How Natan Sharansky Encouraged and Inspired Alexei Navalny

On Friday, Russian authorities announced that the dissident leader Alexei Navalny died in a Siberian prison camp at the age of forty-seven. While in solitary confinement, Navalny read Natan Sharansky’s memoir Fear No Evil, which recounts the years he spent in prison for the crime of wanting to leave the USSR for Israel. The two men then carried out a brief correspondence in April 2023, which has been published in English translation in the Free Press.

Navalny’s first letter concludes with the phrase, l’Shanah ha-ba’ah bi-Yrushalayim (Next year in Jerusalem) which, he says, he “copied for myself from the book.” Sharansky wrote in his response:

By the way, I write to you the day before Passover—the celebration of the liberation of the Jews from Egyptian slavery 3,500 years ago. That is the start of our freedom and our history as a people. On this evening, Jews from around the world sit at the holiday table and read the words: “Today we are slaves—tomorrow, free people. Today we are here—next year, in Jerusalem.”

On this day I am sitting at the celebratory meal wearing a kippah, which was made 40 years ago, out of my footcloth, by my cellmate—a Ukrainian inmate in the Chistopol prison. That’s how twisted everything in this world is! I wish to you, Alexei, and to all of Russia, an Exodus as soon as possible.


Natan Sharansky

To this, Navalny wrote, “And after all, where else to spend Holy Week, if not in SHIZO,” referring to the “punishment cell” with which both men were all too familiar.

Read more at Free Press

More about: Natan Sharansky, Passover, Russia, Soviet Union

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