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July 24, 2016 / 18 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Avigdor Liberman’

Liberman Appoints Two of his Party ‘Rebels’ to Key Military Industrial Complex Roles

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

In a move that seemingly contradicts the conventional media views of his self-interested party boss manner, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Monday appointed two talented men to head two of Israel’s top military industrial institutions, despite the fact that both men have walked out on his party a year ago.

Liberman appointed Yair Shamir as chairman of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and Yitzhak Aharonovich as chairman of Israel Military Industries (IMI). The appointments were made in coordination with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu). The announcement of the two appointments said that “these are the most appropriate people for these roles and they will advance the companies they will head.”

The son of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Yair Shamir served as MK for Yisrael Beiteinu between 2013 and 2015, and held the post of Minister of Agriculture. Shamir has already served as chairman of IAI, between 2005 and 2011, when Defense Minister Ehud Barak removed him from office. He was credited with the company’s stunning recovery, most importantly because in his first year as chairman he replaced 13 of the company’s 19 top managers. Under his leadership the company’s net profit grew from $2 million in 2005 to $130 million in 2006, with revenues growing from $2.341 billion to $3.148 billion by 2010. Shamir issued Israel Aerospace Industries tradable bonds worth $363,360. He also took IAI to the Russian market, established a leading position in the drone industry and launched four space satellites.

In January 2015 Shamir, whom Liberman had appointed party leader in 2012, announced he was leaving the party and would not run in the 2015 elections because of disagreements with Liberman over foreign policy.

Incidentally, in an interview with The Jewish Press in 2004, Shamir said that he did not believe in surrendering Israeli-controlled land to the Arabs, and criticized Benjamin Netanyahu for caving in to pressure too easily. Shamir stressed that Israel should do what it thinks is right without regard to what the world thinks.

Yitzhak Aharonovich in January 2015 announced that he was retiring from politics, and would not run in the 2015 elections, but did not spell out his reasons. His tenure as Minister of Public Security was marred with the escalation of terrorism in Jerusalem, including attacks on the light rail, a gas station, and the Temple Mount police post, several ramming attacks, the Har Nof synagogue massacre, the assassination attempt on Yehuda Glick, and countless riots on the Temple Mounts. Several high-ranking police officers were forced to retire over sex abuse violations. Aharonovich was criticized by many for his failure to instill law and order, most notably by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and by political rival Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi).

A former commander of the Border Police, Aharonovich’s only experience in corporate management was his one year (2004 to 2005) as director-general of the Dan Bus Company.

In 2009, Aharonovich was widely criticized and forced to apologize for telling an undercover police detective in Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station that he looked as dirty as an “Araboosh,” the Hebrew equivalent for the N word for Arabs.

JNi.Media

Liberman, Bennett, Shaked to Vote Against Turkish Deal

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

So far, only two government ministers, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and Housing Minister Yoav Galant, both from Likud, are on the record as supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu’s deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to pay upwards of $21 million as reparations to the families of anti-Zionist Turkish activists who attacked IDF soldiers with metal rods, rocks and knives when they attempted to take over the ship Mavi Marmara back in 2010. The deal also included a public apology (check) and easing the Israeli blockade on Gaza, which always ends up as a wise move when dealing with Hamas.

The loud objections from both sides of the aisle which the Netanyahu deal has raised on Monday may be the reason that four ministers Netanyahu was counting on to support him are yet to say anything on the subject: Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), Aryeh Deri (Shas), Gilad Erdan (Likud) and Israel Katz (Likud). Meanwhile, three ministers have erected a strong front against the deal: Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi), and Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi).

Liberman this week denied reports that he had committed to supporting the deal, as part of his entering the Netanyahu government. In closed sessions he went as far as to say that if he thins the deal is bad, he would vote against it.

Bennett said on Tuesday morning that “the State of Israel must not pay reparations to terrorists who tried to harm the IDF. A rapprochement with Turkey is important for this time and for the interests of the State of Israel, but paying reparations to terrorists is a dangerous precedent the State of Israel would regret in the future.”

A Channel 10 News survey released Monday showed that 56% of Israelis object to the deal with Turkey, and 67% believe it should have been conditioned on the return of the bodies of IDF soldiers in Hamas’ possession, as well as two Israeli civilians believed to be alive.

David Israel

MK Zoabi: Reparations to Turks an Israeli Admission of Murder

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Anti-Zionist Arabs are not happy with the pending new Israeli-Turkish rapprochement — there goes yet another regional power whose support for Arab terrorism against Israel has cooled down. The two loudest Israeli-Arab voices to spin Netanyahu’s diplomatic success into a failure are MKs Haniz Zoabi and Ahmad Tibbi. Both are arguing that the fact that Israel is paying Turkey reparations over the 2010 Mavi Marmara fiasco constitutes admission of guilt and therefore does not end the Israeli public relations headache, it only makes it bigger.

But everyone else in the region, most notably the Turks and the Israelis, appear delighted to put behind them that nasty episode and the bad six years that followed.

After the final disagreements have been smoothed over Sunday, on Monday afternoon Prime Minister Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are expected to announce a reconciliation agreement between their two countries in concurrent press conferences. Netanyahu’s cabinet would then be required to approve the deal, and said cabinet includes Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, a staunch enemy of appeasing Turkey, but that’ll come later.

Turkish-Israeli relations hit a wall back in 2010 after the IDF special forces who were attempting to take over the Mavi Marmara, part of the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla,” were met with overwhelming violence from the Arab and Turkish crew, and were forced to kill Turkish citizens onboard. On Sunday, after six years of open hostility between the two countries, which have historically depended on each other economically, high level Israeli and Turkish delegations met in Rome and hammered out the final reconciliation deal.

The political components of the agreement are:

1. Israel will pay Turkey some $20 million, presumably going to the families of the dead crew members.

2. Turkey will not launch lawsuits against the IDF officers and soldiers who took part in the operation.

3. Israel will ease some of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

4. Turkey will limit Hamas activities inside its borders. Turkey will not permit Hamas to conduct, plan or direct any military activity against Israel while in Turkish territory. However, the Hamas offices will stay open and can continue to operate as diplomatic agencies.

The economic aspects of the deal have mainly to do with Turkey, which is now dependent on its hostile Russian neighbor for its supply of natural gas, looking to replace it with Israeli gas. However, for the time being, the Israeli gas is still tied up in the Knesset as well as in the Supreme court, so that’s not happening yet.

MK Zoabi, for whom this is her last term in the Knesset, having been kicked off her realistic spot on her Balad party’s list by party primary voters, insists that this is not the time to celebrate the diplomatic achievement of the Netanyahu government, instead, she says, the deal constitutes an Israeli admission of “committing nine murders, injuring dozens, kidnapping and piracy in international waters.”

Zoabi is also irate that the Turkish-Israeli deal does not deposit in Israel’s hands the responsibility for the woes of the Gaza Strip, which it abandoned ten years ago this summer. Zoabi wants the Israeli blockade to come down completely, but has nothing to say about the Hamas openly declared intentions of continuing their plans to attack Israeli civilians.

MK Tibi for his part suggested PA-based jurists should take note of the reparations index of the Turkish deal, for future discussions, when the new Palestinian state would be handing Israel the bill for all the Arabs that died over the years, presumably including those who were killed while trying to stuff their suicide belts with explosives.

Israeli politicians on both sides of the aisle were unhappy with the deal. Former minister Gidon Sa’ar (Likud) tweeted: “Israel will pay Turkey reparations for the Marmara? I hope the news is wrong. If it’s true — this is a national humiliation and an invitation for more flotillas and more libels from Israel haters.”

MK Arel Margalit (Zionist Camp) said that “Netanyahu once again capitulated with his tail between his legs before Hamas, hurt the IDF soldiers without blinking, and abandoned the families of the missing.”

Margalit was referring to Turkey’s failure to convince Hamas to sweeten its Israeli deal with Israel by handing over its biggest bargaining chip, the bodies of two Israeli soldiers. Of course, the Turks promised to try, and they probably did, but anyone who expected Netanyahu to be able to come up with a win on that count is either terribly naïve or just hates Netanyahu.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) tweeted that “there better be a very good reason to justify the deal with Turkey, which on its face appears shameful.”

JNi.Media

Liberman’s Office Sends Yitzhar Minor to Re-Education Camp

Friday, June 24th, 2016

At 3 AM Friday, the Shabak and police burst into the home of the 15-year-old minor from Yitzhar and arrested him. The boy had received an IDF administrative order expelling him from his parent’s home, but he had no where to go, and the boy’s family doesn’t even know why he is even being taken from their home.

The family told the Honeinu legal aid society that they were shown no warrant, and during the arrest, the police confiscated the parents’ phones so they couldn’t contact anyone for help.

The police refused to allow the father to accompany his son to wherever they are actually taking him – despite being required to do so by law.

The police also refused to allow the boy to take his T’fillin or personal effects.

The boy’s father said,

“To take a child of 15 who did nothing and demand to throw him into an unfamiliar location, without coordination with the family, this is step you do in a democracy? In the fifties, they kidnapped Yemenite children in the dark, and now are trying to remove children from home for re-education in broad daylight. The natural place for my son is at home. It’s inconceivable that from secret evidence that we have no idea what it says, a child has to leave his home.”

The IDF hasn’t given an explanation as to why the boy is being expelled from his home as well as all of Judea and Samaria, other than to say the 15-year-old is a threat to national security and has been involved in violent incidents against Arabs.

There’s been no court hearing, and the IDF refuses to present any of their evidence of the boy’s alleged activities to the boy’s lawyers or family, making it impossible for the lawyers to defend their client and fight the administrative order.

In the past month, the prosecution was forced to drop charges against two people the Shabak had arrested and held for weeks while not permitting them to see their lawyers. One of those arrested reports that he was tortured. The charges were dropped because they were innocent. In those cases too, secret evidence was used to justify their arrest.

Last month, Meir Ettinger was released after being held for 8 months in solitary confinement. Again, based on secret evidence, which apparently included his publicly posted blog.

In a letter sent yesterday to the minor’s lawyers, IDF Major Yizhar Yitzhaki, head of the human rights department in the military prosecution wrote that the minor will be sent to a farm in the south, there will “a bed to sleep on, food and sanitary services as required.”

And apparently re-education.

The family doesn’t know the owners of the farm, and no one from this farm has contacted the family. The family doesn’t even know if the farm has agreed to take their son, and if it’s legal for them to do so against the parent’s wishes.

According to Honeinu, a hearing will take place in the Petah Tikva Magistrates Court sometime today.

Nor is this the only case in question.

There is another minor, from Eli, who reviewed an administrative distancing order from Judea and Samaria, as well as an additional administrative order placing him under house arrest at night. As his home is in Samaria and he can’t go home, the IDF has decided to also send this boy to the re-education farm down south. The boy’s family has no way of fighting the decree, as the evidence against the boy is secret.

If anyone had any hope that under Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the IDF’s anti-democratic “administration orders” policies would be reviewed and cancelled, those hopes were certainly dashed this morning.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israeli, US Leaders Celebrate New ‘Adir’ F-35 Stealth Fighter Jet

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and IAF Chief of Staff Brig.-Gen. Tal Kelman joined top U.S. government and Lockheed Martin officials on Wednesday in celebrating the rollout of the “Adir” — Israel’s first F-35A Lightning II Stealth fighter jet.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and Israeli Minister without portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi also joined the celebration, as did 400 other guests from government, military and the industrial sectors. Texas Governor Greg Abbott and U.S. Congressman Craig Goldman were present as well.

“Israel is proud to be the first country in the area to receive and operate [the Stealth fighter],” Liberman said. “The F-35 is the best aircraft in the world and the choice of all our military leadership at its highest level. It is clear and obvious to us and to the entire region that the new F-35, the Adir, will create real deterrence and enhance our capabilities for a long time.”

The aircraft has an advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, including advanced missiles and heavily-defended air space, combining advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment support.

“The F-35 technology represents the crown jewel of air-power superiority and will therefore be a great contribution to the IDF’s air force,” Liberman said, stressing that diplomatic tensions between Israel and the U.S. have not affected security cooperation between the two nations.

“It’s not a secret that we have from time to time some disagreements, some disputes, with the U.S. on the political level regarding some solutions with our neighbors,” he noted. “But when it comes to Israel’s security, we really enjoy full understanding, fruitful cooperation and strong commitment to our security concerns and needs.”

Lockheed Martin chair, president and CEO Marillyn Hewson agreed. “We’re honored to partner with Israel and help strengthen the deep and lasting partnership between our two nations,” she said. “The F-35 will help Israel remain a beacon of strength and stability in the region and support a safe and secure homeland for generations to come.”

Israel’s first delegation of pilots will arrive next month in the United States to begin simulator and ground-based training on the new stealth fighter. A total of 12 pilots are set for training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and by the middle of next year will have completed a 100-day U.S. Air Force training program that prepares them for actual flight training on the aircraft in Israel.

By 2018, another 10 to 15 pilots are to be selected for another round of training, according to a report last week by Defense News. Meanwhile, Israel has sent dozens of people to Eglin Air Force Base to attend maintenance training courses that can last between two to four months.

The IAF is working with Lockheed Martin and F-35 program officials to complete the construction of the Israeli logistics center at Nevatim Air Base in in the Negev. The center will use Lockheed Martin’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), a worldwide sustainment network that provides maintenance support for the aircraft for the duration of its projected 55-year lifespan.

The point of the independent logistics center in southern Israel has to do with the unique conditions under which Israelis are forced to live: The constant threat of rocket fire and other terror attacks makes it necessary for Israel to be able to maintain and repair its F-35 fleet immediately, on site, if and when the aircraft is being used during a conflict.

Hana Levi Julian

This Bench Belongs to the Minor from Yitzhar

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

An Israeli Facebook campaign has going viral in the real world.

In response to the administrative expulsion order of a 15-year-old minor from his parents home in Yitzhar by GOC Home Front Command Chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Eisenberg, Israelis have been posting signs on benches around Israel that say, “This bench belongs to the minor from Yitzhar.

The young boy has no where else to go to if the army is allowed to throw him out from his parent’s home.

Signs have been posted on benches in Jerusalem, Netanya, Haifa, Rosh HaAyin, Migdal Emek and in additional cities in Israel. A sign has even been posted as far away as Brooklyn, NY.

The IDF hasn’t given an explanation as to why the boy is being expelled from his home as well as all of Judea and Samaria, other than to say the 15-year-old is a threat to national security and has been involved in violent incidents against Arabs.

It sounds like he’s quite the villain, yet if that’s the case, it’s not clear why he hasn’t been brought to trial and thrown in jail.

There’s been no court hearing, and the IDF refuses to present any of their evidence to the boy’s lawyers, making it impossible for the lawyers to defend their client and fight the administrative order.

There was hope that under the new Defense Minister, Avigdor Liberman, the anti-democratic “administrative orders” policies of Moshe Ya’alon would have stopped, but apparently that’s not the case.

Recently, 2 cases were closed against Israelis who were held for weeks in jail by the Shabak, without trial, without evidence, without lawyers and without any regard for their civil rights. They were eventually freed when the Shabak finally accepted the fact that the two were innocent.

You can join the bench campaign at the link.

Jewish Press News Briefs

PA PM Hamdallah Prays on Temple Mount

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah on Saturday prayed in Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The visit was conducted with the approval of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, one day after the DM had permitted 10,000 PA and 300 Gaza residents to attend Friday prayers on the Temple Mount.

Israeli lawmakers, both Jews and Arabs, are not allowed to ascend the Temple Mount.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pa-pm-hamdallah-prays-on-temple-mount/2016/06/19/

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