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July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Chief of Staff’

U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey in Israel for Bilateral Military Talks [video]

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey arrived in Israel on Monday as the official guest of his counterpart, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.

The two military leaders will meet, along with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and other Israeli security officials, to discuss bilateral military cooperation and other common security challenges.

The trip will be Dempsey’s fifth visit to Israel since becoming chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Dempsey is scheduled to step down from that position on Oct. 1 and President Barack Obama has nominated Marine Corps commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford to replace him.

While U.S.-Israel ties have been strained politically under Obama, the nations’ strategic defense relationship under Dempsey has remained strong, with the U.S. providing funding for the highly successful Iron Dome missile defense system and discussions of an increase in American military aid to Israel underway.

Eizenkot, below, presented the IDF badge of appreciation to Dempsey.

Out with the Old, In with the New

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) with outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz (C) and incoming IDF chief of staff Gadi Eizenkot prior to a ceremony held in Einzekot’s honour at the PM’s office in Jerusalem, on February 16, 2015.

Chief of Staff’s Mom: I Wish He Had Been a Rabbi

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Esther Eizenkott, mother of the next IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkott, says she would have preferred that her son be a rabbi, but, “If God wants him to Chief of Staff, so it should be.”

In a conversation with the Kikar Shabbat Haredi website, Esther Eizenkott revealed that the next Chief of Staff often consults a rabbi in Jerusalem.

Uh-oh.

Can you already hear the secularists screaming, “Oy? What happens if he returns to Judaism while he is Chief of Staff? That would violate the sanctity of separating God from the army.

A rabbi?

“Is the IDF dependent on God?”

Try reading Devarim (Deuteronomy), Chapter 8:

11. Beware that you do not forget the Lord, your God, by not keeping His commandments, His ordinances, and His statutes, which I command you this day,
12. lest you eat and be sated, and build good houses and dwell therein,
13. and your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold increase, and all that you have increases, 
14. and your heart grows haughty, and you forget the Lord, your God, Who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage,
15. Who led you through that great and awesome desert, [in which were] snakes, vipers and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought water for you out of solid rock,
16. Who fed you with manna in the desert, which your forefathers did not know, in order to afflict you and in order to test you, to benefit you in your end,
17. and you will say to yourself, “My strength and the might of my hand that has accumulated this wealth for me.”
18. But you must remember the Lord your God, for it is He that gives you strength to make wealth, in order to establish His covenant which He swore to your forefathers, as it is this day.
19. And it will be, if you forget the Lord your God and follow other gods, and worship them, and prostrate yourself before them, I bear witness against you this day, that you will surely perish.
20. As the nations that the Lord destroys before you, so will you perish; since you will not obey the Lord your God.

Yes, even the IDF is dependent on God.

Eizenkott left observance while growing up with his family, which moved from his native to Tiberias to Eilat while he was a boy.

“Of course, I would have preferred that he be a rabbi, but if God wants him to be Chief of Staff, so it should be,” she told Kikar Shabbat.” We are a family of rabbis.”

She learned of the appointment shortly before she lit candles before Shabbat and could not speak on the phone to anyone during Shabbat, which she observes.

Esther Eizenkott, whose husband died 18years ago, also revealed that when she was in her seventh month of pregnancy before Gadi was born she went to the grave of the famous Rabbi Meir Ba’al Ha Nes. She said she told her father she dreamed of the rabbi and “did not see his face but only his back.” Her father told her, “This is a sign you will have a boy and he will not be religious, but he will be wise.”

Don’t ask how he figured that out from the dream. Leave that for the kabbalists.

More important is that after his appointment was officially announced Saturday night, virtually everyone shared one word that describes Eizenkott – modest.

When he was approached four years to consider the post, he said he thought that Benny Gantz, whom he will replace, “was more suitable.”

Hamas Mortar Shell Claims Life of 43rd Soldier Killed in War

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

The IDF confirmed Sunday morning that Reserve Sergeant First Class (Res.), Barak Refael Degorker, 27, of the city of Gan Yavneh north of Ashkelon, was killed Saturday night by a Hamas mortar shell.

He was the 43rd soldier to have fallen in the Protective Edge war on terror.

One other soldier was lightly wounded.

The soldiers were deployed near or in Gaza, which Hamas targeted with more than half a dozen mortar shells after Israel announced it was extending the humanitarian truce, requested by the United Nations, until midnight.

The Security Cabinet later voted 5-3 to continue the unilateral truce for another 24 hours, until midnight Sunday.

Minister Naftali Bennett, of the Jewish Home party, and Yisrael Beitenu ministers Avigdor Lieberman and Yitzchak Aharonovitch voted against the extension.

Sources in the Office of the Prime Minister said that Israel will gain more legitimacy by agreeing to the extension, despite Hamas’ continuing to fire rockets and mortar shells at Israel, and that the vote will make it easier for Israel to depend the war the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.

Even The New York Times carried a reasonably accurate headline Saturday headlining, “Israel Agrees to Extension of Cease-Fire, but Hamas Balks.”

The article, for a change stated the facts – that the Cabinet voted to extend the ceasefire “despite continued fire from Gaza into Israel during Israel’s initial four-hour extension of a 12-hour humanitarian pause” and that “three mortars landed in open areas near Gaza just as the original lull was expiring at 8 p.m.

Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, explaining the terrorist organization’s refusal to halt the attacks, stated,  “Any humanitarian ceasefire that doesn’t secure withdrawal of occupation soldiers from inside Gaza’s border, allow citizens back into home and secure the evacuation of injuries is unacceptable,”

The last past of his statement is inaccurate. Gaza sources said Sunday that more than 140 bodies were pulled out of debris during Saturday’s humanitarian ceasefire.

Dear @IDFSpokesperson – Please Stop with the Moral Platitudes

Monday, July 21st, 2014

We’re all more than a bit angry and sad right now, but I’ve thought it over, and the moral platitudes being published by the IDF Spokesperson on Twitter have been grating on my nerves since they began, and my feelings about them have nothing to do with the deaths of our soldiers today, other than spurring me on to write this post.

Today the @IDFSpokesperson tweeted:

IDF Chief of Staff: “We have a moral obligation to avoid civilian casualties. We also have a moral obligation to defend our people.”

I have a simple question for the Chief of Staff: Which of these two moral obligations takes priority, and which action has higher moral value for you?

It’s a very real question, because it affects the decisions you make.

I know which one I give a much higher priority to, but I can’t tell which one our Chief of Staff considers morally superior, with that morally equivalent statement he’s bantering about.

I’m very much reminded of the 2002 decision to needlessly send a dozen soldiers into a booby-trapped Jenin alley, in a morally corrupt attempt to minimize enemy civilian casualties.

Perhaps I am being too harsh right now, and speaking out of the loss we all feel, but didn’t we learn from Jenin that it is morally and tactically superior to remotely soften and even destroy known dangerous zones, even with civilians present, before putting feet down on the ground?

Are there other factors in his decision? Could be, and in fact there probably are, such as world opinion, or US pressure.

But we can’t know if those factors actually enter into his calculations, as this moral platitude is the only one the Chief of Staff actually bothered to share with us on the subject.

Perhaps it would be simply better if he didn’t tweet moral equivocations like that in the first place, which lead me to conclusions I don’t want to believe are true.

And then we have:

IDF Chief of Staff: “We will continue offering help [to Gaza]…Even as we fight the enemy, we are transferring humanitarian assistance.”

So, even as we fight the enemy, we provide that same enemy with assistance?

Has he forgotten that before their violent and murderous coup, Hamas won 60% of the Parliamentarian seats in Gaza in open elections? Don’t Hamas’s citizens bear any responsibility for their actions and choices?

Don’t their cheers and chocolates after terror attacks on Jews, indicate some inkling of shared complicity on their part with their leadership?

It appears the IDF Chief of Staff doesn’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong. I am sure there are innocent civilians among them, but to brag that we are supporting an enemy population even as they attack us, which also enables them to attack us for longer? There’s something very unhealthy about that.

And finally we have:

IDF Chief of Staff: “There are no militaries like ours. There are no militaries that drop leaflets and telephone civilians before a strike.”

I hope he doesn’t break his arm patting himself on the back. But the world really doesn’t care about Israel’s “moral” acts as much as he thinks it does.

In fact, it is Israel who keep inviting the world in to criticize us, by looking over our shoulder every two seconds to make sure the world still likes us (and some of it does, and some of it doesn’t).

Sending out tweets like that, invites closer scrutiny and investigation into our actions, if for no other reason than to prove it wrong that we are “morally superior”.

Israel Facing Its Third Intifada

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

I believe the Palestinian Authority unity government has launched a third intifada.

Perhaps a quiet one, perhaps not. But it is undeniably clear there has been a sharp escalation in Arab attacks on Jews throughout the country since the start of 2014.

Since the beginning of 2014, more than 200 rockets were aimed at Israel from the Gaza region – twice the number fired in 2013.

And once Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas signed his merger with Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal –- silent partners with the Iranian proxy Islamic Jihad – the number of attacks jumped even higher.

For starters, here’s what the week looks like so far:

On Sunday night Arabs felt comfortable enough to open fire in a drive-by attack on an IDF checkpoint at the entrance to Jerusalem leading to Highway 60, the main road that runs through the Gush Etzion tunnel and through Judea to the south of Israel’s capital. Five bullet casings from a pistol were found. Miraculously, no one was injured.

On Monday evening, here’s what happened:

  • An Egged bus driver on Bus #51 was injured when his bus came under attack by Arab rock throwers on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. The hail of rocks smashed the glass on the bus, sending the broken shards flying into the driver’s face and body.
  • A missile launched from Gaza made it through Israeli defenses and exploded on the outskirts of Ashkelon. No injuries reported.
  • Arab terrorists attacked a car traveling on the main road near Azun; one of the rocks they hurled at the vehicle broke the back window and wounded a baby in the back seat. The mother, who drove, managed to reach help in the Jewish town of Karnei Shomron.
  • Arabs attacked the Beit Orot Yeshiva in Jerusalem, also Monday night, and succeeded in hitting the guardhouse of the yeshiva. They did not succeed in injuring anyone.
  • Two Arab terrorists attempted to infiltrate the Samaria Jewish town of Kochav Yaakov in the Binyamin region on Monday night as well. They were spotted by IDF soldiers trying to cut through the town’s security fence. The soldiers opened fire at the terrorists, injuring one of them. The injured terrorist was subsequently taken to a Ramallah hospital — but the second terrorist managed to escape. This is the second attempt by terrorists to infiltrate the town in less than 72 hours.

In the past 14 days, at least a dozen missiles were fired at Israel. Seven reached Israeli territory, including a number fired at Ashkelon. Two were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system – but the falling shrapnel caused damage to the property hit by the debris.

Last Wednesday, a European Union delegation visited Gaza to express support for the new Hamas-backed legislators joining the PA unity government. Barely 24 hours later, emboldened Hamas terrorists in Judea crossed into Israeli territory to kidnap two 16 year old yeshiva boys who learn at the renowned Mekor Chaim Yeshiva in Kfar Etzion, and their 19 year old fellow student. They were grabbed while standing on the road in Gush Etzion, heading home for the Sabbath. One of the boys had the presence of mind to dial police and managed to get the words out, “We’re being kidnapped by terrorists,” before his cell phone was cut off.

That was last Thursday night.

An IDF spokesperson announced the IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of Israel and will operate decisively against any act of terrorism. Strong words – but police took hours to respond to the yeshiva boys’ desperate phone call for help. Reportedly they were too busy interrogating other teens at a community where there was a report of a ‘price tag’ attack on Arabs in days past.

Ari Harow Returns as Bibi’s Chief of Staff

Monday, March 10th, 2014

American born Oleh, Ari Harow, returns to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office, this time as Chief of Staff, replacing Gil Sheffer.

Harow ran the American Friends of Likud from 2003 to 2006. In 2008, Harow worked as Netanyahu’s Bureau Chief.

He made aliyah to Israel with his family at age 12 from Los Angeles, moving to the settlement of Ginot Shomron.

Mazel Tov!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ari-harow-returns-as-bibis-chief-of-staff/2014/03/10/

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