Israeli Druze Send NIS 10M for Arms to Syrian Brethren - Melanie Lidman (Times of Israel)
Druze communities in Israel have collected more than NIS 10 million ($2.6 million) for the Druze community in Syria to buy weapons and other necessities, MK Ayoub Kara said on Monday.
Previously, the Druze mostly supported the Assad regime, but in the past two months Assad's forces have been unable to protect the Druze in Syria from jihadist groups.
Mada Hasbani, head of the local council in the Druze village of Yanuh Jat in Israel, said the money was collected in public places across the country.
Donations also came from Jews, Muslims, and Circassians who want to help the Druze stop the spread of the Islamic State and al-Nusra, the branch of al-Qaeda in Syria.
Israel Seen as One of India's Most Trusted Allies - Ashok Malik (Asian Age-India)
Over the past two decades, Israel has become embedded in the Indian system as an economic and strategic partner.
From dairy farming to drip irrigation to horticulture, it is involved in a series of developmental projects across Indian states.
Israel is India's most trusted ally in West Asia and one dare say among the three or four closest friends India has anywhere in the world.
It is not merely a key defense equipment supplier, but is willing to make serious investments in manufacture of military hardware in India, a prospect that has the potential to revolutionize India's economy.
The writer is senior fellow at the Observer Research Foundation.
High-Tech Israeli Helmet Takes Control of Plane If Pilot Loses Consciousness - Daniel Bernstein (Times of Israel)
An Israeli-developed smart flight helmet will detect emergency situations in which pilots are about to lose consciousness, and take control of the plane in order to prevent disasters, Israel Channel 2 reported Sunday.
The state known as G-LOC, which occurs from excessive and sustained g-forces draining blood away from the brain, can cause pilots to momentarily faint, causing flight crashes before the pilots had a chance to regain control.
"As soon as the pilot loses his consciousness, the aircraft can take over the steering system and keep it in control for the few seconds before the pilot regains his awareness and takes over," said Yaron Krentz, an official at the defense electronics firm Elbit, which developed the life-saving technology along with LifeBeam, a Tel Aviv start-up.
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- Al-Qaeda Confirms U.S. Strike Killed Its No. 2 Leader
Al-Qaeda on Tuesday confirmed that Nasir al-Wahishi, its no. 2 figure and leader of its Yemeni affiliate, was killed in a U.S. airstrike. Al-Wahishi once served as bin Laden's personal secretary, and was deputy to Ayman al-Zawahri, who succeeded bin Laden in 2011. Yemeni security officials said a U.S. drone strike killed three militants in the al-Qaeda-held city of Mukalla last week. Al-Qaeda's Yemen affiliate has been linked to a number of foiled or botched attacks on the U.S. homeland.
(AP-New York Times)
See also North African Militant Leader Believed Killed in Airstrike - Dion Nissenbaum and Drew Hinshaw
Pentagon officials said Monday they believe a weekend U.S. airstrike in Libya killed Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who orchestrated the 2013 siege of a gas compound in Algeria that killed 38 civilians, including three Americans.
(Wall Street Journal)
- French PM: Muslims Must Reject Anti-Semitism Posing as Anti-Zionism - Joshua Melvin
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told Muslim community leaders in Paris on Monday: "We must say all of this is not Islam: the hate speech, anti-Semitism that hides behind anti-Zionism and hate for Israel...the self-proclaimed imams in our neighborhoods and our prisons who are promoting violence and terrorism."
Dalil Boubakeur, president of the French Muslim Council, responded: "This forum is an opportunity for us to express our discomfort with being lumped together" with Islamists. Those responsible for jihadist attacks "belong to a different world than we do." (AFP)
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- Hamas Violated the Laws of War - Mitch Ginsburg
The many dozen pages in the Israel Foreign Ministry report cataloging Hamas' violations of the laws of armed conflict provide specifics: The al-Tawheed mosque in Khuza'a and the Sheikh Hasnain mosque in Shejaiya were used as weapon storage depots and command posts; other mosque minarets were used as sniper nests. Al-Wafa hospital in Shejaiya "was transformed into a sniper post, an anti-tank missile launch site, a weapons storage facility, a platform for operational surveillance devices, and a cover for tunnel infrastructure." Schools and UN facilities were repeatedly used as cover to enable nearby rocket launches.
(Times of Israel)
- Arab Terrorists Sentenced for Wedding Hall Attack Plot
Anas Ouisat and Basel Abidat of east Jerualem were sentenced to eight years in prison on Monday by the Jerusalem District Court for planning a large-scale shooting attack at the Nof wedding hall in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem in 2013. Ahmed Sarur received a seven-year sentence. Ouisat and Abidat planned to disguise themselves as ultra-Orthodox Jews, enter the hall with firearms concealed beneath their clothes, and then open fire on the guests. (Times of Israel-Jerusalem Post)
- Iranian Threat: It's the Revolutionary Guards - Riad Kahwaji
So far, the hardliners in Iran have cautiously supported the nuclear talks in the hopes of having sanctions lifted to allow the release of billions of dollars, most of which would end up in ministries and accounts controlled by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Tehran today feels powerful and confident because of aggressive foreign policies in which the IRGC played a leading role.
The IRGC training and arming of Shiite militias in Iraq was one of the main factors that brought about the withdrawal of U.S. troops there in 2009.
The IRGC's training and arming of Palestinian militias contributed to the collapse of the peace talks and the eventual emergence of Islamic factions ruling Gaza. The IRGC was also behind the birth of Hizbullah in Lebanon, which recently became a major player in the Syrian civil war. The logical conclusion is that the IRGC will remain untouchable and will continue operating without any change in behavior in any permanent or meaningful manner.
The IRGC acts as a state within a state. It is much better equipped and armed than the Iranian armed forces, and has its own intelligence arm and internal security forces. The IRGC fully controls the country's nuclear program as well as the ballistic missiles program. In other words, they control all the strategic military assets of the country. So when the U.S. signs a nuclear deal with Iran, would they be signing it with the IRGC as well?
- Iran Is Playing the World for Suckers - Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry
Iran has been caught red-handed lying, cheating, and double-talking throughout the negotiating process. It is still developing missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads, according to the Pentagon. It is reportedly still working with North Korea on military nuclear technology. In other words, the story that
Iran is willing to give up its nuclear ambitions no longer
matches up with the facts.
Yes, it would be absolutely great if we could work out a win-win deal whereby Iran gives up the nukes, becomes a good global citizen, and rejoins the community of nations.
There is a point, however, where optimism shades into wishful thinking, and wishful thinking into self-delusion. The only reasonable interpretation of recent events is that Iran is fully determined to get a nuclear weapon at whatever costs, and is only using negotiations with the West as a delaying tactic in its rush for the bomb. The writer is a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
- The Battle of the Gaza War Reports - Jonathan S. Tobin
In the battle for international opinion, those who think Hamas has the right to shoot at Israeli civilians and consider it bad form that the Jewish state takes so much trouble to protect its people actually aren't interested in the facts about the fighting. It doesn't matter to them that no other country in the world would seek to stop attacks on its cities with the degree of care that Israel demonstrates. Nor does it matter that the point of Hamas' "resistance" is not to adjust the border in the West Bank but to destroy Israel.
By any rational standard, Israel's effort to stop Hamas missile fire and tunnels was a just war. But if you think Israelis deserve to be killed simply because they are Israelis and that the Jews are the one people in the world not entitled to a state or its defense, then it doesn't matter how hard the IDF tries to save Palestinian lives.
How Israel Is Treated Differently - David Harris (Huffington Post)
- Israel is treated by a totally different standard than other countries in the international system.
- Israel is the only UN member state whose very right to exist is under constant challenge.
- Israel is the only UN member state that's been targeted for annihilation by another UN member state. Think about it. The leadership of Iran, together with Iran-funded proxies in Lebanon and Gaza, has repeatedly called for wiping Israel off the map. Is there any other country facing the threat of genocidal destruction?
- Israel is the only nation whose capital city, Jerusalem, is not recognized by other nations.
- The UN has two agencies dealing with refugees: UNRWA handles only the Palestinians, while UNHCR focuses on all the rest.
- Israel is the only country that's the daily target of three UN bodies established and staffed solely for the purpose of advancing the Palestinian cause and bashing Israel - the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People; and the Division for Palestinian Rights in the UN's Department of Political Affairs. Indeed, astonishingly, each year, Israel is on the receiving end of more resolutions than the other 192 UN member states combined. No one can seriously argue that this is remotely warranted.
- You don't have to be a pro-Israel activist to be troubled by the grotesquely unjust treatment of Israel. All it takes is a capacity for moral outrage that things like this are happening today.
The writer is Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee.
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