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Amid Hezbollah counter-tunnel operations, IDF must be ‘ready for deterioration,’ says ex-defense official



Amid Hezbollah counter-tunnel operations IDF must be ready for deterioration says ex-defense officia

Hezbollah’s special forces, combined with Iraqi Shi’ite militias, were supposed to infiltrate Israel, traveling through the tunnels along various routes on the Israeli-Lebanese border, from the Mediterranean Sea to Mount Dov.

 As the Israel Defense Forces ploughs ahead with an operation to expose and destroy a network of Hezbollah tunnels snaking their way into northern Israel from Lebanon, the military must also be prepared for the risk of a sudden escalation with the powerful Shi’ite terrorist organization, a former senior defense official told JNS.

Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, who has served in the past as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s National Security Adviser, said that the operation underway to expose the tunnels—built to infiltrate Israel’s northern border—is aimed at neutralizing a component of Hezbollah’s ability to launch a surprise ground attack into Israel.

This type of attack has not yet been seen in Hezbollah’s combat against Israel, he said, and if Israel succeeds in getting rid of the tunnels, Hezbollah will be left without “an important component that gave it more confidence in a future war.”

The counter-tunnel operation is part of a wider Israeli policy of building up deterrence, which includes taking away capabilities from the enemy, said Amidror. “While it is difficult to know if this will work, it certainly has a better chance when the other side knows it lost some of its capabilities,” he stated.

Still, the situation is explosive, and the element of unpredictability remains, he warned. “Since this is a maneuver in which two sides are making decisions, it is impossible to know what the response of both will be—in other words, what Hezbollah will do further along the operation, and how will Israel respond afterwards. Therefore, the IDF must be prepared for a deterioration, to be prepared with lots of force.”

According to IDF Spokesman Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus, the IDF is ready for just that kind of scenario. He said the military’s “Northern Command is on elevated readiness, prepared for various contingencies,” and cited an “enhanced troop presence.”

Israeli civilians, however, are under no special instructions, and have been told to remain in a routine state of affairs.

Conricus noted that the tunnels have been under Israeli monitoring for about three years, and that Israel “chose to nip them in the bud now,” after sufficient intelligence was gathered. Israel’s counter-tunnel technology has proven itself on the Gaza border to the south, where it enabled the IDF to detect and destroy 17 tunnels in recent years, and has now come of age in the north as well.

Hamas shared its tunnel-building expertise with Hezbollah, and although both terror organizations dug structures deep underground with communication cables, oxygen ventilation systems and electricity, the threat is not identical. Hezbollah had to dig into hard rock, unlike Gaza’s soft sand stone, and employed a different support system for the tunnels.

The tunnels were earmarked for Hezbollah’s elite Rawan assault force, which the organization would have injected into Israel in a future war, for killing and kidnapping missions.

Conricus described the tunnel as the latest sign of the “adverse effect of Iranian entrenchment in the region. Hezbollah is strengthening its military capabilities while violating U.N. resolutions … this is funded by Iranian money and assisted with Iranian knowledge.”

Professor Boaz Ganor, executive director of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the IDC in Herzliya, said the tunnels are part of a wider Hezbollah war doctrine developed over the past decade.

The doctrine “is based on two parallel efforts: projectile fire at Israel from Lebanon and possibly from Syria on a scale not seen in the past [including the launching of accurate missiles and large warheads], and a ground attack against the IDF in Lebanese territory and inside Israeli territory.”

Within this doctrine, Hezbollah’s special forces, combined with Iraqi Shi’ite militias, were supposed to infiltrate Israel, traveling through the tunnels along various routes on the Israeli-Lebanese border, from the Mediterranean Sea to Mount Dov, Ganor explained.

“These infiltrations are designed to seize civilian communities, forcing the IDF to dedicate military resources to solving large hostage crises, to disrupt the IDF’s call-up of forces’ system, and its movement of forces into Lebanon, by taking control of territory that enables control in the Galilee, and blocking central traffic arteries,” said Ganor.

Israel’s “Operation Northern Shield” is designed to deal a mortal blow to a central Hezbollah effort that the organization has invested major time and resources in, he added.

‘The axis of evil of Iran-Syria-Turkey-Hezbollah’

Asked whether Israel’s decision to neutralize the tunnels without escalating the situation into war was the correct one, Ganor said it was the right course of action in the short term. However, he cautioned, due to Hezbollah’s massive arsenal of rockets and missiles—estimated at between 150,000 to 200,000—and the damage they will cause to Israel if and when Hezbollah opens fire at Israel, “it seems that Israel cannot allow itself for Hezbollah to initiate and begin a war, and it is incumbent on Israel to preempt and destroy at least a discernable part of the organization’s long-range projectiles.”

From this perspective, Ganor cautioned, Israel may have missed a justified opportunity to strike Hezbollah’s military systems. This opportunity presented itself with the discovery of Hezbollah’s violation of Israeli sovereignty, and in light of the threats to wage war on Israel and conquer parts of the Galilee by an organization that serves as an Iranian outpost.

The Iranians and Hezbollah, for their part, seem to be trying to understand the significance of the Israeli counter-tunnel operation, and to “assess the damage that has been caused to them,” said Ganor.

“They will examine how many of the tunnels from those they prepared have been identified by Israel, in the hope that some will remain operational. The possibility that they will try to disrupt the Israeli operation by boobytrapping the tunnel must be taken into account, although it seems that at this stage, neither Hezbollah nor the Iranians have an interest in deteriorating the situation to an all-out war with Israel,” assessed Ganor.

Ultimately, Iran has been able to take advantage of a mutual deterrence in place between Israel and Hezbollah. It has used this situation to continue to arm its Lebanese proxy, building military assets on Israel’s borders from within Lebanon and Syria. “The military victory of the axis of evil of Iran-Syria-Turkey-Hezbollah, under Russian protection, provides a tailwind for these Iranian trends,” said Ganor

It is reasonable to assume, he explained, that “a gun that appears in the first act will be fired at the end of the play. The unprecedented threat that is being built against Israel does not perhaps endanger its existence, but it could cause large-scale strategic damage to the state, the civilian homefront, infrastructure and critical facilities. As a result, Israel cannot accept the existence and growth of this threat.”

A psychological boost to Israeli civilians in the north

Dr. Ely Karmon, a senior research scholar at the ICT, agreed, noting that the greatest strategic threat is “the huge ground-to-ground missile arsenal in Hezbollah’s possession, and the present attempt by Iran to increase the number of long-range precise missiles, which could destroy Israeli military targets and infrastructure in the first attack.”

The massive Hamas rocket fire in last months’ round of fighting was a reminder of such a threat, he added.

Karmon described the exposure of the tunnels as a “very important intelligence and operational success, as it neutralizes the publicized Hezbollah plan to attack Galilee towns and villages.” It also provides a psychological boost to Israeli civilians living near the northern border, who have been concerned by Hezbollah tunnel-digging for years.  Northern residents near the border with Lebanon have for years reported hearing sounds that they suspected came from Hezbollah digging operations. However, the IDF investigated those reports, and did not find that they led to tunnel activities. But Karmon noted that the larger threat remains Hezbollah’s firepower.

“In the 2006 Second Lebanon War, Israel destroyed the much smaller arsenal of long-range missiles in the first 34 hours of the war, due to exceptional intelligence,” said Karmon. “It seems me this cannot be done in the present situation in Lebanon, where the government is dominated by Hezbollah and its army is almost subservient, without a massive ground war—possibly a preventive war.”

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16 states hit 9th Circuit to sue President Trump, as expected



16 states hit 9th Circuit to sue President Trump as expected

It was one of the most replayed parts of President Trump’s announcement regarding his national emergency declaration last Friday – a sing-song moment as the President predicted the declaration would be made, Democrats would sue, they’d go through the 9th circuit, and their decision will hopefully be overturned by the Supreme Court. So far, he’s been absolutely correct as 16 states have filed against the declaration.

New York, California, 14 other states sue Trump in Ninth Circuit over emergency declaration attorneys general of California, New York, and 14 other states on Monday filed a lawsuit in the Ninth Circuit against the White House’s recent national emergency declaration over border security, claiming President Trump has “veered the country toward a constitutional crisis of his own making.”

President Trump sarcastically had predicted the lawsuit last week. He’s slammed the Ninth Circuit multiple times as “disgraceful” and politically biased.

My Take

This is their right, and while it may annoy those who support building the border wall, it would be a mistake to condemn these states for trying to stop it. This is part of the way our nation is intended to operate. If one or more states feel the need to challenge the authority of Washington DC, they should be able to make their case before the courts. If the courts make decisions based on the Constitution, then the end result will be the accurate and righteous one.

That’s how this was all intended.

I’m not suggesting the 9th Circuit is going to treat this fairly, nor am I confident the Supreme Court will make its decision solely on the Constitution, but until things are changed, this is what we’ve got. Attempts to subvert any component of this system from the President’s right to declare the emergency to the states’ rights to challenge it to the courts’ responsibility to make a ruling about it all would be to denounce the foundation upon which this nation was built.

There was a way this could have been avoided. Had the President and the GOP decided to have the debate over the wall while they had power over the House, Senate, and White House, they would have been in better position to get the wall going by now. Unfortunately, they an improper political calculation to hold off on the wall debate until after the midterm elections, and now it’s costing the American citizens. It costs us money to sit here through the shutdown and the legal battle over the national emergency declaration. It’s costing us time; the wall should be much further along by now. It may end up costing us the wall altogether if they aren’t able to make a strong case before the Supreme Court.

We are in the midst of a crisis at the border, one that has been going on for decades. Let’s not exacerbate the crisis by adding a Constitutional crisis on top. This needs to play all the way out.


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Culture and Religion

Man fined £1,000 for outdated sense of humor



Man fined £1000 for outdated sense of humor

Jonathon Van Maren, a contributor for LifeSiteNews, recently stumbled across an article in the UK’s Edinburgh News about a construction worker who was arrested for “pointing and laughing” at a biological male who was dressed as a female (transgender woman).

[Author’s Note: It is impolite and unkind to point and laugh at others. This article is not an endorsement of such behavior.]

As Van Maren explained, a construction worker named Graham Spiers was walking with a group of friends. The group pointed and laughed while passing a transgender individual who, suspecting that his appearance had become the subject of ridicule, telephoned the police.

Spiers was arrested five day later.

Sherriff Robert Fife scolded Mr. Spiers’s sense of humor and actions:

Transgender insanity: Police now jailing people for laughing at men in women’s clothes Robert Fife also piled on, informing Spiers that, “Your offensive comments were not funny at the time and are not funny now. Your children should grow up understanding gender differences and would be ashamed at your behavior that comes from a different era has no place in today’s society.” Fife then told Spiers that in addition to the cash he had to pay to the biological man for laughing at him, he also had to pay an additional fine of another five hundred pounds.

Graham Spiers was ordered to pay a total of £1,000 for his actions “from a different era,” 500 of which was paid to the complainant.

Of the actions by police and the court in this instance, Van Maren opined:

It is disgusting enough that law enforcement would arrest and charge someone for this triviality. That alone indicates that freedom in Scotland is truly dead. But the fact that law enforcement then lectured Spiers on being a throwback from a different age (that different era being about a decade ago, for the record) and telling him his children should be ashamed of him? And that Spiers was expected to cower and listen to this tongue-lashing from his betters so he could get re-educated and realize that men could now become women and that laughing at their attempts was forbidden by law? That should absolutely repulse any liberty-loving person and terrify everyone who values freedom.

My Take

Pointing and laughing at others is unquestionably unkind. I am repulsed at the thought of such outward meanness. However, that this behavior so would be considered illegal and result in one’s arrest is punitive at best, and is undoubtedly a waste a valuable time and resources. Furthermore, the punishment in this case is brazenly excessive.

This is yet another instance of big government run amok. The Founders knew the dangers of big government. It would be prudent of us to heed the Founders’ advice, lest we find ourselves in the position of Mr. Spiers: subjugated beneath the arbitrary boot of “benevolent” governmental authority.


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NOQ Report drops ads, goes 100% crowdfunded



NOQ Report drops ads goes 100 crowdfunded

There’s nothing pleasant about asking people for money. Over the last six months, we’ve experimented with various types of revenue streams to see what could help propel this site to more people. In a society dominated by fake news and leftist media, getting a foothold as a limited-government conservative news outlet is challenging.

Unfortunately, there seem to be only three options. The first one is a non-starter – corporate sponsorships. There are very few organizations, PACs, and companies we trust enough to allow to be corporate sponsors, and while we may someday work with the few that we trust, we don’t have the luxury of waiting for them. We’ve had some corporate sponsorship offers, but invariably they want a say in the editorial component. Some want all-positive Republican coverage. Others want more positive Democratic coverage. Our goal has been and always will be to present the news, opinions, and quotes from a pro-American perspective. That means we call it how we see it.

Option two has been a disaster for multiple reasons. Most websites are driven by advertising, which is fine as long as it both pays the bills and doesn’t flood the site with spam. We’ve used Google, Amazon, and a handful of smaller ad networks to try to generate enough revenue, but it’s challenging when we have limited control over what’s being served. I’d get emails regularly saying we were advertising for Planned Parenthood or Ashley Madison or other websites that didn’t match our values at the site. This may be the easiest way for the site to pay its bills, but it’s not worth the trade-off.

Option three is the tough one. It’s the way that requires me to do what doesn’t come naturally – asking for money. We want to be 100% crowdfunded. That means we need you, the readers, to donate whenever possible. It can be single donations to give us a boost. It can be a recurring donation to help us plan for the future. Literally anything and everything helps.

We have tiers of $10, $50, $5000, and everything in between. Of course, there’s an option for supporters to name their donation amount, so there really isn’t a limit to how much or how little you contribute. Every penny makes a difference.

Here are some of the upcoming expenditures we need covered in order to keep the site moving forward:

  • $25/article – Paid writers and expenses. Currently, all of our writers are volunteers. We appreciate their efforts and we want to reward them. We also need to hire more freelance writers in order to expand the perspectives. Eventually, we will need to budget around $12,000 per month for full-time staff writers, but just getting started with around 1/5th that amount will be a wonderful down payment.
  • $3000/mo – Editors. For the last six months, I have put my time and effort into editing the site. I don’t mind working for free as it’s a labor of love, but it’s unsustainable. I’ll either need to hire editors so I can work full time again or I’ll need to start paying myself. Either way, this is a top priority.
  • $350/mo – Facebook promotions. It’s amazing how much attention we can drive to the site with every little money spent. $10 per day gets the message out to several thousand additional people on Facebook. Add in a little in Facebook reserve to push harder on some of the more important stories and we can start boosting exposure dramatically.
  • $625/mo – Graphics. Whether for videos or articles, the need for help from a graphic design perspective is ongoing.
  • $2000/mo – Advertising. Like-minded conservatives, classical liberals, and limited-government federalists need to know about NOQ Report. By advertising on other sites, we not only get to reach more people, but we also get to support sites that can also use financial help.
  • $200/mo – Stock photos. Using the royalty-free sites limits what we can use as artwork and photos for our articles.
  • $525/mo – Stronger server. There have been a few occasions where the site has gone down because we have a good but not great server. To have a server that should be able to handle the load of daily activity plus the occasional story going viral is a bare minimum around $525 per month. Thankfully, this also includes service, so it alleviates the need for an IT person as well.

This started out as a labor of love, but over the last year we’ve been accepted into Google News and have strong followings sharing the content on social media. It’s time for this site to branch out and start making more of an impact on American society, presenting conservative, Christian ideas that this world needs now more than every.

We appreciate all who have helped. It is our hope that our mission of spreading proper conservative and Christian messages to the masses is one our readers share. Please consider donating today.


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