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October 21, 2016 / 19 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘israeli’

A New York Boy Becomes an Israeli Farmer

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Israel is the only country in the world where there are more trees in the ground by the end of each year than at the beginning! I am proud to say, that Baruch Hashem – in my small way, I am a part of that reality. How does a boy born and bred in New York grow up to help plant over 120,000 new fruit trees in Israel? Let me explain.

In 1999 I received a phone call from Ariel Ben-Sheitrit who lives in the beautiful town of Yitzhar. He had a dream of becoming a wine-maker and wanted to start by planting 4,000 grape trees in the land that was given by Hashem to the sons of Yosef Ha’Tzaddik. He had the land, the equipment and the strong body to do the back-breaking work. There was one thing missing… money to buy the 4,000 young saplings.

At that time, I was very active with the Yeshiva in Shechem (located at the burial site of Yosef Ha’Tzaddik). Ariel studied there and was one of our Kollel students. When we spoke he told me how much he wanted this and I told him that I would do whatever I could to help him fulfill his dream. I made a few calls, sent a few emails and within a short time, I had the money he needed! He planted the trees and over the years planted 6,000 more and recently won 2 Gold Medals in Israel’s wine competition!

That initial act of helping Ariel gave me an idea. I’m sure there are lots of “Ariels” out there who want to plant fruit trees but need help with the funding. I started making calls and – before I knew it – became the central address to help young, idealistic Jewish farmers fulfill their dreams! I had just two simple rules; 100% adherence to Jewish agricultural laws (with no short-cuts) and that no Jewish enemy can be involved whatsoever. (Aren’t you proud how “politically correct” I wrote those words??)

Since that day, back in 1999, the project I started – called “Israel Trees” – has planted a bit more than 120,000 new fruit trees all across Israel. This includes: grape, olive, mango, date, fig, pomegranate, peach, lemon, plum, almond, apple, strawberry, passion fruit, clementine, moringa (very rare tree), guava, avocado, argan (used to make a very healthy oil), nectarine, orange and cherry!!

In addition to planting all those fruits, it is very important to note where we planted as well. While I won’t list all of the places allow me to point us just a few: We planted olives in Moshav Tifrach (near Beersheba) where the farmer is the grandson of Rav Moshe Feinstein! Ever heard of Mitzpe Ramon with their natural, amazing craters? Well, we planted there a few thousand argan trees which produce a nut that is used to make very healthy oil. Currently, the entire argan oil market is centered in Morocco but very soon, thanks to “Israel Trees” many Jewish farmers in Mitzpe Ramon will be profiting from this unique product.

What about the Israeli farms that border with Gaza? We take care of them too! These towns don’t make the news since all the focus is on the heavy populated Sderot but these Jewish towns are closer to Gaza and many have been hit harder than Sderot. We helped them by planting 4,000 clementines and 400 peaches in Moshav Yevul.

How about the farms on the Jordan Valley? This is another area that has been hit hard in many ways and the people there are suffering economically. We planted 600 date trees, 400 mango trees and 3,000 olive trees in Einot Kedem, a farming community of just 4 families who host many teens-at-risk. They teach these young teenagers how to work the land and they give them skills to make something of themselves. You have to see it to believe it.

All the way up north, we planted in Kfar Shammai, a Jewish town on the Lebanese border and in Moshav Nov, a religious town on the Golan Heights. We also planted hundreds of trees in the Galilee in a farm called “Derech Eretz” (how’s THAT for a name??). This farm is located near the famous Kibbutz Lavi and we helped with a major project of new olive trees.

Many of our farmers produce amazing wine and we planted over 50,000 grape trees in Bet El, Eish Kodesh, Shevut Rachel, Sde Boaz, Bat Ayin, Itamar, Sussya, Otniel, Kochav Ha’Shachar and Maale Amos.

Baruch Hashem, the list above is just part of what we have done and I thank Hashem each and every day for giving me the opportunity to help these great heroes. Today’s Israeli farmers are generally young, idealistic men who are not looking for major profits. Yes, they have families whom they need to support, but their main goal is to build, settle and grow the Land of Israel. They work in the blazing sun day after day and come home exhausted but very satisfied, knowing that they have conquered and improved Hashem’s one and only land.

I must state that 10 years ago, my dear friend Shloime Walfish heard what I was doing and volunteered much of his time and energy for this cause. Today, Shloime and his family live in Israel and he has become my partner in the “Israel Trees” project. Shloime helped take this idea to the international level and I could  never have reached the numbers I did without his unbelievable efforts. It just proves that when you start something for the sake of Heaven, you will receive tremendous bracha and hatzlacha.

I must point out that while typing this article, I received an incredible phone call. The call was from a guy named Eldad who lives in the Golan Heights. He and his partner, D’vir, just received a large piece of land in a place called Tel Farris which is literally on the Syrian border. As you know, the Golan Heights was liberated by the holy soldiers of the IDF during the 1967 Six Day War. In 1973, the Syrians desperately wanted the Golan Heights back and when the Yom Kippur War began they sent 1,400 tanks and 60,000 soldiers to attack Tel Farris. The battle was fierce and lasted 10 days until Hashem’s messengers were able to defeat the Syrians. In that exact place of Tel Farris, Eldad and D’vir want to plant a vineyard of 22,000 grape trees. They asked if I could help them and I told them I would do the best I could. What an honor to be a part of Am Yisrael!

Allow me to conclude this article by clarifying the title. Although I am definitely from New York… I am not really a farmer. Of the 120,000 trees that “Israel Trees” has sponsored, I personally planted only about 50. That ratio clearly qualifies me as a NON-Farmer! However, I am proud to have created this project which – together with Shloime Walfish – helps REAL farmers get the work done! I guess you can call me an “Honorary” Farmer which is a title I gladly accept.

If you are interested in finding out more about this project or if you want to plant trees in Israel, please visit our website: www.IsraelTrees.org

Shmuel Sackett

Dennis Ross: If Elected, Clinton Should Seek MORE Israeli Concessions

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

{Originally posted to the JNS website}

If Hillary Clinton is elected U.S. president, she should launch a behind the scenes initiative to bring about changes in Israel’s policies, according to former Clinton adviser and U.S. Mideast envoy Dennis Ross.

Ross’s remarks came during a panel discussion at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service on Thursday.

Ross said that “even though negotiations with the Palestinian Authority won’t work now,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should take steps of his own. “He should, at a minimum, announce an official policy that there will be no further Israeli construction east of the security barrier,” Ross said.

Numerous Israeli settlements would be affected by such a policy, including the communities in the Jordan Valley. Ross said such unilateral concessions would be consistent with “the traditional Zionist way of shaping your own destiny.”

The public disputes between Israel and the Obama administration were counter-productive, the former peace process negotiator said. “So if the more traditional of the two presidential candidates is elected, she should not undertake a big public initiative, but instead there should be some effort behind the scenes,” he added.

Ross charged that Netanyahu “does not want to make the difficult choice between his domestic interests and what the international community expects.” But, he emphasized, Netanyahu’s past concessions to the Palestinian Authority indicated that “if you could create the circumstances that would force him to make that historic choice, I think he would.” Twice the former ambassador said the Israelis need to realize if they want peace, “they can’t get it on the cheap.”

Ross sparked a moment of controversy when he said that President Obama “considers himself a genuine friend of Israel–the kind of friend who doesn’t let his friend drive drunk.”

Ross’s apparent agreement with the comparison of Netanyahu to a drunk driver provoked a strong response from fellow panelist Elliot Abrams, a former assistant secretary of state and former President George W. Bush’s former deputy national security adviser.

Abrams said senior White House aides traditionally step in to help patch relations when the president does not get along with a foreign leader. With Netanyahu, “the White House staff has made things worse,” he asserted.

Abrams singled out National Security Adviser Susan Rice as harming relations between the U.S. and Israel. He also pointed out that the unnamed White House official, who last year used an obscenity to characterize Netanyahu, “did it deliberately, for publication, and yet was never punished for that ugly remark.” Abrams added, “If the president and his national security adviser wanted such talk to stop, it would have.”

Ross responded that “things like that didn’t happen under Tom Donilon, with whom I worked.” Donilon, Rice’s predecessor, served from October 2010 to June 2013. Several audience members pointed out afterwards there were a number of unpleasant incidents during Donilon’s time, including Obama’s open mic moment when he complained that he “has to deal with [Netanyahu] every day,” and Hillary Clinton’s assertion, at the 2012 Saban Forum, that Israel has a “lack of empathy” for “the pain of an oppressed people.”

Ross also seemed to blame Netanyahu for some of the problems enforcing the terms of the Iranian nuclear agreement. “Instead of holding Iran’s feet to the fire, [the administration] just comes up with excuses for Iran’s actions,” he said. “More could have been accomplished if Netanyahu had pressed for the creation of a Joint Implementation Committee, as I proposed.”

Israeli historian Benny Morris and former Haaretz correspondent Natasha Mozgovaya also took part in the panel, which was moderated by Robert J. Lieber, Georgetown University professor of government and international affairs.


Dr. Rafael Medoff

IDF Confirms: IAF Jets Targeted by SAM Missiles over Syria, No Hits

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

The IDF spokesperson’s office on Tuesday morning confirmed that two surface-to-air missiles were shot at IAF attack planes that were on a mission inside Syria’s airspace. The IDF says the planes were far from the source of the missiles, and the attack did not constitute a serious threat.

The IDF announcement came in response to Syrian state media which had reported that the regime’s army claims it hit the Israeli aircraft while they were retaliating against targets near Quneitra in the Syrian Golan Heights.

The story that emerges from a variety of Arab social media reports Monday night, Syrian government claims and the IDF version, is that while the Israeli Air Force was hitting Syrian Army positions in Quneitra Monday, in response to a mortar shell that landed in Israeli territory, the Syrian Army responded by launching two S-200 (SAM) ground-to-air missiles from an airbase on the outskirts of Damascus, at Mount Qasioun. The missiles did not hit the Israeli fighter jets.

The IAF attack was the first since the beginning of the ceasefire that had been declared by Russia and the US in Syria on Monday. The IDF spokesperson released a statement saying Israel “views the Syrian regime as responsible for what takes place in its territory and would not tolerate any attempt to harm Israel’s sovereignty and the security of its citizens.”

The S-200 is a very long range, medium-to-high altitude surface-to-air missile system designed in the 1960s to defend large areas from bomber attack or other strategic aircraft. The system became operational in 1966. In its original design the S-200 probably couldn’t pose a serious threat to a 21st century attack aircraft, however, according to reports, in 2013 the Iranian air defense force improved its S-200 systems, introducing solid state parts and removing restrictions on working time. According to an Iranian report, an Iranian S-200 destroyed a UAV target beyond a 60 mile range in a military drill in recent years. The Iranians use two new solid propellant missiles, named Sayyad-2 and Sayyad-3, in cooperation with the S-200 system, and can cover medium and long ranges at high altitudes.

In August, The Jewish Press Online cited the Syrian Al-Etihad Press Network’s report that Iranian military reinforcements (Revolutionary Guards) have moved into Quneitra. At the same time, Iran was claiming that the forces in question were a contingency of Hezbollah and the Assad regime’s Army. Of course, it could be all three, and the reports Monday that these forces, or forces aligned with them in Damascus, have begun to shoot S-200 missiles at the IAF, may suggest an approaching escalation on Israel’s Syrian border.

David Israel

Samaria Activist Yossi Dagan Asked By Brooklynites To Talk About Israeli Resiliency and Terror on 9/11

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Samaria Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan spent Sunday evening after a day of “9/11″ ceremonies explaining Israeli survival skills and resiliency to a gathering of more than 70 residents in the upscale Basil’s restaurant in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Many of those who attended had their own history of trauma, with the violence of the recent 25th anniversary of the August 19, 1991 riots in Crown Heights more than just a passing memory.

The event, a memorial evening of solidarity, was appropriately dubbed “Resiliency In The Face Of Terror.”

The evening began with a moment of silence to honor the thousands of innocent victims who died as a result of the Al Qaeda terrorist attack on 9/11, and a short prayer in memory of the 3,000 victims by Rabbi Mendy Margolin.

Dagan arrived after having first paid his respects to the fallen at the site of the attack in Manhattan; the hijackers had also carried out simultaneous attacks at the Pentagon and — foiled by passengers in their attempt to reach the White House — crashing a fourth plane in a field in Pennsylvania.

“On this day I was humbled to visit Ground Zero to share my sympathy for the families and solidarity with the American people,” Dagan said. “Coming from Shomron (Samaria) and representing a community that suffers from terrorism I understand how difficult this is.”

Rabbi Yaacov Behrman introduced Dagan, saying, “We Americans can learn a lot from how Israelis persevere despite the threat of terror, and how they continue to live meaningful productive lives even after experiencing many horrific attacks.”

Clara Perez, general manager of Basil, told JewishPress.com that the restaurant made a special order of wine from Shomron in honor of the event. ” #BDS — ‘Buy Davka Shomron’,” she declared.

Dagan told the gathering that he came to the United States to participate in a series of events aimed at confronting the BDS movement on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.

“More than 35 members of Congress attended our conference against BDS and a Shomron Wine Tasting evening in the Capitol Building,” Dagan said.

“The Shomron (Samaria in Hebrew) is at the forefront of the battle for standing up to the haters of Israel. I was moved by the very warm reception of the Jewish community in New York who showed their support for Shomron, the heartland of Israel.”

Dagan said he also visited The Ohel – the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory – in order to pray for the safety and security for the people living in Shomron.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Hospital Transplants 3-D Printed Jaw and Teeth in 80-Year-Old Cancer Patient

Monday, September 12th, 2016

The Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Baruch Padeh Medical Center, Poriya, near Tiberias, has implanted for the first time a lower jaw and teeth that were printed using 3-D technology, the hospital announced Sunday.

The patient, Gad Pireni, 80, from Kibbutz Nir David, has suffered for years from ulcers and sores in his jaw. Dr. Imad Abu al-Naag, Director of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Poriya-Padeh Medical Center, explained that “Gad suffered from a premalignant mouth ulcer, which is why he has been monitored by our department in recent years. About two years ago it turned out that an ulcer located on the right side of his lower jaw had turned malignant and Gad underwent a resection. At that time we carried out a conventional reconstruction of the jaw, without the teeth.”

Over time the reconstructed jaw developed infections, and Drs. Abu al-Naag and Avi Toeg decided to carry out another reconstruction of the jaw, and with the services of the AB-Dental company plotted and carried out a 3-D printed reconstruction of the jaw and the teeth.

Dr. Toeg noted that this “is the best treatment available in the world today. The innovative technology allows us to reconstruct the jaw accurately and, just as important, after two years Gad has spent toothless, now he can go back to his normal routine.”

The surgical team of Drs. Abu al-Naag and Toeg performed the surgery on Pireni last Thursday, Sept. 8, and three days later the patient was able to carry a conversation and speak clearly. “I feel good,” Pireni said, I can speak almost normally, this is a big and significant change for me, I need to get used to my new mouth.”

Dr. Abu al-Naag added that “in the past such surgery would last about six hours, and now the time was cut in half. Obviously, recovery time is also shorter, with significant advantages in quality of life, improvement in patient’s functionality and the aesthetic improvement.”

Back in April 2016, the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Poriya-Padeh treated a patient suffering from a large tumor in the back of his jaw by replacing the damaged part with a replacement they created on a 3-D printer.


Israeli Envoy: Anti-Israel UN Seminar Was Led by BDS Activists

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

The UN Dept. of Public Information held a three-day media seminar in Pretoria, South Africa, earlier this month, on peace in the Middle East, with the stated goal of bringing together “politicians, academics and other experts exploring new ways to narrate the complex and evolving story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” relates a press release from Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon, but “no official Israeli representatives were invited to participate.” Instead, “the current Palestinian representative to the UN and their former representative to the European Union both took part in the seminar,” the Danon statement said.

“Moreover, most of the speakers at the event are known for their anti-Israel views including Professor Steven Friedman from the University of Johannesburg who attacked Israel and defended the BDS movement,” Danon complained, adding that “other officials affiliated with the BDS movement took part in the seminar and were quoted on the official UN website.”

Ambassador Danon wrote a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon harshly criticizing the fact that the UN sponsored an anti-Israel event: “The UN has a moral obligation to act in accordance with the values and purposes of its charter, and events like this undermine the integrity and impartiality of the UN,” he wrote, saying “it is unfortunate that approximately 6.5 million dollars annually are diverted from those in dire need of humanitarian assistance to bodies whose only function is to serve as public relations departments for the Palestinian cause.”

Ambassador Danon also noted that “BDS is a notorious anti-Israel movement, which is conducting a global campaign of misinformation and outright slander against my country. Such activity against a member state ought not to be promoted by the UN.”

David Israel

Two Israeli Hackers Arrested for Grand Scale Denial of Service

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Two Israeli hackers, Itay Huri and Yarden Bidany, were arrested last Thursday, according to police, in response to an FBI request. The two were remanded to house arrest under constant supervision on Friday, and their passports were confiscated. Brian Krebs, who blogs on cyber security, reported on Friday that the two Israelis are behind a service that brought in an estimated $600,000 in two years for selling customers denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that knock websites offline. According to Krebs, the hackers have been themselves hacked “massively,” revealing the identities of thousands of paying customers and the websites they wanted to target.

Krebs says the attack website, named vDOS (the URL is marked as risky by most browsers), was “responsible for a majority of the DDoS attacks clogging up the Internet over the past few years,” as the two hackers were selling their services for between $20 and $200 a pop, depending on the duration of the attacks. It appears that in the four months between April and July 2016, “vDOS was responsible for launching more than 277 million seconds of attack time,” or just under 9 years of denial of service packed into 120 days.

According to Krebs, “vDOS had a reputation on cybercrime forums for prompt and helpful customer service,” which is why its leaked databases “offer a fascinating glimpse into the logistical challenges associated with running a criminal attack service online that supports tens of thousands of paying customers — a significant portion of whom are all trying to use the service simultaneously.”

Itai Huri recently co-authored an article published by an Israeli cyber security website named Digital Whisper, discussing ways to initiate large scale DDoS attacks using limited computing power. Huri’s bio under the article reads: Itai Huri is 18 and about to be enlisted in the IDF. He spends his free time in web development and data security.”


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/two-israeli-hackers-arrested-for-grand-scale-denial-of-service/2016/09/11/

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