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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Avigdor Lieberman’

Liberman: Assad the Butcher Should Be Removed

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said at the opening of the Limmud FSU conference in Eilat Thursday that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is a “butcher” who “should be removed from power.”

Asked about the massacre of more than 500,000 people in the Syrian civil war and the recent siege on Aleppo, Liberman said: “Assad is a butcher, who has slaughtered and murdered hundreds of thousands of people, including by using chemical weapons. In my opinion, he should be removed from power – and we should block Iranian involvement in Syria.”

When asked if Israel should get involved in Syria, Liberman said: “Where is the international community? It’s a shame that instead of focusing on the very unfortunate fact that 500 people are killed in the Middle East every day, the international community would rather criticize Israel for every new balcony built on a settlement.”

Liberman also addressed the peace process, saying: “Any peace agreement should be based on populated-area exchange, which should also include Israeli Arabs who consider themselves to be Palestinian.”

“Territory transfers have worked successfully throughout history, and the principle conforms with international law,” he added.

Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) marked a decade of educational work with young Russian-speaking Jews at a festival of learning, which opened today in Israel’s southernmost city, Eilat. The ninth Limmud FSU Israel conference is a three-day event featuring hundreds of lectures, workshops, presentations and discussions by leading figures.

“We have made a huge impact in Russian-Jewish communities around the world,” said Limmud FSU Founder Chaim Chesler. “We are so excited to be celebrating our 10th anniversary – with leaders of the Russian-speaking community, such as the minister of defense – at one of the world’s most beautiful resort cities.”

Over the past decade, Limmud FSU has gathered more than 45,000 Russian-speaking Jews, most of whom were aged between 24 and 40, for educational and cultural festivals, conferences and other events in nine countries around the world.

“Year after year, Limmud FSU succeeds in igniting the spark of being Jewish, and this is the ninth time we’ll be doing so in Israel,” said Limmud FSU Co-Founder Sandra F. Cahn.

JNi.Media

Boys and Their Toys

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and the IDF at the new F-35 Adir stealth fighter jet’s arrival ceremony at the Nevatim Air Force Base in the Negev Desert.

Netanyahu F-35

DM Liberman Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter F-35

Photo of the Day

Defense Sec. Carter in Israel Welcoming F-35 Amidst Trump’s Cost Complaints, Experts’ Hype Accusations

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is in Israel Monday, waiting to usher in the first much touted stealth F-35 fighters expected to – as Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman put it – “present another component in maintaining air superiority in our region.”

With its estimated cost at close to $400 billion, the new next-gen plane is by far the US’ most expensive weapons system, and Israel is included in a very small group of countries to receive it. and expressed gratitude to Carter, who was welcomed with a military honor guard at a Tel Aviv army base.

One man who is decidedly unhappy with these costs is President-Elect Donald Trump, who told Fox News on Sunday, “Look at the F-35 program with the money, the hundreds of billions of dollars.” Trump continued, “It’s out of control. And the people that are making these deals for the government, they should never be allowed to go to work for these companies. You know, they make a deal like that and two or three years later, you see them working for these companies that made the deal.”

File that one with Trump’s complaints about the excessive costs of Air Force One, complaints that have already hit its maker, Boeing, in the stock markets.

Perhaps more disturbing that its costs – which, presumably, the next president will renegotiate – are the rumors that the F-35 is not meeting its high praise and great expectations. Michael Gilmore, DoD’s chief tester, has been arguing that Pentagon officials have been misleading the public with their assessment of the progress of the F-35, Bloomberg reported.

“If not changed, the existing responses would at best be considered misleading and at worst, prevarications,” Gilmore, director of operational test and evaluation, wrote Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Az).

Gilmore has been challenging several key statements from DoD regarding the F-35. For instance, he does not believe the F-35’s development phase will be completed in early 2018, which Defense is claiming. He says Defense is spreading false information when it says all weapons systems’ testing will start in mid-2018 and be completed in 2019. Gilmore thinks the testing won’t be finished before well into 2020.

Gilmore says it is “highly unlikely” the F-35s delivered in fiscal 2018 will have full combat capability, due to delays in testing the plane’s software and correcting “276 pending deficiencies.”

There’s an Israeli angle to these predictions of delayed delivery: during last month’s test flights, symbols on the Elbit helmet display used by pilots in aim air-to-ground attacks were “unusable and unsafe to complete the planned testing.”

These issues of cost and delays didn’t seem to bother Col. Asaf, the deputy commander of Israel’s Nevatim Air Force base in the Negev, who told ABC News, “We are going to be very strong for a long time, having these airplanes. And Israel has to be strong in this region for its existence. It’s a message for everybody that Israel will keep on holding the high-end technology in this area.”

“This specific airplane is going to be a very good one for the next decades,” Col. Asaf said added.

JNi.Media

Liberman: We’re Blocking Smuggled Weapons of Mass Destruction from Syria to Hezbollah

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Wednesday afternoon told the EU countries’ ambassadors to Israel that the Jewish State’s primary goal is to protect its citizens, defend its sovereignty and “prevent the smuggling of sophisticated weapons, military equipment and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) from Syria to the Hezbollah.”

Liberman stressed that “we have no intention of intervening in the Syrian civil war, but when I’m asked, time after time, what would be the nature of a possible future order in Syria, I reiterate my position that it makes no difference what kind of order will win out – in any case the Iranians and Assad must leave Syria and must not be part of the new order.”

The defense minister told the ambassadors that in recent months he’s seen a growing cooperation between Hamas and ISIS in the Sinai. “In today’s world it is quite clear that we can’t count on the international community, and every country must count only on itself,” he said.

Liberman also told the ambassadors that it would be unrealistic and impossible to reach a permanent arrangement between Israel and the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, especially in light of the extremist positions of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“Therefore the idea of a permanent arrangement will be delayed for at least a few years, and meanwhile we must provide for normal life for Jews and Arabs alike in Judea and Samaria,” Liberman said, adding, “Today it’s clear the settlements are not an obstacle to peace, and that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the focal point nor the cause of instability in the Middle East – and yet, European leaders continue to view the settlements as the biggest problem in the world.”

“At least 500 people are killed every day in the Middle East, from South Sudan to Iraq,” Liberman noted, “which is much more serious and important than hat’s happening in Amona – but you don’t see any mention of it in European media.”

“The fact that you keep talking only about the settlements is hypocritical,” Liberman concluded, telling the ambassadors, “I’m waiting for you to start talking bout North Korea and the Iranian ballistic missiles.”

David Israel

Report: Trump Circle Furious over Liberman’s Leftward Pull on Settlements

Friday, November 18th, 2016

President Elect Donald Trump’s associates are enraged over a statement Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman made this week, suggesting Israel must cool its heels over Trump’s election and approach him with modest proposals regarding settlement construction. Speaking to political reporters on Wednesday, Liberman said, “If we receive confirmation of the Bush-Sharon understandings, we should grab it with both hands.”

The Bush-Sharon understandings recognized the need for construction to support the growth of the existing population in Judea and Samaria inside the settlement blocks — but no launching of new settlements.

According to Makor Rishon, Trump’s people were aghast at the very fact that Liberman was shooting his mouth off before meeting, never mind coordinating anything with them. And they were even more upset for the fact that the defense minister chose to “pass Trump on the left,” as one Trump aide put it.

Several key Trump officials have said that the Israelis have not yet digested the window of opportunity the last election has opened, adding that, should Israel ask for it, the new administration would even consider supporting annexing those settlement blocks, never mind building there.

Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who supported Trump’s election and is in contact with the transition team, warned that Liberman is “drying out 200 thousand residents who live in areas outside the settlement blocks.”

“The message the defense minister has delivered to the new administration is horrendous, especially since any first year Poli-Sci student knows that the Trump people or on the outs with the Bush line of the Republican party,” Dagan added. “The Bush family didn’t vote for Trump, and contrary to them, the Trump people support a united Jerusalem and construction across Judea and Samaria.”

“This is why the president elect’s people pulled their hair out when they heard what Liberman said,” Dagan noted.

David Israel

Habayit Hayehudi: Amona Stays or We Leave

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

On Thursday morning, MK Shuli Mualem Refaeli, Chairwoman of the Habayit Hayehudi faction, told Israel’s FM103 that Prime Minister Netanyahu is dragging his feet regarding the coming evacuation of the Amona community in Samaria Dec. 25. While the official line, from both Netanyahu (Likud) and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) has been that the battle for Amona has been lost and the Supreme Court and Peace Now will inevitably have their way, MK Mualem insisted that “there is an agreed upon outline that could provide a solution, but the people in charge of promoting it ate dragging their feet and aren’t examining it at the needed pace and the right manner.”

In short, Mualem said, “We suspect the prime minister, when issuing the order to move on [with the dismantling of the community], didn’t pound his desk.”

Habayit Hayehudi will pound the desk on Sunday, apparently, when Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who chairs the ministerial legislative committee, is slated to propose Mualem Refaeli’s new bill legalizing the Amona homes. With 25 of Netanyahu’s 30 Likud Knesset members on record as supporting legalizing Amona — by compelling the Arab claimants on the land to accept market value compensation — the bill stands a very good chance of passing the ministerial committee and going to an initial vote in the plenum.

Of course, this is the last thing Netanyahu wants, because as soon as this bill becomes a law, the Miriam Naor Supreme Court will strike it down. Naor wants the destruction of Amona, not a compromise, much like the Obama Administration, which has been sending angry messages Netanyahu’s way even for the idea of resettling the Amona evacuees in nearby Shiloh.

Moalem-Refaeli wrote Netanyahu that she was prepared to pull the bill from Sunday’s agenda, and help avoid a coalition crisis, if the government declares that Amona was built on abandoned land, making it automatically state-owned. She warned him of the current attack on the entire settlement enterprise, as anti-Zionist NGOs such as Peace Now will move on to thousands more Jewish housing units in the liberated territories where they would dig up fabricated Arab land owners, with full support from the Ramallah land registrar.

Much like Netanyahu, Habayit Hayehudi party is also under attack from their own rightwing, as Amona residents and many in the settlement movement have been critical of its failure to save the condemned community. Former MK Yaakov (Ketzaleh) Katz, took to the airwaves to praise Deputy Dfense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) who told Amona residents that should the bulldozers attack their homes, the Jewish Home would leave the government. At the same time, Ketzaleh attacked the party chairman, Naftali Bennett, who actually gets to decide if and when the party leaves government, for his failure to be as blunt as Ben-Dahan.

It remains to be seen which way Netanyahu will cleverly evade this crisis, and whether or not he is prepared to either arm wrestle the high court or put down a rightwing rebellion in his own party. His decision is likely to be less confrontational and, equally likely, less brave.

JNi.Media

New Management: Liberman Says Soldiers Shouldn’t Have to Consult a Lawyer on the Battlefield

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Israel’s still relatively new Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Monday distinguished himself from his predecessor in the most decisive way, when he stressed that both the medic Elor Azaria who is on trial this week for shooting dead a terrorist who had already been neutralized; and the soldier from the Netzah Yehuda battalion who may go up on charges for shooting a psychologically impaired Arab who stormed–albeit unarmed–an IDF post outside Ofra, are innocent until proven guilty.

The statement, which contradicted former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s all out attack on Azaria only a few hours after anti-Zionist NGO B’Tselem released a video showing the shooting, before an investigation into the matter had been launched, was a more decisive note of change at the Defense helm than even the 50 sorties Liberman had sent into the Gaza Strip the other day, only 15 minutes after a single Hamas rocket had fallen in the town of Sderot.

The loud and clear statement from the Defense Minister that he will back his soldiers rather than sic lawyers at them will likely go a long way to improve IDF morale, because, as Liberman reminded reporters on Monday, “In the State of Israel, in a Democratic country, only the court has the right to convict, not the media. And as long as a man was not convicted he is innocent.”

Liberman also told the reporters that “soldiers cannot go out on a mission with an attorney attached to them. Which is why sometimes they make the right decision, sometimes they don’t. But we can’t have a situation whereby every soldier would be asking for legal advice before they go out on a mission.”

Liberman’s comments were made on a day when the Elor Azaria defense was doing exceptionally well, calling to the stand a witness that had been on the prosecution’s list but was not called up. Soon enough it became clear why the prosecutors chose to skip him — a platoon commander in Azaria’s company, he fully supported the medic’s version that the terrorist on the ground was suspected of carrying a suicide belt under his coat. In fact, the witness told the court he had advised Azaria’s platoon commander to open fire on the terrorist on the ground should he appear to be trying to detonate a bomb.

A sapper who testified earlier for the defense was critical of the manner in which the terrorists were being handled, as the order to move their bodies was given before the sappers had a chance to examine them for hidden explosives.

Since much of the trial hinges on Sgt. Azaria’s state of mind, and whether or not he really believed the terrorist on the ground posed a danger after being neutralized, both testimonies have boosted the defense’s case.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-management-liberman-says-soldiers-shouldnt-have-to-consult-a-lawyer-on-the-battlefield/2016/08/29/

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