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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Defense Minister’

PM Netanyahu’s Statement at the Scene of the Jerusalem Terrorist Attack [video]

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Sunday evening visited the site of the terrorist attack in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv and were briefed by Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram Halevy.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said in his statement:

“We in Jerusalem have just experience an unprovoked terrorist attack, a murderous attack that claimed the lives of four young Israelis and wounded others. This is part of the same pattern inspired by Islamic State, by ISIS, that we saw first in France, then in Germany and now in Jerusalem. This is part of the same ongoing battle against this global scourge of the new terrorism. We can only fight it together, but we have to fight it, and we will.”

David Israel

Defense Minister Who Convicted Azaria on Day of Shooting Now Blames ‘Politicians’

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

On March 24, 2016, the day Sgt. Elior Azaria shot a terrorist who had already been neutralized in Hebron – an event that was recorded by an Arab agent of anti-Israeli NGO B’Tselem, then Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon stated, giving a new meaning to the term Judge, Jury and Executioner: “The event in which an IDF soldier is documented arriving at the attack site in Hebron, shoots the terrorist minutes after he had been neutralized and has been lying on the ground, is extremely serious and absolutely contrary to the IDF values and war ethics. We must not permit, even when our blood is boiling, such befuddlement and loss of control. This episode will be treated with the utmost severity.”

Now, after a military court in Tel Aviv had put its seal of approval on his original verdict, former defense Minister Ya’alon released a video on his Facebook page, suggesting “the reason the trial dragged on was because of the cynical exploitation of the case by various politicians.

“It can be said that the IDF and the Azaria fmily have been seriously harmed by politicians who shirked their responsibility,” Ya’alon stated, obviously oblivious to his own major role in fanning the flames against the ID soldier by focusing broad media attention on his case. His reference to “a cynical expolitation of the event by self-interested politicians for their personal benefit” is tantamount to a cat accusing its owner of placing that bowl of cream in jeopardy.

Ya’alon, in coordination with Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, ran a campaign against Sgt. Elazar starting hours after the event, practically from the moment the B’Tselem video went public. The fact that the initial response of the two men who sent Sgt. Azaria to battle was to demand his head sans the most preliminary investigation of the facts puts in question their comprehension of the meaning of command. Indeed, one of them, Ya’alon, has already been shown the door, albeit over Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition machinations rather than over his failure to grasp the concept of innocent until proven otherwise, especially when it comes to an underling in uniform.

Incidentally, Netanyahu was initially also among the senior politicians who took Azaria to the tool shed before an investigation, undoubtedly because he, too, was scared of the global ramifications of the B’Tselem video, saying, “What happened in Hebron does not represent the values of the IDF,” and declaring that Azaria (although he did not mention him by name) broke with the rules of engagement.

But Netanyahu is a magnificent political beast, and days later, realizing where the winds were blowing, softened his tone and came up with something about how all the IDF soldiers are our children. In the nick of time. Netanyahu also issued a call for a pardon for Azaria on Wednesday, when what was really called for, to correct the damage inflicted by the panel of judges, was a change in the rules of engagement which recognize a terrorist’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

So Netanyahu actually proves the point his former defense minister was making about cynical politicians – but the PM didn’t start this, Ya’alon and Eizenkot did.

It should be noted that one of the sane voices during those first few days following the Hebron shooting, was Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, himself quite the political beast, who followed Ya’alon’s rebuke of Azaria at the Knesset plenum by lamenting the brutality of the political class against one IDF medic.

“The military police investigation has yet to begin and already everyone from all over is condemning,” Bennett said, looking at the opposition benches. “Even before we got to hear the part of video where they yell, ‘Explosives, explosives,’ everybody is jumping on top of this soldier. And only then do they pass the material to a military police investigator. You tell me, what chance is there for an honest investigation? Afer the entire State of Israel has determined the soldier committed a crime?”

To sum up: cynicism is a common trait among politicians, but cynicism while your own hands are stained with the blood of your victim… that’s special.

David Israel

Deputy Minister Hotoveli: It Was Show Trial

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotoveli (Likud) on Wednesday accused the IDF of conducting a show trial against the combat medic Sgt. Elor Azaria who was convicted of manslaughter for killing an already neutralized terrorist.

“The soldier Elor Azaria’s trial was conducted as a show trial with a predetermined end,” Hotoveli said. “In many ways his sentence was decided well in advance of the first court hearing. In such a situation it would be proper to ask the president, for the sake of justice, to pardon the soldier who did not act in a sterile zone but in a terror event.”

MK Shuli Nualem (Habayit Hayehudi) is in the process of collecting MK’s signature on a petition to be submitted to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), asking him to order the IDF chief of staff to pardon Sgt. Azaria, based on Article 55 of the Defense Regulations.

Mualem’s petition argues that since the shooting took place as part of a military operation it should have been investigated within the military – as opposed to the public treatment of the case by the powers that be.

“In similar cases in the past, the army supported its warriors, even if they made mistakes, and also interrogated the chain of command,” goes the petition. “Unfortunately, the process was contaminated by the involvement of outside factors, hence the decision.”

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Liberman said he did not like verdict, but stressed that “all of us are compelled to respect the court’s decision, and we all must restrain ourselves. It is crucial that despite the harsh verdict the security apparatus will aid the soldier and his family whichever way we can, to assist and facilitate.”

It should be noted that, as a member of the opposition, MK Liberman was gung-ho on letting Azaria go and even showed up at a preliminary court hearing to express his view to the press. Later, as Defense Minister, his position became milder.


Liberman: Shaming Hareidi Soldiers For Military Service Akin to Idolatry [video]

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman came down hard last week on hareidi communities who continue to shame those who choose to enter the military.

In many cases, men in those communities who serve in the IDF are severely harassed for that choice. Sometimes they are threatened and sometimes even physically attacked. Sometimes their families are threatened and hounded as well.

Minister Liberman focused on the issue last Thursday during a Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony in the Kiryah military headquarters in Tel Aviv with hareidi soldiers and rabbis of the Nahal Hareidi Foundation, which provides hareidi religious soldiers with ongoing support during their tour of duty.

In his address, the defense minister attacked the phenomenon of shaming hareidi soldiers, calling it “idolatry,” and expressed hope there will one day be a hareidi chief of staff and pledged to fight “with all his might” against those who attempt to offend hareidi soldiers. The minister kindled the candles together with Rabbi Tzvi Klebanow, president of the Nahal hareidi Foundation.

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“The start of every war is a breakthrough,” said Minister Liberman. “Once one person breaks through, everyone enters and follows him. You have truly made a breakthrough. There’s no other way to say it.

“The holiday of Chanukah is a miracle. When I look around this room, a great miracle occurred here, to see these people here as soldiers, perhaps the best soldiers.

Liberman went on to say that until he came to Israel on aliyah, he personally “never knew there was a contradiction between Torah learning and army service.” King David fought, he said, as did Joshua bin Nun. “I think they also had an understanding of Torah and Judaism, no less than Rabbis Deri and Litzman,” he said with some irony.

“You’re combining Judasim, defense of the homeland, and defense of the Jewish nation… Spiritual leaders of Israel always knew… when it was permissible for a Jew not only to learn, but also to fight,” he said.

Liberman added that he understood that for a Jew from the hareidi sector, the decision to serve isn’t a simple decision to make.

“I know how much we, to my regret, confront prejudices and how much we’re forced to fight unacceptable occurrences — all kinds of shaming, condemnations, and attempts to embarrass those serving in the IDF. This is simply unbelievable. Whoever in the name of Torah, attempts to denounce others, shames soldiers — he’s simply involved in idolatry,” he said.

“This is not Judaism. It’s definitely not identification with Jewish values, and it’s something that that we, as an army, will battle with all our might. We will not come to terms with it, and we won’t accept it. It’s not freedom of speech and it’s not just pranks — it’s simply damaging to Judaism and also to the holy of holies of the Jewish nation.”

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Frequent Injuries Force IDF to Ease Women’s Combat Requirements

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

The IDF has decided to change the service terms and training of women in the four mixed-sex combat battalions, CarCal, Bardales, Lions of Jordan and a fourth one yet to be named – due to the numerous injuries and falls experienced by combat women, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

One change will be extending women’s boot camp training by two weeks, simply to give them a chance to keep up with the men.

Also, women on combat missions will be carrying only four magazines, compared with the standard issue of six. The reason cited is multiple stress fractures combat women have been suffering.

Army Radio also reported that the mixed battalions will be relocated to their own boot camp base, apart from the rest of the infantry’s training facilities.

Meanwhile, the IDF is losing its rationale for encouraging women to join combat units, cutting men’s compulsory service down from 36 to 32 months, instituted by former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud). Ya’alon’s replacement, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), on Tuesday announced that the IDF has given up that plan – he wants Israeli men to go back to serving the full three years.

According to the IDF, the shorter service, instituted mostly for economic reasons, made it impossible for the army to both prepare its special forces adequately and take advantage of their active service that follows.

The Defense Ministry will start negotiations soon with the Finance Ministry, according to Liberman, to extend the service back to what it was.

David Israel

Liberman: Assad the Butcher Should Be Removed

Friday, December 16th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said at the opening of the Limmud FSU conference in Eilat Thursday that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is a “butcher” who “should be removed from power.”

Asked about the massacre of more than 500,000 people in the Syrian civil war and the recent siege on Aleppo, Liberman said: “Assad is a butcher, who has slaughtered and murdered hundreds of thousands of people, including by using chemical weapons. In my opinion, he should be removed from power – and we should block Iranian involvement in Syria.”

When asked if Israel should get involved in Syria, Liberman said: “Where is the international community? It’s a shame that instead of focusing on the very unfortunate fact that 500 people are killed in the Middle East every day, the international community would rather criticize Israel for every new balcony built on a settlement.”

Liberman also addressed the peace process, saying: “Any peace agreement should be based on populated-area exchange, which should also include Israeli Arabs who consider themselves to be Palestinian.”

“Territory transfers have worked successfully throughout history, and the principle conforms with international law,” he added.

Limmud FSU (former Soviet Union) marked a decade of educational work with young Russian-speaking Jews at a festival of learning, which opened today in Israel’s southernmost city, Eilat. The ninth Limmud FSU Israel conference is a three-day event featuring hundreds of lectures, workshops, presentations and discussions by leading figures.

“We have made a huge impact in Russian-Jewish communities around the world,” said Limmud FSU Founder Chaim Chesler. “We are so excited to be celebrating our 10th anniversary – with leaders of the Russian-speaking community, such as the minister of defense – at one of the world’s most beautiful resort cities.”

Over the past decade, Limmud FSU has gathered more than 45,000 Russian-speaking Jews, most of whom were aged between 24 and 40, for educational and cultural festivals, conferences and other events in nine countries around the world.

“Year after year, Limmud FSU succeeds in igniting the spark of being Jewish, and this is the ninth time we’ll be doing so in Israel,” said Limmud FSU Co-Founder Sandra F. Cahn.


Boys and Their Toys

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and the IDF at the new F-35 Adir stealth fighter jet’s arrival ceremony at the Nevatim Air Force Base in the Negev Desert.

Netanyahu F-35

DM Liberman Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter F-35

Photo of the Day

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/boys-and-their-toys/2016/12/13/

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