Germany: Fidel Castro Recruited Nazi SS Members to Train Troops - Fiona Govan (Telegraph-UK)
Fidel Castro recruited former members of the Nazi SS Waffen to train his troops at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, declassified German intelligence files show.
Papers released this week by the BND - the German foreign intelligence agency - reveal that Castro personally approved a plan to hire former Nazi officers to instruct the Cuban army.
Papers dating from October 1962 show that four former officers from the Nazi death squads had been invited to Havana.
European Satellite Axes Iran's Anti-Semitic Channels - Benjamin Weinthal (Jerusalem Post)
Europe's top satellite service Eutelsat on Monday barred 19 Iranian state-controlled television and radio channels from broadcasting in Europe in a move that "reinforced EU Council sanctions," a Eutelsat spokeswoman said.
Report: Russian Intelligence Officials Aboard Syrian Plane Intercepted by Turkey (Zaman-Turkey)
Aboard the Syrian Air Airbus A320 traveling from Moscow to Damascus that was intercepted in Turkish airspace on Wednesday were 17 Russian intelligence officials on their way to the Syrian capital to identify some 300 Russian citizens of Chechen origin fighting against Syrian government forces alongside opposition forces, the Yenisafak daily reported on Sunday.
Egyptian Port Strike Sends Turkish Goods to Saudi Arabia via Israel (Al-Ahram-Egypt)
A labor strike at the Egyptian port of Ain Sokhna on the southern edge of the Suez Canal is forcing an Egyptian transit company to ship a consignment of Turkish frozen food to Saudi Arabia through Israel instead.
Turkish shipments will now use the Israeli port of Haifa and transfer overland to Saudi Arabia via Jordan, the Egyptian Kadmar firm said on Saturday.
See also Israel's Haifa Port Facilitating Iraqi Trade - Elhanan Miller (Times of Israel)
The Israeli port of Haifa has been serving as a conduit between Iraq and Europe, a spokesman for Haifa mayor Yona Yahav confirmed.
New iPhones Snapped Up in Gaza Despite High Prices, Poverty (Reuters)
Apple's new iPhone 5 is selling well in Gaza, despite prices almost double what it costs in the U.S.
The phones arrive via smuggling tunnels.
Maariv last week reported that the iPhone 5's new Apple Maps application does not list Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and its built-in World Clock app shows Jerusalem as a city without an associated country.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- U.S. Says Palestinian UN Bid Jeopardizes Peace Process
A Palestinian bid to upgrade its UN status would jeopardize the peace process with Israel, the U.S. said on Monday, arguing that a Palestinian state can only be created through direct talks.
"Unilateral actions, including initiatives to grant Palestinians non-member state observer status at the United Nations, would only jeopardize the peace process and complicate efforts to return the parties to direct negotiations," U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice told the Security Council.
"Any efforts to use international fora to prejudge final status issues that can only be resolved directly by the parties will neither improve the daily lives of Palestinians nor foster the trust essential to make progress towards a two-state solution." (Reuters)
See also below Observations - Israel at UN: Palestinians' Unilateral Actions Are a Breach of Every Agreement They Signed - Amb. Ron Prosor (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
- With New Sanctions, European Union Tightens Screws on Iran - James Kanter and Thomas Erdbrink
The European Union toughened sanctions against Iran on Monday, banning trade in industries like finance, metals and natural gas, and making other business transactions far more cumbersome.
(New York Times)
See also Text: EU Sanctions Decision (European Union)
See also Israel Foreign Ministry Praises New EU Sanctions - Herb Keinon (Jerusalem Post)
- U.S. Says Hizbullah Is Part of Assad's War Machine - Edith M. Lederer
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice told the UN Security Council on Monday that "Hizbullah's active and growing support for Assad's war exposes Hassan Nasrallah's claims of promoting Lebanon's national interest as nothing more than a deadly form of deception."
"Nasrallah's fighters are now part of Assad's killing machine and Hizbullah's leaders continue to plot with Iran new measures to prop up a murderous and desperate dictator," Rice said. (AP)
- Militant Jihadists' Rise in Arab World Imperils Region's Stability - Ernesto Londono and Liz Sly
The proliferation of militant jihadi groups across the Arab world is posing a new threat to the region's stability. The push for greater democracy made possible by the "Arab Spring" has also unleashed new freedoms that militants are using to preach, practice and recruit.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted Friday: "A year of democratic transition was never going to drain away reservoirs of radicalism built up through decades of dictatorship." "There are extremists who seek to exploit periods of instability and hijack these democratic transitions." The longer the conflict persists, the greater the likelihood that support for the radicals will grow, said Charles Lister, an analyst at IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Center in London. (Washington Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Israel to Hold Knesset Elections on Jan. 22 - Jonathan Lis
Israeli lawmakers voted Monday to dissolve the Knesset and approve early elections to be held on Jan. 22, 2013.
- Why Did Israel Delay Shooting Down the Hizbullah Drone? - David Shamah
Israel's decision to shoot down the Hizbullah drone only after it flew into Israeli airspace for 20-30 minutes may have been part of an attempt to hack into the UAV and gain intelligence on it.
"Anything with an operating system can be hacked," said Israeli security expert Shai Rod, a top administrator for Avnet, one of Israel's largest security firms.
"Hackers could hijack a surveillance session, feeding false information directly into the drone for transmission back to headquarters." They could also compromise the drone's GPS system, providing inaccurate information about where the drone is located and what it is seeing. Hackers could even get control of a drone's avionics, controlling its flight path.
Viruses could be inserted into the drone's operating system for uploading to the server that it communicates with. Drone hackers could cause a denial-of-service attack to the server the drone is communicating with. Or they could reverse-engineer the drone's operating system to determine who sent it, and where it is sending the data. An ambitious hacker could even upload a Trojan horse, to infect a larger system.
(Times of Israel)
- Proof of Jewish "Roots" in the Land of Israel - Richard Elliott Friedman
On Sept. 24, the president of Iran stated that Israel has "no roots there in history" in the Middle East. The Bible pictures an Israelite-Jewish population and government there starting in the 12th century BCE and continuing for at least 800 years. But how do we know if this is true?
In the first place, the land is filled with thousands of Hebrew inscriptions found in hundreds of excavated towns and cities - referring to God, kings and other people mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. They include stamps and seals from official documents and inscriptions on tombs.
Jeffrey Tigay of the University of Pennsylvania notes: "The names of more than 1,200 pre-exilic Israelites are known from Hebrew inscriptions and foreign inscriptions referring to Israel." Indeed, texts from the neighboring Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Arameans, Moabites, and Persians refer to the people, kings, government, armies and cities of Israel.
As documented in the Cylinder of Cyrus, the Persian emperor in 538 BCE let the exiled Jews in Babylonia return to their land. Ironically, Persia, now called Iran, has a president who says that Israel has no roots in the region.
- In Gaza's Smuggling Tunnels, Egypt's Interests Trump Brotherhood Ties - Kristen Chick and Ahmed Aldabba
Egypt began destroying several dozen
smuggling tunnels from Gaza as part of a security crackdown after militants in Sinai attacked an Egyptian army checkpoint near Rafah on Aug. 5. The operation has slowed the tunnel trade, leading to price increases in Gaza on items like building materials and food. Many tunnel owners now work only at night, when police rarely venture into the area.
Egyptian President Morsi has rebuffed requests for a free trade zone with Gaza, while clamping down on smuggling.
(Christian Science Monitor)
- Syrian Stalemate - John Arquilla
The Syrian Army, most of whose striking power is concentrated in eight tank divisions, has a terrible time trying to deal with "pop up" attacks by small rebel fire teams. The rebels' real advantage lies in being able to launch offensives simultaneously in half a dozen Syrian cities. The regime hasn't yet figured out how to scale down its forces into smaller units and deploy them widely enough to tamp down these hotspots.
The simple math of the Syrian civil war is that the rebels attack many points at the same time, while the Syrian military is only able to focus its counterattacks on a few points at any given moment. Unless Assad can create a counter-swarm of his own, his days are numbered.
The author teaches at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.
Israel at UN: Palestinians' Unilateral Actions Are a Breach of Every Agreement They Signed - Amb. Ron Prosor (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor told the Security Council on Monday:
- Last April, Israel put a serious and comprehensive proposal on the table to the Palestinians in Amman.
The Palestinians never responded. They walked away. And the world said nothing.
- Instead of sitting with Israel in direct negotiations, the Palestinian leadership is pursuing the path of unilateralism at the UN. This is no road to real statehood. It is a march of folly.
Peace must be negotiated. It cannot be imposed from the outside.
- The Palestinians' unilateral actions are a clear breach of every agreement that they have signed with Israel, including the Oslo Accords, the Interim Agreement, and the Paris Protocol. Every Member State that lends its hand to supporting Palestinian unilateralism at the UN will be responsible for the grave consequences that follow.
- How can Israel be expected to abide by the same agreements that the Palestinian leadership ignores whenever it is convenient? Would you make painful sacrifices - would you give up tangibles - in exchange for pieces of paper that the other side has proven more than willing to throw into the garbage?
- A General Assembly resolution will not pave the road to peace. It will affix a seal of approval onto an entity that does not meet the most basic requirements for statehood.
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