- Report: IDF strikes Hezbollah targets in Syria; Israeli officials believe Hezbollah now has approx. 150,000 rockets
Israel reportedly conducted airstrikes overnight near Damascus on weapons belonging to Hezbollah, while Israeli officials have increased their estimates on the number of rockets the Lebanese terror group has stockpiled. News reports indicate that the Israeli strikes targeted either Hezbollah weapons silos near the Damascus airport or Iranian weapons shipments en route to Hezbollah. In April, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that Israel would not allow Iran to arm Hezbollah with advanced weaponry. At a ceremony for Israel’s Independence Day, he told the audience that “Iran is continuing to try to arm Hezbollah, including during these current days, and it is aspiring to equip the Lebanese terrorist organization with advanced and precise weapons.” Iran supplies its proxy group Hezbollah with an estimated $200 million per year.
Times of Israel journalist Avi Issacharoff reported on Tuesday that Israeli officials believe that Hezbollah has increased its rocket cache to an estimated 150,000. Issacharoff wrote, “The estimates represent a 50 percent increase in the group’s weapons stockpiles since May, when a senior Israeli intelligence official put the number at 100,000.” The stockpile also includes long-range Iranian rockets capable of hitting cities throughout Israel.
After the nuclear deal was reached in July, many analysts and members of Congress raised concerns that the sanctions relief could further fuel Iran’s terrorism and regional aggression, including its hostility toward the State of Israel. The Islamic Republic has only increased its destructive influence throughout the Middle East since it agreed to the accord by committing thousands of troops to Syria, test-launching a precision-guided ballistic missile, and exporting weapons to Syria and Yemen. In addition, Iran’s anti-Israel rhetoric continues unabated. On September 11, 2015, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said, “There will be no such thing as a Zionist regime in 25 years.” And at the end of September, the commander of the Iranian army said, “We will annihilate Israel for sure.” Regarding how Iran would use the money from sanctions relief, Matthew Levitt, a terror finance expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Senate Banking Committee in August that Iran would “direct substantial funding to foreign adventures, proxies and allies in keeping with [Iran’s] longstanding track record.”
On November 9, the 77th anniversary of the Nazi “Kristallnacht” pogrom, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announced on its Facebook page that it was participating in the Million Student March on the 12th to protest tuition increases at the City University of New York (CUNY). This is an important issue that should be debated on its merits.However, SJP is not interested in the merits. For SJP, the problem is “the Zionists.”SJP’s post, signed by SJP chapters throughout the CUNY system, declares that the “The [CUNY] Zionist administration invests in Israeli companies, companies that support the Israeli occupation, hosts birthright programs and study abroad programs in occupied Palestine, and reproduces settler-colonial ideology throughout CUNY through Zionist content of education. While CUNY aims to produce the next generation of professional Zionists, SJP aims to change the university to fight for all peoples [sic] liberation.”The Million Student March itself does not take this line and clearly does not have anything to do with the SJP demand to purge “Zionists” from CUNY. Their tuition protest is a serious issue, worthy of public debate. The hijacking of their march by extremists cannot be in their interest, and the organizers should condemn and distance themselves from SJP hate-speech.
With over 150 chapters nationwide, SJP is the organization most directly responsible for creating a hostile environment for Jews on college campuses across the United States, as revealed in The Tower last year. It organizes numerous pro-BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) events and campaigns, including the annual “Israel Apartheid Week.” SJP also conducts “guerilla activism” that increases tensions on campuses.
SJP is supported by a network of off-campus organizations. They include a who’s who of anti-Israel voices on the radical Left: Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the International Socialist Organization, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), American Muslims for Palestine, the WESPAC Foundation, Palestine Legal, and the National Lawyers Guild.
This network provides significant resources to SJP, from funding to legal support to training to co-sponsorship of on-campus events. There are also media and activism guidebooks, such as one produced by American Muslims for Palestine. AMP has also produced “campus activism resources” including fact-sheets, anti-normalizationmaterial, and PowerPoint presentations that parrot the Hamas narrative of the 2014 Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza. Hamas is recognized as a terror group by the U.S., EU, and other countries.
For its part, AFSC recommends that students wanting to “support peace in Israel/Palestine” can start an SJP chapter and organize a divestment campaign. ASFC and JVP have jointly contributed to the training of BDS activists through their “BDS Summer Institute,” billed as a “five day intensive program focused on building skills for divestment campaigns… co-led by student participants and BDS movement leaders.”
JVP, which has an “Academic Advisory Council Coordinator” on staff, has co-sponsored—with SJP—anti-Israel events on various campuses, such as a BDS panel at Vassar College last April and a “Nakba” workshop at the University of Chicago last May. Last semester, JVP and SJP co-sponsored a pledge calling on all candidates in UCLA’s student government elections to refrain from participating in paid trips to Israel. Once again, Israel was singled out for boycott and demonization.
How these and similar groups would explain away SJP’s faulting of CUNY’s supposed “Zionist administration” for tuition hikes should be an interesting exercise in Orwellian doublespeak.
Meanwhile, those who truly care about higher education must make sure that such calls are relegated to their deserved location on campus: the dumpster. (via TheTower.org)
For all of us who’ve experienced that sinking feeling as our phone battery edges toward the red zone when we’re nowhere near a working outlet, Israeli startup Mobeego has welcome news. On November 9, Mobeego announced a global launch of its disposable charger, which can power a smartphone or old mobile phone battery for up to four hours. The $2.50 disposable charging unit, playfully designed in the shape of a tiny energy-drink can, connects to the phone via a $5 miniature adapter (for both Android and iOS phones) that you’d buy once and keep on your key ring or in your wallet. Each adapter comes with one free charging unit. Mobeego says the charger is “designed as an inexpensive, simple, instant and environmentally friendly solution for continuous and worry-free use of smartphones, without the need to use a standard smartphone charger, pre-charge a charging unit, use a cable or find an available power outlet.” Ordinarily the words “disposable” and “environmentally friendly” do not go together, but Mobeego has designed its point-of-sale display with a slot into which used chargers can be deposited for recycling and reuse of some of the parts. A newer model will include a refundable deposit to assure a greater number of returns. So where can you buy these handy chargers? Mobeego is reportedly in advanced talks with potential franchisees in countries including the United States, Germany, France, Belgium, Russia, South Africa, Chile and Israel. The company plans to sell several hundred thousand charging units within the coming months and several million charging units during 2016. (via Israel21c)