
"Syria is the rear guard of the resistance (Hizbullah's
fight with Israel), its backbone, and the resistance cannot stay with
its arms folded when its rear guard is exposed," Nasrallah said on
Saturday in a speech for the 13th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal
Nasrallah stressed that Hizbullah will win the battle
against the “United States, Israel and the Takfiris just like it emerged
victorious in previous wars.”
Hundreds of Palestinian refugees have fled to Lebanon after fierce clashes at the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.
What will happen if a Haredi refuses to enlist because he wants to learn Torah
Meet Natan Blanc. Blanc is 20-years old and was pronounced unfit for duty on Thursday, six months after walking into an IDF recruitment station and announcing his refusal to serve because he objects to the 'occupation.' In the interim, Blanc has been arrested nine times and will have served 177 days in jail by his release next Thursday.
Blanc has openly declared himself to be a conscientious objector, and
never tried to take the route of evasion taken by other recruits, such
as securing a lower physical or mental profile.
The committee made its recommendation on Thursday following Blanc's second appeal for exemption.
first appeared before the committee on February 21, and was advised to
fulfill his obligation by doing alternative service in a civilian
hospital. Blanc happily accepted the decision, since he had already
declared his intention to volunteer for national service with Magen
David Adom when he first refused.
February 24, the committee rejected his request to avoid military
conscription. The committee is headed by Lt. Col. Yossi Malcha, who also
heads the conscription reinforcement in the human resources department.
Malcha is also the commander that sentenced Blanc the last three times.
Over the last decade, the IDF largely refrained from repeatedly putting conscientious objectors on trial.
And what will happen if a Haredi walks in and calls himself a 'conscientious objector' because he believes that his task in life is to learn Torah full time? Before you all jump up and say 'But Blanc is volunteering for Magen David Adom,' the IDF rejected that solution and it does not appear to be part of his current release. Not to mention that one has to wonder what would happen if, as a Magen David Adom volunteer, Blanc is asked to treat a revenant.
It was once a fairly simple question, but the IDF has just done a full review that seeks to answer what has become a much more complex question: Who is a combat soldier?
Following the plan's approval, the Israeli army will have three new
classifications: combatants, support troops, and weapons operators. The
remaining positions are considered back-up functions. Combatants are
defined as those who hold battlefield positions – the infantry, armored
corps, engineers, pilots, naval fighters and so on.
soldiers endanger their lives and have been trained to engage in combat
and to harm the enemy in "operational contact" – that is, on the actual
battlefield. Support troops are defined as those who are trained to
participate in operations where their lives may be endangered and who
provide administrative assistance to the combatants on the battlefield.
roles that fall under this category are the Ordnance Corps soldiers who
fix border fences, or the technicians who are embedded with combat
units. The third definition of combat weapons operator encompasses those
who fight on the growing technological battleground, against
cyber-attacks or in the air defense system.
addressed the issue during a conference held a week ago. "We must be
careful with our definitions," he said, '... there is a new operational
arena, but those who are endangering themselves are the combatants."
discussions saw a dispute between the air force and the personnel
directorate over the classification of drone operators. The personnel
directorate had suggested they be classified as holding a position that
is higher than the back-up troops, but lower than support troops. The
different classification holds concrete economic implications, when it
comes to the compensation package soldiers receive once they complete
their army service.
a senior officer in the air force criticized this suggestion in the
past, saying it would have a major effect upon these soldiers. "People
don’t need to be at the front line in order to have an influence on the
battlefield," he said, arguing that drone operators have a significant
The relevant issue ought not to be who has a significant impact. A blogger can have a significant impact on the way a war is depicted in the media, and therefore on its outcome, but that doesn't make bloggers into combat soldiers.
The relevant issue ought to be the degree of danger to the soldier in the event of enemy action. The infantry, armored
corps, engineers, pilots, naval fighters and so on are all in much more clear and present danger of injury and death (God forbid) than is a drone operator sitting in a control room.
At any given time, more than 300,000,000 pupils worldwide are facing impending danger since their schools are not built to withstand an earthquake. Of special concern are areas along geological rift lines and children in developing countries, where construction quality can be poor.
While it is common to instruct pupils to crawl under tables in case of an earthquake, existing non earthquake designated classroom tables often turn into lethal traps for those taking refuge.
The "Earthquake-Proof Table" is designed for a range of building types and collapse scenarios. It provides a comprehensive solution by creating both covering protection and passageways for rescue team accessibility.
To date, the patent pending design has successfully withstood a series of rigorous vertical impact tests and is currently awaiting official approval of the world leading Structural Engineering department of Padua University, Italy.
In addition to various weight and ceiling collapse patterns, the Earthquake-Proof Table addresses the financial limitations of the schools that need it through economical, yet responsible production methods and inexpensive materials.
Designed according to sound ergonomic principles, the Earthquake table is light enough for two children to lift and move, as well as adapted to classroom cleaning and other routine, non-emergency needs.
The table was initiated as a final project at the Industrial Design department at the "Bezalel Academy of Art and Design" in Jerusalem, Israel. The table was designed by (then) student Arthur Brutter under guidance of Senior Lecturer Ido Bruno. After completion of Arthur's studies, and upon his request, the project became a joint venture of Arthur, Ido, and Bezalel labs R&D.
The table is currently licensed for manufacture and distribution in Israel by "A.D. Meraz industries Ltd." a school furniture manufacturer.
Product design and development: Arthur Brutter and Ido Bruno.
Speaking to reporters in Paris, Brazilian expert Paulo Pinheiro said his team of investigators had documented horrific crimes on both sides, although the scale of those committed by President Bashar al-Assad's forces was greater.
"It was said the rebels were angels, but there is only a minority of
fighters with a democratic history who believe in the Syrian mosaic and
want a state for all," he said.
"The majority of rebels are very far from having democratic thoughts and have other aspirations."
The U.N. Security Council is set to blacklist Syria's
Islamist al-Nusra Front as an alias of al Qaeda in Iraq. Foreign
fighters, many of them from Libya, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq
and Egypt, have also radicalized the rebels.
Carla Del Ponte, a former Swiss
attorney general who served as prosecutor of the International Criminal
Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and is one of four commissioners on
the team, said she had never seen violence like that in Syria.
"The crimes are committed by both sides," she said. "The cruelty of
these crimes is unbelievable. I have never seen that, not even in
I wonder if there will be a Goldstone Report....
In the meantime, a curse on both their houses. The only difference between one side and most of the other seems to be what kind of tyranny they want to install.
At least five pro-Israel organizations harassed by Obama's IRS
At least five pro-Israel organizations were harassed by Obama's IRS in 2009 and 2010 according to a report in the Washington Free Beacon. Some of them are still afraid to talk about it (Hat Tip: Noah P).
One pro-Israel targets was HaYovel, which was featured prominently in the New York Times article.
Six months after the article was published, the IRS audited the
Nashville-based charity, which sends volunteers to work in vineyards
across the Green Line.
“We bookend that [New York Times] story. We were the first
[group mentioned]. They really kind of focused on us,” said HaYovel’s
founder Tommy Waller. “Then six months later we had an audit.”
Shari Waller, who cofounded HaYovel with her husband, said the couple
received a phone call from the IRS in December 2010. She said she was
not aware of anything in their tax documents that may have prompted the
audit, and added that the additional scrutiny came during the group’s
first five years of existence [deleted comma] when audits tend to be
“They contacted us the week of Christmas and told us they wanted to
audit us, right now,” she said. “The most unusual thing to me was they
contacted us at a time [that] for most people is a very hectic time, and
we had just returned from Israel. To think about taking calls for an
audit on the telephone—official business is usually conducted through
Tommy Waller said he found the timing of the audit “suspicious” and believes it may have been politically motivated.
“We 100-percent support Judea and Samaria, and Jewish sovereignty in
that area, and the current administration is 100 percent opposed to
Jewish sovereignty in that area of Israel,” he said. “That’s why we
suspected that we would have to deal with [an audit].”
Two other organizations—the American arm of an educational
institution that operates across the Green Line and the American arm of a
well-known Israeli charity that was mentioned in the New York Times article—say they were also audited.
Another organization that was criticized in multiple articles during
2009 and 2010 was audited last year. The organization, like many of the
groups with whom the Free Beacon spoke, asked to remain anonymous out of fear of political retaliation and concern that exposure would harm fundraising efforts.
One of my Twitter trolls issued a challenge today, saying that if Assad has the S-300, why isn't Israel hitting him? (Note that I do not respond to Twitter trolls with less than about 1,000 followers on Twitter - it's not worth giving them the exposure). But there are several answers to that question. One is that the fact that Assad says he has the S-300 doesn't mean he has the S-300. In fact, Israel is checking that report now.
And if anyone thinks that Israel does not have the capability of seeing what Assad is doing, maybe this report will change your mind.
every heavy missile fired in the Syrian civil war, keen to study
Damascus's combat doctrines and deployments and ready to fend off a
feared first attack on its turf, a senior Israeli military officer said
Colonel Zvika Haimovich of the
air defence corps said southward launches against Syrian insurgents by
President Bashar al-Assad's forces gave Israel mere seconds in which to
determine it was not the true target - a distinction that could prove
crucial for warding off an unprecedented regional conflagration.
batteries are in a high state of operability, ready to fire at short
notice. All it would take is a few degrees' change in the flight path to
endanger us," he told Reuters in an interview at his base in Palmachim,
south of Tel Aviv.
Long-range radars feed real-time data on the
barrages to Haimovich's command bunker, where officers brace to activate
Arrow II, a U.S.-backed Israeli missile shield that has yet to be
tested in battle.
The more threatening launches set off sirens across Palmachim, whose warplanes also await orders to scramble.
"We are looking at all aspects, from the
performance of the weaponry to the way the Syrians are using it. They
have used everything that I am aware exists in their missile and rocket
arsenal. They are improving all the time, and so are we, but we need to
study this, and to be prepared."
would not detail how Israel determines a missile fired in its direction
will not cross the border, saying only that the process took "more than
a few seconds, but not much more".
Israeli expert, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it combined
split-second analysis of the strength of the launch with up-to-date
intelligence on Assad's intentions.
Haimovich also described as 'credible,' a report that Assad has used up about half of his SCUD missiles. Read the whole thing.
Finally, here's former Defense Minister Moshe Arens talking about the delivery of the S-300 to Syria in an interview this morning on Israel Radio.
Let's go to the videotape (Hebrew with English translation).
Let's put it this way: Have the Russians yet confirmed that they delivered the S-300 to Syria? Not that I have heard.
Nixon and Obama: Like brothers from another mother
Many pundits and journalists, including CBS' Bob Schieffer, have drawn
parallels between the Obama White House's handling of scandals plaguing
the administration and Former President Nixon's management of Watergate.
We looked back in the archives to see just how close they were.
A radical Wahhabi group affiliated with al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra
(Nusra Front) is seen surrounding and then destroying with a bulldozer a
historic mausoleum or shrine visited by pilgrims for the prophet
Abraham, who supposedly spent some time with his wife Sarah in the town
of Ayn al-Arous where the shrine was built. Ayn al-Arous is located
south of Tal Abyad in the Raqqa province in northern Syria.
The person filming the scene refers to the
shrine as containing heresies and being worshiped besides Allah without
specifying who exactly worshiped the edifice.
I have no idea what this shrine is or whether it had any connection to our forefather, Abraham. The references to it having been worshiped for '40 years under Assad' make me suspect that it has nothing to do with Jews
Syria received the first shipment of long-range S-300 anti-aircraft
missiles from Russia, and would receive the rest "soon," Syrian
President Bashar Assad told Lebanese network Al Manar, Lebanese
newspaper al-Akhbar reported.
an interview set to air on the Hezbollah TV network on Thursday
evening, Assad repeated past threats to respond immediately should
Israel strike in Syria.
He added that the Syrian government will not stand in the way of any
Syrian groups that would attack Israel in order to liberate the Golan
Russia has said it would deliver the missile system to
the Syrian government over Western objections, saying the move would
help stabilize the regional balance.
The United States, France and Israel have all called on Russia to stop the delivery.
Note that he said that Syria 'received' the missiles - not that they have been deployed. It's been reported in the past that it would take 'months' to manufacture the missiles and for Syrian technicians to be trained to deploy them.
“It will take months
to manufacture the missiles and to assemble them into an integrated
operating system,” Ruslan Aliev, a Russian weapons researcher, told the
In addition, Syrian troops would have to fly to Russia to train on
the missiles because it would be impractical to send experts into the
Syrian conflict zone, he said.
According to the report, there are also doubts whether Syria,
battered by more than two years of conflict, still has the means to pay.
So let's assume the worst case scenario: The missiles were manufactured, Russia has decided to be charitable or to extend credit to Assad, and to send its own troops into Syria to operate them. This is a 'system' and it sounds like the system isn't deployed yet.
No kidding: Argentinean prosecutor accuses Iran of infiltrating several Latin American countries
Alberto Nisman, the Argentinean prosecutor who is seeking to prosecute the Iranians involved in the AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires in the early '90's, is accusing Iran of infiltrating several Latin American countries. No kidding.
In a 500-page indictment realeased today, the General Prosecutor in
the AMIA case, Alberto Nisman, accused the Iranian regime of
"infiltrating" several South American countries "by building local
clandestine intelligence stations designed to sponsor, foster and
execute terrorist attacks, within the principles to export the Islamic
"Based in countless reports, evidence, testimonies, court and
investigative records related to other countries of the region, North
America and Europe, including rulings of foreign courts against the
Iranian regime, he proved the identical decision-making mechanism,
planning and execution of terrorist attacks verified in different
countries, which were judicially attributed to Iranian intelligence
agents," according to a briefing sent to the media.
In this presentation, Nisman was able to corroborate and strengthen
with new evidence, the responsibility of the highest authorities of the
Islamic Republic of Iran in the AMIA bombing, which cost the life of 85
people, stressing the higher decree of responsibility that Mohsen
Rabbani had not only in the attack, but also as a coordinator of the
Iranian infiltration in South America.
The two companies couldn't reach an agreement because Waze wanted to stay in Israel, while Facebook wanted the company to relocate to
California, says Isaac.
But the talks dissolved in recent days, according to sources, due in
part to conflicts over whether or not the Waze team — which is
predominantly based in Israel — would move over to the United States and
fold itself into Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, among
Reps from both Facebook and Waze declined to comment.
Waze’s mobile application seemed like a logical acquisition target
for Facebook, as Waze relies on crowdsourced traffic data, accident
reports and police traps from its 40-million-plus userbase to help
drivers better navigate their road trips. While competitors Google and
Apple both offer mapping services, Facebook currently does not offer any
sort of maps app.
And buying a popular mapping service could have been another way for
Facebook to push into mobile, complementing the social giant’s widely
adopted photo and messaging applications.
Moreover, Waze was built as a social application “from the ground up”
— a philosophy Facebook especially espouses — rather than as a mapping
application with a social layer slapped atop it. In essence, it fit with
Facebook’s vision of a social service. So it wouldn’t be impossible for
the two companies to figure out terms that make sense for both sides.
Maybe Google, which has a commitment to Israeli high tech, will buy them even though they want to stay here.
And for those of you who are high tech entrepreneurs who are thinking of going public, here's a word of advice. Waze is not a public company. While they have done three rounds of investment financing, their private investors are a lot less likely to sue them for not maximizing shareholder value by moving the company to Menlo Park. Think about it. And drop me an email if you're a high tech company and have any questions.
Rick Richman raises the possibility that exaggerated IRS scrutiny of applications for tax-exempt status by pro-Israel groups may have been undertaken at the behest of the 'Palestinians.' The proof is in the 'Palestine papers' published by al-Jazeera in 2011.
At the June 16 meeting, Erekat said Benjamin Netanyahu’s June 14 Bar-Ilan speech
had sought to put the Palestinians on the defensive. Netanyahu endorsed
a two-state solution and stated that in the meantime, “we have no
intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional
land for existing settlements,” but would “enable the residents to live
normal lives.” He urged the Palestinians to engage in immediate
negotiations, without preconditions. Erekat wanted to respond to the
speech with a letter to the U.S. that would cite the number of
individual housing units under construction. Dr. Mohammed Shtayyed made an additional suggestion to Erekat:
“We should also focus on the government incentives to settlers: loans
without interest, land for free, agricultural subsidies in the Jordan
valley. We can’t stop a pregnant lady from having a baby, but look at
what we can do. We should look at the 501(c)(3) organizations in the
States that make donations to settlers. Let the US administration
investigate this.” [Emphasis added].
Shatayyed was wrong about Israeli government incentives, which had
been terminated by Israel during the Bush administration, as part of a
negotiated arrangement (detailed by Elliott Abrams in Tested by Zion)
allowing new construction only within already built-up areas, which
permitted normal growth without an increase in the Israeli “footprint”
in the territories. Given our evolving knowledge of how the IRS operated
under Obama, however, it seems possible the Palestinians followed
through on Shtayyed’s other suggestion, asking the administration to
investigate pro-Israeli groups.
Yair Lapid spent a lot of time on Wednesday bragging about how he succeeded in imposing criminal sanctions on Haredi 'draft dodgers.' But in the end, he may not have really succeeded. While the sanctions are part of the bill, the person who gets to decide them is Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who opposed them (Hat Tip: Eliana).
Ya'alon said that he believed that the automatic imposition of criminal
sanctions without any discretion was a "serious mistake that would only
hold back the process" of integration of haredim and Arabs into the army
and the public service.
The Minister of Defense wrote that he
was happy that his position was accepted by the Committee on the issue
of imposition of criminal sanctions which would leave for the minister
of defense the ability to decide on the appropriate handling of
individuals or groups who do not get drafted.
that was accepted by the Peri Committee was that the intervening period
when criminal sanctions would not be levied on draft dodgers would be
increased from three years to four years, Israel Radio reported.
Of course, the problem will arise when someone other than Yaalon is Defense Minister....
“It doesn’t look good” for Hezbollah said Tony Badran, a research
fellow who focuses on Syria at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies
(FDD). Hezbollah has convinced many observers that their Iranian-trained “elite” fighters are a force to be reckoned with, a reputation now at risk.
Anywhere from 80 to 200 Hezbollah fighters have already been killed
in action in Syria over the past week, exposing a major lack of
operational preparation, Badran said.
“If it was intended to showcase Hezbollah’s power it’s not doing
that,” he said. “It’s showcasing their vulnerabilities. It’s showing a
lot of problems in the fighting force.”
Hezbollah forces are believed to have been stationed in Syria since
at least 2012 despite the terror group’s official denials, experts said.
The brigades are comprised of mid-level operational commanders and
younger troops who were trained in Iran in the wake of Hezbollah’s 2006 war against Israel.
Former Bush administration national security adviser Elliott Abrams
warned that Iran is succeeding in its goal of creating a pro-Assad haven
“It is not so shocking that we are not grasping the reality facing us in Syria,” Abrams recently wrote in the Weekly Standard.
“That reality is a humiliating defeat of the United States at the hands
of Iran and Hezbollah, aided by Russia, in a manner that destabilizes
and weakens all our allies and our influence in the Middle East,
emboldens our worst enemies, and has a significant geopolitical impact.”
“There is a corridor [Hezbollah] needs to control” in order to
protect Assad and Iranian interests, said Badran, who dubbed the area an
“IRGC island” in reference to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
However, Hezbollah’s persistent problems on the battlefield could jeopardize Iran’s pro-Assad plan.
Forces that have been dubbed as “elite” are turning out to be incompetent fighters, experts said.
So why didn't we win decisively in 2006 against Hezbullah? Because we had an incompetent defense minister, and a Prime Minister who didn't have the guts to fight to win.
There was an absurd moment in the battle for the small city of Qusair
when, last Monday, an old Israeli military jeep was paraded before
Syrian state television cameras. According to the state news agency
SANA, the jeep, which the army had supposedly captured in Qusair, was
clear proof of Israeli involvement in the Syrian civil war. In fact, it
added: "This confirms that Israel, Turkey and Qatar are leading the
aggression against Syria with a joint operations center."
The SANA report did not explain why they would do so with a vehicle
model that was taken out of service 10 years ago. As it turned out, the
jeep was from a museum's inventory. Before that, it had been used in the
Khima military prison, in southern Lebanon, to transport prisoners
until the Israeli army withdrew from the area in May 2000. After that,
the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah set up a memorial at the prison,
and now it had apparently brought the vehicle to Qusair. This would
explain why a tractor could be seen in front of the jeep in the photos.
Peri Committee approves criminal sanctions for Haredi 'draft dodgers'
The Peri Committee on 'equalizing the burden' on Wednesday approved criminal sanctions for Haredi 'draft dodgers.'
The ministerial committee for equalizing the burden approved
Wednesday imposing criminal sanctions on draft dodgers, including
Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Peri, culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat
and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich voted in favor of the
move. Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz and MK Uri Ariel
(Bayit Yehudi) abstained.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid lauded the
decision in press conference following the vote, describing the measure
as the first significant step toward equality in the burden.
"This government proved it can make a change, even in the most explosive topics," he said.
But if the goal is for Haredim to enter the IDF and the workforce, that goal was not served today. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who opposed the sanctions, expressed fear that the committee has set up a confrontation with the Haredim in which all progress that has been made toward Haredi enlistment, including Nachal Haredi (which is now the largest unit in the IDF), could be lost (link in Hebrew).
Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel points out that criminal sanctions would prevent many Haredim from entering the workforce by closing many (if not most) jobs to them even after the criminal sanctions period ends. In response to Ariel's claim, Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz proposed that the criminal sanctions be expunged from the person's record (it's not clear when and under what conditions), but that proposal was defeated by the committee.
After the committee vote, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid. son of Tommy, called a press conference to gloat (link in Hebrew). His main argument was that this isn't an attack on the Torah world. I can tell you that 99.99% of the Torah world sees it as precisely that. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
'Peace partner's adviser: Terrorist responsible for death of 38 Israelis
About a month ago, my car broke down on the Tel Aviv - Haifa highway, just before the southbound entrance to the Ayalon Expressway. On the side of the road was a prominent monument that marks the spot as the location where an Egged bus on which 38 people were murdered came to a stop on a Saturday in 1978. That terror attack is known as the Coastal Road massacre.
When I tried to describe to the towing company where I was, I said that I was next to the Coastal Road massacre monument. They were clueless. When I told them that I was a few hundred meters north of the entrance to the Ayalon Expressway on the southbound side, they understood where I was. The Coastal Road massacre has been largely forgottenby Israelis.
But not by 'Palestinians,' to whom the terrorists who carried out the massacre - still the bloodiest terror attack in Israel's history - are heroes. Now, it has been disclosed that our 'peace partner,' in whom Shimon Peres has so much confidence, 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud AbbasAbu Mazen, has appointed Hussein Fayyad (no relation to Salaam), who commanded the Coastal Road massacre terror attack, to be a top adviser.
Hussein Fayyad, one of the commanders of the terror group that carried out the
1978 Coastal Road massacre, revealed on Tuesday that Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas had appointed him as one of his advisers.
attack, which led to the killing of 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children,
was planned and carried out by Abbas’s Fatah faction.
Fayyad, who was
released in a prisoner swap with Israel in 1985, said that Abbas signed a decree
in 2008 promoting him to the position of “advisor” to the PA
However, Fayyad – who is not related to PA Prime Minister
Salam Fayyad – complained that the PA leadership has not done anything to ensure
that he get the job.
He also accused the PA of abandoning him and failing
to meet its promises to support him financially.
Bet on Mr. Fayyad getting one of those 'Palestinian prisoner' salaries real soon.
Americans in Israel constituted one of the largest groups to oppose President Obama's election both in 2008 and in 2012.
On Purim day in 2011, a US citizen in my neighborhood, who has been living here since he was a child, came up to me and asked whether I could help him with something to do with the IRS. It seems that the IRS had audited him because he had claimed the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), and had come back with a bill that was likely more money than he made in those years. The IRS decided that it had discovered fraud (with Americans in Israel reporting undocumented income in order to qualify for the credit) in claiming the child care credit. While that claim has some basis, the IRS has spent the last two years auditing the returns of - literally - every American in Israel who has ever claimed the credit.
In light of what has come to light over the past couple of weeks about the IRS targeting pro-Israel organizations and groups that do not support Obama, could it be that the IRS's widely targeted audits of American Israelis was more Obama vindictiveness?
To give you some idea of how Americans in Israel can claim this credit and the scope of the problem:
Americans living abroad are allowed to claim the ACTC, a refundable credit of up to $1,000 per child that is available to taxpayers who can't receive the full amount of the child tax credit because it exceeds their income tax liability. But because some return preparers have filed fraudulent returns fabricating earned income in order for their clients to claim the child credits, the IRS has begun scrutinizing all returns of Americans in Israel claiming the ACTC, practitioners said.
Philip Stein, a CPA who practices in Israel, said that in the last year, his firm hasmhandled more audits of Americans living in Israel than in the previous 30 years combined. He said the audits focus on one group: U.S. citizens living in Israel who claimed the refundable child tax credit. He added that the ACTC seems to be the sole area of expertise of the auditors involved.
The ACTC was "talked about a lot, particularly in the Orthodox community in Israel who have large families where salaries aren't very high," Smith said. "A lot of these Orthodox are people whose parents moved from the U.S. to Israel. Accountants and lawyers said to these people, 'You know, you don't make that much money. You're a U.S. citizen at birth. Your kids are not U.S. citizens. Make them U.S. citizens and you might be able to get checks from the U.S. government for the ACTC,'" he said.
Let's stop there for a minute. Orthodox Jews in Israel are a demographic that votes overwhelmingly against Obama. Could it be that they were targeted by the IRS because of that? Well, it's not so simple....
Because taxpayers must have earned income to be eligible f
or the ACTC, and
because most U.S
taxpayers living abroad do not have their wages reported to the
IRS, the credit is susceptible to fraud.
In Israel, some unscrupulous tax return preparers
have fabricated earned income for clients in order to get a cut of the refunds,
"They saw this as an opportunity to file returns, create large refunds,
and their billing was a percentage of a refund," Stein said.
However, most of the ACTC claims by Americans in Israel are legitimate, and the
IRS audits are straining the firms handling the cases, practitioners said.
many legitimate preparers "in Israel with clients who have been compliant for a decade,"
Unfortunately, the IRS doesn't have a way to distinguish between "preparers
who have been working the field for many decades and those who set up shop for this
purpose," he said.
The IRS audits have created tension between U.S.
taxpayers in Israel and the
The agency has raised the bar for what documentation it will accept as proof of
earned income, according to practitioners.
It now wants to see an Israeli Form 106, the
equivalent of a U.S.
Form 1040, to verify earned income, along with a certified translation
of the form, they said [Actually, the 106 is the equivalent of a W-2 in the US. Israelis who are not self-employed are generally not required to file Israeli tax returns, so most Israelis don't file anything like a 1040. CiJ].
Stein said that to meet the IRS standards
, taxpayers must translate a notarized
document [It's the translation that has to be notarized or certified by an attorney, so you have to hire a professional translator or an attorney to translate. CiJ] and hire an accountant to represent them in the audit.
"Besides the time and
aggravation factor, they spend half of what they were supposed to get in the refund"
on the audit, he said.
Plus many of them have to take their children to the US to register them as US citizens in the first place (that is the case where there is only one parent who is a US citizen). That's an expensive trip, the costs of which might be offset by the ACTC.
Admittedly, a minority of returns filed by Americans residing in Israel were fraudulent. In most cases involving fraudulent returns that I have heard about, the income wasn't fabricated but it was paid 'off the books' in Israel, which means that they are evading taxes in Israel, but telling the US how much they really earned. Surely, in those cases, one cannot argue that they're not legally liable to report that income in both countries. It's not the IRS's job to do tax enforcement for another country.
The other - less common - form of 'fraud' is declaring an educational stipend as earned income and being told by the IRS that it doesn't qualify. But many of the people who do that are actually being paid to teach and not just an educational stipend. Teaching is a legitimate occupation and that income happens to be earned. The IRS response, according to people I've talked to in that situation, is 'we don't believe you.'
What's unsaid here - and what would be most telling - is how many US citizens in other countries who claim the credit are audited by the IRS. For example, how many US citizens in the 'Palestinian territories' - where almost nothing is paid 'on the books' - are audited? How many US citizens in Greece - where tax liability is determined via a negotiation with the tax authorities - are audited? I'm going to bet that the numbers in those two countries are close to zero, as was the case in Israel until just 2-3 years ago. And I'm going to bet that almost no US citizens with income under $1 million who reside in any other foreign country get audited. Keep in mind that the IRS is unlikely to recover more than a few thousand dollars from each of these people, and would have a difficult time recovering from anyone who does not still maintain assets in the US.
So is the IRS targeting US citizens in Israel because we don't support Obama? I leave it to all of you to decide.
“Those who refuse to abduct Zionist soldiers renounce the pain and
suffering of thousands of prisoners yearning for freedom,” wrote
Abu-Ubaida, a spokesman for the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, on his
Facebook page, echoing the words used by Abbas in his speech.
“Operations to capture enemy soldiers and trade them for our heroic
prisoners are at the heart of our people’s culture, and are a source of
pride for them and their resistance,” Abu-Ubaida added.
CIA released Jihadi mastermind known for encouraging 'lone wolf' attacks to Syria
A Jihadi mastermind who is known for encouraging 'lone wolf' attacks was allegedly released to the Syrian intelligence services by the CIA in 2005, according to a report by Newsweek's Paris bureau chief and Middle East editor Christopher Dickey.
Abu Musab al-Suri was held in a Syrian prison until January 2012 until he was released by the Assad regime.
Here's a radio interview with Dickey about al-Suri.
“Clearly this move
is a threat to us,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said as he stood outside the
Home Front Command Headquarters in Ramle.
“At this point I cannot say
that there is a step-up in the shipment of the S-300. The deliveries have not
taken place, I can attest to this, and I hope they do not. But if, by some
misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do,” Ya’alon
Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said of Russia
decision, “one can not understand or justify such behavior. It is totally
He spoke in Jerusalem at a one day conference called, “Israel: A
new reality?” hosted by the Israel Project. Steintiz explained to the audience
of diplomats and journalist that the S-300 could be used both as a defensive and
offensive weapons. It is capable of hitting aircraft, including civilian planes,
“Supply such weapons to Assad in the middle of a civil war,
while he is slaughtering his own people,” Steinitz said, could be seen as a sign
of encouragement and support.
Russia used a European Union decision not to renew its boycott of weapons shipments to the Syrian rebels as an excuse to justify shipping the S-300 to Assad.
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee blasts IDF open fire rules, Chief of Staff won't change them
Coalition members in the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee demanded that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz relax the open fire rules so that IDF soldiers won't have to flee riots. But the IDF chief refused to make any changes.
The rules for opening fire in the West Bank will not be made less
stringent, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz told the Knesset Foreign
Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday.
"I get the impression from
conversations with people in the field that the spirit of command is
that when there's a conflict, it's better to run away," committee
chairman Avigdor Liberman (Likud Beytenu), who lives in the West Bank,
said. "This is a difficult feeling, but it's the reality."
MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud Beytenu) expressed concerns that soldiers are left defenseless when facing Palestinian rioters.
whole world and citizens of Israel are exposed to photos of IDF
soldiers stand helplessly facing rioting and attacks by Palestinians,
and the IDF must give them the tools to deal with such situations,"
Seeing soldiers retreating when attacked by rioters
requires the IDF to rethink its regulations, Rivlin added, because the
current situation incites further violence.
"No one in the Knesset
wants there to be a change of instructions that will lead to the unjust
loss of many lives, not only from a moral standpoint, but because it
can lead to an escalation," Gantz responded.
instructed to be determined, but not to pull the trigger, because doing
so would be against Israeli interests, Gantz said.
And so the IDF will continue to fight with its hands tied behind its back and to be sitting ducks for 'Palestinian' terrorists. And that leads to stories like this one.
Obama's half brother close friends with Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, IRS gave their foundation preferential treatment
In this photo, from the Barack H. Obama Foundation (BHOF) website,
headed by Malik, Omar al-Bashir can be seen dressed in black, to the
right. Another man to take notice of is seated directly to the right of
Bashir; his name is Suar Al Dahab.
The Barack H. Obama Foundation (BHOF) is linked to top Sudanese officials, a regime accused of terrorism and genocide. Walid Shoebat reported:
It has been learned that the relationship between President Barack Obama’s half-brother Malik Obama and Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir is much closer than previously thought…
…In 2010, Malik Obama attended the Islamic Da’wa Organization (IDO)
conference in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. One of the objectives of
the IDO is to spread Wahhabist Islam across the African continent.
Al-Bashir wasn’t just present at the conference; he supervised it.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-five years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 12 to 33 years and eight grandchildren. Three of our children are married and a fourth is engaged! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com