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September 2017

Israel: Cybersecurity Powerhouse By Yoram Ettinger

1. According to the June 15, 2017 Wall Street Journal, six Israeli startups (three in the cybersecurity sector) are among the top 25 tech companies, which may be the global leaders of tomorrow.

2. According to Forbes Magazine, Israel has become a cybersecurity powerhouse, creating more than 300 cybersecurity startups, exporting in 2016 $6.5BN in cybersecurity products, convincing more than 30 multinationals to establish local research & development centers in Israel and attracting foreign investors. According to Forbes, there are six reasons leading to Israel’s prominence in the world of cybersecurity: the close government-military-business-academia interaction; government support of early-stage cybersecurity startups; Israel’s military as a startup incubator and accelerator, combining research and operation; investing in human capital (e.g., cybersecurity is an elective high school matriculation exam, and operating six university cybersecurity research centers); Israel’s overall inter-disciplined and diverse human factor enhanced through military service and interaction with global giants; Israel’s constant need to defy security and commercial odds.

3. Enhancing the mutually-beneficial, two-way-street US-Israel cooperation, a cybersecurity bilateral working group was established by the Trump Administration, aimed at combatting cyber offensives. Tom Bossert, White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, stated: “Israel’s agility in developing solutions will innovate cyber defenses that the US can test in Israel and bring back to America….”

4. During the first half of 2017 – in addition to Intel’s March 2017 acquisition of Israel’s Mobileye for $15.3BN – Israeli hightech companies were acquired by foreign companies for a total sum of $1.8BN. For example, Symantec, the Mountain View, CA software security and storage systems giant, acquired Israel’s FireGlass and Skycare (cybersecurity) for $250MN each (Globes, July 13, 2017).

5. During the second quarter of 2017, $1.3BN were invested in Israeli startups, mostly by foreign investors, second highest quarter in the last five years, compared to $1.1BN in the first quarter, as well as the fourth quarter of 2016, and $1.7BN in the second quarter of 2016. For instance, the Japanese giant SoftBank invested $100MN in Israel’s cybersecurity, Cybereason, and Johnson & Johnson led a $12MN round by Israel’s medical/nutritional tech, Day Two. Israel’s venture capital fund, Qumra, raised $115MN for its second fund, mostly from US and European Family Offices (Globes, July 20).

6. Intel is bolstering its operations in Israel – over and beyond its 10,000 employees, four R&D centers, two manufacturing plants and $4BN annual exports out of Israel – leveraging Israel’s cybersecurity added-value. Intel has recently expanded its Israel Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, partnering with Illusive Networks, a cybersecurity startup, and Israel’s Team8, a cybersecurity powerhouse, which has developed close contacts with Microsoft, Cisco, Qualcomm, ATT&T, Nokia, Mitsui and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, aiming to develop cutting edge cybersecurity technologies.

7. India-Israel trade balance surged from $200MN in 1992 to over $4BN in 2016.



Patient receives new implant to treat diastolic heart failure. A 72-year-old Canadian at Israel’s Rambam Medical Center is the first congestive heart failure patient to receive a new CoRolla implant from Israeli biotech CorAssist. The device was implanted by catheter and the patient has improved sufficiently to be discharged.
http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Health-and-Science/Israeli-doctors-are-first-to-implant-device-for-congestive-heart-failure-503648 https://www.youtube.com/embed/Iy0iL1cKG2s?rel=0

Rabies treatment approved. Israeli biotech Kamada has received FDA approval for its anti-rabies vaccination in the US. US company Kedrion will be responsible for distributing the new product. Kamada is already marketing the anti-rabies vaccine in various countries.

Seeing the signs of Alzheimer’s. I reported recently (30th July) about the research at Sheba Medical Center into the link between Alzheimer’s disease and loss of retina function. Israel’s RetiSpec is already working towards building an ocular scanner for the spectral signature of neuropathological changes due to the disease.
https://www.israel21c.org/look-into-my-eyes-do-you-see-early-signs-of-alzheimers/ http://retispec.com/

Curing glaucoma in the blink of an eye. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel’s Belkin Laser has developed an innovative laser ray system that can treat glaucoma in just one second every year, instead of daily eye drops. There is no need for direct contact of the equipment with the eye. Belkin recently raised $5 million of funding.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/5HkXjWPSpxU?rel=0 http://www.belkin-laser.com/

An app to guide the visually impaired. Israel’s RightHear is an iPhone app that enables the visually impaired to find their way through shopping malls, hospitals, universities – any of the 200 locations (mostly in Israel) where Apple iBeacon transmitters have been installed. It’s also integrated with taxi apps Gett, Uber and Lyft.

The elderly can benefit from baby movements. Researchers at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University have found that older adults use the same exploration-exploitation mechanism that babies use to successfully grasp objects. And as with babies, making “mistakes” helps improve future task performance.

Gaza man cured of Tree-man virus. Doctors at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center cured Mohammed Taluli from Gaza of a rare genetic disorder. Epidermodysplasia verruciformis (tree-man disease) is contagious and cancerous. It causes scaly lesions on the feet and hands that resemble tree bark. (See the astonishing photo.)

Returning the smiles to African children’s faces. Israeli surgeons Omri Emodi and Zach Sharony from Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center have been in Ghana correcting facial deformities (e.g. cleft lips and palates) in local children. The mission was managed by US organization Operation Smile.

After treatment, PA official donates recovery room. A senior Palestinian Arab official has donated tens of thousands of shekels to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center after he himself underwent cancer treatment at the Israeli hospital. The money will fund a room for children, pre-and-post chemo and radiotherapy treatment.
http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/Health-and-Science/Palestinian-official-gives-back-to-Israeli-hospital-that-treated-him-496545 http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4974484,00.html

Europe: Jihadists Posing as Migrants “More than 50,000 jihadists are now living in Europe.” by Soeren Kern

More than 50,000 jihadists are now living in Europe. — Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counterterrorism Coordinator.

Europol, the European police office, has identified at least 30,000 active jihadist websites, but EU legislation no longer requires internet service providers to collect and preserve metadata — including data on the location of jihadists — from their customers due to privacy concerns. De Kerchove said this was hindering the ability of police to identify and deter jihadists.

German authorities are hunting for dozens of members of one of the most violent jihadist groups in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, but who, according to Der Spiegel, entered Germany disguised as refugees.

The men, all former members of Liwa Owais al-Qorani, a rebel group destroyed by the Islamic State in 2014, are believed to have massacred hundreds of Syrians, both soldiers and civilians.

German police have reportedly identified around 25 of the jihadists and apprehended some of them, but dozens more are believed to be hiding in cities and towns across Germany.

In all, more than 400 migrants who entered Germany as asylum seekers in 2015 and 2016 are now being investigated for being members of Middle Eastern jihadists groups, according to the Federal Criminal Police (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA).

The revelation comes amid new warnings that jihadists are posing as migrants and arriving from North Africa on boats across the Mediterranean and onto Italian shores. In an interview with The Times, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj said that jihadists who had been able to pass undetected into his country were almost certainly making their way into Europe.

“When migrants reach Europe they will move freely,” said al-Sarraj, referring to the open borders within the European Union. “If, God forbid, there are terrorist elements among the migrants, any incident will affect all of the EU.”

Independent MEP Steven Woolfe said:

“These comments show the problem to be two-fold. Firstly, potential terrorists are using the Mediterranean migrant trail as a way of entering Europe unchecked. Secondly, with Europe’s lack of borders due to Schengen rules, once in Europe, they are able to move from one country to another freely. Strong borders are a necessity.”

Around 130,000 migrants arrived in Europe by land and sea during the first eight months of 2017, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The main nationalities of arrivals to Italy in July were, in descending order: Nigeria, Bangladesh, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali. Arrivals to Greece were from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Congo. Arrivals to Bulgaria were from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Turkey.

In recent weeks, traffickers bringing migrants to Europe have opened up a new route through the Black Sea. On August 13, 69 Iraqi migrants were arrested trying to reach the Romanian Black Sea coast, having set off from Turkey in a yacht piloted by Bulgarian, Cypriot and Turkish smugglers. On August 20, the Romanian Coast Guard intercepted another boat carrying 70 Iraqis and Syrians, including 23 children, in the Black Sea in Romania’s southeastern Constanta region.

A total of 2,474 people were detained while trying to cross the Romanian border illegally during the first six months of 2017, according to Balkan Insight. Almost half of them were caught while trying to leave Romania for Hungary. In 2016 only 1,624 migrants were detained; most were found trying to cross from Serbia to Romania.

Meanwhile, more than 10,000 migrants reached Spanish shores during the first eight months of 2017 — three times as many as in all of 2016, according to the IOM. Thousands more migrants have entered Spain by land, primarily at the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the north coast of Morocco, the European Union’s only land borders with Africa. Once there, migrants are housed in temporary shelters and then moved to the Spanish mainland, from where many continue on to other parts of Europe.

The Europe We Want Speech from the Ambrosetti Conference by Geert Wilders

Thank you for having me here today. I applaud the fact that you invite someone who does not share your enthusiasm for the European Union. Or your European dream, as Euro commissioner Frans Timmermans just called it. To be honest: his dream is my nightmare.

I realize that my views are different from those of the many members of the European establishment in our midst, but I am an optimist.

I believe in a positive future for Europe as a community of independent, sovereign and democratic nations — working together without a supranational political union — a Europe without the European Union.

I believe that true democracy can only exist and flourish within a nation state. National sovereignty combined with domestic culture gives us our identity. As does control over our own borders and budget and the right to decide how to use it ourselves as a nation.

Unfortunately most of our governments have transferred ever more powers to the EU, undermining many important things we Dutch have achieved over the past centuries and hold very dear.

Our forefathers have fought for a democratic Netherlands. That is a Netherlands where the Dutch electorate and nobody else decides on Dutch matters. Democracy means that a people can decide its own legislation.

Democracy equals home rule. But owing to the transfer by our governments of powers to Brussels, the EU institutions and other countries are now deciding on issues which are vital to our nation state: our immigration policy, our monetary policy, our trade policy and many other issues.

A huge part of our legislation has been outsourced to Brussels. Our national parliaments have become implementing bodies of the EU. Many people object to that.

In the 2005 referendum, the Dutch voted against the European Constitution, but a few years later a slightly altered version under a new name was forced down our throats.

Last year, a large majority of the Dutch voted in a referendum against the EU Association Treaty with Ukraine, but the treaty was pushed through anyway. Very few people can still take the EU seriously as a democratic institution after experiencing this.

Another extremely important thing the Dutch have achieved over the past centuries were clear and defined borders. Borders are important. Because they protect us and define who and what we are. Thanks to our governments who gave away sovereignty we are now no longer in charge of our immigration policy and even our own borders.

And the result is devastating.

If you give away the keys of your own house to someone who leaves the doors unlocked you should not be surprised when unwelcome guests force their way in. I believe every nation should be in charge of its own borders and decide themselves who is welcome and who is not. The Netherlands is the home of the Dutch people. It is the only home we have got. And we should regain control over its border and immigration policy.

One of these things we, Dutch, hold dear as well is our national identity. The Dutch have their own identity. And so do the other nations of Europe.

But there is NO single European identity.

The EU is characterized by cultural relativism and enmity towards patriotism. But patriotism is not a dangerous threat, it is something to be proud of.

It means defending a nations sovereignty and independence, and not selling it out in shabby compromises to the EU and its bureaucrats.

As the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said — I quote — “Europe is a community of Christian, free and independent nations. The main danger to Europe’s future comes from the fanatics of internationalism in Brussels. We shall not allow them to force upon us the bitter fruit of their cosmopolitan immigration policy.” End of quote.

I couldn’t agree more.

The European Commission has recently started procedures against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic because they refused to take in immigrants. Two years ago, Mrs Merkel invited millions of immigrants to come to Germany.

A historical mistake. She didn’t just let millions in, her policy encouraged them.

A Grim Portrayal of Syria at War by Amir Taheri

The blurb of Destroying a Nation: The Civil War in Syria presents the author, Nikolas Van Dam, as an experienced Dutch diplomat with a direct knowledge of the Middle East.

Having served as Holland’s Ambassador to Egypt, Turkey and Iraq, Van Dam also had a stint (in 2015-16) as his country’s Special Envoy for Syria. In that last assignment Van Dam monitored the situation from a base in neighboring Turkey.

Van Dam’s diplomatic background is clear throughout his book as he desperately tries, not always with success, to be fair to “all sides” which means taking no sides, while weaving arguments around the old cliché of “the only way out is through dialogue”.

Thus he is critical of Western democracies, which according to him, deceived the Syrian opposition by making promises to it, including military intervention, which they had no intention of delivering. He is especially critical of former US President Barack Obama who launched the mantra “Assad must go” and set “red line” which the Syrian despot ended up by crossing with impunity.

The first half of the book consists of a fast-paced narrative of Syrian history before the popular uprising started in the spring of 2011. The picture that emerges is that of a Syria in the throes of instability and frequent outburst of violence including sectarian conflict. Van Dam then juxtaposes that with Syria as it was reshaped under President Hafez al-Assad, who seized power in 1970, and his son and successor Bashar al-Assad.

“Under Hafez and Bashar, Syria experienced more internal security and stability than ever before since independence,” Van Dam asserts.

But isn’t Van Dam confusing terror with security and stagnation with stability?

Leaving aside the past six years that, according to Van Dam, have claimed almost half a million Syrian lives, the previous four decades of rule by the two Assads were anything but a model of security and stability. In all those years, Syria lived under Emergency Rules while thousands were imprisoned and/or tortured and executed. The absence of genuine security and stability meant that the Ba’athist regime was unable to build the durable institutions of a modern state. That’s why Syrian society at large saw its creative energies stifled, something that none of the previous dictators, from Hosni a-Zaim onwards, had managed or, perhaps, even intended to do.

In other words, contrary to Van Dam’s assertion, the two Assads destroyed chances of Syria building the political, not to mention the ethical, infrastructure of genuine security and stability.

Van Dam tries to portray Syria as a society that had always been ridden by sectarian violence, and frequently refers to “the killing of Alawites” by Arab Sunni Muslims. However, the only example he cites is that of the mass murder of Alawite military cadets in Aleppo which took place during Hafez al-Assad’s rule. The biggest “mass killing” of that epoch was the week-long carnage of unarmed civilians by Assad’s troops in Hama in 1982 which, according to Van Dam, claimed up to 25,000 lives, almost all of them Arab Sunni Muslims.

It Wasn’t Comey’s Decision to Exonerate Hillary – It Was Obama’s By Andrew C. McCarthy

The thing to understand, what has always been the most important thing to understand, is that Jim Comey was out in front, but he was not calling the shots.

On the right, the commentariat is in full-throttle outrage over the revelation that former FBI Director Comey began drafting his statement exonerating Hillary Clinton in April 2016 – more than two months before he delivered the statement at his now famous July 5 press conference.

The news appears in a letter written to new FBI Director Christopher Wray by two senior Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham. Pundits and the Trump administration are shrieking because this indicates the decision to give the Democrats’ nominee a pass was clearly made long before the investigation was over, and even long before key witnesses, including Clinton herself, were interviewed.

It shows, they cry, that the fix was in!

News Flash: This is not news.

Let’s think about what else was going on in April 2016. I’ve written about it a number of times over the last year-plus, such as in a column a few months back:

On April 10, 2016, President Obama publicly stated that Hillary Clinton had shown “carelessness” in using a private e-mail server to handle classified information, but he insisted that she had not intended to endanger national security (which is not an element of the [criminal statutes relevant to her e-mail scandal]). The president acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via Secretary Clinton’s server, but he suggested that, in the greater scheme of things, its importance had been vastly overstated.

This is precisely the reasoning that Comey relied on in ultimately absolving Clinton, as I recounted in the same column:

On July 5, 2016, FBI director James Comey publicly stated that Clinton had been “extremely careless” in using a private email server to handle classified information, but he insisted that she had not intended to endanger national security (which is not an element of the relevant criminal statute). The director acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via Secretary Clinton’s server, but he suggested that, in the greater scheme of things, it was just a small percentage of the emails involved.

Obama’s April statements are the significant ones. They told us how this was going to go. The rest is just details.

In his April 10 comments, Obama made the obvious explicit: He did not want the certain Democratic nominee, the candidate he was backing to succeed him, to be indicted. Conveniently, his remarks (inevitably echoed by Comey) did not mention that an intent to endanger national security was not an element of the criminal offenses Clinton was suspected of committing – in classic Obama fashion, he was urging her innocence of a strawman crime while dodging any discussion of the crimes she had actually committed.

As we also now know – but as Obama knew at the time – the president himself had communicated with Clinton over her non-secure, private communications system, using an alias. The Obama administration refused to disclose these several e-mail exchanges because they undoubtedly involve classified conversations between the president and his secretary of state. It would not have been possible to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for mishandling classified information without its being clear that President Obama had engaged in the same conduct. The administration was never, ever going to allow that to happen.

What else was going on in May 2016, while Comey was drafting his findings (even though several of the things he would purportedly “base” them on hadn’t actually happened yet)? Well, as I explained in real time (in a column entitled “Clinton E-mails: Is the Fix In?”), the Obama Justice Department was leaking to the Washington Post that Clinton probably would not be charged – and that her top aide, Cheryl Mills, was considered a cooperating witness rather than a coconspirator.

Joe Patrice calls for Amy Wax’s firing By Ben Cohen

For those who doubted that political correctness posed a threat to free speech on campus, Above the Law contributor Joe Patrice just gave you reason to believe. Patrice called for the firing of two tenured professors who coauthored an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer calling for a return to “bourgeois values.”

Patrice characterized the article as racist and sexist, “This dynamic duo of dumb spend the op-ed concocting a theory as terrifying as it is bereft of factual support when they posit that all of America’s woes really do stem from failing to live up to the ideals of an era when (white) men were men and everyone else kept their goddamned mouths shut.”

Amy Wax and Larry Alexander began their op-ed with a clear statement of purpose, “Too few Americans are qualified for the jobs available. Male working-age labor-force participation is at Depression-era lows. Opioid abuse is widespread. Homicidal violence plagues inner cities. Almost half of all children are born out of wedlock, and even more are raised by single mothers. Many college students lack basic skills, and high school students rank below those from two dozen other countries.”

Wax and Alexander argue that the breakdown of what they call “bourgeois values,” contributed to all of these problems. They defined these “bourgeois values” as, “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.”

Wax and Alexander credit these social norms for boosting prosperity, reducing crime, and increasing social cohesion. It is difficult to see how Wax and Alexander’s innocuous paean to conventional wisdom and middle-class norms could be considered racist. The substance of the article is indistinguishable from what one might hear in a black church on a Sunday morning.

Strangely, Wax and Alexander’s critics seem to associate “non-whites,” with laziness, promiscuity, and irresponsibility. A view that the Charlottesville deplorables would not disagree with.

Racism is not the reason Joe Patrice provides for firing Wax and Alexander. Rather, Patrice writes, “Neither Wax nor Alexander should be fired for holding unpopular opinions. They should be fired for being bad scholars.”

“An op-ed isn’t an academic journal, of course, but belching out so many lies and half-truths while draped in the imprimatur of the credibility that the law school’s name brings is an institutional embarrassment. It undermines that credibility with students and peers. Op-eds for local newspapers may not be held to the strict standards of a scholarly journal, but that doesn’t absolve professors of the need to conduct themselves as scholars for the good of the institution that employs them.”

It would have been more honest for Patrice to say he wants them fired because he disagrees with what they have to say. To paraphrase Voltaire, I disagree with what you say and will ensure that you get fired for your offensive opinion.

Becoming a tenured professor requires around a decade of hard work, from the time you graduate college to the time you receive tenure. In Patrice’s view a single poorly sourced (according to him) newspaper op-ed should be enough to take that away. Regardless of your lengthy and impressive publication record, your stellar teaching evaluations, a substandard op-ed or ill-considered letter to the editor makes you unfit for academic employment.

CAIR Forms an Outpost at Georgetown U By Andrew Harrod

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) “will always hold a very, very special place in my heart until the day I die,” declared Arsalan Iftikhar on April 1 at CAIR-Oklahoma’s annual awards banquet in Oklahoma City. The commentator’s affection for the Hamas-derived, Islamist CAIR has now landed him a position at Georgetown University’s fount of Islamist propaganda, the anti-“Islamophobia” Bridge Initiative.

Iftikhar will fit right in at Bridge, a “multi-year research project” of Georgetown’s Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). Bridge’s claim “to fulfill Thomas Jefferson’s dream of a ‘well-informed citizenry'” is laughable to anyone familiar with ACMCU’s Potemkin village of academic integrity. Past ACMCU speakers have included 9/11 Truthers, while the center disinvited an Egyptian neo-Nazi only after public outcry.

With Iftikhar’s hire, Bridge/ACMCU becomes effectively a branch of CAIR, as this self-proclaimed “Muslim Guy” worked with CAIR beginning in 2000 while in law school and then served as CAIR’s national legal director until 2007. At CAIR he formed relationships with other organizational leaders, including his fellow banquet speaker and “dear brother” Hassan Shibly, a radical Israel-hater and Hamas- and Hezb’allah-supporter. Such are the less than pacific associations of Iftikhar, a “proud American Muslim pacifist.”

Reminiscent of the Soviet Union’s savvy spokesman Vladimer Pozner, Iftikhar has functioned as an Islamism apologist whose sophistic excuses mask threats with a benign visage. He strains to suggest that disproportionate attention to terrorism exaggerates jihadist violence, which he claims are merely isolated acts. There is a “double standard that exists today where terrorism only applies to when brown Muslim men commit an act of mass murder,” he stated at a 2016 Newseum panel in Washington, D.C.

Thus, Iftikhar asserted without evidence that Robert Dear, a bizarre man who killed three in a 2015 assault on a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic and was later declared incompetent at trial, had a “Christianist ideology.” Iftikhar himself had earlier written that Dear was “deranged,” even while wondering why his crime “was never called Christian terrorism or domestic terrorism.” Similarly, following the 2015 Paris Charlie Hebdo jihadist massacre, Iftikhar, speaking to CNN’s Don Lemon, employed the canard that the Ku Klux Klan is a “Christianist organization.” He also falsely claimed that 2011 Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik described himself in his deranged 15,000-word manifesto as a “soldier of Christianity” while omitting that Breivik hoped to enlist “Christian atheists” in his cause.

By contrast, Iftikhar sought to disabuse Lemon of any association of Islam with the Charlie Hebdo killings, stating that “bringing religion into it at all is actually serving the purposes of the terrorists.” Despite numerous worldwide precedents of lethal Islamic blasphemy doctrines, he laughably claimed that the killings were “against any normative, mainstream teaching of Islam” and involved “irreligious criminals.” Iftikhar maintained that Islam’s seventh-century prophet Muhammad “was attacked and defamed many times in his life and there was not one time that he told people to take retribution,” notwithstanding contrary Islamic accounts.

Iftikhar’s whitewashes extend beyond Charlie Hebdo. To Lemon’s citation of a surveyed sixteen percent of French citizens sympathizing with the genocidal Islamic State, Iftikhar contradictorily claimed that “you can have sympathy for an ideology and not support the mass murder of people.” He has previously praised the radical Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi as “one of the most famous Muslim scholars in Cairo, Egypt” while denying his documented support for suicide bombing.

Self-Radicalization is a Leftist Oxymoron by Linda Goudsmit

Self-radicalization is a Leftist oxymoron – it simply does not exist. Radicalization is an interactive social phenomenon. Radicalization happens socially in mosques. Radicalization happens socially in cultural centers. Radicalization happens socially in prisons. Radicalization happens socially in schools. Radicalization happens socially in homes. Radicalization happens socially on social media. Radicalization is not a monologue – it is a dialogue with Islam and there are no lone wolves. Like the bogus Benghazi video, the lone wolf chimera is pure Leftist fiction created to quell public fear and deflect attention away from the clear and present danger of the spread of Islam in America.

Islam is an expansionist socio-political movement with a religious wing created 1400 years ago. Islam then and Islam now seeks world dominion – the establishment of a worldwide Islamic caliphate ruled by Islamic sharia law. The global spread of Islam has the immutable goal of world domination. Its tactics and strategies vary depending on the fluctuating economies that support the movement and the social forces that oppose the movement. The discovery of oil in the Arabian peninsula was a bonanza for the spread of Islam.

Western demand for oil and the spread of Islam increased in parallel trajectories. Islam went on a buying spree. Oil wealth purchased excessive power and influence in politics, academia, and the media. The Islamic expansion strategy was to target the three spheres of influence necessary to rebrand Islam as benign and dupe the gullible West into accepting Islam as a religion like any other. The greedy West was playing checkers – Islam was playing chess.

The Islamic radicalization most feared by the West is barbaric jihadi terrorism. Terrorism is arguably the most terrifying element of the spread of Islam but it is not the greatest threat to the West. The insidious indoctrination of the West toward Islam and away from its native Judeo-Christian traditions is the most dangerous and destabilizing. The pundits and politicians continue to ask the wrong questions. They keep asking about self-radicalization and lone wolves when the extreme threat is the ideological acceptance of religious supremacist Islamic sharia law in the West.

Vetting is not a matter of being Muslim – it is a matter of following sharia law. Any individual who embraces sharia law is an enemy of the state because sharia law is supremacist and does not recognize any law but sharia. The United States is a country governed by the tolerance and freedoms codified in our Constitution. Islam is a worldwide movement governed by the intolerance and supremacism codified in the Sharia.

Sharia law is diametrically opposed to Western secular law. Like any orthodoxy sharia provides strict and comprehensive rules for acceptable behavior and punishments for unacceptable behavior. The problem is that the behaviors sharia endorses include murder, rape, child abuse, pedophilia, homophobia, misogyny, slavery – these behaviors are crimes in the West but supported by sharia. Muslims who embrace sharia do not recognize the secular laws of the West so there is no possibility of living together in multicultural peace.

Peace for Islam is when the whole world is Islamic. Leftists who naively insist that Islam is a religion of peace do not understand this – they have been indoctrinated to believe in the rebranded version of Islam and are too arrogant to understand that Islam is Islam.

Bordering on the unknown Yoav Limor

While the world is focused on the horrendous terrorist attacks carried out by the Islamic State group and on the international campaign being waged against the organization in Iraq and Syria, the IDF is maintaining two intensive sectors opposite the group, in the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.

The majority of operations in both sectors is clandestine and is held as part of the IDF’s doctrine of the “campaign between the wars,” a title 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. Arab media reports about drone strikes in Sinai or the elimination of terrorist operatives on the Golan Heights usually receive only a casual mention, if that, in the Israeli and international media. The reason for that is simple: Barring a terrorist attack, there’s only minor media interest.

Keeping things on the down low involves intensive operational and intelligence activity seeking to ensure that Israel does not find itself in Islamic State’s crosshairs. The reason that the IDF has, until now, preferred to spare the public the details of its operations in these two sectors is two-pronged: the natural clandestine nature of things and the desire to keep a low profile vis-a-vis ISIS.

While the balance of power in the two sectors is clear to all, Israel has no interest in seeing ISIS operatives in Sinai or the Golan Heights train their sights on its territory. The fact that Wilayat Sinai‎, Islamic State’s proxy in the south, and the Khalid ibn al-Walid Army, an ISIS-affiliate group based in the Syrian Golan Heights, are engaged in internal wars rather than fighting us, is very convenient for Israel.

This week, the IDF gave Israel Hayom an exclusive glimpse into the intensive, nightly counterterrorism operation against ISIS on the northern border, which aims to foil threats and ensure that the civil war raging in Syria and the parallel battles taking place in Sinai do not spill over into Israel.

No-man’s-land no more

The security fence in the southern part of the Golan Heights does not overlap with the border. For operational and topographical reasons, the IDF chose to place it in dominant areas across the ridgeline rather than adhering to the border itself. As a result, small “no-man’s-land” enclaves were formed between the border and the security fence. These enclaves — stretching up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) deep in some areas and merely dozens of meters in others — are separated from Israel by the security fence, but nothing separates them from enemy territory.

In the summer of 2006, Hezbollah used one of those enclaves, which the IDF refrains from operating in so not to risk breaching Lebanese territory, to abduct IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, triggering the Second Lebanon War. As part of the war’s lessons, the IDF decided to no longer leave the enclaves be, and then-GOC Northern Command Gadi Eizenkot ordered intensive activity in all of them, up to the very last inch.

The rationale was political — preserving Israel’s sovereignty over the entire territory; operational — removing the threat; and also psychological — shifting the balance of power back in the IDF’s favor by again positioning it as the party taking operational initiative.