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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Kremlin Prepares for ‘Nuclear War’ As White House Considers ‘Cyber Attack’ as Middle East Hangs Between

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

Russian media is warning citizens to prepare for war – specifically, nuclear war – and ordering officials to prepare the nation’s bomb shelters and ensure that citizens have reviewed proper use of their gas masks.

“If it should one day, happen, everyone one of you should know where the nearest bomb shelter is,” said one newscaster on the state-run NTV television news channel. “It’s best to find out now.”

This past week Russia also announced a move to transfer nuclear-capable ballistic missiles to Kalininigrad, between Poland and Lithuania, its northern European enclave. The transfer places the missiles within striking distance of western European capitals.

Russia also test-fired three intercontinental ballistic missiles, and earlier this month announced it would hold joint “anti-terror” military drills with Egypt “in a desert environment.” Moscow is moving in to train with Egypt in military strategies, equipment and personnel and build a closer relationship Cairo, in a way similar to that in which it began with Syria years ago.

Moscow’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin claimed that tensions are at their worst since 1973, but not as bad as they were during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. “Despite the fact that we have a serious disagreement, we are continuing [to work together] in other areas – sometimes successfully,” he told reporters this weekend. However, he added that the crisis has followed a list of conflicts between the Kremlin and the White House.

“It’s a lack of basic respect,” Churkin said, “and a lack of in-depth discussions on political issues.” Among the issues he cited were the recruitment of Ukraine and Georgia for membership in NAT, and the ousting of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014. All, he said, were incited by the United States.

The U.S., meanwhile, has said it is considering a cyber attack in retaliation for a Kremlin-backed cyber snoop into American elections, and an outright hack attack against electoral data banks and the Democratic National Headquarters. The Kremlin has warned that any such attack would be met with a “harsh response.”

A number of news analysts have said that relations between Moscow and Washington have reached their lowest point since the Cold War, in fact.

According to ABC News, Russia has conducted a nationwide civil defense drill since September that has involved some 40 million citizens, preparing them for a panoply of disasters that run the gamut of war scenarios, including nuclear fallout, and announced who would run the nation should war break out. One of the simulations involved that specific scenario, in fact.

American logic dictates that Russia would not run a civil defense drill for 40 million people for the fun of it. But Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer, quoted by ABC News, says that all this is part of the grand show that may be necessary to inspire Russian lawmakers to raise a little cash for a decent military budget – which is up for renewal – when the economy is slow.

“Tensions are going to rise and rise and rise,” he said. “The good news is, no one really wants a war. But it’s going to be a good show.”

Hana Levi Julian

‘Anti-Semitism in Europe As Important As Climate Change’

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

On the eve of the Jewish new year, dozens of members of the European Parliament and heads of Jewish organizations gathered in the European Parliament to discuss the rise of anti-Semitism.

The delegates gathered for a conference focused on “The future of the Jewish communities in Europe,” attended by European Parliament President Martin Schulz and his deputy, Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT).

“The European Union sometimes has a reputation for talking a lot but delivering little,” observed “Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association (EJA).

“We are on the threshold of the Jewish new year, and unfortunately many of Europe’s Jews live in fear,” said Margolin. “Putting the army outside of our synagogues, radio stations, schools and shops is of course a welcome step to protect the lives of Jews – but this is just a temporary solution that does nothing to change the root cause of the problem.

“The crisis – and it is a crisis – affecting Jews across Europe – deserves the same attention as the EU institutions give to the economic crisis or climate change.

“That starts with a properly funded EU program, that teaches future generations about Jews, the Holocaust and the contributions that we, this small people, have made to the world.

Hana Levi Julian

Europeans Turn to Israel to Spur Lagging Economies

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – About 60 ministers of education from a range of OECD countries gathered Sunday in Jerusalem for a three-day program to explore Israel’s culture of entrepreneurship.

Participants in the Global Education Industry Summit, hosted by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, said that Europe’s business culture has largely stagnated in recent years. They added that for economies looking to develop tools for a rapidly changing technology marketplace of, Israel provides a model.

“We’ll we have to find ways to bolster innovation in Europe,” said Bartek Lessaer, policy analyst for the European Commission Directorate General for Education and Culture told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).  “We’ve been stagnating for several years. We know the Israeli economy has been very innovative – we’re here to learn how things are done here. We’d like to learn more about the linkage between business and public investment, and more efficient ways of engaging public money to stimulate new solutions to old problems.

Speakers at the opening plenum session at the Israel Arts and Science Academy campus in Jerusalem included Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Nobel Laureate Prof. Yisrael Aumann and concluded with a panel discussion featuring school principal Itai Benovitch and two honor role students.

Asked about the nature of Israel’s start-up culture – several delegates noted that many countries pride themselves on advanced science education programs, but have not developed the same reputation for technology advancement – Bennett and Aumann pointed to elements of the Israeli experience to explain the discrepancy.

“Israel is the number two superpower in the technology world, after California,” said Prof. Aumann. “Compare our story to China: They have an outstanding engineering curriculum, but there is a lack in basic science education. But basic, fundamental science is the driving factor here – it creates curiosity and wonder. Those things bubble up and inspire questions, which inspire people to apply [their knowledge].”

Education Minister Bennett then apologized to the professor for an “open display of Israeli ‘chutzpah’, saying the country’s entrepreneurial culture is a byproduct of a  culture norm in Israel that are largely absent overseas.

“First of all, we are trained to question authority here. We foster a culture of debate, and young people are expected to have confidence that their ideas have value.

“Second, When I served in an elite commando unit in the IDF, we were trained to deal with hostage situations. If the door was locked, we were expected to go in through the window. If the window wouldn’t open, we had to drill a hole in the roof. If that didn’t work – well, we had to do something else. The expectation was clear: Get It Done was the expectation. Period.

“That is the secret of the start-nation,” said Bennett.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Catch 22: Letting Hamas Partake in PA Free Elections Could Topple the PA

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

According to Israeli security apparatus estimates, there’s a significant chance that Hamas will win the municipal elections in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza by a landslide, severely weakening the PLO dominated Palestinian Authority and compromising Israeli security. The municipal elections are set to take place on October 8, in close proximity to the international peace conference in Europe, which means Israel is less likely to step in to block the vote, even if it wanted to. Also, doing so would thwart the only back to back democratic event to have ever existed in the territories Israel conceded in the Oslo Accord — that the 2012 municipal elections be followed in an orderly and legal fashion by the 2016 municipal elections.

However, according to Israeli media, many in the PLO leadership are leaning on PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to postpone or cancel the municipal elections, fearing a repeat of the 2006 parliamentary elections in which Hamas defeated the PLO and a year later forcibly exiled Abbas and his PA from Gaza.

It should be noted that the Oslo Accords forbid the participation of terror organizations in PA elections, but Hamas has already set a precedence in 2006, and today’s PA is even weaker and less popular than it was ten years ago. Abbas may not be able to push the date, much less cancel the vote, because such a move could result in riots across the PA.

The city of Shechem is a clear example of the PA Chairman’s loss of control over the security situation in much of the area under his authority. According to Israeli media, the PA no longer rules in Shechem, which is mired in anarchy that could spread to other cities, most likely to Hebron, already considered a bastion of Hamas. Shechem today is being ruled by about 100 armed gangsters, belonging to both political and criminal groups. This month there have been bloody confrontations between PA security forces and the armed locals, resulting in four dead, two of them police.

Senior PLO sources have told Israeli media that Mahmoud Abbas has lost interest in local security issues under his care, and the man in charge is his chief aide, Tayeb Abdel-Rahim, who also controls the intelligence reports reaching Abbas’ desk.

Hamas has recently published a propaganda video showing the Gaza Strip as a kind of Paradise, with large parks, luxury buildings, a sassy nightlife, and shopping areas. It also features Gaza residents holding up signs saying, “Thank you, Hamas.” Will PA voters fall for this propaganda? Probably not. They will not vote for Hamas because they are unaware of the poverty and destruction that permeate the Gaza Strip, they’ll vote for Hamas because they perceive it as more anti-Israel and less corrupt than the PLO.

Israeli pundits believe the big winners from a Hamas win in the PA would be Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) and Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi), who would benefit from the decisions of alarmed Israeli voters. Which is why Prime Minister Netanyahu should be invested in making it harder for Hamas candidates to win in the PA. Mass arrests of Hamas activists could be the way to go — risking international condemnation, naturally, but too much might be at stake for the Israeli PM to care.


British Airlines Trims Food Service on Economy Flights

Monday, August 15th, 2016

If you’re reading this and flying to Europe on British Airways, you may want to pack yourself a little something to eat.

The national British carrier has just cut its food service in the wake of Brexit, the separation of the United Kingdom from the rest of the European Union.

British Airways is down to to one meal only for economy passengers on flights under eight and a half hours. This includes flights between the UK to the United States and Canada.

The same belt-tightening measure has been applied to premium economy passengers on flights under seven hours.

“We offer customers on all of our trans-Atlantic flights a three-course meal, bar service and snacks, and on our longer trans-Atlantic flights, including to the West Coast, customers are offered an extra meal during the flight,” said a spokesperson for the airline.

The above does not necessarily apply to passengers who order kosher and/or glatt kosher pre-packaged meals.

Hana Levi Julian

St. Louis Churches Reject Black Lives Matter’s Anti-Israel Message

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten, President of the Ecumenical Leadership Council of St. Louis, on Sunday published a letter in the St. Louis Post Dispatch headlined, “Churches reject Black Lives Matter’s platform on Israel.” Bishop Wooten, a graduate of Saint Louis University who served in the city’s public school system for 30 years, has created a Neighborhood Outreach Center, two Charter schools and a local Church that contains and supports more than 45 outreach ministries.

“Recently, Black Lives Matter issued a platform of demands. One of the demands called for the elimination of US aid to Israel. Their argument is that Israel is an apartheid state perpetrating genocide against the Palestinians,” Bishop Wooten wrote, noting that “most of the platform’s readers are likely unaware that its Israel/Palestine section was written by an activist who was born and raised as a Jew, although Rachel Gilmer says she no longer identifies as Jewish.”

Thank you, Bishop Wooten, for pointing out the smaller details of things, where all the pain usually resides, mostly personal, unresolved pain.

“The Ecumenical Leadership Council of Missouri, representing hundreds of predominantly African-American churches throughout the state, rejects without hesitation any notion or assertion that Israel operates as an apartheid country,” Bishop Wooten continued. “We embrace our Jewish brethren in America and respect Israel as a Jewish state. Jewish-Americans have worked with African-Americans during the civil rights era when others refused us service at the counter — and worse.”

Yes, dear reader, there’s an alliance between African Americans and Jews, there’s a friendship and an affinity — they just don’t exist on the extreme left of American politics. They probably never did.

“Anyone who studies American history will no doubt find the names Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman, two Jews and an African-American, who lost their lives trying to provide civil rights for blacks in the south,” Bishop Wooten noted, concluding, “We cannot forget their noble sacrifices. Neither should Black Lives Matter.”

The letter, which should bring any self-loving Jew to tears, reminded me of the joke about the European Jew who brags about Europe having the best museums and best culture, and what do you have in America, he asks? We, answers his Jewish American friend, have the best goyim.

David Israel

Meet the Israeli Startup that Cracked the ISIS Target List

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Herzliya (TPS) – An emerging Israeli startup firm in the cyber-security sector managed to infiltrate an encrypted Islamic State group and to retrieve the terror organization’s latest list of international attack targets.

IntSights is a cyber-intelligence startup company, founded by three Israeli entrepreneurs in their 20s. The founders are veterans of top IDF intelligence and cyber-warfare units, and already according to the founders, their clients include large international establishments such as banks, industry giants and telecommunications companies.

“IntSights is a small company which provides intelligence and incident mitigation in real time by gathering and analyzing data from the darknet, an encrypted and secretive section of the Internet often used by criminal elements,” Alon Arvatz, VP Intelligence and Co-Founder, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) in an interview. “Using the technology we developed, we intercepted the most recent target-list sent by the Islamic State to its operatives around the world.”

IntSights analysts used their expertise to infiltrate a Telegram Messenger chat used by the Islamic State terror group to communicate internationally. The Telegram application has been used by the top 500 Islamic State operatives to share plans and locations for potential terrorist attacks mandated by the IS leadership.

“The Telegram app is completely encrypted, which means no fear of someone monitoring your correspondence and understanding what it means,” Arvatz explained. “That’s why IS moved from traditional social media to Telegram over the last year.”

According to IntSights, the application is used by Islamic State cyber-warfare arm, the United Cyber Caliphate, to publish targets in the form of a call to action with the knowledge that someone around the world would answer the call and carry out an attack.

“The church in France that was recently the location of a deadly attack appeared on a target list published several months ago and someone recently decided to answer the call and attacked that very church,” said Arvatz. “This proves beyond doubt that there is a direct link between cyber activity and actual terror attacks.”

The newest target list was published on the Telegram group on Monday and was intercepted by IntSights.

“The long list includes exact coordinates for each and every target, all of which are airports and air bases that are used or could be used by the United States Air Force all over the world,” Arvatz told TPS.

The list was followed by a file with a world map on which all the airports and bases were marked with pinpoint precision, as well as aerial footage of the higher priority targets. Entries in the list that were marked as “preferred targets,” include the Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait and two Bahraini airports. The full list includes targets in Latin America, Europe and even Israel.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/meet-the-israeli-startup-that-cracked-the-isis-target-list/2016/08/04/

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