[podcast] Duma: The War From Within

Shai and I discuss the current investigation concerning the Duma arson in the Northern Shomron and why this is a landmark civil rights case involving torture and human rights violations in connection with the alleged suspects. We also touch on the tension between statism and individual liberties in Israel and the need to put an emphasis on individual liberties despite the security situation and the desire for the system to preserve itself.


Israel Behind the News [Dec 21, 2015]

Rockets Hit Northern Israel

Here we go again, so the theory would go, but more likely than not the retaliation we will surely see for Kuntar’s demise will be in another form, most likely an attempt to infiltrate the North as was Kuntar’s plan. The rocket attack is more or less a way for the Arabs in Hezbollah to let some steam off.

Mahmoud Abbas in Greece, Waiting for PA Recognition as New Nation

This must be the Greeks’ way of trying to stay relevant.  Remember there is a gas deal with Israel and their own Prime Minister referred to Jerusalem as Israel’s historic capital. Whatever the reason, it is sad that the world cannot move on beyond supporting independence of a non-entity, never mind the fact that Palestine was not a Nation.

Benjamin Netanyahu ‘threatens to strip Jerusalem residency from 230,000 Palestinians’

Well the above link just shows you how out of touch the liberal media is to sovereignty issues. No one is stripping the “Palestinians” in Jerusalem of residency (which as a sovereign nation they are allowed to do), but rather those Arabs who are aiding and abetting terror.  The same debate is going on across the globe.


Israel Behind the News [Dec 17, 2015]

Bibi Using Special Clause to Push Through Gas Deal AKA Eastern Mediterranean Alliance

Clause 54 in the gas deal allows for the Prime Minister or the Government to get around Israel’s anti-monopoly laws when security or foreign relations can be harmed in regards to the gas fields.  Bibi invoking this is no sleight of hand. This gas consortium has the power to revolutionize the Eastern Mediterranean and change strategic alliances for many decades to come. Although we all want to see the common Israeli get more in his pocket, the gas deal will build far more than just money and that will be felt over the next 2 generations, cementing Israel as a regional leader and the strategic gateway between Europe and Asia.

Israel ranked 18th best country in the world to live

What more can one say.  With all of the threats inside and out, Israel is still one of the best places to live. What is more surprising is that the report was issued by the UN.  This means that despite their anti-Israel rhetoric, the UN admits that Israel is a darn good place.  Compare that to the ranking Arab countries got and one has to wonder why the UN is so biased against the Jewish state.

Israel and China Continue to Build Long Term Partnership

With former President Shimon Peres and the President of Technion attending the cornerstone laying ceremony of the first Israeli University in China, one has to wonder why those that insist that trade does not lead to other things are missing this. The university is being funded by Chinese Billionaire Li Ka-shing out of Hing Kong and reflects a serious development in the academic partnership between Israel and China. The world is swinging East and Israel is fast becoming a major player.

Build Jerusalem Fund Banner

Israel Behind the News [Dec 15, 2015]

Kerry: Bibi is Shortsighted and Untrustworthy

Here we go again.  The world is in collapse mode or should I say the American world is on collapse mode and Kerry wheels out apartheid like statements and fear mongering to relate to Israel’s future. Once going on here is that the USA is nervous it is losing Israel and so the warning is out.  “You leave our orbit and we will make you look like South Africa.” Threats don’t work anymore. Their policies are in shambles and in the new world of value based partnerships versus ideological allies, Israel is well positioned to be economic hub of the fast changing Middle East. By the way trusting the USA government never did the Kurds well either. Obama has left them to die at the mercy of ISIS.

War is Hell and the Arabs use all Means at their Disposal

The violent struggle for control over the Land of Israel continues. Thankfully, all of the injured from yesterday’s car ramming in Jerusalem will live. The 1.5 year old unfortunately will lose his foot.  In the long struggle strategy that Bibi seems to have adopted over the Land, the government wants the citizenry to remain vigilant as it grinds the Arabs down over a period of time and makes them sure for peace. This strategy means we won’t see the winding down of “lone wolfs” anytime soon.

Israel Behind the News [Dec 9, 2015]

Terror War Continues in Samaria

The latest attack occurred outside the community of Avnei Hafetz.  Residents of the Old City of Jerusalem had been visiting their daughter in Aveni Hafetz when their car came under fire.  The idea that these attacks are lone wolf has become preposterous. The government has in word moved on from this theory, but has not been able to crack the forward momentum of the Arab war across the Land of Israel.  Terror is merely a tactic to be employed to instill fear in the wider public.  Treating terror with band aid or reactive measures will not work.  Only a complete offensive campaign will crush the Jihadist cells and force Abu Mazen (aka Mahmoud Abbas) to sue for peace.  Sadly the government is far reaching this conclusion.

Obama Has Publicly Moved on From Peace in His Time

Obama might have used his time with President Reuven Rivlin repairing his relationship with Israel by saying all the platitudes necessary, but he has squandered years trying to push something on both sides that has no reality on the ground. Sadly if Obama wanted real peace, the One State Solution is the only way forward.

Bibi is Walking a Tight Rope by Meeting Donald Trump

Although the meeting is three weeks away, furor over Trump’s opposition to allowing Muslim immigration while global Jihad is on the march has drawn the ire of just about everyone in the elite wing of both the Democrats and Republicans. Bibi cannot cancel the meeting and it is not his style.  Whether or not Trump always presents issues in a nuanced manner, a vast amount of Israelis agree with the current Republican front runner. Bibi understands this and while he needs to balance the meeting with some PC statement in order to assuage the White House, the meeting will go forward.

Israel Behind the News [Dec 8, 2015]


Netanyahu Appoints his National Security Adviser as Next Head of the Mossad

Bibi’s strategic aim has always been to steer Israel through what he sees as a storm that has no early signs of abating. This means that he needs people that share specific tactical approaches that enables the State of Israel to pivot and react to events as they happen and to do so quietly.  Once again the analogy of a captain steering a ship through rough waters is perfect.  The new Mossad chief is uniquely poised to do this.

Huckabee Tells the Truth

Mike Huckabee is one of the most unabashed Israel supporters around. The fact is, the expulsion from Gaza was done at gunpoint.  Sure there were “nice soldiers” interacting with the communities, but if there would been any push back, special commandos circled the premises to ensure everything was carried out.

No where else in the World do you have an example of a Nation forcefully removing law abiding citizens from territory that is later abandoned and given to a sworn enemy. The idea of unilateral withdrawal based on the Gaza concept has been so thoroughly discredited now that essentially speaking no Israeli government would think about taking such measures again. Given the fact that the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria and Gaza are in no place to negotiate, the prospects of any deal are 0 directly due to the Gaza debacle.



Israel Behind the News [Dec 7, 2015]

ISIS attacks in Israel ‘just a matter of time’

The headline should really say that ISIS attacks are already here.  There is no difference between the Palestinian Street’s ideology and that of ISIS.  The only thing the Arabs in the Land of Israel are missing are gruesome videos and black flags, but unfortunately that will come.

The idea that some are proliferating (those in the international press) that somehow this is all just a cycle of violence, are purposely obfuscating the fact that most attacks from Jewish youth against Arabs, happen locally as retaliation for initial Arab violence left unchecked by security services. While not condoning anarchy, those attacks are far different than the deliberate violence perpetrated by ISIS minded individuals and their leadership in the Land of Israel.

Hanuka in Kaifeng

There is no greater sign of Israel’s light bursting forth than with the return of our Israelite brother from the East. The Kaifeng community symbolizes perseverance and faith in order to rise above all.

“The Chinese Jews take their inspiration from the Maccabees,” said Shavei Israel chairman Michael Freund, referring to the Jewish heroes of the Hanukkah story. “Even in far-off Kaifeng, the light of Jewish survival continues to burn brightly. Kaifeng’s Jewish descendants are a living link between China and the Jewish people.”

As Jews lost around the world become inspired and return, there is a growing sense that this immense awakening is having a profound effect on Israel and the globe.

Bibi’s Bravado Continues

The Swedes are making it easy for Bibi Netanyahu to toughen up. Then again since the fractured EU is limping these days and Israel has increased trade with the East, it has given Bibi and the government some needed maneuverability.

Israel Behind the News [Dec 6,2015]

Unprecedented: Supreme Court authorized remand extension in absence of minor detainee

The GSS Interrogated Detainees Relatives

The ongoing usage of court orders to effectively silence young Israelis by keeping them in jail without charges is getting out of hand. The GSS (General Security Services) Jewish Division has a history of creating smoke when there is no way to make an actual fire.  With thin evidence, clear alibis, the GSS would rather sow division and accusation than follow normative rules of law. Essentially the GSS is a leftover dinosaur from days gone by, but is now used as a political tool by the regime.

Netanyahu: The other side needs to decide if they want peace

Netanyahu’s clear push back against John Kerry’s remarks signals something much deeper than typical bravado. in the waning influence of Western Europe and the USA on the Middle East, Kerry’s remarks almost seem like nonsense. Israel’s position as it stands in the world is far stronger than Kerry would have everyone believe. Netanyahu knows most Israeli’s are behind on these issues.

Ya’alon: US is ceding leadership in Mideast to Russia, Iran

Despite Yaalon’s poor handling of security inside the territories and his propensity for anti-settler remarks, he is right on the money in the above respect.  The USA is ceding ground to Russia in the Middle East and although there is a tacit agreement between Putin and Bibi, it is not at all clear where all of this will end up. Unlike Bibi and others, who are comfortable moving East, Yaalon’s old guard view is nervous about the prospect of a Middle East without American involvement.

The Truth Behind Russian Airspace Violations

With tensions rising around the region on an almost daily basis, it was reported in the Israeli news that Russians have violated Israeli airspace in order to pound rebel positions in the Eastern Golan Heights occupied by Syria.  This space is high up and is buttressed by the Golan Heights to the West and Jabal al Druze (Druze Mountain) to the East.

The fact is there have been these infractions, but when it comes down to it, the IAF (Israel Air Force) has largely ignored them. If infringing on another’s airspace is so outside the international norm then is Israel just plain weak, or is the Obama and Erdogan’s reasoning flawed?

Infractions on Airspace Sovereignty Have been Increasing

A NATO report released this past June showed an alarming increase in the rate of airspace infractions between 2014 and 2015.  NATO claims 85% of the infractions are from Russian aircraft. Russia for its part says the NATO report is vague and inconclusive.



The data seems to indicate that Russian violations, while still the majority, have lowered this year. While the proof is not in the number of infractions posed by another country, the question really is the legality of these infractions coupled with the fact that Russia seems to share the border with some very nasty locations.


Air Traffic Control Is Not Connected to Sovereignty

While Turkey certainly has what to be angry about in relation to a Russian violation of its airspace, the claim by the Obama administration and Turkey that the Russian fighter jet was shot out of the sky to protect Turkish sovereignty is erroneous.  Below is the executive summary of the International Civil Aviation Organization from March 2013. The key point is bolded at the end.

“Under the Convention on International Civil Aviation (the Chicago Convention), each State has complete and exclusive sovereignty over the airspace above its territory. While national sovereignty cannot be delegated, the responsibility for the provision of air traffic services can be delegated. And, we are reminded by Assembly Resolution A37-15 (see Appendix) that a State which delegates to another State the responsibility for providing air traffic services within airspace over its territory does so without derogation of its sovereignty.”

To critics who say that Turkey was just defending itself, the flight path clearly does not indicate a situation where the SU-24 fighter jet was intending to attack Turkey.


Turkey Is A Culprit, Just Ask Greece

While Turkey seems keen on painting its actions behind the veil of innocence, Turkey has been a repeated violator of Greece.  According to Statista, Turkey violated Greek airspace 2,244 times in 2014.  Of course this is nothing new, back in 2005 Greece complained of Turkey’s infractions on its airspace to the tune of 40 times a day. Then again none of this was stated in NATO’s report since Greece and Turkey are NATO members. Let’s put it another way, Turkey out did Russia on airspace infractions by 5 times the amount in 2014.


The Meaning Behind Israel’s Announcement

All of the above begs the question on why Israel announced or better yet leaked to the press that Russia has flown over its airspace to attack rebel and ISIS positions. Pay attention to the fact that Israel released this information the same week PM Bibi Netanyahu announced that Israel is breaking ties with European institutions over the product labeling fiasco. Bibi’s moves seem to indicate that a pivot is underway.  Both announcements are saying that Israel is no longer bound by the strategic decisions of the EU and NATO Alliance.  Where is Israel pivoting to?  Your guess is as good as mine, but whomever the leadership decides to ally themselves with next, the key component is a realization that the first ally is the Almighty above.

Israel Behind the News [11.29.2015]

Here are some of the leading headlines today in Israel:

The Israel Rising take: When the Prime Minister announces work on the long awaited Jewish State Law bill two questions come to mind? Why is he announcing this now and what does Israel need a Jewish State Law for? The PM always announces “right wing” statements when he feels pushed back by his own camp.  Bibi believes in keeping the situation under management instead of finding solutions to challenges. His coalition has been shaky from the beginning and announcements like working on the Jewish State Law will keep those ministers that are to his right from bolting the coalition next time there is a crisis.

When the government denies transferring acres to Palestinians you can rest assured it had been on the table.  The government will not transfer it because the coalition will be finished. Area C is rightfully part of Israel even according to the Oslo accords.  transferring more land will not solve the conflict but rather give a prize to terror. Why a leak now?  Like anything else in Israel, the opposition and the Arabs will try to trick the right into crashing the coalition due to emotions rather than at an opportune time.

Yaalon’s has tried to keep a lid on a full scale take down of the PA terror entity in Judea and Samaria due to a couple of considerations.  The first is that he really doesn’t believe in our right to these areas other than for strategic reasons. The second is that wit all the chaos surrounding Israel, the IDF needs to be focused on the more “dangerous” geopolitical situation. Lastly, Yaalon is worried about a backlash te USA state department and would like to keep up his good relations with America. The above three points are keeping Jews in harms way.