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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Yosef Mendelevitch Visits City Where He Was Prisoner of Zion

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Former Prisoner of Zion Yosef Mendelevitch made an emotional return to the city where he was imprisoned in the 1970s to join hundreds of Jews from across Russia for the 4th Annual Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) in St. Petersburg this weekend.

St. Petersburg claims the second largest Jewish community in Russia today with about 100,000 Jewish residents,

Mendelevitch was held in a Soviet prison after being arrested for leading the 1970 “Operation Wedding,” a Soviet Jewish operation to steal a plane from then-Leningrad’s airport and escape to Israel. After gaining his freedom, he made Aliyah to Israel.

Mendelevitch recounted his experiences in Operation Wedding, recalling celebrating Shabbat in the Gulag and describing his feelings about returning to St. Petersburg.

“I spent a lot of time in this city but only as a prisoner, so I don’t know it at all,” he said. “I’m certainly not nostalgic. The Land of Israel is the only place to which I have an emotional attachment.”

Russia to Support PA Draft Resolution in UN Security Council

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Russia says it plans to support the draft resolution proposed by the Palestinian Authority to set a deadline to expel all Jews from Judea, Samaria and all other territories won by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

With the ethnic cleansing of Jews from those territories, the PA would thereby be established as the new sovereign country called the State of Palestine, essentially within the borders of the State of Israel. The move would absolve the PA of having to meet its legal obligations to negotiate the terms of its final status, including its borders, with Israel under the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords which were signed in the early 1990s.

“I cannot see any reason to cavil about this text or about the Palestinian people’s wish to say once again ‘let’s have a look at this situation in the UN framework,” said Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov on Sunday.

“So we say, ‘If you find one option or another suitable, then we will support you as friends. You know better what you need and how to achieve it. We think that the Palestinian case is fair, meaning that people have a right to self-determination, up to establishing their state,” he told journalists on Sunday, according to the semi-official Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

The Palestinian Authority was designated a “non-member observer state” by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012.

The Russian news agency added, “By September 2013, the Palestinian State has been recognized by 134 UN member states, including Russia. However, most of the European Union members and the United States have not given their official recognition. Some EU members, such as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, have recognized the Palestinian State before joining the bloc.”

Syrian Rebels Claim They Overran Golan Spy Post Backed by Russians [video]

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Syrian rebels have posted a YouTube claiming that they overran a spy post on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights that was partially manned by Russians.

The video, picked up by The Daily Beast shows includes insignia and other signs that the post was run by Syrian intelligence with help from Russia. The post probably was used to monitor communications between rebel forces but also might have been used to tune in on the Israeli side of the strategic Golan Heights.

Photos of the location of IDF units were found bit the Free Syrian Army (FSA), confirming reports from Israel earlier this year that Russia is even more deeply involved in the Assad regime than previously estimated. Russian insignia were seen in the YouTube.

An FSA official told The Daily Beast that its fighters spotted more than dozen Russians in the area before the FSA overran the post.

Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russia’s military and intelligence services at New York University was quoted as saying that Russian advisers probably were “running an operation for detailed radio technical intelligence; we are not talking about intercepting telemetry and aircraft.”

With the ISIS advancing in northern Syria and closing in on cities in Iraq, including Baghdad, it is safe to assume that Israel would have preferred that Assad forces, even with the presence of Russian personnel, man a spy post across from the Israeli border instead of its being operated by rebels who just as easily could be overrun by Al Qaeda or ISIS jihadists.

SWIFT Refuses to Suspend Israel, Russia

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has announced it will not buckle to pressure to disconnect Israel – or for that matter, Russia – from its international transaction system.

“SWIFT regrets the pressure, as well as the surrounding media speculation, both of which risk undermining the systemic character of the services that SWIFT provides its customers around the world. As a utility with a systemic global character, it has no authority to make sanctions decisions,” the group said in a statement released on Monday.

“SWIFT services are designed to facilitate its customers’ compliance with sanctions and other regulations, however SWIFT will not make unilateral decisions to disconnect institutions from its network as a result of political pressure,” the communique said.

The international Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) movement has been trying to pressure the system – as well as numerous corporations and other systems – to boycott Israel in an attempt to destroy its economy. BDS supporters are hoping that through economic destruction, Israel will be forced to withdraw from territory it won in the defensive war forced upon it by Arab nations in 1967 – including numerous Jerusalem neighborhoods restored to the Israeli capital since that time.

Disconnecting Israel from SWIFT would isolate its economy from international trade. However, the Brussels-based SWIFT is incorporated under Belgium law, the system noted, blocking it from making such unilateral decisions.

“Any decision to impose sanctions on countries or individual entities rests solely with the competent government bodies and applicable legislators. Being EU-based, SWIFT complies fully with all applicable European law,” the statement said.

Last month, the SWIFT system transmitted more than 21 million financial messages per day between more than 10,500 financial institutions and corporations, in 215 countries, according to the RT news site.

Over the summer there were discussions among EU leaders on whether to consider disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT system as means of pressuring Moscow into backing away from the Ukraine conflict.

‘Russian Hackers’ Attack Millions of JP Morgan Chase Bank Accounts

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Hackers working from deep inside Mother Russia – with at least some level of government approval, according to a report by The Washington Times – were behind a massive cyber attack on the United States-based JP Morgan Chase Bank this past July.

More than 83 million accounts were compromised – names, addresses, phone numbers and contact information — on more than 90 servers that were accessed. More than seven million small businesses were compromised.

According to a report in The New York Times, the hackers were able to steal “a list of every application and program deployed on standard JP Morgan computers that hackers can cross check with known, or new, vulnerabilities in each system in a search for a backdoor entry.”

All accounts that were compromised were disabled and employee passwords were reset. Customers were told they would not need to change their account information or passwords, and Chase Bank said it would not hold customers liable for unauthorized transactions, according to Associated Press.

Intelligence agencies, the Secret Service and the Treasury all worked together with JP Morgan Chase to lock out the hackers, but it took until August until they were able to do so, the Times reported.

Iran Scorns ‘Ridiculous’ US-led Anti-ISIS Coalition

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani scorned the international coalition organized by the United States to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in an interview with NBC News on Wednesday.

Rouhani called the mission “ridiculous” and said that without a commitment to send ground troops into battle against the rapidly spreading terrorist force, the project would fail.

“Are Americans afraid of giving casualties on the ground in Iraq?” he asked. “Are they afraid of their soldiers being killed in the fight they claim is against terrorism?”

That same day U.S. President Barack Obama told reporters in a briefing at MacDill Air Force Base, “American forces that have been deployed to Iraq do not and will not have a combat mission.”

Nor has the United States requested combat troops from any nation in the anti-ISIS coalition.

There is more than one complication in placing troops on the ground in such a conflict. Historically, Iran was suspected of targeting American troops during the previous Iraq War, although the Tehran government denied direct involvement in any battles.

But Rouhani commented that air strikes alone would not suffice to wipe out the Al Qaeda-spawned terrorist organization, which even Al Qaeda itself now denounces as “too extreme.” Other Muslims are hurrying to distance themselves from the group as well, declaring that ISIS has “nothing to do with Islam.”

“If they want to use planes and if they want to use unmanned planes so that nobody is injured from the Americans, is it really possible to fight terrorism without any hardship, without any sacrifice? Is it possible to reach a big goal without that? In all regional and international issues, the victorious one is the one who is ready to do sacrifice,” Rouhani told journalist Ann Curry.

Iran, meanwhile, has been directly involved in Syria’s civil war from the start, having sent its elite Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards force to supplement the troops of President Bashar al-Assad in the fight against opposition forces. Iran also recruited the aid of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist guerrilla fighters – which Tehran generously patronizes – to come to Assad’s assistance. Iran has long been a generous backer of the Syrian government as well; the two nations have done business for many years.

Rouhani told NBC News that any campaign to conduct air strikes against ISIS in Syria would require the permission of the Syrian government, which is supported by Iran and Russia. Any action in Syria without Assad’s permission, he said, would constitute a violation of international law and an act of aggression. Moscow has expressed similar views.

But the U.S. is unwilling to collaborate with Iran or Syria in a fight against ISIS. And nearly half the battle against the global terror group is rapidly moving over to Syria.

However, the U.S. House of Representatives has just voted 273-156 to back Obama’s request to train, equip and arm the “moderate” rebels in the Syrian opposition forces. The U.S. is hoping these rebel forces will fight against ISIS.

Russia and Egypt Agree to $3.5B Arms Deal

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Russia and Egypt have reached a preliminary agreement for a $3.5 billion arms deals, according to a Reuters report.

Russia and Egypt began discussing arms deals, when the US froze their arms deals with Egypt following the overthrow of Morsi.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-and-egypt-agree-to-3-5b-arms-deal/2014/09/17/

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