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April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘North Korea’

IDF Checks for Terror Tunnel Threat in Northern Israel

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The rumors persist.

Residents in northern Israel remain deeply concerned that terrorists are digging tunnels under the border, preparing for a future attack.

Although the IDF doesn’t discuss it much, the military is not ignoring the problem, and is quietly monitoring activity along the border.

The question is, what’s happening underneath?

Last week (Tuesday, October 14) Syrian Islamist rebels blew up a government military post near Idlib by digging attack tunnels with UN equipment under the rocky terrain, Aljazeera reported.

As happened with Hamas terrorist use of United Nations facilities in Gaza this summer, the United Nations logo is clear seen on equipment used in the attack in a YouTube report posted by Aljazeera on the internet. The rebel group which identifies with Al Qaeda wiped out the army outpost, killing 60 Syrian soldiers and officers. The Arabic-language report showed preparations prior to the attack as well as its aftermath, and said it took 120 days to dig the tunnel.

The geological conditions are nearly identical to those on Israel’s northern border, and the incident made it clear that Hezbollah could – and might – do the same.

This summer, northern Israelis spoke of the possibility that Hezbollah was tunneling as well.

“I live in the house closest to the border, and from my window you can see everything happening on the other side in Lebanon,” said a resident in Zar’it, in August during an interview on Israel’s Channel 2 News Online.

“What I see scares me, and worries me very much. I can see concrete mixers working in secret. I feel, for more than two years now, digging sounds. My entire house moves and shakes, and it’s very disturbing.”

During the IDF’s 50-day counter terror Operation Protective Edge, the commander of the 769th Hiram Brigade addressed the issue in an interview with Channel 2 News, commenting, “The possibility of tunnels [also] disturbs me, along with other options that might exist here. Any reasonable person should put his eyes in his head and look south towards Gaza and say that if there are tunnels there, then all the more so there is this possibility here.”

Building the kind of complex tunnel network that was found in Gaza, however, takes years of work by a lot of people.

For the past two years Hezbollah was busy helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad combat the rebels in the civil war tearing apart his country. Prior to that they were re-arming following the 2006 Second Lebanon War with Israel. Who is helping them build tunnels?

Probably the North Koreans.

Hamas also made a deal with North Korea this year to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of weapons. Western intelligence sources said this summer the deal was sealed by a Lebanese middleman linked to Palestinian Authority Arab terrorists in eastern Beirut.

The North Koreans have been patrons of Hamas for years — and not only with weapons.

Apparently it was North Korea that taught Hamas how to build its network of tunnels under Gaza.

The Gazans may have had help from Hezbollah, but at best the Lebanese terrorists functioned as North Korean agents, providing secondhand knowhow at bargain basement prices.

Or perhaps Hamas went to Syria to learn the trade. Hamas had its political bureau in Damascus for years. Or they may have gone directly to Iran, the other North Korean partner.

According to a report on The National Interest website last month, North Korea has provided missiles and their technology to all four: Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah.

But now there’s even a bigger concern, according to Victor Cha, D.S. Song-KF Professor in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service, and Director of Asian Studies at Georgetown University, and senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International studies.

Hamas to Buy N. Korean Weapons as Kerry Pledges $47 Million in Gaza Aid

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

I suppose the timing could be just coincidental.

The Telegraph reports that Hamas has may have already put down a down payment on a secret weapons and communications equipment deal worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hamas needs the deal to replenish their weapon stockpiles emptied out from attacking Israel. They are also looking to buy new communications equipment to help better coordinate their attacks on Israel.

Keeping in mind that money is fungible and Hamas are experts at redirecting foreign aid, this report comes hard on the heels of the report that US Secretary of State John Kerry is sending $47 million to Gaza for humanitarian aid. $15 million of that aid has been earmarked for UNRWA. UNRWA schools have been used to store Hamas rockets, and UNRWA officials have even transferred rockets to Hamas.

So doing the math, $47 million in US aid to Gaza, is $47 million that Hamas doesn’t need to spend on its population, and that’s before before Hamas takes its cut.

With money like that flowing in, North Korea knows Hamas is good for the money.

Wouldn’t a direct wire transfer from the White House to Pyongyang have saved on the wire transfer fees?

North Korea to Indict 2 Detained Americans

Monday, June 30th, 2014

North Korea has announced it plans to indict two American citizens being held in custody for unspecified crimes.

In a four-sentence statement issued by state-controlled media, North Korea said Matthew Miller, 24, and Jeffrey Fowle, 56, two tourists, had been investigated for “perpetrating hostile acts” after entering the country. The country had evidence and testimony from both about their alleged actions, the statement said.

The two entered on separate tours with Miller’s arrest first announced on April 25, two weeks after his arrival.

According to Japan’s Kyodo News, quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Fowle was detained subsequently after arriving on a group tour in April, due to a Bible left in his hotel room.

The dates of the trials have not been announced, and it is expected to two may be forced into “confessions” of “criminal acts.” The State Department has updated its travel warnings, urging American citizens not to go to North Korea, pointing out the risk of arbitrary arrest and detention.

Denmark’s Boycott Bank Linked to North Korea-Iran Ballistic Missiles Sales

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

When JewishPress.com reported on Denmark’s Danske Bank’s “boycott” of Israel’s Bank HaPoalim, we pointed out the curious fact that Danske Bank actually doesn’t do any business at all with any Israeli bank, leading one to wonder about the motivations for their announced boycott.

You may now stop wondering.

David Goldman of Pajamas Media uncovered a 2009 Wikileaks cable in which it exposes that Danske Bank provided financial services to Tanchon, a North Korean company that sold ballistic missiles to Iran.

FOR DENMARK ONLY: — We previously raised with you in March 2006 our concern (REF L) that Tanchon Commercial Bank maintained a correspondent account with Den Danske Bank AS- Copenhagen. According to April 2009 Bankers Almanac information, Tanchon still maintains that account.

The US State Department had warned Danske Bank about their providing services to Tachnon in 2006, and the bank apparently chose to ignore it, despite the “legal and ethical” issues it raised.

Only in 2010, did Danske Bank state that it finally stopped doing business with Iran.

Nothing we’re aware of, about them not doing business anymore with North Korea.

Either way, so much for that moral high ground they were claiming.

Jewish Center: NBA Stars Must Say No to Birthday Game for Dictator

Friday, December 27th, 2013

The Simon Wiesenthal Center wants National Basketball Association players to just say no to Kim Jung Un.  The SWC is urging NBA players to refuse to travel to North Korea to play at Dennis Rodman’s invitation, at what really will just be a big birthday celebration for the fascist dictator Kim Jung Un. The event will be held on January 8 in Pyongyang. It is being called (no joke) “The Bang in Pyongyang.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and long-time activist for human rights in North Korea, issued a statement calling on ex-NBAers to do the right thing.

Paddy Power, the Irish online betting company which had originally agreed to sponsor the NBA Birthday Bash for the North Korean dictator announced that it had pulled out. Paddy Power decided not to support the event, due to “changed circumstances.”  What changed circumstances?  North Korea has been a brutal dictatorship run by megalomaniacal tyrants for quite a long time.

The North Korean government’s latest horror: arresting and executing Kim Jung Un’s uncle, and then bragging about the dirty deed proved to be too much even for Paddy Power.

As word came that the Irish company withdrew its sponsorship of Rodman’s Bang in Pyongyang, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading human rights NGO, urged all former NBA stars to stay away from North Korea.

“Everyone, it seems – except Dennis Rodman – understands that this is not a game  to promote peace, but an undeserved birthday gift to a murderous tyrant who heads a regime with the worst human rights record on the planet,” charged Rabbi Cooper.

“Playing a basketball game in Pyongyang before a handful of cronies of the youthful dictator gives Kim Jong Un an undeserved birthday present that enables Kim to change the narrative for the international media.  It shifts the focus of attention away from his execution of his uncle, on North Korea’s brutal gulag, and his nuclear missile threats against his neighbors.”

“There may yet be a time and place for basketball diplomacy in North Korea, but now is neither the time and Kim’s birthday party isn’t the place for such a gesture. We hope ex-NBAers will do the right thing”‘ Cooper concluded.

Iran Owes Terror Victims Billions of Dollars, Says Activist Lawyer

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

An Israeli lawyer who has won billions of dollars for relatives of terror victims has asked Obama administration officials why they are discussing letting Iran off the hook on sanctions while it owes American relatives colossal sums of money.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who heads the Israel Law Center, has won billions of dollars for relatives of terror victims in lawsuits against the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organization as well as banks and other agencies that aid terrorists or act as a pipeline for funds for them.

She wrote Under Secretary Wendy Sherman last month, “Iran must not be allowed under any circumstances to avoid making payment of reparations and due compensations to the families of those whose lives they have destroyed through terrorism…and through the terror organizations it supports: Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.”

In a blog posted this past week on The Hill website based in Washington, Darshan-Leitner noted that Sherman did not respond, and she added, “As a result of lawsuits taken by American victims of terror in U.S. courts, the Iranian regime currently owes billions of dollars from decades of terrorist activity resulting in dozens of victims and severed families. This debt has yet to be recognized or paid by the Iranian government with no sign of an intention to do so.”

She called on Congress to ensure that the U.S. government is working to keep the interests of the terror victims’ families on the table.

Darshan-Leitner pointed out that when George W. Bush was President, he conditioned repealing of any sanctions against Libya on payment of reparations to the victims of Libyan terror. “This move resulted in the payment of $1.5 billion dollars to the victims’ families,” she wrote.

On the other hand, Bush also removed North Korea from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism in 2008, without compensation being paid to American families, she added.

“We fear this lack of response not only portends a potential Iranian exemption from paying reparations and giving due compensation to families affected by terror in return for normalization of relations, but that it also signals a softening of Sherman’s position on the proliferation of terrorist activity and most significantly, creates difficult implications for the United States’ reputation as a pillar of justice in the war on terror,” according to Darshan-Leitner.

Her blog continued, “As lawyers for American, Canadian and Israeli victims of Iranian terror, we call on Congress to take action and place a check on Under Secretary Sherman in this current round of negotiations… We call on all members of Congress to ensure that victims of terror are not forgotten and to help make the Iranian regime provide the proper reparations and due compensation for the innocent lives taken at the hands of terrorist activities and not to gain a free pass in the name of diplomatic maneuverings.”

NYT Upset at Bibi – but They Won’t Say the Real Reason Why

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

The New York Times is not happy with Bibi:

Mr. Netanyahu has legitimate reasons to be wary of any Iranian overtures, as do the United States and the four other major powers involved in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. But it could be disastrous if Mr. Netanyahu and his supporters in Congress were so blinded by distrust of Iran that they exaggerate the threat, block President Obama from taking advantage of new diplomatic openings and sabotage the best chance to establish a new relationship since the 1979 Iranian revolution sent American-Iranian relations into the deep freeze.

Even though the Times admits that pretty much every fact Netanyahu brought up is accurate!

Mr. Rouhani and the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, have insisted repeatedly that Iran wants only to develop nuclear energy and that obtaining a nuclear weapon would harm the country’s security.

Even so, Iran hid its nuclear program from United Nations inspectors for nearly 20 years, and the country is enriching uranium to a level that would make it possible to produce bomb-grade nuclear material more quickly. It has also pursued other activities, like developing high-voltage detonators and building missiles that experts believe could only have nuclear weapons-related uses.

These facts make it hard not to view the upcoming American-brokered negotiations skeptically. But Mr. Netanyahu has hinted so often of taking military action to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon that he seems eager for a fight.

Actually, the main thrust of Bibi’s speech was to not to start a war, but a warning against loosening sanctions in exchange for smiles and empty promises:

I have argued for many years, including on this podium, that the only way to peacefully prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons is to combine tough sanctions with a credible military threat. And that policy is today bearing fruit. Thanks to the effort of many countries, many represented here, and under the leadership of the United States, tough sanctions have taken a big bite out of Iran’s economy. Oil revenues have fallen. The currency has plummeted. Banks are hard pressed to transfer money. So as a result, the regime is under intense pressure from the Iranian people to get the sanctions removed. That’s why Rouhani got elected in the first place. That’s why he launched his charm offensive. He definitely wants to get the sanctions lifted, I guarantee you that, but he doesn’t want to give up Iran’s nuclear weapons program in return.

Now, here’s the strategy to achieve this:

First, smile a lot. Smiling never hurts. Second, pay lip service to peace, democracy and tolerance. Third, offer meaningless concessions in exchange for lifting sanctions. And fourth, and the most important, ensure that Iran retains sufficient nuclear material and sufficient nuclear infrastructure to race to the bomb at a time that it chooses to do so. You know why Rouhani thinks he can get away with this?…Because he’s gotten away with it before. 

The NYT cannot find any holes in Netanyahu’s logic. It cannot find any concrete concession that Rouhani is offering. Yet, against all known facts, it still insists that Rouhani is the moderate who must be given concessions to, and Bibi is the warmonger.

There is nothing wrong with speaking to and negotiating with Iran, but there is a great deal wrong with loosening sanctions in response to a smile.

So if the Times cannot find anything actually wrong with Bibi’s words, why are they so upset at him? The reason seems to be because he called them out for doing the exact same thing with North Korea:

Like Iran, North Korea also said its nuclear program was for peaceful purposes. Like Iran, North Korea also offered meaningless concessions and empty promises in return for sanctions relief. In 2005, North Korea agreed to a deal that was celebrated the world over by many well-meaning people. Here is what the New York Times editorial had to say about it: “For years now, foreign policy insiders have pointed to North Korea as the ultimate nightmare… a closed, hostile and paranoid dictatorship with an aggressive nuclear weapons program.

Very few could envision a successful outcome.

And yet North Korea agreed in principle this week to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, return to the NPT, abide by the treaty’s safeguards and admit international inspectors….Diplomacy, it seems, does work after all.”

A year later, North Korea exploded its first nuclear weapons device.

That’s the real reason the “Paper of Record” is so miffed – because Bibi mentioned its record of believing dictators on the threshold of nuclear weapons capability.

The truth hurts, so the NYT – instead of admitting its very real role in pressuring Washington to believe North Korea’s empty promises – is lashing out at the person who pointed it out.

This is behavior one would expect from a teenager who was caught in a lie, not from a newspaper whose entire reputation is dependent on accuracy.

The NYT’s choosing to ignore that part of Bibi’s speech explains a great deal about its nonsensical editorial that is at odds with facts.

Visit Elder of Ziyon.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/elder-of-ziyon/nyt-upset-at-bibi-but-they-wont-say-the-real-reason-why/2013/10/02/

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