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The Public Security Minister has revealed figures on illegal immigration from Eritrea. The official figure is too low, and in any case reflects the temporary willingness of the Egyptian border police to combat the illegals.

Despite numerous promises, the government has failed to deport the Africans even though Egypt has signaled that it would accept them back.

The simplest solution would be to transfer the illegal immigrants to UNRWA refugee camps in Gaza. If they are refugees, let the UN task force deal with them.

The British passports used by the Mabhouh assassination team were biometric.

Biometric passports were introduced as way to prevent forgery. In fact, biometric passports are easier to forge than traditional ones: once the algorithm is broken, forgers can easily produce biometric chips, and border officials do not pay much attention to the paper passport itself due to their erroneous certainty that the chip provides perfect security.

In our time, a cluster of common computers can break any type of smart-card chip through a simple brute force attack. Forgers can therefore replicate biometric passports without much effort. Biometric databases are not very secure, and if stolen they can wreak havoc in international affairs by flooding the market with forged biometric passports.

Texas software engineer Joseph Stack did not fit any terrorist profile, but on a sunny day he flew his plane into the tax administration building in Texas. Apart from the fact that we share Stack’s distaste for the IRS, his terrorist act is a watershed event: there is no security in this world. You can profile Arabs, but the shoe-bomber, the rich kid from Nigeria, and the tax terrorist could not have been intercepted by any feasible means. Private planes are too many, airports are too close to cities, and there is no way to prevent disgruntled individuals from crashing into buildings.

Nation states were built on the promise of wide-scale security for their citizens, but it is clear now that the world has returned to the historical norm—every man must watch his own back.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has reiterated its mantra about more sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program. This attitude is wrong.

Sanctions on Iran would work against Israel: they would make an attack on Iran less palatable, but would not stop Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons. Sanctions distract the West from the need for real measures against the ayatollahs.

The same kind of sanctions might one day be applied to Israel for her rogue nukes, apartheid, and occupation. If anything, the FM needs to collaborate with the ayatollahs to de-legitimize UN sanctions and make the West averse to using them.

February 2010
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