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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Chief of Staff’

BREAKING: Trump Names Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has named GOP national chairman Reince Priebus to become his chief of staff, according to a report by the New York Times.

A separate insider source says that Stephen K. Bannon, who acted as head of the presidential campaign in its final months, is to become senior counselor to the president in a position similar to that currently filled by Valerie Jarrett in the Obama White House. Bannon is the CEO of Breitbart News.

The choice of Mr. Priebus is one that enables the new president to enter a world with which he has almost no familiarity, a point he spent much of his campaign emphasizing; it also allows him to retain some distance and yet provides him with a “liaison” who is superbly familiar with those who are most at home there.

Having Mr. Bannon close at hand also affords the president-elect the advantage of a fierce intellect without having to sacrifice the hugely necessary political handshake with both houses of Congress, a working relationship that is an absolute “must” if Mr. Trump is to move his agenda forward more than an inch at a time.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Huge Data Consolidation Tender to Complement Future IDF Cloud

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Israel’s Defense Ministry has issued the largest ever technology tender, aiming to consolidate all the IDF data centers, in conjunction with the future project developing an IDF cloud, to the tune of an estimated $270 million. The plan calls for the winner, which must be an Israeli company, to contract with a foreign partner for the project of consolidating the entire IDF data into a few computer centers which will serve the IDF land, air and sea units.

The move, according to the Defense Ministry’s statement, is crucial to enabling the IDF to maintain the ongoing upgrading of its systems over the next decades. The migration of all this data will require a detailed examination of the existing systems, involving millions of decisions regarding what to keep and what to discard. Which is why the ministry is encouraging local IT companies to coalesce in order to qualify for the bid, and to then work in collaboration with one chosen foreign company.

The ministry is not interested in using the services of local data farm companies, at least not directly. The IDF wants to build its own data farms. Also, the new tender does not deal with buying cloud technology, because the military is already engaged in defining a tender for an exclusive IDF cloud. In their meeting with the press Thursday, IDF and Defense Ministry spokespersons assured reporters the two projects will remain distinct, so that the development of one will not hinder the other’s. At the same time, they expect the two systems — the future IDF data farms and the future IDF cloud — to act together eventually.

As the IDF is in the process of clearing out of its very expensive real estate in downtown Tel Aviv and moving to a new military city near Beer Sheva in the south, it is safe to assume that at least part of the new storage system will also be erected there, in the Negev desert.

Many in Israel’s technology media have noted that the biggest challenge facing the new data storage system would be the requirement that the Infantry, Armored Forces, IAF, and Navy be able to share it effectively, making the system work for them instead of against them. The challenges in this case have less to do with technology and more with ego. Back in 2006, the IDF decided to kill its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, one year after the $200 million project had been launched. The problem, according to a Globes report at the time, was that each corps selected a system that was specifically tailored to its requirements (either SAP- or Oracle-based), without regard for the need for a uniform technological and operating capacity across all branches.

Hopefully, the planners of the new tender have taken those issues into consideration. The IDF insists that the 2014 Gaza war marked a watershed in the new collaboration among the branches, and, besides, the IDF Chief of Staff has ordered collaboration as a priority, so they better collaborate.

JNi.Media

Defense Witnesses in Hebron Shooting Trial Accuses Ya’alon of Meddling

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

The trial of IDF medic Elor Azaria, who shot dead an Arab terrorist in Hebron last Purim after the latter had already been felled to the ground, was resumed Sunday morning after a month’s break. The defense plans to introduce four new witnesses, most likely local civilians who were present at the scene at the time of the shooting.

The first defense witness to take the stand Sunday morning was Eliyahu Liebman, Hebron’s Security Officer for the past 22 years, who received a commendation from the IDF chief of staff back in 2002 for his role in protecting Jewish worshipers from Arab attackers during the second Intifada. Liebman said the IDF and the media presented an inaccurate picture of reality at the time of the shooting. He accused them of painting a target around Azaria after the fact. He recalled a phone conversation from a person in former defense minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon’s circle who told Liebman that “Bogie told him even the Hebron Security Officer thinks the shooting was invalid. He asked if this was true, I answered it was a complete lie.”

Liebman testified that he had not been questioned by military police following the incident, and that other security officers had been skipped by investigators. He told the court, “I suspect that in this case we weren’t just accidentally not summoned for questioning, and it looks like it had to do with the comments by then Defense Minister Ya’alon following the shooting incident.”

Ya’alon, as well as IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, openly chastised the defendant well before the investigation of the case had even begun.

Liebman testified that the removal of the terrorist’s body was done in a manner contrary to protocol. “The terrorist was taken away without being checked and contrary to the professional opinion of the sappers. It put in risk anyone who carried him until the moment the sappers checked him and ruled him clear.”

Azaria’s defense team has announced it would present several witnesses the prosecution opted to skip, noting that “the indictment mentions 77 witnesses, out of whom the prosecution chose to hear 22, when it realized that its own witnesses … utterly contradict its version of events.” The defense will endeavor to complete the picture as the prosecution should have done, suggesting it is “convinced once the full picture and not a partial and twisted picture is presented, things will be clarified at the court room.”

The task of the defense is to repair the damage caused by the confrontational testimony given by the defendant Azaria. He was baited by the chief prosecutor and was unable to explain blatant contradictions between different statements he had given regarding the shooting. He introduced a new claim, an accusation that his company commander slapped him after the shooting, an element he had never before mentioned. He also accused his battalion commander of lying but was unable to offer a coherent reason as to why he would do so, other than “fear of the media.”

Still, an unconvincing testimony by the defendant does not necessarily mean the judges would hold it against him should the defense be able to poke holes at the prosecution’s version of events. Much of the debate will circle around whether or not there was a reasonable expectation that the terrorist on the ground, who was severely injured but not fatally so, still posed a lethal danger. In that context, the fact that the terrorist was wearing a heavy coat on a sunny day — a telltale sign of a potential suicide bombing — combined with mismanagement of the potential danger, could advance the defendant’s cause.

JNi.Media

Gen. Ofek Bucharis Discharged from IDF

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

The IDF Spokesperson’s office on Sunday issued a statement saying that Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris has requested to be discharged from service immediately, to enable him to participate in the trial against him as a civilian and not as a military officer.

“Despite the disarray in my life because of the retirement I had not planned, I am happy with my lot, proud of my military service and hoping to return to contributing to my country after my acquittal,” Buchris said in a statement.

Buchris, 48, a religious Orthodox Jew, was indicted by a special military court on several counts of rape, sodomy, indecent assault and misconduct against two female soldiers who served under his command during his tenure as Golani Brigade Commander.

In late 2015 the military was about to appoint him Head of the Operations Division, a senior position in the IDF command. Then, in February 2016, deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan suspended Buchris following a complaint by one of his female subordinates in Golani. The Military Police investigations unit launched an investigation of accusations of rape against him. Buchris denied all the accusations from the start, but on March 10 the new chief of staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot revoked his high command appointment, since the investigation was dragging on and the army needed to fill the post.

David Israel

Senior IDF Officer Indicted for Sexual Misconduct

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

The military prosecutor on Thursday submitted to a special military court indictments against Brigadier General Ofek Buchris, on several counts of rape, sodomy, indecent assault and misconduct against two female soldiers who served under his command during his tenure as Golani Brigade Commander.

Buchris, 48, a religious Orthodox Jew, graduated from Midrashiat Noam and the pre-military academy of Ateret Kohanim yeshiva. He is married, the father of six children, and lives in Mitzpe Netofa in the Lower Galilee.

In late 2015 the military was about to appoint him Head of the Operations Division, a senior position in the IDF command. Then, in February 2016, deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen. Yair Golan suspended Buchris following a complaint by one of his female subordinates in Golani. The Military Police investigations unit launched an investigation of accusations of rape against him. Buchris denied all the accusations from the start, but on March 10 the new chief of staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot revoked his high command appointment, since the investigation was dragging on and the army needed to fill the post.

An announcement from the IDF Spokesperson’s office described Buchris as “an officer and a warrior with a stellar record; the Judge Advocate General said that he made his decision with a heavy heart. Still, during the thorough investigation some alleged evidence surfaced to the fact that the officer carried out several serious sexual offenses against a junior enlisted female soldier and against a female officer, while the two were serving under his command as Golani Brigade Commander. Therefore the Judge Advocate General decided to indict him.”

Buchris and his military defenders issued a statement saying, “We regret the decision of the Judge Advocate General and think it is fundamentally erroneous. During the hearing process we presented to the JAG serious problems with which the case is rife. We are certain that we’ll be able to fight and prove Brigadier General Buchris’s innocence in court and that justice will prevail.”

Attorneys for the complaining officer, a Major, said that their client “was dragged into this affair against her choice, did not initiate a complaint against Brigadier General Ofek Buchris and was prepared to continue with her life. But once the military police investigators had come to her, she told them the truth regarding his behavior towards her. From the start she was certain that as soon as she exposed his actions he would be indicted, and that’s what took place today. The officer is certain the judicial system will know how to handle this case properly.”

In May 2002, Buchris commanded an operation to locate explosives labs and capture wanted terrorists in Shechem; during the raid on a house the company commander was killed and Buchris was severely injured, after being hit by four bullets. He received a commendation from then chief of staff Shaul Mofaz for his bravery.

In July 1994, while serving in the security strip in southern Lebanon, two of Buchris’s men were killed and four others were injured during an operational accident, when a troops carrier hit a high voltage wire; Buchris was indicted together with his battalion commander and the sector commander. They were acquitted of causing death through negligence but were convicted of negligence of duty.

JNi.Media

Liberman Reads Riot Act to Army Radio Chief Despite AG’s Objections

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

New Israeli defense minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) has spent his first month in office directing the military apparatus in substantially different directions, most notably his order for the generals to come up with a concrete plan to remove the Hamas government in Gaza — it turned out they hadn’t thought it would be useful to have one. And as the defense ministry and the army are starting to sound and act in a different manner than they did under Liberman’s predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon (Likud), the new defense boss is mending the more ideological aspects of the military system. He has added his support to the chief of staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot’s call to shut down the left-leaning Army Radio station, and on Thursday he became directly involved in the same station’s programming.

To be precise, earlier this week the Army Radio station devoted a program to the poetic works of Mahmoud Darwish (1941 – 2008), a member of the Israeli Communist party who is widely perceived as a “Palestinian symbol” and served as an artistic spokesman for Arab opposition to Israel. In 1988, one of his poems, “Those Who Pass Between Fleeting Words,” was cited in the Knesset by Yitzhak Shamir (Likud) for demanding that the Jews leave Israel:

“O those who pass between fleeting words / As bitter dust, go where you wish, but / Do not pass between us like flying insects / For we have work to do in our land,” Darwish called on Israel’s Jews, and concluded: “So leave our country / Our land, our sea / Our wheat, our salt, our wounds / Everything, and leave / The memories of memory / O those who pass between fleeting words!”

Following the broadcast on Army Radio, which included Darwish’s texts in its “Broadcast University” series on “Israeli founding texts,” Defense Minister Liberman summoned Army Radio commander Yaron Dekel to a disciplinary hearing Thursday at noon.

“On its face it appears to be a serious issue, whereby someone who wrote anti-Zionist texts that are still fueling acts of terrorism against the State of Israel merits to be included along with his texts by the military station in the foundation texts of Israeli society, together with Jerusalem of Gold and The Silver Tray (two popular and very beautiful song by Naomi Shemer and Natan Alterman respectively),” Liberman said. “Obviously this constitutes an [ideological] eclipse which cannot be ignored.”

On Wednesday night Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit phoned Liberman to inform him that he does not have the authority to intervene in the Army Station’s programming. Mandelblit based his warning on a 2015 opinion by Vice Counsel on Legislation Affairs Dina Zilber, that ruled against ministers intervening in the military station.

And now Liberman decided to ignore Zilber’s opinion, which is almost unheard of in Israeli governmental politics. In many ways this might prove to be Liberman’s bravest act so far, and he may live to pay for it as an irate judicial civil service could rise up against him.

Already the president of the Press Council, retired Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner, told Israel Radio that the intervention by the Minister of Defense in Army Radio broadcasting was dangerous, and said that it frightened her. “I cannot believe this is happening,” she told left-leaning hot Aryeh Golan Thursday morning. Yes, the red wagons are being circled.

David Israel

Former Netanyahu Chief of Staff Ari Harrow Interrogated A Second Time

Monday, July 18th, 2016

The former chief of staff for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was questioned a second time under caution on Monday.

Ari Harrow was taken for questioning last week upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport, although he was told he was not being arrested.

After 14 hours of interrogation “under caution” — implying he was indeed a suspect in the unspecified investigation — he was released to five days of house arrest.

The interrogation was carried out in connection with a probe into allegations of fraud in an initial investigation into the activities of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family, as well as other government figures.

A spokesperson for Israel Police said the National Fraud Investigation Unit last week asked Harrow to provide testimony about Netanyahu’s alleged financial misappropriations.

Earlier last week Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit ordered an initial probe into the prime minister’s actions as part of the wider investigation of financial activity by government officials.

Harrow served as chief of staff to Netanyahu in 2014.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-netanyahu-chief-of-staff-ari-harrow-interrogated-a-second-time/2016/07/18/

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