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May 5, 2016 / 27 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘chief’

Next US Air Force Chief Battle-Tested and Jewish

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Gen. David Goldfein, a command pilot who flew combat missions in the Gulf War, the Afghanistan War, and in NATO’s 1999 air war in the former Yugoslavia, has been nominated to be the US Air Force’s next chief of staff, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. Gen. Goldfein is Jewish. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Dawn A. Goldfein, since 1983. They have two married daughters; the oldest is serving in the USAF and the youngest teaches first grade in Dallas, Texas.

If approved, Goldfein will start his new commission on July 1. He has been the Air Force’s vice chief of staff since August 2015.

“I’m extremely humbled by the nomination to serve as the Air Force’s 21st chief of staff,” Goldfein said in an Air Force press release. “If confirmed, I pledge to serve our airmen and their families unwaveringly and honor our remarkable heritage and legacy of integrity, service and excellence.”

Gen. David Goldfein

Gen. David Goldfein

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James lauded Goldfein’s selection in the same release: “Gen. Goldfein possesses the experience and vision needed to address dynamic global challenges and increasing military demand. He knows how to build and sustain key partnerships, has important warfighting experience, and will exercise the critical judgment required to balance our manpower and resources as we shape tomorrow’s Air Force. There is not a better person to lead our airmen into the next century of airpower dominance.”

According to AirForce Times, Goldfein has more than 4,200 hours flying the C and D variants of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the stealth F-117A Nighthawk and the unmanned MQ-9 Reaper, as well as the T-37, T-38 and MC-12W. While flying a combat mission over Serbia in 1999, Goldfein was shot down when his F-16 was hit by a surface-to-air-missile.

Goldfein ejected, and trekked across farm fields, evading enemy patrols, until he was picked up by a rescue helicopter, that then flew into enemy fire, taking five bullets in the fuselage.

In 2007, Goldfein told the El Paso Times that he sends the men who rescued him in Serbia a bottle of “single malt, good quality” Scotch every year as a sign of his gratitude.

JNi.Media

Southern Command Chief: We’ll Consider Evacuating Communities Threatened by Hamas Tunnels

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Southern Command Chief Gen. Eyal Zamir on Wednesday morning argued with the mayor of Sderot who objected to the evacuation of the civilian population near the Gaza border in a time of war, in light of revelations that Hamas has been digging terror tunnels that open into Israeli territory.

Zamir spoke at a conference dealing with the threat of the Hamas terror tunnels at the Cinematic in Sderot, a Jewish town located about half a mile from the Gaza border. The conference, organized by South Radio 101.5, was an opportunity for the town residents to have a direct and honest encounter with public officials over the frightening prospects of armed Hamas fighters emerging from tunnels inside Israeli residential neighborhoods.

Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi objected to the IDF plan to evacuate all the civilians who reside next to the Gaza border during an emergency. “We will not evacuate Sderot in a time of war, it shouldn’t be done, and we mustn’t even talk about it,” said the mayor.

Zamir, who spoke after the mayor, told the assembled residents, “I’ve heard the mayor and I’m glad to hear what he said [about the evacuation], I think it’s a very important statement. It is one option we will weigh as part of our toolbox, according to the assessments at the time.”

The terror tunnel that was exposed in Israeli territory this week, leading about 90 feet beyond the border with Gaza, does not open up inside a community, probably because its diggers expected less monitoring in an open area.

Other participants in the Sderot conference included Zionist Camp Chairman Itzhak Herzog, Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman, Yesh Atid Chairman MK Yair Lapid, and Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On. The only two representatives of the coalition who were scheduled to appear cancelled at the last-minute: Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, and the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Chairman MK Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud).

JNi.Media

Iran Deal to Miss Fifth Deadline

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

The fifth deadline for a final deal with Iran over its nuclear program is about to pass without ceremony Tuesday night.

The European Union apparently is so flustered that it put George Orwell to shame with what must be the record for the most ridiculous DoubleThink sentence every uttered.

E.U. foreign policy and chief Federica Mogherini told reporters in Vienna:

We are continuing to negotiate for the next couple of days. This does not mean we are extending our deadline.

If the language of a final agreement parallels her statement, and if a final deal is as meaningless as the deadlines, we are in big, big trouble.

“The entire agreement right now is at the mercy of a miscalculation on either side,” International Crisis Group analyst Ali Vaez told Bloomberg News. “There won’t be a deal until the last minute, while each side waits for the other to blink first.”

Previous deadlines were November 2013, July 2104, March 2015 and June 30.

Deadlines have become meaningless. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a briefing, We are not observing artificial deadlines.”

Thursday July 9 is the sixth deadline. That is the date Congress imposed for a 30-day review of an agreement, if one is reached. If negotiating continues beyond that date, Congress then will have 60 days for a review, and each day will make it more difficult for President Barack Obama to fight off arguments against a “bad deal.”

Iran sounds like the Palestinian Authority, which balked every time it had a chance to achieve just about everything it wanted in the form of concessions from Israel.

Perhaps the next deadline will be January 20, 2017, when President Barack Obama leaves office.

 

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Netanyahu: ‘Could Be Time for Female Chief of Police in Israel’

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

PM Binyamin Netanyahu says it may be time to appoint a female chief of police in Israel.

“It could be the right thing to do,” he said in a speech today (Tuesday, Jan. 27). Possibly the time has come to appoint down the road a female chief of police.

“I want to advance this idea,” Netanyahu continued. “It would be a refreshing change, a female chief of the Israel Police.”

The prime minister’s remark followed an announcement Monday by the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department (PID) that a senior officer was questioned about allegations he harassed a lower-level policewoman. Eight other women may have been harassed as well by the same officer, who is suspected of also having obstructed justice and having destroyed evidence.

National Chief of Police/Inspector-General Yochanan Danino met earlier today with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch at the ministry in Jerusalem. On the agenda for the two men was the issue of how much damage had been caused to the image of Israel’s national police force by the continuing scandals and how to prevent repetitions in the future.

“This incident is a severe one,” Danino told reporters. “They deal a blow to public faith in the police and call for an organizational root canal.”

This was the seventh such scandal in just over a year. Danino told media that he would like to say to Israeli citizens, “You have a police force that you can trust despite these recent events and we have our way of dealing with them.”

The first female chief of police in the United States to be appointed in a major city was Penny Harrington, who became the chief in Portland, Oregon in 1985. The first female police officer to actually be appointed to a force in the U.S. was Lola Baldwin, who also was hired in Portland, Oregon on April 1, 1908. Today, one percent of all police chiefs in the United States are female.

Hana Levi Julian

Can NATO Member Turkey Ever Be Trusted Again?

Monday, October 21st, 2013

The Jewish Press has had the dubious honor of pointing the finger at Turkey’s chief intelligence officer Hakan Fidan and state flatly that his betrayal of 10 Mossad agents was the stuff that should get him something nice in his car in the morning. Yes, we don’t go for nice over here, but, as you’ll see, the rest of the world is coming around rather quickly to our position, and so, if I’m Hakan Fidan, I’d get me a bus pass.

An Eli Lake article in the Daily Beast has confirmations from U.S. officials of the David Ignatius initial Washington Post report. A CIA officer compared the loss to the betrayal of the Cambridge Five the network of Soviet moles (including the notorious Kim Philby), who provided invaluable intelligence to Moscow during the Cold War.

Danny Yatom, a former chief of Israel’s Mossad, told the Beast: “The fact those ten spies were burned by the Turks by purposely informing the Iranians is not only a despicable act, it is an act that brings the Turkish intelligence organization to a position where I assume no one will ever trust it again.”

Yatom said the Mossad has traditionally informed its Turkish counterparts about meetings with its spies on Turkish soil. He said if Turkey gave Iran any details about these meetings, it would compromise Israel’s intelligence operations against Iran.

Indeed, in April, 2012, the Tehran Times announced: “Iran has foiled Israeli terrorist plots.”

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday announcing that it recently foiled several Israeli terrorist plots.

The statement was issued to provide more details about recent operations by Iranian intelligence forces that led to the arrest of 15 Mossad-linked spies and terrorists.

On April 10 [2012], the Intelligence Ministry announced that key members of an Israeli terrorist network had been identified and arrested in Iran.

Presumably, the blood of those 15 agents is on Hakan Fidan’s hands.

Omri Ceren, of The Israel Project, wrote today: “Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that if the story is true, then Turkey’s intel chief Hakan Fidan was just ‘doing his job’ by ‘not letting other intelligence agencies operate in Turkey.’ That might be surprising to Turkey’s NATO allies, not to mention any country that does counterterror work with Ankara.”

And that is a problem well beyond the anger and betrayal anyone in the Mossad might be feeling today. Turkey has the largest army of all the European NATO members and it plays a central role in the alliance. Which means that if you’re a senior security official in any of NATO’s member countries, you’ll start reviewing your exchanges with the Turks. Remember, Turkey serves as a passageway not only for spies going into Iran, but also for terrorists coming out of Iran. If you can’t now trust the Turks to monitor that traffic reliably; if, in fact, you have to worry about them actually aiding and abetting those terrorists – what do you do?

This is far from being an Israel-only problem. I mentioned in an earlier article the similarity between Hakan Fidan’s despicable act and those Afghan soldiers who shoot their American fellows on patrol. If Turkey does not find a meaningful way of convincing its NATO allies that it is trustworthy—it could bring on a sea change in Turkey’s already eroding relationship with the West.

Is Erdoğan’s Turkey turning its back on its European aspirations, in search of a safe and familiar role as the Muslim world’s eternal second fiddle?

Yori Yanover

Iran Draws ‘Red Line’ against US Intervention in Syria

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

From Al Arabiya:

A top Iranian military chief warned on Sunday that the U.S. will face “harsh consequences” if it intervenes in Syria over claims of chemical attacks, reported Agence France Presse citing a Fars new agency report.

“If the United States crosses this red line, there will be harsh consequences for the White House,” armed forces deputy chief of staff Massoud Jazayeri was quoted as saying.

A year ago, U.S. President Barack Obama warned the use of chemical weapons in Syria would cross a “red line” and have “enormous consequences.”

Then again, Iran had threatened Israel specifically if it does anything in Syrian territory, but nothing happened after Israel evidently repeatedly attacked weapons en route to Hezbollah.

Visit Elder of Ziyon.

Elder of Ziyon

Chief Rabbis & Politics

Monday, August 5th, 2013

I have never been a fan of chief rabbis. Anyone appointed by committees, politicians, or bureaucrats is suspect in my eyes. Perhaps my antipathy is rooted in the days when both Napoleon and the czar appointed state chief rabbis whom they approved of because they were likely to support their agendas. I can say with confidence that, in general, the greatest rabbis, whether intellectually or spiritually, have never been interested in public appointments.

I don’t mean to say that all chief rabbis have been duds. Israel’s Chief Rabbis Abraham Isaac Kook, Isaac Herzog, and Uziel were great men by any criteria. Chief Rabbi Goren was a dynamic overachiever and a fearless innovator. Some, like Ovadiah Yosef, have been great scholars but poor spokesmen. But there have been too many others who were undiplomatic, corrupt, or ineffective. The reason can simply be put down to politics. When appointments are made by groups of political appointees (or self-appointed grandees) they invariably make the wrong decisions. Neither is public acclaim a reliable test of the best person for the job. Those who seek or need public recognition are rarely willing or able to take the tough and controversial stands that are the mark of genuine leadership.

Israel recently appointed two chief rabbis, both the sons of previous chief rabbis. I do not know either of them. But remarks I have seen attributed to them leave me deeply depressed that they will reflect a xenophobic, narrow perspective and shrink from trying to humanize the rabbinate. The political maneuvering, the arm twisting, the deals behind closed doors all point to a corrupt system. And once gain the innovative, the exciting have lost out. If a good man ever emerges it is despite the system not because of it. Nepotism is a poor way of producing great leaders. Yet throughout Jewish religious institutions nepotism is the norm rather than the exception. Yeshivot nowadays are often big family businesses (as indeed are most Chasidic dynasties).

Israel has two chief rabbis, one Ashkenazi and the other Sefardi. This in itself is evidence of how flawed the system is, that in a small religion such as ours religious leadership cannot work together. In addition, in Israel, there is a huge disconnect between the religious leadership and the common person, between the state rabbinate and the Charedi world, which has its own authorities. Indeed the Charedi world always rubbished and abused the state rabbinate until, in the desperate search for jobs for the boys and power, it began to infiltrate and then take much of it over. Once again it has ensured that its candidates have got the jobs.

One of the first words in Ivrit I learnt was “protektsia” (yes, I know it comes from Russian). “Vitamin P” meant you could not get anywhere in Israeli life, from top to bottom, religious or secular, without knowing someone or having someone pull strings in your behalf. So it was and so it largely remains. When this disease infects religion, it loses its moral authority.

But surely, you will say, Judaism requires one to respect one’s religious leaders. In theory this is so. The Torah commands respect for princes and scholars. Our liturgy is full of references to their importance. But there are two very distinct types of leadership in our tradition. The prophet and the judge emerged through merit. That’s probably why there were women judges and prophets. Rabbis as a rule were the result of meritocracy (the rabbinic dynasties that began with Hillel wanted to have their cake and eat it). On the other hand, the priesthood and the monarchy were both hereditary, and both failed. Most of the Jewish kings were idolatrous, evil men, and most priests showed more interest in money and power than Divine service.

Moshe typified the meritocracy. This was why he always defended himself by referring to his spotless record. It is true we say that in each generation we must accept the leader, Jephtah in his generation as the equivalent of Samuel in his. But I believe that has another meaning, of the need to accept the best we can get.

“Pray for the welfare of the ruling powers because otherwise humans would swallow each other up,” says the Mishna. That very Hobbesian idea underpins our modern secular states. But as Locke argued, if the king failed to do his job, you could and should get rid of him. This is why we pray for the State wherever we live, even as we may try our best to vote out whoever the current prime minister is. We in the West have recently experienced the irrational hysteria over a royal baby. I have no interest in ordinary people being elevated to positions of power or even symbolic authority simply on the basis of birth. There are enough inequalities in life of rank and wealth. I like the fact that we can vote people out of office as much as in. If I choose to respect someone, it is on the basis of the respect he or she earns, not the position they have been given. The diploma should be greater than the diaper.

I look forward to Elijah’s arrival. I hope he will not try to reinstate the monarchy. But I am pretty sure he will not insist on two kings, one Ashkenazi and the other Sefardi.

One of the reasons for so much disillusion with religion is precisely this disconnect between how its leaders too often behave and speak and their own purported religious values. The more we see how susceptible religious leadership is to money, power, and fame, the less good the religion they represent looks. I don’t care too much what politicians like Spitzer or Weiner get up to, and if people want to vote for them that’s their problem. But when religious leadership behaves like political leadership, something is very wrong.

Jeremy Rosen

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/chief-rabbis-politics/2013/08/05/

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