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Republicans Overseas Israel:'For the First Time in 50 Years, Israel will Decide for Itself'


As tensions between Israel and the Obama administration escalate following the US abstention in the United Nations Security Council and a 72-minute long speech by Secretary of State John Kerry haranguing Israeli policy and the government of Israel, attorney Marc Zell is confident US-Israel relations will not only recover, but become stronger than ever before.

With less than three weeks until President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on January 20th, Zell spoke with Arutz Sheva during a visit to the Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem. "Every time I come here I relive the extraordinary experience that I had living in Gush Katif in the last three months to a month before the deportation of the residents of Gush Katif and the destruction of the beautiful villages they had there," said Zell, who chairs the Republicans Overseas Israel organization.

Zell opined that with Trump's inauguration, Israel would for the first time be allowed to pursue its own interest's vis-à-vis Judea, Samaria, and the capital. But with this new freedom, Zell added, the Israeli government would be obliged to create a coherent long-term policy for the areas under its control, something successive coalitions have never been in a position to do.

"It's important to be reminded of the lessons of Gush Katif, especially at this critical time in history when we're on the cusp of perhaps a new age with the incoming Trump administration. I think one of the greatest things that the election of Donald Trump and Mike Pence means for the State of Israel, is that probably for the first time in 50 years we'll have an American administration that will truly back the decisions and the will of the people of Israel and the State of Israel.

"And that means, conversely, that the State of Israel and the government of Israel must decide for the first time what its interests are for Judea, Samaria, east Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. There's no more room for pussyfooting around here. Israel must decide. And what Israel decides is in its interests, the American government that will take office, with God's help, on January 20th will support."

Trump on Saturday night stressed the importance of Israel and criticized Kerry over his recent comments that Jewish homes in the Land of Israel are an obstacle to peace. "We have to protect Israel. Israel, to me, is very, very important. We have to protect Israel," Trump told reporters at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, according to Politico. He also said with regards to Kerry's statements, "I disagree with what he has done with Israel".

Trump this past week criticized the UN and the Obama Administration for treating Israel "with disdain and disrespect" and urged Israel to "stand firm" until he takes office on January 20. Last Saturday, the President-elect said he would work to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority despite the fact that the vote at the Security Council made it more difficult. "The big loss yesterday for Israel in the United Nations will make it much harder to negotiate peace. Too bad, but we will get it done anyway," wrote Trump.

The President-elect is a strong supporter of Israel, though during his election campaign he initially stated he would be "neutral and unpredictable" when it comes to the Israel-PA conflict. He later clarified his comments and said that while he would be happy to broker a peace deal, "in order for an agreement to happen, the Palestinians need to show interest. It's a little difficult to reach an agreement when the other side doesn't really want to talk to you." Trump has also said he would do his best to bring an end to "the war that never ends", describing an Israel-PA peace deal as "the ultimate deal".

IDF Ramps Up Cyber Security Operations


The IDF is changing its cyber intelligence processing operational methods. From now, the entire domain of cyber counterintelligence will be transferred to the IDF telecommunications division, while all cyber intelligence gathering will remain the responsibility of Army Intelligence.

A senior IDF officer said that the Chief of Staff's directive is to the effect that by the end of the multi-annual 'Gideon' program, a cyber division capable of standing on its own is to be fully operational. However, until then, with the main goal the protection of the entire military system and its offshoots, it is necessary to divide the cyber network between the various bodies, and this accounts for the changes currently taking place in the army.

The IDF explained that at this point in time, despite the fact that Israel is well-positioned in terms of cyber, there is a need for a telecommunications facelift to improve the division's knowledge and professionalism.

The army began work on the establishment of its planned cyber division six months ago, but this involves a constant learning, rechecking and monitoring process. The central staff decision has been made, as explained here, and will eventually lead to the establishment of the independent cyber division in four years.


Vandals Twist Arizona Family's Chanukah Menorah into Swastika

By Israel Hayom &

Unknown vandals mangled a menorah display outside a Jewish family's home in Chandler, Arizona, twisting it into a swastika, ABC15 Arizona reported. Police were called to Naomi and Seth Ellis' home at around 5:30 a.m. Friday and helped disassemble the Nazi symbol. An investigation into the incident has been launched.

According to the report, Seth Ellis had built the 7-foot-tall menorah out of PVC pipes for his three children, who had asked for a holiday display similar to the neighbors' Christmas decorations. The father had built the menorah after the children asked for a public holiday display in place of a Christmas tree. The menorah was made of $100 worth of PVC pipe painted gold and topped with nine solar-powered lights. To their horror, on Friday, the family woke up to discover the menorah had been bent into the shape of a swastika.

"Just waking up to see that first thing is kind of rattling," Seth told ABC15. "It just makes me sad and it makes me feel sick that's still how people look at the world in 2016. I broke down in tears waiting for the police to come and hoping that my kids would not be awake to see it," Naomi wrote on her Facebook page, in a post showing the display before and after it was mangled.

"We live in a great neighborhood with kind and welcoming neighbors. We never would have imagined that someone would spread so much hate here. I'm still not sure how I will explain this to [my children]. I'm not sure I quite understand it myself. ... How can people be filled with so much hate and violence? To think that someone would make such an effort to hurt and vandalize a family is downright sickening," she wrote.

"Just waking up to see that first thing is kind of rattling. It just makes me sad and it makes me feel sick that's still how people look at the world in 2016," Seth told an ABC15 reporter. "You have to put it back up. I mean, what kind of statement is it for me not to put it back up, especially for my kids?" Seth said he would rebuild his menorah "as many times as he has to."

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