Iranian Drone Entered Israeli Airspace

As the war in Syria winds down, Iran is shifting  its emphasis toward Israel.  Iran, through its proxy Hezbollah, can now use resources (Iran deal billions) and forces that were being used in Syria against Israel.

The peaceful and quiet skies that so often accompany Shabbat in the Holy Land were shattered by the infiltration of enemy aircraft into Israeli territory.

The aircraft, an Iranian drone that was launched from a Syrian base located near the ancient city of Palmyra in the Homs desert,  approached Israel in the wee hours of the morning. It successfully entered Israeli airspace and flew for over a minute before it was intercepted near the Sea of Galilee by the Israeli Air Force (IAF).  BreakingIsraelNews

After the Iranian drone was shot down near the Sea of Galilee.  This triggered an immediate Israeli military response. Israeli planes were sent to destroy the command center piloting the drone.  An  Israeli fighter was jet shot down with Syrian missile (crashed after its two-member crew ejected – one taken to the hospital).  Israel launched a devastating aerial assault in Syria.

The Israel Air Force hadn’t lost a fighter jet to enemy fire in 34 years, until Saturday, when Iranian and Syrian forces downed an Israeli F-16 over the Galilee.

The plane in question was part of a strike force on a retaliatory mission into Syria after an Iranian drone entered Israeli airspace during the early morning hours.

The drone was promptly shot down, and then a squadron of Israeli fighters entered Syria to destroy the command center from which the infiltrator had been remotely piloted.

The Israeli planes faced overwhelming anti-aircraft fire. The downed F-16 was hit either directly by an Iranian-supplied Syrian missile, or by shrapnel resulting from an explosive anti-aircraft shell.

Either way, the injured pilots managed to return to Israeli airspace before crashing near a kibbutz in the Jezreel Valley.

That sparked a full day of devastating Israeli aerial assaults on Iranian and Syrian military installations.

According to IDF officials, four Iranian and eight Syrian bases were hit, including Syria’s main command and control bunker.  Many of those installations were covert in nature. IsraelToday

Saturday’s violence was the worst military confrontation on Israel’s northern border since the 2006 Lebanon war, and risked putting the Jewish state and Iran on a collision course, former military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said on a conference call Saturday night. The Israeli military said it struck 12 targets in Syria, including four belonging to Iran, in a “large-scale attack.”

“As long as Iran continues building its military presence in Syria, they’re definitely bringing the region closer to an escalation,” Conricus said. “We don’t think a war is in our interest, not the IDF’s and not the State of Israel’s interest, and that’s why we’re not looking to escalate the situation.” StarsAndStrips

PM Netanyahu:

“Yesterday we dealt a serious blow to the armies of Iran and Syria,” Netanyahu told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “We made it unequivocally clear to everyone that our rules of engagement have not changed in any way.”

“We will continue to strike back at any attempt to harm us,” Netanyahu said,  according to a statement. “This has been our policy and will remain our policy.” Times OfIsrael

Secret Alliance: Israel Carrying Out Airstrikes In Egypt, With Cairo’s O.K.

This unusual alliance is targeting ISIS in the Sinai.  It is remarkable that this has remained secret for two years, although there have been rumors.

For more than two years, unmarked Israeli drones, helicopters and jets have carried out a covert air campaign, conducting more than 100 airstrikes inside Egypt, frequently more than once a week — and all with the approval of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The remarkable cooperation marks a new stage in the evolution of their singularly fraught relationship. Once enemies in three wars, then antagonists in an uneasy peace, Egypt and Israel are now secret allies in a covert war against a common foe.

Egyptian military were failing to stop ISIS in the Sinai.

For Cairo, the Israeli intervention has helped the Egyptian military regain its footing in its nearly five-year battle against the militants. For Israel, the strikes have bolstered the security of its borders and the stability of its neighbor.

Their collaboration in the North Sinai is the most dramatic evidence yet of a quiet reconfiguration of the politics of the region. Shared enemies like ISIS, Iran and political Islam have quietly brought the leaders of several Arab states into growing alignment with Israel — even as their officials and news media continue to vilify the Jewish state in public.

American officials say Israel’s air campaign has played a decisive role in enabling the Egyptian armed forces to gain an upper hand against the militants. But the Israeli role is having some unexpected consequences for the region, including on Middle East peace negotiations, in part by convincing senior Israeli officials that Egypt is now dependent on them even to control its own territory.

Iran throwing its weight around the Middle East has Sunni Arab countries seeing Israel in a different light and useful.

Spokesmen for the Israeli and Egyptian militaries declined to comment, and so did a spokesman for the Egyptian foreign ministry.

Both neighbors have sought to conceal Israel’s role in the airstrikes for fear of a backlash inside Egypt, where government officials and the state-controlled media continue to discuss Israel as a nemesis and pledge fidelity to the Palestinian cause…

Some American supporters of Israel complain that, given Egypt’s reliance on the Israeli military, Egyptian officials, diplomats and state-controlled news media should stop publicly denouncing the Jewish state, especially in international forums like the United Nations.

“You speak with Sisi and he talks about security cooperation with Israel, and you speak with Israelis and they talk about security cooperation with Egypt, but then this duplicitous game continues,” said Representative Eliot L. Engel of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Relations Committee. “It is confusing to me.  NYTimes

Don’t Ignore Jarad Kushner’s Quiet Mideast Gains

A unique historic opportunity?

    • In recent years, the scope of common interests between Israel and the Sunni Arab world has widened. Given the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS), chaos stemming from stateless Libya, and civil wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, the Arab states – which are a pragmatic lot – can no longer claim that the Palestinian issue is the region’s top priority…
    • Current geopolitical conditions have created a critical mass of new and overlapping interests between Israel and the Arab countries, and there is now a historic opportunity to promote a process of normalization. ForeignAffairs

Jarad Kushner recognizes that Iran now matters more to the Arabs than Palestine.

Still, his frequent visits and stray public remarks reveal a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of the region. Behind the scenes, he is making surprising progress…

Second, Kushner realizes that younger Arab generation has a fundamentally different perspective from that of its elders. More than 60 percent of Arabs are too young to remember the 1967 and 1973 wars with Israel, and many more regard them as ancient history. Consider an American equivalent; how many millennials are outraged at the fate of South Vietnam? As a result, younger Arabs largely accept Israel’s existence as a settled fact, and generally see trading with its prosperous economy as essential to their own economic growth. I know. I have heard them tell me these things in the privacy of their living rooms. Their septuagenarian leaders do not share their views, and punish younger leaders who try to independently engage with Israelis—which only deepens the divide.

The generation gap is based on practical economic concerns. Young Arabs want well-paying jobs that allow them to marry and start families. They want good schools for the children. Many see no issue with taking an ambulance across the border to an Israeli hospital, unlike their retirement-age relatives who say that they would rather die…

Key relationships

Second, he is liked and trusted by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and its influential ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer. Obama administration officials often publicly faulted Israel’s elected leaders, and the relationship was, at best, lukewarm.

Third, Kushner has befriended Saudi Arabia’s thirty-one-year-old deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Both are seen as tech-savvy, young disrupters of the status quo, and both favor practical solutions over symbolic displays. Saudi pressure on Qatar to end its funding of Hamas, the Palestinian terror group, would not have happened with earlier generations of Saudi leadership.

Other Gulf Arab leaders that I have met with tell me that they have heard positive things about Kushner, and are eager to work with him….

In short, Kushner’s correct reading of this unique moment in Arab politics as well as the strong relationships with key players that he has fostered position him, and the United States, to make historic progress in the Middle East.  NationalInterest

University of Haifa Researchers Decipher One Of The Last Two Remaining Dead Sea Scrolls

One of the last two Dead Sea Scrolls to be deciphered has been assembled from 60 tiny fragments and read by researchers at the University of Haifa in Israel.

A previous investigation into the 60 fragments that make up the new scroll had concluded that the pieces came from different texts. But when Eshbal Ratson and Jonathan Ben-Dov of the University of Haifa’s Department of Bible Studies took a second look, they found that the fragments actually came from a single text.  SmithsonianMag

Dr. Eshbal Ratson and Prof. Jonathan Ben-Dov of the Department of Bible Studies at the University of Haifa have managed to decipher and restore one of the last two Qumran Scrolls that remain unpublished, out of some 900 scrolls uncovered at the site. The researchers spent over a year painstakingly reassembling more than 60 tiny sections written in a secret code. University of Haifa

The scroll fragments assembled and decoded by researchers at Haifa University.

Qumran

The Dead Sea Scrolls have been called the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century.  The 900 scrolls were discovered in desert caves at Qumran in the 1940s and 1950s.  The scrolls and fragments includes every book of the Old Testament except for the Book of Esther, as well as other religious writings, dating back dating back to the Second Temple period.

The members of the Qumran sect, who referred to themselves as the Yahad (“Together”) community, were a fanatical group that lived a hermitic life in the desert and faced persecution by the dominant establishment of the time. They wrote numerous scrolls, including a small number written in code.  University of Haifa

Cave at Qumran, where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.

364 Day Calendar

An important peculiarity for the present discovery is the fact that the sect followed a 364-day calendar. According to the researchers, this calendar was involved in one of the fiercest debates between different groups during the late Second Temple period. “The lunar calendar, which Judaism follows to this day, requires a large number of human decisions. People must look at the stars and moon and report on their observations, and someone must be empowered to decide on the new month and the application of leap years.

By contrast, the 364-day calendar was perfect. Because this number can be divided into four and seven, special occasions always fall on the same day. This avoids the need to decide, for example, what happens when a particular occasion falls on the Sabbath, as often happens in the lunar calendar. The Qumran calendar is unchanging, and it appears to have embodied the beliefs of the members of this community regarding perfection and holiness,” the researchers explain.  University of Haifa

Two special occasions not mentioned in the Bible, but are mentioned in other Dead Sea Scrolls:  Festivals of New Wine and New Oil

As noted, the present scroll details the most important dates in the sect’s calendar. The scroll describes two special occasions not mentioned in the Bible, but which are already known from the Temple Scroll of Qumran: the festivals of New Wine and New Oil. These dates constituted an extension of the festival of Shavuot [ Feast of Weeks] as we know it today, which celebrates the New Wheat. According to this calendar, the festival of New Wheat falls 50 days after the first Sabbath following Passover; the festival of New Wine comes 50 days later; and after a further interval of 50 days, the festival of New Oil is celebrated.

Nevertheless, the scroll also provides some surprises. The researchers were aware from the previous scrolls that the members of the sect celebrated the transition between the seasons, adding a special day for each of the four changes of season. Until now, however, the name of these special days has remained unknown. The present scroll reveals that these days were referred to by the word Tekufah. In today’s Hebrew, “Tekufah” translates into the word “period”. “This term is familiar from the later Rabbinical literature and from mosaics dating to the Talmudic period, and we could have assumed that it would also be used with this meaning in the scrolls, but this is the first time it has been revealed,” Dr. Ratson and Prof. Ben-Dov explain.  University of Haifa

Written In Code

The present scroll also provides additional information about the customs of the authors of the scrolls. It emerges that the person who wrote the scroll – probably one of the leaders of the sect familiar with the secret code – forgot to mention several special days marked by the community. Accordingly, another scribe was forced to correct the errors, adding the missing dates in the margins between the columns of text. “The scroll is written in code, but its actual content is simple and well-known, and there was no reason to conceal it. This practice is also found in many places outside the Land of Israel, where leaders write in secret code even when discussing universally-known matters, as a reflection of their status. The custom was intended to show that the author was familiar with the code, while others were not. However, this present scroll shows that the author made a number of mistakes,” the researchers not. University of Haifa

Video: Am I The Enemy?

Arab finds out he is a Jew.

Video:  Am I The Enemy?


“Growing up in a Muslim, Palestinian-refugee home in Kuwait, how could he have ever known that one single conversation would turn his world upside down? Experience Mark Halawa’s incredible story in this Israel Collective film.”

U.S. House Passes Taylor Force Bill

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Taylor Force Act, which would cut U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if the PA does not halt payments to convicted terrorists and their families.

The bill is named after Taylor Force, an American and Vanderbilt graduate student and Army veteran killed March 9, 2016, in a terror attack in Jaffa.

Taylor Force Act Summary At Congress.gov:

This bill prohibits certain assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza unless the Department of State certifies that the Palestinian Authority:

  • is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the March 2016 attack that killed former Army officer Taylor Force;
  • is publicly condemning such acts of violence and is investigating, or cooperating in investigations of, such acts; and
  • has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been convicted and imprisoned for such acts, to any individual who died committing such acts, and to family members of such an individual.Con

Last month, the measure unanimously advanced out of committee, including three exceptions: allowing for US funding to Palestinian water and childhood vaccination programs, as well as East Jerusalem hospitals.

The bill must now pass the full Senate, which is expected to vote on it this month, when the upper chamber votes on a foreign operations bill it was packaged into last September. It is expected to pass. TimesOfTsrael

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) statement after House passage of H.R. 1164, the Taylor Force Act:

“This bill is pretty simple: If you finance or reward terrorism, you don’t deserve a penny from the United States. The Palestinian Authority should be forced to choose between its despicable practice of paying terrorists’ salaries and receiving foreign aid funded by the American taxpayer. And until that time comes, no government that supports the murder of innocent civilians can claim to be a serious partner for peace. I appreciate Chairman Royce, Congressman Lamborn, and all members on both sides of the aisle for their bipartisan efforts on this issue. In Taylor’s memory, I look forward to the Senate passing this legislation so we can send it to the president’s desk.”

Israel’s Jewish Fertility Rate Tops Arabs For The First Time

Defying ‘demographic doom’

New statistics show that the Israeli-Jewish fertility rate this year has surpassed that of the Israeli-Arab population for the first time, defying analysts who have made long-term projections of a Jewish minority in Israel.

At the same time, it remains to be seen whether the numbers will affect the political landscape of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The upward-trending Jewish rate of 3.16 births per woman, and the corresponding downward-trending figure of 3.11 for Israeli Arabs, can lead to more confident policy decisions by the Israeli government, said demographic expert Yoram Ettinger, who published a recent report on the issue.

“In contrast to the stated position of the establishment’s prophets of demographic doom, there is no Arab demographic time bomb, but there is an unprecedented Jewish demographic tailwind,” Ettinger, the former minister for congressional affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., told JNS.org.

As of September, there were 6.523 million Jews and 1.824 million Arabs living in Israel, according to the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics. JNS

OCED Member Countries Current Members:

Current members are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

How Israeli fertility compares with OECD and Arab countries

…Meanwhile, according to statistics presented at the annual conference of the Israeli Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine, Israel has the highest fertility rate (3.1) among countries in the 35-member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Ettinger is optimistic regarding the prospects for continued Jewish immigration to Israel, particularly from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, France, the U.K., Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Argentina.

His report noted that in 2017, Israel’s fertility rate has been higher than those of most Arab countries—including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Syria—and that the rate in Palestinian-controlled territories went from 5 births per woman in 2000 to around 3 in 2016.

Ettinger pointed out that Arab demography is hurt by Palestinian emigration from Israel and the disputed territories, particularly in light of intra-Palestinian fighting between Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization.  JNS

Video: An Arab Muslim In The Israeli Army

Video:  An Arab Muslim in the Israeli Army

Why would an Arab Muslim serve in the Israeli military? Because he, like many Israeli Arabs, proudly defend the nation that has given them freedom and opportunity. Mohammad Kabiya, Israeli Air Force reservist, shares his remarkable story.

Israeli Researchers Debunk Transgender Craze Sweeping America – Men Are Men And Women Are Women

Common sense.  Not feelings but biology.

A new study by Israeli researchers found that a man cannot become a woman by simply “identifying” as one and vice versa.

Geneticists from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science discovered certain genes that are only expressed in women, while others are only expressed in men.

Professor Shmuel Pietrokovski and Dr. Moran Gershoni studied 20,000 genes, sorting them by sex, and searching for differences in expression in each tissue.

They eventually found around “6,500 genes with activity that was biased toward one sex or the other in at least one tissue, adding to the already major biological differences between men and women.”

Some of the biggest differences were in genes responsible for body hair, fat storage, muscle building, and milk production for breastfeeding.

The researchers also found that biological sex also plays a role in preventing specific illnesses.  For example, some genes expressed only in the left ventricle of the heart in women work to protect their hearts from disease until the women reach menopause.  Another gene, in the liver, processes drugs differently according to the gender.

Essentially, their research means more than 21 percent of the entire human genome, which is composed of about 30,000 genes, are based on sex — something a sex change operation and hormones cannot replace.  CBN

Not Feelings -Biology

In layman’s terms, a man is a man and a woman is a woman, not because they feel like one or the other, but because the science of biology tells us so.

It is always stunning how proponents of the ultra-liberal agenda will attack people of faith for believing in God absent scientific proof, but are more than willing to throw the science of biology right out the window when it comes to the question of gender. IsraelToday

Is Iran Trying to Bring About An Islamic End-of-Days in Syria?

“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:1

Iran has 13 bases in Syria some manned by Hezbollah others by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces.  Some of the military installations are within 30 miles of the Golan Heights.

Iran’s motivation is a desire to fulfill Shia prophecy that will prompt the coming of the Mahdi.
Iran is establishing bases in Syria, but according to some sources, their preparations to engage Israel are motivated far more by Messianic aspirations than military or political ones.

Iran has frequently stated its desire to destroy Israel, claiming the Jewish state as the focus of its nuclear and long-range missile program. Iran has also funneled millions of dollars into proxy enemies of Israel, like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to Debka, a Middle East military analysis site, Iran is now stepping up its pace, having established 13 military installations in Syria. Some experts see behind this a sinister desire for the end of the world – Islam style.

Indeed, the escalation of Iranian military efforts in Syria are religiously motivated, Ryan Mauro, a political analyst for the Clarion Project, explained in a recent interview.

“This isn’t normal competition between hostile powers, this isn’t even the normal Iranian sponsorship of terrorism or attempts to expand their military presence,” Mauro said. “To the Iranian regime this is the fulfillment of prophecy.”

Mauro pointed out that new Iranian troops are called Ansar al-Mahdi (“Supporters of the Messiah”). It has also created a 313th brigade, into which it is is recruiting young Syrian Shiites. According to tradition in Shiite Islam, 313 is the number of fighters that will arrive with the Mahdi, the Islamic Messiah.

Islam’s tradition holds that Mahdi is the redeemer of Islam. The arrival of Mahdi will coincide with the arrival of the Christian messiah, who will be the Mahdi’s assistant in fighting the Masih ad-Dajjal, the false messiah, or anti-Christ.  BreakingIsraelNews

US Astronaut Tweets Stunning Images of Israel From Space

US astronaut Randolph Bresnik tweeted a series of photos of Israel from the International Space Station last week, capturing the coast by day and Jerusalem by night in his photography.

Using the hashtag #OneWorldManyViews, on October 29 Bresnik tweeted photos of the lights of nighttime Jerusalem, which he called a “golden city” important “to so many.”…

On November 11, Bresnik again tweeted a photo of the Holy Land, this time a larger-scale image of the entirety of Israel, seen “upside down”, with southern Israel and the Sinai at the upper left of the photo and its northern tip at the bottom right. Its two largest bodies of water, the Dead Sea and the larger Sea of Galilee, are clearly visible. BreakingNewsIsrael