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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’

DM Moshe Ya’alon: The Rocket Fire From Gaza May Restart

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

The latest temporary cease-fire with Gaza is set to expire on Wednesday at midnight.

Visiting an IDF naval base in Ashdod on Tuesday, Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon told the soldiers that Operation Protective Edge hasn’t ended yet, and we’ll need patience and perseverance.

He told the soldiers they need to be vigilant, and he doesn’t know if an agreement will be reached by tomorrow night, if the cease-fire will be extended, or if shooting will begin again.

Moshe Yaalon on Navy Base 2

Defense Minister Ya’alon Apologizes (Again) for Telling the Truth

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon once again had to apologize to the US for far too bluntly telling the truth.

US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Netanyahu and demanded that Ya’alon apologize.

According to State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, Kerry came just short of demanding from Netanyahu that Ya’alon resign.

As a result, Ya’alon spoke with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and said his that comments were not intended to express opposition, criticism or offense to the United States. Hagel accepted the apology.

The remarks that upset the US included Ya’alon pointing out that the relationship with the US is a two-way street, and listed some of the amazing Israeli inventions and technologies that the US has gotten in return for their investment.

Ya’alon also pointed out that US foreign policy is projecting an image of weakness around the world, and that is hurting the US.

Ya’alon bluntly said:

“If you sit and wait at home, the terrorism will come again. Even if you hunker down, it will come. This is a war of civilizations. If your image is feebleness, it doesn’t pay in the world. Nobody will replace the United States as global policeman. I hope the United States comes to its senses. If it doesn’t, it will challenge the world order, and the United States is the one that will suffer.”

Ya’alon also said the US is trying to avoid confrontation with Iran, and that Iranians are much better negotiators than the US.

Ya’alon had said that Israel had hoped the US would have taken the lead in stopping Iran’s from acquiring nuclear weapons, but now Israel will need to look out for itself.

Nothing incorrect in any of the above statements.

Ya’alon’s previous remarks that got him in trouble were about Kerry’s messianic obsession with Israel and the peace process.

Following the harsh reaction from the US, Netanyahu made an unexpected comment on the Knesset floor, where he thanked the US for their security and intelligence cooperation in connection to the capture of the Iranian weapons smuggling ship, the Klos C.

And while the US has been claiming it had some role in the capture, after it learned about it, this was the first Israeli statement connecting the US at all to the capture of the vessel, and one must wonder at the timing of the statement, and if it was made more out of political necessity than factual veracity.

Behind the Scenes Video: IDF Mission to Stop Iranian Terror Ship

Thursday, March 6th, 2014


Israel’s Defense Intelligence units have been piecing together, for many months, the puzzle regarding the arms smuggling,” Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said in a press briefing Thursday morning. His remarks referred to an IDF operation on Wednesday, which intercepted an Iranian weapons shipment on its way to terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Maj. Gen. Kochavi emphasized that the shipment without doubt originated in Iran. “We have good, solid, incriminating evidence that Iran planned, managed and executed this arms smuggling,” he said. The Quds Force, a special unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, was the prime force behind the arms shipment, he noted.

The smuggling attempt was the latest in a long line of Iran’s attempts to ship weapons to terror groups in the region. “This is yet another example of the ongoing process, the ongoing effort of the Iranians to undermine the stability of the Middle East,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said. Iran’s goal is ”to undermine regimes and to support all forms of terror organizations in Lebanon, in Syria, in Iraq, in Bahrain, in Yemen, in Libya and in the Gaza Strip, which was the destination of these rockets.”

UN Resolution 1747 forbids Iran from engaging in arms smuggling, he said. “Again and again, Iran violated the decision of the UN Security Council that prohibits it from selling and transferring weaponry.”

Love Conquers All

Friday, February 21st, 2014

In less than a month, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has managed to implement the underhanded legal trick called the Disruptive Use Order in order to uproot a 10-year-old olive grove in the Shilo Valley. His purpose is to pursue and put on trial a group of Jewish minors who were abducted and abused in the Arab village of Kutzrah – instead of the Arabs who abducted them.

Yaalon also wants to arrest pregnant women – Jewish, of course – for the crime of not carrying their ID cards, and destroy the home of the Samaria Settler Committee’s secretary – a home that is no different from any of the other homes in Kidah. That is, except that its owner waged a political campaign against Yaalon.

When I heard that Yaalon had used the Disruptive Use Order despite the recommendation of the Levy Report (appointed by the prime minister to examine the legal aspects of land ownership in Judea and Samaria) to abolish it and despite the fact that the minister had clearly made a commitment to abolish it before the elections, I quickly protested against his actions from the Knesset plenum and activated all the political power at my disposal. After all, the logic behind the Disruptive Use Order is that the Land of Israel belongs to the Arabs and that the Jewish presence there is “disruptive.” For that reason, no proofs are needed for its implementation. No legal procedure is required. It is enough to announce: “You are bothering me, so get out of here!”

If there had been any chance at all for an improvement in the minister’s conduct after my protests, it evaporated with the political right’s glee and the surge in Yaalon’s popularity after his remarks against Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Love conquers all,” settler leader Ze’ev “Zambish” Hever waxed poetic on the fresh grave of Ariel Sharon, the destroyer of Yamit and Gush Katif. Well, at least Sharon also built settlements. But Moshe Yaalon? What exactly has he done? He mumbled something against Kerry in private and the new uprooter becomes the hero of the settlement movement?

It is no wonder that after a short time, the Defense Minister figured out who he is dealing with and sent his bulldozers to carry out the targeted attack on the home in Kidah. Those who hurried to cheer Yaalon carry some responsibility for the destruction.

Yaalon is not the problem. Personally, until the last spate of destruction, I actually respected and liked the man, who radiates integrity and simplicity. When his book was published, I hurried to buy it and read it from cover to cover. I understood from the book that Yaalon is a decidedly positive person – with nothing new to say. It was clear to me that in trying times, he would fail, just as all of the right’s leaders until now have failed. If there is any difference, it is that from the moment the anticipated deterioration began, it appeared with surprising strength. Yaalon, after all, is a straight shooter. If he has decided to “get” the settlers, he does so without creating diversions or making confusing statements.

Those afraid to take responsibility and create an essential alternative to lead Israel will always find themselves lobbying. They will always cheer the empty words of the newest leader of the right. Those words may come from a positive place, but they do not have the essential foundation that would actualize them. Ultimately, all those leaders fall into leftist patterns. The settlers have no choice but to cover their crimes – with “great love” – against the settlements. Why? Because they simply never bothered to create an alternative.

For the left, which does not suffer from a lack of leadership mentality, just the opposite is true. Beautiful words do not impress it. When the right implements its own policies, the left continues to attack until it brings it down and takes its place. That is the big difference between those who see themselves as an alternative and those who will eternally search for their legitimacy in other circles.

Moshe Yaalon has to know exactly what is expected of him as the defense minister of the so-called national camp. He must abolish the Disruptive Use Order once and for all, implement the Levy Report and rebuild all that has been destroyed and uprooted.

But the next time elections come around, Yaalon will release a heartwarming statement, others will talk about his great merits – some of which he showed us this week – and all the sides will play their part: The sun will shine, the right will cheer on Yaalon – and the bulldozers will continue to rumble up toward the settler’s homes.

Yaalon: If There’s No Deal – We’ll Get By

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Speaking at the Security Conference in Munich on Sunday, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said he was hoping negotiations with the Palestinians will work out, but should there not be a deal, “we’ll get by.”

Yaalon said there is no Palestinian leadership in place which is willing to put an end to the conflict with Israel.

Regarding Iran, Yaalon said that its plan is to revive its economy, which has taken a beating from Western sanctions, and once this is achieved, it will proceed with its military nuclear plans.

Yaalon stressed that the Iranian nuclear plan had to be stopped, one way or another.

The Munich Security Conference (MSC) is an annual conference on international security policy, held at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, Germany. Over the past four decades, it has become the most important independent forum for the exchange of views by international security policy decision-makers. Each year it brings together about 350 senior figures from more than 70 countries around the world to engage in an intensive debate on current and future security challenges.

According to the Jerusalem Post, on Friday, Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal said at the Conference that Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is the right person to lead Israel’s negotiating team with the Palestinians.

Livni called the Arab initiative, which calls for a full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 border, “a positive development.”

Would the Saudis consider hiring Livni away?

Yaalon’s Unwelcome Peace Process Truths

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Give Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu some credit. In his first term as Israel’s leader in the 1990s, he might well have issued a statement like the one attributed to Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon last week in which the former general trashed Secretary of State John Kerry and damned the security plan that he presented to Israel this month as “not worth the paper it’s written on.”

Since returning to the prime minister’s office in 2009 Netanyahu has done his best to keep the relationship with Washington from overheating. No matter how wrong Israel’s leaders may think their American counterparts are, little good comes from public spats. As Netanyahu knows, the only ones who benefit from exposing the daylight between the two countries’ positions are the Palestinians and other foes.

But apparently Yaalon hasn’t gotten the memo about not telling off the Americans. Though Yaalon walked back his comments in a statement to the media, he did not deny the accuracy of the original story.

This indiscretion won’t help Netanyahu in his dealings with either Obama or Kerry. It is especially foolish coming from a cabinet minister whose department has worked closely with the administration on security measures throughout the last five years to Israel’s benefit despite the political differences between the governments. But leaving aside the diplomatic harm he has done his country, honest observers must admit that what Yaalon said was true. The question facing both Israel and the United States is not so much what to do about Yaalon or other members of Netanyahu’s Cabinet who can’t keep their mouths shut, but at what point it will behoove the two governments to acknowledge the futility of Kerry’s endeavor.

Israeli leaders have to be frustrated with Kerry’s persistence in pushing for concessions from them, especially when there id no sign of moderation on the part of the Palestinians, who will neither accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn nor renounce the right of return for the descendants of the 1948 refugees.

But as damaging as pressure on Israel to accept the 1967 borders and the division of Jerusalem may be, so long as Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas is prevented by the reality of his people’s political culture and the threat from Hamas and other opposition groups from ever signing a deal that would end the conflict, Netanyahu knows the best policy is to avoid an overt conflict with the U.S.

That said, Yaalon’s reminder of the absurdity of Kerry’s quest does help clarify the situation for those naïve enough to believe the talks have some chance of success.

Yaalon’s assertion that the negotiations are not between Israel and the Palestinians but between the Jewish state and the U.S. is self-evident. The PA has repeatedly demonstrated that it won’t budge from uncompromising positions against realistic territorial swaps or security guarantees, much less the existential questions of refugees and two states for two peoples. All that has happened in the past year is that Israel has been prevailed upon to bribe the PA by releasing terrorist murderers for the privilege of sitting at a table again with Abbas.

Nor can there be any real argument with Yaalon’s assessment of Kerry’s behavior when he described the secretary’s crusade as “inexplicably obsessive and messianic.” Few in either Israel or the United States, even those who are most in favor of his efforts, thought he had much of a chance to start with and there’s been no evidence that the odds have improved.

Yaalon is also right to dismiss the security guarantees Kerry has offered Israel in exchange for a withdrawal from the West Bank. The example of the Gaza withdrawal – which Yaalon opposed when he was chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, a stand that led to his term being cut short by former prime minister Ariel Sharon – as well as the situation along the border with Lebanon illustrates what happens when Israel tries to entrust its security either to Palestinian good will or third parties.

But perhaps the most incisive of Yaalon’s controversial comments was his assertion that Abbas’s future was dependent on Israel’s remaining in the West Bank, not on its departure from the territories: “Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] is alive and well thanks to us. The moment we leave Judea and Samaria, he is finished.”

Without an Israeli security umbrella, Hamas or more radical Fatah factions would have deposed Abbas a long time ago. His administration over most of the West Bank is simply impossible without Israeli help. Pretending this isn’t the case is one of the key fictions that form the foundation of Kerry’s conceit about giving Abbas sovereignty over the area and why such a deal or a unilateral Israeli retreat, as some are now suggesting, would repeat the Gaza fiasco.

Most Israelis would applaud any effort to separate the two peoples and desperately want an agreement that would end the conflict for all time rather than merely to pause it in order for the Palestinians to resume it later when they are in a more advantageous position. Though Yaalon shouldn’t have criticized Kerry publicly, until the secretary and those who are supporting his pressure on Israel can answer Yaalon’s politically incorrect comments, the peace process is doomed.

‘Atmosphere of Attacks’ Erupting as Peace Negotiations Proceed

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

After years of relative quiet, Israel’s Shin Bet security service is warning of a rise in terror attacks since Israeli and Palestinian “peace” negotiators have resumed talks in July. In November, there were 167 attacks in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, compared to 136 in October, the AP reported.

On Sunday, a pipe bomb, planted by Palestinian terrorists, exploded on a bus near Tel Aviv. Miraculously, there were no casualties, but the blast caused heavy damage. On Monday, an Israeli policeman was stabbed outside a Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria. On Tuesday, an Israeli civilian was killed by a Palestinian sniper in a cross-border shooting from Gaza, which was retaliated with Israeli airstrikes.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has been talking about an “atmosphere of attacks.”

“This is an unacceptable situation for us and despite the difficulty of dealing with an individual assailant who is incited to kill Jews, we will act with force and in other ways to harm those who try to carry out attacks,” Yaalon said.

The Palestinians argue it’s all Israel’s fault, because their people have been frustrated by the lack of progress in peace talks, while Israel continues to build—or, rather, promise to build—Jewish settlements.

“Politically, there is no sign of any hope and on the economic side there is no sign too,” said Jihad Harb, a Palestinian commentator. “People are frustrated by political groups who failed to bring them independence, so therefore they behave individually.”

Of course, describing their own people as the kind who, if they didn’t get their way, would stab you, does not contribute much to Israelis’ willingness to negotiate.

Israeli leaders have been accuse the Palestinians of spreading hatred and incitement to violence—except for chief negotiator Tzipi Livni, who claimed that Israel is not negotiating with the Palestinians who resort to violence, only with those who don’t.

Which makes you wonder if she’s been negotiating with the right people to begin with, since Israel’s interest is mostly that the Palestinian who are killing Jews should stop.

“The terrorist attacks against Israelis over the last few days are a direct result of the incitement and hatred propagated in Palestinian schools and media,” said Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu. “We are disappointed that so far President (Mahmoud) Abbas has not condemned these acts of terrorism as one would expect from a partner in peace talks.”

Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett is convinced the attacks were a result of the talks, not of their failure to show results.

“We only just started talking about concessions and they immediately got an appetite and they murder Israeli citizens,” he told Israel’s Army Radio. “When we concede, when we hand over territory, they murder us. We have to get this rule into our heads. When we stand strong, even if there are no negotiations, there is quiet.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/atmosphere-of-attacks-erupting-as-peace-negotiations-proceed/2013/12/26/

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