News Digest — 4/20/21

Barak ER Missile Defense System Completes Series Of Successful Trials

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said on Monday (19th) that it completed a successful series of trials of the BARAK Air and Missile Defense System, and unveiled documentation of the challenging trials, in which it tested the system’s capabilities in a range of scenarios and threats, including the interception of an assaulting ballistic target by the BARAK ER (Extended Range) interceptor.

The BARAK ER Air Defense System, developed by IAI, combines the capability to intercept airborne threats at an extended range of 93.1 miles, including ballistic targets.  The ER interceptor is part of IAI’s BARAK Air Defense System’s family, capable of various ranges.  The extended range capability is made possible in part by adjusting the interceptor and MMR radar capabilities to a 93.1 mile range, and can be fitted for both naval and land platforms, the company said in a statement.

Boaz Levy, IAI President, and CEO said that “the BARAK Air Defense System is a modern yet mature, operationally proven system that maximizes the capabilities required to meet threats today, in particular, against ballistic targets.”

“The extensive firing trials to which the system was subjected under difficult land and sea conditions is the best proof of the system’s capabilities.  The modular approach, and the smart launchers, fit customer demand for utmost flexibility on the battlefield and in procurement given budget restraints.  As such, BARAK provides an optimal solution for the present and future battlefield,” he added.

IAI’s BARAK is considered to be one of the world’s most advanced defense systems and is used by several armies worldwide, including the Israeli Navy, India’s air force, and navy, and additional customers.

BARAK provides wide-area protection against a range of air, sea and ground threats, including ballistic, ground-to-ground, and cruise missiles, UAVs and helicopters, providing the user with optimal protection in a multidimensional battlefield.



78 Years Ago, The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Broke Out

78 Years ago on April 19,1943, the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto in Poland broke out, in a Europe ravaged by Nazi ideology.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began on the eve of the Passover holiday, and continued for an entire month until May 16, 1943.

It was the first revolt of the Jewish people during World War II.  The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is considered a clear symbol of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.

Despite having only a few weapons and material, the resistance fighters succeeded in holding their position against the Nazis longer than any other uprising had done.

Two groups fought separately with minimal coordination.  There was the leftist Jewish Fighting Organization (JFO) faction, led by Mordechai Anielewicz and other leaders of Hashomer Hatzair (The Young Guard), as well as the right-wing Jewish Military Union (JMU) faction, led by Pawel Frenkiel.

On May 8, 1943 when the Germans discovered the large bunker at 18 Mila Street, which served as the JFO command center, most of the leaders and dozens of other fighters refused to surrender to the Germans.  Instead they all swallowed cyanide pills in a massive act of suicide.

Although his body was never uncovered, it is believed that Anielewicz died on that day at Mila 18.

A total of 19,000 Jews died during the revolt, about half were burned alive or suffocated.

This year, Foreign Ministers of Israel and Poland, Gabi Ashkenazi and Zbigniew Rao, including Ambassadors of Israel and Poland around the world, mobilized  for the “Yellow Daffodils” campaign to mark the 78th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

As part of the campaign, the foreign ministers and ambassadors were photographed wearing a yellow daffodil on the lapels of their suits.  The campaign was the initiative of the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews.  

The yellow daffodil flower was chosen because the late Mark Edelman (1919-2009), the last commander who survived the uprising, received a bouquet of yellow daffodils from an anonymous sender for years on the anniversary of the revolt.

In December 2018, Simcha “Kazik” Rotem, a member of the Jewish underground in Warsaw that helped carry out the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, died at the age of 94.

Rotem, who fought alongside JFO leader Anielewicz, was described as the last survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

During the war, Rotem served as a liaison between the bunker inside the ghetto and the underground on the “Aryan” side of the city.  Inside he reported to Anielewicz, and on the Aryan side he reported to Yitzhak Zukerman, codenamed Antek.

On the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, April 19, 1948, which took place just 21 days before the State of Israel’s Declaration of Independence and the subsequent attack on Israel by seven Arab armies, the Ghetto Heroes Monument was inaugurated in the Polish capital.

This monument was created by sculptor Nathan Rapoport who was born in Warsaw and was a member of  Hashomer Hatzair, a Zionist, secular Jewish youth movement in Poland.  It is perhaps the most famous Holocaust monument in the world, with more groups and tourists on Holocaust trips holding ceremonies there than at any other location.



Iranian Al Quds General, A Mastermind Behind 1994 Buenos Aires Terror Attack, Dies Suddenly

A brigadier general who was one of a coterie of top Iranian officials who planned the 1994 terror attack on the AMIA Jewish Center in Argentina has died of a heart condition, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced Sunday (18th).

Mohammad Hejazi, 65, had been the deputy chief of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps since January 2020.  He was promoted when his boss, Ismail Qaani, became the leader of the overseas arm of the IRGC after the Americans assassinated its then-commander, Qassem Soleimani a few weeks earlier.

There are currently conflicting reports as to the exact cause of death, with at least one media site saying he died “of chemical effects of war,” without elaborating.

The IRGC mourned him in their press release for “his great and lasting role in attracting, organizing, and sending Islamic fighters to the battlefields of right against wrong and against [Iraqi strongman] Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist army and arrogant mercenaries in the world.”

He was incharge of the IRGC in Lebanon for “some time,” as well, it said.  Israel said in 2019 that Hejazi was the one who headed the effort to manufacture precision-guided missiles for Iranian proxy Hezbollah, the terrorist organization that threatens Israel’s northern border.

According to the Voice of America, Hejazi “frequently shuttled between Iraq, Lebanon and Syria” in his managing role with the regional operations of the Iranian force.  The United States, Israel and Sunni Arab allies have slammed the Quds Force for years for its lead in destabilizing all three countries.

It was early on in his IRGC career that Hejazi is suspected by Western intelligence sources of having been one of the key planners of the attack on the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

A suicide bomber, allegedly a Hezbollah terrorist, drove a van loaded with some 600 pounds of ammonium nitrate fertilizer and fuel oil into the building.  Eighty-five people died and hundreds were wounded in the mass explosion that totally collapsed the structure.

The terrorist attack was the deadliest ever carried out in all of Latin America.



Why Should The U.S. Bother To Stop The Mullahs? – Amir Taheri

If the U.S. believes Iran’s claims that they need enriched uranium to produce electricity and that a fatwa by Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei (that no one has seen) forbids Muslims from building a nuclear bomb, why should the U.S. bother to stop the Mullahs?  Because the Khomeinist regime has been committing crimes inside and outside Iran for four decades. 

The Khomeinist regime’s “exporting revolution” has contributed to triggering and prolonging the war in Yemen.  Without its involvement, the Syrian civil war may not have led to what is the greatest tragedy the world has seen in this century.  By creating Hezbollah, the mullahs have led Lebanon to the brink of ungovernability and systemic collapse.

By supporting the most radical rejectionist groups, the mullahs have also helped block the road to an Israeli-Palestinian coexistence accord.

Inside Iran, the Khomeinist regime has committed crimes against almost every section of society by massacring peaceful protesters, persecuting religious minorities and political dissidents, and damaging the nation’s key institutions with corruption, mismanagement and sheer incompetence.

To forget all that, not to mention the seizing of scores of hostages and the killing of hundreds of U.S., British and French soldiers with roadside bombs and terror attacks in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan, and over 100 terror operations in 22 countries, would be the height of naivete and a sure sign of moral decadence.

The writer was executive editor-in-chief of the daily “Kayhan” in Iran from 1972 to 1979



Jewish Graves Vandalized In Belfast, Northern Ireland

Ten Jewish graves at a cemetery in Belfast, Northern Ireland were damaged in what is being considered a hate crime by police, multiple news outlets reported.  Police are analyzing all film footage of cemetery cameras from 24-hours before Friday (16th).

According to a local councilor Steven Corr, of the Sinn Fein Party, the incident is the latest in a series of vandalism acts at the cemetery.

“These unbelievable attacks on the headstones of the dead, need to stop,” he said, according to local news outlet Belfast Live, adding that he felt this was a “deliberate targeting.” 

“Parents need to impress upon their kids that the cemetery isn’t a playground or a place to gather.  Parks, playgrounds and beaches are reopening and this damage and desecration of graves causes untold hurt and distress to all the families who have loved ones buried in the City Cemetery,” he added.

The incident was condemned by other political representatives.  One Northern Ireland parliamentarian, William Humphery, said he was “disgusted and appalled  to hear that 10 Jewish headstones had been damaged” and remarked that “this is a very sad day for Belfast,” local media reported.

“Those behind this appalling anti-semitic attack are evil,” he continued. 
“A graveyard is a sacred place and should be respected as such.  Those responsible are guilty of a most heinous hate crime, he added.”