How And Why Does Israel Have So Much Power?

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The last part of this article I thought summed it up nicely (bold emphasis mine):

"The book “You Gentiles” seemed just a curiosity, an oddity, to me at first. But as an expression of Jewish separatism and contempt, it lives in a darkness of Jewish pride separated from the ethic of common humanity, the essential ability to see an image of ourselves in others.
It is a Zionist document of note, to explain the Israeli state’s determination to exist by might and power, and the decision to see gentiles of Palestine as enemies simply because they lived there."

It explains why they were expelled from so many countries between the second and 19th century.
 






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I think the book does reveal a sentiment that exists within Jews and Judaism. It was probably released with intent to separate Jews from the rest of the world with zionism though. For example, the most revered teacher in modern Judaism says the entire universe was created for the Jews
 






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I think the book does reveal a sentiment that exists within Jews and Judaism. It was probably released with intent to separate Jews from the rest of the world with zionism though. For example, the most revered teacher in modern Judaism says the entire universe was created for the Jews
LOL! The entire universe! :D Sigh, the arrogance. That comment reminds me of what the rabbi said here in Frank's post:


It's comments like this that I think and hope will make people pull back and understand what's really transpiring.
 






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Israel is Spying on the World and Wants Your Help
 






Maldarker

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Israel is Spying on the World and Wants Your Help
This is a surprise how?
Nobody remember the LUCID project?
This spying has been going on for decades already.
 






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Israel has observer status in the African Union (Pax Judaica is at hand)
Israel granted official observer status at the African Union
This has me thinking. I wonder if this is their way of upping the ante to have countries increase pressure on them so it can be their false/demonic prophecy of people against "Israel" when in fact, it's the church of Israel that people will be against, not a country with same name.

Apologies for discussing religion but it was a thought that crossed my mind.

This is a surprise how?
Nobody remember the LUCID project?
This spying has been going on for decades already.
It isn't. Evidently, they're forever paranoid of people criticizing their flagrant human rights abuses towards the people of Palestine.
 






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DesertRose

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I wonder if this is their way of upping the ante to have countries increase pressure on them so it can be their false/demonic prophecy of people against "Israel" when in fact, it's the church of Israel that people will be against, not a country with same name.
Apologies what is a church of Israel? People are against the Zionists and their occupation but definitely, not so that the Israelis can fulfill a demonic prophecy of others being against 'all Jews' thus requiring some kind of exodus out of the west and' 'aliya' to Occupied Palestine to throw more Palestinians off their lands and homes.
It seems like they are upping the ante in many areas all at once. Besides pushing for their end times outcomes, they are achieving the highest vaccination rates, and are now also pushing being the first country to chip kids.
They are straining to be a role model of sorts, perhaps to show up as the base of operations for the emerging private world government.
I wonder how many minions and satellites will also push to have their kids' chipped to get in their good graces?
I wonder if there is much money to be made for a country that gets with the program as an early adopter?

Roadmap to disaster? | Israeli gov't wants to microchip kids for 'safety'

 






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Apologies what is a church of Israel? People are against the Zionists and their occupation but definitely, not so that the Israelis can fulfill a demonic prophecy of others being against 'all Jews' thus requiring some kind of exodus or aliya to Occupied Palestine to throw more Palestinians off their lands and homes.
It seems like they are upping the ante in many areas all at once. Besides pushing for their end times outcomes, they are achieving the highest vaccination rates, and are now also pushing being the first country to chip kids.
They are straining to be a role model of sorts, perhaps to show up as the base of operations for the emerging private world government.
I wonder how many minions and satellites will also push to have their kids' chipped to get in their good graces?
I wonder if there is much money for a country to be made from getting with the program as an early adopter?

Roadmap to disaster? | Israeli gov't wants to microchip kids for 'safety'

The church of Israel is those that stand with God, not an actual physical place. I've read that that's what the "end times" really means. Therefore, the majority will be against those that stand and revere Him.
 






Maldarker

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This has me thinking. I wonder if this is their way of upping the ante to have countries increase pressure on them so it can be their false/demonic prophecy of people against "Israel" when in fact, it's the church of Israel that people will be against, not a country with same name.

Apologies for discussing religion but it was a thought that crossed my mind.



It isn't. Evidently, they're forever paranoid of people criticizing their flagrant human rights abuses towards the people of Palestine.
Not just Palestine. They have been spying on all the supposed allies of theirs also.
 






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How Israeli Tech Firms Act as Global Agents of Repression
Two private intelligence companies hack political enemies in Africa, Europe, the Mideast, and the United States, for a price.

By Richard Silverstein
July 27, 2018

srael is, in many ways, an anomaly among nations. While it considers itself a democracy, it is actually a national-security state. Its military-intelligence apparatus is ubiquitous in the everyday affairs of its citizens. These sacrifices of privacy and civil liberties are prices most Israelis are willing, even happy, to pay in return for security.


The Israeli army’s signals intelligence (SIGINT) branch, Unit 8200, is the largest unit in the IDF and one of its most prestigious. It is integrated into the overall intelligence apparatus, foreign and domestic, and is used to penetrate the affairs of Palestinians in granular detail, permitting the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, to cultivate informants and plan covert operations like targeted killings or arrests of security suspects. The cyber-surveillance technologies developed by Unit 8200 and the other intelligence agencies are a key component in maintaining Israeli control over the Palestinian people.

But in the past two decades or so, Israel has greatly expanded use of these technologies. Veterans of these spy shops have transferred their knowledge into the commercial sphere and marketed themselves as agents of repression for clients around the globe. This is a dark, dirty secret that lies behind the hype of the “start-up nation.”


New York City’s Radical Proposal for Noncitizen Voting

Two Israeli companies are at the forefront of this commercialization of dirty ops: NSO Group and Black Cube. Those following the Harvey Weinstein scandal will remember that Black Cube was the cyber-surveillance firm that Weinstein’s lawyer, David Boies, hired after former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak introduced Weinstein to the company. Black Cube employed covert schemes to trick Weinstein’s accusers into exposing themselves so that his legal defense might have more ammunition to discredit them in court and in the public realm.

When The New Yorker revealed Black Cube’s seamy activities, the involved parties scrambled into damage-control mode. Black Cube at first refused to confirm or deny working for the disgraced Weinstein (later, it apologized). Boies admitted signing a contract with the company, but insisted he had no role in determining the activities it would carry out for Weinstein. That allowed Weinstein’s victims to be exploited twice over—first by his sexually predatory behavior, and then by Black Cube, which sent agents posing as sympathetic individuals offering aid, comfort, and financial support, but who were actually preying on the victims and serving Weinstein’s interests.

Although this was the most public scandal involving Black Cube, it wasn’t necessarily the most consequential. Black Cube represents not only individuals like Weinstein; it also contracts with companies involved in litigation against competitors and, perhaps most momentous of all, it fulfills the goals of foreign intelligence services and political leaders by sabotaging those they consider to be enemies.

In Romania, two Black Cube agents were arrested in 2016 for attempting to hack the e-mail accounts of the nation’s corruption czar. You would think this might have restrained the company’s ambitions and perhaps lit a yellow light of caution in Israel’s political and security apparatus. But that didn’t happen.

When Cambridge Analytica whistle-blower Christopher Wylie exposed some of the darkest secrets of his former company and its efforts to sabotage the US presidential election, he also revealed that Black Cube partnered with his firm to dig up dirt on Nigeria’s presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari during that country’s 2015 national election campaign. Apparently, the campaign didn’t work, as Buhari was elected.

Sabotaging the Iran Deal

After President Trump threw out the P5+1 Iran nuclear deal, former members of Barack Obama’s team who had negotiated that agreement revealed that they too had been hoaxed in a manner that mirrored the tactics used in the Weinstein case. According to Rebecca Kahl, the wife of Colin Kahl, national-security adviser to former vice president Joseph Biden, a mysterious woman e-mailed her in 2017, offering financial support for their children’s school. Rebecca’s e-mail correspondent repeatedly asked to meet with her to discuss how the correspondent’s financial firm could benefit the school. Fortunately, Kahl and her husband were savvy enough not to take the bait.

Trita Parsi, head of the National Iranian American Council, an Iranian-American NGO that supported the nuclear deal, was also approached in 2017 by a purported journalist. He sought to get Parsi to say that Kahl and another Obama administration official, Ben Rhodes, expected to exploit the nuclear deal for personal financial gain. Like the Kahls, Parsi smelled a rat.

The UK Observer reported in May that “aides to Donald Trump” hired “an Israeli private intelligence agency” to conduct a “dirty ops” campaign against Colin Kahl and Rhodes; the purpose of the mission was, presumably, to lay the groundwork for Trump’s abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal. (The Observer’s claim that Trump aides hired the agency has not been confirmed, but on the day after its article was published, Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker reported that the agency in question was Black Cube. The company says it has no relation to the Trump administration, has not worked with Trump aides, and refuses “to confirm or deny any speculation” about its work.)

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It should be troubling to Americans that an Israeli dirty-ops firm may have been working to sabotage US foreign policy. Israel is ostensibly an ally of this country. It could be that Black Cube is not merely a private company but a cut-out, an independent contractor that takes on the dirty jobs that Israel’s foreign-intelligence agency, the Mossad, either won’t or can’t pursue itself. This would shield Israel from embarrassment should such operations ever be exposed.

Dirty Tricks in Hungary

Earlier this month, Politico reported that Black Cube had been hired to spy on NGOs in Hungary that had been critical of that country’s authoritarian leader, Viktor Orbán, as he prepared for national elections earlier this year (the company refused to confirm or deny this claim). When he was a young university student, Orbán was a liberal reformer whose studies were funded by Hungarian-American financier George Soros, but Orbán gradually moved to the right to further his political career. Soros, who was a child survivor of the Holocaust, established a network of civil-society NGOs under the umbrella of the Open Society Foundations. One of the foundations’ early goals was to promote the transition from communism to democratic rule in the former Soviet bloc. As Orbán moved further to the right, his former benefactor, Soros, became his chief political nemesis.

Soros didn’t bank on the torrent of opposition from far-right nationalist forces in these countries, who fear democracy and mistrust his endeavors. They cast him as a foreign agent intending to subvert the interests of the nation, a wealthy plutocrat advancing his own financial interests rather than the idealistic ones he actually espouses. Orbán has employed anti-Semitic dog whistles that liken Soros to Jewish financiers of the sort portrayed in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

According to Politico, Black Cube’s brief in Hungary was to trick civil-society NGOs into revealing damaging secrets, which could then be used to impugn them and Soros and promote Orbán’s political interests. Just as they had done with Weinstein’s victims, individuals purporting to work for investment firms contacted NGO leaders and invited them to meetings at posh hotels and restaurants in various European capitals, according to a former Black Cube employee and one other source. But the prospect of financial support never materialized, and after the meetings, the individuals disappeared. Their phone numbers went dead and their company websites and LinkedIn accounts were deleted. But recordings of the meetings later surfaced in ways designed to promote Orbán while maligning the Hungarian pro-democracy movement.

Three weeks before the Hungarian election, a Hungarian newspaper and the right-wing Jerusalem Post revealed that they had audio recordings of the meetings, which featured the director of Open Society in Hungary claiming that he had lobbied for Germany to pressure the Hungarian government not to adopt anti-democratic laws that could have shut down many of Open Society’s operations. The Intercept published a full account of the election smears. Neither the Post nor the Hungarian paper revealed who offered them the information. Neither speculated as to why the material was leaked to them. And neither noted the convenient timing of the leak.

I contacted the co-authors of the Post story asking for information about who their sources were and whether they performed any due diligence to verify the information they gave her. Neither they nor their editor responded. If these outlets were responsible journalistic enterprises, they would ask themselves these questions. They would ponder how they were hoaxed, used by their sources in a scheme to smear the reputation of a prominent philanthropist along with Hungarian civil-society groups that were drawn into the tawdry operation.

Over the past year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has engaged in a campaign to cultivate right-wing governments in Poland, Hungary, and elsewhere. He visited Orbán in Hungary, despite the fact that the local Jewish community warned him away, saying the country’s leader was an anti-Semite. But Netanyahu recently welcomed Orbán upon the latter’s first visit to Israel as prime minister. There he made the customary pilgrimage of visiting national leaders to Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust memorial. Israeli Holocaust survivors and human-rights activists were outraged and blocked his car from leaving the museum. To them, the Hungarian leader is irredeemable. He’s spoken favorably of Hungary’s World War II fascist government, which colluded in the ethnic cleansing of more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews by the Nazis, some 225,000 of whom were murdered at Auschwitz. I wonder how Yad Vashem can justify permitting such a figure to set foot on its sacred altar to the memory of the 6 million.

I asked an Israeli security source whether his agency had any concerns about the activities of Black Cube, and whether the company might be viewed as compromising the security or political interests of Israel. He replied that the activities of the company were a political rather than a security issue. Considering that many of Black Cube’s staff are veterans of Unit 8200 and the Israeli intelligence apparatus, this was not a very satisfying answer.

There will eventually come a reckoning over Black Cube’s covert operations. A future scandal could envelop not just the company itself but the nation that produced it.

NSO Group: Aiding and Abetting Repression

Israel’s NSO Group sabotages the political affairs of foreign nations in a different way. It too hires talented cyber-intelligence specialists from Unit 8200; one of the company’s three founders was an 8200 cyber-hacker. They are hired because they bring with them methods and code used by Israeli SIGINT to hack the phones of Palestinians and other targets of Israeli surveillance.

One hacking tool developed by NSO, Pegasus, may be downloaded to a target’s phone after the target clicks a spearphishing link sent to the device. Once the tool is downloaded, Pegasus essentially takes control of the device, permitting the attacker to intercept e-mail, download documents, listen to any conversations the user might have, and intercept video recordings. It also offers the attacker GPS positions so he knows where the target is at all times.

The only reason we know all this is that victims whose phones had begun to behave strangely sought help; some consulted Citizen Lab, a forensic outfit affiliated with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto dedicated to promoting human rights via the web. Its technicians discovered Pegasus around the same time as The New York Times, which revealed that the Mexican intelligence service deployed Pegasus against journalists as well as human-rights and civil-society activists who had criticized that government’s refusal to investigate alleged murders of Mexican citizens by police and other government authorities.

Citizen Lab first discovered Pegasus after being contacted by a human-rights activist in the United Arab Emirates, Ahmed Mansoor, who suspected a malware attack; that was when Citizen Lab technicians detected the NSO spyware. Mansoor, who is part of the Shiite minority in a country controlled by Sunni Muslims, was later sentenced to 10 years in prison for using social media to spread “hate and sectarianism.” Clearly, the Israeli company’s tool was used as part of a system of control exerted by the UAE’s Sunni elite to suppress activism by the Shiite minority.

NSO claims that its licensing agreement specifies that its products may be used by governments only to fight crime and terrorism, and that clients are precluded from using them to attack citizens for their activism. When journalists have pointed out that clients have used the technology in ways not allowed by the contract, the company claims it is not responsible for how its technology is used and does not maintain any record of such usage.

This raises the possibility that NSO could engineer a feature permitting it to track the usage of Pegasus. Such a feature would enable the company to consult with clients to ensure that its tool is not misused. But it seems NSO prefers the ease of shipping the product, taking payment, and washing its hands of what might happen afterward.

As Citizen Lab indicated in a recently released statement, the entire field of cyber-hacking is barely regulated (the Israeli defense ministry must license all exports of Pegasus, but it is not known to prohibit or interfere with such sales). This only encourages abuse by both coders and clients. Nations—and Israel is not the only state with companies engaged in such hacking—must step forward and set both ethical and political standards that determine how these tools may be used and which uses are prohibited. Journalists and activists must lobby national and international authorities to stop this kind of foreign interference in a country’s domestic politics.

I would also think that the companies themselves, if they value their business models, would attempt to negotiate some form of regulation that both permits them to pursue their business objectives while also adhering to a common set of standards. But so far they seem oblivious to the consequences of their actions.

One way of pressuring both governmental authorities and the companies themselves is by targeting them in the financial markets. NSO, as a tech start-up, is part of the Silicon Valley economy. In 2014, a few years after its founding, it was purchased by a venture-capital firm, Francisco Partners, for $120 million. Francisco later sought to sell its controlling interest to other venture-capital firms. Among other factors, it could boast that NSO cleared $200 million in annual profits. Last year one of the largest such institutions, Blackstone, offered to buy a 40 percent interest for $400 million. This would have valued NSO at $1 billion, thus bestowing upon it the highly sought-after designation of “unicorn.”

Access Now and other human-rights groups mounted a campaign to pressure the publicly traded Blackstone to back off the purchase of NSO, and eventually the deal fell through. In the latest development, VERINT, originally an Israeli start-up, offered to buy NSO for $1 billion, which would have offered Francisco a handsome 730 percent return on its original investment. These plans were derailed by several developments.

First, in the midst of the purchase negotiations, NSO discovered that a disgruntled employee, who was eventually fired, had stolen a hard drive containing both Pegasus and other secret company documents. He offered the company’s crown jewels to one potential customer for $50 million in crypto-currencies. Though the customer reported the approach to executives at the firm, the damage had been done. The employee had the hard drive for three weeks, and while NSO claims he did not compromise any corporate secrets, it has no way of knowing this for sure. VERINT backed out of the deal and Francisco was once again left with a valuable commodity it couldn’t seem to unload.

Israeli media reporting on this incident offer some tantalizing information not reported elsewhere: First, the employee theft was placed under a gag order, presumably sought by NSO, which would have wanted to keep bad news under wraps so as not to sabotage sale negotiations. The problem with this is that if the gag order hadn’t been lifted, VERINT would have been deprived of information crucial to its business decisions and its valuation of the property.

Second, an article in the Israeli business publication Globes notes several times (in the Hebrew edition) that the NSO theft was considered by authorities to be one of the most serious compromises of national security on record. That may mean several things: It may mean that Pegasus, or at least substantial elements of it, was developed not by NSO but by Unit 8200. Its veterans could have taken the code they developed during military service and further developed it into the commercial product. If this is true, it would strengthen arguments that Israeli cyber-hackers serving in military intelligence are using tools like Pegasus to infiltrate foreign governments, target BDS and other human-rights activists, or even target victims for Israeli assassination operations.

That would mean that compromising Pegasus could endanger the Israeli government’s cyber-hacking operations around the globe. Should a rival intelligence service gain access to the Pegasus code, it could develop ways to counter or disable it. That would frustrate the intelligence operations of Unit 8200, IDF military intelligence (AMAN), the Mossad, and Shabak, with serious consequences for the security of the state itself. That is why this theft is considered more than just a mishap for a single business, but rather a potential national-security crisis.

With the exploding corporate valuations indicated above, other Israeli start-ups are getting in on the action. Earlier this month, business publications reported the first round of $12.5 million in financing for Toka, a company developing software that permits clients to take control of various household devices known as the Internet of Things. Any home-electronics, thermostat, alarm, or home speaker system communicating with Internet servers would be vulnerable.

This is essentially a replication of the NSO business model, transferred to the home environment. Imagine: The very place where people expect the most privacy and security could be transformed into a peephole for snooping companies or individuals. Toka’s co-founder is former prime minister Barak, one of hundreds of former Israeli generals and intelligence officials paid handsome consulting fees or lucrative stock options to exploit business contacts in the military-security world for companies like Toka.

 






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Wife of Journalist Slain in Cartel-Linked Killing Targeted
with Israeli NSO Group’s Spyware

By : John Scott-Railton, Bill Marczak, Siena Anstis, Bahr Abdul Razzak, Masashi Crete-Nishihata, and Ron Deibert
March 20, 2019

This research brief details how Griselda Triana, journalist and the wife of slain journalist Javier Valdez Cárdenas, was targeted with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware in the days after his killing.

Key Findings

  • Griselda Triana, a journalist and the wife of slain journalist Javier Valdez, was targeted with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware following his assassination.
  • Triana was targeted a week after infection attempts against two of Valdez’s colleagues, Andrés Villarreal and Ismael Bojórquez.
  • A total of 25 individuals are now known to have been abusively targeted with Pegasus malware in Mexico.
Introduction

On May 15th, 2017, journalist Javier Valdez was shot dead as he left the offices of Riodoce, the newspaper that he founded to investigate cartels and organized crime in Sinaloa, Mexico. His killers pulled him from his car, shot him a dozen times, and stole his files, laptop, and mobile phone. His killing has been widely reported as a cartel hit.


In the days following the killing, his colleagues Andrés Villarreal and Ismael Bojórquez received carefully crafted text messages designed to trick them into clicking on exploit links. Clicking on the links would have infected their phones with Pegasus spyware. The spyware, developed by Israeli company NSO Group, is designed to infect and remotely monitor mobile phones. In that investigation, we linked the infection attempts to a group that we call RECKLESS-1, which we linked to the Mexican government.

Figure 1: Javier Valdez Cárdenas (left)1. On May 15, 2017, Cárdenas was shot 12 times as he left the Ríodoce offices. Griselda Triana (right) at a march demanding justice for Javier Valdez.
With the assistance of our investigative partners R3D, SocialTic, and Article 19, we can now report that, one week after Javier Valdez Cárdenas was murdered, his wife, journalist Griselda Triana, was also targeted with multiple infection attempts using NSO Group’s Pegasus malware.

Figure 2: The 25 known targets with Pegasus in Mexico as of March 2019.
Javier Valdez’s colleagues were among more than two dozen Mexican and American citizens targeted with Pegasus spyware by Mexican NSO Group customers. After we identified infection attempts2 against a Mexican journalist and government critic in 2016, Mexican civil society groups R3D, SocialTic, and Article 19 began collaborating with us to identify additional targets. This investigative partnership resulted in seven reports detailing 25 infection attempts against multiple Mexican journalists, lawyers, international investigators, public health practitioners, senior politicians, and anti-corruption activists.

The Targeting of Griselda Triana with NSO Group’s Spyware

Griselda Triana has produced and hosted the show “La otredad” (English: “Otherness”) for the radio station of the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS). Triana has also served as communications director for the Centre for Gender Policy and Equity Between Men and Women at UAS.

On May 25th and 26th, 2017, eleven days after her husband was slain, Triana received text messages designed to trick her into clicking on malicious links. The messages arrived during a period when she recalls actively cooperating with the authorities investigating his killing, and publicly protesting his death and demanding a serious official investigation.

The first infection attempt arrived on May 25th and masqueraded as an update about the killing from Mexican news magazine Proceso. According to the message, the Mexican Office of the Prosecutor (PGR) had announced that his assassination was in fact an attempted carjacking. The idea was farcical and Triana did not click on the link.



Figure 3: Infection Attempts using Pegasus spyware against Griselda Triana.
A day later, Triana received a second infection attempt. The message played on her grief at the loss of her husband and hinted that she might have been attacked in the press. Again, she recalls abstaining from clicking.

Clicking on the links in either message would have resulted in the infection of her phone with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. Griselda later provided the messages to Article 19 and R3D, who shared them with Citizen Lab researchers.

Links to NSO Group Exploit Infrastructure

The links in the messages sent to Griselda Triana pointed to domains identified in prior Citizen Lab investigations as exploit infrastructure operated by RECKLESS-1. Both domains had been previously used to target Javier Valdez’s colleagues (See: Table 1).

In our recent publications on RECKLESS-1 and other NSO Group operators, we reported that the operator was active until June 2017, when we published a third report describing abuses of Pegasus in Mexico and pointed to further evidence indicating that the operator was the Mexican government.

While the original RECKLESS-1 infrastructure was not re-enabled, our recent scanning results indicate that Mexican government-linked NSO Group operators have been active as recently as late September 2018.

Conclusion: Journalists in the Spyware Crosshairs

There is an undeniable pattern of abuse and due diligence failures in how NSO Group’s spyware is sold and used. By the time Griselda Triana was targeted in May 2017, Mexican NSO customers had already targeted at least two dozen members of Mexican civil society with Pegasus. By then, NSO Group had already been made aware of public reports of the misuse of its products by Mexico for almost eight months. This public reporting included multiple publications by Citizen Lab and multiple front page New York Times stories.

The targeting of Griselda Triana increases the number of Mexican journalists targeted with Pegasus to nine and the total number of Mexican targets to 25. Taking into account investigations by Citizen Lab and Amnesty International on a Saudi Arabian government operator, there are now 11 publicly-reported cases of journalists targeted with Pegasus spyware (Figure 4). The number increases if family members, such as the minor child of Carmen Aristegui who was targeted while at boarding school in the United States, are included.

The repeated use of Pegasus to target journalists and their family members over multiple years suggests a pattern of official abuse. In Mexico, journalists appear more frequently among Pegasus targets than any other group that we have identified, such as politicians or lawyers (See: Figure 2). This pattern is disturbing as Mexican journalists are also frequent targets for physical violence and assassination.


Figure 4: Journalists and civic media targeted with NSO Group’s Pegasus Spyware.
A degree of official involvement has been reported in half the killings of journalists in Mexico, making it especially troubling that family members and colleagues of a slain journalist were digitally targeted by a Mexican government-linked entity.

Questions about Abuses to NSO Group and Novalpina Capital Remain Unanswered

Citizen Lab has sent multiple communications to NSO Group, its financial partners, and its backers. These have included letters laying out our findings along with specific questions about individual cases. We have also asked questions about oversight and due diligence. These questions have largely gone unanswered.

Citizen Lab has also written to Novalpina Capital, a UK-based private equity fund directed by Stephen Peel. Novalpina is currently in the process of purchasing a majority stake in NSO Group. Unfortunately, Novalpina Capital has also chosen to not address the many cases of abuse identified by Citizen Lab, Amnesty International, and others.

For example, Novalpina recently wrote a letter to civil society groups stating their commitment to human rights and transparency in the spyware market and outlining their plans for NSO. Unfortunately, Novalpina’s 11 page letter spends only two paragraphs addressing, and then dismissing, the nearly three years of reports connecting NSO Group to specific abuses.

Citizen Lab has also written to Jefferies Financial Group, which is reportedly “advising and leading the financing” of the acquisition of NSO Group by Novalpina. That letter has not received a response.

Acknowledgements

Citizen lab would like to thank Griselda Triana for consenting to share this case with the collaborating organizations, especially Article 19, and with the public. We are also grateful to the many other targets and victims of Pegasus for having shared the cases on which our continuing work is based.

Special thanks to the teams at R3D, SocialTic, and Article19 for their careful and important investigative work. We would like to especially thank and highlight the contribution of Luis Fernando García and his colleagues at R3D, and Article19 for their coordination in this particular case.

Thanks to the whole Citizen Lab team, especially Miles Kenyon, Adam Senft, and Mari Zhou for graphical assistance.

Thanks to Amnesty International and Access Now for assistance in earlier phases of the investigation.


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Israeli Operatives Who Aided Harvey Weinstein Collected Information on Former Obama Administration Officials
By Ronan Farrow
May 6, 2018

Image may contain Glasses Accessories Accessory Human Person Crowd Coat Clothing Suit Overcoat Apparel and Finger

The private-intelligence firm Black Cube compiled profiles on Colin Kahl (pictured) and Ben Rhodes, Obama Administration advisers who were proponents of the Iran nuclear deal.Photograph by Chip Somodevilla / Getty

In June, 2017, Ann Norris, a former State Department official, received an e-mail containing an unusual proposal. Norris is married to Ben Rhodes, a former foreign-policy adviser to President Barack Obama and a prominent advocate of the Iran nuclear deal. In the e-mail, a woman who introduced herself as Eva Novak and claimed to work for a London-based film company called Shell Productions asked Norris to consult on a movie that she described as “ ‘All the President’s Men’ meets ‘The West Wing’ ”: it would follow the personal lives of “government officials in the positions that determine war and Peace” during times of geopolitical crisis, including “nuclear negotiations with a hostile nation.” Recalling the exchange, Ann Norris said that she found Eva Novak’s request “bizarre,” and that she “never responded.”

The e-mail appears to be part of an undercover campaign by an Israeli private-intelligence firm to discredit Obama officials who had been leading proponents of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The campaign was first reported, on Saturday, by the British newspaper the Observer. However, sources familiar with the effort and pages of documents obtained by The New Yorker reveal that there is more to understand. Two of those sources told me on Sunday that the operation was carried out by Black Cube—a firm that was also employed by Harvey Weinstein and that offers its clients access to operatives from “Israel’s élite military and governmental intelligence units,” including the Mossad.

A month before Norris received her e-mail, Rebecca Kahl, a former program officer at the National Democratic Institute and the wife of the former Obama Administration foreign-policy adviser Colin Kahl, had also received a puzzling e-mail. A woman named Adriana Gavrilo claimed to be the head of corporate social responsibility at Reuben Capital Partners, a London-based wealth-management firm. Gavrilo told Kahl that her firm was launching an initiative on education and that she wanted to meet to discuss the school that Kahl’s daughter attended, at which Kahl volunteered. Kahl referred Gavrilo to school staff members, but Gavrilo repeatedly refused to speak to anyone but her. Gavrilo’s firm would “not be able to make the necessary due diligence” on the school employees, she wrote. Rebecca Kahl, who said she “worried I’m strangely a target of some sort,” eventually stopped responding to Gavrilo.

Adriana Gavrilo and Eva Novak appear to be aliases. LinkedIn pages for both Gavrilo and Novak at one point showed a slim blond woman advertised as fluent in Serbian. Shortly after The New Yorker contacted Black Cube about this story, Novak’s LinkedIn page was deleted. The e-mail addresses listed by both women do not work. Calls to the phone number Novak listed went unanswered. The Web sites for Reuben Capital Partners and Shell Productions have been taken down, but both were bare-bones pages constructed through the free site-building tool Wix. The addresses for both companies led to shared office spaces; there is no evidence that Shell Productions or Reuben Capital Partners had ever operated there.

The documents show that Black Cube compiled detailed background profiles of several individuals, including Rhodes and Kahl, that featured their addresses, information on their family members, and even the makes of their cars. Black Cube agents were instructed to try to find damaging information about them, including unsubstantiated claims that Rhodes and Kahl had worked closely with Iran lobbyists and were personally enriched through their policy work on Iran (they denied those claims); rumors that Rhodes was one of the Obama staffers responsible for “unmasking” Trump transition officials who were named in intelligence documents (Rhodes denied the claim); and an allegation that one of the individuals targeted by the campaign had an affair.

The campaign is strikingly similar to an operation that Black Cube ran on behalf of Harvey Weinstein, which was reported in The New Yorker last fall. One of Weinstein’s attorneys, David Boies, hired Black Cube to halt the publication of sexual-misconduct allegations against Weinstein. Black Cube operatives used false identities to track women with allegations, and also reporters seeking to expose the story. In May, 2017, a former Israel Defense Forces officer, who had emigrated to Israel from the former Yugoslavia, was working as an undercover agent for Black Cube. The woman contacted the actress Rose McGowan, claiming to work for Reuben Capital Partners but using the identity of a Diana Filip. Filip’s e-mails to McGowan displayed the same tactics as those in the e-mails sent to Norris and Kahl, and in some cases used almost identical language. (Filip also wrote to me from Reuben Capital Partners, and again used similar language.)


In a statement, Black Cube said, “It is Black Cube’s policy to never discuss its clients with any third party, and to never confirm or deny any speculation made with regard to the company’s work.” The statement also read, “Black Cube has no relation whatsoever to the Trump administration, to Trump aides, to anyone close to the administration, or to the Iran Nuclear deal.” The firm also said that it “always operates in full compliance of the law in every jurisdiction in which it conducts its work, following legal advice from the world’s leading law firms.”

In the Iran operation, as in its operation for Weinstein, Black Cube focussed much of its work on reporters and other media figures, sometimes using agents who posed as journalists. The company compiled a list of more than thirty reporters who it believed were in touch with Obama Administration officials, annotated with instructions about how to seek negative information. Transcripts produced by Black Cube reveal that the firm secretly recorded a conversation between one of its agents and Trita Parsi, a Swedish-Iranian author. The conversation, which began as a general discussion of Iran policy, quickly devolved into questions about Rhodes, Kahl, and whether they had personally profited off of the Iran policy. “I’ve had the first part of the conversation five hundred times,” Parsi recalled, of his conversation with the agent, who claimed to be a reporter. “But then he started asking about personal financial interests, and that was more unusual. He was pushing very, very hard.”

The Observer reported that aides of President Trump had hired Black Cube to run the operation in order to undermine the Iran deal, allegations that Black Cube denies. “The idea was that people acting for Trump would discredit those who were pivotal in selling the deal, making it easier to pull out of it,” a source told the Observer. One of the sources familiar with the effort told me that it was, in fact, part of Black Cube’s work for a private-sector client pursuing commercial interests related to sanctions on Iran. (A Trump Administration spokesperson declined to comment to the Observer on the allegations.)

Kahl, who worked as an adviser to Vice-President Joe Biden, said that he believed Trump associates may have been involved because of unsubstantiated reports in conservative media outlets accusing Rhodes and Kahl of damaging leaks about the Trump Administration. “Why Ben and I? Why conjoin Ben and me?” Kahl asked. “Of all the other senior people in the White House, I’m least senior.”

Black Cube is known for its close ties to current and former power players in Israeli politics and intelligence. The late Meir Dagan, a former Mossad director, once served as the company’s president. Ehud Barak, the former Israeli Prime Minister, has publicly acknowledged that he introduced Weinstein to Black Cube’s leadership. (Barak said he did not know the nature of Weinstein’s concerns at the time.) The Observer reported that officials linked to Trump’s team had made contact with Black Cube days after Trump visited Tel Aviv in May, 2017, during his first foreign tour as President. Standing next to Netanyahu during that trip, Trump promised, “Iran will never have nuclear weapons, that I can tell you.”
Rhodes said that the campaign represented a troubling situation in which public servants were being targeted for their work in government. “This just eviscerates any norm of how governments should operate or treat their predecessors and their families,” he said. “It crosses a dangerous line.”
 






DesertRose

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The Media Yawns at the Israeli Army's Death Squads
Israeli terror is at it again. - informationclearinghouse info Continue

"They kill because they can. They kill because they’re convinced that this is how they’re expected to act. They kill because they know that nothing is cheaper than the life of a Palestinian. They kill because they know that the Israeli media will yawn and not report a thing. They kill because they know that no harm will come to them, so why not? Why not kill a Palestinian when possible?"

"If the soldiers had shot a dog – also a shocking act, of course – it would have attracted more attention. But a dead Palestinian child? What happened? Why should it interest anyone, why is it important?"

“Are you working for the Arabs?” journalist Yinon Magal maliciously tweeted, addressing Haaretz’s Hagar Shezaf, virtually the only journalist who covered the boy’s funeral. This is the new journalistic ethos: Reporting the truth is tantamount to working for the Arabs."
 






friend

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Israeli forces kill Palestinian during West Bank funeral protest

Artists cut ties with museum over owners' alleged Israel connection
 






Daze

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Israeli forces kill Palestinian during West Bank funeral protest
Killing people at a funeral. There is no line these people will not cross.

We need to stop calling them IDF because theres nothing defensive about them. They are IOF, the Israeli occupation force.
 






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