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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 strengthening immensely." 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 reservist soldiers. 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 links). 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

By AFP

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 Jericho. 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

By Fatherly
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 sleeping. 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 us." 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 dissipate." 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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