Thursday, December 17, 2015

Be Fooled by Iran

Sixty-seven years have passed since the founding of the State of Israel, 67 years of continuous security and diplomatic challenges stemming from a vehement opposition to our very existence by our neighboring Arab states and their supporting organizations. In the past, the flagbearers of this opposition fueled the conflict with nationalistic pan-Arab ideology (Nasserism, Ba'athism, pan-Arabism). Their use of conventional armed forces to attack Israel was defeated time and again, as the Israel Defense Forces increasingly gained a substantial military advantage based on advanced technology and professional abilities. This, in turn, led the Arabs to focus on achieving non-conventional capabilities — challenging Israel with rockets, missiles, guerilla warfare and terror.
As the star of pan-Arabism/Arab nationalism faded, radical Islam (both Shia and Sunni) rose in its place. This new ideology is driving the current wave of terror that aims to harm Israel and its citizens, in various ways — within Israel, along its borders and across seas. This wave of terror, be it sponsored by Palestinian Islamic organizations like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad or sponsored by regional/international radical forces like Hezbollah and Global Jihad (Daesh and al-Qaida), has turned Israel into the front line of the free world in the battle against this murderous terror that aims to kill as many infidels as possible — which is how they view citizens of democratic, free countries.
The battle against radical Islamic terror will be the greatest challenge facing the family of nations, under the leadership of the United States, in the coming years. Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East, is an inseparable part of this family of nations and will push for greater cooperation, in both intelligence and operational capacities, among the free world's countries. If the terrorists and their operators will not be stopped at their points of origin, where they are indoctrinated with murderous ideology and receive vigorous training, they will reach the capitals of every nation in the free world where they will brutally murder citizens, exporting their reign of terror. This is what happened in Paris and what can easily happen in other global cities.
The ability of the free world's intelligence organizations to effectively cooperate is crucial to the success of the war on terror. The ability of every nation to contribute intelligence information is a major factor in foiling terror attacks and destroying the terror infrastructure. Israel will continue to support these efforts to the best of its abilities and will continue to share all intelligence information it has in this regard, as well as its significant operational experience.
This is a war over our core values and our way of life. This is a war of cultures. On one side is a culture that values death and destruction and kills hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children — a culture that conducts cruel suppression of ancient Christian communities, stages public hangings of homosexuals and holds a complete disregard for women's basic rights. On the opposing side, there is our culture — that of the Western world that places highest value on freedom and equality for all, regardless of religion, race, gender or sexual orientation.
The driving force behind this opposing, evil culture is Iran. To clarify, the nuclear agreement signed with Iran will not reduce the threat of this regime on the entire free world. On the contrary. The merciless Iranian regime, who typifies Israel as the "Little Satan" and threatens to obliterate it from the map, holds equal discontent toward the United States, termed the "Great Satan." As Iran gains power in the post-agreement era, Israel is faced with an additional substantial challenge.
Iran is the chief instigator of terror and instability in the Middle East, employing Hezbollah, the Quds Forces of the Revolutionary Guards and its support of a variety of terror organizations to this end. However, one would be mistaken to think this is the extent of Iran's evil aspirations and activities. Currently, Iran operates dormant and active terror cells throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Far East. Its proxies are busy planning vicious attacks, collecting intelligence on Western targets and stockpiling arms in various hideaways scattered throughout global capitals.
The agreement with Iran and the lifting of sanctions enable Iran to continue to sponsor, train, arm and operate terror organizations in the Middle East and across the world. Thanks to this agreement, Iran is able to do so without the heavy weight of the sanctions — while it continues to aspire toward nuclear capabilities, even if they remain 10 to 15 years in the future. This is a huge danger to the Western world and an immediate challenge during the coming year. It is essential to say, in the most clear-cut manner, that Iran is completely and utterly on the dark side. Not only that, but they sit at the helm of the forces of evil. We should not be fooled by their deceitful charm offensive. Iran remains a huge threat on the Western world and the security of its citizens.
The coming year, especially, and the years to follow, are crucial for Israel and the Israel Defense Forces. We continue to build and strengthen our defenses while keeping an open eye on the dramatic changes transpiring throughout the Middle East. The IDF in the coming years will be a very different force, compared with that of 20, 30 and 40 years ago. It will be, and I may say it already is, a force that combines tremendous firepower coupled with the ability to mobilize and operate elite forces on land, in the air, at sea, and even underground. The IDF also employs super advanced war machinery that can suddenly strike at any point in the Middle East, supported by highly sophisticated cyber and intelligence capabilities.
Our closest ally and greatest friend, the United States, is providing essential support — both quantitatively and qualitatively — to this reshaping of the IDF. The unusually close relationship between the defense establishments, militaries and intelligence corps of the United States and Israel serve as the cornerstone of our national security.

Europe Declares War Against the Jews, Again

From The American Spectator, 16 Dec 2015, by Abraham H. Miller:

The EU’s new policy of labeling Jewish products from the West Bank reeks of anti-Semitism.

Israel’s largest trading partner, the European Union, is about to implement a process of labeling goods produced in both the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

There is something terribly unseemly about Europeans labeling Jewish products, but then when Sweden commemorates Kristallnacht, while asking Jews not to attend let alone participate, it would appear that sensitivity to Jewish suffering and feelings is not high on the European agenda, not that it ever has been.

Chinese products made in Tibet, which China obliterated from the map, will not be labeled. Russian products from the newly conquered Crimea will not be labeled. Neither will products from any of a dozen areas in the world that are in territorial dispute. Only products made by Jews.
The whole business reeks of anti-Semitism.

So, what ostensibly motivates the Europeans to implement this malevolent policy?

The basis for the European Union’s appetite for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement is two-fold. First, one must understand that the Europeans treat the Palestinian Authority as if it were a state. Second, the EU has arrogantly decided to draw the boundaries of Palestine just as Europe once drew the boundaries of Africa and the Middle East.
We all know how that worked out.

This exercise in geographic apportionment runs counter to the Oslo accords that the Europeans encouraged Israel to sign. Boundaries were to be negotiated between the two parties. But never mind — Europeans have a new agenda. What difference does it make that Israel gave vast portions of the West Bank over to Yasser Arafat and his thugs who otherwise were impotently sitting in Tunisia?
The Europeans are using the labeling to draw boundaries. The areas being labeled will become Palestine, and the Golan will go back to Syria.

But Syria is in collapse. Do the Europeans really believe that Israel is going to give up the strategic Golan Heights to Bashir Assad or possibly to the Islamic State?

The Europeans don’t bother with such incidentals. Israel simply needs to give up the Golan just as she needs to give up all of the West Bank east of the Green Line, which, of course, is not a boundary but an armistice line.

Castrated by Russia in Ukraine, Georgia, and Crimea, Europe is strutting itself as a force still to be reckoned with by bullying Israel and venting its natural inclination toward anti-Semitism.
Of course, the people who will suffer most from the European policy are the Palestinians who are employed by Israeli companies in the West Bank and who are paid regular and much higher Israeli wages and receive Israeli benefits. This money goes directly into the Palestinian economy, serving as an example of prosperous coexistence.

If the Europeans were truly concerned about Palestinian statehood, they would acknowledge that the Palestinians do not have the political or economic infrastructure for statehood. These wages would work toward building that. Statehood can only come from the bottom up, not from the top down, as the Europeans see it through a new prism of arrogance crafted out of the old mindset of white man’s burden.

This labeling compels Israeli companies like Soda Stream to simply move across the Green Line and to discharge their Arab employees, who because of security concerns can no longer easily get to work. This plays right into the hands of Israel’s ultra-right that wants those jobs going to Israelis.
Labeling spreads like a virus. Consumers have neither the time nor the inclination to distinguish the West Bank from Israel, and the contagion will spread to all Israeli products, which is really what the Europeans want.

BDS thug squads will attack stores, as they frequently have even in America, that carry products from the West Bank; and corporate executives, who naturally seek profits and not trouble, will simply refrain from stocking any Israeli products.

Anyone who believes the Europeans are not aware of the ultimate consequences of these policies is patently naïve.

To understand the European labeling, it is vital to remember that Europeans once enthusiastically labeled Jews for extermination. Germany had a lot of help in the destruction of European Jewry, with the French loading Jews onto trains in greater numbers than the Nazis requested.

The “neutral” Swiss plundered Jewish assets belonging to survivors, and the British made sure that Jews went to Auschwitz rather than Palestine.

The norms of civility prevent Europe from exterminating Jews, but it is attempting the next best thing, destroying the Jewish state.

The Europeans might wish to reflect that while those nations that have attempted to destroy the Jews have caused them great and unfathomable harm, the Jews ultimately continue to survive, but the nations themselves end up in the dustbin of history.

The Hamas Regime

From Israel Hayom, 15 Dec 2015, by Dr. Limor Samimian-Darash:

Hamas released another propaganda video this week, in honor of the anniversary of the terrorist group's establishment. The video, which is supposed to help popularize the group among Palestinians, is shot in the style of Islamic State videos: Footage of weapons, combat units, terrorist attacks, rockets being launched and the killing and kidnapping of IDF soldiers.
This show of force and hatred is, ironically, more proof of the reality with which Israel deals. A terrorist organization that systematically built for itself a terrorist state over the course of several years. 
Terrorism is no longer a faraway reality for Americans and Europeans, who sit comfortably and securely watching the chaos on a screen as it takes place way off in Asia or Africa. And Hamas is not a terrorist organization that, once in a while, carries out attacks in the West, rather it is one that shares a border with us and carries out attacks against us over and over again. If not for geographic limitations, it would have attacked around the world, just like the Islamic State group. 
Hamas declared that it has carried out more than 80 suicide attacks against Israel and fired more than 15,000 rockets its way. All of this with the explicit intent to murder as many Israeli civilians as possible.

Summer after summer, year after year, and notably so since Israel ended its "occupation" of Gaza. And there is no international coalition calling to eradicate Hamas. Even its classification as a terrorist organization is not iron-clad among European Union institutions. Israeli airstrikes and responses are framed as "war crimes." Above all, we are subject to repeated calls to hold negotiations with Hamas. At the same time, the disengagement from Gaza led world leaders to pressure Israel to do the same in Judea and Samaria -- which will cause irreversible damage that could end not only with another Hamas regime, but even with Islamic State members on the outskirts of the Jordan Valley. 
Moreover, even as frustration builds due to growing global hypocrisy -- or, perhaps, ignorance -- we cannot forget that this monster conquered Gaza via democratic elections, which were forced on Israel by the United States after the disengagement. The latter insisted upon "free" and democratic elections in Gaza, despite the warnings from Israeli officials and even from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' emissaries. They were deluded in their belief that it was possible to tame the terrorists. If only we gave them a population, a state and bureaucracy, they would become moderates. And more than anything, "they will have something to lose." This lesson was certainly not learned by Hezbollah in Lebanon. 

With 10 years of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, there is no civilian side to the story. It is a militant organization that does nothing for its citizens -- no schools, no universities, no employment and no health care. Each of these services has suffered dramatically since the disengagement. Hamas is prepared to lose everything as long it can continue with terrorism. So when countries around the world voice anger over the blockade on Gaza and call for the Palestinians to be freed from the occupation, we must remind them that the only occupation Gazans are under is that of the Hamas terrorists that they voted

Technion breaks ground on first Israeli university in China

New university represents an historic collaboration between the Israel Institute of Technology and Shantou University in China.

technion china

Cornerstone-laying ceremony for The Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT) in Shantou. (photo credit:GUANGDONG PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT)

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology laid a cornerstone on Wednesday for the first Israeli University in China - The Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (GTIIT) in Shantou, in the Guangdong province in southeastern China.

The new university represents an historic collaboration between the Technion and Shantou University in China, and was made possible with the support of the Governor of Guangdong Province, Shantou Municipality and the Li Ka Shing Foundation, which promotes education and healthcare initiatives.

“The combination of the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Israel and the unbelievable scale and resources of China will result in a great partnership.  Together we will create a major research institute that will help not only China and Israel, but also mankind in general,” said Technion President Peretz Lavie at the groundbreaking.

Leading the ceremony were former Israeli President Shimon Peres, GTIIT Vice Chancellor, Technion Distinguished Professor and Nobel Laureate Aaron Ciechanover, Minister of Science, Technology and Space Ofir Akunis, Hong Kong business leader and philanthropist Li Ka-shing, and GTIIT Chancellor Li Jiange.

Li Ka-shing, whose foundation donated $130 million to fund the project - the largest donation ever made to the Technion and one of the largest donations to higher education in Israel – said: “In this day and age, no one has an iota of doubt that technological innovation underpins a country’s ability to create collective wealth, and that it is the key impetus to individual success.”

“Creativity is the defining centerpiece of our time — powering us into the future.  Establishing a creative paradigm is not easy to set right, only through education and the rule of law can we build a free and fair, fun and fruitful future for all,” he said.

At the ceremony, former President Peres said, “The establishment of a Technion campus in China is more proof that Israeli innovation is breaking down geographic borders.  China is one of Israel’s major partners in technology and hi-tech, and there are over 1,000 Israeli companies active in China.  I hope that the economic cooperation between these two countries will continue to expand, as both countries have much to share with, and learn from, one another.”

The university, set to enroll its first class of 200 students in 2016, will be comprised of three schools: the College of Engineering; the College of Science; and the College of Life Sciences.  Areas of study will eventually include chemical engineering, materials engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, chemistry, mathematics, physics, biotechnology and food engineering, biology, and biochemical engineering.

“I am very happy for the cooperation materializing between the Technion; Guangdong Province, one of the richest and most important of China’s provinces, and Shantou University,” said Technion Distinguished Professor Aaron Ciechanover, GTIIT Vice Chancellor.

“The Technion will contribute its extensive experience in training engineers who know how to apply what they have learned, and turn their knowledge into commercial products that focus on science and technology.  Our Chinese partners will contribute their diligence and devotion, qualities that we Israelis are somewhat lacking.  Thus, this collaboration will benefit both sides,” he said.

By 2025 the GTIIT is expected to enroll some 5,000 students made up of 4,000 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students.

“I want to thank the Israeli Government and the colleagues at Technion, facilitating the progress of human civilization through science and technology has been the common aspiration of China and Israel.  GTIIT will continue the fine tradition of Technion in Shantou, Guangdong Province so as to build the ‘Silicon Valley’ in South China,” said Li Jiange, inaugural President of GTIIT.

In the future, an industrial park is planned for the GTIIT campus, which will serve as a foothold for Israeli companies to enter key markets in China.

Yona Yahav, mayor of Haifa, praised the cooperation and said that this week Shantou became Haifa’s fourth twin city.

“The connection between Shantou and Haifa is unique due to the high involvement of Haifa in the Chinese economy.  The ecosystem created by the economic cooperation between higher education and entrepreneurship, as exists in the case of the Technion and Haifa, is a successful model that the Chinese wish to implement in Shantou,” he said.

“The Haifa municipality sees national importance in advancing the cooperation and strengthening of ties between China and Israel,” he added.

Shantou University (STU) was founded in 1981 as a comprehensive university jointly supported by the Ministry of Education, the Guangdong Provincial Government and the Li Ka Shing Foundation. The university consists of eight colleges and schools and has a population of some 10,000 students and 90,000 graduates.