Sunday, August 15, 2021

From Ian:

You can't be 'pro-Israel' if you defend anti-Zionists
According to Omar and her defenders, telling the truth about her anti-Semitism and hatred for Israel was "putting her life at risk." The left-wing J Street lobby claimed that in simply noting the facts, AIPAC was "declaring war on progressive Democrats" and making false accusations about "women of color."

Sadly, Pelosi and Hoyer said that speaking out against the pair or Tlaib was "deeply cynical and inflammatory" and wouldn't increase support for Israel.

The problem here is not just that members of the expanded 2021 version of "The Squad" have been lying about Israel and helping to incite anti-Semitic violence against Jews. It's that their fellow Democrats are still more offended by attempts to hold these people accountable than they are by the kind of open anti-Semitism expressed by them.

Democrats respond to every query about this issue with talk of the far right's anti-Semitism. But gaslighting the country with partisan talking points about Trump is no answer.

We know that Democratic Socialists and other members of the left-wing base of the party that currently controls both the White House and Congress are increasingly embracing anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic positions, making it politically dangerous for mainstream Democrats to confront them.

Even as it was engaging in disgraceful attacks on those who seek to point out the truth about "The Squad," J Street did withdraw its endorsement from Tlaib for her open embrace of Israel's elimination. But there is little difference between her stands and those of House members like Omar, Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) who also support the anti-Semitic BDS movement.

We're now at the point where liberal Jewish groups – not to mention House Democratic leaders Pelosi and Hoyer – cannot be allowed to continue to get away with an effort to distance themselves from these haters while not actually condemning them or calling for their removal from Congress. The talk about defending "women of color" and other attempts at distracting us from the reality of what now amounts to an informal pro-anti-Semitism caucus in the House just won't cut it anymore.

Simply put, if Rashida Tlaib isn't given the same treatment dished out to Taylor-Greene, then there is no way to argue that the House Majority hasn't established a standard that gives a permission slip to anti-Semitism from the left.
Peter Beinart's war on Israel
Over the years, Beinart's criticism of Israel, and the settlements, in particular, has become increasingly extreme. If only it ended there. Beinart has undermined the very structure of Israel's regime. He believes Israel should be a state in which Jews and Palestinians live together in full equality. It seems this is the reason he has called for Israel to open its gates and allow the Palestinians to realize their "right of return." Just recently, he has gone even further, in his Israel criticism, so much so that his recent opinion piece, titled "America Needs to Start Telling the Truth About Israel's Nukes" and published just a few days ago in The New York Times, could be seen as comparing Israel to Iran.

Honest Reporting, a US pro-Israel media watchdog group, was highly critical of Beinart's piece, the subject of which was Iranian and Israeli nuclear policy. In his piece, Beinart called for the US and Israel to begin to reveal the truth about Israel's alleged nuclear missiles. Beinart dwarfed the Iranian threat toward Israel, making no mention of the fact that it is Iran that is threatening to wipe out Israel and the country's leaders who consistently call for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Beinart claims his minimization of the severity of the threat is aimed at promoting the nuclear disarmament of the Middle East. The difficulty, he argues, lies in the fact that Israel is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and unlike Iran, does not allow inspection of its facilities. The nuclear issue appears to be a recent addition to Beinart's Israel criticism. After all, Jewish American criticism of Israel tends to focus on the settlements as the source of all evil. For Beinart, Netanyahu's years in office provided a comfortable platform for him to write his criticism. The question is: Will the American Left Beinart represents soften its stance on Israel in the Naftali Bennett era or will it become even more radicalized?
Past time for ‘Telling The Truth’ about Palestinian lies
Even a cursory glance at contemporaneous Arab and Muslim newspapers and other Muslim media makes clear that it was Arab leaders who commanded the local Arab population to “flee” their homes in anticipation of the genocide of the Jews:
- On April 3, 1949 the Near East Arabic Broadcasting Station reported: “It must not be forgotten that the Arab Higher Committee encouraged the refugees’ flight from their homes in Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem”.
- On October 12, 1963 the Egyptian daily “Akbar el Yom” reported that : “The 15th May, 1948 arrived…On that day the Mufti of Jerusalem (the Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini) appealed to the Arabs of Palestine to leave the country, because the Arab armies were about to enter and fight in their stead”.
- On April 9, 1953 the Jordanian daily “Al Urdan” reported: “For the flight and fall of the other villages it is our leaders who are responsible because of their dissemination of rumours exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs… By spreading rumours of Jewish atrocities, killings of women and children etc., they instilled fear and terror in the hearts of the Arabs in Palestine, until they fled leaving their homes and properties to the enemy”.
- Even the contemporaneous reporting of “The Economist” makes clear that the alleged “Nakba’ was self inflicted. On October 3, 1948 “The Economist” reported: “Of the 62,000 Arabs who formerly lived in Haifa not more than 5,000 or 6,000 remained. Various factors influenced their decision to seek safety in flight. There is but little doubt that the most potent of the factors were the announcements made over the air by the Higher Arab Executive, urging the Arabs to quit…It was clearly intimated that those Arabs who remained in Haifa and accepted Jewish protection would be regarded as renegades”.
- On August 19, 1951 the Beirut weekly “Kul-Shay” opined: “Who brought the Palestinians to Lebanon as refugees, suffering now the malign attitude of newspapers and communal leaders, who have neither honor not conscience? Who brought them over in dire straits and penniless, after they lost their homes? The Arab states, and Lebanon amongst them, did it”.
- The Arab National Committee in Jerusalem, following the Arab Higher Committee’s March 8, 1948 orders, instructed women, children, and the elderly living in Jerusalem to leave their homes: “Any opposition to this order … is an obstacle to the holy war … and will hamper the operations of the fighters in these districts.”
- Furthermore, the Jordanian newspaper “Filastin” on February 19, 1949 stated: “The Arab States encouraged the Palestine Arabs to leave their homes temporarily in order to be out of the way of the Arab invasion armies, have failed to keep their promise to help these refugees”
- The Syrian Prime Minister in 1948–49, Haled al Azm, also openly acknowledged the Arabs’ role in persuading the refugees to leave: “Since 1948 we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave.”

Anti Israel fanatics in the main stream media, on college campuses and in political circles cannot change the reality of what contemporaneous Muslim and Arab media reported.

The “Nakba” was self inflicted.

Col Kemp: Naive Biden has condemned the United States to strategic irrelevance
This debacle is set to become an indelible stain on Biden’s presidency. Not only is America’s standing in the world profoundly diminished, Biden’s unconditional withdrawal has also undermined the entire credibility of NATO, including British forces, which had no choice but to follow the US out. Not least among the consequences will be the strengthening of jihadists everywhere, exactly what the 2001 intervention aimed to prevent.

Biden said in July that the future of Afghanistan would be in the hands of other countries in the region. That makes matters far worse. Pakistan created the Taliban and armed and funded the 20-year campaign against Western and Afghan forces that has taken it to the gates of Kabul. Reportedly Pakistan has been sending militias to fight alongside the Taliban in their assault on Afghan cities. Likewise, China, Iran and Russia have all been supporting the Taliban for years and will soon be cashing in to pillage resources and exploit strategic leverage against the West. India, the only regional player that could have a constructive role, will be firmly excluded by Pakistan and China.

Biden claimed he was pulling out of Afghanistan to confront Russia and China. His catastrophic decision will undermine any such efforts. Beijing and Moscow will be emboldened by this show of American weakness, and countries we had hoped to entice into the Western sphere and away from authoritarian regimes will see us as fairweather allies and the authoritarians as more dependable partners.

It took the US over 15 years, until the 1991 Gulf war, to recover from the ignominy of Vietnam yet the outcome there was not as catastrophic as Afghanistan promises to be. The anniversary of 9/11 — and Biden’s legacy — are set to be marked by US strategic defeat, the rape of Afghanistan and the rise of global jihadists to at least equal the threat from Islamic State at its height.

‘Outraged’ Poland rejects Israel’s accusation restitution law is antisemitic
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Sunday rejected accusations of antisemitism from Israel over a new law that will effectively prevent Jewish heirs of property seized by the Nazis during World War II from reclaiming it.

In response to the passing of the law over the weekend, Israel recalled its charge d’affaires from Poland and told the Polish envoy to the Jewish state, currently vacationing in Poland, to not bother coming back.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called the law “antisemitic and immoral.”

“Israel’s decision to lower the rank of the diplomatic representation in Warsaw is groundless and irresponsible, and the words of [Foreign Minister] Yair Lapid… raise the outrage of every honest person,” Morawiecki said in a Facebook post.

“No one who knows the truth about the Holocaust and the suffering of Poland during World War II can agree to such a way of conducting politics,” he argued. “Using this tragedy for the needs of partisan interests is shameful and irresponsible.”

“If the Israeli government continues to attack Poland in this way, it will have a very negative impact on our relations – both bilateral and those in the international arena,” he warned.
After Israel recalls envoy over restitution law, Poland plans reciprocal move
Poland’s foreign ministry on Sunday indicated it will recall its ambassador to Israel in a tit-for-tat move after Israel returned its own envoy from Warsaw amid a diplomatic spat over Polish legislation that severely restricts World War II-era restitution claims.

Israel had already told Poland that its envoy, Marek Magierowski, who is in his home country on vacation, should not come back to the Jewish state.

The Polish ministry said in a statement that it takes “a negative view of actions taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel and the unfounded decision to lower the rank of its diplomatic representation in Warsaw.

“Steps taken by Israel very severely harm our relations,” it warned. “The Polish government will take appropriate political and diplomatic measures, taking into account the principle of symmetry applicable in bilateral relations.

The development came after Israel’s foreign ministry said Saturday that the new Israeli ambassador to Poland, who was expected to travel to Warsaw in the near future, will remain in Israel for the time being, and advised Poland’s ambassador to also remain at home.
Israel equals Poland in 'theft' of absentee land - Cassif, Abou Shahadeh
MKs Ofer Cassif (Joint List) and Sami Abou Shehadeh (Balad) equated the new Polish restitution law to Israel's Absentee Property Law, arguing that both constitute state-sponsored theft.

Cassif was deeply involved in Sheikh Jarrah dispute and regularly protested against the government's intention to evict some of its Palestinian residents.

According to Cassif and others, the Palestinians who are under threat of eviction from Sheikh Jarrah were in exactly the same positions as the Jewish owners of the land they have lived on since 1956. They owned property in west Jerusalem and lost it as a result of the War of Independence, while Jewish groups owned land in east Jerusalem, such as the disputed area in Sheikh Jarrah, and lost it as a result of the War of Independence.

Because of Israeli legislation, the Jewish landowners could recover their land once the city was united, but the Palestinian landowners could not, making the law blatantly discriminatory, protestors have argued.

Cassif and Abou Shahade likened Israel's actions to the newly enacted Polish restitution law.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Polish Communist authorities enacted a massive program of property confiscation across the country, which included large amounts of property previously belonging to Poland’s pre-war Jewish population of some three million people, 90% of whom were murdered by the Nazis.
Israel offers Turkey emergency aid in wake of devastating floods
Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday reached out to Turkey's defense attaché to Israel as well as the Turkish Defense Ministry and offered to send a search and rescue delegation to help Turkey cope with the aftermath of devastating floods.

Gantz said that a team from the IDF Home Front Command could also provide medical personnel and supplies.

At least 58 people have been killed by flooding in northern Turkey, and on Sunday afternoon, dozens more were missing.

The flooding began after heavy rains that started last Wednesday near the Black Sea and have affected three Turkish provinces.

Recently, strained Israeli-Turkish relations have shown signs of thawing. Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulated President Isaac Herzog on his election victory, the first conversation between Erdogan and a senior Israeli official since 2013.

Houses burn as large fire forces evacuation of six Jerusalem-area communities
Houses were burning in the town of Ramat Raziel outside Jerusalem on Sunday, as a huge forest fire forced thousands of residents in six communities to evacuate their homes and emergency services fought to control the flames.

The fire, about 13 kilometers (8 miles) west of the capital, sent a huge pall of smoke across the city that blocked out the afternoon sun. Fire and Rescue Services Jerusalem District Commander Nissim Twito said the blaze may be the biggest in recent years in the area. Twito said 60-70 firefighting teams and 12 planes and helicopters are battling the flames.

An unnamed fire-and-rescue official quoted by Channel 13 News said the massive blaze was likely sparked by humans. The official said, however, that it is not yet clear whether it was arson or negligence.

Strong winds combined with the hot, dry weather were fanning the flames, rapidly spreading the fire. Residents in Beit Meir, Ksalon, Ramat Raziel, Shoresh, Sho’eva and Givat Ye’arim were asked to evacuate their homes as a precaution. The Eitanim psychiatric hospital was also evacuated of all staff and patients; two patients went missing during the transfer to other local hospitals. Police spokesman Eli Levi told Army Radio that at least 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

Palestinian rioters near Evyatar outpost put up flaming swastika
Palestinian rioters near the evacuated West Bank outpost of Evyatar put up a flaming wooden Star of David with a swastika inside on Saturday night that was captured on video and widely circulated.

In a method Palestinians refer to as “night confusion” rioters threw explosives, burned tires, and pointed laser lights at the outpost hilltop, which although uninhabited, is slated for authorization.

“In using these symbols of hate, the demonstrators crossed a line,” said Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Major General Ghassan Alian. “Any comparison between Nazi and Zionist ideas indicates just how ignorant the person who does such a thing really is, both historically and morally.”

Alian said he did not believe that such an act was a true reflection of Palestinian society and that the participants should be ashamed.

“This type of act does not represent the values of any society, particularly not the Palestinian one,” Alian said.

“Anyone who took part in this dreadful event should be ashamed of himself,” he added. “We strongly condemn this shameful act and call upon the Palestinian people to do the same.”
HonestReporting: Up In Flames: Abbas-backed Palestinians Equate Israel to Nazi Germany
Palestinians in the West Bank village of Beita burned a makeshift swastika designed inside a Star of David, perhaps the most famous Jewish symbol. The antisemitic act was part of disturbances in the area that have been ongoing for more than 100 days.

Since May, Palestinians have shined lasers, burned tires, and set off explosive devices in an attempt to drive out residents of nearby Jewish communities.

Research by HonestReporting uncovered that the US-designated terrorist arm of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction is actively involved in the antisemitic "protests." Several rioters killed during violent clashes with Israeli security forces have been linked to Fatah. Moreover, the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority recently provided Beita's residents with almost $1 million to "strengthen their steadfastness."

Will media condemn the Western-backed Palestinian Authority for desecrating the memory of the 6 million Jews murdered during WWII?

Col Kemp: BBC: Leading the World Against Israel
Following accusations of slanted reporting of the second Palestinian intifada, which began in 2000, and the rise in Jew-hatred caused by it, in 2004 the BBC was pressured to open an inquiry into its coverage, by Malcolm Balen, former BBC News editor. For 17 years Balen's findings have been kept under lock and key by the BBC, which admitted spending $500,000 of public funds in a series of legal battles to prevent its release.

"What is it are they hiding and what are they afraid of?", Conservative peer Lord Polack asked. Responding, the Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said that in "some instances it [the BBC] has fallen far short" of the required standards.

Three allegations that Bowen breached BBC guidelines on accuracy and impartiality were fully or partially upheld in 2009 by the BBC's Editorial Standards Committee, which also said that he had failed to acknowledge there were views contrary to his own.

The BBC's reporting on the Gaza conflict this year typifies its long-term bias against Israel. It constantly drew moral equivalence between Israel, a Western liberal democracy, and Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, both proscribed terrorist organizations.... There was no acknowledgement that the conflict had been initiated by these groups that openly seek the destruction of Israel or that without their violent actions, no Palestinians in Gaza or civilians in Israel would have died. Instead the BBC maintained the fiction — pushed by the Palestinian side — that Israel's actions in Jerusalem were the cause. Nor did they mention that Hamas misappropriated millions of dollars of international aid to construct tunnels, rockets and other engines of war to attack Israeli civilians.

This biased journalism was crowned by commentary direct from Jeremy Bowen, whose report from Gaza at the end of the conflict looked more like pro-Hamas propaganda than objective reporting.....

Why so much emphasis on Bowen's role? Because all BBC reporting on the Israel-Palestinian conflict for more than 15 years has been driven, above all, by his editorial influence.

I do not blame Bowen for the influence he wields, I blame the BBC executives that allow him, with his history, to hold a position that dominates the coverage of the world's largest broadcast media corporation. Israel. During the 2021 Gaza conflict... the BBC had to issue corrections eight times in their Arabic news coverage alone.

Senior BBC producer Alaa Daraghme recently shared a video on Twitter which he wrote was "An Israeli settler ramming a Palestinian man near the Lions Gate." In fact the video showed a car being driven onto the sidewalk after an attempt by Palestinians to lynch the driver, who then lost control. There are many other such cases of bias and distortion among BBC staff.

Like many others, the BBC rejects or ignores historical reality in order to portray Israel as an illegal occupier of Arab lands. To underpin its false narrative, for many years it has repeated Palestinian propaganda, ignored violence against their own people, and whitewashed their Jew-hate.... Israel's contributions to disaster relief and other humanitarian actions around the world are almost always ignored.

There is little likelihood, without firm intervention by the British government, that the BBC will relinquish its leadership of the global anti-Israel movement that has contributed to so much suffering, misery and bloodshed.
Andrew Klavan Show (Pod Cast): The New York Times Has ALWAYS Been Woke: A Conversation With Ashley Rindsberg
Ashley Rindsberg, author of The Gray Lady Winked, joins us to discuss how the “Paper of Record” has often prioritized ideology over news throughout its storied history, and how this has consequently shaped history in profound ways.

The Scotsman retracts false claims from anti-Israel attack piece
Earlier in the month, we posted about a op-ed in The Scotsman written by former Indy Middle East correspondent Ben Lynfield which, in addition to the distortions and hyperbole, included two clearly false claims:

Here’s the first claim we complained about to The Scotsman:
The symbiosis [between the IDF and settlers] is structural, with each of the settlements having a security coordinator from the settlement who has command power over the troops stationed there

We realised intuitively this couldn’t be true, as, by definition, other than government officials within the military chain of command (such as the Defence Minister or Prime Minister), civilians can not have command power over Israeli soldiers, a fact which was confirmed in an exchange we had with the IDF Spokesperson Unit.

Here’s the second claim we complained about:
Last weekend, the army helped messianic settlers in an effort to establish another illegal outpost, this time in the Jordan River valley in an abandoned army post. The move touched off Palestinian protests, which the army quelled.

The IDF confirmed to us that this too was false. There was no effort by settlers to “establish another illegal outpost” in the Jordan Valley. All that happened was that a group settlers took a two-day trip to an abandoned IDF base, after getting consent by the IDF on the condition that they voluntarily vacate at the end, which they did.

After a series of communications with Scotsman editors, the finally removed both false claims from the op-ed.
BBC’s Knell opts for the easy narrative in reports on Arab crime
The notion that organised crime the Arab sector – particularly in the form of protection rackets and extortion – is at most a decade and a half old is of course not supported by the historical record. None of Knell’s reports discuss other relevant topics such as the high numbers of illegal firearms in Arab communities, the prevalence of violence against women or issues such as ‘honour’ and extended family (hamoula).

Knell’s audio reports do however repeatedly seek to create linkage between crime in the Arab sector and Israel’s creation.

Knell: “In theory, Palestinian or Arab citizens of Israel are equal under the law with Jewish citizens but many live quite separate lives. Lack of trust in the police is only half of it. There are two parallel societies here with different faiths, cultures and histories. The roots go back to the creation of Israel in 1948. Several hundred thousand Palestinians fled or were forced to leave in the war between Jews and Arabs that followed. Those who stayed and their descendants became Israeli Arabs. It’s left a distinctness that goes right to the heart of how Arab families interact, not only with the Israeli state but also with each other. People here often like to settle scores in their own way.”

She interviews a rapper from Lod who reinforces that messaging.

Nafar: “If you want to go to the root of it I think you need to go back to 1948, to a whole people who were kicked out of their land.”

And in both her written and audio reports Knell alleges that the rioting and damage seen in some mixed cities in May was attributable to “discrimination”.

Knell: “In May feelings of discrimination melded with a new round of conflict between Israelis and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip to erupt in violent intercommunal clashes.”

And so, rather than making a real effort to dig deep into the multifaceted background to the serious violence blighting one of Israel’s minority communities and examining relevant issues including the lack of cooperation with the police, the failures of sector leadership, corruption in local government and specific social constructs, Knell opts for the much easier and more well-trodden route of promotion of a jaded political narrative of ‘discrimination’.

PMW: PMW submits complaint to International Olympic Committee against head of PA Olympic Committee
While Iranian born judoka Vahid Sarlak, now in exile, hugged Israel's judo coach Shani Hershko in a message of peace, and Iranian born judoka Saeid Mollaei, now exiled and competing for Mongolia, dedicated his Olympic silver medal to Israel, Palestinians, on the other hand, were cheering the Arab/Muslim athletes who forfeited their matches and withdrew from the Olympics because they did not want to compete with an Israeli and recognize Israel's existence.

The most prominent Palestinian to cheer the boycott of Israeli athletes, which violates the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Charter and Code of Ethics, was Chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee Jibril Rajoub. He praised Algerian judoka Fethi Nourine for withdrawing from the competition rather than face an Israeli, when speaking to an Algerian radio station:
“There is no place for meeting with anyone who is connected to this official terror (i.e., Israel), not in sports and not outside of sports. I hope that this will be a message to all the Arabs who are normalizing and those who are rushing [towards normalizing ties with Israel].”

The next day Rajoub visited the athlete and made another statement:
Jibril Rajoub: “This (i.e., Nourine refusing to compete against an Israeli) expresses the real and deep-rooted Algerian affiliation with Palestine, with the cause of Palestine. The best of blessings to the Algerian people and blessings to this great athlete [Nourine]. We wish you all the best, calmness, and stability.”

As opposed to Palestinian support, the International Judo Federation immediately suspended the Algerian and his coach:
Report: Hamas Threatens Hostilities Unless It Gets Qatari Cash
Hamas is threatening to renew violence against Israel unless it is granted access to Qatari funds in cash, Palestinian media reported over the weekend.

According to reports, the terrorist group controlling the Gaza Strip refuses to receive the funds via wire transfers and demands the funds be transferred as they have been to date — in cash-stuffed suitcases.

Israel, backed by the Palestinian Authority, has demanded that Qatari aid be sent via wire transfer so as to make sure the funds serve the purpose of rebuilding civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, rather than end up funding Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure.

Hamas has reportedly made it clear to Egypt, which is working to broker a long-term ceasefire between Israel and the terrorist group, that unless it gets immediate access to Qatari cash, border riots and cross-border arson attacks will resume.

Hamas spokesman Azam Qassem was quoted by Palestinian media as saying, “The easing of restrictions approved by the Zionist occupation in recent days [increasing the volume of goods delivered to Gaza as well as expanding its fishing zone] is not enough. These are attempts by the Zionist occupation to undermine Hamas and the Palestinian people and we will not allow it.”

Lebanon: Fuel tank explosion leaves 28 dead
A fuel tank exploded in the Akkar region of northern Lebanon on Saturday night, killing at least 28 people and injuring at least 79, according to Lebanon's Health Minister.

Some 75 EMTs and 24 ambulances of the Lebanon Red Cross arrived at the scene to care for the dead and wounded. Initial reports indicated that many of the injuries were severe.

A number of local residents gathered at the site of the explosion in the morning, throwing stones at soldiers and setting fire to a truck owned by the owner of the fuel warehouse and the owner's home, according to Lebanon's National News Agency (NNA).

Assad Dargham, an MP from the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), an ally of Hezbollah, said that the owner of the warehouse was not affiliated with the FPM, but instead belongs to another political movement and "is known for his political loyalty and commercial relations with some MPs from another bloc," according to NNA. Dargham did not specify which party the owner was affiliated with.

Check Point: Dissident group hacked Iran’s trains, not Israel
An Iranian dissident group called Indra executed the mega hack on the Islamic Republic’s train system on July 9 and not Israel, the American cybersecurity company Check Point Software Technologies reported on Saturday.

Check Point said Indra’s hack of Iran’s train system was “an example for governments around the world of how a single group can create disruption on critical infrastructure.”

Part of what was so unusual about the attack was that it was a non-state organization inflicting nation-state-level damage on Iran’s physical infrastructure.

If non-state groups are traditionally thought of as lacking the capability to do more than hack websites and data, this was an example of such a group causing profound real-world damage.

Indra’s tools destroyed data without direct means to recover it by using a “wiper,” or malware designed to wipe the entire data system of critical infrastructure, making the recovery process complicated, locking users out of machines, changing passwords, and replacing wallpapers to custom messages crafted by attackers.

Part of the attack included the posting of fake messages about train delays and cancellations on terminals display boards across Iran.

Notorious antisemite Alison Chabloz sent back to prison after humiliatingly losing her own appeal in case launched following action by CAA
Notorious antisemite Alison Chabloz has humiliatingly been sent back to prison on remand, pending sentencing on Monday, after losing her own appeal.

The appeal was against her conviction under section 127 of the Communications Act for sending by a public communications network an offensive, indecent message or material. That conviction was secured following action by Campaign Against Antisemitism, which had been pursuing justice against Ms Chabloz for over four years.

In a two-day hearing at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday and Friday, Ms Chabloz, 57, sought to have her conviction overturned, having already served nine week’s in prison, representing half of her original eighteen week sentence. Defendants convicted in magistrates’ court are usually given leave to appeal their cases to a crown court, but with the risk that, if their appeal is dismissed, there is a possibility that their sentence may be increased. This looks likely to happen on Monday, after Ms Chabloz’s appeal was dismissed on Friday and she was held on remand, pending sentencing on Monday.

Judge Martin Beddoe said that he made his judgment in accordance with “standards of an open and multiracial society,” and that “the prosecution is proportionate in response to a pressing social need.” He also stated that there are consequences for being found guilty of being grossly offensive, as Ms Chabloz has been.

In his remarks, Judge Beddoe highlighted Ms Chabloz’s “hostility to people of Jewish extraction” and her “irrational”views and “misguided beliefs.” He said that he was quite sure that her grossly offensive statements were “deliberately said.”
Were Israel’s health funds the secret weapon in COVID fight?
‘A lockdown is like taking an aspirin or an Acamol,” said Ran Saar, who served as the CEO of the country’s second-largest health fund, Maccabi Healthcare Services, until two weeks ago. “It doesn’t treat the situation. Whenever there is a closure, the numbers rise right after.”

Saar has held various roles with Maccabi for the past 20 years, including serving as CEO for 10. This month, he transitioned to becoming the HMO’s part-time chairman of the board.

He has been at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus, sometimes advising the government, and other times quietly redirecting it when he felt one issue or another could be handled more effectively.

Today, he has the ear of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, whose approach aligns with his own COVID philosophy, a philosophy that dictates it is time to start learning to live alongside the virus and to stop locking down and trying to hide from it.

“I don’t think we will reach the results of the first closures” if Israel locks down now, Saar told The Jerusalem Post in an interview from his Tel Aviv office. “It won’t stop the pandemic.”


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