Newsletter : 15fx1208.txt
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California Shooter's Father: Son was 'Obsessed with Israel'
New details have emerged about Syed Farook, the man who along with his wife carried out
last week's shooting attack in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people.
According to Fox News, Farook's father told an Italian newspaper that his son shared
Islamic State (ISIS) ideology, wanted to see the establishment of an Islamic caliphate and
was "obsessed" with Israel. "My son said that he shared [ISIS leader Abu Bakr]
Al-Baghdadi's ideology and supported the creation of the Islamic State," Farook's dad,
also named Syed Farook, told the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
"He was also obsessed with Israel," added the father, before making some bizarre claims
of his own against Israel. "I told him he had to stay calm and be patient because in two
years Israel will not exist anymore," the elder Farook added, according to Fox News.
"Geopolitics is changing: Russia, China and America don't want Jews there anymore. They
are going to bring the Jews back to Ukraine. What is the point of fighting? We have
already done it and we lost. Israel is not to be fought with weapons, but with politics.
But he did not listen to me, he was obsessed," he continued.
Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were both eliminated by police officers hours
after carrying last Wednesday's attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. It
is believed Farook had contact with people from at least two terrorist organizations
overseas, including the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in Syria. On Friday, it was
reported that Malik had pledged allegiance to ISIS in a Facebook posting.
ISIS Attacks in Israel are 'Just a Matter of Time'
By IsraelNationalNews.com & YnetNews.com
Senior Israeli security sources have estimated that an Islamic State attack inside
Israel is merely a matter of time, as the number of Arab citizens of the Jewish state who
support the terrorist group grows. Just last week a surprise IDF general staff drill was
held, in which the forces trained to deal with a mock large scale ISIS attack in the
south, and a paratrooper brigade was scrambled.
The senior sources were cited by Yedioth Aharonoth on Monday estimating that as
pressure builds on ISIS in Syria from Russian and US-coalition airstrikes, the group will
increase its attacks outside of the war-torn state. Backing up the estimation the sources
pointed to recent international attacks, including the Russian airliner downed in Sinai,
the Paris attacks, and the California shooting last week.
Illustrating the threat, ISIS recently has started publishing its first videos in
Hebrew threatening Israel with attacks, in which it vowed that "not a single Jew will be
left in the country," while ISIS' Sinai branch directly threatened an attack on Eilat.
According to the sources, while the IDF knows where to hit other terror groups like
Hizbullah and Hamas in response to attacks, there are no real targets to respond to
against potential ISIS attacks, whether from Sinai or Syria on the Golan Heights. "Who
will we strike in Syria that the international coalition or the Russians aren't striking
now?" posed the source.
Arab citizens of Israel have been growing more and more supportive of the brutal
jihadist group as well; in 2014 there were eight cases of Arab Israelis involved in ISIS,
but in 2015 that figure jumped to 14 cases, with a total of 34 suspects arrested. That
number is still relatively low however compared to the numbers of Muslim ISIS recruits
from European and other western states.
But the extent of support for ISIS is still worrying. A recent poll last month found
that no less than 18.2% of Arab Muslim citizens of Israel, said they do not consider ISIS
to be a radical terrorist organization, and that they are not ashamed of the brutal
jihadist group. That number rose to 28.1% among supporters of the extremist Islamic
Movement in Israel group specifically.
Israel Security Agency assessments posit that there are several hundred Arab Israelis
who actively support ISIS, although the poll would indicate that figure is somewhat
underestimated. The Shin Bet says 32 Arab citizens have gone to Syria or Iraq to fight for
ISIS, and seven of them were killed in Syria.
Just last weekend ISIS' Sinai commander Shadi al-Menei held a secret visit in Gaza for
covert talks with Hamas. The two groups have kept their ties under wraps, as ISIS smuggles
weapons into Gaza while Hamas provides it with advanced weaponry. The number of Israeli
Arabs involved in Islamic State's activities has risen the past year; IDF General Staff
carried out a massive drill dealing with the challenge posed by ISIS.
The last major incident involving the group occurred on October 25, when an Israeli
Arab from Jaljuliya paraglided over the border in the Golan Heights to Syria, where ISIS
fighters were waiting for him and picked him up. A network of six Islamic State supporters
was uncovered in Jaljuliya.
Also in October, seven Arabs from Nazareth were accused of having purchased illegal
weapons, and contacted two Israeli-Arabs who had joined the terrorist organization in
Syria and were planning to carry out a shooting attack at an IDF base near the northern
city of Migdal Haemek. One of the defendants killed the taxi driver Yafim Weinstein in
2009. Another defendant filmed a video in which he demonstrated how to slit throats.
Security Breach?: Palestinian App Warns Drivers of Heavy Traffic at Israeli
A new app for mobile phones can warn Palestinian drivers of traffic jams at Israeli
checkpoints in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. "The occupation affects the Palestinian
people in all aspects and denies them of many rights. One of them is the right to move
freely," said app developer Basel Sader, 20, a student from East Jerusalem. "This app may
not be able to provide them with the freedom of movement, but it can make their lives
The free app, called "Azmeh" (traffic jam in Arabic), was launched recently and is
available on both Apple and Android-based devices. It can be found in app stores alongside
other navigational apps, like the Israeli app Waze.
The app is based, much like Waze, on crowd sourcing. It allows drivers to post updates
on the state of traffic at a checkpoint or a roadblock based on several simple
For example, when a Palestinian driver coming from Ramallah wants to cross the
Qalandiya checkpoint into Jerusalem, he will see one of three options on the app: A green
car indicating free-flowing traffic, a yellow car for a moderate traffic jam, and a red
car that would tell the driver of very heavy traffic. A driver already at the checkpoint
could choose one of the three options, leading the app to update other drivers so they
could take alternative routes.
Unlike Waze, the app doesn't time the traffic jams, or offer alternative routes. It is
also based on 2G, on which the Palestinian mobile network operates. An upgrade of the
Palestinian network to 3G is expected soon, which would allow the app to improve its
performance and capabilities.
Milna Ansari, a student from East Jerusalem who goes to the Birzeit University in
Ramallah, drives through the Qalandiya checkpoint every day. "I check the status (on the
app) every morning when I wake up and based on that I decide which way to take, and if
there is heavy traffic, I try to go through another checkpoint," she said, adding that she
updates the app herself whenever she drives through one of the checkpoints.
`Jewish World's Population May Actually be 5-10 Million Larger Than Previously
One of the more tantalizing mysteries of Jewish history is the possibility of the
discovery of lost Jews. Since the time of Sennacherib in the 7th century BCE, the question
of lost Jews has been one that has received a lot of attention. Today, with the return of
Jews from all over the world to the State of Israel, the subject has never been more
According to various genetic/DNA studies conducted over the past decade, 20% of men in
the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) have Jewish genetic ancestry. In Brazil,
estimates are that 5-10 million people are descendants of so-called Bnei Anousim -
descendants of Jews who were forcibly converted to Christianity. This phenomenon spans the
world, potentially reaching millions more.
Two organizations have dedicated themselves to the discovery of lost Jews from the
Iberian Peninsula, Shavei Israel and Reconectar. Arutz Sheva spoke to both organizations
about the work that they are doing to reconnect Jews of Spanish and Portuguese descent to
their Jewish roots.
Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based nonprofit, has launched a new initiative to help
Spanish and Portuguese descendants of Bnei Anousim reconnect with their Jewish Heritage,
while Reconectar, which has an Israeli base but is mainly located in South and Central
America, has an ongoing outreach liaison program with whom members of the community can
contact in order to learn more about their heritage.
Michael Freund, Founder and Director of Shavei Israel, told Arutz Sheva about the
challenges of discovering who is a descendant of the Bnei Anousim. "More than five
centuries after Portuguese Jewry was compelled to convert to Catholicism, there are of
course many challenges to identifying people with a Bnei Anousim background. There are
some who have family trees stretching back over the centuries which prove that their
ancestors only married among themselves down through the generations, but in most cases it
involves more detective work."
Ashley Perry, the Director of Reconectar, likewise described the detective work needed.
"There are a lot of clues that we need to uncover. People may not have a heritage stating
that they were Jewish, but their name may signify it, and some of the customs they keep
may point to it. We do not have a 100% answer yes or no, which is why if people want to
fully return to Judaism, they have to undergo a conversion, but according to a response
published by Rabbi Soloveitchik, they do not need to say a blessing on the conversion."
In an effort to help those who may think that they are descended from Jewish ancestry,
Shavei Israel has published an online book that will help people who think they are
descendants, identify some of the tell-tale signs. The unprecedented 109-page guide is
aimed at assisting the millions of people in Brazil, Portugal and elsewhere who may have a
long-lost Jewish lineage reconnect to their roots.
According to a news release by Shavei Israel "the book covers all the major questions
someone at the beginning of their process of Jewish discovery might have."
One of the primary aims of the book Freund said "is to provide people with the tools
they need to begin assessing their roots by looking at family customs and family names."
These as well as DNA advances can help provide clues to one's Jewish ancestry. "I want to
get people to start asking questions and digging into their past in the hopes that this
will encourage them to uncover their possible Jewish connection."
"We are at the beginning of an historic turning point, one that will see millions of
people throughout the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking world reconnecting with their
Jewish roots," Freund declared.
When asked why it is so important for the about the return of the Bnei Anousim to
return to Judaism Freund responded by saying: "The Bnei Anousim are our brothers and
sisters. Their ancestors were taken from us, they were essentially kidnapped from the
Jewish people. And yet with remarkable courage and determination, many continued to
practice Judaism in secret down through the generations, despite the persecution of the
Inquisition. We owe it to them and their ancestors and to ourselves! to
bring back as many of their descendants as possible."
"The Bnei Anousim are unique because of the breadth and scope of the phenomenon, which
can be found in just about every Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking country around the
world. In addition, the story of the Bnei Anousim is one of heroism in the face of
tragedy, and determination in the face of disaster, which is what makes it so inspiring
Both organizations are dedicated to helping the Bnei Anousim, and neither is interested
in coercing anyone to learn more about their heritage. "Our goal is first and foremost to
help the Bnei Anousim to reconnect with the Jewish people and Israel," said Freund.
"I don't believe in coercion of any sort. If there are Bnei Anousim who want to
formally return to the Jewish people and make Aliya, then of course we help them. We leave
it up to each individual to decide if and how they want to interact with their Jewish
ancestry. The important thing is to ensure that the Jewish spark within them continues to
burn brightly," Freund explained.
Perry said that his organization is kind of a "matchmaking" organization, making the
connection between the individual and their Jewish roots. "We don't want to push someone
who isn't interested. We will simply help those who are. That is what we are about,
helping people discover their Jewish roots and heritage if they are interested in doing
Freund pointed out that the return of the Bnei Anousim to the Jewish people was
foretold. "Don Isaac Abarbanel, the great rabbi and financier who was himself expelled
from Spain in 1492, writes in his commentary to the Books of Deuteronomy and Isaiah that a
time will come when the Anousim will one day return to the Jewish people. We are
witnessing the beginning of the fulfillment of his vision, and it behooves us to roll up
our sleeves and do everything we can to help the Bnei Anousim to return to the Jewish
people. Doing so will strengthen us qualitatively and quantitatively, spiritually and
"The numbers of descendants of Bnei Anousim is vast. We believe that the total number
exceeds tens of millions of people; their self-discovery as Jews can greatly impact and
enrich the international Jewish community," says Freund. "Our mission is to support anyone
who is in search of their Jewish ancestry and we are thrilled with the outpouring of
interest, especially at a time when we are witnessing a resurgence in European
New York's 'Great Hanukkah Blackout'
By Aish HaTorah
It may be known as Judaism's 'festival of lights,' but Hanukkah's message stands in
sharp contrast to the glitz and glamour of Christmas.
Please watch this video: https://youtu.be/y8MTwzvr3C4
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)