Newsletter : 18fx0815.txt
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Nasrallah: We're Stronger than the IDF and Will Soon be Victorious in Syria
By the Jerusalem Post, IsraelNationalNews.com & Reuters
The leader of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hizbullah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said in a speech
on Tuesday that his "resistance group is stronger than ever, even stronger than the
Israeli army," The Jerusalem Post's sister publication Maariv reported Tuesday night.
"The resistance in Lebanon today, in its possession of weapons and equipment and
capabilities and members and cadres and ability and expertise and experience, and also of
faith and determination and courage and will, is stronger than at any time since its
launch in the region," Nasrallah elaborated.
In his speech in southern Lebanon in honor of the 12th anniversary of the Second Lebanon
War, he also argued that the 2006 armed conflict's goal was "implement the United States'
plan to take control of the region, and, when the war failed, the US plan also failed."
He added that "Israel is rebuilding itself today, in view of the defeat in 2006, including
reexamining its doctrine of war, on the basis that its enemy is serious and capable. Since
2007 the Israelis have threatened to go to war, but at the same time Hizbullah is
According to the Hizbullah leader, the civil war that has been taking place in Syria in
the last seven years is "another July war," (the name in Lebanon for the Second Lebanon
War) in which Israel's ultimate goal is to get rid of the Syrian regime and eliminate
their claim to the Israeli side of the Golan Heights.
Nasrallah mocked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and said, "The campaign he is waging
every day is a beggar's campaign. His policy is that Iran and Hizbullah should not remain
in Syria. That's his problem today - how to get Iran and Hizbullah out of Syria."
"Listen to the insolence: Israel who was defeated in Syria is trying to impose conditions,
it has demands. You lost, you have been defeated, your gamble failed, your hopes have
disappeared, and you are giving conditions? The era in which Israel can impose its
conditions is over," he declared.
Nasrallah regularly threatens Israel and boasts of his group's power, though he has been
forced to hide in a bunker ever since the 2006 war. Two years ago he denied that he had
been hiding in an underground bunker for a decade. Nasrallah optimistically explained that
his group would "very soon" celebrate victory in Syria.
Hamas Using Honeypots to Target Israeli Soldiers on Instagram
By the Jerusalem Post
The IDF has uncovered another Hamas network posing as attractive young women on social
networks to honeypot soldiers, this time on Instagram, to access as much information and
intelligence on the army that they can.
"This is a network in which the culture of sharing is paramount and where everything
revolves around pictures and `see me,'" said Lt.-Col. A, the head of information security
policies at the IDF's Information Security Department.
The officer added that "Popularity and the need to follow back increases the risk" of
soldiers taking the bait, and cautioned soldiers to follow military guidelines and not
click on suspicious messages in their Instagram inbox. "We want to make it clear to the
soldiers that even if Hamas adds additional applications and infiltrates additional
platforms, once we identify them, they will not catch up with us."
The IDF launched two operations in the past year uncovering networks of Hamas operatives
trying to lure in soldiers through smartphone applications. According to the IDF
Spokesperson's Unit there have been hundreds of reports of suspicious individuals
approaching soldiers online since January 2018.
The IDF first uncovered Hamas's attempt to honeypot male soldiers online in January of
last year in an operation dubbed "Hunter's Network" where dozens of accounts on social
networks, such as on Facebook, were identified as being operated with false or stolen
identities with the intent to extract classified information from both regular and
In March the IDF's Military Intelligence Directorate launched "Operation Heartbreaker" and
uncovered another cell behind suspicious online actions targeting IDF soldiers on social
networks as well as on messaging applications such as WhatsApp using Israeli numbers to
get soldiers to download applications from Google's official store.
In both instances, the soldiers were asked to download applications which compromised
their cell phones with Trojan horse viruses. "The reports we received after the
publication [of Operation Heartbreaker] dealt a great deal with the fact that soldiers
thought that an application from an official app store was not necessarily dangerous,"
Lt.-Col. A. said.
"After we thwarted and blocked the applications, Hamas tried unsuccessfully to preserve
connections that had been initiated in the past or new relationships with identities that
have not yet been exposed. Thanks to the high reporting by soldiers, these attempts were
also revealed, and we were able to thwart other fake profiles," he said.
Once on the phone, the virus would give Hamas operatives access to all pictures, the
soldier's location, text messages (including the history of sent messages), and the
soldier's contact list. The virus would also be able to download files, have access to the
phone's camera and microphone, and take pictures and record conversations remotely without
the soldier knowing.
An investigation by the IDF's Military Intelligence found 11 suspicious individuals (three
who approached soldiers on WhatsApp, another eight who approached soldiers on Facebook)
were members of an intelligence network of the Hamas terrorist organization.
The military urged troops only to confirm friendship requests from people one knows
personally, to not upload any classified information to any social network, and to only
download applications from the actual App Store (rather than downloading applications from
Troops were told that if they were approached by a stranger online to be aware that it
might be an attempt to honeypot them, especially if the suspicious individual is unable to
meet in person. The IDF has urged all soldiers, including reserve soldiers, to report to
their commander and security officials if the suspicious individual asks them to download
applications and if they feel that their phone may have been compromised
Support for 2-State Solution Hits New Low for Israelis, Palestinians
By Israel Hayom
Support for a two-state solution to the long Israeli-Palestinian conflict has fallen to
a two-decade low among Israeli Jews and Palestinians alike, a new poll has found.
Conducted jointly by Tel Aviv University and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey
Research, the poll found that just 43% of Israelis and Palestinians support the
establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
The survey says the reasons for the lack of support include doubts over the possibility of
implementing a two-state solution and a lack of trust in the other side. It says support
for the concept began to decline a decade ago. The poll, conducted in June and July and
released Monday, interviewed 2,150 Palestinians and 1,600 Israelis. It had a margin of
error of 2.5 percentage points for the Palestinians and 3 for the Israelis.
Blocked by Israel for Years, Palestinian Mail Finally Arrives
Palestinian postal service employees are working overtime to sort through some 10 tons
of letters and packages blocked by Israel for up to eight years, Palestinian officials
said Tuesday. The parcels, dating from between 2010 and this year, had been prevented by
Israel from entering the West Bank via Jordan but were released in a one-time deal, the
officials said. The goods range from simple letters to medicine and even wheelchairs for
the disabled, AFP journalists found at the sorting center in the West Bank city of
Palestinian Telecommunications Minister Allam Mousa accused Israel in a statement of
having blocked the delivery and of delaying the implementation of an agreement on postal
services. Israeli authorities confirmed the packages had been transferred and said an
agreement was in the works but did not comment in detail.
Ramadan Ghazawi, an official at the sorting center in Jericho, said he understood some
items had been blocked for security reasons, while others were barred on administrative
grounds. "A few days ago Israel allowed more than 10 tons of postal parcels that were
stuck in Jordan," he told AFP, adding it would take his staff another two weeks to sort
through all the parcels and get them delivered to their recipients.
Israel controls all entrances and exits to the West Bank and can prevent goods passing
through as it sees fit. Palestinian officials say such control cripples their economy and
freedom of movement.
In the sorting center, hundreds of bags were piled on top of each other as workers picked
through them in the stifling summer heat. Ghazawi said that the parcels and letters,
mostly the former, had been sent from all over the world. Many were goods ordered online
by Palestinians that never arrived. A note attached to a wheelchair said it was sent from
Turkey in 2015 and meant to be delivered to the Gaza Strip.
COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry body responsible for civilian coordination in the
Palestinian territories, said the release was part of confidence-building measures after
the two sides agreed on a postal entry deal "about a year ago." It said while the deal had
not yet gone into force for future deliveries, it had "allowed a one-time transfer of
approximately 10.5 tons of mail that had been held in Jordan."
Some of the transferred goods had been broken, and Ghazawi said that to avoid complaints
they were delivering them along with a statement saying Israeli authorities had delivered
them in this condition.
Father of the Year Nominee: Chabad Rabbi Chaim Bruk
Rabbi Chaim Bruk is one of two Orthodox Rabbis in the state of Montana. His work is
consuming. Just after opening a Chabad Center, the state's first Torah study center
associated with the Orthodox Lubavitch-Chabad movement in the state, he opened a second.
Now, he's working on opening a third.
He wants to create joyful hubs for Jewish life in a state not exactly known for its Hebrew
people. And his work seems to be paying off. His inbox is full. His days are packed. And
he doesn't get to relax when he goes home. Bruk is the father of five kids between the
ages of 14 and one. He has the family he wanted. He's devoted to them. He's fine not
After all, it didn't always look like it was going to go his way. The rabbi and his wife,
Chavie, got married in 2006. They immediately starting trying, but a year and a half
later, they still didn't have any children. So they went to a fertility specialist in New
York City. "Everyone gives you all their advice," says Rabbi Chaim. "Everybody seems to
know the exact burden, you know? `Don't worry about it, enjoy your time while you don't
have kids.' We did. But the anxiety of not knowing what was wrong was taking a toll on
Then they knew. Chavie was 23, and Rabbi Bruk was 26 when they learned they were not ever
going to have biological children. "For an Orthodox Jewish couple, that is beyond
devastating," Bruk says. "But my father-in-law said something to me that I'll never
forget: `It must be that there are children in this world that God intends you guys to
take in as your own.' That planted a seed. I can't say we were relieved. We weren't. But
we knew one thing for certain: we were going to be parents."
Adoption, they found out, was very expensive. There were tests they'd have to pass, fees
they'd have to pay, and laws they'd have to learn. They looked internationally without
luck. They looked in Montana and found that there were very few if any
adoptable Jewish babies. And though they knew that ultimately, they would adopt their
kids, they weren't sure how it was going to happen, until they got a call from a friend.
"He said that there was a Jewish child, born in Russia, who was in the United States for
medical treatment. The baby was born a preemie, at 33 weeks. It was a Jewish baby. The
mother wanted to give it up for adoption. We realized that when it's meant to be, it can
move very quickly. Six or seven weeks after later, we adopted our baby Chaya."
Over the next 10 years, they ended up adopting four more children, starting with a
daughter who arrived just five months later. "I got a call from a rabbi who said, `There's
a situation in our community,'" Bruk says. "That's how all the conversations start. You're
basically asking someone, `Are you ready for another baby?' It's an odd question to ask if
you're not married to them."
But the Bruks were ready, and Zissy came into their lives. It happened quickly, but, as
Rabbi Chaim jokes, it's not as though Orthodox Jews are big on birth control. "When my mom
heard we were going to adopt a second child she said, `Chaim, you're doing the adoption
route. Why do you have to do two so close to each other?' I said, `Ma, I thought you told
me that we don't believe in family planning.'"
After they adopted Chaya, and Zissis who they held for the first time in the Newark
Airport Enterprise Rent-A-Car parking lot they waited a few years, until they heard
about Menachem. Menachem Menny for short is black. That's noteworthy not
only because Montana has a small black population (and a very, very small black and Jewish
population), but because Orthodox Jews, African-Americans and Caribbean-Americans have
long shared Bruk's home neighborhood of Crown Heights. Tensions have flared in the past.
Bruk was nervous.
"I wasn't in denial nor did I think my community was racist. I just knew the
reality that my community was not used to anything that looks different than the typical
Caucasian European descended Jew or a Sephardic Jew." The decision was made easier by his
wife. "She was like, `We've gotten through infertility. We've done two adoptions. Why
don't we be the ones to show our community that this is possible? That we don't have to be
scared about the insults?'" And in April 2013, Menny was theirs.
After Menny came a 12-year-old girl named Shoshanna. "That's a whole different animal,"
Bruk laughs. "That's preteen! That's emotions and hormones and attitude and 12 years of
history that needs to be unraveled!" Still, they did it. Then they adopted their latest
baby. Her name is Chana Lei, named after Chaim's mother, who passed away from cancer just
after they adopted their first child.
So now, Chaim is a father of five in Big Sky Country. What does that mean? Well, trying to
remain focused on his work as a rabbi and on six people he loves, all of whom have
different wants and needs. The fact that his kids are adopted complicates the demands
they have different baggage, after all but not in a way that Bruk finds
unmanageable. He uses one tool and it gets the job done.
"The rule of thumb needs to be love, love and more love," says Bruk. "Often children think
that our love for them is conditional. We are allowed to be disappointed with our
children, but the love for them should never go away."
How to best communicate love? Consistency. Every morning, he wakes the kids up and feeds
them breakfast before taking them to school and doing his rabbinic outreach for the day.
And although he's busy, being one of just two Orthodox rabbis in the entire state of
Montana, he also makes sure that everything he does helps his kids understand that they
are the most important part of his lives.
"There are going to be days when you're going to be frustrated because you thought you
made progress, but you didn't. And that's part of being a father. I did the same things to
my father. Why would my kid be any different?" laughs Bruk. "Being a father is not easy
for me. But I'm still a father all the time. No matter what they do to mess with my head,
to mess with my heart, to challenge my authority, the kids know my love will never
Rabbi Bruk is trying to put a mezuzah on every Jewish home in the state of Montana. He
hosts rabbinical students from Brooklyn. He keeps opening Chabad centers. But every night
at 6 p.m. he's at the dinner table with his wife and kids. And every morning at 5 a.m.,
he's awake. He gets an hour alone. He cherishes the time, but doesn't extend it. He waited
long enough. This is his life. He's worked hard to get here.
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