Condemning Terror, so Long as It’s Not against Jews

Following the murder of a French priest by Islamic State-linked terrorists, a group of prominent French Muslims issued an unambiguous and strongly worded condemnation of this and previous attacks. Bernard-Henri Lévy was among many who greeted the statement with enthusiasm—observing that it contained “not a scintilla of denial”—until he noticed a troubling detail:

The letter begins with an enumeration of the recent terrorist acts that have beset France. It does not omit Charlie (“the murder of cartoonists”), Bataclan (“the murder of young people listening to music”), of Magnanville (“the murder of a pair of police officers”). Nor, of course, does it fail to mention Nice (“the murder of men, women, and children celebrating the national holiday”) or Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray (“the murder of a priest celebrating Mass”). Clearly, it purported to present an exhaustive list of the attacks.

Except it left one out. And what it left out was the hostage-taking at the kosher supermarket on January 9, 2015, which occurred less than three years after Mohamed Merah’s murders at the Jewish school in Toulouse. . . .

[A] slip like this cannot be allowed to go unremarked. And, given the prominence of those who signed the letter, it cannot fail to be upsetting. . . . One cannot purport to oppose Islamic State’s intention to immerse France in blood and fire and then, when the time comes to count the dead, display selective memory.

And above all, one cannot claim to be seeking a way out of an “intolerable situation,” one in which denial feeds the problem and confusion sows seeds of division and suggests the possibility (God forbid) of the war of all against all, while at the same time soft-pedaling the anti-Semitism that is, like it or not, one of the signs and, perhaps, one of the sources of what Abdelwahab Meddeb, the great scholar of Tunisian origin, called the “malady of Islam.”

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Anti-Semitism, Charlie Hebdo, European Islam, France, ISIS, Politics & Current Affairs, Terrorism


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security