Daily Archives: December 2, 2011

Germany doubles payment to its Jews

Germany doubles payment to its Jews « The Ugly Truth

Increase recognizes Jewish community’s work to integrate new immigrants, educate religious leaders and work with young people

ynet

A Jewish group in Germany says it has reached an agreement with the government that will see Berlin double its funding to the nation’s Jewish community to €10 million (about $13 million) starting in 2012.

Glorious synagogue inaugurated in city of Speyer on ruins of old synagogue destroyed by Nazis on Kristallnacht. German president, ministers, hundreds of country’s Jews attend ceremony    Central Council of Jews President Dieter Graumann said Wednesday the increase recognizes the community’s work to integrate new immigrants, educate religious leaders and work with the young people.

In 2003, Germany granted the Jewish community the same legal status as the nation’s Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches.

The nation’s Jewish population has grown to five times the size it was before German reunification in 1990, with some 250,000 now living here, according to the council.

Before the Holocaust, about 500,000 Jews lived in Germany.

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The war against Iran’s nuclear program has already begun

The war against Iran’s nuclear program has already begun « The Ugly Truth

Explosions, deadly computer viruses and other sorts of ‘accidents’ – someone is targeting Iran’s nuclear project: either the Western intelligence agencies, internal opposition groups, or both.

Haaretz

The war is under way, though no one declared it and no one will confirm it. This is the secret war against Iran’s nuclear project. It did not start this week or last month. It has been under way for years, but only faint echoes have reached the public.

In June 2010, the press reported that the computer system operating the uranium enrichment centrifuges at Natanz had been infected with a virus. A deadly worm, known as Stuxnet, had infiltrated the controllers, manufactured by Siemens.

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Two weeks ago, a huge blast ripped through a Revolutionary Guards military base 40 kilometers west of Tehran. The explosion could be heard as far away as the capital. Dozens of people were killed, including the head of Iran’s missile development project, General Hassan Tehrani Moqaddam. This week, there was a powerful explosion in Isfahan, Iran’s third-largest city, which has a uranium conversion plant on its outskirts. It is not yet clear what was damaged in the blast.

These incidents involved three key elements of Iran’s nuclear program. The first is uranium conversion (which comes after the mineral has been mined ), the second is enrichment, and the third is the delivery means.

Coupled with other incidents, including the assassination of several Iranian nuclear scientists, these events have worried the ayatollahs’ regime, causing reactions ranging from embarrassment to anger. The public response usually follows a pattern: first a sweeping denial, then a limp and stuttering admission that “something happened,” and finally the claim that it was an “accident.” This shows that the regime does not know exactly what to say, and that its voice is not uniform. It also reflects the fierce dispute within the regime’s top ranks. The leadership is divided, and the reactions come from a range of ministries, rival organizations and competing media outlets.

The kind of sabotage used in Iran requires sophistication, financial and technological resources, agents and precise intelligence. Someone, for example, had to know that General Moqaddam would be at the base that day to supervise a test, apparently of a new missile engine.

Infecting the computers required access to them: A person with a flash drive had to have plugged it into the system. The prevailing assumption is that foreign intelligence agencies are initiating, managing and executing the secret operations.

The Iranians, and international media outlets, believe these operations are the work of Israel’s Mossad and possibly also a Western partner such as the CIA or Britain’s MI6.

The Mossad’s campaign to assassinate the Black September members behind the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre was code-named “Wrath of God.” This week, when asked whether God had carried out the recent operations in Iran, former Mossad head Meir Dagan smilingly said yes. Dagan is known to be an ardent supporter of secret operations, as he told Yedioth Ahronoth explicitly this week. He believes it will be at least two years until Iran can assemble a functioning nuclear weapon. This assessment may be based on past secret operations and on Dagan’s faith that future actions can indeed disrupt Iran’s progress.

A senior American official went even farther. President Barack Obama’s special assistant and coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction, proliferation and terrorism, Gary Samore, said in May 2011, “I’m glad to hear they are having troubles with their centrifuge machines, and the U.S. and its allies are doing everything we can to make it more complicated.” Do we need any clearer statement that humans are behind the “hand of God”?

Even if the Mossad or the CIA are not involved in these incidents, the speculation that they are serves Western intelligence bodies by enhancing their image as “omnipotent,” and heightening the Iranian leadership’s fear. This is known as psychological warfare.

Still, with all due respect for Western intelligence’s great efforts – including what is probably unprecedented operational coordination – it is unlikely these operations could have succeeded without inside support, meaning from individuals or groups ready to help sabotage the ayatollahs’ regime. It should be remembered that Iran is a mosaic of ethnic minorities, and almost all have reasons for disliking the regime; some have their own underground armed militias.

The theory about inside-help gains traction given that, in addition to the military targets, other sites – including oil facilities, gas pipelines, trains and military bases – were also damaged over the past year. Last year there was a considerable increase, of at least 10 percent, in “breakdowns” and “accidents” at Iran’s strategic infrastructure sites. Some were caused by poor maintenance, due in part to the international sanctions, but the volume of these incidents may also indicate the “hand of God” was involved. If this is the case, then it’s possible that internal Iranian opposition groups (as opposed to exiles ) are stronger and even better organized than generally thought.

It is almost certain that Tehran’s patience is about to run out. This was evidenced by the student mob’s “conquest” of the British embassy this week. This was not spontaneous rage: It was a warning from a regime that realizes someone has declared war on it without leaving marks or fingerprints.

Sooner or later, the ayatollahs’ regime will decide to react and will order its secret intelligence and operational units to retaliate. If and when this happens, Iran will take steps to conceal its involvement in such activities. However, past experience proves that despite the caution and sophistication of the Iranian secret services, they have often failed in obscuring their fingerprints.

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Report: Russia delivers supersonic cruise missiles to Syria

Military source confirms delivery of missiles, according to an AFP report; second official says missiles will protect Syria from ‘possible attack from the sea.’

Haaretz

Russia has delivered supersonic cruise missiles to Syria, AFP reported on Thursday.

A military source told the Interfax news agency, “The Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles have been delivered to Syria,” although it was not made clear exactly when the shipment was made.

A second Russian official speaking to Interfax said the missiles “will be able to protect Syria’s entire coast against a possible attack from the sea.”

Russia signed a contract reportedly worth at least $300 million in 2007 to supply Syria with cruise missiles, and Russia intended to deliver a total of 72 of the missiles to Syria, AFP reported.

It was not clear how many of the missiles have so far been delivered by Russia to Syria.

The delivery was made amid the continuing violent crackdown of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime against the opposition, which according to a UN statement made on Thursday, has claimed 4,000 lives since March this year.

While international pressure against the Assad regime has increased over the past month, Moscow has stood by its ally, criticizing further sanctions slapped on Syria by Western and Arab League states.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov rejected calls at the United Nations for an arms embargo against Syria on Tuesday, saying that a similar move against Libya had proved one-sided, helping rebels to topple Gadhafi in August.

“We know how that worked in Libya when the arms embargo only applied to the Libyan army. The opposition received weapons, and countries like France and Qatar publicly spoke about it without shame,” he told a news conference.

Russia has close political and strategic relations with Assad’s government and has been one if its main arms suppliers. Syria accounted for 7 percent of Russia’s total of $10 billion in arms deliveries abroad in 2010, according to the Russian defense think-tank CAST.

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‘Iran, Russia, China mulling joint missile shield’

‘Iran, Russia, China mulling joint missile shield’ – Tehran Times

TEHRAN – Unofficial sources have announced that Iran, Russia, and China are currently holding talks on a proposal to establish a joint missile defense shield as a counterweight to a NATO defense shield, according to a recent report.
The report, which was published in the Iranian daily newspaper Kayhan on Sunday, said that the sources cited two reasons why serious consultations have been held on the initiative.
First, all three states have come to the conclusion that U.S. officials’ assertion that their concern over the alleged missile and nuclear capabilities of Iran and North Korea is the reason for the decision to establish a NATO missile defense shield is just a pretext and the true objective of the shield is to threaten Russia and China.
In addition, now that the proposal to establish an early warning radar system in southeast Turkey, which is one component of the NATO missile defense shield, appears to be a done deal, the U.S. is now planning to establish other components of the new system in South Korea and Taiwan, which clearly shows that Washington is using the alleged threat from Iran and North Korea as a pretext to target China and Russia.
An informed expert believes China, which has not taken any action on the issue so far, is beginning to comprehend the level of danger posed by the new system.
Russia’s analysis of the situation is similar to Iran’s view, which was expressed during Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev’s recent visit to Tehran.
Therefore, it seems the three countries have realized that the time has come to seriously start discussions on the plan.
Some sources say Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian envoy to NATO, who is scheduled to travel to Iran before the end of September, will probably hold operational discussions on the plan with Iranian officials.
According to RIA Novosti, Rogozin is going to discuss “strategic issues” in Tehran.
Military experts are of the opinion that since Iran, Russia, and China have made great progress in designing anti-aircraft defense systems, the construction of such a missile shield system will not be a difficult task for them.

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Israeli ads implore Jews to not marry Americans

Israeli ads implore Jews to not marry Americans — RT

Thinking about tying the knot with your Jewish-American boyfriend or girlfriend? Don’t let Netanyahu in on it.

 

The Israel government is sponsoring ads in the US warning young Jews here against marrying Americans and begging them to bid the States adieu.

The Israel government has given the go-ahead to an ad campaign in the United States that, through a series of billboards and online video clips, is urging Jews to come back to Israel and cut ties with Americans, lest they want to be stripped of their identity and insult their religion. Steven I. Weiss of the Jewish Channel recently broke the story and believes that Israel government-comped campaign cost the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption office a price of around $1 million.

In one video clip, Dafna, an Israeli girl, is observing Israel’s memorial day while her clueless boyfriend, Josh, becomes perplexed and confused. “They will always remain Israelis,” voices a narrator in Hebrew. “Their partners won’t always understand what this means.”

In another, an American Jewish couple lets their daughter participate in a webcam chat with her grandparents overseas, who conduct the conference from their end before an illuminate menorah. When the elder couple quizzes the tyke on the candelabra, the child says it is a Christmas decoration, which prompts grandma and grandpa to look at each other in disgust and shame, but not before the girl’s parents are shown horrified by their own offspring’s naivety of faith.

That’s right: living in America will kill your heritage.

“I don’t think I have ever seen a demonstration of Israeli contempt for American Jews as obvious as these ads,” Jeffrey Goldberg writes in recent piece published in The Atlantic. “The idea, communicated in these ads, that America is no place for a proper Jew, and that a Jew who is concerned about the Jewish future should live in Israel, is archaic, and also chutzpadik.”

“The message is: Dear American Jews, thank you for lobbying for American defense aid (and what a great show you put on at the AIPAC convention every year!) but, please, stay away from our sons and daughters,” adds Goldberg.

Goldberg isn’t the only one that sees the problem with the project.

“The worst part about this campaign is that it points to something deeply defective in the Israeli psyche: the notion that fear is the only motivating factor that anyone can come up with for selling the country,” Gal Beckerman writes in The Jewish Daily Forward. “In this case it’s fear of assimilation, of oblivion, of erasure. It betrays a terrible insecurity.”

“I understand the Zionist demographic necessity of actually living in Israel, but if there were ever a chance that someone like me and my family would move there, this is not the approach to take,” she adds.

For Netanyahu and company, however, it looks as though they have their fingers crossed. Billboards with similar messages have reportedly already sprung up in Palo Alto, California, New York City, Boston, Massachusetts and Hollywood, Florida, just in time for a mass Hanukkah exodus!

Israeli ads implore Jews to not marry Americans — RT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP Photo / BAZ RATNER)

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