For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Two weeks ago, a report appeared on the Japanese news site Nikkei quoting Western intelligence sources as saying that North Korea was once again providing “sensitive military technology” to Syria. The report got little coverage in the Western media and came shortly before US the under secretary of state for political affairs, William Burns, is scheduled to visit Syria. The purpose of his trip has been described as being about Iran as well as Syria’s ongoing smuggling of weapons to Hezbollah.
A day after the Nikkei report, the US director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, briefed the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about his team’s annual threat assessment (pdf). The assessment mentioned North Korea’s cooperation with Syria in building the clandestine nuclear reactor at Al-Kibar that Israel destroyed in September 2007. It also noted that US intelligence “remain[s] alert to the possibility North Korea could again export nuclear technology.”
Indeed, the Nikkei story claimed that North Korea was helping Syria build a production line for maraging steel “that can be used in missile skins, chemical warheads and gas centrifuges, a vital component in the uranium enrichment process.” Maraging steel is an alloy possessing strength and malleability that, among other things, “allow it to be formed into thinner rocket and missile skins that can carry heavier payloads.”
The brazenness of this development was remarkable, even by North Korean and Syrian standards. It showed just how much of a gambler Bashar al-Assad really is and has been since he inherited power in Damascus. Yet the Syrian president has grown accustomed to calculating that he can beat the odds against Syria’s paying a serious political price for his actions. For instance, Syria still has not cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inquiry into its Al-Kibar nuclear site. Instead, Assad may be continuing to push his quest for nukes.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"