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Hizbullah's War of Words Telegraphs Iran's Message to Jerusalem

By the Jerusalem Post

Israel and Iran are in "direct confrontation," Naim al-Qassem, Hizbullah's deputy secretary-general, warned. His comments should be interpreted as a message to Jerusalem that the gloves are coming off in Tehran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is angry about alleged Israeli strikes on Iranian assets in Syria. The strike on the T4 air base on April 9 was a blow to Iran, more than just an attempt to do what some Israeli experts have called "mowing the grass" to reduce threats. Efraim Inbar and Eitan Shamir argued in a 2014 paper that "Israel's strategy in the 21st century against hostile non-state groups, reflects the assumption that Israel finds itself in a protracted intractable conflict." Use of force is designed to weaken the enemy, not to achieve "impossible political goals." An impossible goal would be to remove Iran entirely from Syria. Why send the Hizbullah messenger? Because Tehran prefers to send mixed messages as part of its strategy. "Israel is trying to draw lines, limiting the `resistance axis' and its freedom of action," Qassem said. He claimed, as Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah has in the past, that Israel does not want a real war. Hizbullah claims that its and the rest of Iran's proxies and "axis of resistance's" freedom of action will not be curtailed by Israel. Iran is still mourning the seven IRGC soldiers killed the air strike on its T4 base in Syria, including Col. Mehdi Dehgan, who led its drone unit. We know now that the February attempt by Iran to fly a drone into Israel was a greater threat than previously reported. It was armed with explosives and, according to reports, not meant to merely test or harass. Iranian regime media is playing up the Hizbullah comments. Press TV and Fars News both have it on their homepages, claiming "Israel won't be allowed to set rules of engagement in Syria." Press TV also is attempting to highlight Israel's alleged violation of Syrian airspace and flouting Russian air defense in Syria, by claiming that Israel has said it will not have its actions limited in Syria. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Monday that "sooner or later" Tehran will respond to Israel's "hostile policies." Should all this be believed? Hizbullah keeps saying that Israel does not want a real war. Hizbullah says that limits must be set on Israel's actions. Tehran reports that Hizbullah wants those limits put into place. It almost seems like each one is passing the buck to the other, hoping to goad the other into taking action. And if not Hizbullah or Tehran, then they want to encourage Russia to do something in Syria to curtail what they claim is Israel's impunity.

Is a Thick Gaseous Cloud Hiding Russia's First S-300 Delivery to Syria?

By DEBKAfile

As Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary, a Russian ship unloaded a suspect military cargo from a freighter at the Syrian port of Tartous. Was Moscow answering Israel's celebration by delivering advanced S-300 air defense missiles as a show of support for Bashar Assad? This not confirmed. However, DEBKAfile's military sources report that the Russians undoubtedly took advantage of Israel's preoccupation with its Independence Day revelries to deliver advanced weapons systems for the Syrian army. The Russian ship docked in Tartous on Wednesday afternoon, April 18. Before unloading it, they positioned in the Russian section of the port giant compressors which spewed thick gaseous clouds over the operation to hide it from oversight by Israel's surveillance planes, drones and satellites. This tactic intensified Israel's suspicion that the cargo included S-300 weapons systems. On Tuesday, April 17, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow had refused Syria's demand for the advanced S-300 missiles, but since the "appalling act of aggression" committed by the US, France and Britain, "Moscow was ready to consider any means to help the Syrian army curb further aggression." According to our military sources, the Russian vessel was sighted crossing through the Bosporus near Istanbul on Monday, i.e., just two days after the Western strike on Syria's chemical sites. No attempt was made to conceal the presence on its decks of military equipment, which looked like the command vehicles of missile batteries and radar apparatus. The ship was loaded at the Russian military port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea.

Poland Marks 75th Anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

By YnetNews

75 years after the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Poland held a day of commemoration, taking a moment of silence to remember those who fell in resistance to the Nazi regime, as well as the millions of others slain in the Holocaust. People in Warsaw pinned paper daffodils to their clothes as the Polish capital held a day of commemorations Thursday on the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. People stopped in the street and officials stood at attention as sirens wailed and church bells tolled at noon in a sign of mourning for the Jews who died fighting, as well as the millions of other Jews murdered in the Holocaust. The daffodils tradition comes from Marek Edelman, who was the last surviving commander of the uprising, and on every anniversary used to lay these spring flowers at the monument to the fighters. He died in 2009. President Andrzej Duda was to speak during official commemorations at the Monument to the Warsaw Ghetto Heroes and pay homage to the hundreds of Jewish fighters who took up arms in the 1943 rebellion against the German forces that occupied Poland during World War II. The revolt ended in death for most of the fighters, yet left behind an enduring symbol of resistance. Hundreds attended an "independent" gathering by Poles furious at a government that sometimes seems to tolerate or even support anti-Semitic views despite its official denunciations of anti-Semitism. Open Republic, an association that fights anti-Semitism and xenophobia, said it was organizing its ceremony in opposition to what it called the "hollow nationalist pomp" of the government, recalling how the prime minister earlier this year paid tribute to a Polish wartime insurgency unit that had collaborated with the Nazis. Their observances began with Yiddish singing at the monument to a Jewish envoy in London, Szmul Zygielbojm, who committed suicide after the revolt was crushed, in protest at the world's indifference to the Holocaust. The signs of rising nationalism have also strengthened the resolve of those seeking reconciliation, and this year a record 2,000 volunteers are handing out the paper daffodils, which have become a moving symbol of Christian Poles expressing their sorrow at the loss of a Jewish community that was Europe's largest before the Holocaust. "I feel this is my responsibility and do it with all my heart," said Barbara Sekulska, 76, who joined mostly younger volunteers. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising broke out April 19, 1943, when about 750 young Jewish fighters armed with just pistols and fuel bottles attacked a much larger and heavily armed German force. In their last testaments they said they knew they were doomed but wanted to die at a time and place of their own choosing. In the end, the fighters held out nearly a month, longer than some German-invaded countries did. The Germans razed the ghetto and killed most of the fighters, except for a few dozen who managed to escape the ghetto through sewage canals to the "Aryan" side of the city, Edelman among them. Israeli dignitaries usually attend the major ghetto commemorations, but mostly remained home because the Warsaw anniversary this year coincides with major celebrations in Israel marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of that nation in 1948.

Report: Haredim Demand UN troops Protect Meah Shearim

By IsraelNationalNews.com
A group of radical haredim have initiated a petition calling on the United Nations to protect them from what they say is police brutality they suffer at the hands of Israeli law enforcement. According to the Behadrei Haredim website, haredim in both Israel and the United States have sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres requesting troops to protect them in Jerusalem's Meah Shearim neighborhood. "On April 15 a protest was held at the recruitment center in Jerusalem following the arrest of a Jewish religious girl earlier that day. During the demonstration, police brutally attacked the demonstrators. The police directed water hoses at the demonstrators, without separating demonstrators from passersby," wrote the letter. According to the missive, "Some of the children were flying as a result of the water's impact and were injured. Police officers galloped with horses into the crowd, the police fired dozens, and perhaps hundreds of stun grenades into the crowd of demonstrators, dozens of people were seriously injured. The demonstrators also suffered significant damage to property."

The petition asked Guterres "to address the concerns of Jews from all over the world who ask with honor that the United Nations should establish an independent commission to investigate these terrible atrocities against peaceful demonstrators." According to the report, haredim in the US are also planning on holding an anti-Israel demonstration outside UN headquarters in New York City in which they hope to draw attention to "the serious violations of international human rights law by the Israeli police". In recent months, the Yerushalmi Faction has organized a series of demonstrations across the country, protesting the arrest of haredi draft-dodgers, many of whom intentionally failed to register for draft deferments. Many demonstrators have accused police of using excessive force in breaking up unauthorized protests, which have included road-blocking demonstrations shutting down traffic at major intersections including Shilat Junction on Highway 443 near Modiin, the intersection of Sarei Yisrael Street and Jaffa Street in Jerusalem. Organizers of the wave of protests have encouraged demonstrators to film incidents of police violence. In September, police officers were documented using what appeared was excessive force while breaking up a haredi anti-draft demonstration in Jerusalem. Videos showed police punching and kicking haredi demonstrators and throwing protestors to the ground unprovoked. One clip showed a police commander purposely breaking a demonstrator's glasses with no apparent provocation. However, police officers often contend that using rough measures in the only way to break up violent haredi demonstrations that often tie up major traffic arteries for hours, causing gridlock and economic loss.

Do You Want to Join the Mossad?

By IsraelNationalNews.com
Israel's Mossad espionage agency has invited would-be spies to crack a riddle in a creative "help wanted" ad. Mossad is the acronym for "HaMossad leModi?in uleTafkidim Meyu?adim", the Agency for Intelligence and Special Tasks, and is responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations and counter-terrorism operations. The world-renowned intelligence group has posted a riddle on its website. Anyone solving the puzzle is fast-tracked for employment. Thursday marked the third straight year that the Mossad has published an online challenge in order to attract Israel's top talent. The Mossad has put a strong emphasis at attracting cyber wizards from Israel's hi-tech industry, which insiders say has been a challenge due to the high salaries such employees can earn in the private sector. In December, the Mossad joined Israel's other security agencies in opening a Facebook page for recruiting future secret agents. Until now, the Mossad only recruited through its website, which is published in Hebrew, English, French, Russian, English, Arabic and Persian. Israel's Shin Bet internal security service and the Israel Police already have Facebook pages for recruitment purposes. "Publicizing our jobs on Facebook will enable us to recruit more efficiently, with access to a wider population, in order to choose the most suitable candidates," said the Mossad in a statement. The Mossad has been dealing with increasing challenges in recent years. The Mossad constantly recruits candidates in wide variety of fields, including intelligence, technology, cyber, computing, economics and logistics and its website also offers positions for students and people with special needs. In July, the Mossad announced that they were looking for an experienced tailor. "We require a fabric and leather tailor to create and sew high-quality leather products. The applicant must have at least three years' experience in leather tailoring and tailoring with other materials as well," reads the notice on its careers page.


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