The Israeli Navy will soon receive a significant boost in its operational capabilities after it was announced that Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) entered into an agreement to equip Israel’s newest and most powerful warships – the Sa’ar 6 – with Barak-8 missile defense systems. The Barak-8 is a sophisticated missile defense system that can intercept aircraft and is equally adept at countering incoming missile threats. The platform is currently in service with the Israeli Navy as well as the Indian Navy and air force. This development comes on the heels of an announcement by the Israeli Ministry of Defense that it awarded a contract to Israel’s Elbit Systems for the delivery of electronic warfare suites to the Israeli Navy.
The Sa’ar 6 class of corvettes includes a series of four new warships that will be used alongside other naval assets to patrol Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Sa’ar 6 is a formidable platform brimming with sophisticated weaponry and electronic surveillance equipment. It will be armed with 40 Barak-8 missiles as well as multi-round launchers equipped with C-Dome interceptors produced by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The C-Dome is a point defense missile system capable of intercepting short-range rockets and artillery and was based on the combat proven Iron Dome and Barak 1 designs. The Barak-8 and C-Dome missile defense systems will be able to provide the navy with a formidable multi-tiered defense capability against a variety of threats including aircraft, drones and sea-skimming cruise missiles like the Chinese C-802 and Russian Yakhont, both of which were supplied to Hezbollah via Iran.
The Sa’ar 6 will also be fitted with an Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid gun mount, which offers high rate of fire against air and surface targets. To address long-range surface threats, the Sa’ar 6 will deploy the combat-proven, sea skimming IAI Gabriel IV and Boeing RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles. Rounding out the weapons package will be two torpedo launchers for MK54 Torpedoes, and two 30mm Rafael Typhoon remote, stabilized weapons platforms. The warship will also accommodate helicopters like the AS565 Panther of the Maritime Helicopters Squadron. The Panther, which is also known in Israel as the Atalef, is a versatile platform that can be used for combat assault, anti-submarine warfare as well as search and rescue operations.
Up until 1973, the Israeli Naval Service (INS) was the Cinderella stepchild of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Its achievements in the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948, 1956 and 1967 were overshadowed by those of the air and ground forces. That mindset changed on October 6, 1973 when the Israeli navy was the only branch of the IDF not taken by surprise during the initial phases of the Arab onslaught. At the outset of the war, the Navy’s 12 Cherbourg and two Reshef class Fast Attack Craft (FAC) set sail for Syrian and Egyptian coasts and engaged with the Syrian and Egyptian navies, destroying the bulk of them. Having cleared the seas of enemy vessels, the INS attacked enemy coastal installations at will and harried the enemy until the last day of the war, which ended on October 24.
The INS’s role in defending Israel expanded as maritime threats against the Jewish State grew. The navy was tasked with patrolling Israel’s vast coastline, ensuring that maritime routes in the eastern Mediterranean, the Gulf of Eilat and the Red Sea remained unimpeded. The INS has also been tasked with interdiction operations ensuring that weapons destined for Iran-backed proxies like Hamas and Hezbollah never reach their intended destinations. Successful naval interceptions of ships like the Santorini, Karine A, Abu Hasan, Francop, Mavi Marmara, Victoria and KLOS C, prevented illegal contraband, including deadly weapons from reaching Islamist terrorist entities intent on causing mayhem.
Discoveries of vast gas reserves in Israel’s EEZ as well as the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran have further underscored the importance of the INS in securing Israel’s strategic interests. Israel’s formidable submarine fleethas assumed the role of second-strike nuclear deterrence. Some of Israel’s submarines utilize an advanced propulsion system called Air-Independent Propulsion, which uses fuel cell technology. This technology enables the submarines to remain extremely quiet and submerged without the need for resupply for up to 30 days, making them ideal platforms for covert as well as offensive operations. In addition, Israel’s subs are equipped with long-range Popeye Turbo cruise missiles. This highly accurate missile can be equipped with conventional and nuclear weapons. The stealthy characteristics of Israel’s sub fleet means that the vessels can approach the waters of any hostile nation virtually undetected, launch a missile salvo and quickly redeploy.
Iran, Hezbollah and Turkey, led by their unhinged leaders have tried to heighten tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, where Israel, Greece and Cyprus have been cooperating in natural gas exploration, development and export. Large gas deposits situated in Israel’s EEZ have instantly transformed the Jewish State into a regional energy superpower. Sixty percent of Israel’s electricity needs are currently met by offshore gas deposits situated in the EEZ and lucrative export deals have already been signed with Jordan and Egypt. Israel is also looking to supply European countries currently reliant on Russian gas and seeking diversification of energy suppliers. A strong Israeli naval presence in the EEZ will serve as a deterrent for those foolhardy enough to contemplate embarking on reckless adventures.
We all know that the midterm elections are different this time around. They are usually like “all politics,” namely local. But this time around they’re different. They are all presidential, all about Trump, as most everything is. And for the anti-Trump crowd — I’m talking about the political commentators and “analysts” — any and all things bad are held to be Trump’s fault. This is presumably because they believe that their condemnations of Trump will result in a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.
A new book explores how graffiti artists in Beirut skirt limitations on expression to share political criticism in the streets.
A photograph of the book “Drawing Lines” by Tamara Zantout, taken at the launch of the book at Beit Beirut cultural center, Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 25, 2018.
BEIRUT — Beirut’s alleyways and streets are peppered in bright, detailed and provocative graffiti. Street artists use the medium, which exists in a legal grey area, to express their identity and give voice to political frustrations.
On Tuesday, San Francisco will become the largest city in the nation to allow noncitizens to vote, and the city has spent $310,000 on a “new registration system” specifically aimed at illegals. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the plan is the first in the state and follows Proposition N, a 2016 ballot measure allowing votes by noncitizens over the age of 18, reside in the city, and have children under age 19.
By the count of the Chronicle, only 49 noncitizens have signed up to vote on Tuesday, which works out to $6,326 for every illegal voter, but there’s more to the story. City officials are worried that voting could expose illegals to ICE, who might come looking and possibly deport somebody. So supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a backer of Proposition N, urged the city to spend $500,000 to warn the illegals.
At first Sabbath service after massacre, shooting survivors are blessed; rabbi says to those who condemned Trump’s visit: ‘No one tells me how to welcome a guest in my own home’
On November 3, 2018, a joint communal Shabbat prayer service at Pittsburgh’s Beth Shalom Conservative synagogue following the massacre a week prior which saw 11 Jewish community members killed. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A week after an anti-Semitic shooter massacred 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the community embraced each other in prayer on Saturday.
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.”
We’ve been told for a long time that the ceasefire is on the way. It had many names in the past, such as tahdiah, hudna, and most recently—”an arrangement.” On Friday, once again, reports started emerging that an agreement has been reached. Several hours later, southern Israel was hit with a barrage of rockets. What happened?
And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for No Human Being shall see Me and live.” — Shemot 33:20
Faith is deeper than knowledge. While scientific data is absorbed only in the brain, faith permeates all parts of the human personality. Nothing is untouched, all spiritual limbs quiver, and everything is transformed. It is thus more difficult to acquire faith than knowledge, and faith has a more radical effect on the human being.
A Catholic archbishop recently touched on an unspoken but highly subversive phenomenon: How anti-Christian forces exploit Christian teachings to empower those who seek to dismantle Christian civilization, Muslims being chief among them.
In an interview published last summer by the Italian outlet IlGionarle.it, Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said:
The King of Jordan, not some lowly clerk, announced that Jordan will not extend the currently existing leases renting two parcels of land to Israel. One is the so-called Island of Peace in the northern Naharayim area and the other located in the southern Arava, near Tzofar, an agricultural cooperative village (moshav). Jordan was entirely within its rights to decide not to renew the leases