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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

ISIS and Iran: A New Era Ignites in Israel, America and the World

Monday, November 30th, 2015

This month’s massacre in Paris was horrific — it stole the lives of 130 people and wounded more than 350 others — but may be only the beginning of a new era.

Da’esh (ISIS) has from the start made no secret of its intent to build a worldwide caliphate through brutality, violence and genocide. The group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is also clear about the organization’s perfect willingness to simply eliminate those standing in its way.

If al-Baghdadi is neutralized, there is no guarantee whatsoever that the organization will disband. In fact, it is highly likely that it will not: Al Qaeda has simply mushroomed and metastasized since the death of Osama bin Laden, probably as he intended and designed it to do.

The battle begun by Da’esh was likewise never intended to be limited to the Middle East, nor has it been: Da’esh attacks have been recorded throughout the Middle East – in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Israel, and Iraq, but also in Africa, southeast Asia, Europe, Australia and North America.

More than a third of Iraqi territory now belongs to Da’esh, stitched to the swathe of what formerly was known as Syria. President Bashar al-Assad has barely hung on to the province around the capital, Damascus — and even that only with the assistance of Russia, and Iran with its elite Revolutionary Guard troops and its Lebanese proxy, the Hezbollah guerrilla terrorist fighters.

Likewise, Da’esh has been clear from the outset that Israel is far from being an exception to the targets: it dreams of seizing the Holy Land for the crown jewel among its territorial conquests.

To that end, the terror group recently launched a cyber jihad fundraising campaign to provide arms to help Palestinian Authority Arabs in their attacks on Israeli Jews in this latest wave of terror.

Plus, in recent video threats Da’esh promised a Paris-style massacre “coming soon” to Washington DC, along with renewed attacks on Paris for good measure.

As all this Sunni-based radical Islamist activity takes place, however, Shi’a Iran is now becoming eligible to receive new uranium enrichment hardware from Russia, and economic sanctions that were slowing down its nuclear technology race towards an atomic weapon are now being relaxed as well.

But the Islamic Republic of Iran has yet to keep up its end of the nuclear deal agreed upon by the six world powers in Vienna this summer. The uranium enrichment centrifuges already in its possession have not been powered down in the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran, according to international inspectors who monitor the plant. And there are other issues as well.

So it would seem that while Sunni extremists are on a rampage, Shi’a scientists are hard at work making sure their own proxies will have the proper equipment to finish the job.

The Iranians so far have fought Da’esh on behalf of Assad, and frankly, in fear that their own country would be swallowed.

Israel has fought them both.

But in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the Iranian-backed Hamas terror group — spawned by the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood — has strongly supported Da’esh, providing arms and technical support. This has taken place even though the two are bitter enemies in Gaza, where the Shi’ite Iranians still generously support Hamas against the increasing strength of the radical Islamist Da’esh, which insists that Hamas does not represent “true Islam.”

And it is here — in this dichotomy — that the seeds of a new Axis of Evil are beginning to sprout.

Sunni and Shi’ite Muslim terror factions normally at war with each other are perfectly willing to set aside their differences when presented with a common enemy. In Egypt, in the Sinai Peninsula, they are fighting together to rout what they perceive as “secular” government forces from the region, who ousted former Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi from office.

Under the same banner, they are already beginning to unite in Judea, Samaria and elsewhere in Israel to share resources toward a common goal: annihilating Israel.

In the future, they will eventually do the same when aiming at America.

How will Europe, Russia and the United States respond on the day that Da’esh and Iran formally put aside their differences and unite their forces to attack?

IAEA Chief Warns No Guarantee All of Iran’s Nuclear Material is for Peaceful Activities

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

The head of the United Nations agency monitoring the Islam Republic’s compliance with the deal signed with world powers in July warned in prepared remarks on Thursday that he cannot guarantee that “all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the November meeting of the agency’s 35-member board of governors in Vienna in his introductory statement that he was “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.” (Italics are Amano’s)

“The Agency has continued its monitoring and verification activities in relation to the Joint Plan of Action,” he continued.

“October 18th was Adoption Day for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was agreed between Iran and six countries and the EU in July this year. On the same day, Iran informed the Agency that, effective on Implementation Day, it will provisionally apply its Additional Protocol and fully implement the modified Code 3.1.

“The Agency is conducting preparatory activities related to the verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, including verification and monitoring of the steps Iran has begun taking towards the implementation of those commitments.

“The activities set out in the Road-map between Iran and the Agency for the period to October 15th were completed on schedule. A wrap-up technical meeting took place between Iran and the Agency on November 24th.

“Next week, I expect to provide my final assessment on all past and present outstanding issues, as set out in my report of November 2011, for action by the Board.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States and the other five world powers involved in negotiations with Iran over the nuclear deal from the outset that the terms being considered — and which were eventually agreed upon — left inspectors no way to assure Iran’s compliance with the agreement.

The deal was allegedly intended to prevent Iran from completing its race to achieve an atomic weapon of mass destruction, and from gifting or selling the technology or the weaponry itself to other enemy entities, such as radical Islamist terrorist organizations like Hamas, whose charter includes a declared intent to annihilate the State of Israel.

In other ways, however, it was more likely intended to get ‘business as usual’ back on track with the Islamic Republic, which has since seen European nations politely rushing to invite Tehran to gradually renew economic and diplomatic ties.

Iran Sentences US-Iranian Washington Post Journalist to Prison as ‘Spy’

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian was sentenced to an unspecified prison term by the Iranian judiciary, according to a report broadcast Sunday by Iranian state television.

Rezaian, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen raised in Marin County, California, had traveled to the country with his wife Yeganeh Salehi and two photojournalists. He was detained in Iran with them all on July 22, 2014.

All were released except the reporter, who was tried and convicted on charges of espionage, and other undisclosed charges as well. Iran does not recognize dual nationality status and labeled Rezaian an “American spy.”

Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl vigorously denied the accusations: “We’re aware of the reports in the Iranian media, but have no further information at this time,” he said in a statement. “Every day that Jason is in prison is an injustice. He has done nothing wrong. Even after keeping Jason in prison 488 days so far, Iran has produced no evidence of wrongdoing. His trial and sentence are a sham, and he should be released immediately.”

Rezaian’s attorney, Leila Ahsan, told The Associated Press that she had not even been informed of the verdict, let alone details of the sentence. “I have no information about details of the verdict,” she said. “We were expecting the verdict some three months ago.”

The case was tried in hearings at Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, where cases are heard on national security.

The journalist was incarcerated and tried on the charges – and convicted – even as the United States and other world powers negotiated and closed a deal with Iran for a 10-year nuclear technology limitations agreement in exchange for international sanctions relief.

At the end, United States negotiators abandoned its citizens who remained trapped in Iran.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the negotiations on the Iranian deal which was vehemently opposed by Israel, is now in the region for a three-day visit with top government officials in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as meetings in Ramallah and Abu Dhabi.

Ya’alon: Israel Has ‘Eyes on ISIS’

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Israel has its “eyes on ISIS,” according to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who spoke in an interview with government-run Israel Radio early Monday morning.

Israel is successfully deterring ISIS (Da’esh) from attacking the Jewish State from across the northern border, he said.

Supporters of the terror organization in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are being tracked by Israel, Ya’alon added. In addition, the group’s activities in Syria are under IDF surveillance as well.

Likewise, Iran has already for some time has had similar intentions of attacking the Jewish State, he noted.

“The Iranians have tried to open a front against Syria, but the initiative failed, Ya’alon said.

Netanyahu Addresses Jewish Federations on US Trip

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

On Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 10, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an address to the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.

In his talk, Netanyahu addressed a broad range of issues, but stressed most importantly of all the strong relationships between Israel and the United States, and, concomitantly, the need for unity within the Jewish community:

“No matter what disagreements there have been within the Jewish community, maintaining the unity of our people is of paramount importance. There is only one Jewish people. There is only one Jewish state. And now, more than ever, we must work together to unite the Jewish people and secure the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said.

The Israeli prime minister wowed the audience with a series of spectacular facts about the Jewish State, talking about it being the “global epicenter of innovation” in the areas of water technology, agritech, medicine, science and in the cyber field.

He reminded them of the incredible leadership Israel has provided to the world in terms of recycling water and water technologies. Israel’s continued and dramatic economic growth and its growing trade, especially in the new markets of India and China.

He then discussed the major challenge to Israel’s existence, which is security, and how that creates its major financial challenge, which is paying for its defense. He thanked the American people for the support it provides Israel. Netanyahu pointed out that he had a “wonderful discussion” on Monday with President Obama about securing that assistance for the coming decade.

Being particularly mindful of his audience, the Prime Minister spent a great deal of time talking about Israel’s values and its “intense, robust democracy.” He talked about Israel’s pluralism, its egalitarianism, its growing and thriving Christian population and its proud and strong LGBT community.

Netanyahu reminded the JFNA audience of the Arab members in Israel’s knesset and on its Supreme Court, and he mentioned the field hospital Israel built on its border with Syria which was set up specifically to treat thousands of wounded Syrians, at Israel’s expense. And he talked about Israel’s immediate humanitarian missions to provide assistance in disasters throughout the world.

After briefly touching upon the dangers currently surrounding the Jewish State, he returned to his theme of optimism about Israel and its future. He talked about the alliance between Israel and America and the growth of the Birthright program. He stressed the support given to Israel by the U.S. and the assistance Israel provides to the U.S., especially in terms of intelligence.

The vast majority of members of the JFNA audience are members of the Reform and Conservative movements, and the Israeli Prime Minister spoke about new efforts to involve and provide comfort to those movements in Israel.

The Prime Minister spent the last third of his talk addressing the issue of anti-Semitism and how it relates to Israel.

My dear friends,

The unity of the Jewish people is important at all times, but especially at this time. It’s especially important when the assault on the Jews is not confined to the Middle East, because as Michael said correctly there is a wave of anti-Semitism that is raging across Europe, but it goes beyond there to other continents as well.

I want to say something about anti-Semitism. My father was a great historian and a student of this phenomenon. It has ancient roots. It goes back roughly to Hellenistic times, five hundred years before the birth of the Christian era. It has a long tradition and old traditions die hard. Sometimes they don’t die. For centuries the world believed the worst things about Jews – and these lies were believed not just by the ignorant masses; they were believed as well by the educated elites. They said about us that we were poisoners of wells, spreaders of plagues, killers of children. Now the lies that were once leveled at the Jewish people are now leveled at the Jewish state. They say that Israel harvests organs, spreads AIDS and executes innocent children.

Once, the Jewish people couldn’t even raise its collective voice to fight against these lies, these slanders. Today, we have a voice. Today we have a voice. And we must ensure that our voice is heard loud and clear. We must speak out against the slander of the Jewish people and the Jewish state. Now, whether it’s the Prime Minister of Israel speaking at the United Nations or Jewish students speaking at a college campus, we can and must fight lies and the only way you fight lies is telling the truth. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We have everything to be proud of. Stand up proudly. Speak the truth about Israel. Be proud as Jews.

The truth is Israel is a great country, a deeply moral country. Of course, like all countries, Israel is not a perfect country. But Israel is constantly judged by many in the international community according to a standard of perfection that is applied to no other country and that no country could possibly meet.

There is a name for holding the Jews to a different standard than other people. You know what it’s called. It begins with an “a” and it ends with an “m”. We recognize it for what it is. You cannot, you cannot hold the Jewish state to what I call the triple standard. One standard is for the dictatorships – you don’t expect much of them. The second standard is for the democracies. And the third standard – it’s not even a double standard, it’s the triple standard. There’s a special defined standard for the democracy called Israel. No way, no double standards, no triple standards. Treat Israel fairly. Treat Israel decently.

Now I have a friend whom you may know. His name is Alan Dershowitz. And he gave what I think is a very good test. He said this in the Oxford Student Union. By the way, he said he was the only one who won an Oxford Student Union debate on Israel. He gives a great fight. So here’s what our friend Alan Dershowitz, a great exponent of the truth, said. He said name a single country in the history of the world faced with threats comparable to those faced by Israel that has a better record of human rights, complies more rigorously with the rule of law and does more to minimize civilian casualties. He asked that and the answer was: There is no other country. Israel stands at the top of the list.

And I think we have to speak the truth about peace as well. The truth is that the reason that we don’t have peace yet with the Palestinians is not because of the settlements or a territorial dispute, the territories that that were won in our defensive war of 1967. Israelis and Palestinians had a conflict for half a century – almost 50 years – before Israel captured any of those territories or built even a single one of those settlements. And afterwards, we left part of that territory – Gaza. Left it to the very last centimeter or inch. Stripped out the settlements, went to the ’67 boundaries, uprooted all the people who were there, disinterred people from their graves. What did we get? Peace? We got rockets.

The truth is that the reason that there isn’t peace between Israelis and Palestinians is the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary. That’s the truth. If you recognize the problem, you’ll be able to get to its solution.

And here’s another simple truth: The truth is that Israel seeks peace. The truth is that I seek peace. And when Israel, the people of Israel, the governments of Israel, met Arab leaders who wanted peace equally, like Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Jordan’s King Hussein, Israel made peace. We could do so when you meet an Arab leader who essentially says we’re burying the past. We’re seizing the future. We have no more demands of the Jewish state.

And when Israel will face a Palestinian leadership that seeks peace, that is willing to bury the past, that will make no more demands on the State of Israel – not get a state next to Israel in order to displace Israel, not get a state next to Israel in order to flood the adjoining State of Israel with millions of Palestinian descendants; when we meet a leader who actually is willing to recognize finally the Jewish state, we will have peace and that is the first requirement, the most essential requirement.

I remain committed to a vision of two states for two peoples where a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state, and Israel will continue to work for peace in the hope that what is not achievable today might be achievable tomorrow. Netanyahu then took a quick historical tour through the nearly seven decades of Israel’s existence. He ended his lengthy talk with gratitude.

Iranian ‘Rocket Kitten’ Hackers De-Clawed in CyberSpy Operation

Monday, November 9th, 2015

A powerful Iranian government-backed hacker group, “Rocket Kitten,” has been de-clawed in a special operation carried out by police in Europe.

Sources from the Check Point Sofware company, a U.S.-Israeli security firm, were quoted by Reuters as saying they identified the threat presented by the hacker group linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, as far back as early 2014.

“Rocket Kitten” had mounted some 1,600 attacks on powerful defense and political global leaders in the United States, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, among other targets, according to the report.

Researchers at Check Point had located the computers used to launch the attacks. National computer security response teams were informed in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, the company said. The response teams in turn informed local police about the locations of the attacking “command and control” servers, controlled from Iran.

Among the high-profile personalities targeted by the Iranian hacker group were Israeli nuclear scientists, NATO officials, members of the Saudi Arabian royal family, wives of generals from unidentified nations and Iranian dissidents.

An advance copy of a report on the operation to be released Monday by Check Point explains how the security response teams were able to enter the hacker group’s database and remote-controlled computers to plant a malicious set of software tools.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), Europol and FBI have all declined comment on the report.

Head of IDF Intelligence: Iran Closing Technological Gap with Israel

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

(JNi.media) Major General Herzl “Hertzi” Halevi, head of Military Intelligence, told a closed lecture on Thursday that Israel and Iran are already engaged in a technological war, in which the Iranians are rapidly reducing Israel’s advantage, Ha’aretz reported Sunday. In regard to the recent wave of terror, Halevi said that if the videos showing stabbing attacks distributed over the social networks existed in 1948, Israel would never have won the War of Independence. He also confided he recently had cancelled a military intelligence operation at the last minute because of a letter he received from a junior officer in Unit 8200, Israel’s cyber spy agency.

Halevi said that the tasks faced by Israel’s Military Intelligence are becoming harder every day. Twenty years ago, he said, when his unit scored a major intelligence coup, “we were fixed for the next five to seven years.” But nowadays, “you may have struggled very hard, invested, put people’s lives at risk, did all kinds of moves, you retrieved something, but at the speed with which our world lives and the speed at which technology is changing,” the expiration time of your discovery is shortened a great deal.

The Military Intelligence chief gave as an example the efforts to gather intelligence on ISIS: “You see those guys from [ISIS] with their djellabas and such, but they are using top technology. This is not homing pigeons, these are the most advanced communication systems with the most complicated encryptions — now go deal with it. And it changes every day.”

Halevi noted that in this new milieu, junior soldiers and officers have more influence on decision making, using as an example a recent anecdote: “We were in a dilemma as to whether or not to carry out an operational maneuver somewhere,” he said. “We were at the moment just before this thing goes up to the Chief of Staff for a decision, and we had to decide — should we or shouldn’t we go ahead with it. Just then one of my officers entered my office and said to me, ‘Listen, I want you to read this, it’s a letter from, a SIGINT (intelligence-gathering by interception of signals) officer from unit 8200.”

Halevi continued: “He is a Major. He writes a letter to the commander of 8200 and to the chief of Military Intelligence, saying, ‘Listen, I think you’re making a mistake.’ It was just five minutes before making the decision. I could have not read it had it come a minute later, after the conversation with the chief of staff. Indeed, this shows the ability of [junior staff] to influence decision making at the most critical moment.”

As to the Iranian threat, the Military Intelligence chief said, “If you ask me whether we will have a war with Iran in the next 10 years, I would give you a surprise answer — we already are at war with Iran. We have a technological war with Iran. Our engineers are fighting the Iranian engineers — today. And it’s going to become more and more significant.”

Halevi said that the technological battle between Israel and Iran is over intelligence gathering on the weapons held by each party and their military capabilities. He was pessimistic regarding the trend of that technological war. “Today we have an advantage,” he said, “but Iran gradually closes the gap. Since 1979, the year of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the number of universities and the number of students in Iran has grown 20 times. Ours have grown by 3 and a half times.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/head-of-idf-intelligence-iran-closing-technological-gap-with-israel/2015/11/01/

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