Google Glass and Android Apps, IDF Style

Posted March 5, 2015 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Google Glass and Android Apps, IDF Style – Defense/Security – News – Arutz Sheva.

Being one step ahead of the terrorists via real-time information on the battlefield – the stuff of sci-fi coming out of IDF labs very soon.

By Ari Yashar

First Publish: 3/5/2015, 11:37 AM

IDF soldier in sunglasses (illustration)

IDF soldier in sunglasses (illustration)
Matanya Tausig/Flash 90

The IDF’s Development Branch is close to launching ground-breaking technology, by which Google Glass eye-wear technology and Android apps will be revamped to provide vital real-time info before the eyes of soldiers on the battlefront, putting them a step ahead of the terrorists.

The new breakthrough was announced on Wednesday by the IDF Blog website, and thanks to it commanders will be able to be directly involved with their troops in the field, telling them exactly what’s going down moments before it happens.

“After Operation Protective Edge, there became a greater understanding that mobility is a significant factor in combat,” Capt. Rotem, Head of Development Branch, was quoted as saying in the report.

Rotem added that “one of the things we’re working on is a change in the perception of mobility within the development branch of the IDF. In the coming year we will learn how to develop and utilize Android apps, and enter the realm of multi-faceted technology.”

Through the apps and combat-class Google Glass for soldiers, troops in the field will be provided command and control screens, and likewise the control center will be able to assess the situation of soldiers in the midst of battle.

“Of course the goal is not to confuse, but to add information that can help fighters make correct decisions – to prevent firing at our forces for example,” Rotem explained.

Turning civilian technology such as Google Glass and Android apps into a powerful weapon is just part of a project that in the future aims to use the capabilities in the fields of transport, navigating the battlefield and identification, for example identifying fallen soldiers through a biometric element.

“We have completed our first application that works on a mobile platform – mobile logistics transportation,” detailed Rotem. “It displays a map on the screen, displaying the route they are taking to deliver logistics, trucks with weapons, etc. This enables the commanders to gather updates on the delivery during the fighting, when it will reach the area – and be able to control the means of transport.”

White House pushing Israel to recall ambassador?

Posted March 5, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Egypt, Foreign policy, Iran, Iran scam, Iranian nukes, Israel, Israeli Ambassador to US, Israeli elections, Leftists, Middle East, Netanyahu, Obama, P5+1, Qatar, Two state solution, U.S. Congress

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White House pushing Israel to recall ambassador? Hot Air, Ed Morrissey, March 5, 2015

Yesterday, the Washington Post and former Obama adviser and Middle East envoy Dennis Ross urged Barack Obama to provide a serious response to the “strong case” presented by Benjamin Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress against the administration’s Iran deal. The left-leaning Israeli paper Ha’aretz reports that the “serious response” has been to treat Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer as an unwelcome guest to the party. Dermer created the embarrassment of Barack Obama this week, as Ha’aretz reports the White House’s thinking, and Dermer has to go if Netanyahu wants to do business over the next two years:

“We are not the ones who created this crisis,” said a senior administration official. “President Obama has another two years in office and we wish to go back to a reality where you can work together despite the differences. The prime minister of Israel is the one who needs to find a way to fix this.”

Although White House officials don’t say so explicitly, they seem to imply that one way to repair the relations between Netanyahu and Obama would be to replace Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer. The latter is seen as an instigator who concocted Netanyahu’s Congress speech behind Obama’s back with John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives.

In his speech to AIPAC, Netanyahu praised Dermer for standing firm and taking the heat in Washington. If Netanyahu wins the election and continues to back Dermer, the ambassador will find himself isolated in the American capital. As long as Obama is in the White House, nobody in the administration will work with him.

Ha’aretz reporter Barak Ravid reports this in a matter-of-fact manner, which misses the irony in this passage:

Over the past six years, there have been more than a few ups and downs in the Netanyahu-Obama relationship – tensions, crises, public recriminations and wrangling before the cameras. Senior U.S. officials say that to date, ongoing relations between the two countries continue to function despite these strains. But this time, they stressed, there was the feeling that Netanyahu was using these differences – in fact, highlighting and intensifying them – for his own political needs.

“Historians can probably find examples of times when there were similar crises in the U.S.-Israel relations in the past,” said a senior U.S. official. “In the last six years we had big differences over the peace process and on other issues, but the situation now is extremely difficult and feels more politically charged than ever before.”

Ahem. When Hamas opened fire on Israel last summer, which country went to Qatar to legitimize the terrorist group in negotiations in order to push Israel into recognizing them? That came just after the Bowe Bergdahl swap sent five high-ranking Taliban commanders to Doha, and the Obama administration needed to show that Qatar could be trusted, and to allow Qatar to curry favor in the region. It took Egypt Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to bigfoot John Kerry out of that particular folly.

Don’t think for a moment that the Obama administration hasn’t been playing politics with Iran all along, too. Which country in this equation has a foreign-policy track record so poor that it has desperately glommed onto the idea of a rapprochement with the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world? For this White House to accuse another government, especially an ally as beleaguered as Israel, of playing politics with foreign policy and alliances is the height of hypocrisy. Obama’s entire policy in the region has been predicated on playing footsie with Iran since he first took office, either in a sham “containment” relationship or a fully endorsed policy of regional hegemony.

As for Dermer, he’s clearly not the problem. However, as one former US ambassador to Israel says, ambassadors are “an expendable lot,” and Netanyahu may need to find another envoy if he wins another term as Prime Minister. That won’t change the trajectory of this administration’s folly on Iran, though, nor the chronic ineptitude of Obama’s State Department on Israel and the region.

Update on the Update below: That story was from last year, actually, as Gabriel Malor pointed out later on Twitter. We both missed that. I’ve changed the headline to remove the red headline and wanted to post this above the link. My apologies for the confusion, even though it’s still a pretty good reminder of the threat Iran poses to Israel and the region.

Update: Here’s a timely reminder that Netanyahu accurately warned that Iranian support for terrorism was a direct threat to Israel (via Gabriel Malor):

The Israel Navy intercepted a ship early on Wednesday that Iran was using to smuggle dozens of long-range rockets to Gaza.

The IDF’s “Operation Discovery” took place in the Red Sea, 1,500 kilometers away from Israel and some 160 kilometers from Port Sudan. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz oversaw the raid.

Missile ships and navy commandos from the Flotilla 13 unit, backed by the air force, raided the Klos-C cargo ship, which was carrying Syrian- manufactured M-302 rockets.

The ship’s crew is in Israeli custody, and the navy is towing the vessel to Eilat, where it is expected to arrive in the coming days.

The rockets originated in Syria, according to Military Intelligence assessments. Iran reportedly flew the rockets from Syria to an Iranian airfield, trucked them to the seaport of Bander Abbas, and shipped them to Iraq, where they were hidden in cement sacks. The ship then set sail for Port Sudan, near the Sudanese-Eritrean border, on a journey that was expected to last some 10 days.

Hey, but I’m sure the Tehran mullahcracy will be totally trustworthy with those thousands of uranium centrifuges!


Call It A Purim Miracle: Reports Say Ayatollah Khamenei In Critical Condition

Posted March 5, 2015 by Louisiana Steve
Categories: Uncategorized

Call It A Purim Miracle: Reports Say Ayatollah Khamenei In Critical Condition
By Ilan Shavit JBN Jewish Business News Published: March 5th, 2015

(Israel to act unilaterally against Iran? I don’t think so. There’s another ally no one seems to mention these days. Anyone have a Jewish prayer of thanks to share? – LS)

Couldn’t happen to a nicer man on a nicer date: on Purim, the Jewish holiday commemorating an Iranian (OK, they still called themselves Persians back then) plot to annihilate the Jews, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been reportedly hospitalized in critical condition as of Wednesday.

(Bibi DID mention Queen Ester in his speech. – LS)

The website Israel Hayom, citing Arab sources, reported that Khamenei, 76 was rushed to hospital in Tehran after some of his systems had begun to collapse.

The Ayatollah suffers from severe prostate cancer which spread to all over his body, which kept him away from public events.

Khamenei underwent surgery Wednesday night and remains in critical condition.

On Saturday, the French daily Le Figaro reported on Saturday, citing intelligence sources, that Khamenei would likely live only two more years. Apparently, his prostate cancer had reached stage four and started to spread to the rest of his body. He was admitted to hospital last September for cancer treatment.

Shortly after he was admitted to hospital last year, Iran’s former Intelligence Minister Ghorbanali Dari Najaf Abadi said in a public speech: “In any case, we have to start thinking about the era after him (Khamenei),” Rudaw reported.

Khamenei’s official website, which lists all his official events, was last updated February 18, 2015, with the Supreme Leader’s Speech in Meeting with Air Force Commanders and Personnel. His Tweeter account, quoted so lavishly by PM Netanyahu on Tuesday, has not been updated in several days.

Buy flowers? Is that a Shiite thing?

An interesting Purim tidbit: On Purim 1953, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin died in the midst of the infamous “Doctors’ Trial” that accused Jewish doctors of treason against the USSR, where a conviction would have resulted in the mass executions of Jews.

The Pointlessness of the Two-Phased Nuclear Deal

Posted March 5, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Foreign policy, Iran, Iran scam, Iranian missiles, Iranian nukes, Islamism, Kerry, Khamenei, Obama, P5+1, Rouhani

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The Pointlessness of the Two-Phased Nuclear Deal, Front Page Magazine, March 5, 2015

(The pointless point is: Never mind the pesky details which you wouldn’t understand anyway; Obama achieved peace in our time! — DM)


According to Kerry and Iranian leaders, the first phase is aimed at reaching a general outline by the end of March, while the second phase will chart a way to agree on the nuances and technical issues by June. But didn’t both sides previously reach an interim deal and discuss the major talking points for the final nuclear talks?

The major objective of this strategy by the Obama administration is to avoid criticism by projecting a pointless picture that “progress” is being made, that Iran is complying with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and sanction rules, and that the Obama administration’s policy on Iran is effective. The administration appears to ignore that Iran is already skirting the sanction, as at least $1 billion has been smuggled into Tehran by the Iranian government in bank notes.


The deadline for the “first phase” of nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the six world powers (known as the P5+1; the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China) is approaching.

The prolonged negotiations appear to be making progress, according to Secretary of State John Kerry. In addition, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that both sides came to “a better understanding” at the negotiation.

After the interim nuclear deal was reached in November 2013, the nuclear negotiations between the two sides were again divided into two stages in order to reach a final and comprehensive nuclear deal. Kerry previously proposed the two-phased nuclear negotiations.

The question that is being ignored by the mainstream media is: What are the real objectives of dividing the final negotiations into two stages?

According to Kerry and Iranian leaders, the first phase is aimed at reaching a general outline by the end of March, while the second phase will chart a way to agree on the nuances and technical issues by June. But didn’t both sides previously reach an interim deal and discuss the major talking points for the final nuclear talks?

The major objective of this strategy by the Obama administration is to avoid criticism by projecting a pointless picture that “progress” is being made, that Iran is complying with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and sanction rules, and that the Obama administration’s policy on Iran is effective. The administration appears to ignore that Iran is already skirting the sanction, as at least $1 billion has been smuggled into Tehran by the Iranian government in bank notes.

For President Obama, striking a ceremonial, pointless, and redundant deal by the proposed March deadline — rather than waiting until June to reach a final accord — would buttress his argument that “progress” is being continuously made with respect to his administration’s efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

Domestically speaking, the administration has been heavily criticized by Congress (by both the Republicans and Democrats) for allowing the Islamic Republic to buy time, making unnecessary and unprecedented concessions, prolonging the talks, and not showing signs of real progress towards a credible final and comprehensive nuclear deal.

In addition, by striking a pointless deal in the “first phase” and projecting that “progress” has been made, President Obama would desire to ratchet up his leverage in vetoing any sanctions bill that might be proposed by Congress against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear and sanctions defiance.

In other words, President Obama will need this unnecessary first-phase deal in order to avoid further domestic pressure, show the effectiveness of spending so much political capital on the nuclear talks with Iran, ease sanctions on Iran, and justify making compromises.

It is in the interest of both President Obama and Hassan Rouhani to reach a deal in the first phase.

In addition to the aforementioned political reasons and interests of the Obama and Rouhani administrations to strike a deal in the first phase, other factors contribute to the increasing likelihood of reaching a general accord by the end of March.

The first phase agreement will not include the technical details regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The accord will likely include the major talking points that both sides repeatedly discussed previously. Some of the crucial points are:

·      US possible flexibility on the breakout timeline (The amount of time that Tehran will need to build a nuclear bomb from highly enriched uranium or Plutonium);

·      Iran’s flexibility for the immediate sanction reliefs;

·      Iran’s acceptance of providing more data regarding the military dimensions of Tehran’s nuclear program;

·      The heavy water Arak Reactor, and the production of plutonium at this site;

·      Flexibility on both sides to reduce and further discuss the scope and capacity of Tehran’s uranium enrichment; and

·      The possibility of allowing Iran to maintain an additional number of centrifuges.

The nuances and the technical details are not part of the first phase accord.  The following crucial questions are less likely to be included in the first phase of the agreement: What exactly will the minimum “breakout” time be? What will the duration of the deal be? 10 years? 15 years? 20 years? How many years will it take to remove all economic sanctions against Iran? Will Tehran keep 1,500, 4,500, or 6,500 centrifuges? What is the exact scope of nuclear research and development that Tehran can maintain?

Since the aforementioned crucial and nuanced questions are not part of the first phase accord, striking this dispensable accord of the first phase is very likely and not a strenuous task.

As a result, reaching this general outline by end of March will not be historic as some mainstream media suggest. It is in fact pointless, unnecessary, redundant, and it is more likely to occur.

Report: Iran’s Supreme Leader Hospitalized in Critical Condition

Posted March 5, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Foreign policy, Iran, Iran scam, Iranian nukes, Israel, Khamenei, P5+1

Tags: , , , , , ,

Report: Iran’s Supreme Leader Hospitalized in Critical Condition, Israel National News, Ari Yashar, March 5, 2015

img569664Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Reuters

Arab media reports Ayatollah Khamenei brought for urgent care in Tehran after several of his body systems fail.

Just in time for Purim, the Jewish holiday celebrating the redemption of the Jewish people from plots of genocide in ancient Persia, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was reportedly hospitalized incritical condition on Wednesday.

According to Arab media reports cited by Israel Hayom, Khamenei was urgently brought to a hospital in Tehran after several of his bodily systems had already failed.

The reports add that the 76-year-old supreme leader of the Islamic regime has undergone surgery and remains in critical condition.

Recently it has been reported that he was suffering from prostate cancerwhich had spread to additional parts of his body, and due to his poorhealth condition he had largely ceased taking part in public events.

The hospitalization comes just days after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on Tuesday to warn of the existential threat to Israel and the world that Iran poses, urging America to avoid the deal being formed on Iran’s nuclear deal ahead of a March 31 deadline for talks.

Lending some credence to the reports is the fact that Khamenei’s official Twitter account hasn’t been updated since Netanyahu’s speech on Tuesday, when he wrote the “US is now facing a #dilemma. It should either stop unlimited services to #Israel or they’ll lose more face in the world.”

Khamenei has threatened Israel with destruction numerous times in the past; last October he used his annual message to Hajj pilgrims heading to Mecca to call for Muslim unity to bring Israel’s “annihilation.”

And last November he launched a series of anti-Israel Tweets, writing in one “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of #Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.”

Khamenei has demanded Iran be allowed to increase to 190,000 centrifuges in the deal being formulated, an amount that would allow it to produce a nuclear arsenal within weeks.

And yet it was revealed last November that US President Barack Obama had sent secret letters to Khamenei in an overture looking for an alliance and cooperation in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism, and as Netanyahu noted in his speech, has seized influence in Yemen through the Houthis, Lebanon through Hezbollah, Iraq by taking a lead role in the ISIS fight, and Syria by propping up President Bashar al-Assad militarily.

Purim Same’ach! Happy Purim!

Posted March 5, 2015 by anneinpt
Categories: Judiasm, Religion

Tags: , , ,

Purim Same’ach! Happy Purim! | Anne’s Opinions, 5th March 2015

(For background to the story of Purim, read this link from Chabad. There is much more about the festival here.   The parallels between the Purim story and today’s events are startling and chilling. [I mentioned some parallels here]. About 2,500 years ago a wicked Persian vizier persuaded his King with lies and bribes, that it was in Persia’s interest to exterminate all the Jews. Today the situation is slightly different in that we have a Persian leader who wishes to exterminate all the Jews, starting with Israel, but he is being courted by the American President. Let us hope today’s events have the same happy ending as the Purim story).

The dogs of war? Or running dogs of capitalism? (Purim in Israel)

Enough of all the gloom and doom and politics and propaganda. Purim is here and it’s time to celebrate!

The festival began at sundown this evening when we went to shul and heard the *Megillah being read, with the ra’ashanim (greggers) of various sorts – from toy gun caps to bells, whistles, rattling keys, even phone ringtones! – drowning out evil Haman’s name every time it was mentioned; and there was lots of laughter at some of the funny costumes and hats that people turned up in (including yours truly in a very unbecoming purple wig. :-) ).

Our Mishloach Manot parcels are all wrapped and ready to be delivered tomorrow, and then we’ll be off to our Seudah at our our son’s house together with several generations of the wider family. Quiet it won’t be… 📢 🙉 ♫ ♪

(* For a translation of the Hebrew words used here, please consult my Glossary page in the menu above.)

The favourite custom of Purim for most people is dressing up – symbolizing the “masking” of events in the Purim story, and evil turning into good. Via the “Only in Israel” facebook page, here are some hilarious and touching photos of Israelis celebrating Purim:

The El Al ground crew at Ben Gurion, dressed up for Purim

Here is a picture of a handicapped boy dressed up as Superman. The sky’s the limit when you have the will:

And the grand finale…. drumroll…

(We can always hope that our enemies will die laughing…) :-D

For some more Purim entertainment here are a couple of great videos to entertain you throughout the day.

Via a Facebook friend, from Jewbellish, here is my one of my favourite songs, Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” set to … Hassidic dancing! You’ve got to admit, the results are hilarious! :-D

Another great video, (h/t Hadassah), is of a flash-mob in down-town Jerusalem, performed by both students and teachers of Mekor Chaim Yeshiva. This is the Yeshiva where two of the three murdered teenagers, Naftali Frenkel and Gil-Ad Shayer Hy’d, studied. Just thinking about what their friends and teachers have all been through over the last few months is chilling, and yet they have come through strong enough to spend a day of fun and volunteering in Jerusalem – and then to dance their hearts out.

The lyrics of the song, sung by Yakov Shweki, are taken partly from Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) and are so appropriate for our situation:

לכל זמן ועת. עת לאהוב עת לשנוא עת מלחמה ועת שלום, אבל הלילה הזה כולנו בשמחה כולנו הלילה עת לרקוד

“For every time and hour there is a time to love, a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace, but tonight we are all happy, tonight we are all going to dance”.

May we all be able to keep dancing and celebrate!

Purim Same’ach everyone! Happy Purim!

!פורים שמח

US State Department Slams Netanyahu’s ‘Magic Formula’

Posted March 5, 2015 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Iran, Iran scam, Iranian nukes, Israel, Middle East, Netanyahu, Obama, State Department, U.S. Congress

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

US State Department Slams Netanyahu’s ‘Magic Formula’, Israel National News, Ari Yashar, March 4, 2015

img569560John Kerry Reuters

Harf continued “you can throw out a lot of very scary hypotheticals, but if we look at the technology and we look at where they are today and where they could be in a double-digit duration (i.e. the ten years Obama has called for the deal to last which Iran rejected – ed.), that is further away from a nuclear weapon.”


US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf responded to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Congress Address on Tuesday, and like US President Barack Obama her reaction was highly negative to Netanyahu’s criticism of the approaching Iran deal.

In a similar vein to Obama, she said: “we didn’t hear any – certainly any new ideas today, but more importantly, didn’t hear one single concrete alternative in today’s speech from the Prime Minister about how we could get to a double-digit duration, push breakout time to a year, and cut off the four pathways Iran could…use to get…fissile material for a nuclear weapon.”

Israeli officials responded to this point, arguing there was much new in Netanyahu’s proposal which would require Iran to take real actions indismantling its nuclear program instead of making mere promises to remove sanctions, and would also deal with its ballistic missile program which the current deal avoids.

While Netanyahu and US officials alike have argued no deal is better than a bad deal, Harf opined “no deal means much shorter breakout than under an agreement. Right now, outside experts have said publicly we’re at about two to three months breakout. Our goal is a year.”

Calling Netanyahu’s talk of a better deal “hypothetical” and “rhetoric,” she added “anyone who tells you there’s a magic formula that they have in their head that we don’t have is just not looking at the situation realistically.”

“We need to be very clear about what we’re trying to achieve and what the alternatives look like, not in a fantasy world, not in a world without specifics, but in the real world. And that’s what we’re doing,” she claimed.

Harf stated that Netanyahu said “some sort of perplexing things…including that all sanctions will eventually be lifted on Iran. That is not the case.” She admitted that the nuclear sanctions indeed would indeed be lifted, but “sanctions for terrorism, sanctions for human rights” will remain.

“He also said that at the end of the duration, Iran would have ‘fullinternational legitimacy,’ which is also a little overstated and just not accurate,” stated Harf.

When asked whether by maintaining the deal Iran’s nuclear program would not get legitimacy, she acknowledged that indeed the program would receive such legitimacy, but attempted to differentiate between “full legitimacy” for Iran as opposed to legitimacy for its nuclear program.

“We have always said they would be able to have a domestic enrichment that is peaceful in nature,” she added.

Iran has repeatedly threatened Israel with annihilation, and is the leading state sponsor of terrorism worldwide.

Centrifuges for a nuclear arsenal in weeks

Harf was asked about Netanyahu’s statement that US Secretary of State John Kerry had acknowledged Iran would be allowed to increase to 190,000 centrifuges as its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has demanded, a state of affairs that would allow the Islamic regime to produce a nuclear arsenal within weeks.

She insisted that Kerry had not said Iran would be allowed to increase to 190,000 centrifuges in the deal.

“When you are a member, a non-nuclear-weapons member of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) – and I’m not an NPT expert – but at the conclusion of the duration of this, in addition to the lasting transparency measures we have, Iran will not be able to do things to get to a nuclear weapon,” she claimed.

Harf continued “you can throw out a lot of very scary hypotheticals, but if we look at the technology and we look at where they are today and where they could be in a double-digit duration (i.e. the ten years Obama has called for the deal to last which Iran rejected – ed.), that is further away from a nuclear weapon.”

In response to the bill being proposed to allow Congress to vote on the Iran nuclear deal before it is agreed upon, Harf made clear Obama intends to shoot down any such motion.

“If that comes to the President’s desk, he will veto it. …We can’t negotiate an agreement while Congress is attempting to legislate either what might be in it or that it can’t be implemented, how it could be implemented, which is part of this as well,” she said.


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