Israel’s Successful Profiling Takes Media Spotlight
An Israeli intelligence official defended the nation’s effective use of racial profiling as a means to single out terrorists from among a larger population.
Israel’s use of profiling became the focus of international media attention when U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump said it was time for the US to consider racial profiling as a means to combat terrorism – and cited Israel as an example of success.
“Other countries do it; you look at Israel and you look at others and they do it and they do it successfully,” Trump said. “You know, I hate the concept of profiling. But we have to start using common sense.”
Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz explained Israel’s methods.
“Ultimately these (security) apparatuses … must build a profile of characteristics as to where the danger comes from and locate it,” he said in a briefing to foreign journalists arranged by the Israel Project advocacy group. “It is not the whole population, but sometimes when there is a specific form of terrorism, you can seek out Islamic terrorism only among Muslims.”
Arabs comprise a fifth of Israel’s population. Non-Jews, especially Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, have long complained of being singled out for scrutiny and searches at security checkpoints throughout Israel and at the airport.
In an interview one week after the massacre by a Muslim at an Orlando nightclub, Trump said it was “common sense” over “political correctness” to consider profiling. Trump has previously called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, a suspension of immigration from countries with “a proven history of terrorism.”
Profiling has kept Israel safe. Untold terror attacks have been thwarted around the country and not one successful attack has been carried out on Israeli air traffic since the 1972 Lod Airport massacre in which 26 people were killed.
In fact, aviation security consultant Philip Baum said that airports would benefit from taking some methods from Israel’s playbook.
“’We need to realize that security is about so much more than just the checkpoint, than just confiscating items because they are on a list. We need to focus much more on the intent,” he told the UK Daily Mail.
Baum referred to El Al, Israel’s national airline, which trains its workers in psychological observation techniques, has them monitor passengers’ behavior and question them about their trip.
Potential terrorists would feel uncomfortable with an unpredictable pattern of questioning and character analysis, Baum contended, adding that typical security checks have become too predictable.
“For me profiling is not about racial profiling, and should not be seen as politically incorrect,” he said.
Dai Whittingham, chief executive of the UK Flight Safety Council, agreed that profiling is actually advantageous to airport security.
“Profiling of passengers is an important part of the security process as it helps to identify those whose behavior could be indicating ill intent,” he told MailOnline Travel. “It is not fool proof, but it does work.”
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Testimony from the Ground in the Six Day War: Generals’ Perspectives
For at least the past two years, ahead of Jerusalem Day, Israel has released from its military archives some debriefings by some its commanders describing the situation on the ground during the conflict.
The newly released documents shed light on the escalation a few weeks prior to the outbreak of the Six Day War in 1967 and the subsequent and dramatic reunification of Jerusalem. Israel took the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights from Eqypt, Syria and Jordan and reunified the city of Jerusalem.
Now, 49 years later, a new generation can glean from the generals’ experiences.
Yitzhak Rabin, IDF chief of staff, from the Sinai
When the Egyptian army entered the Sinai on May 17, 1967 Rabin knew tensions had escalated.
“The IDF always employed an organizational assumption that it needed to be prepared for war at all times,” Rabin said. “Despite that, I must say, if I’d been asked in early May – and I think I was asked – if there would be war on June 5, 1967, I would have doubted it.”
Rabin reportedly said one would “have to be stupid” to not realize the hostile intentions of then Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser.
From everything said, it was increasingly clear that the Arab side had entered a mode of ecstatic thinking … following what they saw as a success in the move of concentrating those forces.
Temperatures in the area were rising, if I’m not mistaken, to a fever pitch not seen since 1956. What remained to be seen at that point was the extent this ecstasy would lead to an act that could be deemed an act of war.
Rabin believed that the IDF could defeat the Egyptian army.
I thought it would be a more difficult battle, with more casualties and a longer duration required than actually happened.
Maj. Gen. Uzi Narkiss, Head of Central Command
Narkiss spoke optimistically of the unification of Jerusalem before the war began. After receiving the order to prepare for way on June 5, Narkiss phoned Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek.
It’s war; everything’s in order. You’ll yet be the mayor of a united Jerusalem. We’re enjoying great success; the armored forces are already inside.
“Since I’m a Jerusalemite and know this thing and know the concept of lamenting a missed opportunity for generations” – referring to the 1949 war – “I said that now was our time to take Jerusalem.”
Accordingly, Narkiss told the army’s chief rabbi Shlomo Goren to bring a shofar with him. Goren replied:
You’ll make history. The south, it’s not important. The main thing is the Old City and the Temple Mount.
In mere days, that would come to pass. On June 7, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan ordered the army to enter the Old City. Narkiss reported that at 9:50 a.m. the shelling of the Muslim Quarter had ended. He threw a smoke grenade so his troops could make it to the gate and enter the Old City. That’s when Paratrooper chief Mordechai Gur famously declared: “The Temple Mount is in our hands.”
We reached the corner on the street that led to the Lions’ Gate. On the way, I found Goren, and offered him a ride. He refused – he ran, with a Torah scroll in his left hand and the shofar in his right hand.
Narkiss described what happened later.
Dayan got himself ready to be photographed, and then realized it wasn’t quite right, so he brought over the chief of staff to stand beside him.
Dayan then asked Narkiss to get in the picture as well, creating what would become an iconic photo from the reunification of Jerusalem.
We got there, went in, visited the mosque and then the Western Wall. Dayan put a note in, asking for peace. He ordered me to physically open the Old City’s gates and then leave them closed, under the protection of soldiers, to prevent the free flow of traffic.
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US House of Representatives Approves Defense Aid Increase for Israel
The United States House of Representatives approved increased funding for Israel’s defense programs Thursday, despite opposition by the Obama Administration made on Tuesday. The bill passed by a majority of 282 to 138.
The House of Representatives passed an appropriations measure, passing a spending bill of $635.7 billion, $576 million of which is designated to Israel’s defense programs. The increased funding is $450 million more than requested by the Obama Administration, which may veto the bill.
According to reports, $268 million is designated to US-Israel cooperative missile and defense programs, $150 million for procurement of the David’s Sling missile defense system, $120 million for procurement of the Arrow-3 missile defense system, $72 million for procurement of the Iron Dome defense system and $25 million in research and development for US-Israel energy programs.
An additional $42.7 million will be reportedly designated to US-Israel anti-tunnel technology. On Wednesday, Israel announced plans to construct an underground, cement tunnel on the Gaza Strip border, the 60-kilometer wall to cost around 2.2 billion NIS.
Last month, the Senate Appropriations Committee submitted the proposal for the increased budget following the House of Representatives submission of a proposal to provide Israel with $600 million in US funding for its defense missile program, a $455 million increase in government funding for the 2017 budget. The request for increased funds came following extensive lobbying efforts by the State of Israel and pro-Israel lobbyist groups, mainly AIPAC. Under the current memorandum of understanding between Israel and the United States signed in 2007, Israel receives a total of $30 billion in aid over a ten-year period set to expire in 2018. Israel had lobbied and pressed for $5 billion in annual funding, opposed to the current $3 billion.
In the letter submitted to Congress Tuesday, the Obama Administration claimed that:
At a time when ISIL [ISIS] continues to threaten the homeland and our allies, the bill does not fully fund wartime operations. Instead the bill would redirect $16 billion of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds toward base budget programs that the Department of Defense (DOD) did not request, shortchanging funding for ongoing wartime operations midway through the year. Not only is this approach dangerous but it is also wasteful. The bill would buy excess force structure without the money to sustain it, effectively creating a hollow force structure that would undermine DOD’s efforts to restore readiness.
This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, June 17, 2016, and reposted with permission.
Amir is the founder of Behold Israel and lives in northern Israel. He has been invited to churches, prophecy seminars and conferences around the world, to teach on current events in Israel in light of Bible prophecy. Since 2004, Amir has been consultant to various law enforcement agencies and seminars on homeland-security issues.
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Newspaper Reports: Israel to Build Underground Wall around Gaza
Israel is planning to build a concrete wall deep in the ground around Gaza in order to obstruct the threat of tunnels that reach into Israeli territory, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Thursday.
The wall would stretch along the border, dozens of meters below and above ground and would cost 2.2 billion shekels ($568 million) to construct.
The existence of the plan to build a subterranean wall was cleared for publication by the military censor, the newspaper reported.
It is unclear whether the timing of this report corresponds with the remarks of a senior Defense Ministry official who declared on Wednesday that the next round of fighting against Hamas must be the last with the goal to topple Hamas.
“A war of attrition is not an option. The next confrontation must be the last in terms of Hamas’s regime,” the senior official, who insisted on anonymity, told reporters at a briefing.
Meanwhile, the eyes of the defense establishment are turned towards Gaza in the south, and is preparing for the next conflict there. The official clarified that the objective in the next war in the Strip will be to completely topple the Hamas government, and that the IDF will have the confidence to destroy its military wing.
“We don’t want to control Gaza,” he said, “and as long as there isn’t an alternative (to Hamas), we don’t have any business being there. … But a conflict with Hamas is unavoidable. It is an ongoing threat, and we have to be ready and prepared for it.”
In the last conflict between Israel and Gaza in 2014, several tunnels were uncovered, some of which extended into Israeli territory. Hamas fighters used the tunnels to carry out or avoid attacks on soldiers and civilians. The Israel Defense Forces destroyed 32 terror tunnels, 14 of them in Israel.
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Orlando Shooter Wife May be Charged as Co-Conspirator
The wife of the man who killed 49 people at a gay club in Orlando on Sunday has Palestinian roots and is now under scrutiny by the FBI for any alleged role or knowledge she may have had regarding the impending attack.
Noor Zahi Salman, 30, has been married to Mateen since 2011, a second marriage for both of them. The couple has a 3-year-old son.
Salman, who could be charged as a co-conspirator in the massacre, told the FBI that she accompanied her husband to Pulse at least once prior, a trip that a U.S. law enforcement official described as “reconnaissance,” and was with him when he purchased ammunition.
“With respect to the wife, I can tell you that that is only one of many interviews we have done and will continue to do,” Ronald Hopper, FBI assistant special agent in charge, said on Wednesday.
Salman’s parents immigrated to the United States from Ramallah in the 1970s and became naturalized citizens. Salman was born and raised in Rodeo, Calif., about 40 minutes north of San Fransisco.
Some neighbors said Salman’s previous marriage was arranged, but that the union only lasted a few months. Neighbors said that after Salman married Mateen, she moved to Florida and visited her family in California only once since 2011.
The Salman family is believed to have been well off and were seemingly moderate Muslims.
Noor has admitted to the FBI that she knew her husband was planning some sort of attack, according to some news reports. Salman said she was present when he bought ammunition and had driven him on another scouting mission to Disney World.