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Obama Mitigates Murder of Paris Jews as a 'Random' Act


Four Jews were murdered in a kosher supermarket in Paris last month, after an Islamist terrorist claiming loyalty to Islamic State (ISIS) took the Hyper Cacher store hostage before police raided it and shot him - but according to President Barack Obama the attack was "random."

In calling the attack random during an interview with Vox on Monday, Obama in fact did not even identify the victims as Jews, instead terming them "a bunch of folks."

"My first job is to protect the American people. It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you've got a bunch of violent vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris," Obama said.

The shocking statement refers to an attack that Amedy Coulibaly, a Muslim terrorist of African origins, committed one day after he shot a policewoman dead, and two days after Islamist terrorists murdered 12 at the Charlie Hebdo magazine headquarters in Paris over cartoons of Mohammed, the founder of Islam.

Aside from brushing off the attack as being random, Obama also said the entire threat of global terrorism, which has included recruitment by Muslim terrorist groups deep within the west and attack attempts within the US, was "overstated" by the media. "I don't blame the media for that," said Obama, quoting the saying "if it bleeds it leads. ...It's all about ratings."

The Obama administration has been dogged by claims it has systematically sought to downplay the danger of Muslim terrorism, with one prime example being the 2009 Fort Hood shooting massacre by a Palestinian Muslim US Army psychiatrist who had business cards reading "Soldier of Allah."

It was reported at the time that the term Islam was completely missing from the FBI report on the shooting, which classified the attack as a case of "workplace violence." That despite the fact that the terrorist shouted "Allahu akbar" (Allah is greater) during the attack and later admitted to having exchanged e-mails with leading Al Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki

Syria, Aided by Hizbullah and Iran, Prepares for Battle Near Israeli Border


The Syrian regime, with the assistance of commanders from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and thousands of Hizbullah fighters from Lebanon, is finalizing preparations for a new battle plan to combat opposition forces along its southern front, according to sources close to the Syrian regime.

Over the past few months Syrian opposition fighters have inflicted heavy losses on the regime and its supporters in this area, specifically near the towns of Daraa and Quneitra, which are located near the Syrian border with Israel. The progress of the opposition forces aroused great concern among the Syrian regime, prompting it to devise a new campaign that is expected to launch in the coming days.

The fighting in southern Syrian challenges not only the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad, but also neighboring Jordan and Israel. Iran and its proxy Hizbullah want to exert control over this area with the help of the Syrian army. Last month, a senior Iranian general, his entourage and several Hizbullah fighters were killed in an alleged Israeli attack in this area.

A Syrian opposition faction recently apprehended an Iranian citizen in the area who admitted under interrogation that there are local Hizbullah and IRGC sleeper cells that transmit information on the movement of opposition activists and leaders. These cells are reportedly located in Daraa and Quneitra, on the border with Israel.

Meanwhile, Syria warned Jordan against sending troops into its territory, saying it is "valiantly" fighting ISIS and does not need foreign interference. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem said on February 10:

"We will not allow anyone to violate our national sovereignty and we do not need any ground troops to fight ISIS. The Syrian Arab government is fully capable of fighting ISIS valiantly and we don't need any other troops."

Al-Mualem's comments come after Jordan launched dozens of airstrikes on ISIS targets in Syrian territory and said it was preparing more in revenge for the murder of Jordanian Air Force pilot Muaz al-Kasasbeh, who was shot down and captured by ISIS in December 2014. Al-Kasasbeh was later chained in a cage and burned alive by ISIS, which posted a video of the brutal murder on the internet this past Tuesday.

Voice of America Claims Netanyahu, After Being Criticized, is Mulling Changes to US Congress Speech

By VOA News &

Israeli officials are considering amending the format of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned address to the U.S. Congress next month to try to calm some of the partisan furor the Iran-focused speech has provoked.

Netanyahu is due to address a joint session of Congress about Iran's nuclear program on March 3, just two weeks before Israeli elections, following an invitation from John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the house.

Boehner's invitation has caused consternation in both Israel and the United States, largely because it is seen as Netanyahu, a hawk on Iran, working with the Republicans to thumb their noses at President Barack Obama's policy on Iran.

It is also seen as putting Netanyahu's political links to the Republicans ahead of Israel's nation-to-nation ties with the United States, its strongest and most important ally, while serving as a pre-election campaign booster.

As a result, Israeli officials are considering whether Netanyahu should speak to a closed-door session of Congress, rather than in a prime-time TV address, so as to drain some of the intensity from the event, a source said.

Another option is for the prime minister to make his speech at the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington the same week, rather than in Congress. "The issue has been under discussion for a week," said a source close to the prime minister's office. "[Netanyahu] is discussing it with Likud people. Some say he should give up on the speech, others that he should go through with it."

But Netanyahu told voters from the Russian speaking community on Monday evening that he was determined to discuss Israel's objections in Washington to an emerging deal with Iran but he did not say if that meant a public speech in Congress.

"I am ... determined to go to Washington to present Israel's position to the members of Congress and the American people," Netanyahu said, repeating that nuclear weapons in Iran's hands would constitute an existential threat to Israel.

An opinion poll by Israel's Army Radio on Monday said 47% of people think Netanyahu should cancel the address, while 34% say he should go ahead with it.

Since the issue arose, there are signs it is having an impact on his poll ratings ahead of the March 17 election. Obama said his decision not to meet with Netanyahu followed basic protocol of not meeting with world leaders before an election.

"Some of this just has to do with how we do business, and I think it's important for us to maintain these protocols because the U.S.-Israeli relationship is not about a particular party," Obama said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Washington. seats.

However, Netanyahu issued a statement on Tuesday, noting that despite the controversy surrounding his speech before Congress, he does not intend to back down from accepting the invitation.

Netanyahu began by sending "condolences to President (Barack) Obama, the American people and the family of Kayla Mueller. We stand with you." The comment refers to a US captive of Islamic State (ISIS) who was killed in a coalition airstrike.

Turning to the speech, and relations between Israel and the US that have been in great tension over recent months, he continued "Israel's survival is not a partisan issue, not in Israel nor in the United States. This doesn't mean that from time to time Israeli governments have not had serious disagreements with American administrations over the best way to achieve the security of Israel."

"Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared Israel's independence in the face of strong opposition from US Secretary of State George Marshall," reminded Netanyahu, and indeed the US did not provide any military aid in either of Israel's first two wars of survival.

Moving through history, he added "Prime Minister (Levy) Eshkol's decisions at the start of the Six Day War, Prime Minister (Menachem) Begin's decision regarding the nuclear reactor in Iraq, and Prime Minister (Ariel) Sharon's decisions to press ahead with Operation Defensive Shield; these were all strongly opposed at the time by American administrations."

After noting the disagreements on Israel's security have occurred irrespective of whether Israel's prime minister was from the left or right, or whether the US president was a Republican or Democrat, he remarked "none of these disagreements led to a rupture in the relationship between Israel and the United States."

Turning to the crux of his planned speech, Netanyahu commented "in fact, over time, our relationship grew stronger. But we do have today a profound disagreement with the United States administration and the rest of the P5+1 over the offer that has been made to Iran. This offer would enable Iran to threaten Israel's survival."

"This is a regime, Iran, that is openly committed to Israel's destruction. It would be able, under this deal, to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs for the goal of our destruction," he warned.

"This is not a personal disagreement between President Obama and me," pointed out Netanyahu. "I deeply appreciate all that he has done for Israel in many fields. Equally, I know that the President appreciates my responsibility, my foremost responsibility, to protect and defend the security of Israel."

Explaining his reason for following through on the speech despite the sour reception from the White House, Netanyahu stated "I am going to the United States not because I seek a confrontation with the President, but because I must fulfill my obligation to speak up on a matter that affects the very survival of my country."

"I intend to speak about this issue before the March 24th deadline and I intend to speak in the US Congress because Congress might have an important role on a nuclear deal with Iran," he reasoned.

Reports have revealed that despite White House claims of having not been informed of the speech and its ensuing criticism of Netanyahu, the White House in fact was informed before Netanyahu accepted the invitation.

IDF to Ban Use of 'Smart Apparel' to Prevent Leaks

By Israel

They seem innocent, are pleasing to the eye and are mostly a source of pleasure for those who wear them, but they are no less dangerous than any other type of electronic device.

In the near future, the Israel Defense Forces will not allow "computerized apparel" such as smartwatches and fitness tracking wristbands to be worn in classified meetings, Israel Hayom has learned. The decision was made to prevent information leaks. Additionally, pilots will be required to remove such items while flying, as will soldiers involved in classified operations, such as ambushes.

Along with banning smartwatches and fitness wristbands in classified settings, the IDF's Information Security Department will expand the list to include smart rings and glasses, and running shoes with built-in communication components, which are all potential sources of information leaks.

The IDF insists the matter is not "science fiction" and that it is technologically possible, for example, to eavesdrop on a discussion through a smart watch connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth, even if the phone itself remains outside the room, as per the current orders.

There is already an understanding in the IDF, said one army official, that certain enemies can listen to calls from a cell phone and even hack into and control devices. This can mean secretly turning on the microphone, camera or GPS system, all without the owner knowing. "Smart apparel items," as the army refers to them, can also be used in a similar fashion.

The new orders, meanwhile, will also prohibit these items from being plugged into IDF networks, including the charging of batteries. While the new information protection orders have not been officially implemented throughout the army, various IDF branches, such as Military Intelligence and the Air Force's Operations Department, have already begun adopting the new code of conduct.

The new orders cover devices under three criteria: First, a device with the ability to compute, because only these can be targeted; second, a device connected to an Internet "cloud," possibly via Bluetooth; and finally, a device with an audio, video, camera or GPS component, among others.

According to the IDF Spokesperson's Office: "The Information Security Department is in the midst of updating the orders pertaining to the use of these devices. Until they are updated, their use is prohibited in spaces where smartphones and similar media devices are also banned."

Hitler Youth Band Drum Made From Torah Scroll Found in Poland

By Israel Hayom

A drum made out of an ancient Torah scroll and used by the Hitler Youth marching band was discovered recently in Poland and has been purchased by the From the Depths association, which aims to preserve the memory of the Holocaust. As well as committing atrocities against the Jews, the Nazis also desecrated the Jews' holy artifacts in any way they could.

Two weeks ago one of the association's volunteers from the city of Lodz, Poland, received information about an estate sale at the apartment of an elderly member of the Nazi party who had no heirs. The association's representative was sent to the auction to purchase the unique drum, which was paid for in part by the Levkovich family in memory of relatives who perished in the Holocaust.

The drum was delivered to From the Depths chairman Johnny Daniels, who was dumbfounded by the rare finding. "Once I saw the drum, I broke into tears," Daniels said to Israel Hayom. "I was amazed to discover that the text was readable. It wasn't blurred or damaged. They probably thought the letters serve as nice ornaments.

"Over the years there have been reports by Jews regarding Nazi desecration of Jewish religious books and Jewish ceremonial art. We managed to locate the drum, which was made of leather bands taken from a Torah scroll.

"The sellers had no idea about the historic significance of the item in their possession and considered it just a plain old drum. We investigated and discovered the drum had been used by the Hitler Youth marching band in parades to boost Nazi propaganda.

"We do not often purchase items dating back to the Holocaust period, but because of the drum's significance, we decided to buy it in order to convey a message and a lesson to the younger generation across the globe about the way the Nazis attempted to harm Jews in every possible way."

Daniels has been planning to embark on a lecture tour in Poland and other countries across Europe and the U.S. After receiving special permission from rabbis, he will travel with the drum to present it to his young audience.

"We will use this drum as a pedagogical tool and allow people to physically touch a piece of history. We believe that through the personal stories, the Holocaust can be taught in a powerful and unique way. I feel this is our personal victory to have been able to bring this drum to Israel," he said.

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