Tag Archives: Israel


Donald Trump’s apparent coziness with anti-Semites is difficult to reconcile with Jared and Ivanka Trump. Jared is the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, and Ivanka converted to Judaism to marry him. They’re not just Jews – they’re Orthodox Jews, who observe the Sabbath every Saturday. And they are also, seemingly, the only people Donald Trump fully and completely trusts, both in business and personally.

I don’t think Donald Trump is himself racist. He doesn’t believe in anything but Donald Trump. I’m reminded of John Goodman’s line in the Big Lebowski: Nazis were awful people, but at least they stood for something. Donald Trump stands for and believes in nothing but Donald Trump.

But Trump’s core, most loyal supporters are racists, and Trump knows it.

Clever attack uses the sound of a computer’s fan to steal data

Kim Zetter, Wired:

In the past two years a group of researchers in Israel has become highly adept at stealing data from air-gapped computers—those machines prized by hackers that, for security reasons, are never connected to the internet or connected to other machines that are connected to the internet, making it difficult to extract data from them.

Mordechai Guri, manager of research and development at the Cyber Security Research Center at Ben-Gurion University, and colleagues at the lab, have previously designed three attacks that use various methods for extracting data from air-gapped machines—methods involving radio waveselectromagnetic waves and the GSM network, and even the heat emitted by computers.

Now the lab’s team has found yet another way to undermine air-gapped systems using little more than the sound emitted by the cooling fans inside computers. Although the technique can only be used to steal a limited amount of data, it’s sufficient to siphon encryption keys and lists of usernames and passwords, as well as small amounts of keylogging histories and documents, from more than two dozen feet away. The researchers, who have described the technical details of the attack in a paper (.pdf), have so far been able to siphon encryption keys and passwords at a rate of 15 to 20 bits per minute—more than 1,200 bits per hour—but are working on methods to accelerate the data extraction.

The attacker installs malware on a target machine to modify the fans’ speed to change audio output and transmit information to nearby microphones. Diabolical!

As Israel Prospers, Obama Set to Give Billions More in Aid While Netanyahu Demands Even More

Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept:

For all the chatter about animosity between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, The Washington Post reports that “a senior Israeli official will arrive in Washington next week for a final round of negotiations involving the largest military aid package the United States has ever given any country and that will last more than a decade after President Obama leaves office.” The U.S. already transfers $3.1 billion in taxpayer money every year to Israel – more than any other country by far – but the new agreement Obama is set to sign “significantly raises” that amount, and guarantees it for 10 years.

In response to this massive windfall, Netanyahu is angry that he is not getting even more.

As Israel Prospers, Obama Set to Give Billions More in Aid While Netanyahu Demands Even More

Israelis enjoy universal health care coverage, while 10.4% of the US population is without health insurance — Israelis get better care for less money than we spend, Greenwald notes. They have longer life expectancies and better infant mortality.

Maybe Israel ought to be sending money to the US?


Aerial view of Tel Aviv bus station.

The White Elephant of Tel Aviv – 99% Invisible:

At 2.5 million square feet, the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station was the product of a grand vision to build an indoor micro-metropolis. Its expansive plans featured a shopping mall with thousands of stores, services and entertainment offerings. The structure even came to house a (now deserted) subterranean theater, originally meant to entertain people waiting for their bus.

Even the design didn’t make sense – the largest bus station in the world in a medium-sized city – just 412,000 people even today, about a populous as Minneapolis. But it was just after Israel’s triumph in the 1967 war, and the country was thinking big.

This vision gave way to a darker reality, resulting in what reporter Yochai Maital describes as “a derelict eight-story behemoth and modern day Tower of Babel, which mirrors much of modern Israeli history, with its grand vision and messy implementation.”

The layout is intentionally confusing, inspired by Jerusalem’s Old City. “The architect wanted the building to look and feel like a system of small alleyways, disorienting but cozy and familiar.” Even people who work there sometimes get lost. Much of the building has been abandoned, built to accommodate an order of magnitude more passengers than it actually gets.

Its architects envisioned the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station as a climate-controlled “city under a roof” and, in a way, that is what it has become: it has a lot of things that work, but it also contains those sad, scary and derelict places found in any urban environment.


Times Of Israel Removes ‘When Genocide Is Permissible’ Post

“Never, and shame on you for asking.” That’s the answer to that question.

Yesterday I wrote a post criticizing Israel’s most vociferous critics. I endorsed a comment by Yisrael Hasson, a member of Israel’s Knesset. He said: “NATO bombed 5,000 civilians in Kosovo just because it was insulted; 27,000 Iraqi civilians were bombed during the American invasion because they posed a danger to the US; there is not a country in the world that can talk to us about morality.”

In other words: Israel is no worse than other countries.

And that’s the problem, because Israel is also no better than other countries. And, like the US, it’s supposed to be better. Israel and the US are supposed to be shining examples to the world. We were once. Now, well, at least we’re not as bad as our enemies. I suppose that’s something.

The hypocrisy of criticizing Israel

”NATO bombed 5,000 civilians in Kosovo just because it was insulted; 27,000 Iraqi civilians were bombed during the American invasion because they posed a danger to the US; there is not a country in the world that can talk to us about morality.”

— Knesset Member Yisrael Hasson

Via ‘If European Countries Fail To Protect Their Jews, The State of Israel Will’, which notes the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, including crowds marching and shouting, “Death to Jews.”

The death of Palestinian civilians is horrifying and I’m not going to make excuses for it. But this is what war is. It’s not Rambo jumping out of a swamp or John Wayne striding out of the jungle. It’s children being killed by bombs. It’s what happens when America goes to war, when Russia does, when Ukrainians do, in Syria and Libya. It’s all the same thing.

Stop blaming Israel for the violence. Stop blaming the Palestinians.

Stop saying that if Israeli children were dying, Palestinians would be celebrating.

Stop writing articles like this: “It’s a game of tit for tat, except one side is the world’s sixth largest arms exporter (11th in terms of “global firepower”) and the other an imprisoned slum with a poverty rate of 70 percent.”

And this: While Hamas tries to kill civilians, Israelis try to spare them.

Any attempt to paint one side of this conflict as more in the wrong than another just creates a more welcoming environment for violence.

You think that simply pointing out the enemy is wrong will help you win? You think that violence will help you achieve your goals? Not going to happen. If it could have worked, it would have worked already. It’s been at least 50 years. You want to go for another 50 years of blood and violence and death? You want more children to die? Keep finding blame.



“Harrowing” tweets show what life is like in Gaza under Israeli bombing

What does it feel like to be in Gaza right now, under ever-looming threat of bombardment from above? Mohammed Suliman, a resident of Gaza City who identifies himself on his blog as a 22-year-old graduate student, has been tweeting, often poignantly, of the experience.