UK’s top Anglican cleric, rabbi hail Jewish ties to Jerusalem
A day after UNESCO voted to deny Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Wednesday saluted the historic Jewish connection to the city, after praying side by side at the Western Wall.
While both men declined to comment directly on the vote – Welby said he had not followed the UNESCO discussion – both affirmed the centrality of the city to the Jewish people.
“The Temple Mount is the site of a historic temple and that is the very heart of the people of Israel over many, many centuries, millennia in fact,” Welby told reporters at the Western Wall Plaza.
Mirvis had earlier shown Welby the house where he and his wife used to live in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, noting that Hezekiah’s Wall was discovered underneath his old apartment block.
“What you can see today is layers of history taking us all the way back through time, seeing the Jewish presence in the city, as a symbol of the centrality of Jerusalem to the Jewish nation,” Mirvis said. (h/t Zvi)
David Harris: Israel at 69
“The coming into being of a Jewish state in Palestine is an event in world history to be viewed in the perspective, not of a generation or a century, but in the perspective of a thousand, two thousand, or even three thousand years.” (Winston Churchill)
Israel celebrates its 69th Day of Independence this week. Let me put my cards on the table. I’m not dispassionate when it comes to Israel. Quite the contrary.
The establishment of the state in 1948; the fulfillment of its envisioned role as home and haven for Jews from around the world; its wholehearted embrace of democracy and the rule of law; and its impressive scientific, cultural, and economic achievements are accomplishments beyond my wildest imagination.
For centuries, Jews around the world prayed for a return to Zion. We are the lucky ones who have seen those prayers answered. I am grateful to witness this most extraordinary period in Jewish history and Jewish sovereignty ― in the words of Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, “to be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.”
And when one adds the key element, namely, that all this took place not in the Middle West but in the Middle East, where Israel’s neighbors determined from day one to destroy it through any means available to them — from full-scale wars to wars of attrition; from diplomatic isolation to international delegitimation; from primary to secondary to even tertiary economic boycotts; from terrorism to the spread of anti-Semitism, often thinly veiled as anti-Zionism — the story of Israel’s first 69 years becomes all the more remarkable.
No other country has faced such a constant challenge to its very right to exist, even though the age-old biblical, spiritual, and physical connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel is unique in the annals of history.
Douglas Murray hopes his new book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, won’t be seen as incendiary.
Given that it opens with the line “Europe is committing suicide”, it’s hard to see how it won’t. Murray is a gay, English Right-wing journalist who has written books about Lord Alfred Douglas, Neo-conservatism and Lord Saville’s Bloody Sunday Enquiry. More controversially, he is an overt critic of Islam and of mass migration into Europe who does not mince his words. “You only have two options: to say what you think or be quiet. The second has never come naturally and what people don’t want to say is often the most interesting thing to write about,” says Murray, taking a sip of his cappuccino.
Broadly speaking, his thesis is that the unprecedented levels of migration into Europe coming at the same time as the continent has lost faith in its beliefs and identity will result in its downfall. The combination of guilt about our past, declining birth rates and the demise of traditional Christian values, together with the abject failure of multiculturalism, means Europe as we know it will cease to exist within the lifespans of most people alive today.
Murray contends that by being a tolerant society that is inviting in “the whole world” we risk welcoming in millions of people from other cultures, “some of whom hold less liberal views than the majority of people in the countries they have come into”.
Public funding from Spain to politicized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict is widespread and highly decentralized, correlating to several levels of governance in Spain. Funds are managed and allocated by the central government, autonomous communities, provincial deputations, municipalities, and bar associations – and reflect deep political fissures and regional radicalization.
Spanish funding has been repeatedly granted to NGOs that carry out political campaigns against Israel. Several grantees have ties to terrorist organizations, promote antisemitism, incite violence, and are involved in BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns. Politicized Spanish funding designated for NGO activities in the Arab-Israeli conflict amounted to over €5.1 million in 2015 alone.
In May 2016, the Basque Agency for Development Cooperation (AVCD) signed an agreement with the Palestinian NGO Addameer to “help Palestinian prisoners,” granting the organization €199,988. Addameer is an affiliate of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), designated a terrorist entity by the EU, US, Canada, and Israel.
In 2015, the Basque far-left, pro-independence party EH Bildu called for the “immediate release of Khalida Jarrar,” described as a “long-time Palestinian political prisoners’ advocate.” Jarrar, vice chairperson of Addameer, is a senior official of the PFLP. She was indicted in April 2015 for various offenses, including active membership in a terrorist organization (PFLP) and incitement to violence through a call to kidnap Israeli soldiers.
Far-left secessionists in Basque regions promote solidarity with other leftist-nationalist movements around the world as part of their political strategy. As put by EH Bildu politician and recently released ETA prisoner Arnaldo Otegi, “We have always recognised the importance of internationalism. We have discovered that struggles need to become more global in their nature.” Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) is a terrorist organization designated as such by the UK and the US.
On May 16th, 1948 – two days after Ben Gurion declared the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel – the New York Times ran a piece on the Jewish and Arab populations in the land. And as usual, it is a fascinating look back at the past, from which we can learn a lot.
Note in particular:
- The area now known as the “West Bank” being referred to by its real name – Judea and Samaria
- Contrary to the prevailing narrative peddled by the haters, Jews bought Arab land – and the Arabs were more than happy to sell it to them, given the land was arid
- Mention of the Arabs having been in the land for 1,300 years – an acknowledgement they came with the Islamic conquest of the area in the 7th century (and not earlier as they claim)
- Mention of Arabs here rejecting the term “Palestinian Arab”, instead seeing themselves as part of ancient Syria
- How the Jews increased the standard of living for the Arabs, but this only increased anti-Zionist sentiment (believe it or not)
I am proud to be a Modern Orthodox Jew.
I am proud to be a Jew who believes that part of our relationship with God entails being fully engaged with the world. To me, this means being productive in the world around me. I also am proud to be a Jew who believes that all members of the Jewish people are brothers, regardless of their individual level of religious practice.
I am infinitely troubled by Reza Aslan’s CNN documentary “Believer,” which my wife and I watched the other night. It is a work that would lead you to believe that I simply do not exist.
Mr. Aslan surmises in his concluding remarks that Israel is in serious trouble. Having sought out only the extremes of our people, he tells the world that the Jewish state is headed to a naturally combustible decision point between democratic atheism and totalitarian theocracy.
Spending roughly a quarter of his reporting on selling to the world that the only hope for a middle ground lies in the hands of the Na Nachs, the Breslover chasidic sect that, as Mr. Aslan details, has only a rough 1,000 fully dedicated adherents, is sheer lunacy. If he were seeking out a chasidic sect that has a global imprint, why not speak to the astronomically larger and impactful Chabad?
Radically anti-Israel group B’tselem is whitewashing the murderous record of Arab terrorists, according to a report published this morning in Yediot Aharonot.
The report points out that B’tselem’s website includes a database of names of “Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces” which puts those on the list into various categories – including “Palestinians of whom it is unknown whether they participated in fighting.” However, this category includes the names of terrorists involved in the murder of Jews, in certain cases on a mass scale.
The issue was discovered by one of the members of the IDF unit of Daniel Mandel, who was killed fighting terrorists in Shechem in April 2003. Preparing to travel to Mandel’s gravesite with his unit to mark 14 years since his death, Mandel’s comrade searched for information about the incident on the internet.
After B’tselem’s website appeared, he was surprised to find that the terrorist who had shot Mandel, Mazen Fritah, was listed as a “Palestinian killed by Israeli security forces, of whom it is unknown whether he had participated in fighting in the West Bank [sic].”
At the time that he was killed, Fritah was a commander in the Tanzim terror brigades of Fatah who was responsible for attacks which claimed the lives of 30 Israelis, but the B’tselem website makes no mention of the fact that Fritah was a terrorist.
French-Israelis living in the West Bank and east Jerusalem expressed outrage Thursday, after receiving voter information letters addressed to the “Palestinian Territories.”
“I was in shock,” said Dina Cohen, a resident of Kochav Ya’acov, a settlement close to Jerusalem. “This letter is like a slap in the face.”
Some French residents living in Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Gilo and Har Homa also received letters addressed to the “Palestinian territories.”
However, they were not instructed to vote where French-Palestinians vote; they were told to go to the French Institute in Jerusalem, which is not over the Green Line.
“They should take this all the way and tell us to vote in Ramallah, but then provide us with security, because the problem isn’t us, it’s the other side,” Cohen said.
Cohen, an aide to French-Israeli parliamentarian Meyer Habib, expressed disappointment and concern that the letter would discourage French citizens in Israel from voting.
A cross-party group of German parliamentary deputies sent a letter to the head of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) on Wednesday, urging him to reject a Palestinian campaign to oust Israel from the sport’s organization.
“The announcement by the president of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, after a failed attempt in 2015, to again submit an application to exclude the Israel Football Association, shows he is misusing the sport for his own personal ideology,” wrote the lawmakers.
The letter, which was addressed to FIFA president Gianni Infantino, was signed by the Green Party’s Volker Beck, Gitta Connemann from the Christian Democratic Union, Michaele Englemeier and Kerstin Griese from the Social Democrats and Jan Korte from the Left Party.
The deputies wrote that the connection between sport and people prevents violence and hate. “It is important that FIFA recognize that the entire Palestinian-Israeli question should be examined as a political whole whose solution cannot be a function of sport,” they said.
“The glorification of terrorism by the use of racism, antisemitism and discrimination of Israel’s teams undermines the sustainability of the FIFA statutes that call for a fair and peaceful sport,” the letter continued.
In late April, during the final ASM meeting of the semester, a resolution was proposed that calls for divestment from businesses involved with private prisons, arms manufactures, fossil fuels and border walls. This resolution, in its initial form, did not target Israel. Therefore, regardless of our deep disappointment with ASM’s past actions, the Jewish community showed up to voice our appreciation to the authors of this resolution for hearing our concerns.
To our dismay, ASM members then introduced amendments to this legislation that targeted Israel, and evoked strong anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment. These amendments were premeditated, and the sponsors of the resolution were not transparent about their true intentions.
The incredible tolerance of anti-Jewish rhetoric, and the direct harassment of Jewish students, on the part of ASM and the UW student population is a heartbreaking reminder of our provisional acceptance on campus.
This student body has acted in a way that repeatedly excludes the Jewish community — and makes us feel targeted and unwelcome. And as a Jewish student, I feel deeply let down by my “representatives.”
This isn’t about party politics. I was once a member of the Labour Party and grew up in a Labour tradition. There’s a proud history of Jews on the Left. There is no doubt that Labour was (and may again be) a great political party and, even though I made the transition to being a Conservative some twenty years ago (a kind of teenage rebellion marginally more preferable to my family than hard drugs), I have always respected my Labour friends. In normal circumstances, I would respect an opposing candidate from the Jewish Labour Movement.
But these are not normal circumstances. In this General Election, by virtue of both its leadership and membership, the Labour Party presents itself as a threat to the Jewish community. Its leader has flirted with so many antisemitic activists it could make a prudish man blush. Taking tea with Raed Salah (“a very honoured citizen” according to Jeremy Corbyn, even though Salah openly spreads the blood libel); welcoming to Parliament his “friends” in Hamas (committed by its Charter to genocide of the Jewish people) and, to pick another from the enormous list, taking multiple payments from Iran’s Press TV.
Mr Corbyn has presided over an internal party culture where antisemitism has been normalised, where barely a day goes by without councillors spouting off about Jewish money or Jewish influence or Jewish big noses – and even when Labour commissioned an inquiry into antisemitism, it appeared to be a whitewash. Labour ended up in the clear and Shami Chakrabati ended up in ermine.
The rest of his team follow suit. Only this weekend, John McDonnell (who could be Chancellor of the Exchequer) stood in front of hundreds of activists in Trafalgar Square under a Communist Hammer and Sickle, the flag of Bashar al-Assad, pictures of Stalin and Palestinian Flags. The JC reported the crowd chanting: “Labour friends of Israel no more”. Well, quite. And I haven’t even mentioned Ken or Diane or Galloway or the students’ unions that would all have a voice at Jeremy’s top table.
The ultimate ignominy for David “The Jews” Ward, who has been forced off a school governing body after parents complained about his conduct. Ward plays his tiny violin on Facebook:
“Tonight at the first meeting of a new Governing Board for a Secondary school that is in dire need of improvement I was sacked as a Governor because of “complaints from some parents”. I wasn’t told what they were but I think we can all guess… I hoped to become Chair of this new Governing Body but was told that the other Governors would not stay in the room if I insisted on remaining.”
Some fun comments from Ward’s friends beneath his Facebook post:
“Scary the power reaches everywhere from media to schools”
“These are very sad and dark days in British politics, when a minority group in the UK (0.5%) hold such influence and power with the support of a foreign power”
“I’m sorry to hear you’ve been fired as a Governor – one must never underestimate the power of the Zionist lobby!”
It was the Jews of course!
The Guardian’s Tareq Baconi wishes us “to talk to Hamas” urging that now is the time due to Hamas’ recently released Document of General Principle and Policies which, he writes, “supports the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders”.
As we argued this document is a mere sham meant to trick the gullible and aid those desperate to push the Palestinian cause at any cost.
Baconi admits that Hamas’ original 1988 document is still in force:
“Hamas’s leaders have denied that this document replaces the movement’s founding charter,” Baconi writes.
That 1988 founding document, which Baconi admits is antisemitic, calls for the murder of all Jews everywhere with its “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews)” and claims that “Palestine is an Islamic land”.
But to mollify the reader Baconi continues that “numerous Hamas leaders have distanced themselves from it”. The link in his piece provides no evidence of such distancing, however, probably because no Hamas leader has ever distanced themselves from the 1988 document.
In 2013 Hamas head Khaled Maashal even explicitly denied an accusation that Hamas recognised Israel.
The implication that Hamas policy is now in line with the principles underpinning years of negotiations between Israel and the PLO is of course inaccurate and misleading. The principles laid down in the Oslo Accords include negotiations on ‘final status’ issues intended to bring the conflict to an end: not to act as an interim agreement for implementation until Israel is eradicated at a later stage.
Knell also told her readers that Hamas has altered its infamously antisemitic position:
“At a press conference in Doha, where he lives in exile, the Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal also stressed a change in approach to the Jewish faith.
“Hamas believes our struggle is against the Zionist occupation, the Zionist enterprise. It’s not a struggle against Jews or Judaism,” he said.”
She did not however clarify that denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination in their own state – which is precisely what a ‘struggle’ against ‘the Zionist enterprise’ is – is one manifestation of antisemitism.
Knell also played down the new document’s renewed committal to terrorism:
“They make clear that Hamas remains committed to what it calls “armed resistance” against Israel.”
As we see from these two reports, the BBC clearly understands that this new document does not replace the Hamas Charter from 1988. That makes it all the more difficult to explain the inaccurate reporting heard by listeners to BBC radio which will be discussed in part two of this post.
Audiences did not in fact hear an Israeli view at all in this item.
After listeners heard an anodyne portrayal of Hamas from Knell (which of course at no point included the word ‘terror’), Franks asked her the following question.
“What are the major changes that have come out of this new document of general principles and policies, as they call it?”
“Well I’ve spent much of the day looking back at the 1988 founding covenant. Ahm…and now we have in front of us the articles of this new policy document and there are some ways in which there’s definitely a lot more moderate, a lot more measured language; some real departures from that earlier document. And it really drops its long-standing call for an outright destruction of Israel and also its association with the Muslim Brotherhood. This appears to be an effort to improve its relations with other Palestinian factions, with Arab countries and the wider world.”
In other words, having read the following clauses from that document, Knell egregiously chose to portray them to BBC audiences as meaning that Hamas has ‘dropped’ its aspiration to erase Israel from the map.
The Quartet’s three principles are renunciation of violence, recognition of Israel and adherence to existing agreements. Hamas is nowhere near “halfway” to fulfilling those conditions and – as this new document once again shows – clearly has no intention of doing so. In other words, Khaled Khroub was again allowed to mislead BBC audiences with inaccurate claims that went completely unchallenged.
The editorial decision to broadcast this interview with Khaled Hroub – which clearly not only contributed nothing to audience comprehension of this story but actually muddied any such understanding by promoting numerous false claims – is obviously highly questionable. The fact that the item then went on to broadcast an interview with Michael Herzog in which listeners heard ‘the Israeli view’ of the new Hamas document (together with a few home truths that BBC audiences rarely encounter) does not mitigate that editorial decision.
The JCC bomb threat suspects, it turns out, were a leftist journalist and a Jewish teenager with mental problems. But the JCC threats were merely an entrée for De La Cretaz to target the real anti-Semites:
Never mind that we have no suspects in the cemetery vandalisms yet. Never mind that Bannon isn’t an anti-Semite – I should know, since I’m an Orthodox Jew who worked with him for two years daily, and think he’s a garbage human being for other reasons.
Now, I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t upset by the level of anti-Semitic vitriol I received from some Trump supporters during the last election cycle. According to the Anti-Defamation League, I was the top journalistic recipient of anti-Semitism on Twitter by a wide margin – I received thousands of overtly anti-Semitic tweets during the campaign. But that wasn’t why I went to shul, kept kosher, or turned off my computer for Shabbat. I did all of those things because Judaism is my religion and my way of life. I practice Judaism not in opposition to anti-Semitism, but because it has real, true value.
De La Cretaz isn’t actually interested in Judaism. She’s interested in redefining Judaism to mean leftism, and then saying that she’s rededicated to her leftism because of Trump. To her, Judaism is social justice warrior stuff, an excuse to virtue-signal and push leftist values.
Anti-Semitic fliers were posted at a gas station in Missoula, Montana.
The fliers, which were discovered on Sunday morning, appeared to be distributed by a white supremacist group, according to local reports. They were taped to the gas pumps. Nothing else was vandalized.
The fliers are similar to others found in Missoula shortly after the November 8, 2016, election, according to the daily newspaper The Missoulian. They have been found in neighborhoods from time to time since then, according to reports.
The incident was reported to Missoula police.
A synagogue in Missoula in November requested a police patrol after American Nazi Party fliers accusing Jews of controlling the media were dropped in residential areas of the city.
Swastikas and other hate symbols were carved into cars in a Denver neighborhood.
The vandalism was discovered Tuesday in a neighborhood abutting the University of Denver on the cars of residents who live across the street from the campus Hillel, the Denver ABC affiliate reported.
Denver police are investigating the incident. They have not yet decided to label it a hate crime, ABC7 reported. They did interview Hillel Executive Director Daniel Bennett.
“We haven’t received any explicit threats against us and we are grateful for that,” Bennett told the TV station.
An unidentified man started a fire in a Jewish school’s bus in Brooklyn using religious books he found in the vehicle.
The incident from last week in the Williamsburg neighborhood was first reported by the New York media on Wednesday.
The arsonist broke into the emergency exit of the parked bus in the early evening, the New York Daily News reported. Police said he found the religious books in the glove compartment. No one was in the vehicle.
Surveillance cameras captured video of the man, who police described as “light-skinned,” and dressed in a sweatsuit and tennis shoes. He remains at large.
Jerusalem of Gold will soon be making its way to the silver screen — or at least to television screens around the world. Lionsgate Television UK has acquired the rights to Simon Sebag Montefiore’s nonfiction hit “Jerusalem: the Biography, a Fresh History of the Middle East.”
The bestseller, published in 2011, is being developed into what Lionsgate touts as a “character-driven, action-filled account of war, betrayal, faith, fanaticism, slaughter, persecution and co-existence in the universal city through the ages.”
The personal tone — it’s no coincidence that the book is called a biography — can be attributed to Sebag Montefiore’s connection to the city, which goes back generations to his great-great-uncle, Sir Moses Montefiore. That philanthropist is credited with founding Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the first Jerusalem neighborhood outside of the Old City walls, and is considered a patron of both Jerusalem and early Zionism.
Sebag Montefiore has been visiting the Holy City since he was a child, and knows it well. It was also the subject of a three-part BBC documentary presented by the historian in 2011.
Israel’s defense technology giant Elbit will soon bring its first consumer product to market: augmented reality goggles for bicyclists, based on technology used for fighter-pilot helmets.
Made by Everysight, an Elbit spinoff, the goggles provide riders with information about the terrain they’re navigating, their performance, and even give them the ability to receive calls and texts, Bloomberg News reported. They also include a map projection overlay to give riders a full view of their surroundings that, according Chief Financial Officer Joseph Gaspar, is similar to the accident-avoidance technology developed by Mobileye.
“A part of our strategy is to take technologies from the defense market and look for applications in the commercial market, part of which is consumer,” said Bezhalel Machlis, chief executive officer of Everysight.
According to Machlis, Elbit earns about 10 percent of its revenues from civilian products, which are rooted in its development of military technologies.
Machlis envisions Everysight as being the model of Elbit’s future commercial offerings. “We’re trying to adapt to the commercial market, and in 2016 became a strong player in the automotive market,” he said.
Over 100 fans at a Justin Bieber concert Wednesday night in Tel Aviv received medical treatment at the packed-out show, which was attended by some 50,000 Israelis.
Four people were hospitalized at the city’s Ichilov Hospital, and over 150 others were treated for light injuries by Magen David Adom paramedics at the Ganei Yehoshua Park, reports in Hebrew-language media said.
Concert-goers were treated for minor ailments, including dehydration, exhaustion, and fainting.
A pregnant woman was taken to Me’ayanei Hayeshua Medical Center after her water broke during the concert.
Some 50,000 fans, mostly teenage girls and young women, packed the venue in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park for Bieber’s second concert in Israel.
Customers at Café Café locations across Israel can now buy coffee at a discounted price if they say “please” and “thank you” when ordering, the Israeli business news outlet Globes reported on Wednesday.
The company — one of Israel’s largest cafe chains — is lowering its price for a regular size cup of coffee from 8 shekels ($2.21) to 6 shekels ($1.66) to motivate people to speak more politely to each other.
Café Café owner Ronen Nimni said he wanted “to encourage more respectful conversation in Israel society.”
Cafe Cafe has 157 branches across Israel, according to Globes. The company lowered its price for coffee to 8 shekels three and a half years ago and Nimni said the reduced price brought the chain “a 30 to 40 percent increase” in new customers. He expects similar growth with the latest discount.
Nimni added, “When we cut the price the last time, we didn’t think we’d do it again, but we saw it was good for both the franchise holder and for us, so we decided to take it one step further.”
IsraellyCool: Remembering Golda Meir
Today is the day Israel’s fourth Prime Minister, Golda Meir, was born. Born Goldie Mabovitch, on May 3, 1898 in Kiev, Russia, young Golda immigrated to the United States with her family in 1905.
The Mabovitch family escaped pogroms in Eastern Europe and made their new home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, eventually named the most segregated city in America. As a child, she attended a local public school, Fourth Street Grade School, later renamed in her honor.
From the famous book, My Life, by Golda Meir:
“One important event (to me) took place when I was in the fourth grade. I got involved in my first ‘public work.’ Although school in Milwaukee was free, a nominal sum was charged for text books, which many of the children in my class could not afford. I decided to launch a fund. It was to be my first experience as a fund-raiser.
I collected a group of girls from the school, explained the purpose of the fund, and we all painted posters announcing that the American Young Sisters Society (we were particularly proud of the name we had made up for our nonexistent organization) was to hold a public meeting on the subject of textbook. Then, having appointed myself chairman of the society, I hired a hall and sent invitations out to the district. Today it seems incredible to me that anyone would agree to rent a hall to a child of eleven but the meeting took place as scheduled on Saturday evening, and dozens of people came. The program was very simple: I spoke about the need for our children to have textbooks whether they had money or not. The result of the meeting: A considerable amount of money (by our standards) was raised.”
The R&D department of the Israeli Defense Forces has come up with a way to enable the automatic transcription of videos into text, a method that one day might be used for surveillance footage.
The technology, which is based on artificial intelligence, is able to read and understand video images and translate what it sees into text. It can cross-reference the images it sees with other relevant information to provide a broader perspective into the footage, and can send an emergency alert if it spots anything that requires special attention.
“Soldiers who are monitoring borders or any other activity through the use of video images on screens can identify accurately what is happening on the ground most of the time,” Maj. Seffi Cohen, 33, who heads the operational data and research department of the IDF, told The Times of Israel.
But human monitors observing videos can take in only a limited amount of information at any given time, he said. Software, in contrast, can look at a massive number of images at once and cross-reference any of them with other information that could be relevant.
There is no certainty that the technology, which is still at the prototype stage, will eventually be turned into an army project to develop a product. “It is still too early to know,” Cohen said. “Meanwhile we are refining the technology even more.”
In his informative documentary, Himel also zeroes in on Inbal Arieli, whose specialty is the identification of cyber threats to financial institutions, and Ran Goldshtein, who raised $75 million to start a company.
Both worked in Unit 8200, which, in collaboration with a major U.S. intelligence agency, developed the ultra-sophisticated Stuxnet virus, which temporarily disabled one-third of the centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear facility. This malware slowed down Iran’s march toward a nuclear capability.
The hackers in Unit 8200 also managed to infiltrate the hotel rooms of the Iranian delegates negotiating a nuclear agreement with the six major powers, thereby providing Israel with vital intelligence information.
Apart from these technological feats, Unit 8200 hackers devised software that enabled the Israeli Air Force to blind Syrian radar when it bombed Syria’s nuclear reactor in September 2007.
Nearly all of Unit 8200’s personnel range in age from 19 to 22. Young but savvy, they’re the future of Israel’s high-tech start-up industry.
The Air Force’s annual Independence Day flyover Tuesday was an impressive display of Israel’s aerial ascendancy.
But the pilots in the cockpits arguably saw the better show. Cruising at low altitude, they were treated to stunning views of Israel celebrating its 69th birthday at barbecues and beach parties held across the country, from the Negev to the Galilee.
“It was very, very exciting to see these places so close up,” said Lt. R, who piloted an F-15 in the flyover and could only be identified by his first initial because of Air Force security rules. “Our friends and family were waving at us, and we were looking for them.”
R’s fighter jet was one several outfitted with cameras for the event. The footage offers close-ups of the squadrons in action and expansive shots of Israel’s cities, coastline and farmland.
“When I flew over my hometown in the south, I knew where my family was, and they knew how to spot me,” Lt. R said. “My dad always wanted to be a pilot, and he taught me to have the same dream ever since I was a little boy.”
IAF Independence Day 2017 Flyover
Behind the scenes of IAF’s ceremonial flyover in honor of Israel’s Independence Day.
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