Sunday, September 24, 2023

  • Sunday, September 24, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

This is an update my Yom Kippur message of previous years.

I unconditionally forgive anyone who may have wronged me during this year, and I ask forgiveness for anyone I may have wronged as well.


-If you sent me email and I didn't reply, or didn't get back to you in a timely fashion -- I apologize.
-If you sent me a story and I decided not to publish it or worse, didn't give you a hat tip for the story -I'm sorry. I'm also sorry if I didn't acknowledge the tip. I cannot publish all the stories I am sent, although I try to place appropriate ones in the linkdumps, or tweet them.
-If you requested help from me and I wasn't able to provide it -- I'm sorry.
-I apologize if I posted without the proper attribution, with the wrong attribution, or without attribution at all, including graphics.
-I'm sorry that I usually don't give hat tips on things I tweet.
-If I didn't thank you for a donation, I'm very, very sorry.
-I'm sorry if I didn't give the proper respect to my co-bloggers Ian, PreOccupied Territory, Varda, Daled Amos and the guest posters. Also to people who send me tons of tips.
-I'm sorry if any of my posts offended you personally.
- I didn't include a thank you chapter in my audiobook and I especially forgot to mention my audio engineer, Sam G. I'm sorry.
- Please forgive me if I wrote disparaging things about you.
- I'm sorry if things got published in the comments that violated my comments policy but that I missed. I have not been able to monitor most comments for various technical reasons.
- I'm sorry that I didn't do some of the things I said I'd get done this year, like a return to video interviews or writing a cartoon book. 

May this be a year of life, peace, prosperity, happiness, security, Jewish unity and good health.

I wish all of my readers who observe Yom Kippur an easy and meaningful fast.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



  • Sunday, September 24, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
From AP:
BOSTON (AP) — A leading Egyptian opposition politician was targeted with spyware multiple times after announcing a presidential bid — including with malware that automatically infects smartphones, security researchers have found. They say Egyptian authorities were likely behind the attempted hacks.

Discovery of the malware last week by researchers at Citizen Lab and Google’s Threat Analysis Group prompted Apple to rush out operating system updates for iPhones, iPads, Mac computers and Apple Watches to patch the associated vulnerabilities.

Citizen Lab said in a blog post that attempts beginning in August to hack former Egpytian lawmaker Ahmed Altantawy involved configuring his phone’s connection to the Vodaphone Egypt mobile network to automatically infect it with Predator spyware if he visited certain websites not using the secure HTTPS protocol.

Prior to that, Citizen Lab said, attempts were made beginning in May to hack Altantawy’s phone with Predator via links in SMS and WhatsApp messages that he would have had to click on to become infected.

Once infected, the Predator spyware turns a smartphone into a remote eavesdropping device and lets the attacker siphon off data.

Given that Egypt is a known customer of Predator’s maker, Cytrox, and the spyware was delivered via network injection from Egyptian soil, Citizen Lab said it had “high confidence” Egypt’s government was behind the attack.
Notice anything missing?

Whenever the media reports on spyware from an Israeli company, they always prominently mention Israel. But when the spyware comes from a different country - in this case, North Macedonia and Hungary - no one says a word.

When Ken Roth was criticized for always mentioning Israel in connection to Pegasus spyware, when it is a private company, he justified that by saying that Israeli export laws allowed the spyware to be sold to countries that are less than paradigms of freedom and democracy. But when it comes to these other companies, the countries that allow them to sell their wares to places like Egypt are not even mentioned in the articles, or by Roth. 

Earlier this year, the US Department of Commerce announced they were blacklisting four spyware firms:

Today, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added four entities, Intellexa S.A. in Greece, Cytrox Holdings Crt in Hungary, Intellexa Limited in Ireland, and Cytrox AD in North Macedonia to the Entity List for trafficking in cyber exploits used to gain access to information systems, threatening the privacy and security of individuals and organizations worldwide.
Where were all the anguished articles about how Greece and Hungary and Ireland and North Macedonia were peddling tools to repressive governments to target dissidents?

They were never written. But the New York Times did cover part of this story - by highlighting not the countries that allowed these exports, but the Israeli connection to two of the four companies.

If spyware doesn't come from Israel, or is not connected to Israel, the media's interest in the stories plummets to practically nothing.  

This is the textbook definition of media bias.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



From Ian:

Fleur Hassan-Nahoum: Yom Kippur War to Abraham Accords: How Israel changed over 50 years
On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed: How many shall die and how many shall be born?

I was born on Rosh Hashanah, and as my mother was recovering from an emergency Cesarean section over Yom Kippur, an additional layer of shock overtook her as news of the war in Israel reached her. She was a staunch Zionist who had played an integral role in the aliyah of Moroccan Jews, facilitating passage to Israel through Gibraltar for sick immigrants.

That Yom Kippur, especially, Jerusalem – the city I would one day call home and be privileged to serve as a deputy mayor – was on her mind, and its name was on her lips in fervent prayer.

As I was taking my early breaths, the Jewish world was holding its collective breath, imagining the catastrophic scenario of Israel being decimated in a war that they did not see coming. The life of this national project, and the lives of every single Jew who called Israel home, were hanging in the balance.

Who shall live and who shall die? Who shall be at peace and who pursued?

On that day, Yom Kippur 50 years ago, the pleas of hazanim, mothers, and soldiers intermingled.

Fifty years ago, our Arab neighbors gathered against us, surrounding us in war with the aim of our complete annihilation. Almost 3,000 lives were sacrificed for that late victory, and thousands more were wounded. As I look back on those events in the history of our young state and great nation, I consider what has transpired in the 50 years since then in the life of Israel, my own life, and where I have been fortunate for those two to overlap.

Fifty years ago we had to guard our doorsteps for fear of our enemies’ encroachment.

Now, we are opening our doors to countries in the region that sought to eject us. I am planning my next trip to Dubai as a welcome guest.
Our Chosen Leaders
REVIEW: ‘Providence and Power: Ten Portraits of Jewish Statesmanship’ by Meir Y. Soloveichik

Statesmanship, the late philosopher Isaiah Berlin argued, is more of an art than a science. And as Rabbi Meir Soloveichik demonstrates in his brilliant book, Providence and Power: Ten Portraits of Jewish Statesmanship, some of its most able practitioners have been Jewish. Soloveichik seeks to explore a largely unexamined question: What is Jewish statecraft?

Studies of statesmanship aren’t exactly new. And many famous diplomats and strategists, from Henry Kissinger to Paul Wolfowitz, have happened to be Jewish. Biographies and character studies of these figures are not uncommon. But as Soloveichik notes, "Few, however, have turned their attention to the history of Jewish leaders in particular—that is, leaders specifically of the Jewish people," as opposed to "Jews who have risen to greatness in service to non-Jewish regimes or causes."

The absence of such studies, the rabbi suggests, might be owed to the statelessness that befell the Jewish people for thousands of years. How, it might be asked, could a stateless people practice statecraft? In fact, as Soloveichik ably demonstrates, this very condition made statesmanship more essential, and its feats more remarkable.

Appropriately enough, the character studies in Providence and Power span almost the entirety of Jewish history. Nor does Soloveichik limit himself geographically; figures from ancient Israel to Victorian England are represented. To the initiated, some, such as King David or Theodore Herzl, are unsurprising. But others, such as Shlomtsion, are less known.

David, who founded the Judaean dynasty and united the tribes of Israel, is perhaps an obvious, if deeply flawed, candidate for learning lessons about statecraft. Paradoxically, it’s his flaws that make him great.

"If we wish to learn about statesmanship from a Jewish perspective," Soloveichik writes, "we must turn first and foremost to his life and legend." David’s true greatness, he argues, came not in his victories but in his defeat. In David, Soloveichik finds a leader who exhibits both creativity and political inventiveness, but also a man who becomes all too aware of the costs of his own foibles.
The Palestinian conflict with Israel is rooted in antisemitism
Palestinians have spent their energy and resources on battling the Jewish state as opposed to finding a way to end the conflict. Many observers call into question whether the Palestinians even want their own state. Their leadership’s actions and policies are completely inconsistent with working towards an independent state. They seem to sabotage any process that gets them closer to their goal of a Palestinian State.

Palestinian terrorism is at one of its highest peaks. In 2023 there is an average of more than three attempted terror attacks a day. The Palestinian glorification of terrorists, its adulation of violent resistance, and its dreaded pay-to-slay program all point to a people and culture more interested in defeating Israel through violence, than establishing its own state and ending the conflict with Israel through a peace deal. It is obvious to most Israelis, and especially Israeli leadership, that the Palestinians are more interested in ending Israel than creating their own peaceful state.

Mahmoud Abbas’s antisemitism isn’t new and contrary to Palestinian apologists’ claims it is representative of the Palestinian people’s attitudes.

Although, a few days after Abbas’s statements came to light (but a month after they were broadcast to Palestinians) a select few Palestinian academics signed an open letter condemning his “morally and politically reprehensible comments,” most of those who affixed their signatures live in the United States and Europe and don’t represent the Palestinian people.

Nevertheless, besides only issuing the letter when Abbas’s comments were translated into English and spread around the world, as opposed to when Abbas made the very public comments on Palestinian TV, the letter additionally included slanderous characterizations of Israeli treatment of Palestinians. It was also signed by some of the world’s most notorious antisemites; people like Ubal Aboudi, a PFLP member, Refaat Alareer who has said, “Most Jews are evil,” and Huwaida Arraf, who equates Israel with Nazi Germany.

Palestinians had an opportunity to condemn Abbas’s antisemitism without slandering Israel – and without cynically having the world’s worst antisemites masquerade as condemning antisemitism while practicing it themselves – and they missed it. Instead, they displayed their true hateful colors. Just as no one should have been surprised by Abbas’s antisemitism, no one should be surprised by the latent antisemitism displayed by the Palestinians in response to their president’s hateful speech.

Many characterize the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a territorial dispute, but that’s far from an accurate description. The conflict is based on centuries-old hate and traditional antisemitism. It begins with a rejection of Judaism, continues with a rejection of Jewish peoplehood and their rights to their land, and exists today in violent rejection of the Jewish State.

It is naïve to think the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will come with the creation of another Palestinian State or the splitting of Jerusalem. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians will only be solved once age-old hate is put to rest – and the prospects of that happening soon aren’t good.

By Daled Amos

The University of Pennsylvania is hosting a controversial event this weekend called the Palestine Writes Literature Festival, from Friday to Sunday. More than the topic is the list of speakers that is creating concern. The list of speakers includes Roger Waters, who wore a Nazi-style uniform during his concert in Berlin back in May; Aya Ghanameh, who has tweeted "Death to Israel" on more than one occasion, and Marc Lamont Hill, who while at the UN during its International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People spoke on behalf of "a free Palestine from the river to the sea."

Who is Marc Lamont Hill?

Hill is "one of the leading intellectual voices in the country." We know that because he says so himself:

He has a Ph.D with distinction, but though various sites mention this fact, no site seems to actually provide the topic of the thesis. I finally found the title of his thesis online (H/T SabraBat-Seraph)

From the back-and-forth on Twitter defending the lack of information on the topic of the Ph.D., it seems that people are far more interested in what Hill says than whether he is qualified to say it authoritatively.

His website indicates he is currently researching "the relationships between race, culture, politics, and education in the United States and the Middle East."

That is where things get interesting.

Three years ago, Marc Lamont Hill was challenged on Twitter about whether he had the background necessary to talk knowledgeably about the Middle East

In that Twitter exchange, Hill never names books that he has read that would qualify him to speak on Israel and the Middle East. When asked if he has read from a list of authors, he replies off-handedly "of course," but when pinned down to name books, classes or degrees --

He replies he has read "exhaustively" (whatever that means), but doesn't name any books or articles. There is no way to gauge whose work he has read or if his bothered to read different viewpoints.

o  He points out that he has a "graduate degree," but does not say what it is in. His Ph.D is in Hip-Hop Lit and he has a B.S. in Spanish and Education. According to Wikipedia, Hill has a Masters, but the source it links to makes no mention of it. Apparently, people are supposed to be impressed by degrees in subjects that have nothing to do with what he is talking about.

Finally, Hill vaguely claims to have "many years scholarly experience/study on the subject," and then resorts to claiming that this is more than the authors he was asked if he had read.

When asked further on what qualifies him to speak on Israel and the Middle East, he claims to have been "trained" in the area and to have "read widely and deeply" in the area. But trained means more than reading a lot. It implies having a mentor and teacher who himself has some sort of expertise -- someone who is directing the learning and perhaps even testing to measure comprehension.

Marc Lamont Hill apparently did not see any irony when he tweeted in an argument with David Horowitz:

David Horowitz has made his career calling people communists and/or anti-semites. He sees no irony in challenging credentials, while exercising the freedom to talk about whatever he wants with NO training at all. How does his Masters in literature allow him to write books on Islamic radicalism? [emphasis added]

The bottom line is there is no indication that Marc Lamont Hill has any particular qualification as an expert on the subject. He has no more expertise than the average tweeter.

Let's see what he has been saying about Israel, both on and off Twitter.

Hill’s latest excoriation of Israel, posted to his 90,000 followers [on Facebook], followed Mazzig’s argument that Israel is not a country of “privileged and powerful white Europeans.” Mazzig sought to emphasize the role of Mizrahi Jews in Israeli history and condemned the tendency of critics to define Israelis as Ashkenazi Jews alone. Hill responded that Mazzig ignores “the racial and political project that transformed Palestinian Jews (who lived peacefully with other Palestinians) into the 20th century identity category of ‘Mizrahi’ as a means of detaching them from Palestinian identity.”

Mazzig posted a screenshot of another exchange with Hill in which Hill wrote that “I literally study Yemeni and Moroccan Jews for a living.” (emphasis added)

At least Hill had the decency to delete the post.

In a 2019 article for Ami Magazine, Black Intellectuals Embrace Anti-Semitism // A Worrying trend is emerging, Rafael Medoff writes 

In 2018, Hill accused Israel of poisoning Palestinian water:

"I can't just think about political prisoners here in the states; I have to think about political prisoners in Palestine," Hill said. "And I have to ask questions about what the face of those prisoners look like, and what legitimate resistance looks like."

Hill also said that people who struggle tend to favor a "civil rights tradition" that "romanticizes nonviolence."

"How can you romanticize nonviolence when you have a state that is at all moments waging war against you, against your bodies, poisoning your water, limiting your access to water, locking up your children, killing them?" Hill asked. "We can't romanticize resistance." [emphasis added]

In 2018, CNN fired Hill from his position as a contributor because of his "river to the sea" comment -- 9 years after he was fired from Fox News in 2009, where he was an analyst. The reason, though, was not necessarily because of his anti-Israel or antisemitic statements:
Murdoch also said that Hill has been fired. He revealed the move after a shareholder had raised the question of how Hill was hired, citing his “reputation of defending cop killers and racists.”

Hill, a frequent guest on “The O’Reilly Factor” and other Fox News shows, has been the target of increasing criticism on the blogosphere for alleged sympathies to controversial figures including Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu-Jamal. Though Hill bills himself as an expert on hip-hop culture, he also drew fire for serving as a liberal foil for various Fox News personalities on subjects far from his stated area of expertise.

Mumia Abu-Jamal was also convicted for murdering a policeman in Pennsylvania, in 1981. His original death sentence was changed to life imprisonment.

Hill supports both of them, claiming that Shakur and Abu-Jamal are heroic freedom fighters.

So it is not surprising he is a big fan of Palestinian terrorists, such as Rasmiah OdehFatima Bernawi (whom he refers to as "a legend among Afro-Palestinians and a beloved daughter of Jerusalem" for trying to bomb a Jerusalem cinema in 1967).

And in that same video where he claimed Israel poisoned Palestinian water, Hill went on to invoke the first female Palestinian plane hijacker, suggesting that peaceful resistance was being romanticized and cannot be "fetishized" in the US: 

"If I'm to do this, I ain't trying to be like this. I'm going Leila Khaled-style."

And this person is speaking at the University of Pennsylvania.

Marc Lamont Hill has replicated what he achieved in his Ph.D. thesis.
He is an antisemite with distinction.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



  • Sunday, September 24, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
At the end of December 2020, then-Vice President Mike Pence canceled a planned trip to Israel and other countries.
A planned visit to Israel by US Vice President Mike Pence was called off less than two weeks before he was due to arrive, the US Embassy confirmed Wednesday.

No reason was given for the cancellation, which was first reported by the Ynet news site.

Pence was reportedly scheduled to make a number of stops on a final world trip before leaving office on January 20. Earlier this month, Politico reported that the vice president planned to take off on January 6 — the same day the US Congress is scheduled to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory — visiting a number of countries, including Israel from January 10 to 13.

Though his stop in Israel was never officially confirmed by the US Embassy, the Israel Police and other Israeli authorities had begun preparations for the visit.

Earlier this month, Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, confirmed the visit, saying, “Pence is planning on visiting Israel. I don’t want to commit to the dates. It’s likely that during the trip itself there will be a declaration of normalization” with another Muslim country.

A US Embassy spokesperson confirmed to The Times of Israel on Wednesday that the vice president would not be coming to Israel.

In its report, Politico said the trip abroad appeared to be an effort by Pence to avoid the ire of US President Donald Trump and his supporters over the vice president’s expected validation of the 2020 election results in his capacity as president of the US Senate. The president and his allies have claimed without basis that the election was stolen from him.

“I suspect the timing is anything but coincidental,” a Pence ally told Politico.

The news outlet cited a government document showing Pence was set to visit Bahrain, Israel and Poland, but said planning was tentative and that more destinations could be added.

Why was the trip cancelled at the last minute?

According to Pence's book "So Help Me God,"

 I also had plans to travel to Israel and the Middle East right after the proceedings on January 6, but on that the president said, “I don’t think you should go... more important to have you here.”

That's all I can find on the reasons - an offhand comment from Trump around the 28th or 29th of December.

That comment was expensive.

Records from the US Embassy in Jerusalem show that the cancellation was not cheap: hotel cancellation fees were over $360,000 and transportation cancellation fees were $180,000.  

This seems to indicate a large entourage, but I don't know if that is unusual for a vice presidential trip.

It seems unlikely that there was a plan to declare a new Abraham Accords signatory in that time period, although there were lots of rumors that something like that would happen in the last days of the Trump administration. It seems that this is just another small data point in the disorganized final days of the Trump administration. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



  • Sunday, September 24, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

On Saturday, over a dozen Palestinian and Arab news sites reported  a story about "Talmudic rituals in the vicinity of Al Aqsa Mosque."

Not "in Al Aqsa." Not "in the courtyards of Al Aqsa." No, their complaint is Jews singing somewhere in the Old City adjacent to one of the gates leading to the Temple Mount that Jews are not allowed to enter.

Jews don't visit the Temple Mount on Saturdays, but Palestinian and Arab media publishes stories about their "Talmudic rituals" and "provocative dances" every day even on days they do not ascend.

Which means that even if Jews were completely banned from their holiest spot, the Palestinians wouldn't be happy until the Jews are driven out of the wall of the Old City altogether. 

Here's the video that is so upsetting to them. The Jews are singing "Shir Hamaalot" (Psalms 126) to the tune of "Hatikvah." Notice that the Arab shopkeeper right next to them nearby doesn't seem to be bothered at all.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!



Saturday, September 23, 2023

From Ian:

Thanks to the Policies of the Obama and Biden Administrations, the New Axis of Evil – Russia, China, North Korea, Iran – Posing a Worldwide Existential Threat
The Biden administration... is also financing the ruling mullahs of Iran with billions of dollars to put the finishing touches on the country's nuclear program and for delivering more weapons to Russia with which to attack Ukraine.

"We're sitting still, and the Chinese, the Russians, Iran, North Korea, and several others, are moving to shore up their relations and threaten us in a lot of different places." — Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton, The Hill, March 12, 2023.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the Biden administration seems to be allowing Iran's ruling mullahs to prosper from the war and emerge as the winners.

"I have a question for you – how does Russia pay Iran for this, in your opinion? Is Iran just interested in money? Probably not money at all, but Russian assistance to the Iranian nuclear program. Probably, this is exactly the meaning of their alliance" — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Jerusalem Post, November 4, 2022.

"Today, China, Russia, North Korea and Iran continue to invest in technologies to expand their capabilities to hit the United States with nuclear weapons. All four countries have also escalated their threatening rhetoric, indicating their willingness to use nuclear weapons in a military conflict. By expanding their nuclear programs, each has made clear that our nuclear arsenal is no longer a deterrent to their potential use of nuclear weapons." — U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, Fox News, May 4, 2023.

Thanks to the Obama and Biden administrations' monumental capitulations to Iran's regime -- and the refusal of both administrations not only to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program but also to prevent anyone else from stopping it -- the Russian-Iranian-Chinese-North Korean alliance now poses a global existential threat.
Did Benjamin Netanyahu turn AI into a nuclear weapon?
Did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turn artificial intelligence into a nuclear weapon at the United Nations General Assembly when he warned of the "potential eruption of AI-driven wars that could achieve an unimaginable scale?"

While the central focus of Netanyahu's Friday speech revolved around his vision for a "new Middle East" marked by peaceful relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, he dedicated the final third of his address to the significance of AI as the "most consequential development of our time."

The prime minister, while also addressing the issue of Iranian nuclear proliferation, devoted an even more significant portion of his speech to cautioning about the dual nature of AI, emphasizing that it holds the potential for both blessings and curses and the ultimate responsibility for determining its outcome lies in the hands of nations around the globe. The looming perils of AI

Netanyahu highlighted the looming perils that stand before us: the potential disruption of democracy, the manipulation of minds, the erosion of employment opportunities, the surge in criminal activities, and the vulnerability of the systems that underpin modern life. Moreover, he warned of the even graver threat posed by AI-driven conflicts and autonomous machines capable of controlling humanity rather than the other way around.

"The perils are great, and they are before us," he said. "The world's leading nations, however competitive, must address these dangers. We must do so quickly, and we must do so together. We must ensure that the promise of an AI utopia does not turn into an AI dystopia."

The prime minister's remarks echoed sentiments akin to those expressed earlier this year by more than 1,000 AI leaders, including Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and Bill Gates, in an open letter in which they warned that "mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war."

They were also reminiscent of warnings made by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, during his address at Tel Aviv University in June. Altman has advocated for establishing an international regulatory body, similar to organizations overseeing nuclear power, to ensure all nations' responsible utilization of AI. Altman, too, has emphasized the imperative nature of addressing the "existential threats" posed by AI seriously.
Seth Frantzman: Israel's new Barak super tank: The future of Middle East warfare?
Last week, Israel unveiled the much anticipated new Barak tank, an updated version of Israel’s successful family of Merkava tanks.

The tank had been in the work for many years led by Israel's Defense Ministry's Tank Administration (MANTAK) and local defense companies from a concept almost a decade ago to planning and testing phases over the last half-decade.

It is important to revisit some of the technology that underpins the success of this project because it is part of a wider story of Israel’s technological success, both on the battlefield and in other commercial endeavors.

Israel's world-leading super tank
Back in 2017, when we had profiled this same tank project, The Jerusalem Post that “the Merkava MK4 Barack is designed as a ‘smart tank’ with dozens of sensors to identify the enemy and rapid-fire closure that allows elimination of the target before it disappears from view.”

Over the years, as Israel had invested in this project a lot of new technology has become even more mature, whether it is the Trophy active protection system, or various sensors being used. From the point of view of the Defense Ministry and IDF, this is the most advanced tank in the world today.

That matters, because today Israeli technology is highly sought after.

The world is changing. Conventional large wars now loom large, whereas when we look back to the era when the concept of a new tank was envisioned, the world was still heavily invested in counter-insurgency. What that meant was small units, special forces, and a lot of hi-tech but not a lot of heavy platforms.

It is not lost on us now, as Israel prepares for the future of warfare, that the Yom Kippur War was fifty years ago. Indeed, this week there have been many references to that famed conflict. If we look back at that war Israel faced technological challenges from its enemies. Egypt’s army had Russian-supplied surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and some of the troops were equipped with Sagger-guided missiles, as well as RPG-7s. Israel had performed well in 1967 using masses of armored vehicles, but 1973 was not as easy going.

We know now what came of that. Israel’s investment in drones, which the country was an early pioneer, was one result of challenges faced by the SAM threat, a threat that also appeared with Syrian SAMs in Lebanon. No matter, Israel was able to overrun them in 1982. But years later in the Second Lebanon War, Israel once against faced threats to armored vehicles and its warfighting abilities in Lebanon. Years of counter-insurgency in the West Bank perhaps meant forces needed retooling to deal with the kind of threat Hezbollah has. We also know that the Hezbollah rocket threat helped lead to the development of Iron Dome.

Friday, September 22, 2023

From Ian:

Mark Regev: Yom Kippur War: A bleak moment but pivotal turning point
Yet, if the Yom Kippur War was a turning point, it wasn’t as bleak as it appeared at the time.

The war ended with direct Egypt-Israel military-to-military talks. These were the harbinger of a dialogue that led to disengagement agreements and ultimately to the 1979 peace treaty – Israel’s first with an Arab country.

In the decades since, Israel has normalized relations with Jordan and Morocco, both of whom sent forces to fight the IDF in 1973 – the former to the Syrian front, the latter in support of Egypt.

And of the Arab petroleum producers who weaponized oil against Israel, the 2020 Abraham Accords saw agreements reached with the UAE and Bahrain. Today, there is even talk of a breakthrough with Saudi Arabia.

If in 1973 Israelis worried that petroleum gave their enemies a colossal advantage, it wasn’t to last. The global energy market has changed in ways that have diminished Arab ascendancy. Simultaneously, Israeli technological innovation has made the Jewish state a sought-after partner. (In the 21st century, is technology not competing with fossil fuels for being the number one driver of economic growth?)

In contrast to the diplomatic isolation of 1973, Israel has returned to Africa, augmented its ties across Asia, and built strong partnerships in Europe – as was seen in the recent $3.5 billion deal for the supply of the Arrow-3 missile defense system to Germany.

Furthermore, those who forecasted an inevitable decline in American support for Israel have, thus far, been wrong in their doomsday predictions. Over the past five decades, the trajectory of Israel-US ties has been indisputably positive, despite all the bumps along the road.

At the end of 1973, Israelis were hurting, apprehensive, and unsure. Although the country had successfully resisted a powerful assault, there was no celebration, but rather a pervasive dispiritedness.

We know today that the postwar gloominess, though certainly understandable, was unjustified in historical terms. Perhaps this fact can give Israelis a measure of succor as we deal with today’s seemingly existential divisions.
Editor's Notes: Could the Yom Kippur War happen today?
In a pre-Yom Kippur missive to IDF personnel, released to the public today, Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi reflected on the 50th anniversary of the 1973 war.

“The failure of warning on the eve of the war is the worst failure in the history of the State of Israel,” Halevi wrote. “Its roots are in arrogance, lack of understanding of the abundant intelligence information, and disregard for the enemy.”

Turning to Israel’s foes, he added: “Our enemies should know that the spirit of the IDF soldiers and the unity of its ranks do not fall short of those of the soldiers who fought in the Yom Kippur War, and that the IDF is as ready as ever for a multi-arena military conflict if it is required.”

Reassuring as his words were no doubt intended to be, that Halevi felt compelled to address the spirit and unity of the IDF and its readiness for war in a public letter marking the anniversary of the most devastating war in Israel’s history should be cause for concern, and it should drive us to reflect on the impact of the impassioned national discourse on the very body charged with our nation’s defense.

Fifty years after the Yom Kippur War, we are older, wiser, more battle-scarred, and better established as a nation than we were then. We are a technological superpower and an economic success story and our military has few peers anywhere in the world.

But as we reflect on the deep trauma of those fateful weeks half a century ago, we would do well to keep our hubris at bay. We are only as strong from without as we are from within, and we rely on our leaders to do what they must to ensure our continued ability to confront any threat.

Our enemies know those basic truths. Let us hope our leaders do, as well.

G’mar hatima tova.
  • Friday, September 22, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
Here's the description of one of the sessions at the "Palestine Writes" conference being held at the University of Pennsylvania this weekend:

The Right of Return and How to Achieve it 
One of the most important lessons we have learned from 75 years of exile is that the essence of the struggle has not changed: It is the expulsion of the people of Palestine from their homes and the confiscation of their land. The implementation of the Palestinian inalienable rights is the key to a permanent peace. All else, including a Palestinian state, so-called regional cooperation or other contrived devices to obscure this fundamental issue, is peripheral.

This means that "peace," to these bigots, cannot possibly be achieved as long as there is a Jewish state in existence.  

Diana Buttu, a Hamas defender and BDS bigot who is part of the session, has long advocated a "one state" Palestine solution.

It is amazing how 22 Arab states  and 50 Muslim-majority states aren't enough, but one Jewish state is too many. 

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  • Friday, September 22, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

As the Arab world celebrates the 50th anniversary of their "victory" over Israel in the Yom Kippur War, it is worth looking at what they celebrate as victories today. Things like Arabs at sporting events refusing to compete against Israelis. 

Similarly, today Kuwait is celebrating another huge victory over the Zionist enemy.

The UN General Assembly held high-level meetings on health this week, and health minister from many countries attended. Many of them gave brief addresses. 

But when Israeli Minister of Health Moshe Arbel began delivering a speech to the assembly, the Kuwaiti health minister,  Ahmed Al-Awadhi, walked out.

This was covered in Al Jazeera. Here is Al Jazeera's dramatic video where it appears as if he is simply going to the restroom. But the music tells us this is an historic moment.

The video, and the article, shows four different "activists" praising Al-Awadhi on X. 

One said, "An honorable position from the Kuwaiti Minister of Health, no matter how principles change and ideas change, believing that normalization is treason and there is no peace with the occupying entity.” 

Another: “We are moving away from normalization and we are not getting close, praise and grace be to God, and all goodness is in moving away from the usurping Zionist entity.”

Such bravery! What a victory! 

Al Jazeera does mention that some Arabs on social media questioned exactly how this helped the Palestinian cause. That part was removed from a Jordanian reprint of the story. 

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From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: The moral bankruptcy of the world
A pair of events this week graphically illustrated a striking symmetry in the moral bankruptcy of the United Nations, a global body ostensibly dedicated to peace and justice.

The UN General Assembly gave a platform to Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi, whose terrorist regime has been in a state of self-declared war against the free world for more than four decades.

Raisi promptly used this platform to threaten to murder US officials in revenge for the 2020 assassination of Qassem Soleimani, head of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Yet while rolling out the red carpet for this tyrant, security officials frog-marched Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan out of the hall. He was already in the process of walking out after holding up a sign reading “Iranian women deserve freedom now” with a picture of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman who died in the custody of Iran’s “morality police” after being arrested for not wearing her hijab in the prescribed manner.

Erdan was detained by security officials for several minutes outside the chamber before being released. He protested: “It should not be possible for a vile murderer who calls for the destruction of Israel to be given a platform here at the UN.”

Not only did the UN grant a genocidal monster like Raisi the status of a world statesman, but it treated the ambassador of the country that Raisi’s regime aims to wipe off the map like a criminal.

This fits the UN’s long record of sanitising, condoning or promoting human rights abusers while singling out democratic Israel for a campaign of harassment and demonisation.

Given the Iranian regime’s record in jailing and torturing dissidents, hanging homosexuals, oppressing women and killing untold thousands of protesters, it is beyond belief that in November Iran is to chair the UN Human Rights Council’s Social Forum.

The embattled Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had it absolutely right when he told the UN Security Council this week,: “Humankind no longer pins its hopes on the UN.” He pointed out that as a result of Russia’s membership on the Council which gives it veto power on binding resolutions, the UN is impotent in the face of aggression.

Raisi used his UN platform to gloat over the world’s inability to restrain Iran. He taunted America over its powerlessness in the world, claimed that the hegemony of the west is “over” and declared that the sanctions policy has “failed” and the Iranian nation has “won”.

Although this stomach-turning spectacle was staged by the UN, the real responsibility for it rests with the Biden administration which has fallen over itself to appease, fund and empower Tehran.
How the UN disgraced itself once again
As a platform intended to promote international cooperation, peace and human rights, the United Nations bears significant responsibility. However, to those who closely follow the organization, it is clear that the UN has a consistent bias against Israel that undermines its credibility and ability to foster global harmony.

This bias was thrust into the spotlight once again on Sept. 20 when Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan peacefully protested a speech by Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi. During the speech, Erdan held up a picture of Mahsa Amini, an innocent Iranian woman murdered by Iran's "morality police" for allegedly wearing a hijab improperly. Amini's death set off a wave of protests against Raisi's theocratic regime.

After Erdan's protest, he attempted to leave the hall. The UN Police promptly put their hands on him and physically escorted him out. The UN should be ashamed of itself.

This appalling event is a teachable moment, an opportunity to revisit the UN's record of open hostility towards Israel.

First, there is the UN's disproportionate focus on Israel's actions compared to those of other nations. The UN's obsession with passing resolutions condemning Israel, often by an overwhelming majority, while turning a blind eye to other nations with far more egregious records, is deeply troubling. While criticism of Israel is certainly valid when warranted, the disproportionate attention it receives suggests a political agenda at work.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a notorious example of such bias. Since its inception, the UNHRC has adopted more resolutions condemning Israel than any other country in the world. At the same time, critics have pointed out that the UNHRC has failed to adequately address severe human rights violations in countries such as China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. This inconsistency raises questions about the UN's commitment to impartiality and its ability to address global human rights abuses effectively.
  • Friday, September 22, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Palestinian Ministry of Information puts out a regular listing of "incitement and racism in Israeli media."

It shows three examples from August of what it calls "provocative terms" it saw in Hebrew language media.

“A Palestinian bulldozer demolished an archaeological site from the days of the Second Temple."
Concerning Walid Daqqa: “Distorted ethics. A human rights organization demands the release of a terrorist with blood on his hands.

“Construction in the West Bank is an appropriate Zionist response to terrorism.”
So, telling the truth is "provocative" and "incitement" and "racism."

I think the Palestinian Authority regards "1984" as a textbook and its "Ministry of Truth" is a model for the Palestinian "ministry of information."

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  • Friday, September 22, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Jerusalem Post reports:

A fire broke out on Friday morning in the Kissufim forest on the Gaza border according to a statement by Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), which manages the site. 

Six firefighting teams were deployed to two different areas in the Ben Shemen area near the Adam IDF base in order to prevent the fire from spreading to the base, according to the Ayalon Regional Fire Brigade. Two planes were also deployed to help put out the fires. 

It is suspected that incendiary balloons from Gaza started the fire. In 2018, the KKL-JNF statement said, a fire broke out in the exact same place at the outset of a string of incendiary balloon fires. 

The last time incendiary balloons caused a fire in the region was in September 2021.
A group called the "Units of the Descendants of Nasser" claimed responsibility for what they called a "blast" of balloons being sent from central Gaza today.

The same group had also claimed to be behind a string of incendiary balloon attacks in 2020 and 2021, saying that "we promise you that we will not rest until the entire envelope east of our occupied territories burns."

Interestingly, in 2021, Hamas arrested members of the group for their attacks on Israeli forests. Which means that if this becomes a new wave of attacks, Hamas is allowing it to happen.

Environmental groups have been peculiarly silent about Palestinian groups deliberately setting forest fires. 

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  • Friday, September 22, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon

We've come to expect Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to fill his UN speeches with lies and libels, and he did it again on Thursday.

He claimed that the Kotel (Western Wall) was exclusively Muslim:
The occupation government is also violating the city of Jerusalem and its people, assaulting our Islamic and Christian sanctities there, and violating the historical and legal status of the holy places, especially the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, which international legitimacy has recognized as an exclusive right for Muslims alone, including the Bab al-Rahma prayer hall and the Buraq [Western] Wall, according to the report. League of Nations in 1930.
While the travesty of the Wailing Wall Commission did indeed determine that the Waqf owned the entire Temple Mount, the Wall and Moroccan Quarter, the Muslims made quite clear that they did not accept anything the commission was going to say. So Abbas is trying to have it both ways.

Not only that, but the Muslims claimed ownership by conquest - meaning that according to their arguments then, Jews clearly have the ownership rights to all of Jerusalem today!

I hereby call on the international community to assume its responsibilities in preserving the historic and legal status of Jerusalem and its holy sites, specifically the Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.
Translated, this means he wants to revert to the situation before 1967 when Jews were banned by law from visiting their holiest places in Jerusalem and Hebron. He defends this antisemitic attitude as the "historic and legal status." 

Abbas then demanded compensation from Great Britain and the US for their role in the Balfour Declaration.

 He claimed:
Our people defend their homeland and their legitimate rights, through peaceful popular resistance as a strategic option for self-defense.  
Tell that to Eli (48) and Natalie Mizrahi (45), Rafael Ben-Eliyahu (56), Asher Natan (14), Shaul Chai (68), Irina Korolova (59), Ilya Sosonsky (26), Shlomo Liderman (20), Yaakov Yisrael Paley (6), Asher Menahem Paley (8), Hallel Yaniv (21) Yagel Yaniv (19), Elan Ganeles (27), Or Eshkar (32), Lucy Dee (48), Maia Dee (20), Rina Dee (15), Alessandro Parini, (35), Inga Avramyan (80), Meir Tamari (32), Ofer Fayerman (64), Harel Masood (21), Elisha Anteman (17), and Shmuel Mordoff (17), Chen Amir (42), Aviad Nir (28), Silas (Shai) Nigreker (60) and Batsheva Nagari (40). They were all murdered this year by Abbas' "peaceful popular resistance."  

Absurdly, Abbas blamed Israel for the Palestinians not having an election in 19 years. In fact he celled off the last election when it was clear that his Fatah party would lose badly. 

What this supposed champion of democracy pointedly doesn't mention is that he is a dictator in every sense. He controls the executive, legislative and judicial branches of his government. He writes and passes all laws.  Plus he controls the PLO which overarches it all. If he cared about democracy, he would have stepped down after his four year term was up.

Abbas again falsely claimed that Israel's recognition by the UN was conditional on accepting resolutions 181 and 194. That is a lie, as anyone can see by reading the text of the  resolution accepting Israel. There is no conditional language. 

However, the Arab world and Palestinian Arab leaders thoroughly rejected both resolutions and Arab states voted against them. 

Abbas is a liar.

Abbas also showed appreciation for the successful Palestinian brainwashing campaign denying any Jewish rights or history in the land. He said:
For several years, we have presented our Palestinian narrative, and the story of our people, which has been deliberately distorted by the Zionist and Israeli propaganda.  We are relieved that the peoples of the world and many of its countries have begun to believe our narrative and sympathize with it, after having been misled for decades.   
Notice he doesn't say "facts" or "history." Only "narrative" and "story."  Palestinians want to erase the Jewish ties to the land, discard facts and rewrite history. 

And Abbas drinks his own Kool-Aid. The Palestinian Arab "narrative" has stated for a century that Jews are endangering Al Aqsa, and he channeled the infamous Mufti of 100 years ago saying, "The occupying Power is also feverishly digging tunnels under and around Al-Aqsa Mosque, threatening its collapse, or the collapse of parts of it, which will lead to an explosion with untold consequences. "

The Holocaust denier went further than just pushing a false version of history. He wants to make sure the rest of the world is forced to accept those lies. 
I call upon you today to criminalize the denial of the Nakba and designate the 15th of May of each year an international day to commemorate the anniversary of the Nakba, to commemorate the lives of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were killed in massacres committed by Zionist gangs.  Palestinians whose villages were demolished and who were forcibly displaced from their homes. The number of these refugees reached 950,000 in 1948,
"Hundreds of thousands" is a gross lie. "950,000 refugees" is a lie. Most of them were not "forcibly displaced from their homes."  Abbas wants me to go to prison for pointing out his lies.

The Palestinian dictator wants the entire world to submit to his rules of newspeak. I bet not one mainstream media outlet will condemn him for his opposition to freedom of thought and speech.

There are only some of his most outrageous lies and statements. 

He might not have the charisma of Yasir Arafat, but he sure can lie as well as his predecessor did. 

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

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Thursday, September 21, 2023

From Ian:

On Behalf of Their People
Any book on Jewish statesmanship must contend with the fact that for most of the past two millennia, Jews had no state. Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land came to a cataclysmic end in 70 C.E., when the Roman legions under Titus destroyed Jerusalem and burned its great temple. Not until 1948, with the proclamation of the new State of Israel, would Jewish statehood be revived in the Jewish homeland.

In Providence and Power: Ten Portraits in Jewish Statesmanship, Meir Y. Soloveichik sets out to fill a gap in the vast literature of political leadership—the lack, in his words, of any studies focused on “the particular nature of Jewish statecraft” or devoted to “outstanding exemplars of that calling.” To remedy that deficiency, he profiles an array of leaders drawn from the long history of the Jewish people, from the biblical King David in the 10th century B.C.E. to David Ben-Gurion and Menachem Begin 3,000 years later.

David, the quintessential Jewish monarch, reigned in Jerusalem during the First Jewish Commonwealth. Ben-Gurion and Begin, the most important prime ministers in the history of modern Israel, likewise governed a sovereign Jewish state. But just one other leader included by Soloveichik was a Jewish ruler in a Jewish land: the Second Temple–era Queen Shlomtsion (also known as Salome Alexandra), who became monarch of Judea a century before the Roman conquest.

In the context of Providence and Power, those four are the exceptions to the rule. All the book’s other subjects—among them the Sephardi sage and courtier Don Isaac Abravanel; the eminent 17th-century Amsterdam rabbi Menasseh ben Israel; and Theodor Herzl, the father of modern political Zionism—were individuals who lived after Jewish national independence was crushed and before it was reborn. They represented no Jewish government; they were not diplomats or foreign ministers answerable to a Jewish principal; they were not backed by the authority of any Jewish army, parliament, or regime. So isn’t it something of a stretch to hold them out as archetypes of Jewish statesmanship?
Antisemitism is an ancient hatred, merely its expression has changed
Antisemitism, it seems, spreads and takes shape according to circumstances. Recent attacks on figures like Russian-Israeli Jewish businessman Roman Abramovich exemplify this, reflecting a “soft underbelly” for antisemitic sentiments in Europe that has developed also into hatred for Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

Anyone who is from Russia, even if they had to flee from there – especially when they are part of the Jewish collective – is an easy target for antisemitic hatred. The arguments against that person are irrelevant since there will always be a reason to hate them; either they are a rich person who takes advantage of others, or they are a poor parasite.

The hatred of Israel in Europe is influenced by pro-Islamic fundamentalist forces, while in the US, it thrives within “progressive enlightened” societies. They attack Jewish and Israeli morality with current terms that are unauthentic and while using “court Jews.” This winning card appeared in the past since its power is derived from “the fact” that the Jews criticize their own society.

It is crucial to recognize that the sources of hatred remain constant, whether “court Jews” join these ranks willingly or are co-opted by anti-Israel forces in a corrupt way to weaponize them and their messages. However, we must not be unduly alarmed by new manifestations of hatred, as they ultimately belong to the same age-old category of antisemitism.

Lastly, we should not use antisemitism as a means to absolve individuals, communities, or the Jewish people from self-examination or responsibility for upholding Jewish and human values. The presence of antisemitism should not serve as a justification for overlooking shortcomings within the Jewish community, society, or the state.

While we must remain vigilant against antisemitism in all its forms, we must not take too seriously the ultra-modern antisemitic attacks against individuals and communities stemming from illogical and irrational hatred.
The Jews of Uman ‘fear God’s judgment more than Russian tanks’
While Uman is hundreds of miles from the front lines, like all Ukrainian cities it remains a target of Russian missile attacks, such as one last April that claimed 23 lives, including three children.

But nothing seems to deter Menachem, a father of two who works in an art gallery. “In Israel, we can also be attacked at any moment, whether it’s rockets, a knife attack, or something else.

“There are all kinds of Jews in Uman. You can see Breslov Chasidim like me, but also Litvaks, Sephardim, Yemenite Jews, Ethiopians — we all have our differences, but we come together as one people around the grave of our master.” David and Yehouda, from Paris, came without much regard for what was happening in the news.

“Everyone in our community thought we were crazy, but here we are,” says Yehouda, a company executive.

They are seated at a long iron container that offers free coffee, tea, water and food to the pilgrims day and night.

Nachman supposedly promised that anyone who visited his tomb, gave to charity and recited ten psalms would be spared the fires of hell.

“That’s why it’s essential for us to be here. We fear God’s judgment more than Russian tanks,” says David.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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