February 1, 2019

PM At Cybertech Conference: Iran Launches Computer Attacks Daily

Iran launches cyberattacks against Israel “on a daily basis,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday (29th) at the Cybertech Conference in Tel Aviv.

“We monitor these attacks.  We see them and we foil them all the time,” Netanyahu said.

He said that Iran’s threats against Israel take other forms as well.

“Iran threatens us in many ways.  They have issued in the last 24-hours threats that say they’ll destroy us, that they will target our cities with missiles.  We’re not oblivious to these threats. They don’t impress us because we know what our power is, both in defense and offense,” the prime minister said.

Netanyahu told the conference participants that all countries are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

“Every country needs the combination of a national cyber defense effort and a robust cyber security industry.  And I think Israel has that…in ways that are unmatched,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister said that Israel is cooperating with over 70 countries on cyber defense and is second in the field only to the US, which is 42 times larger than Israel.

Prime Minister of Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis said at the conference that his country had begun working with Israel on cyber defense a few years ago, with encouragement from Netanyahu, and that on Monday (28th) Israel and Lithuania had signed an agreement to expand cooperation in the field.

“The European Union needs to strengthen its ties with Israel, which is such an important ally,” Skvernelis said.



UK’s Jeremy Hunt: Israel Is ‘An Inspiration,’ ‘Beacon Of Democracy’

Speaking at the Conservative Friends of Israel’s Annual Parliamentary Reception on Tuesday (29th), UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt cited the Jewish State as a source of inspiration and a model of a successful modern country, despite the “many challenges it faces at its borders.”

Hunt went on to say that ”UK support for Israel’s right to self defense is absolutely unconditional.”

“There’s a historic friendship between the United Kingdom and Israel, that started with the Balfour Declaration of 1917,” Hunt said, adding that the countries’ shared history has been one of “strong, deep-rooted friendship based on a huge historic admiration for what the State of Israel has achieved against all odds.”

Despite many enemies committed to its “total destruction and elimination,” Israel “has thrived as a modern high-tech country with a huge amount of prosperity.”

Pledging a commitment to stamping out anti-Semitism, the official said “if we don’t learn the lessons of history, history will judge us very very poorly indeed.”

“We must stand together as we both face challenges going forward.  Israel’s right to self defense is absolutely unconditional: We will support Israel in that.”

“Because of our great friendship, trade is mushrooming between our two countries, and while I don’t want to overdraw the comparisons between Israel and post-Brexit Britain, it’s a great inspiration to see how you flourished despite the many challenges on your borders.”

“Finally, I want to say something that is about Brexit and that is about the very very important role that both Israel and Britain need to play in a post Brexit world and that is simply this: the democracy of which Israel is a shining beacon, and which Britain always stood for, these democratic values cannot be taken for granted in the modern world.”

“By 2030, for the first time in our lifetimes, the largest economy in the world will not be a democracy.  We have to stand together as fellow democracies, part of an invisible chain linking the democracies of the world, and that is going to be our great, great mission, far more important than Brexit or any other issue we deal with,” Hunt concluded.



Why Muslims Should Remember The Holocaust – Mohammad Al-Issa

The lessons of the Holocaust are universal and Muslims around the world have a responsibility to learn them, heed the warnings and join the international commitment to ensure “never again.”

One year ago, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day approached, I wrote to Sara Bloomfield, director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, on behalf of the Muslim World League, an organization that represents more than 1 billion Muslims.  

In that letter, I expressed “our great sympathy with the victims of the Holocaust, an incident that shook humanity to the core, and created an event whose horrors could not be denied or underrated by any fair-minded or peace-loving person.”

“Who in his right mind would accept, sympathize, or even diminish the extent of this brutal crime?  We consider any denial of the Holocaust or minimizing of its effect a crime to distort history and an insult to the dignity of those innocent souls who have perished.”  

I received a flood of messages from Muslim religious scholars endorsing the view I had expressed.  Not a single reputable scholar has stood up to oppose this view.

I urge all Muslims to learn the history of the Holocaust, to visit memorials and museums to this horrific event, and to teach its lessons to their children.  We share a responsibility to confront those who would carry Adolf Hitler’s torch today, and to join hands with people of goodwill of all nations and faiths to prevent genocide wherever it threatens innocent lives.

The writer is secretary-general of the Muslim World League and president of the International Organization of Muslim Scholars, based in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.



Melbourne Rabbi Target Of Anti-Semitic Rant, Called ‘Dirty Jew’

A Melbourne rabbi was verbally abused with anti-Semitic slurs while driving to his local synagogue late on Monday night (28th).

The rabbi, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of further attacks, began to film the incident.  As he did so, the man in the car next to him continued to shout at him, “Would you like me to get out and show you what Hitler did?…You should have died in Auschwitz.”

The rabbi added that the man had also called him “dirty Jew” and said that “Hitler should have killed you all.”

Following the incident, the rabbi told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper that “In Europe, I saw anti-Semitism, but I thought in Australia in 2019 I would never see something like this.”  

“It’s painful that they hate Jews for no reason,” he continued.

Australian police said they are investigating the incident and are taking it very seriously.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry reported an unprecedented 60% rise in anti-Semitic incidents across Australia in 2018, compared to 2017.



Israel Advances Cable Car To Jerusalem’s Old City

Israel’s National Planning Council is formally advancing a plan to build a cable car that will cross over Jerusalem’s historic Hinnom Valley and glide along the Old City walls to an area near the Western Wall.

The council will publish its approval of the plan in newspapers Friday (2/1), kicking off a 60-day public comment period before the plan is brought forth for final approval.

The cable car is billed as a tourism attraction as well as a solution to serious traffic congestion and pollution around the Old City walls.

Up to 3,000 people will be ferried per hour at peak time in up to 72 10-person cabins between the First Station commercial area and the Old City’s Dung Gate, near the Western Wall.

The project is being strongly backed by Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion. but is opposed by numerous experts who argue it is politically irresponsible and will not solve the traffic problem.

The government chose last year’s Jerusalem Day – which marks the reunification of the east and west portions of the city after the 1967 Six Day War – to announce a $55.2 million budget for the project which is due to start operating in 2021.

The cable car route is to start next to the popular First Station cultural complex south of the city center,from where it will pass through, but not stop at, a cable car storage depot in the public garden below Ein Rogel Street in the neighborhood of Abu Tor.

From there, the cabins will sail over the Hinnom Valley to a stop at Mount Zion, before continuing over Silwan to its final destination – the still to be built Kedem Center – outside the Old City Walls.

Many say the project  will help the Palestinian residents of Silwan, for whom transportation options are inadequate.

The whole one mile journey will take under five minutes.