‘Hezbollah evades Israeli bombs in Syria by flying Russian flag’

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Moscow is allowing fighters from Hezbollah and other pro-Iranian Shiite groups operating in Syria to carry Russian flags in order to protect them from Israeli airstrikes, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper reported Wednesday.

The report follows a Russian snub earlier this week to Israeli military officials, as Moscow appears reluctant to ease its anger over the loss of one of its planes during an IAF bombing raid in Syria in September. The plane was brought down by Syrian missiles targeting the Israelis, but Moscow insists that Jerusalem did not provide sufficient warning of its strike to allow its aircraft to reach safety.

Scripture of the Day

Revelation 11

2. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
3. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
7. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
13. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

Scripture of the Day

Proverbs 17
4. A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
5. Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.

Have you ever wondered why corrupt and lying politicians are continually elected to office? Have you ever thought why are lying ministers or pastors gathering such large crowds?

Verse four sheds a light on a certain part of human nature most refuse to see. The evil do wickedly and have that little desire deep within their soul, a result of Adam’s sin, something that can catch fire and burn away at their soul & conscience. As an unsaved, unregenerate human we may not realize it, but we are attracted to that which we claim to despise, that being a lying tongue. When we jest and laugh at those naughty or obscene behaviors we are expressing, in a sense, our fallen nature.

Verse five is no less revealing, I think it can speak for itself.

Much of Hezbollah’s Arsenal Unable to be Precision-Guided

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Hezbollah’s missile arsenal has been static for ‎years and the organization lacks the industrial ‎ability to convert, upgrade or produce precision ‎weapons, Director of Military Intelligence Maj. Gen. ‎Tamir Heyman said earlier this week.‎

Briefing the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense ‎Committee on the tensions in the northern sector, ‎Heyman said Operation Northern Shield to neutralize ‎Hezbollah tunnels snaking under the Israel-Lebanon ‎border, as well as other measures exercised by the ‎IDF, were part of “an era of disruption and shaping ‎new reality on the ground” the Israeli military is ‎pursuing as part of the “campaign between the wars.” ‎

He was referring to a strategic concept that ‎encompasses a host of covert and low-intensity ‎military and intelligence efforts to prevent enemy ‎states and terrorist organizations from becoming ‎stronger and thwart their offensive activity.‎

‎”The regional upheavals are waning and we are on the ‎brink of significant changes, which harbor ‎opportunities as well as risks in all sectors,” he ‎said.‎

Commenting on the situation in Syria, Heyman said ‎that Israel was determined to curb Iran’s aspiration ‎to entrench itself militarily in Syria, which he ‎said was also a source of friction among decision-‎makers in Tehran.‎

This friction has caused Iran’s efforts in Syria to ‎slow considerably, he noted. ‎

Iran is facing an economic crisis over the U.S.’s ‎decision to reimpose sanctions on it. so far, ‎Israeli intelligence has been able to successfully ‎warn the relevant entities in the international ‎community as to the Islamic republic’s attempts to ‎bypass the American sanctions, he said.‎

Heyman stressed that despite regional tensions, ‎chances of war remain slim, “As it doesn’t seem to ‎be in our enemies’ interest at this time.” ‎

He nevertheless warned that the volatile situation ‎in all sectors consistently creates conditions for a ‎potential rapid escalation.

Meanwhile, an American think tank released an ‎analysis of Hezbollah’s missile arsenal.

‏The Missile Threat website, a product of the Missile ‎Defense ‎Project at the Center for Strategic and ‎‎International Studies in Washington, which looks at ‎a wide ‎range of policy, program, and strategic ‎issues ‎related to missile defense, has found that ‎the Shiite terrorist group is in possession of ‎‎130,000 rockets and missile, concluding that ‎‎”Hezbollah is the world’s most heavily armed non‎state actor, and has been described as a militia ‎trained like an army and equipped like a state.” ‎

The report found that the majority of Hezbollah’s ‎arsenal comprises short- and medium-range surface-to-surface, anti-tank and anti-ship missiles that ‎cannot be upgraded to precision-missiles, mostly ‎over Israel’s persistent efforts to thwart Iran’s ‎attempts to aid Hezbollah in this respect. ‎

The Shiite terrorist group has thousands of Katyusha and Scud missiles, as well as a wide ‎array of Iranian-made projectiles covering ‎various ranges, including Shain, Fajr, Falaq and ‎Zelzal missiles.

While the Scud ‎missile is considered the group’s ‎‎‎”heavyweight threat,” the report noted that they are ‎‎”usually seen as impractical weapons” as they are ‎‎”very bulky to transport and difficult to hide and ‎manipulate, requiring 45 minutes of preparation. ‎They do not provide Hezbollah much advantage.‎”

European Court Of Human Rights Blasphemy Laws: Where A Word Out Of Place Can Cost Your Life

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Authored by Denis MacEoin via The Gatestone Institute,

  • The European Court of Human Rights ruled that criticism of Muhammad constitutes incitement to hatred — meaning that in Europe, criticizing Muhammad is no longer protected free speech.

  • What the court has actually done, however, is rule out the possibility of any debate in which a range of various experts and members of the public could take part. Now, it seems, the only views that will be respected in the public forum are those of devout Muslims.

  • Underage marriages are considered by some countries child abuse or statutory rape, but are acceptable under shari’a law; they also take place in Muslim communities in Western countries such as the UK. This alone is a major reason why platforms must be found to debate the issue instead of sweeping it, as something offensive, under the carpet. Ignoring it is offensive.

  • Moreover, as some Muslims are often offended by even small matters regarding their faith, such as a toy teddy bear named Mohammad or a prisoner on death row declared innocent — so that mobs take to the streets to condemn, or even kill, those individuals — what now will notbe censored in the West?

There are, of course, social settings where it pays to watch your words. Saying you fancy the looks of a mafioso’s new girlfriend could well prove fatal. Spending time with a bunch of Hamas terrorists while expressing your love for Israel might not lead to your premature demise. In London today, young men who make remarks or play music to other youths on the street can wind up stabbed to death. A recent comment on The Independent website claims, “In this country [the UK], some views, regardless of how valid and logical, can result in anything from public rebuke to loss of a job to violence.”

Where The Most Journalists Are Imprisoned Worldwide

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The Committee to Protect Journalists, an advocacy group, has released its annual census showing the number of journalists imprisoned across the world. As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, more than 250 journalists are behind bars for the third consecutive year and the CPJ said that an authoritarian approach to critical news coverage is more than just a temporary spike.

As of December 1st, 2018, Turkey was the worst jailer with 68 journalists identified as being in prison there. China came second with 47 while Egypt was in third place with 25.

You will find more infographics at Statista

Collectively, Turkey, China and Egypt are responsible for more than half of all jailed journalists worldwide for the third year in a succession. CPJ said that those countries (and others such as Saudi Arabia) are experiencing a wave of repression which has resulted in a crackdown on press freedom. The vast majority of imprisoned journalists are facing anti state charges such as belonging to or aiding groups deemed by authorities as being terrorist organizations. Others are in jail on false news charges, particularly in Egypt with 19 in total.

The issue was brought into the spotlight this week with the one-year anniversary of the detention of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar. Among a group of journalists named “Person of the Year” by Time magazine, they are serving seven-year sentences for reporting on a massacre of Rohingya by the country’s military. The issue has resulted in heightened criticism of Myanmar’s de facto civilian leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. On Wednesday, journalists, activists ans rights groups rallied in Yangon and called for the immediate release of the imprisoned journalists.

Still, we couldn’t help but notice the extreme irony of Erdogan’s current onslaught of abuse and accusations against Saudi Arabia’s MbS over the Khashoggi killings when his own nation is head and shoulders above the world in journalist capture.


Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference following their meeting in St. Petersburg on August 9 (photo credit: REUTERS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference following their meeting in St. Petersburg on August 9 (photo credit: REUTERS)

When it comes to the major questions of whether countries care more about guns or butter, the SIPRI survey shows that the world still prefers guns, but it increasingly prefer high-tech guns.
Russia is becoming a major arms producer, the second largest in the world according to a new survey of the global arms industry released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Turkey’s arms industry is also increasing in size, while Israel has three companies in the top 50 of arms-producing companies in the world.

Total arms sales in the world have largely remained the same in the last decade. In 2017 aroun d $398 billion in sales were booked by what SIPRI defines as the top 100 major military service companies. The companies making all the guns, planes and other hardware are largely concentrated in Western Europe and the US. The US accounts for 57% of all sales while Russia comes in a distant second at 9.5%. The only non-European countries that make up major sellers are Israel, Japan, India and South Korea.

Three Israeli companies appear in the top 50 companies globally. SIPRI estimates that Elbit Systems sold $3.39 billion in 2017 while Israel Aerospace Industries sold $3.53 billion. Rafael, ranked 45th in the world on the list, sold $2.58 billion. Per capita Israel has the largest arms industry in the world, however according to SIPRI its industry’s sales did not increase last year, in fact it was one of the few big countries that had a decrease. Russia, in contrast, increased its sales by 8.5 percent. Almaz-Antey, with $9 billion in sales, is the heart of the Russian arms industry. It produces air defense system, including the technology behind the S-400 which Russia has been shopping throughout the Middle East and elsewhere.

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Turkey is also seeking to become a major arms manufacturer,

according to the study. It’s Aselsan company booked $1.4 billion in sales in 2017. Aselsan makes electronics, including radars. Like many companies that are expanding their sales in the defense industry, the big money is now in technology, not just heavy weapons systems such as tanks. Radar and avionics and air defense are among the items that make for huge profits. For instance one Patriot battery might cost $1 billion according to CNBC, while an S-400 could cost $500 million and a THAAD air defense battery would be $3 billion.

Because of these costs, large and sophisticated countries like the US take a major part of the cake when it comes to arms sales. Companies such as Lockheed Martin, which makes the F-35, and Boeing, which makes the F-15, and Raytheon, which makes missiles, account for the largest sellers. Other major companies include BAE Systems in the UK as well as Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics.

When it comes to the major questions of whether countries care more about guns or butter, the SIPRI survey shows that the world still prefers guns, but it increasingly prefer high-tech guns and air defense systems.


Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu and Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman.  (photo credit: Courtesy)

Story here.
Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu and Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Golan said that a future war with Hezbollah, as horrible as it may be, would also give Israel an opportunity to “defeat the Iranian project in Lebanon.”
Israel should solidify its control over the Golan Heights, deal more closely with the Kurds, and be careful in its relationship with the Persian Gulf countries because their set of values are significantly different than Israel’s, Yair Golan, until recently the IDF’s deputy chief of staff, said Tuesday.

Golan, speaking at a Jerusalem conference entitled “New realities in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said that Israel now has a “strategic opportunity” to make the Israeli presence on the Golan Heights permanent, something he said is “crucial to the security of Israel.”

He bewailed the fact that Katzrin, the largest community in the Golan Heights with some 7,000 people, only grows by less than 2% a year. “This is a shame,” he said. “There should be a city of 20,000 to 25,000 people in the Golan in the next 10 years.”