Thus saith the LORD
“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Joel 3:2
UNITED NATIONS – The Palestinians’ push for upgraded status at the United Nations is likely to succeed, the president of the UN General Assembly said on Friday, while warning the United States against cutting UN funding over the issue.
Having failed last year to secure full UN membership due to US opposition, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said last month he would ask the 193-nation General Assembly to approve a less ambitious promotion of the Palestinian Authority’s observer status to “non-member state,” like the Vatican. It is currently considered an “entity.”
Vuk Jeremic, the Serbian president of the General Assembly, said Abbas was consulting with UN member states and was expected to call for a meeting on the Palestinian issue as early as next month, shortly after the November 6 US presidential election.
“Most people expect that it is going to be the second half of November,” the 37-year-old former Serbian foreign minister told Reuters in an interview.
“If they decide to go for it after these consultations, which is what President Abbas announced in his speech in September, most people expect that this is going to pass.”
The United States and Israel have warned the Palestinians against seeking a status upgrade, suggesting that it could have financial implications for the Palestinian Authority.
UN diplomats and officials say they are also worried about a possible reduction of UN funding from the United States, which supplies 22 percent of the regular UN budget.
Jeremic said he did not want to lecture Washington, but voiced concern about a possible suspension UN funding due to the Palestinian issue, which he said would have “dire financial implications” for the United Nations.
“I don’t think this would be in the interests of the United States to cut the financial aid, but I am not in a position to say to the United States what is it they should do,” he said. “They know what is best for them, and that’s what they are going to do.”
The US Congress froze some $200 million in much-needed financial aid to the Palestinians after they took their statehood campaign to the United Nations last year. Western officials say further aid reductions are likely, along with a possible freezing of UN funding.
The United States cut funding to the UN education and science agency, UNESCO, last year after it admitted the Palestinians as a full member.
A 1990s US law prohibits US funding to UN organizations that grant full membership to any group that does not have “internationally recognized attributes” of statehood.
Jeremic stressed that the Palestinians were not seeking UN membership, but to be recognized as a “non-member state.”
Such an upgrade could nevertheless be uncomfortable for Israel. Being registered as a state rather than an entity would mean the Palestinians could join bodies such as the International Criminal Court and file complaints against Israel for its continued occupation.
The Palestinians need a simple majority for the upgrade, but predict that between 150 and 170 nations out of the 193 UN member states will vote in favor. source – JPost
Is this the plunder of Ezekiel 38?
“Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, [that] at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” Ezekiel 38
From Israel National News: Dr. Harold Vinegar of Israel Energy Initiative Ltd. in Jerusalem is optimistic about Israel’s potential in the oil industry. He spoke to Israel National Radio’s Goldstein on Gelt show with Douglas Goldstein about energy independence and the “black gold” that is underfoot.
Dr. Vinegar was the chief scientist of Royal Dutch Shell until his retirement in 2008. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and recently made aliyah. Now, he is the chief scientist of Israel Energy Initiative Ltd. in Jerusalem, which is developing Israel’s unconventional oil reserves.
“And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil.” Deuteronomy 33:24
MOSHAV AHITUV, Israel (Reuters) – A bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard has the potential to change transportation habits from the world’s most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa, its Israeli inventor says.
Izhar Gafni, 50, is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. He is an amateur cycling enthusiast who for years toyed with an idea of making a bicycle from cardboard.
He told Reuters during a recent demonstration that after much trial and error, his latest prototype has now proven itself and mass production will begin in a few months.
“I was always fascinated by applying unconventional technologies to materials and I did this on several occasions. But this was the culmination of a few things that came together. I worked for four years to cancel out the corrugated cardboard’s weak structural points,” Gafni said.
“Making a cardboard box is easy and it can be very strong and durable, but to make a bicycle was extremely difficult and I had to find the right way to fold the cardboard in several different directions. It took a year and a half, with lots of testing and failure until I got it right,” he said.
Cardboard, made of wood pulp, was invented in the 19th century as sturdy packaging for carrying other more valuable objects, it has rarely been considered as raw material for things usually made of much stronger materials, such as metal.
Once the shape has been formed and cut, the cardboard is treated with a secret concoction made of organic materials to give it its waterproof and fireproof qualities. In the final stage, it is coated with lacquer paint for appearance.
In testing the durability of the treated cardboard, Gafni said he immersed a cross-section in a water tank for several months and it retained all its hardened characteristics.
Once ready for production, the bicycle will include no metal parts, even the brake mechanism and the wheel and pedal bearings will be made of recycled substances, although Gafni said he could not yet reveal those details due to pending patent issues.
“I’m repeatedly surprised at just how strong this material is, it is amazing. Once we are ready to go to production, the bike will have no metal parts at all,” Gafni said.
Gafni’s workshop, a ramshackle garden shed, is typically the sort of place where legendary inventions are born. It is crammed with tools and bicycle parts and cardboard is strewn everywhere.
One of his first models was a push bike he made as a toy for his young daughter which she is still using months later.
Gafni owns several top-of-the-range bicycles which he said are worth thousands of dollars each, but when his own creation reaches mass production, it should cost no more than about $20 to buy. The cost of materials used are estimated at $9 per unit.
“When we started, a year and a half or two years ago, people laughed at us, but now we are getting at least a dozen e-mails every day asking where they can buy such a bicycle, so this really makes me hopeful that we will succeed,” he said.
A ride of the prototype was quite stiff, but generally no different to other ordinary basic bikes.
Nimrod Elmish, Gafni’s business partner, said cardboard and other recycled materials could bring a major change in current production norms because grants and rebates would only be given for local production and there would be no financial benefits by making bicycles in cheap labor markets.
“This is a real game-changer. It changes … the way products are manufactured and shipped, it causes factories to be built everywhere instead of moving production to cheaper labor markets, everything that we have known in the production world can change,” he said.
Elmish said the cardboard bikes would be made on largely automated production lines and would be supplemented by a workforce comprising pensioners and the disabled.
He said that apart from the social benefits this would provide for all concerned, it would also garner government grants for the manufacturers. source – Yahoo News
The supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi emanated, called on Thursday for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule.
“Jerusalem is Islamic … and nobody is entitled to make concessions” on the Holy City, said Sheikh Mohammed Badie in his weekly message to supporters.
“The jihad for the recovery of Jerusalem is a duty for all Muslims,” he said, stressing that the liberation of the Holy City “will not be done through negotiations or at the United Nations.”
Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, has watched with concern as Islamists were catapulted to the forefront of politics following a popular uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year.
Morsi has repeatedly said he would respect international treaties signed by Cairo. But his former movement has also said there is room to revise the accords, without objecting to them in principle.
Four facts deserve attention with regard to a potential attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The first is that the Iranian-Israeli war is already at hand. Iran launched it by sending an unmanned drone into Israeli air space Saturday, Oct. 6, breaking new ground in belligerence with a cyber attack.
Israel countered by stationing Patriot missile interceptor batteries in Haifa and other parts of its northern region. That Tehran initiated hostilities with a cyber attack on Israel cannot be wiped from the record any more than its score: two points, Iran; zero, Israel, whose air defenses proved no match against a large, slow-moving and cumbersome aerial vehicle loaded with electronic equipment.
As many experts have pointed out, Patriots are not designed for intercepting aircraft, only missiles. Their deployment therefore aims at defending the country from potential Iranian or Hizballah missile strikes from Lebanon or Syria – depending partly on the state of the Syrian war.
And indeed, Hamas and Jihad Islami spokesmen, when they assumed shared responsibility for the 55 Palestinian missiles and mortars fired against Israel Monday morning, Oct. 8, said quite openly that the rules of Gaza warfare had changed: IDF attacks on terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip, however limited in scope, would draw forth reprisals not only from that Palestinian-ruled territory but from Lebanon, they said.
DEBKAfile: As of mid-September, under newly-signed military pacts, the strings of the two leading Palestinian terrorist militias in the Gaza Strip are being manipulated from Beirut by Iran and Hizballah. It is they who now set the rules and dictate the scope of Palestinian anti-Israel operations from Gaza. The drone’s incursion was a separate Iranian initiative.
The other points pertinent to the Iranian-Israel confrontation are:
1. US intelligence recently warned President Barack Obama that Iran’s nuclear breakthrough point is much closer than formerly estimated, i.e. approximately 7 weeks off. In late November, therefore, Iran will enough 20 percent plus enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb. American and Israeli intelligence see eye to eye on this estimate.
It flies, however, in the face of the assessments circulated in Israel by anti-attack factions who are now claiming that Iran has slowed the progress of its military nuclear program in order to divert much of its enriched uranium to civilian projects.
This claim is not only incorrect, but it is a valuable contribution to Tehran’s propaganda effort to prove that its program is entirely innocent and peaceful.
2. A US Congressional Research paper published internally on Sept. 28 asserts that Israel is capable of going it alone without the United States against Iran’s nuclear sites, including the Fordo underground enrichment facility.
This fact has been suppressed by the anti-attack camp, whose spokesmen have insisted that Israel lacks this capacity. The experts commissioned by congress to determine the truth of the matter concluded: “… an attack on Esfahan, Natanz, and Arak might require deploying only 20% of Israel’s top-line fighters purchased from the United States. “…this yields an Israeli strike involving at least 100 aircraft. Most sources indicate that Israel has a total of “around 350 fighter jets.”
The US congressional research team adds that, although Israel received enough 7 KC-130 refueling planes from the US to cover the round trip to Iran and back, the Israeli Air Force has also secretly developed two more refueling options about which the US knows very little.
“Over the past two years, Israel Aerospace Industries-IAI bought up all the Boeing 707s coming on the international market and had them converted in IAI factories into KC-135 refueling planes,” says the report. After the Congressional Research Center published these findings, David Rothkopf, who is close to US Democratic Party leaders, tested the ground with a report Monday, Oct. 8, in Foreign Policy, which said that the United States and Israel are considering the possibility of a joint “surgical strike” against Iran’s nuclear facilities as an “October surprise.”
He quoted a source said to be close to the discussions, which claimed that “a small-scale attack is currently viewed as the most likely military option by air, using bombers and supported by drones,” which Israel would not be able to carry out on its own.
What Rothkopf was saying is that President Obama has no more than 20 days to decide if and when to conduct this US-Israel attack on Iran.
His clock, say our sources, is ticking at the same speed as that of former Mossad chief Efraim Halevi who on August 1 predicted an attack on Iran within twelve weeks; and Tzahi Hanegbi, the former Knesset defense and foreign affairs committee chair and close confidant of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who said in mid-September that the next 50 days would be critical for Israel’s destiny. source – DEBKA
Israeli warplanes, self-propelled artillery and short-range missiles attacked Hamas and Jihad Islami positions and command posts in the Gaza Strip early Monday, Oct. 8, shortly after Palestinians loosed a barrage of 55 missiles and mortar shells on the Eshkol district.
Both terrorist organizations claimed they were responsible for the barrage, which caused no casualties only heavy damage to property. Israelis living within range of the Gaza Strip are warned to stay 15 seconds away from protected shelters.
Casualties from the Israeli reprisal are reported in the Gaza Strip.
DEBKAfile: Israel’s response was major because for the first time the two dominant organizations in Gaza, the radical Hamas and Iran-sponsored Jihad Islami, assumed responsibility for avenging an an Israeli attack on radical Salafist terrorists affiliated with al Qaeda. This attests to the comprehensive ties of operational collaboration forged between the diverse terrorist organizations fighting Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Sunday, Oct. 7, a targeted Israeli air strike critically injured two motorcyclists, members of al Qaeda-linked groups in the Rafah district of southern Gaza. Palestinian sources reported 11 people injured including five children.
Israel also suspects that the pilotless helicopter sent by Iran to breach Israeli air space Saturday, Oct. 6, which flew in from the Mediterranean over the Gaza Strip, was jointly orchestrated by Tehran, Hizballah and Hamas as part of a war exercise Hamas conducted in the Gaza Strip on that day.
Abu Obeida, commander of the Hamas military arm Ezz e-din al-Qassam responded to the Israeli assault with a warning: “The resistance” would not permit “Israeli aggression” continue, he said, and went on to laud Hamas’ partnership with Jihad Islami and the high level of operational cooperation between the various parts of the movement. Any more Israeli attacks, he warned, would bring forth an even more powerful and extensive Palestinian reprisal.
DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that Hamas draws its bravado from the military protocols its leaders secretly signed with Hizballah Sept. 13 under the Iranian aegis, which obliges signatory to come to the aid of the other when it is attacked. Jihad Islami, Iran’s Palestinian surrogate in the Gaza Strip comes under this umbrella too. The signing was first disclosed on this page on Sept. 23. Confirming this, JIhad Islami spokesmen have just threatened that the next round of attacks on Israel will come from Lebanon. source – DEBKA
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Israeli air force shot down a drone after it crossed into southern Israel on Saturday, the military said, but it remained unclear where the aircraft had come from.
The drone was first spotted above the Mediterranean in the area of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip to the west of Israel, said military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich.
It was kept under surveillance and followed by Israeli air force jets before it was shot down above a forest in an unpopulated area near the border with the occupied West Bank.
Leibovich said it was shot down at about 10 a.m. (0700 GMT), after it travelled east some 35 miles across Israel’s southern Negev desert.
Defence Minister Ehud Barak praised the interception as “sharp and effective”.
“We view with great severity the attempt to compromise Israeli airspace and will consider our response in due course,” Barak said in a statement.
Soldiers, assisted by helicopters, were searching the area for the remains of the drone, which security sources said most likely did not originate from the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s Army Radio reported the drone was not carrying any explosives.
Israeli parliament member Miri Regev, a former chief spokesman of the military, wrote on Twitter it was an “Iranian drone launched by Hezbollah”, referring to the Lebanese Shi’ite group that fought a war with Israel in 2006.
Defence officials would not confirm Hezbollah’s connection to the drone.
On at least one occasion, Iranian-backed Hezbollah has launched a drone into Israel. And in 2010, an Israeli warplane shot down an apparently unmanned balloon in the Negev near the country’s Dimona nuclear reactor.
The Israeli military released a 10-second video clip of what it said was Saturday’s mid-air interception. In the video, a small, unidentified aircraft is seen moments before being destroyed by a missile fired from a fighter jet. source – Yahoo News
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Amir Cohen; Editing by Myra MacDonald)