Monday, August 14, 2017

Time to Change the Rules of the Game

BY  LIOR AKERMAN    APRIL 20, 2017 
 Over the past two years, more than 53 countries have suffered from damage caused by terrorism.

 The current wave of terrorism in Israel and the West Bank, as well as the wave of terrorism that has gripped Europe this past year, have received such extensive media coverage that viewers might be led to believe that this violence has sprung up from within a sea of calm.

The reality, of course, is nothing of the sort, and it’s important for us to know where we’re headed.

Every year, the Institute for Economics and Peace publishes the Global Terrorism Index, which tracks acts of terrorism that take place around the world, and data from indices published in previous years leave little room for doubt. The number of people killed as a result of terrorist attacks rose 80% in 2014 compared with the previous year and stood at 32,000 – an all-time record.

This record high figure remained constant during 2015 and 2016, which turned out to be just as violent, even though they had a slightly lower number of total victims. This violence was mainly due to the intensification of fighting against ISIS in Western countries.

Over the past two years, more than 53 countries have suffered from damage caused by terrorism. The countries that were the most affected were, not surprisingly: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and Pakistan. In Europe, dozens of countries suffered from terrorist attacks in the past two years. Thirty-four of them experienced isolated incidents, but the number of casualties went up by hundreds of percentage points from previous years.

According to the 2014 Index, the damage to the world economy caused by terrorist attacks amounted to $53 billion, 10 times the amount caused in the year 2000. In 2015, this amount rose to $89b. and it is still steadily rising.

More than one-third of the victims of terrorism are Muslim, and most of the attacks are carried out in Muslim countries. Whereas most attacks that didn’t take place in Muslim countries took place in Eastern Asia and South America, the most recent Index shows an increase in attacks taking place in Europe.

Even in Israel and in Palestinian Authority territory, most attacks were inspired by ISIS and other global jihad organizations.

Hamas will continue to strengthen its hold on the Gaza Strip and prepare itself for the next battle with the IDF, which will take place at a time to be determined by Hamas alone.

Hezbollah is busy fighting against ISIS in Syria, and so does not currently pose much of a threat to Israel’s northern border.

ISIS has suffered severe and debilitating defeats in the last few months of fighting, and yet has still managed to carry out a few isolated terrorist attacks in European countries.

This trend is expected to continue, especially since Turkey’s eastern border allows for relatively free and easy passage for ISIS militants making their way to the West. Many Eastern European fighters who went to Iraq to fight for ISIS have now returned home and are actively carrying out attacks in their home countries.

Iran has the interest and the funds to finance terrorist organizations, but apart from Hezbollah, all the other terrorist groups in the Middle East are Sunni, and so Shi’ite Iran would not be willing to offer them support.

So what is Islam and how dangerous of a threat does it pose to the world? Islamist terrorist organizations number about 100,000 armed fighters, most of whom are located in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. There are another few hundred thousand people who support these organizations. The Muslim world numbers more than 1.5 billion people.

Less than 0.01% of them are actively involved in terrorist activity and less than 0.1% support these organizations. And at the most, 10% of all Muslims support the religious struggle for the destruction of all other religions and the establishment of a Muslim caliphate over the face of the earth.

So how is it possible that such a small percentage of our planet’s population can sow fear in all of us? The answer can be found here.

Western countries, led by the USA and European countries, deluded themselves that Islamist terrorism would remain in Africa and Asia and would not find its way to their doorstep. They didn’t learn the lessons from the past, and didn’t internalize the fact that without treating the root of the problem, it would be impossible to stop the spread of terrorism.

US President Trump is showing initial signs of willingness to put up a good fight against terrorism, but European countries are still lagging behind.

If the EU is serious about preventing the escalation of terrorism in Europe, it must carry out a number of measures: Identify and map dangerous population centers; make legislative changes that would enable the authorities to carry out counterterrorism activity; carry out law enforcement; form an intelligence gathering network; have counterterrorism departments collaborate; and understand the difference between an organized jihadist Islamist network and lone wolf attacks.

Western countries – especially Israel – must understand that we cannot ignore terrorism.

Instead, we must fight against it with all the force, determination and courage we can muster.

We cannot let our guard down even for a moment, and must use all the legislative and legal powers we possess.

Empty threats and press conferences, talk about humanism and shelling empty plots of land won’t help at all – they will only perpetuate our struggle and encourage the continuation of terrorism. Even if terrorism does not constitute an existential threat to the planet, it’s time to change the rules of the game and start fighting a real war against it.






INTEL - NEW ISRAELI CYBERSECURITY COLLABORATIONS

Our son in law works in Intel and our daughter's company provides services to Intel, so when Intel makes a major announcement, we sit up and take note. The area where both companies are located, Kiryat Gat is one of the main hubs for forward thinking and as reported by Sharon Udasin, Intel are now saying that :-  
“Our mission is to tackle the biggest problems in cybersecurity and give organizations the advantage over cyber attackers."
 Expanding its involvement in Israel’s growing cybersecurity sector, Intel on Wednesday announced new collaborations with two Tel Aviv-based firms.

The US chip giant will be partnering with Team8, a cybersecurity think tank that helps launch cyber start-ups and serves as a platform for research initiatives. In addition, Intel will be joining hands with Illusive Networks to develop a solution for combating advanced persistent threats – network attacks by unauthorized sources in which data is generally stolen – by harnessing hardware and software competencies simultaneously.

The Intel-Team8 collaboration will involve an exchange of information regarding cyber threats, with a goal of developing solutions that are able to respond to both current and future risks, the partners said. Run by veterans of the IDF’s 8200 intelligence unit, Team8 is a self-described “cyber powerhouse” that works together with innovators to help create disruptive, industry-leading cybersecurity companies.

“The collaboration is meant to help Intel develop cutting edge cyber technologies and products,” said Rick Echevarria, vice president of the software and services group and general manager of the platform security division at the Intel Corporation. “Team8 will be instrumental in helping us pinpoint the opportunities for Intel innovation to address the challenges in the cyber security segment.”

Intel will be joining current Team8 syndicate members – including Microsoft, Cisco, Qualcomm, AT&T, Citigroup, Accenture, Nokia, Temasek, Mitsui, Bessemer Venture Partners, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors and Marker LLC – which work closely with Team8 during company creation processes.

“Our mission is to tackle the biggest problems in cybersecurity and give organizations the advantage over cyber attackers,” said Nadav Zafrir, cofounder and CEO of Team8. “Adding Intel to our syndicate is a critical extension that will give us a unique insight to the security challenges associated with the mobile, cloud and IoT revolutions.”

As far as the partnership with Illusive Networks is concerned, Intel and Illusive will be working to extend deception-based cybersecurity from software to hardware, by diverting attack commands from potential targets and frustrating further progress, the companies said. Real-time alerts will also provide customers with contextual forensics, in order to neutralize threats in their early stages, the firms added.

“Creating an innovative solution that combines both software and hardware demonstrates Illusive’s commitment to protect at every level of cyber defense,” said Ofer Israeli, CEO of Illusive Networks. “Attackers are innovating at a very rapid pace and this collaboration demonstrates Intel’s engagement to move beyond traditional security measures and effectively protect its customers against sophisticated adversaries.”

Also on Wednesday, Intel announced its intentions to expand its Israeli Cyber Security Center of Excellence, managed by serial cyber entrepreneur Jacob Mendel. At the center, Intel is employing a number of cybersecurity researchers who are developing advanced techniques to help the company harden its products against attacks, the company said.


Monday, August 7, 2017

25 Syrian children, all terrified of us

Here is a guest blog written by the commander of the IDF's Operation Good Neighbour, which provides humanitarian aid to Syrians harmed in their country's bloody civil war. The IDF prohibits the naming of his identity.
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I remember the beginning of Operation Good Neighbor as if it were yesterday. The truth is that we had serious doubts about whether it would really happen — whether the Syrians would actually arrive. Then, at 3:00 am in the freezing cold of the Golan Heights, we noticed them walking along the fence.

Twenty-five children holding their mothers’ hands passed through the gates in what seemed like a modern Exodus. The phrase “The Syrians are at the border” took on new meaning.
You could see the suspicion in their eyes. Tired and barefoot in the darkness, they met IDF soldiers for the very first time, we who had been so demonized by their culture. After many conversations with quite a few Syrians, I have come to realize that it’s no myth: up until the day they received our help, many Syrians genuinely believed IDF soldiers had horns and tails.
It was surreal to see a mother holding her little daughter’s hands, almost collapsing from weakness. Instinctively, one of the Golani soldiers on the scene noticed the woman stumble and leapt towards her, gathering the child up in his arms. Suddenly, it seemed the border had disappeared: it was a human moment shared between people, a moment of distress on the one hand and of compassion on the other. A moment I will never forget.
Since then, we have come a long way. That operation marked the beginning of an intensive period of humanitarian activity. Every day and every night, 24/7, we operated a system that did only good. We provided flour, baby food, medical supplies and medicine in huge quantities, and that was only the beginning.
Across the border there is a civil war – the cruelest of its kind — and our job was to make history and be remembered as the ones who did the right thing. Today, with the perspective I have gained from nearly a year, I realize that that very first moment at the fence was historic. A moment, I hope, that will be engraved in our memory – a moment of Israeli pride and Jewish compassion.
Before all else, I always remember that my mission is to ensure security – to create good neighborly relations on both sides of the border – and we do this, perhaps, in the most noble way possible. It is a great privilege to command a unit with this mission, in this place and at this time. We have been given the opportunity to reshape reality, and with a lot of motivation and good people I believe we will continue to do our very best.
Over the past year I can count dozens of meaningful moments, but one has become engraved in my memory, and I think there is nothing more appropriate to describe the activity of being a “good neighbor.” A week into the winter, during a severe rainstorm, we decided, at the request of the Syrians, to go forward with a plan to take in sick children although the harsh weather dictated otherwise. At the end of the activity, I found myself standing with the Syrian doctor, the operation’s civil liaison in one of the villages in the area. The two of us, soaking wet, looked at each other and laughed.
“I told you it would be difficult,” I told him.
Without hesitating, he replied with a smile, “Every day hundreds of bombs fall on the Syrian people – a little rain will not break us.”

Then the doctor became serious. “Every time you accept us,” he said, “we will come.”


Europeans Fund Palestinian ‘Right’ to Terror Pay


While many Europeans oppose Palestinian terror salaries, European-funded organizations actually promote these stipends.  
A number of European governments have joined the US in demanding that the Palestinian Authority (PA) end its policyof paying salaries to Palestinian prisoners convicted of terror crimes.
The monthly stipends are incitement toterrorism, while the PA claims that they are “welfare”payments.
The UK froze some ofits aid to the PA over this issue; Germany launched an investigation; Norway “demanded that the PA stop using its funds — which include donations by foreign countries — to support convicted terrorists and their families”; a Parliamentary motion in the Netherlands noted that “this funding can have a negative effect, in which criminality and terrorism are rewarded”; and the European Union (EU) emphasized that “allowances…for Palestinian prisoners, their families and ex-detainees” have “never been financed by the EU.”
In reality, a number of Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive European government funding under the banner of “human rights” assert that terrorists have a “right” to receive salaries and that suspending these payments is a violation of international law.
NGO officials also have not questioned the legitimacy of violent responses by the Palestinian street, and some of their statements can be interpreted as veiled threats of violence meant to prevent an end to payments, said NGO Monitor, an independent research institution that monitors other NGOs claiming to fight for human rights but which in fact assault Israel.
A Violation of Human Rights?
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) on July 25 organized a workshop on the “Consequences of Former Prisoners’ Salary Suspension on their Economic and Social Rights.”
PCHR director, Raji Sourani, stated that “the decision of suspending former prisoners’ salaries was shocking to the prisoners, their families and all Palestinians as it is illegal, immoral, and violates the Basic Law and the international human rights.”
In the 1980s, Sourani was convicted for his membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group.
General Director of Palestinian “human rights” organization Al-Haq, Shawan Jabarin, warned, “If their rights are eroded we are heading for a real crisis in Palestinian society and in due course toward an explosion.”
Similarly, Director General of Palestinian “civil rights” group Hurryyat, Helmi al-Aaraj, announced, “To lay a finger on the prisoners’ rights is to attack thePalestinian struggle.”
Another organization, Al-Dameer, stated that it “condemns and deplores the Ramallah government’s decision to cut the salaries of a number of released prisoners in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This policy was implemented unlawfully and arbitrarily in response to the Israeli and American demands to stop paying the salaries of prisoners.”

All these NGO’s are heavily funded by European countries.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

FASTING AND INTRASPECTION


Today is the fast of Tisha b’Av, or the ninth of the month of Av, through this fast we mourn the destruction of the ancient Jewish Temple – a double destruction in fact, the first time by the Babylonians in 586 BCE and and the second by the Romans in 70 CE which saw the Jewish people exiled from their homeland of Israel. So writes Melanie Philiips (A Day To Teach the World)
The Temple, sited on the Temple Mount, the one that the Arab Muslims deny ever existed. The one on whose ancient site on Temple Mount Jews are barred from praying in case this is used as a pretext by the Arab and Muslim world to start World War Three. The one which the Arab Muslims have turned into a battleground.
The Arab Muslims claim there never was a Jewish Temple there. Their denial that the land of Israel was ever the Jewish homeland is centred on their claim that there never was a Temple in Jerusalem, only the al Aqsa mosque. Yet when illegally excavating an area for another mosque on the site they disposed of tons of earth containing artefacts proving the existence of the temple.They wanted to conceal this because their war of extermination against Israel is based on the lie that the Muslims are the original inhabitants of the land. But they have not succeeded.
What the fast of Tisha b’Av itself also tells the world is that the Jews were in Jerusalem before the Babylonians, before the Romans, before the Christians and most certainly before the Muslims. What Jews mourn on Tisha b’Av is an actual historical event.
And, states Melanie, “that’s what so many in the west also don’t grasp – that the Jews alone are the indigenous people of the land, and that Judaism is based on an actual nation which practised its religion in the actual historic kingdom of Judea”.
“But because Islam holds that any territory ever occupied by Muslims remains Muslim for ever and can be ruled by no-one else, the Muslim world will not accept this. That’s why the war over Temple Mount is not being waged in the name of the Palestinians or even the Arabs but – according to Mahmoud Abbas amongst others – all Muslims”.
Tisha b’Av is day of mourning and it’s still relevant today. For those wanting to destroy us are still with us, the Temple Mount is still occupied and the stones are still being hurled down from it. The only difference is that instead of the Romans, today it is Arab Muslims.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Palestinians Return to the Temple Mount?

 So the Palestinians will return to the Temple Mount after police confirmed that all cameras installed after the murder of two policemen on July 14 had been removed. But police officials told Israeli media they’ll be on high alert during Friday prayers tomorrow:
"Police Commander of the Jerusalem District Maj.-Gen. Yoram Halevi said on Thursday morning that he expects many Muslim worshipers to attend prayers at the al-Aksa mosque on Friday, and that he expects attempts to harm police personnel and civilians."

“Do not test us tomorrow, and no one should be surprised if there are injuries on the other side,” he said in a stark message to the Palestinians. “I call on the leadership of the other side act to calm the atmosphere, and again not to test us tomorrow.”
With continuing incitement at all levels of the PA, why should we expect anything else?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Palestinian Hypocrisy? No, it’s worse, far worse!


It’s incitement to Murder!

Falseness, deceit, dishonesty, mendacity, pretense, duplicity – take your pick – can describe some of the Muslim world’s predictable knee-jerk reaction to Israel installing metal detectors placed outside at the entrance to al-Ḥaram al-Qudsī al-Šarīf, (“the Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem”), or as referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount – but it is far worse.

It is incitement to murder and all those hypocritical counties supporting the PA’s nefarious position – it is nothing less than complicity of the same charge.

With a pretense of “holy sensitivities” – as if God; any God – would not support an action that saves lives, the PA, and their fellow merchants of death, have come up with the argument that metal detectors are “an instrument of the occupation”.

What a spurious ‘argument’; how disturbing that it finds traction with those same countries – including the PA – that have those same metal detectors to save lives at their holy shrines and sites.

Metal detectors are not political, they are devices to save lives – the lives of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Druze, Bedouin and atheists, heterosexuals, gays and our animals, who are not party to politics or religion but are all equally – creatures of God.

Whether to Laugh or Cry?

Whether to laugh at the obvious stupidity of hypocritical leadership or cry at the potential tragic results, one must ask – Why the sudden outcry?

Thousands of Palestinians pass daily through metal detectors at shopping malls and state institutions, such as the Post Office, Railway Stations, the National Insurance Institute, hospitals, and medical centers. They don’t complain because they know it’s for their personal safety. If they staged such protests at any airport in the world, they would not be allowed to fly anywhere – including to Mecca on Hajj!

Yes, in Mecca, the Saudi Arabia government has made compulsory the wearing of electronic bracelets by the millions of pilgrims as a security measure.

The only reason for the outrage is another means to galvanise support to undermine Israel.  If lives are lost, they don’t care; they invite it for they are the Merchants of Death. And the audacity to assume that God supports this murderous venture and to expect countries who all have introduced these same security measures, is beyond belief.

Who among the international community are likely to sign off on this?

• Surely not the Saudis as noted above

• Surely not Bangladesh, where Security Magnetometers were placed at the entrance to the National Central Mosque in its capital Dhaka, at the end of 2016 after a terrorist attack killed 20 people.

• Surely not in India
Security Magnetometers at the entrance
to a Mosque in New Delhi, India.














• Surely not Egypt where it installed Security Magnetometers in 2016 at the mosque in Giza

• Surely not Kuwait which installed Security Magnetometers at the entrance to its mosques in 2015 and 2016 after numerous terror attacks that took place in mosques in the kingdom at that time.

• Surely not Dubai which started in 2015 to install walk-through security gates with metal detectors and CCTV at all gates with a source saying at the time:

• Surely not Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population than any other country in the world and has installed metal detectors at the entrance to a Catholic church in Jakarta to protect the lives of Christian worshipers.

• Surely not France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe and where there was no outcry when in November 2015 manual security checks for worshipers were conducted to those entering a mosque in Paris after the combined attack in the French capital in which 130 civilians were murdered.

• Surely not the USA who is trying to restrict easy entry of citizens from certain Muslim countries even entering the country.

In truth, surely not any country in the world with a responsible government.

Israel installed the Security Magnetometers at the entrance to al-Ḥaram al-Qudsī al-Šarīf or Temple Mount ONLY after two Druze Israeli policemen standing guard were shot by weapons that had been smuggled inside earlier because there were no metal detectors. The tragic result was that the policemen who were looking outward were attacked by surprise from the inside. Where is the Palestinian outcry about this MURDER or the incitement that has followed with three elderly Jewish civilians being murdered in a bloody knife attack.

Is this what the PA is asking the world to endorse – the right to murder?

Lies and Deception

The PA, Jordan and Turkey are accusing Israel of violating the status quo by installing metal detectors. This could not be further from the truth.

The Israeli government did not take the decision to install the metal detectors to alter the status quo or stop Muslims from praying; on the contrary, they took it precisely to preserve the status quo in a secure and safe environment.

Why did they protest the plan? No brainer – the Palestinians were afraid that their violence, harassment and amassing of weapons to attack Jewish visitors and police officers would be captured on camera.

It is this same thinking as to why they oppose the metal detectors – they want to be free to murder Jews.

In the same manner as measures to secure holy sites in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Indonesia, the Emirates, France and nearly everywhere in the world, it should apply no less than in Jerusalem that has built into its name – shalom and salaam – PEACE.

The world needs to bring some sanity to the PA leaders that they are not free to incite murder!