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May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Defense Minister’

Israel Has New Government

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Reshet Bet announced early Friday morning that the Likud and Habayit Hayehudi have resumed their talks, after a 12-hour disconnect, and reached a final agreement on a new government, which will be introduced later today, Friday.

The agreement was reached after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called up Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett and asked him personally to overlook the slight of not receiving the title of Deputy Prime Minister. He told him that in the new government there will be no Deputy Prime Ministers at all.

Both Bennett and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid responded curtly to a news item they heard over the radio on Thursday, that the Deputy positions, about which they had reached a verbal agreement with the Likud-Beiteinu negotiating team, were taken away.

Likud circles not particularly enamoured with the PM spread the rumor that it was Sara Netanyahu, Benjamin’s wife, who insisted, at the last minute, on sticking it to her husband’s new coalition partners.

The PM’s circles denied the rumors, saying it was just another vicious attack on Sara Netanyahu, and her personal arch-enemy, Naftali Bennett.

Habayit Hayehudi circles said in response that it was not a reassuring way of ushering in a new coalition—killing unilaterally an item everybody had shaken hands on.

The Bennett people refused to attend the meeting Thursday evening in which the government deal was supposed to be finalized, and the first coalition crisis appeared to have erupted even before there was a coalition in place.

Netanyahu had to swallow a frog in apologizing to Bennett personally, and Bennett and Lapid in return swallowed the frogs of not becoming acting PMs when Bibi is away touring the world.

Now the fact that Sara’s contribution effectively killed the position of Deputy PM, Netanyahu will not be able to dole out bites at this honor to senior Likudniks, such as MK Silvan Shalom, who won’t receive a real portfolio. Thank you, Sara.

The Shas and United Torah Judaism factions are livid, obviously, arguing that if they’re out of office, their constituency is going to be ignored. Well, not exactly ignored, more like enlisted and made to study Math and English in yeshiva.

MK Aryeh Deri, who was reinstated in the Shas Knesset list with the hope of increasing its size (they ended up with 11 – just like the Knesset before), was making the rounds all day Thursday, promising to be part of a fighting opposition, whose utmost goal would be to topple this government. A renowned Haredi leftists, who pushed his party into signing on to the Oslo Accords, Deri said he had no problem cooperating with Labor, Meretz, and the Arab lists, to bring down Netanyahu.

Unless he get a government seat sometime down the road.

Habayit Hayehudi will possess five portfolios in the new government, although those will be divided among only three ministers. So Naftali Bennett is now also Minister of Religious Services.

The 20 Likud MKs are competing over a mere 15 positions of power: seven ministerial roles, four deputy ministers, four heads of Knesset committees and the role of Speaker of the House. The portfolios of Homeland Security, Agriculture, Tourism and Absorption has been given to members of the Israel Beiteinu, while members of the Likud will take Interior, Transportation, Communications, Homeland Defense, and the Strategic Affairs Ministry.

A big improvement would be the appointment of former IDF chief of staff Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon as Defense Minister. Yaalon, whose boss at the time, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, opted not to renew his contract in 2005, because he did not trust the former to pursue zealously the evacuation of thousands of Gush Katif Jews. Mofaz appointed Dan Halutz to the job, and Halutz promptly bungled an invasion of Gaza and a war in Lebanon.

Beginning next week, probably on Monday, Israel’s 33rd government—Netanyahu’s third—will be sworn in, featuring 22 ministers, including the Prime Minister, and eight deputy ministers. The Speaker is expected to be the current Minister of Information and Diaspora, MK Yuli Edelstein.

In the almost-final compromise agreement reached Thursday, Netanyahu agreed to give up the education portfolio, which will go to Yesh Atid’s MK Rabbi Shai Piron, Likud-Beiteinu will get Interior, and Habayit Hayehudi will head the Knesset Finance Committee.

Mofaz Wanted Defense

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

During recent coalition talks with Netanyahu, Shaul Mofaz, head of the 2-man Kadima party asked to be named Defense Minister.

Mofaz used to be the IDF Chief of Staff, so the idea isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds, other than the fact that Mofaz is only the head of a 2-man political party, and in the previous government he managed to only remain a member of Netanyahu’s coalition for a record breaking two months.

Netanyahu turned down Mofaz’s request, after which Kadima joined the Lapid-Bennett alliance.

8:25 PM Gaza Update

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

8:21 PM IDF Spokesman confirms, Defense Minister green lights calling up 30,000 reservists.

8:19 PM Direct hit on house in Be’er Sheva. No injuries reported.

8:16 PM 5 rockets shots down by Iron Dome system over Be’er Sheva.

8:14 PM Rockets landing near Kiryat Melachi during funeral of Mira Sharf HY”D and Aaron Semadje HY”D.

8:10 PM Explosions over Ashkelon. More rockets fired at Be’er Sheva, Benei Shimon and Ramat Negev.

8:09 PM Watching Rothschild Blvd in Tel Aviv during air raid siren.

8:08 PM Shooting attack on IDF jeep near Kalkilya, no injuries.

8:07 PM Rocket explosions heard around Ashdod. No confirmation of rockets landing or Iron Dome.

8:05 PM Palestians from Gaza shooting at Army vehicles on Israeli side of border. 

8:03 PM More sirens in Ashdod, Kiryat Melachi, Be’er Tovia, Yavneh, Ashkelon Beach and Yoav. 

7:54 PM Sirens now in Be’er Tovia, Ashkelon, Shafir, Kiriyat Melachi.

Orders are Orders

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

For many Israelis, the Presidential election in America had a special urgency because of the increasing nuclear threat from Iran, and the hope that Romney would take a more militant stance than Obama. I wrote a short story on the tragedy of looking to America for our salvation, which appears in my award-winner collection of short stories, “Days of Mashiach” which was translated and published in France this year by a non-Jewish publisher, with reviewers comparing me to Voltaire and the famous fable writer, Jean de la Fontaine.  Big deal. Anyway, enjoy the story, and for readers who value true Jewish literature, I invite you to check out some of my other books at Amazon.

ORDERS ARE ORDERS

By Tzvi Fishman

For the third time that day, Izzy was looking through the snapshots his wife had sent him when a rock richocheted off the guard tower. Outside in the dimming twilight, he couldn’t see a thing. It wasn’t the first time that a rock had hit the tower during his three months on the isolated Samaria hilltop. Arab kids had nothing better to do than throw rocks at Jewish soldiers. To be on the safe side, the young Israeli tightened the strap of his helmet. Orders were orders. And in the army, safety came first.

His gaze turned back to the pictures. How happy his son looked at his first birthday party, as if he understood its significance. Izzy had asked for a special leave to attend the celebration, but since he had only one week remaining in his Hesder army service, the request had been denied.

“Pang!” “Pang!” “Pang!”

Smashing against the metal guard tower, the rocks sounded like bullets. Down below, at the crest of the hill, on the other side of the sheep pen, a group of dark figures had gathered. Izzy stuck his rifle out the window in warning. Just to be sure, he called his two buddies, who were out patrolling the area in a jeep. Some people thought the settlers were irresponsible for staying put on remote hilltops like these during the Intifada, but Izzy didn’t agree. Israel was the land of the Jews, and a Jew had the right to live wherever he chose. It was the job of the government and the army to protect its citizens, whether they lived in Netanya or Hevron.

To his way of thinking, the situation was absolutely absurd. So what if a Jew wanted to live in a cabin on a desolate hill in the heartland of biblicalIsrael. Why should the whole world make such a fuss over it? Why should it bother foreign presidents and kings? Didn’t they have better things to worry about than what a handful of Jews were doing on the other side of the globe?

The twenty-one year old soldier tried his best not to think about it too much. Instead, he studied Gemara whenever he could. He spoke to his wife every day. In a week, he’d be finished with being away in the army, and he could get down to being a father to his one-year old boy.

When a brick smashed through the thick plastic pane of the window, Izzy instinctively ducked. Down on the hillside, a mob of Arabs was advancing his way. Across the dirt road, on the roof of the small wooden cabin, an Arab youth was hauling down the Israeli flag. As luck would have it, the settler who lived on the one-man yishuv was off at a wedding. Besides the barking dog, Izzy was the only defender on the remote, windswept givah.

Figuring he may need some back-up, he phoned his friends in the jeep, but they were being stoned too.

“We’re on our way,” they told him.

Rocks pounding the guard tower reverberated like popcorn popping in a microwave oven. Izzy fired off a few shots in the air to warn off the attackers, but the Arabs continued to advance on the tower. Like the good soldier he was, he wouldn’t fire at them until he received a direct order. His rabbis had taught him that the government of Israelwas holy, the Israeli army was holy, and so was its chain of command. Calling his Mem-kaf, he described the situation and requested permission to shoot.

Yaalon: Barak Using Govt. to Promote Own Agenda, Defying PM’s Orders

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

On Saturday, Vice Prime Minister Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon sharply attacked Defense Minister Ehud Barak over his dealings with the United States on the Iranian nuclear program.

“Barak gave preference to political considerations over national ones,” Yaalon charged, appearing at the “Shabbat Culture” event in Ramat Gan. “He pulled us up a tree, and at the last minute presented himself as a moderate and ran away.”

The Defense Minister’s Independence Party reacted to Yaalon’s accusations saying that “the Likud primaries are forcing Yaalon to come up with pathetic statements.”

According to sources inside Independence Party, “Defense Minister Barak is working to strengthen the State of Israel’s security and to deepen Israel’s relationship with the United States and the Administration.”

At the end of last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified his priorities for the defense minister when he invited Barak to a nighttime meeting in his office in Jerusalem and asked him to explain his unauthorized activities vis-à-vis the Administration, in defiance of the Prime Minister’s instructions.

At this meeting, Netanyahu stated that complete coordination between the Prime Minister and Defense Minister was an absolute prerequisite for the protection of Israeli citizens and therefore he demanded that Barak not repeat this kind of behavior.

A short time after the meeting ended, the Defense Minister’s office put out a press release, approved by Netanyahu, stating that the Defense Minister is in complete agreement with the Prime Minister on dealing with the Iranian threat and managing Israel’s relationship with the United States. It also stated that, during the meeting, both leaders agreed to cooperate in facing the current security challenges.

Outpouring Support for Officer who Hit Danish Provocateur, Even as Damning Report Is Anticipated

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The IDF investigation of the beating of a Danish agent provocateur Andreas Ayas of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) by Deputy Bik’ah Brigade Commander Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, will be presented Tuesday the the IDF Chief of Staff, and it appears that the report will recommend to remove Lt. Col. Eisner from office, but keep him in the army.

However, the legal proceedings against Eisner will continue, and may affect his future career. The investigation was headed by Central Command Chief, Gen. Nitzan Alon.

On Tuesday, Denmark has demanded clarification from Israel about the incident and the investigation. The Foreign Office updated the Danish Ambassador in Israel about the steps taken since the exposure of the video online. President Shimon Peres attempted to minimize the damage when he said that “The IDF responded clearly, and we must await its conclusions. It’s an isolated incident that should be investigated, and we should avoid far-reaching conclusions.”

Beyond the moral aspects, the investigation also dealt with the operational conduct of the forces in the field during the event. In this respect, the report found failures, primarily in inadequate preliminary preparations for the event; the force that was sent into the area was too small and did not receive police support as required.

On Monday, 83 reserves officers and soldiers sent the Defense Minister and the IDF Chief of Staff a letter supporting the Eisner, who had been suspended from his post.

Hagit Rein, grieving mother of the late Major B’naya Rein who was killed in the Second Lebanon War and whose body was recovered by Eisner under fire, called the Army Radio to express her dismay at the way Eisner was being judged by the “media court.”

During that war, B’naya Rein assembled a special force to assist damaged tanks. He was killed on that mission for which he had volunteered, and his body remained in enemy territory. At the command level it was decided that rescuing the body was too dangerous, according to the reservists’ letter. Then it was decided they lacked the necessary resources for a rescue mission.

After three days, Shalom Eisner, who was then commander of an armored battalion, heard about the abandoned body and said it was unacceptable that the body of an army officer would be lying on the ground while his parents were waiting for him at home. Eisner took a jeep, recall his fellow officers and soldiers, put on a flak jacket and went out to get B’naya. “Surrounded by burned-out tanks, missiles flying in every direction, he just went out into the field, loaded the body and brought it back.”

Lt. Col. Eisner’s supporters expressed their complete faith in him “as a man, as a friend and as a moral commander.”

Abir Sultan/Flash 90

Hebron House Evacuees Have Pitched a Protest Tent Outside their Empty Home

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

The evacuated residents of Machpelah House in Hebron have erected a  protest tent a few hundred meters from the Cave of the Patriarchs, in front of their empty property, which was locked by Border Police and will remain a closed military area until further notice, under order of Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

According to One of the group’s leaders, Shlomo Levinger, a few dozen demonstrators were participating in the sitdown protest.

Levinger told the Jewish Press “We’re waiting outside the house until they’ll let us in, God willing. The Prime Minister said he’s expecting that the matter be examined in the next few days, and so we’ll be waiting.”

“All those documents have already been submitted last week,” Levinger noted. “It’s a formal matter – let them go over it and approve the sale.”

Levinger said the protesters were planning to sleep Thursday night and through the coming month in front of their home. “I hope that they’ll find time over the coming month to locate the documents, and additional time for the Defense Minister to sign his approval.”

In a press conference Wednesday night, Barak referred to the Jewish owners of the Hebron property as “squatters.” But the reason given for evacuating the tenants was not based on their right to the place but on the fact that the Defense Minister was acting on his view that the fact of their living there constituted a threat to the public peace, regardless of their rights.

In the area of Judea and Samaria, the Defense Minister is empowered to subvert individual rights on the grounds that exercising them may pose a threat to the peace.

Levinger said that this was the cause that had been presented in the evacuation order handed to the tenants by Police before their evacuation.

“But if we are squatters,” Levinger argued, “that means we were evacuated because the government says we’re illegal, and not because of our threat to public order.”

On the accusation of squatting, Levinger said he and his group entered the house using a key they had received from the Arab who sold them the house months ago.

“When Police originally came to check on us, we told them that we bought the house,” Levinger said. “This terminology is all part of the aggression and the disturbing of the peace by the Defense Minister. He is using the military forces to advance his political agenda.”

Levinger related that Muhammad Abu-Shahala, the Arab who served as a go-between for a Jewish-owned, Arab real estate company in purchasing the house for its Jewish buyers, has been arrested by the Palestinian Authority for the crime of selling real estate to Jews. Abu-Shahala was arrested as soon as he had confirmed the sale publicly. Other members of his family, and the sellers family have been arrested too, and are currently under interrogation by the PA.

“We insist that the Israeli government demand the release of this man, who may receive the death penalty for selling to us,” Levinger said. “Once he is free and safe from harm. he will gladly testify that he sold the property to us of his free will.”

According to Levinger, the house was purchased for “well over half a million dollars,” which is twice its value. The real estate company that purchased the house is Alaidun Lalakrat, which is owned by Assaf Nechmad, a former GSS officer.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hebron-house-evacuees-have-pitched-a-protest-tent-outside-their-empty-home/2012/04/05/

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