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.
Jeremy Corbyn leads a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London in 2014, one year before becoming Labour Party leader. Photo: File.
This marked a massive rise from the previous such survey, in which only 39% of Jews believed Corbyn was antisemitic.
British Jews also expressed an extremely low opinion of the Labour Party in general. The poll showed that 85.6% believed Labour suffered from “very high” levels of antisemitism.
Corbyn and his party have been beset with a series of high-profile antisemitism scandals for several years, which has resulted in the resignation and suspension of several prominent officials. Corbyn himself was recently caught on video saying that “Zionists” did not understand “English irony” despite “having lived in this country for a very long time.”
Makuya in Jerusalem 201 (YouTube)
Like an apple tree among trees of the forest, So is my beloved among the youths. I delight to sit in his shade, And his fruit is sweet to my mouth. (Song of Songs 2:3)
For ten days in late August, Israeli Rabbi Benny Lau and his wife, Rabbanit Noah Lau, traveled from Jerusalem to Japan to lead Bible study for groups of Makuya Japanese Christians. The Laus traveled to five Japanese towns and spent three days together at a weekend conference with 3,400 members of the Makuya group.
Makuya is Japanese for the Hebrew word Mishkan, the tent of meeting, where human beings come into contact with God. The Mishkan was the portable sanctuary that the Israelites used in the desert, before entering Israel and building the First Holy Temple.
The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. (Psalm 11:5)
Brazilian presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. (Credit: Agencia O Globo)
Jair Bolsonaro, the front-runner in the upcoming presidential election in Brazil, was stabbed during a campaign rally Thursday and was undergoing surgery.
The far-right politician, whose heated rhetoric has electrified some voters and angered others – -who accuse him of racism and homophobia – in a deeply polarized electorate, was attacked amid a crowd in the south-east state of Minas Gerais. Bolsonaro has performed strongly in recent opinion polls.
Those same polls suggested that he will likely receive the most votes in next month’s presidential elections, especially if the country’s former president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (‘Lula’) remains blocked from standing. He is currently in prison, but is appealing against his candidacy ban – imposed after his conviction for corruption.
Republican lawmakers have made it clear they have no intention of repealing Obamacare in the current Congress.
Republicans in the nation’s top lawmaking body have never really wanted to get rid of Obamacare. They would prefer to present the program, which David Horowitz correctly describes as “the greatest assault on individual freedom and individual choice in our lifetimes,” as a villain and whip up sentiment against it and run against it every election. They view Obamacare as good for the business of politics. They may chip away at it from time to time or tinker with it at the margins, but make no mistake: these creatures of Washington want to keep it in place. This is the Republicans’ dirty secret.
The Trump administration has decided to reopen a case brought by a Zionist group against Rutgers University, previously closed by the Obama administration in 2014, alleging that the university had allowed Jewish students to be subjected to a hostile environment in violation of Title VI of the U.S. Civil Rights Act. The issue, ignored by the Obama administration, was whether the students were discriminated against based on their actual or perceived Jewish ancestry or ethnicity. Kenneth L. Marcus, the new assistant secretary of education for civil rights, decided that the case deserved another look.
Nestled in the Han River in the middle of South Korea’s bustling capital of Seoul, Yeoui Island is hardly where one would expect to find the largest mega-church in the world. Home to the city’s business and financial district, its skyline dotted with skyscrapers, the island boasts some of the country’s most powerful institutions, such as the Korean stock exchange and the headquarters of LG, the international conglomerate.
The AfD’s opponents, who often brand the party as “far right” or “extremist,” claim that the party’s alleged ties to neo-Nazi groups pose an existential threat to Germany’s constitutional order. The AfD’s supporters counter that Germany’s politically correct establishment, afraid of losing its power and influence, is attempting to outlaw a legitimate party that has pledged to put the interests of German citizens first.
Israel’s Palestinian foes regard “martyrdom” as the supremely highest expression of Islamic sacredness. Nonetheless, there are certain conspicuously prominent disjunctions between the relevant obligations of faith and expectations of international law. Unambiguously, only the latter set of obligations can offer a suitably authoritative source for assessing Palestinian resorts to armed force.
This is the case even when the stated objective of such resorts would be “self-determination” and/or “national liberation.”
“Setting fire to the ground,” a “major catastrophe,” bringing “new instability” are the headlines that have greeted Donald Trump’s unorthodox decisions over the past year. Withdrawing from UNESCO, moving the US Embassy, leaving the Iran deal and cutting funding to UNRWA and funding for Pakistan were seen as extreme decisions in the Middle East and around the world. Insofar as there is a “Trump Doctrine,” it has been to call this bluff.
In the mind-set of Trump and his team, the time has come for the United States to move quickly to reverse decades of foreign policy norms, ending the status quo, and ripping up what the previous administrations did.
The jihadi assault on and massacre of Christians continued unabated throughout the Muslim word. According to one report titled, “Armed gangs WIPE OUT 15 villages in mass Christian slaughter in Nigeria,” several Islamic terrorists “stormed through 15 villages to massacre Christians and destroy their churches in a violent crackdown against the religion…. Dozens of people have been killed after the gangs ransacked towns and villages to clear them of all aspects of the Christian faith.
Wars are raging in various parts of the Middle East, although there is a tendency not to call the conflicts by that name because of the fear conjured up by the word.
One conflagration is the war Iran is waging against those – headed by Israel – who stand in the way of its plans to take over the entire Middle East.
Another is the Assad regime’s war to take back control of the entire country, and a third is the PLO’s battle for survival.
Much has been written about the first of these wars, and reports have claimed that from early 2017 on, Israel has launched over 200 attacks in Syria, mainly at targets connected to Iran.