Iran Wants Maneuvering Missiles
IRAN BELIEVES THAT MANEUVERING MISSILES, DRONES WILL EVADE AIR DEFENSE: The Islamic Republic is seeking to improve its missile and drone capability to tap into the latest technology from Russia and China and learn how to get around the latest air-defense systems, according to Iranian military analysts.
Tehran now says it wants to learn from the experience of history how missiles have defeated air defense. “It should be noted that maneuvering ballistic warheads are just one step away from Hypersonic Gliding Vehicles (HGVs), which are now the cutting edge of missile technology in warheads.” “This type of projectile differs from maneuvering warheads only in design and flight path, and its speed varies from Mach 5 to 20 [3,836 mph-15,345 mph] depending on the design and opinion of the manufacturer,” it said. “Instead of gaining altitude, such as ballistic missiles, HGV projectiles travel at much lower altitudes with the possibility of frequent reorientation, and as a result, the early defense radars of the enemy defense have difficulty detecting them and may surprise the enemy missile defense complex.” Iran’s interest here is in learning from Chinese military technology. It openly says the Chinese have moved in the direction of HGV projectiles; Iran likely wants the same weapons. Tehran and Beijing recently signed a 25-year cooperation agreement. This may not involve missiles yet, but Iran could be seeking more technology from North Korea, China and Russia in the coming years. Iran also says its rockets have improved maneuverability. It references the Qadr rocket and what it says is a detachable warhead on the Qiam and Sajil missiles. Iran is thus openly saying it seeks to get around Israel’s Arrow air-defense system. Israel has a multilayered air-defense system with Arrow, David’s Sling and Iron Dome; it also has Patriot batteries. Israel and the US cooperate closely on these issues. (JPost / VFI News)
UN HITS NEW ANTI-ISRAEL LOW: Last week Anne Bayefsky, a Canadian human rights professor who is a member of the International Law Association Committee on International Human Rights Law and Practice, sent an alarming email. Anne also serves on the board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a think tank that focuses on Israel’s security in its relationship with the United States.
Below is the bulk of her alarming message:
“Two and a half hours ago the UN General Assembly’s budget committee (a committee of the whole, i.e. composed of all 193 member states) decided to fund a new ‘Commission of Inquiry’ established by the UN Human Rights Council that is intended to emasculate the state of Israel.” Continuing, she said, “Without exaggeration, it is the most hostile and dangerous anti-Israel body the UN has ever created. It will decide Israel is guilty of apartheid, validate and unleash criminal prosecutions of Israelis, significantly magnify pressure on ‘third states”‘ and ‘business enterprises’ to engage in BDS, and insist on an arms embargo against Israel.” The email went on to say, “It is permanent in duration. It will have 18 permanent UN staff funded by the regular budget – which means 22% of it will come from American taxpayers, creating an in-house legal bureau to seek criminal charges against members of the IDF and the highest echelons of the Israeli government (‘command responsibility’). The three members of the ‘Inquiry’ have been appointed – and all have public records of extreme anti-Israel hostility.” “We can, and we must discredit this Inquiry. That’s why I’m writing. Here’s how: The Inquiry – which ought to become known as Pillay’s Pogrom – has issued a ‘Call for Submissions.’ It sets out five vast topics for submissions – in effect, going back to the justifications of a Jewish state period. It is particularly interested in identifying the propagators of racial and religious ‘discrimination’ and ‘repression’. Making a submission is an opportunity to recount history, abuses, facts, law – the truth that the Inquiry doesn’t want to hear. Large numbers of submissions that are ignored or vilified by the Inquiry will erode credibility.” She continued to explain, “Massive numbers of submissions on Israel’s side, standing against modern anti-Semitism, will push back against the UN’s unprecedented global attack on Israel and the Jewish people,” Bayefski wrote. The first report of the Commission of Inquiry is expected in June 2022. A shocking 125 countries supported the creation of the new UN ‘human rights commission’ while Hungary was the only European country to vote against the UN commission’s budgeting. The rest of the European countries, as well as Canada and Australia, abstained. The United States, however, voted against the anti-Israel resolution and President Joe Biden’s administration envoy to the UN made it clear that it was “unfair” to single Israel out for permanent human rights investigations that span the entire country. (INN / VFI News)
SOCCER FANS IN BELGIUM DO NAZI SALUTES, CHANT ABOUT KILLING JEWS: Dozens of soccer fans in Antwerp, Belgium, were filmed giving Nazi salutes while chanting about Hamas and gassing and burning Jews.
Police are investigating the videos, which appeared on social media earlier this week. The incident appeared to have taken place at or outside Café Stadion, a restaurant near a soccer stadium. The men chanted: “My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews ’cause Jews burn the best,” as well as “Hamas, Jews to the gas” while making the Nazi salutes. They appear to be fans of the Beerschot soccer team of Antwerp, the Gazet van Antwerpen reported. Such soccer chants occur regularly in Europe, and in the Netherlands and Belgium especially, ahead of matches between teams that fans of rival soccer clubs label as “Jewish.” Sometimes, as in the case of the Ajax team of Amsterdam, supporters of those teams call themselves and their teams Jewish. But in recent years, these soccer chants increasingly have been occurring also outside the context of sports, including at a graduation party of high school students in the Netherlands in 2016. Separately, the ethics board of the Royal Belgian Soccer Association last week fined the Club Brugge Belgian soccer team to the tune of $2,226 for chants heard at three recent matches. Fans of Brugge shouted “Whoever doesn’t jump is a Jew,” as they sprang up and down during the matches. (JPost / VFI News)
OUTGOING HONDURAS PRESIDENT SAYS CHRISTIANS, PARLIAMENT WILL PROTECT STRONG ISRAEL TIES: “Mr. President, you are a true friend of Israel,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Juan Orlando Hernández shortly before the inauguration ceremony for Honduras’s new embassy in Jerusalem in June. “The Jewish people have a long memory, and you will be recorded in the pages of history as having done a brave and justified deed for the State of Israel.”
Moving the embassy wasn’t the only policy the Honduran leader enacted in support of Israel. Throughout his eight years as president, Hernández has made the Central American nation — which recognized the State of Palestine less than three years before he took office — into one of Israel’s most reliable allies. Besides becoming the fourth country to open an embassy in Jerusalem, Honduras under Hernández’s leadership has regularly supported Israel at the UN and other international bodies. But Hernández is leaving office on January 27, to be replaced by Xiomara Castro, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist whose husband and campaign manager allied himself with far-left Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez and Cuba’s Fidel Castro when he was the president himself. The president-elect has declared her intention to overturn many of Hernández’s policies. “The Christian people in Latin America, the Jewish people in Latin America, we have to create a coalition in order to advocate for Israel,” Hernández said. “And I believe in the Christian community you have very important support. I’m not just talking about Central America. I’m talking about the whole Latin America region.” Given the significant economic and social challenges Castro will face when she assumes the presidency in late January, she has good reason to choose the pragmatic path of continuing cooperation with Israel and the US. Her silence on the issue to this point indicates that she may well be waiting to make up her mind. Israeli officials, Honduran friends of Israel, and Hernández himself will be watching closely in the coming weeks to try to gain a sense of where Israel-Honduras ties are headed. (TOI / VFI News)
ISRAEL EXPECTS TO ESTABLISH TIES WITH COMOROS, MALDIVES: The leading candidates to normalize ties with Israel next are the Muslim-majority island nations of The Comoros and Maldives, according to diplomatic sources.
The sources said there were ongoing contacts. However, there were no indications from diplomatic sources that an announcement was expected anytime in the near future. The Comoros, a small archipelago in the Indian ocean, has never recognized Israel, but Israeli officials confirmed last October that the US had brought Comorian and Israeli officials together to discuss normalization. Located in the Indian Ocean, the archipelago nation of roughly 330,000 inhabitants, spread across hundreds of islands, does not tolerate the public practice of any religion other than Islam and currently does not grant non-Muslims citizenship. (TOI / VFI News)
GOOGLE ACQUIRES ISRAELI CYBERSECURITY COMPANY SIEMPLIFY FOR $500M: Google has acquired another Israeli company, threat detection firm Siemplify, for a reported $500 million, nine years after its $1 billion purchase of navigation app Waze. The purchase will mark Google’s fourth acquisition of an Israeli company and its first in the cybersecurity industry outside the US.
Siemplify will become part of Google Cloud’s security team “to help companies better manage their threat response,” wrote Google Cloud Security VP and GM Sunil Potti, in a post on Tuesday, January 4. Siemplify’s cloud services will serve as the foundation for Google’s cloud activities and cybersecurity operations with “the team’s talent leading the way,” he said. Last summer, Google committed to investing $10 billion in cybersecurity over the next five years to “strengthen cybersecurity, including expanding zero-trust programs, helping secure the software supply chain, and enhancing open-source security” and to train 100,000 Americans in fields like IT support and data analytics. Governments and businesses are at a “watershed moment,” in addressing cybersecurity, Kent Walker, SVP of global affairs at Google, said in August, as “cyber attacks are increasingly endangering valuable data and critical infrastructure.” Siemplify was founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Amos Stern, CEO, Alon Cohen, CTO, and Garry Fatakhov, COO, with offices in Tel Aviv and headquarters in New York. According to CTech by Calcalist, Stern was previously “in the IDF’s Intelligence Corps where he headed a cyber unit before moving on to work for Elbit Systems, where he met his co-founders.” Siemplify says it offers a “holistic security operations platform” that allows security analysts at enterprises and organizations to “work smarter and respond faster” to threats. The company developed a security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) system that helps security analysts automate certain tasks, “integrate security tools to respond to cyber threats with speed and precision while getting smarter with every analyst interaction.” SOAR is set to be unified with Google’s cloud cybersecurity service Chronicle (which grew out of X, Alphabet’s “moonshot factory” incubator). In his own post on Tuesday, Stern said he and his co-founders knew from their “experience building and training security operations centers from around the world,” that security analysts in large enterprises and organizations need more tools to face threats. (TOI / VFI News)
TECHNICAL MALFUNCTION BEHIND DEADLY IDF HELICOPTER CRASH: The military believes a serious technical malfunction caused the crash of an Israel Navy helicopter off the coast of Haifa on Monday night, January 3. Two IAF pilots died after their helicopter, an Atalef AS565 Panther, went down around 9 p.m.
The crash was likely due to a fire that broke out in the left engine, IAF OC Operations Brig.-Gen. Amir Lazar said. The crew was able to lower to an altitude to carry out an emergency landing on the sea after the fire caused a power failure, which is likely why they were unable to make a distress call, he said. It took one and a half to two minutes from when a fire was noticed in the engine to when the helicopter crashed, Lazar said. The crew was able to deploy the flotation devices that gave the navy the ability to locate the helicopter. The officer who survived the crash, Capt. Ron Birman called the squadron commander from his telephone and told him they had made an emergency landing at sea. Birman made an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the other crew members, Lazar said. It is still unclear why the two pilots were unable to exit the helicopter, and the exact cause of their deaths is yet to be determined. The victims were identified as Lt.-Col. Erez Sachaini, 38, a married father of three who served as deputy commander of Ramat David Airbase, and Maj. Hen Fogel, 27. (JPost / VFI News)
63,000 INFECTED POULTRY FOUND IN NORTHERN ISRAEL: Another avian influenza hotspot was reported in the town of Nahalal in northern Israel on Monday, January 3, with about 42,000 turkeys reportedly infected with the virus, according to the Agriculture Ministry.
The newest outbreak comes just a day after two new outbreaks of the virus were reported in northern Israel on Sunday, January 2, as the virus continues to spread in Israel and around the world. The two hotspots were located in the towns of Gadish and Ne’ot Golan. In Gadish, about 7,400 infected chickens were found in two coops. In Ne’ot Golan, about 14,000 turkeys were found to be infected. The veterinary services are operating in an emergency format and continuing to actively locate outbreaks in northern Israel and isolate the hotspots. Eggs produced in Gadish are being kept out of the market. “This is an infection event of a magnitude we have not experienced here before,” said Agriculture Minister Oded Forer on Sunday. “Each new hotspot is a warning sign that directs us to work to increase the biological safety of all chicken coops in Israel,” he said. “Agriculture Ministry employees work in an emergency format, with increased forces, and work day and night to handle every site to allow a return to routine as soon as possible.” Forer recently instructed his office to raise the egg quotas for farmers in Israel and to open the market for imports due to expectations of an egg shortage in the coming months. The minister is operating an inter-ministerial command room to handle the continuing bird flu outbreak in the country. All of the outbreaks in Israel so far have been due to the H5N1 subvariant. (JPost / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff