IDF artillery soldiers hit at least two Syrian military targets Sunday night after the second straight day of fire on Israeli territory. A Syrian officer reportedly was wounded.
Lebanese media reported that Israel also launched three missiles on Syrian targets and that the Israeli Air Force circled over the area.
The retaliation comes at the same time Russia President Vladimir Putin has escalated Russian’s military presence in Syria, ostensibly because of the war against the Islamic State (ISIS). Russian force are actively involved in doing whatever is possible to keep Bashar al-Assad in power, and drawing Israel into military action would work to his political advantage by taking attention away from the civil war.
The IDF issued a statement reminding Syria and the world that Israel will not tolerate fire from the Syrian side of the border, whether intentional or not, and stated:
The IDF holds the Syrian military responsible for all events stemming from its territory and will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israel’s sovereignty and the safety of its residents.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that soldiers fighting for the Assad regime violated Israeli sovereignty by firing into Israel, even if it was stray fire.
The Syrian fire on the Golan Heights did not cause any injuries or serious property damage,
Israel is in the process of preparing the infrastructure and capabilities needed to start operating its first F-35 Adir (Heb = Great) stealth strike fighters by the end of 2017, Defense News reported. The first pair of Adirs will arrive by December 2016, and fly out of the IAF Nevatim Air Base in the Negev.
According to the IDF blog, the new squadron of 19 F-35 jets will be incorporated into the Israeli Air Force beginning in 2019. The newly engineered fighters are a step up from the F-16I, especially with the addition of new state-of-the-art stealth technology and avionics. Each F-35 unit costs around $110 million, according to the Israeli defense ministry.
Steve Over, Lockheed Martin director for F-35 International Business Development, said that even though Israel will have “plenty of capability to do light maintenance in-country,” heavy maintenance of the Adir airframes and engines will be done at Joint Program Office-managed, company-established facilities “just like we do with all our other partners.”
“When you tear an airplane down, you expose its magic,” Over said bluntly. “So that type of work must be performed in designated places.”
Perhaps betraying their reservations about what usually happens the American weapons after the Israelis lay their hands on them, Lockheed executives said Israel would be able to add specific capabilities or upgraded functions—which the Israelis love doing—as long as it did not affect the overall design or the aircraft software. As Over put it:
The Israelis have an ability to do some unique things. But anything wholesale that would impact the design or capabilities driving all the airplanes for all the countries would have to be done by consensual agreement.
The IAF is preparing to send its first group of pilots to train in Arizona next year, at the Luke Air Force Base. At the same time, the IAF will be sending dozens of maintenance professionals to train at US Air Force logistics bases at Eglin, Florida, according to Defense News.
Washington has approved 75 F-35s for export to Israel, of which the IDF has contracted for 33, hoping to be able to absorb another 17 planes by 2020, according to Defense News.
According to the IDF blog, The stealth technology allows the aircraft to fly practically unnoticed by any enemy. For many years, these systems were too expensive to be deployed on small aircraft; therefore they could only be used on larger and more expensive bombers such as the B-2 or the F-117. The newly developed F-35 allows the incorporation of these features at a low maintenance price.
The F-35 is also manufactured with improved electronic systems onboard. Sensors including various radars, infrared systems, and active electronic warfare systems are all mounted on the aircraft during production. They serve as an integral part of the plane and not as “add-ons” which is common in other aircraft.
With these improvements, the IAF pilots will receive a more precise and complete picture of the battlefield in real-time. It will allow them to better position themselves and give them the advantage to come out on top of every mission they must face.
“ObamaDeal” explicitly states that the United States and the other P5+1 powers can help Iran deflect and even “respond” to sabotage and nuclear threats to its nuclear sites.
The damming evidence that ObamaDeal directly allows Western powers to help Iran to protect its nuclear sites, and possibly even to stage a counter-attack on the source of the threat, is stated in Annex III of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Congress is reviewing the agreement and has the option to cancel America’s commitments under the deal.
You have to reach page 142 of the JCPOA until you reach “Annex III: Civil Nuclear Cooperation,” where Section “D 10 states that the P5+1 “and possibly other states are prepared to cooperate with Iran on the implementation of nuclear security guidelines and best practices. Cooperation in the following areas can be envisaged:
Co-operation in the form of training courses and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to prevent, protect and respond to nuclear security threats to nuclear facilities and systems as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems [boldface added];
Co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.
Emphasis should be placed on the word “respond.” It leaves open for interpretation the possibility that the United States and other P5 +1 countries can take action in the form of training and preparing Iran to stage a cyber attack or retaliation in the event of a third-party assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Israel is assumed to have been behind the Stuxnet cyber attacks on Iran’s centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility in 2010, which set back the Iranian nuclear weapons program. The agreement provides for assistance from the United States and the other P5+1 countries to thwart “sabotage” on Iran’s nuclear sites.
Al Jazeera reported earlier this year that President Barack Obama threatened Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 2014 that he would order American fighter planes to down Israeli aircraft if the Israeli Air Force tried to carry out an attack, which reportedly was about to happen.
If (or when) it was discovered that Iran has cheated and is close to developing a nuclear weapon, the complicated review methods in the agreement could take several months or even a year before the United States and other P5+1 nations could prove their findings. In the meantime, Israel could be met by the United States as well as Iran as enemies in the event of an attempt to sabotage or attack the sites where Iran violated the agreement.
Even without the agreement, Iran is on the way to receiving from Russia, one of the P5+1 powers, S-300 anti-missile systems that could possibly deter any Israeli missile attack on Iranian nuclear sites, in which Russia has a heavy investment.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has argued that ObamaDeal not only does not prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon but actually paves the way for a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic.
But the agreement does more than that. It helps make Iran impervious to an attack, whether from the air or from cyber space, and ObamaDeal also ratifies a possible Iranian counter-attack on Israel
The Israeli Air Force struck a solitary “terror infrastructure” target early Thursday morning in “retaliation” for a missile attack south of Ashkelon.
No one was injured, and no damage was reported in the rocket attack, so the IDF decided to act “proportionately” to the nth degree and strike back at only one target, without injuring a terrorist.
The rocket exploded in the Ashkelon Coastal Region second after an early warning siren was heard at 2:02 a.m.
The IDF spokesman stated:
The rocket landed in an open area adjacent to the city of Ashkelon, no injuries were reported.
In response to this attack, IAF aircrafts targeted a terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
IDF Spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner: ‘The time was 2 AM in Israel when sirens sounded in the Lachish region, a frightening wake up call, alerting civilians to rush to shelters.
The repeated rocket fire at Israel does not only put the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians at risk but it [also] is a deliberate decision to target civilians. No person should live under the threat of terrorism, always fearing what will come next, and whether they will find shelter in time to save their lives.
The IDF said it views the attack “gravely and will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens.”
Therefore, it attacked “a” terror target.
Not many people will sleep well tonight in southern Israel.
Nicholas Winton, known as “Britain’s Schindler” for his rescuing 669 Jewish children from the Holocaust, died in England on Wednesday at the age of 106.
He remained silent about his heroism in helping the children escape from Czechoslovakia until his wife found a scrapbook in the attic of their home in 1988. It included a record of names and pictures of the children whom he helped rescue and prompted an exposure of his heroism.
Winton discovered the situation of Jews in Czechoslovakia when he visited there at the behest of a friend in 1938. A stockbroker by trade, Winton bribed German officials and forged document to rescue children, despite the Gestapo’s being on his trail.
He returned to Britain a year later and continued to help rescue efforts by raising money and finding foster homes for more children whom two friends were still working to rescue from within Czechoslovakia. Queen Elizabeth granted Winton knighthood for his work.
The New York Times reported that among “Winton’s children” are film director Karel Reisz, who made “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” and “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” (1960); Lord Alfred Dubs, who became a member of Parliament; Joe Schlesinger, a Canadian broadcast correspondent; Hugo Marom, a founder of the Israeli Air Force; author Vera Gissing; and Renata Laxová, a geneticist who discovered the Neu-Laxová Syndrome, a congenital abnormality.
Winton’s wife died in 1999, and he is survived by two children and grandchildren.
Nicholas Winton was born on 19 May 1909 in Hampstead, London, a son of Barbara (née Wertheimer) and Rudolph Wertheim. His parents were German Jews who had moved to London two years earlier.The family name was Wertheim, but they changed it to Winton in an effort at integration. They also converted to Christianity, and Winton was baptized.
Marc Grossfield is a typical entrepreneur who managed a number of successful businesses and eventually sold his marketing promotions company to a public company.
Through family connections, he hooked up with Eddie Philips of Millennium Imports and soon he was learning about such upscale brands as Chopin and Belvedere. Eddie seized the opportunity about 35 years ago when Poland was undergoing its transition from Communism and managed to become the sole importer of the upscale Belvedere Vodka.
It was a time when Absolut virtually controlled the luxury market with an average bottle selling for $15. Eddie took the luxury Belvedere brand with its beautiful bottle to the next level, commanding double what Absolut was charging and he was an instant hit.
According to Marc, Eddie did not keep the success to himself, donating as much as $25 million to Jewish causes. He eventually sold Belvedere to Louis Vuitton LVMH “for hundreds of millions of dollars” and then sold Chopin.
Meanwhile Marc was not only transitioning to Vodka thanks to his mentor Eddie Phillips but also becoming increasingly spiritual. The Gold family in Israel turned out to be a perfect fit.
The family, originally expelled from Russia in 1824, moved to Safed (Tzfat) along with the entire community where they continued to make vodka in the finest Russian tradition. This art was passed on from father to son, today run by Yossi and his dad Joseph Gold.
Yossi’s journey took him to the Israeli Air Force, then to medical school, to Brazil where he became a plastic surgeon and then to Germany to perfect the art of making vodka.
Marc’s mission was to have the Gold’s produce vodka out of the seven species of the land of Israel (i.e. figs, dates, pomegranate, wheat, barley, olives, grapes) so that Jews who wish to make a blessing over the original seven species could do so, and even a non-practicing Jew or non-Jew could feel some spirituality in making a toast.
He even imported sand from Israel to put a handful into every fancy bottle of Aviv. The water is from the Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee.
Vodka is made from 40% alcohol and 60% water. There is even symbolism in the triangular shape of the bottle, representing body, mind and spirit. “The bottom is bigger,” says Marc, “representing kindness. Aviv was launched on Thanksgiving 2013 and in its first year stacked up well against such brands as Grey Goose, Ciroc and Belvedere. It is selling well in such wine and spirit chains as Lund’s and Byerly in Marc’s hometown in Minneapolis.
It is also distributed by Royal Wine in many areas and is certified kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU).
This article was written by Menachem Lubinsky for Kosher Today.