End Time Headlines – The Russia-Israel crisis

Russia-Israel crisis

End Time Headlines – The Russia-Israel crisis

End Time Headlines – The Russia-Israel crisis The Israeli air attack was indeed a sensitive, if necessary, operation, near the Russian air base in the area and on the eve of the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

On the night of September 18, in an unfortunate incident in the fog of war, Syrian air defense mistakenly downed a Russian military IL-20 spy plane with 15 servicemen aboard. The Assad regime had launched a barrage of anti-aircraft missiles targeting planes flying over Latakia. Russian media said the plane lost contact with radar near the Khmeimim Air Base near Latakia, and disappeared during “an attack by Israeli F-16s.” Russian media claimed to have “registered the launch of missiles from a French frigate.”

The Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigo, slammed Israel on claiming that its “irresponsible actions” led to the downing of the Russian military aircraft as Israel only warned Russia one minute before launching the strikes. The Russian Defense Minister spoke on the phone with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and told him that Moscow holds Israel wholly to blame for the shooting down of the Russian plane in the waters off Syria.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, seeking to cool tensions between the two countries, declared after several hours that Israel was not responsible. “It looks like a chain of tragic circumstances, because the Israeli plane didn’t shoot down our jet,” he said. At the same time, he said Russia will respond by “taking additional steps to protect our servicemen and assets in Syria.” “It will be the steps that everyone will notice,” he said without elaboration.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly called Putin to express sorrow over the death of the plane’s crew, blamed the plane’s loss squarely on Syria, and offered to send Israel’s air force chief to Moscow to share information about the incident.

However, as expected after the hints in President Putin’s declaration, Russia decided to close areas near Cyprus to air, land and sea movement from Thursday until next Wednesday “for the sake of military operations.”

The Israeli air attack was indeed a sensitive, if necessary, operation, near the Russian air base in the area and on the eve of the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

It will probably provoke more retaliation from the Russian side, most possibly the imposition of no-fly zones for Israeli aircraft in the Damascus and Latakia areas. In the short term, it will muddle the already sensitive practical understandings between the two states.
There is a low probability that Russia will use also economic retaliatory measures against Israel, like it did in the case of a Russian fighter jet downed by the Turkish air force in 2015. Then Russia stopped the flow of Russian tourists to Turkey and the imports of goods from Turkey.

It is of interest to cite a remarkable article in published on September 19 by Pavel Felgenhauer in the daily Novaya Gazeta, which directly puts the blame on the Russian side, under the title “The Jews are to blame for everything! The Ministry of Defense is trying to disguise the self-defense.”

Google Translate rendered the Russian-language article as follows:

“On the night of September 18, the F-16 bombers of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) bombed targets north of the coastal Syrian city of Latakia, where, according to Israeli intelligence, there were Iranian weapons warehouses with products allegedly destined for the radical Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah. The main Russian air base Khmeimim is also located on the Mediterranean coast near Latakia, but to the south of the city.

“The air defense forces of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) of the Assad regime fired back at Israeli raiders and shot down with a long-range missile 5В28 of the S-200V air defense missile system (S-200V) the Russian reconnaissance aircraft IL-20 which came in for landing in Khmeimim, after carrying out reconnaissance of positions of insurgents in the neighboring province of Idlib. Russia accused Israel.”

“After the start of the Russian operation in Syria in 2015, a purposeful program was launched for the revival of the SAA, including its air force and air defense. Russian specialists restored equipment, local teachers were taught and retrained, gratuitous deliveries of components, spare parts and equipment from the presence in domestic arsenals were flown from the Russian Federation via the so-called “Syrian Express”. The SAA’s air force and air defense were saturated with Russian experts and advisers. For the duration of the operation in Syria, the ground and air echelons of the VKS and CAA operated together. They are practically integrated under the supremacy of the Russian military. Therefore, in Moscow, they found out almost immediately that the IL-20 was shot down by Syrian “friendly fire” and not by the Americans, the French, the IDF, or somebody else.

“The situation was extremely unpleasant: the Russian military adviser at the Syrian command post for some reason approved the launch of a long-range missile S-200 missile near our base Khmeimim, which has an official range of 250 km. and a real range of over 300 km. The command post of the connection in Khmeimim was also obliged to control the surrounding airspace. The CP knew about the scheduled flight of IL-20 and had to prohibit the launch of the S-200. But it seems that the Russian military has completely lost control of airspace and control of the air defense system in the area of its main base of the UHF Khmeimim, and as a result, in fact, they shot down their own IL-20.

“It was necessary to somehow explain such a catastrophe to President Vladimir Putin, and because it was the raid of the IDF that launched the “chain of circumstances” that led to the tragedy of the IL-20, the military leadership decided to bring everything to the Jews. It’s better than being responsible for your own sloppiness.”

This reminds of me a déjà vu situation of Russian military intervention in Syria, in the 1970s, which I analyzed in my May 2018 article “How Serious the Russian Threat to Israel in Syria? A Historical Perspective.” I argued there that, in historic perspective, the Soviet Union, and later Russia, have not been successful in providing the necessary strategic umbrella to their allied radical Arab regimes during their wars against Israel and the Russian weapons systems have suffered disgraceful defeats at the hands of the Israeli military.

A few months before the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, Syrian teams were dispatched to the USSR to train in the use of surface-to-air SA-6 missiles to form the new air defense divisions. A CIA report on Syria stated that during the war in 1973, Soviet advisers supervised the operation of Syrian ground-to-air forces and were present at various headquarters. According to the testimony of an adviser to one of the bombardment squadrons (MiG MF 21) stationed at the Syrian air base in Damir, the consultants helped planning the first air strike.

However, it seems that the Syrian command did not like the Soviet intervention on the front and the advice given by the Russians.

According to Soviet sources, the Syrian command were not ready to listen to the advisers since they wanted to conduct the war according to their understanding and not from what they learned from them. The Soviet chief of staff, Gen. Victor Kulikov, was asked why the Soviet advisers do not correct the Syrians’ mistakes in the conduct of the war. “They do not listen to us… They pretend to be their own strategists,” he replied.

It is this author’s hope that the Israeli leaders will stand firm to the Russian challenge, as long as Russia does not act more firmly against the Iranian attempts to implant itself and its proxies on Syrian soil and build a platform for future, if not immediate, attacks against the Jewish State.

The author is a senior research scholar at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) and senior research fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya.


Breaking News of Israel Politics – The probes of Netanyahu and Trump: Who might be first to go?

The probes of Netanyahu and Trump Who might be first to go

Neither US President Donald Trump nor Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be forced from office in the immediate future.
But as their legal troubles heat up, the question arises: Whose seat may be in jeopardy sooner?

There’s no question that Trump took a hit on Tuesday with the conviction of his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and with his personal lawyer Michael Cohen implicating him as a co-conspirator to cover up alleged marital affairs – including by violating campaign financing laws.

These body blows fell into place as the US Office of Special Counsel investigation is at an advanced stage. All of this, plus the fact that several former Trump officials have already been convicted, could suggest that Trump is in more imminent danger of losing power.

But this would ignore the crucial legal differences between Israel and the US.

There is a minority group of legal scholars who contest this, but overall it likely means that to prosecute a sitting president, he must first be impeached.

Only a vote by both houses of Congress, including a two-thirds vote in the Senate, can lead to impeaching a president, and the grounds are “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Even if all political parties were totally objective – and no party is going to help impeach a president from its side unless it feels there is no choice – it is far from clear whether the Cohen campaign finance allegations against Trump would reach that high standard.
Being realistic, while some predict that the Democrats may retake the House of Representatives, the chances that the Democrats will take the Senate are much lower.

The chances that the Democrats could get enough Republican senators to vote to impeach Trump based on the Cohen charges are practically zero.

Probably the only issue in play that might move Republicans would be proof of crimes relating to Trump himself colluding with Russia.

While Manafort was convicted, and while there are increasing hints that the special counsel may yet have proof of Trump colluding with Russia – or of Trump obstructing the probe into possible collusion with Russia – at least for now, the special counsel has not made a case against Trump for collusion.

There may still be further revelations, and all of these criminal issues could be a problem for Trump’s reelection. But as things stand, he would not face prosecution before early 2021 – and that would only be if he loses the election.

In mid-June, The Jerusalem Post exclusively reported that Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit will announce an intention to indict Netanyahu for bribery in the Bezeq-Walla affair by the end of 2018 or early 2019. He may also indict Netanyahu in the illegal gifts affair, though the chances of an indictment in the Yediot Aharonot-Israel Hayom affair are lower.

There are questions about whether Netanyahu can be forced to resign under indictment like other ministers or whether he must be convicted, but there is no obstacle to indicting or convicting him, as there is with indicting Trump.


End Time Christian Zionism – Huckabee Joins Jewish Call to Prayer for Global Unity

What does Mike Huckabee believe Where the candidate stands on 10 issues

Who is the man who is eager for life, who desires years of good fortune? Guard your tongue from evil, your lips from deceitful speech. Psalms 34:13 (The Israel Bible™)

In a Fox News opinion piece by Mike Huckabee, a Christian minister and former Republican Governor of Arkansas, he announced that he will be answering a call to prayer by Acheinu, an Orthodox Jewish outreach organization, for its global Day of Jewish Unity.

In the article, Huckabee described his long and deepening relationship with Israel. He noted that he has been visiting the Holy Land for 45 years.

“On each trip to Israel, my relationship with the Lord grows deeper and I am privileged to share that journey with others, drawing on my roots from years ago as an evangelical pastor to ensure they too feel that joy and wonder,” Huckabee wrote. “But my continuing religious growth is only part of the reason I return so often to the Holy Land of the Bible. I also feel a deep sense of belonging in the country, both politically and socially. Going to Israel is a bit like going home. That’s why it is so important to continue to pray and act for Israel’s survival and serenity.”

Huckabee gave this as his reason for joining in the call to prayer that will take place on Friday, September 7. The prayers for peace will be accompanied by a promise to be kinder and more caring.

“Supporting Israel not only helps its citizens, but helps us in America as well,” Huckabee wrote. “As a Christian, I know that Israel is sacred and is a fulfillment of prophecy in the Bible. God wants Israel to stay strong and grow. We need an Israel free from violence, with Jerusalem as its united capital. There are too many forces in our world trying to destroy the Jewish people and the Holy Land, but Jews need to stay strong and united – and we must join them.”

The annual event was established in memory of Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, who passed away in 1933. Rabbi Kagan, known as the Chofetz Chaim, was a halachic (Torah law) authority also known for his teachings about the evils of gossip and slanderous speech.

Huckabee cited Rabbi Kagan’s emphasis on shmirat ha’lashon (guarding the tongue) as a vital element missing in the current socio-political environment. He wrote about how his daughter, White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, has been the target of slander and disparaging remarks.

“My daughter is a kind, caring and good-hearted wife and mother, so it pains me to see the near-constant personal attacks made against her,” he wrote. “This is not to say you cannot disagree with her or with the White House she represents, but the key to civil discourse is civility.”

Huckabee called for prayer as a unifying act.

“On Sept. 7, please join me in praying to God for peace and the continued prosperity of Israel and all mankind,” he concluded. “And backup your prayers with your interactions with others by reminding yourself to be kind, courteous and always civil.

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz August 24, 2018 , 12:56 pm


Dead Sea Mining – Israel seeks early re-tender of mining rights to shore up Dead Sea

Dead Sea mining

Israel seeks early re-tender of mining rights to shore up Dead Sea

Up to now, the Israeli government has rarely intervened in the operations of the biggest extractor: the Dead Sea Works. That is about to change

EIN BOKEK, Israel – The Dead Sea is shrinking at the rate of about a meter a year, leaving behind deserted beaches and sinkholes in a slow-motion environmental disaster.

The main culprit is the drying up of the Jordan river, its main tributary, as communities upstream draw on it for farming and drinking. But mineral extraction makes the crisis worse – of the 700-800 million cubic meters of water lost each year, 250-350 million cubic meters is due to mining, Israel estimates.

Up to now, the Israeli government has rarely intervened in the operations of the biggest extractor: the Dead Sea Works, formerly state-owned and now operated under a 70-year concession by Israel Chemicals (ICL).

That is about to change.

Israel wants to re-tender the Dead Sea mining concession as much as eight years ahead of schedule, in 2022. It is motivated not only by environmental concerns but also by worries ICL will hold off on new investments in the concession’s final years.

The government believes ICL will agree to its proposal, first because the firm will have the right of first refusal but also because it too has a powerful reason to scrap the current concession: an article that gives the government the rights to interfere in investments starting in 2020.

The plant is one of ICL’s core assets, producing potash that goes into fertilizers, bromine for flame retardants and other products sold for billions of dollars worldwide.

The company, controlled by billionaire Idan Ofer’s Israel Corp, has not made its position clear. It declined to give an immediate comment on its stance when contacted by Reuters.

“This is a one-time opportunity, as the concession comes to an end and we enter a new period, to set standards for the factory’s operations and the environmental impact on the whole area,” said Galit Cohen, deputy director-general for policy and planning at the Environmental Protection Ministry.

Cohen was on the high-ranking inter-ministerial committee that produced a preliminary report in May with guidelines that aim to balance profits with environmental interests in the Dead Sea for the first time.

At the moment, ICL is largely free to do whatever it wants to maximize production, Cohen said, speaking to Reuters underneath a date tree on a northern beach at the lake.

“They have no incentive to reduce the amount of water they pump or think about from where they get the earth to build their dikes,” she said.

The Dead Sea has been popular for millennia for health seekers and tourists who come to float in its high-density waters and smear its mud on their skin. Without intervention, it will keep losing water, essential to the mineral extraction process, though experts believe it may eventually reach equilibrium at a much smaller size.

ICL said in a July 5 letter to the committee that its report raised “complicated legal, economic, operational and engineering issues, and ICL has significant reservations about part of what was said in it.”

“The company is studying the report and will relate to it as customary within the framework of the public hearing,” ICL said in a statement to Reuters.

In its 2017 annual report, the company said its ability to refinance debt in the next decade .”.. depends, among other things, on extension of the concession beyond 2030.”


The factory’s new license, whose term has not been set, will include pumping limits coupled with financial incentives to use less water, the committee’s report said. The amount of territory open to quarrying and drilling for wells will be reduced.

Final recommendations due around September are not expected to differ materially from the interim report’s, said a senior government official, who asked not to be identified given the sensitivity of the issue.

“We think everyone has an interest in making the tender earlier,” the official said. “The value of the asset gets lower as we get closer to the end of the concession period and it’s unclear what will happen after 2030.”

When the company was privatized in the 1990s, the government kept a “golden share” that gave it some oversight, in addition to the obligation under the terms of the concession that the company seek its approval for any new investment.

Michael Vatine, an analyst with Halman-Aldubi Investment House, said ICL was likely to want to avoid a decade of close government scrutiny.

“I think the company understands it needs to clear the fog regarding the long-term … and not leave its investors feeling uncertain,” he said.

With revenue of $5.4 billion in 2017, ICL manufactures a range of products from industrial chemicals to food additives. It is the world’s sixth-largest producer of potash and supplies about a third of the world’s bromine, used in fire retardants.

The company does not share publicly how much of its revenues come from the Dead Sea, where it also mines magnesium and salts.

Costs at the factory are lower than at conventional mines, which are often hundreds of meters deep. Solar evaporation is less energy intensive and the climate allows mountains of potash to be stored outside and sold when prices are high.

According to their annual reports, ICL produced 3.7 million tonnes of potash at the Dead Sea in 2017 vs 2.1 million tonnes extracted by Arab Potash, which has exclusive rights on the Jordanian side that expire in 2058.

As ICL describes it, there is a virtually unlimited supply.

Bidders in a new tender would likely include the usual suspects from the small number of leading potash producers, including Russia’s Uralkali, Germany’s K+S AG and Canada’s Nutrien, the report said.

Committee chair Yoel Naveh said it was possible competitors would be scared off by ICL’s numerous advantages: not just right of first refusal but also its deep knowledge of the project.

“The state needs to set a price and below that not give it to a private concessionaire,” he told parliament in June.

If the minimum failed to be met, the state should take over, he said. If someone else won, ICL would be compensated, he said, without naming a figure.



For First Time in Millennia, Jewish Priests Will Undergo Training to Enter Temple’s Holy of Holies

For First Time in Millennia, Jewish Priests Will Undergo Training to Enter Temple's Holy of Holies

“Moshe called Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aharon, and said to them, “Come forward and carry your kinsmen away from the front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” Leviticus 10:4 (The Israel Bible™)

For the first time in 2,000 years, a group of Kohanim (men of the Jewish priestly caste) living close to Jerusalem’s Old City are studying the relevant Jewish laws to be able to ascend the Temple Mount and enter the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence is said to dwell.

This incredible development was initiated by Israel’s first responder organization ZAKA, based on a decision by the ZAKA Rabbinical Council following an an unprecedented event occurring during the three weeks of austerity leading up to the Ninth Day of Av: the July 14 Palestinian terror attack against Israeli police officers that left three dead corpses, the most powerful source of ritual impurity, on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.

Horrific as the attack was, it served a divine purpose. “When the Jewish people are not moving ahead quickly enough, God does something to force it upon us,” Yaakov Hayman, a prominent Temple Mount activist and expert, told Breaking Israel News. “When those Arabs did what they did, they created a new situation on the ground. We weren’t preparing for it, so something happened that forced us to deal with it.”

The “new situation on the ground” is that Kohanim, men descended patrilineally from Aaron the Priest, will now be trained, for the first time in millennia, to enter the area where the Holy of Holies once stood. Their purpose will not be to offer sacrifices or pray for the Jewish people, but to retrieve bodies should the need for this awe-filled Biblically mandated task arise.

The ZAKA council, headed by Rabbi Avigdor Nebenzahl, ruled that there is a religious obligation to remove every dead body from the Temple Mount – Jewish, non-Jewish and even terrorist – but that in certain situations, only Kohanim can do the job.

Kohanim are forbidden from becoming ritually impure and have stringencies place upon them that other Jews do not. Kohanim are forbidden from entering cemeteries or coming into proximity with dead bodies. Normally, contact with a dead body would be forbidden to a Kohen, but this ruling overrules that condition.

The training will require the revival of Torah laws “our people have [not] used for thousands of years, let alone on a yearly, monthly or daily basis, like most other laws,” explained ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav to Breaking Israel News.

ZAKA Rabbinic Council (Courtesy)

“Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount) is the holiest place and there is a requirement that all ritually impure objects be removed as quickly as possible,” he continued. “So, in this case, the rabbis ruled that it is acceptable for a Kohen to become impure himself to remove something from the Temple Mount.”

Meshi-Zahav added that the ruling brought hopes of redemption. “Of course, we hope that by giving the Temple Mount the proper respect it deserves, we will bring about the Messiah. We want the redemption to come as quickly as possible.”

“There is certainly something interesting happening here,” Rabbi Ari Kahn, a member of the ZAKA Rabbinical Council and the head rabbi of the West Bank settlement Giv’at Ze’ev, said to Breaking Israel News.

Rabbi Kahn said there was “something natural” about watching rabbis rule on decisions they have not faced for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Due to the stringencies placed upon them, until now, Kohanim were not allowed to volunteer with ZAKA. Meshi-Zahav said the group is already in the process of hand-selecting these new first responders specifically tasked with Temple Mount duties. The members of the team of Kohanim will be “religious, God-fearing people, knowledgeable about Jewish law,” He noted that learning the laws pertaining to ascending the Temple Mount is not simple.

As one of the few ZAKA volunteers sufficiently familiar with Temple Mount laws, Joshua Wander was the first to go up after the June 14 attack. He pointed out the need to ZAKA for a Temple Mount team of volunteers able to cope with the halachot (Jewish laws) on the Temple Mount.

“The positive side of this whole thing that’s gone on in the past two weeks is that it’s really created an interest globally to relearn these laws which have been almost lost, and thank God we are bringing back these laws,” he told Breaking Israel News.

Before ascending, ZAKA volunteers will be required to carry immerse in a ritual bat and ascend wearing a minimum number of clothes, not wearing shoes, bringing in the smallest possible amount of equipment, and entering and leaving by the shortest possible route.

The guidelines Rabbi Nebenzahl used for his ruling were based on the writings of Rabbi Moses ben Nahman, a medieval Spanish Torah authority known by the acronym Ramban. The Ramban discussed the deaths of Aaron the Cohen’s sons, Nadav and Avihu, inside the Tabernacle.

Now Aharon’s sons Nadav and Avihu each took his fire pan, put fire in it, and laid incense on it; and they offered before Hashem alien fire, which He had not enjoined upon them. And fire came forth from Hashem and consumed them; thus they died at the instance of Hashem. Leviticus 10:1-2

The Ramban explains that these bodies needed to be removed speedily by a priest, as described in a following verse of the Bible.

Moshe called Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aharon, and said to them, “Come forward and carry your kinsmen away from the front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” Leviticus 10:4

This is not the first time an organization has acted to prepare Cohanim for the Messianic era. The Temple Institute, a non-profit government and privately funded center of “research and preparation for the Holy Temple” – located in Jerusalem’s Old City – established a “Cohanim Training Academy” last spring, in which Kohanic students are taught and practically prepared to serve in the Temple.

Kohanim practice performing Temple rituals (The Temple Institute)

Reflecting on how a tragedy led to a miraculous renewal of Torah laws pertaining to the Temple, Hayman compared it to a parable in the Talmud which illustrated that the greatest light of redemption comes from the deepest darkness. The Talmudic story tells of a group of revered rabbis, including Rabbi Akiva, a first-century rabbi and a major contributor to the oral tradition, who visited the site of the Temple, then a pile of rubble. A fox ran out of the ruins, and one rabbi began to cry, but Rabbi Akiva laughed. Rabbi Akiva asked him why he cried and the rabbi cited the Biblical verse describing the holiness of the site.

“…any outsider who encroaches shall be put to death.” Numbers 1:51

The rabbi lamented that now, even wild animals could roam through the site. Rabbi Akiva explained that the Prophet Micah described the tragic scene they were seeing in front of their eyes.

Assuredly, because of you Tzion shall be plowed as a field, And Yerushalayim shall become heaps of ruins, And the Har Habayit A shrine in the woods. Micah 3:12

Rabbi Akiva explained that just as this prophecy of destruction had already come to pass, it was inevitable that the prophecy of Zechariah on the same subject would also come to pass.

Thus said God of Hosts: There shall yet be old men and women in the squares of Yerushalayim, each with staff in hand because of their great age. Zechariah 8:4

According to Hayman, the prophecy can be interpreted to mean that if the Jewish people do not take control of the Temple for holy purposes, another nation will take the opportunity to profane it.

“It is a like a lion being pestered by flies. Every now and again he wags his tail, but it doesn’t do much. Then he roars and that changes the whole picture,” said Hayman. “We are just waiting for the Lion of Judah to roar, to give the blast that will turn everything on its heels and indicate redemption is here.”

The timing of the shift is significant. The ZAKA ruling reviving Temple laws came just days before the Jewish people will fast and mourn the destruction of the first two Temples: Tisha B’Av, the Ninth of the month of Av.

Maayan Hoffman and Abra Forman contributed to this article.


Breaking Israel NEWS . Gong.io aims to transform sales; Israel’s Mellanox partners with PA

We need more of this. The logo of Mellanox Technologies is seen at the company’s headquarters in Yokne’am. photo creditREUTERS


Gong.io, the leading SaaS company in the fast-growing category of Conversation Intelligence for sales teams, announced on Sunday a $20 million Series A1 round.

The investment round was led by existing investors: Norwest Venture Partners and CheckPoint cofounder Shlomo Kramer. They were joined by new investors: Wing Venture Capital and NextWorld Capital, Peter Wagner, founding partner at Wing Venture Capital, and Ben Fu, general partner at NextWorld Capital, will join as board observers.

Serial entrepreneurs Amit Bendov and Eilon Reshef cofounded Gong.io in 2015. While managing some of the most successful hyper-growth start-ups, they realized that most companies don’t understand why their sales teams aren’t meeting their targets.

Gong.io leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to dramatically change the way salespeople conduct calls. The company’s patented technology automatically records sales calls and video conferences, transcribes them, and then uses AI and machine learning to analyze hundreds of data parameters within each call. By analyzing sales call patterns and matching them to business outcomes, Gong.io provides actionable insights to salespeople and sales leaders so that they can improve their performance and win many more deals.

The new funding will further support Gong.io’s impressive growth. It has been more than doubling its revenue for four consecutive quarters and is already helping thousands of salespeople optimize more than $1 billion of revenue at companies like Act-On, SalesLoft, Sisense, Greenhouse and Zywave. The technological innovation and impact of its product were recently recognized by Gartner, which named Gong.io a 2017 Cool Vendor in CRM Sales.

“Hardly a year since our first sales and it clearly feels like we’re on a rocket ship. Conversation Intelligence is the biggest shift in sales since CRM was introduced,” said Amit Bendov, Gong.io CEO and cofounder. “We are humbled by the overwhelmingly positive customer feedback we’re receiving and are already working on a very ambitious product road map to continue the innovation. We will use the latest round of funding to hire dozens of developers and researchers to expand our product and to step up our sales, marketing and support activities.”

Several investors commented about their decision to back Gong.io and its Conversation Intelligence platform: “We have been very impressed with Gong.io’s rapid growth and stellar execution of their original vision and we are thrilled to increase our investment,” said Dror Nahumi, general partner at Norwest Venture Partners.

“Gong.io is taking a strong lead in a whitespace category that will grow.”

“The conversations a company has with its customers are strategic data assets that have been untapped for far too long,” said Peter Wagner, founding partner of Wing Venture Capital. “For the first time, Gong.io turns these customer conversations into productive intelligence resources with profound implications across the enterprise.”

“Gong.io is the perfect convergence of next generation SaaS, Big Data, AI and Machine Learning – applied to conversations that directly impact sales, the lifeblood of any company,” said Ben Fu, general partner at NextWorld Capital.

“We see Conversation Intelligence as the future of AI-powered sales and we’re excited to help Gong.io dominate this new enterprise category around the globe.”

Building business bridges with the PA

Palestinian hi-tech professionals from ASAL Technologies in the Palestinian Authority, working in partnership with Israeli Mellanox Technologies, will arrive in Israel for a unique event that will present Rawabi’s hi-tech industry and opportunities at hand to leading Israeli companies.

For the first time ever, as part of a unique collaboration between ASAL Technologies, Mellanox Technologies and Israel Start-Up Network, Palestinian hi-tech professionals will arrive at Mellanox offices for a unique event presenting possibilities for software development in the PA to representatives of leading companies in Israel.

This event will be another step forward in the four-year long partnership between ASAL Technologies, that provides software development, professional services, and business process outsourcing services, and Mellanox Technologies, a supplier of end-to-end interconnect solutions for data center servers and storage systems. As part of this joint venture, more than 100 ASAL Technologies employees, working from Rawabi, handle design, development, verification and quality assurance.

The event will include a panel of experts from the Israeli and Palestinian hi-tech industries, discussing the Palestinian hi-tech sector, achievements, challenges and future potential, as well as their experience working with ASAL Technologies. They will also discuss Rawabi’s status as the first Palestinian planned city and a new tech hub in the region, enabling expanded collaboration opportunities.

It will be moderated by Jennifer Atala, CEO at Atala Consulting. The panelists will include: Amit Krig, VP of Software at Mellanox Technologies, Sari Taha, Tech Hub program manager at Rawabi City, Ibrahim Tannira, Sales and Marketing manager at ASAL Technologies, Yaron Sheffer, director of Security Technologies Product Development at Intuit and Dude Slama, senior director for Cloud and Networking Solutions at Mellanox Technologies.


Jerusalem News – Stunning Research Reveals Incredible Alignment of Holy Tabernacle and Celestial Movements

Incredible Alignment of Holy Tabernacle and Celestial Movements

“According to all that I show thee, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the furniture thereof, even so shall ye make it.” Exodus 25:9 (The Israel Bible™)

After a detailed analysis of the description of the Biblical Tabernacle, an engineer has found startling correlations between the earthly structure and the orbits of the planets in the solar system. The remarkable similarities reflect an ancient belief that the tent in the desert was the pivotal point connecting heaven and earth, built using the power of creation itself.

Michael from Ireland (who prefers his surname not be known), retired from a career in telecommunications, has written several books on his studies of the Bible using his unique perspective. His background in engineering means that Michael speaks the language of numbers, and the sections of the Bible describing the construction of the Tabernacle are, for Michael, an open book. His unique approach allowed Michael to see the Tabernacle not only as a standing structure but also in terms of surface area.

“It’s like a manual from IKEA,” Michael told Breaking Israel News. “Most people try to envision the Tabernacle as a standing structure. It’s meant to be put together so you can also see it laid out flat.”

When viewed in this manner, Michael began to see remarkable correlations, dimensions of the Tabernacle that equalled astronomical phenomena that would have been visible to the Hebrews in the desert. In this mathematical revelation, Michael was confronted with a mystery: why were the sun, moon and stars factored into the dimensions of the tabernacle?How the Tabernacle would have looked in use. (Wikimedia Commons)

One answer to this question was given in Bamidbar Rabbah (12:12),  a collection of ancient rabbinical homiletic interpretations of the book of Numbers, in which it is written that when Israel erected the tabernacle, God told the angels to erect a corresponding version in the heavens.

The first glimmers came to Michael when he read in the Bible that the Hebrews donated 29 talents and 730 shekels of gold.

“I immediately noticed that the talents corresponded to one lunar month of 29 days. 730 corresponds to two solar years, or 730 days,” Michael said. At that point, he began to notice a pattern but was unsure of its significance. He then noted that the silver collected for constructing the Tabernacle was 100 talents and 1,775 shekels. He recognized that 1,775 was the equivalent of five lunar years to within three days.

“I would not have recognized the five lunar years except that I had seen it previously in the biblical Book of Enoch in a description of astronomical events,” Michael said.

The apocryphal Book of Enoch is an ancient Jewish religious work, ascribed by tradition to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah, although modern scholars believe the older sections to date from about 300 BCE. It is not part of the Biblical canon.

Before presenting his next findings, Michael noted that there are, in fact, two opinions as to the dimensions of the Tabernacle. The majority of scholars adhere to dimensions based on a description by Josephus, a first-century Jewish scholar and historian. Michael’s study is based on the smaller dimensions described by Richard Elliot Friedman, Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Georgia.

Michael then did some calculations of the surface areas of the complete tabernacle structure and discovered that it equaled precisely 2,300 cubits. This brought to mind the enigmatic prophecy in the Book of Daniel.

And he said unto me: ‘Unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be victorious.’ Daniel 8:13

Michael then calculated the surface area only of the section of the Tabernacle containing the Holy of Holies. He added the surface area of the vessels contained within it and came to a total of 364 cubits. The Book of Enoch also describes a 364-day calendar.

Michael calculated the surface area of the fifteen roof bars of the Tabernacle, arriving at the figure of 225 square cubits, the numerical equivalent of the orbit of Venus around the sun.

He then calculated the internal surface area of the Tabernacle tent minus the entrance curtain and the dividing veil, since they were drawn back when Aaron the High Priest entered every morning. The remaining surface areas in the tabernacle tent and its furnishings was 686.5 square cubits, equal to the orbit of Mars.The garments of the High Priest, with breastplate. (Library of Congress)

When the veil of the tabernacle tent was removed, the remaining surface areas of the tabernacle building fabrics added up to 4340, seven days longer than the orbit of Jupiter.

Using this method, Michael also figured the surface areas of both sides of the tabernacle materials when it was deconstructed for travel, plus the surface area of the utensils, arriving at a total of 10,761.5 square cubits, equal to one orbit of Saturn with just two days of an overlap.

He also noted that the total surface area of the utensils inside the Holy of Holies plus the breastplate worn by the High Priest was 87.75 square cubit, compared to the orbit of the planet Mercury at 87.97 days.

Rabbi Yosef Berger, rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, responded to Michael’s findings by noting that Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, the preeminent 11th century French Torah scholar known by the acronym Rashi, taught that God gave the ten utterances used to create the world to Betsalel so that he could build the Tabernacle.

“All of creation is implicit within the structure itself,” Rabbi Berger said. “The structure and its utensils were not built like any other structure. It was made in a process similar to the creation of the world. Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) teaches us that God created the world in speech and all of reality is essentially combinations of words, letters, and numbers, and this is especially true of the Tabernacle.

“As the connecting point between the upper world and the lower world, this would surely be a part of the Tabernacle and the Temple,” Rabbi Berger concluded. “This connection, connecting the speech of creation that makes up the material of the world, is what will give the Messiah the ability to raise up this world to a higher level.”


All Eyes on Jerusalem as Muslim “Day of Rage” Engulfs City

Jerusalem Dome Photo All Eyes on Jerusalem as Muslim - Day of Rage Engulfs City

Imans in east Jerusalem neighborhoods and in Judea, Samaria, and Hebron closed mosques to encourage tens of thousands to come storm the Temple Mount.

In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu convened the Security Cabinet Thursday evening to prepare for the situation.

 (Israel) Israel Police deployed some 3,000 officers in and around Jerusalem Friday morning and announced that the Temple Mount would be open for traditional Muslim prayers. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

“Heightened security will take place in and around the Old City. Police and border police units [have been] mobilized in all areas and neighborhoods and will respond to any incidents or disturbances throughout the day,” Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement.

“The Temple Mount is open for women of all ages and men over the age of 50,” he continued. “Police are coordinating to enable Friday prayers to take place and at the same time secure measures taking place.”

Meanwhile Palestinian factions in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza Strip called Thursday for Muslims to storm the site to protect the al-Aksa Mosque.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh used social media to get the message out, YNet reported.

“Tomorrow is an important turning point in the defense of the al-Aqsa Mosque and we will leave the victors,” Haniyeh said. “The Israeli plans for al-Aqsa will not be carried out. This is a red line. You are stoking the fire. We are calling for a day of rage and general mobilization of the Palestinian society and the entire Arab nation in the framework of the campaign to defend Jerusalem and al-Aqsa.”

The call didn’t stop with Haniyeh. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum announced that Israelis were attacking the al-Aksa and preventing Muslims from praying there.

At the same time, imans (clerics) in east Jerusalem neighborhoods and in Judea, Samaria, and Hebron closed mosques to encourage tens of thousands to come storm the Temple Mount.

Netanyahu convened the Security Cabinet Thursday evening to prepare for the situation.

Metal Detectors Won’t Be Removed

Following the lengthy meeting, the cabinet decided to buck international pressure and not to remove the metal detectors installed outside the Lion’s Gate entrance to the Temple Mount. Ministers also affirmed their confidence in the police, authorizing them to take whatever steps necessary to maintain public order and security both on city streets and at the site. (Screengrab via CBN News)

Just like visitors to the Western Wall – and the Vatican for that matter – anyone wishing to enter the Temple Mount will be required to pass through the scanners. (Non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount, who must enter through a separate gate, have been subjected to rigorous security checks and metal detectors for years.)

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat weighed in on the decision, calling it “courageous.”

“The decision of Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram Halevy to place metal detectors on the Temple Mount is a courageous decision because at this time last week two policemen were murdered at the site. This decision is a responsible one that will help to ensure that such incidents do not repeat themselves,” the mayor said. “This is not a political matter; it is a professional security issue. No one is challenging the status quo on the Temple Mount.”

While police dealt with sporadic rioting during the week – as well as attempted terror attacks in several locations, hundreds of Muslims entered the site to pray, passing uneventfully through the newly installed metal detectors.  

The terror attack, which took place exactly one week ago at 7:00 a.m. Friday, prompted the upgraded security measures. Two Israeli officers were shot dead in that attack and a third injured.

Netanyahu closed the site temporarily for purposes of investigation, reopening it Sunday morning. The weapons used in the attack had been brought into the mosque the night before, reportedly aided by officials with the Wakf, the Islamic Trust responsible for the day-to-day administration of the site.

Following the closure, the Wakf cried foul, claiming Israel was endangering the al-Aksa mosque, a ploy that’s been used repeatedly to incite violence.

In response to a White House press release posted midweek, Netanyahu issued a statement he’s repeated many times over the years.

“Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount and the freedom of access to the holy sites. Israel is committed to protecting the safety of all worshipers and visitors to the Temple Mount,” the statement read.

The midweek White House press release referred to the site by its Jewish and Muslim names.