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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’

Obama Turns on Israel

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Originally published at Daniel Pipes.

Barack Obama’s March 2013 trip to Israel had a too-good-to-be-true feel about it. While barely pressuring on Israel, he instructed Palestinians not to set preconditions for negotiations and admonished them to “recognize that Israel will be a Jewish state.” It felt out of character, suggesting a price to be paid later.

Well, that price has now, eight months later, been revealed and it has two components. If I might paraphrase the U.S. position: “First, sit by quietly as we reach an accord with Tehran that freezes but does not dismantle its nuclear buildup. Second, stop the illegitimate residential construction on the West Bank or the Palestinian Authority will, with American acquiescence, start a third intifada.”

Israeli responses to the two demands have been stark, blunt unlike anything in memory. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blasted the prospective Iran deal as a “monumental mistake” and after meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry warned:

I reminded him that he said that no deal is better than a bad deal. And the deal that is being discussed in Geneva right now is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. Iran is not required to take apart even one centrifuge. But the international community is relieving sanctions on Iran for the first time after many years. Iran gets everything that it wanted at this stage and pays nothing. And this is when Iran is under severe pressure. I urge Secretary Kerry not to rush to sign, to wait, to reconsider, to get a good deal. But this is a bad deal, a very, very, bad deal. It’s the deal of a century for Iran; it’s a very dangerous and bad deal for peace and the international community.

Economy and Commerce Minister Naftali Bennett was even more direct, even raising the prospect of an Iranian nuclear bomb destroying New York City:

These critical days in November will be remembered for years to come. The Free World stands before a fork in the road with a clear choice: Either stand strong and insist Iran dismantles its nuclear-weapons program, or surrender, cave in and allow Iran to retain its 18,500 centrifuges. Years from now, when an Islamic terrorist blows up a suitcase in New York, or when Iran launches a nuclear missile at Rome or Tel Aviv, it will have happened only because a Bad Deal was made during these defining moments.

Like in a boxing match, Iran’s regime is currently on the floor. The count is just seconds away from 10. Now is the time to step up the pressure and force Iran to dismantle its nuclear program. Not to let it up. It would be dangerous to lift the sanctions and accept a deal which allows Iran to retain its entire uranium-production line. It would be dangerous because Iran would, a year, two or three from now, just turn everything back on and obtain a nuclear weapon before the world can do anything to stop it. It is not enough to shut off the centrifuges. They need to be completely dismantled. We call upon the West to avoid signing a Bad Deal.

Israel’s responsibility is to ensure the security of its citizens and that is exactly what we will do. We will never outsource our security.

On the Palestinian issue, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon took the lead:

There is no need to fear threats of whether there will or won’t be a third intifada. We have been in an open and ongoing conflict [with the Palestinians], which as far as the Palestinians are concerned does not end in 1967 lines. There is Sheikh Munis, [their name for] Tel Aviv, Majdal, [their name for] Ashkelon. We got out of the Gaza Strip and they continue to attack us. They raise their youth to believe that Haifa and Acre are Palestinian ports and more. There is no sign of compromise here. … We will have to be smart, and not fear threats of whether there will or won’t be a third intifada.

I wrote before the last presidential election that “Israel’s troubles will really begin” should Obama win second term. At Obama’s second inauguration, I predicted that he, “freed from re-election constraints, can finally express his early anti-Zionist views after a decade of political positioning. Watch for a markedly worse tone from the second Obama administration toward the third Netanyahu government.”

Obama to Seek Congressional Approval for Syrian attack (Video)

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

The U.S. President Barack Obama, in a Rose Garden speech Saturday, presented a ‘powerful case’ that the Syrian government was behind a chemical weapons attack and, adding that he will seek approval from Congress to act against Syria.

Obama acknowledged that Americans are weary of war, but warned that there are costs to doing nothing in this case.

“We are prepared to strike whenever we choose,” he said.

IDF sources have told Kol Israel that they expect the American attack on Syria will start in the next few days. But that’s not going to happen, since Congress is not yet in session.

Congress is scheduled to reconvene Monday, Sept. 9, but media reports say they are considering returning early to debate action against Syria.

The same sources emphasize that Syria will not retaliate with an attack on Israel. Let’s hope their information is better on this one.

IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said on Thursday that should Israel be attacked, it is clear to all the world leaders that the cost to the Syrians would be heavy and the enemy losses would be painful and severe.

According to Lt. Gen. Gantz, Israeli citizens should feel free to continue safely with their daily routines and engage in preparation for the High Holidays.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon spoke on Friday with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel who had just returned to Washington from a visit to Asia. Hagel has also spoken with France’s defense minister.

Israeli soldiers construct a military field camp near the border with Syria, Friday, on August 30, 2013. Photo credit: Gili Yaari/Fllash 90

Israeli soldiers construct a military field camp near the border with Syria, Friday, on August 30, 2013. Photo credit: Gili Yaari/Fllash 90

Fox News cites sources saying the U.S. attack in Syria will extend beyond Damascus, targeting and destroying President Bashar al-Assad’s delivery systems for his arsenal of chemical weapons.

The U.S. strike will spare the Assad presidential palace and Syrian government buildings, according to those sources. One of the reasons is that those facilities have long since been evacuated.

On Friday, President Barack Obama said he had not yet made a decision. But he said not reacting forcefully to a massive use of chemical weapons would be a danger to U.S. national security and a sign that the world was “paralyzed” in the face of mass killing.

“A lot of people think something should be done, but nobody wants to do it,” Obama said. He acknowledged, as he did again Saturday, that the world feels about a new war a “certain weariness, given Afghanistan,” but failed to mention Thursday’s parliamentary vote in Britain, which took that country’s army out of the equation.

And, to seal the deal, on Friday the White House released a four-page report saying U.S. intelligence had concluded with “high confidence,” based on intercepted communications, overhead surveillance, videos and witness statements, that Assad’s government had planned, authorized and carried out the August 21 nerve-gas attack near Damascus.

In a speech Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the gas attack killed at least 1,429 Syrians, 426 of them children.



Netanyahu: Israel Will ‘Respond Fiercely’ if Attacked by Syria

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that while Israel is not part of the Syrian civil war, the Jewish state would “respond, and we will respond fiercely” if attacked.

Netanyahu held an urgent meeting with his security cabinet on Tuesday afternoon in Tel Aviv, following a meeting between senior Israeli officials and U.S. security officials in Washington, DC. After the Israeli security cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said Israel “was prepared for any eventuality” relating to the Syria conflict.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon echoed Netanyahu’s stern warning to Syria.

“Those who dare to test us will encounter the IDF’s might,” Ya’alon said. “Facing the storm, the IDF’s spirit is no less strong.”

Meanwhile, late Monday, U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice hosted a delegation led by Israel’s National Security Chairman Yaakov Amidror for consultations on Iran, Egypt, Syria and a range of other regional security issues.

“Today’s meetings were the latest in a series of regular, high-level consultations between the United States and Israel, consistent with our strong bilateral partnership, and part of our unshakable commitment to Israel’s security,” a White House statement read.

Ya’alon: Haredi Integration without Criminal Sanctions

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that the government must strive to bring about Haredi integration, as well as the integration of minorities in society, but not through de-legitimizing them and certainly not by applying criminal sanctions against them.

According to Ya’alon, himself a former IDF Chief of Staff, the term “equal burden” which has become the slogan of so many “social warriors,” is wrong, and it should be rephrased to express the willingness of Israeli citizens to take responsibility for the needs of country. Ya’alon spoke at a conference in Jerusalem honoring pre-military courses.

Minister Limor Livnat, a member in the Perry Committee on equal burden, supports Ya’alon’s position, and wants to see deleted the section in the committee recommendations that imposes criminal sanctions against yeshiva students who do not join the army, or against their deans.

Minister Livnat also wants to extend by an additional 4 years the time allotted to realizing the first phase of the recruitment program. Speaking to Reshet Bet, Livnat stressed that anyone who believes that Haredi enlistment is going to be done by force and coercion is wrong. There will be no trucks coming to transfer them to prison, she said, emphasizing that the process will be done intelligently and wisely.

In response to the announcement of Likud’s partner Israel Beiteinu, that they will not support the Perry recommendations unless they also include imposing service on the Arabs as well, Livnat said that their argument did hold water. However, she pointed out that “Israel Beiteinu signed a coalition agreements in which it agreed that recruiting Arabs would be done on a volunteer basis.”

The Ministerial Committee on Equality convened in Jerusalem on Sunday, to approve and amend the Perry Committee recommendations. The Defense Ministry’s Attorney General presented to the ministers the IDF’s proposed amendments. Representatives of the Israel Beiteinu and the Jewish Home parties threatened to vote against the recommendations if they do not include recruiting Arabs.

Jewish Home is also expected to oppose the clause stating that the Hesder yeshiva soldiers’ service term would be extended from 16 to 24 months.

CIA Head John Brennan Makes Unannounced Israel Visit

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

CIA director John Brennan made an unannounced visit to Israel to discuss the situation in Syria with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Friday.

They reportedly compared intelligence assessments on Syria and its two-year civil war and talked about Israel’s intent to continue striking shipments of advanced weapons destined for Hezbollah from Iran via Syria.

Syria has threatened to strike back at Israel the next time it strikes a weapons system on its soil, Britain’s Sunday Times reported.  Two alleged Israeli airstrikes on Syrian military sites earlier this month reportedly targeted long-range missiles in transit from Iran to Hezbollah.

Brennan also met with Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Mossad head Tamir Pardo, according to reports.

IDF Apprehended Stone Throwers before Passover Closure

Monday, March 25th, 2013

General closure is being imposed Monday night at midnight on Judea and Samaria, to last through the first two days of the Passover holiday. The closure was a decision made by the new Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. No traffic will be permitted except for humanitarian and other special cases.

On Sunday, one day ahead of the closure, a joint operation of the IDF, the ISA (Israel Security Agency or Shin Bet) and the Israel Police apprehended five Arabs who played a role in the rock-hurling incident near the Israeli city of Ariel on March 14, the IDF Spokesperson’s office reported.

The Arabs responsible for the attack hurled rocks at Israeli civilian vehicles traveling on a main road near Kifl Haris, striking several vehicles. As a result, a resident of the community of Yakir, who was traveling with three of her daughters, lost control of her vehicle and hit a truck. The driver and two of her daughters were moderately injured, and a third was critically injured and remains hospitalized.

Security forces took immediate action in order to identify those responsible for the attack. During the investigation, five residents of Kifl Haris confessed to their involvement in the attack. The investigation is still ongoing.

The past few months saw an increase in similar acts of terrorism by rock hurling. The serious results of Kifl Haris incident convey how lethal this type of “mischievous” act can be.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-apprehended-stone-throwers-before-passover-closure/2013/03/25/

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