Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: State Dept. Officials: After Defeat of ISIS, U.S. Prioritizes Iran's Departure from Syria

Posted by Tip Staff - September 07, 2018

State Dept. Officials: After Defeat of ISIS, U.S. Prioritizes Iran's Departure from Syria
Under Pressure, Palestinian School Deletes Terrorist's Name, but Erases Israel
Perpetuating Palestinian Misery
Israeli Startup Developed System to Protect Internet-Connected Appliances from Hacking

State Dept. Officials: After Defeat of ISIS, U.S. Prioritizes Iran's Departure from Syria

The United States appears to be changing its focus in Syria from simply defeating ISIS and leaving, to staying indefinitely and ensuring that Iran and its proxies also leave the civil war-torn nation, according to senior State Department officials, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Though President Donald Trump has, in the past, said that he wanted U.S. troops "to get out" of Syria and come home, State Department officials told the Post that the U.S. was prepared to maintain troops in Syria until it accomplished its diplomatic goals.

James Jeffery, a former State Department official who returned to government service to serve as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's “representative for Syria engagement," said that the "new policy is we’re no longer pulling out by the end of the year."

The U.S., according to Jeffrey, will maintain a military presence in Syria until Iran and its proxies have all departed and that the U.S. and its allies achieved an "enduring defeat" of ISIS.

Jeffrey added that Trump had approved what he called a "more active approach" to Syria.

According to the Post, Jeffrey and retired U.S. Army Col. Joel Rayburn were brought in by the administration to help develop a more coherent policy in Syria. The administration is seeking to avoid a repeat of Iraq, "where a precipitous U.S. pullout left the field open for Iran, and for a resurgence of Sunni militants that gave birth to the Islamic State."

Jeffrey appears to be looking to implement one of the priorities articulated by Pompeo in a May speech, in which he called for Iran's departure from Syria.

Under Pressure, Palestinian School Deletes Terrorist's Name, but Erases Israel

A Palestinian school in Hebron funded by the Belgium government, which under pressure changed its name formerly dedicated to a Palestinian terrorist, still kept its logo which eradicates Israel from the map, Shiri Moshe reported in The Algemeiner on Thursday. The newest iteration shows a Palestinian flag overlaying all of Israel.

Palestinian officials last month changed the name of the school, after the Belgium government announced that it had raised the issue with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and pledged “not allow itself to be associated with the names of terrorists in any way.” In addition, Belgium cancelled two projects related to the construction of Palestinian schools.

Belgium’s intervention, however, was undermined by the fact that Palestinian officials simultaneously named two other schools after the Palestinian terrorist. The name of the school – The Martyr Dalal Mughrabi Elementary Mixed School – was transferred by the PA Education Ministry to the Beit Awwa Elementary School for Girls.

The official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida also reported that the PA was “building a new school named after Dalal, which includes a kindergarten.” The Palestinian namesake of the institutions helped massacre 38 people, including 13 children, near Tel Aviv in 1978.

The school confirmed on Wednesday that, although it had been renamed, a decision was made to transfer the name to other PA-operated schools, which are not funded by international donors. The Belgian Foreign Ministry did not immediately provide a comment when contacted by The Algemeiner.

Perpetuating Palestinian Misery

The decisions by President Donald Trump to have the United States stop funding United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which aids those defined as Palestinian refugees, as well as cut funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) has prompted criticism and predictions of disaster.

A recent Washington Post editorial asserted that UNRWA's aid cut-off risked "worsening an already terrible humanitarian situation in Gaza, with unpredictable consequences."

Trump, on the other hand, argued in a pre-Rosh Hashanah call with Jewish leaders that the reduction or elimination of aid would provide an incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel.

"I stopped massive amounts of money that we were paying to the Palestinians and the Palestinian leaders," Trump said. He continued, "I’d say, you’ll get money, but we’re not paying you until we make a deal. If we don’t make a deal, we’re not paying."

Trump's policy questions past assumptions about Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking on a couple of fronts.

The question of aid to the Palestinians is not a new one, and the past shows that even generous aid doesn't necessarily help most Palestinians.

In December 1998, the late columnist Michael Kelly observed that after four years of massive international aid, many Palestinians were still languishing in poverty.

To read the complete essay, please click here.

Israeli Startup Developed System to Protect Internet-Connected Appliances from Hacking

In the HBO comedy “Silicon Valley,” one of the main characters hacks into an Internet-connected refrigerator, replacing the normal functionality of the fridge’s screen with something decidedly less cool. When the manufacturer’s managers are confronted by the security breach, they punt responsibility. “We don’t have any experience with the Internet. We make refrigerators!” they exclaim.

The scene is played for laughs but the possibility that the increasingly ubiquitous world of Internet of Things (IoT) devices – connected refrigerators, smart lightbulbs, networked security cameras, mobile-controlled thermostats and other devices that “talk” to each other – can be taken over by bad guys has fueled a thriving new subset of the cybersecurity industry.

“Eighty percent of IoT devices have security flaws,” Yossi Atias, the Israel-based general manager of IoT Security at anti-virus security company BullGuard in the UK tells ISRAEL21c. “We’ve heard horror stories of hackers who got into baby monitors and started talking to the babies!”

To combat the looming IoT home hacking epidemic, Atias started Dojo Labsin 2014.

The company developed the Dojo Pebble, a gadget you place near your modem or Wi-Fi router that constantly checks the security status of your network.

Dojo uses machine learning and crowdsourced data from the cloud to identify and stop hackers before they can cause real damage.

The technology Atias and his team developed to build the Pebble proved popular – so much so, that in 2016, BullGuard acquired Dojo Labs. The company, now called Dojo by BullGuard, continues to operate independently out of Israel. Its staff of 35 is expected to reach 50 by the end of 2018.

(via Israel21c)

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