28 November 2011

Israel Inside -- How a small nation makes a big difference

"Israel Inside -- How a small nation makes a big difference." is a new documentary film about Israel will be premiered this week.

"An emotional, inspiring look at what makes Israel tick." Shows "how the Israeli people have transformed this country against all odds in a very short time."

If you live in south Florida, USA you'll be able to see it on Tuesday November 29, 8 pm, on PBS in South Florida – WPBT Channel 2. It is hoped that it will be broadcast nationally on PBS in 2012.

See and share the trailer for the film:

More here

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Husseini officially meets with Adolf Hitler to discuss “the Jewish problem”

On this day 70 years ago

On this day 70 years ago, Arab leader Haj Amin al-Husseini officially meets with Adolf Hitler to discuss “the Jewish problem”

Haj Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem was the “most prominent Arab” figure in Palestine during the Mandatory period

Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting with Adolf Hitler

Haj Amin al-Husseini meeting with Heinrich Himmler

November 1943 al-Husseini greeting Bosnian Waffen-SS volunteers.At right is SS General Karl-Gustav Sauberzweig.

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21 November 2011

Frank Sinatra in Israel in 1962

Francis Albert Sinatra may have been one of America 's most famous Italian Catholics, but he kept the Jewish people and the State of Israel close to his heart, manifesting life-long commitments to fighting anti-Semitism and to activism on behalf of Israel ..

Sinatra stepped forward in the early 1940s, when big names were needed to rouse America into saving Europe's remaining Jews, and he sang at an "Action for Palestine " rally (1947). He sat on the board of trustees of the SimonWiesenthal Center; and he donated over $1 million to Jerusalem 's Hebrew University, which honored him by dedicating the Frank Sinatra International Student Center.. (The Center made heartbreaking headlines when terrorists bombed it in 2002, killing nine people.) As the result of his support for the Jewish State, his movies and records were banned in some Arab countries. Sinatra helped Teddy Kollek, later the long-serving mayor of Jerusalem but then a member of the Haganah, by serving as a $1 million money-runner that helped Israel win the war. The Copacabana NYC nightclub, which was very much run and controlled by the same Luciano-related New York mafia crowd with whom Sinatra had become enmeshed, happened to be next door to the hotel out of which Haganah members were operating. In his autobiography, Kollek relates how, trying in March 1948 to circumvent an arms boycott imposed by President Harry Truman on the Palestinian Jewish fighters in Eretz Yisroel, he needed to smuggle about $1 million in cash to an Irish ship captain docked in the Port of New York . The young Kollek spotted Sinatra at the bar and, afraid of being intercepted by federal agents, asked for help. In the early hours of the morning, the singer went out the back door with the money in a paper bag and successfully delivered it to the pier.

The origins of Sinatra's love affair with the Jewish people are not clear but, for years, the Hollywood icon wore a small mezuzah around his neck, a gift from Mrs. Golden, an elderly Jewish neighbor who cared for him during his boyhood in Hoboken, N.J. (years later, he honored her by purchasing a quarter million dollars' worth of Israel bonds). He protected his Jewish friends, once responding to an anti-Semitic remark at a party by simply punching the offender. Time magazine reported that Sinatra walked out on the christening of his own son when the priest refused to allow a Jewish friend to be the godfather.

As late as 1979, he raged over the fact that a Palm Springs cemetery official in California declared that he could n ot arrange the burial of a deceased Jewish friend over the Thanksgiving holiday; Sinatra again — threatened to punch him in the nose. Sinatra famously played the role of a pilot in Cast a Giant Shadow, the 1966 film filmed in Israel and starring friend Kirk Douglas as Mickey Marcus, the Jewish-American colonel who fought and died in Israel's war for independence (Sinatra dive-bombs Egyptian tanks with seltzer bottles!) He donated his salary for the part to the Arab-Israeli Youth Center in Nazareth , and he also made a significant contribution to the making of Genocide, a film about the Holocaust, and helped raise funds for the film.

Less known is Sinatra in Israel (1962), a short 30-minute featurette he made in which he sang In the Still of the Night and Without a Song. He also starred in The House I Live In (1945), a ten-minute short film made to oppose anti-Semitism at the end of World War II, which received an Honorary Academy Award and a special Golden Globe award in 1946.

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20 November 2011

Israel's UAV's are used around the world

Elbit, an Israeli Defense firm, has developed the Skylark Mini Unmanned Aerial vehicle, a family of miniature UAVs.  The Skylarks are a manpacked system designed for artillery fire adjustment, tactical close-range surveillance and reconnaissance missions as well as force protection and even perimeter security.

The Skylark mini UAV can be assembled in just 15 minutes prior to a mission and is capable of being launched by hand. Recovery is performed by a deep stall maneuver, which lands the vehicle safely on a small inflatable cushion, at a pre-designated point. The cushion is designed to protect the payload on landing. The entire mission is flown autonomously, feeding real-time continuous video and telemetry data to the portable ruggedized ground station.

Its wings and tail surfaces are constructed of a lightweight composites, as is the fuselage tubular boom. The avionics and payload systems are contained in a pod carried below the boom. The gimbaled payload utilizes a daylight CCD or an optional FLIR for night operation, which can be rotated by four gimbals.

During the Second Lebanon war in July-August 2006, Skylark mini-UAVs were operated by IDF units performing close-in reconnaissance missions in support of the ground forces, providing valuable real-time intelligence, due to their low acoustic and visual signatures, Skylarks were able to operate at very low altitude practically undetectable.

Australia, Canada, France, Sweden and the Netherlands have all deployed the Skylark.

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13 November 2011

Silver Shadow Gilboa in Action

  • The Standard Gilboa was developed with the idea of improving upon shortcomings of other modern rifles.
  • The 7 inch “Shorty” was developed for professionals requiring compact weapons with the fire power of a full carbine.
  • The DMR is a heavily modified Gilboa -series automatic rifle to provided increased accuracy over range, giving military and law enforcement operators greater firepower.
  • The APR™ Assault Pistol Rifle is a revolutionary new firearm designed specifically for combat situations involving law enforcement and military personnel, specifically for CQB.

The Silver Shadow Gilboa™ line was specifically developed to provide a superior modern assault rifle.  The Gilboa upper and lower receivers are fully machined from aircraft grade aluminum (7075) and hard anodized, resulting in a stronger weapon with no dimensional inconsistencies.  Both structural strength and reliability have been improved by the redesigning of the proven platform.  The Gilboa™ is manufactured using state of the art processes ensuring quality and dependability under the most extreme conditions.  All Gilboa rifles are supplied with a military grade 1:7 chrome lined barrel unless otherwise requested.  Gilboa rifles are typically manufactured in 5.56 NATO.  Additional available calibers: 7.62x51, 7.62x39 and 9mm.

Silver Shadow Gilboa APR™ Assault Pistol Rifle

  • The APR™ Assault Pistol Rifle is a revolutionary new firearm designed specifically for combat situations involving law enforcement and military personnel.
  • This ultra-compact firearm combines the benefits of both assault rifle and pistol and is only a tiny 390 mm (15.3”) in length
  • The APR™ fires all types of 5.56 mm ammunition using standard M4/M16 magazines. It may be manufactured to fire semi-auto or selective semi-auto and fully automatic. The folding stock of the APR™ enables rifle style shoulder firing. a quick detachment lever allows the user to remove the stock to enable handgun style or one or two handed firing.
  • The APR™ incorporates several new patented design innovations, notably in its’ gas system and recoil spring.
  • The propriety gas system allows the weapon to run cleaner and cooler for superior reliability and handling.  Watch the video and see how cool it really is. 
  • The APR™ offers the stunning combination of precision, performance and superior penetration of the 5.56 mm round. Upper and Lower Receivers - CNC machine, 7075 solid aluminum billet stronger than casting.

  • DoubleTapper's thoughts:

    The APR is a compact weapon that would be perfect for CQB, VIP protection and special forces. It would make a great sidearm for commanders and helicopter aircrews. Although the overall length of the Gilboa APR is a tiny 390 mm (15.3 inch) it is a pleasure to shoot due to it's ballance and almost nonexistant recoil.

    All of the Silver Shadow Gilboa Rifles are finely crafted and shoot extremely well. I was shocked the the bolt carrier retained absolutely no heat and was cool to the touch after firing several magazines.

     I would be pleased to have any of these amazing weapons in my arsenal.

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    03 November 2011

    Silver Shadow Gilboa APR

    I had a chance to range test the Silver Shadow Gilboa APR today.

    I will do a full post later, but for right now I'll just say WOW!

    More on this incredible weapon soon...

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    02 November 2011

    YaMam Wins Again

    For the second consecutive year since Israel's Police elite SWAT team, the "YaMaM," has participated in the prestigious Urban Shield counter-terror competition in the USA, the YaMam has once again won first place.

    32 SWAT teams from the USA, the FBI and from other countries, participated in the non-stop 48 hour competition. The competition included counter-terror, dealing with serious crimes, hostage retrieval, and a variety of tactical and urban combat situations.

    The Israeli winners for 2011.


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    01 November 2011

    ISDEF 2011

    What may become an annual pilgrimage to the Israel Defense Exhibition (ISDEF), DoubleTapper and I visited the Tel Aviv fairgrounds and took a gander at the latest in defense technology to hit the streets.

    This year's event was very similar to last year's, with a few notable differences. The first was an impressive yet alarming array of rescue vehicles and mass-casualty technologies. To see an ambulance command and control center for mass-trauma (with an impressive 15 meter telescoping camera/communications tower) is both reassuring and yet frightening - reassuring in that Israel is thinking about 'what-ifs' and preparing for them, and frightening in that we have a prepared-for scenario for such high casualty counts.

    There was an interesting rappel evacuation concept which DoupleTapper tried out.

    The second notable difference was an increase in camera/radar/thermal tower companies which automatically scan the countryside and hone in on a man or vehicle and alert security of the situation. The prices range from a non-milspec $15,000 version to higher-end, $100k and up.

    There was Armatix showing off some nonstandard stuff. They make various gun securing technology, including a notable wristwatch activated "smart" gun. This "smart" gun is actually pretty stupid, and really does not accomplish what a smart-gun customer would want - i.e., not allowing another guy (bad- guy, or kid) to fire your gun, and allowing you to fire it quickly and with little effort. Armatix must be pretty well funded, because all their products suck.

    Imagine a gun lock with steel parts that gets inserted into your pistol barrel.  If yanked on it with both hands in an attempt to remove the locks shaft from the barrel, the barrel can be completely destroyed.  Yeh, thats the kind of gun lock that will sell!

    Moving on the the big guns.

    Ryan McMillan was back again this year with some of the highest quality sniper rifles we've ever seen.  Next time we are in Phoenix we need to stop by their shop and do some long range shooting!

    The M60D from US Ordnance

    While DoubleTapper can shoot this one offhand! 
    The rest of us will have to shoot from the hip!
    Israeli Surplus Weapons from (Kalia) Ltd.
    Guenther from Surefire was there, too, again this year. He's always entertaining, and blinds us the latest in light technology.

    Rafael, (which is a Hebrew acronym for "We get to make tons of awesome toys that can really #uck some $hit up"), had a new toy on display, an UGV eight wheel rover, made by AMSTAFF with a kick-butt .50 cal machine gun on top. It even had a rear-view camera for those sticky parallel parking situations.


    Tough-looking guys

    It turns out those squares strapped to their chests fold out into a high-tech TV tray on which thay can can balance MREs while eating on the run, watch Achmed the (soon-to-be) dead terrorist from the closest UAV, and SMS their wives back home. There have been some complaints from the grunts in the field, though, because they can't play Battlefield 3 on it yet. But the VP insisted it and other exciting titles will be available March 2012.

    DoubleTapper's friends at Silver Shadow have were showing the Gilboa AR Pistol which is now in production, but that deserves a post of it's own, as does the Cornershot, which now comes in 3 calibers.

    Other than that, not a lot of new technologies were on display.  All told, it was an interesting trip, and I'm glad I made the journey.

    Dual Role Combat Sight by ECLAN

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