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November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘defense’

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Calls It ‘Quits’

Monday, November 24th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel handed in his resignation to President Barack Obama on Monday, and the two then announced it officially to the media.

The announcement followed pressure from the top and an extended, failed attempt to break through a presidential team of national security advisers.

In a formal ceremony at the White House, Obama said the decision had been a mutual one with both deciding this was an “appropriate time for him to complete his service.”

Obama noted that Hagel was the first enlisted combat veteran to lead the Department of Defense. “He stood where his soldiers stood,” Obama pointed out. “He sees himself in them. They see themselves in him.”

Hagel’s departure leaves the Obama administration “defenseless” as his national security team faces the continued rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its march towards a caliphate in the Middle East. Also ongoing is Russia’s escalating encroachment into Ukraine, and an incremental movement backwards towards another Cold War with the U.S.

Hagel, 68, is also a Republican leaving a lonely Democratic Obama administration as it faces a newly powerful Republican House of Representatives and Senate.

The two men grew close when they both served across the aisle from each other in the Senate, prior to Obama’s election as president. Hagel served as a senator from Nebraska after earning two Purple Hearts during the Vietnam War.

“Chuck Hagel has devoted himself to our national security and our men and women in uniform across six decades,” Obama said. But the president’s advisers were not nearly as happy with the defense secretary, whose loyalty they doubted and whose actions they questioned throughout his tenure.

Short-listed to replace Hagel are former deputy defense secretary Ash Carter and the current deputy, Robert Work.

Hagel has agreed to remain at his post until a successor is confirmed by the Senate. But the process may take some time, given the difficulties of finding a candidate the White House and its Republican adversaries can all agree on.

Will Israel Reduce F-35 Order From US?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Israel’s ministerial committee is revisiting a preliminary deal to buy 25 to 31 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp.

The committee allegedly wants to halve the tentative order by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, according to Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz.

A majority of committee members were opposed to the deal as it currently stands, Steinitz told Reuters on Monday. The ministers suggested a purchase of 10 to 15 planes instead, with a final decision to come in the near future.

Among the reasons cited for the decision was the issue of cuts in the defense budget, as well as questions over whether the F-35′s range, payload and maneuverability really met Israel’s needs.

An original contract signed in 2010 to purchase 19 of the warplanes for $275 billion left open the option to buy 75 of the jets, or three squadrons.

However, there is a growing sense among some Israelis that it is time for the Jewish State to begin producing its own weapons and ammunition — including its own warplanes.

This summer’s block by the White House on delivery of Hellfire missiles during the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge — in fact, its holdup of any military hardware whatsoever — did not sit well with the Israeli public, and served as a wakeup call even to those on the moderate left end of the political spectrum.

“We are not the Defense Ministry’s rubber stamp,” Steinitz told Reuters. Nevertheless, a source in the defense establishment told the news agency the ministerial committee is likely to compromise on the deal, possibly purchasing 13 of the F-35s this year, and another 18 in 2017.

The F35s that were purchased in 2010 are scheduled for delivery between 2016 and 2018.

The US-Israel Crisis Created by Obama

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

As Palestinian Authority officials continue to incite their population and Arab terrorists rev up for what they hope will be a third “intifada” last night a mouthpiece for the Obama Administration has lit his own fuse on the internet.

The Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg led his column Tuesday (Oct. 28) with a comment from a “senior Obama administration official” who called Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “a chickenshit.”

Goldberg wrote that the comment was “representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors” and “yet another sign that relations between the Obama and Netanyahu governments have moved toward a full-blown crisis.”

I say it’s all hogwash, kashruth and halal notwithstanding.

On June 4, 2009 – just six months after entering the White House – Israel independently rated a grand total of just four sentences in a landmark hour-long speech delivered by President Barack Obama from Cairo. Of the four, one sentence contained a major inaccuracy.

The reference was to America’s “unbreakable” bond with Israel, which Obama insisted was based upon “cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.”  (ed. note: italics added for emphasis)

It’s not, and if Obama knew his Qur’an as well he claims to know to, and as well as he allegedly knows his Bible as a Christian – which perhaps he may not – he would know that last is patently untrue.

Yesterday before this brouhaha began Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin revisited this very same issue as he inaugurated a new Museum of History of Polish Jewry in Warsaw, at the invitation of Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski. The two men stood together as Rivlin spoke of Jewish history.

“There are those who mistakenly think that the State of Israel is compensation for the Holocaust,” Rivlin said in an ironic response to Obama’s 2009 Cairo claim. “There is no greater mistake. The State of Israel is not a compensation for the Holocaust. The State of Israel was established in its own right.” (italics added)

To be perfectly politically incorrect, Israel is the Jewish homeland because it was granted by Almighty God Himself to His Chosen People. Period, full stop. Read the Old Testament. It’s there in black and white.

Even observant Muslims know it, those who have studied their Qur’an. The passages are quoted often by those Muslim leaders who do truly understand the meaning of coexistence and peace, and even at times by those who don’t.

(Sura 5:20) “And when Moses said to his people, ‘O my people, remember the favor of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds.’”

(Sura 5:21) “O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back [from fighting in Allah’s cause] and [thus] become losers.”

Clearly Obama’s speech writers were not among these well-educated people, nor did he correct them. Perhaps he was unable to, perhaps he didn’t notice.

But his priorities vis a vis Israel were made equally clear in the fact that every other reference to the Jewish State in his Cairo speech was made solely in relation to its relations with the Palestinian Authority and the Arab world.

Obama’s scorn for Israel — and in particular, for its leader — has never really been a particularly well-kept secret.

Barely a year after Obama first entered the White House, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was treated to a taste of that disdain. In 2010 America’s first black president suddenly left Israel’s top leader “on hold” in the Oval Office in a breathtakingly rude manner during an exchange over Obama’s demands that Israel cease building in Jerusalem.

Updated: PA Arab Workers NOT Banned on Israeli Buses

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Contrary to earlier media reports, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon did NOT ban Palestinian Authority Arab workers from using Israeli public buses, on either side of the 1949 Armistice Line, also called the “Green Line.”

What Ya’alon did do, as reported today (Sunday, Oct. 26) by The Jerusalem Post and The Knesset Channel, was create a plan that will soon require PA Arab workers to return to their homes each night in the PA via the same checkpoint through which they earlier entered Israel.

There is no start date yet for the program, which will begin with one major checkpoint, reportedly the Eyal checkpoint near the PA Arab city of Qalqilya.

The plan will enable security personnel to more efficiently track PA Arab workers as they travel to and from their day jobs on the Israel side of the pre-1967 line.

Until now, Palestinian Authority Arab workers in Samaria (Shomron) with authorized work permits have been able to cross the 1949 Armistice Lines and enter pre-1967 Israel via one checkpoint, and return via any other.

At the end of each day, they could, and did, return via any other checkpoint they wished — or not. And the “or not” is the problem.

It was extremely difficult to properly track those who illegally stayed over in Tel Aviv and those who returned home as they were supposed to each night, the defense minister noted. And that created serious security issues.

Leftwingers are screaming “Apartheid” and segregation, claiming PA residents who use the Eyal checkpoint won’t be allowed to ride Israeli buses anymore.

But it won’t be because of any ban. The only Jewish community that shares the use of the Eyal checkpoint is Tzofim, and Tzofim is on the Western side of the security fence.

Otherwise, the only reason one goes through the Eyal checkpoint is to enter or exit the PA controlled city of Qalqilya, and Israelis generally aren’t allowed into Qalqilya.

The bottom line is that if PA Arabs cross the Green Line at the Eyal checkpoint, it is unlikely they will be sharing buses with Israelis, but only because there are no Israeli passengers there to pick up, and not because of some fictional ban.

Whether in Tel Aviv or in Samaria (Shomron), PA Arabs can use any bus they choose.

IDF Gagged Media from Revealing Depth of Tunnel Threat 5 Months Before War

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

The IDF underestimated the tunnel threat and also intentionally did not publicize the extent of the threat that was known before the war in order not to “spark undue concern” in Gaza Belt communities,” Defense News reported Saturday.

Barbara Opall-Rome reported that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz invited her earlier this year for an on-site briefing with military commanders.

“I reluctantly agreed to demands that the mid-March day trip remain off the record,” she wrote, but the restrictions have seen been lifted.

IDF officers showed her a tunnel that was dug from central Gaza to the vicinity of near Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha. A few days earlier, the IDF announced it extended 300 yards into Israeli territory.

“It became immediately clear: The IDF had grossly misrepresented the severity of the underground breach, which extended perilously close to the kibbutz perimeter,” Opall-Rome wrote.

“Brig. Gen. Micky Edelstein, Gaza Division commander, took my hand as we descended several meters to the exposed opening,” she added. “We didn’t have to traverse far inside to realize the sophistication of the freshly built structure,” which it turned out extended nearly half a mile beyond the Gaza security fence.

The tunnel was approximately 7 feet high and three feet wide, large enough for a fully-equipped terrorist to use it to carry out a slaughter at the kibbutz, a plan that was foiled at almost the last-minute in this summer’s war.

It was clear to the IDF commanders that the threat of tunnel was a high-priority issue.

Why didn’t the ID simply explode the tunnel back in March?

“There’s no need to spark undue concern in neighboring communities,” Col. Amos HaCohen, commander of the Gaza South Brigade, told her.

Gantz said at the time. “There’s a lot of things related to the tunnels from Gaza that worries me,” he said, and added that Hamas “improving this [tunnel-based] strategy… and challenging us to a point where it could be we will be dragged into another conflict.”

The rest is history.

Lapid Won’t Let Defense Demands Turn Into ‘Turkish Bazaar’

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Finance Minister Yair Lapid vows to quit the government rather than raise taxes, an issue being debated as the government considers the budget for 2015, and says he won’t let the defense budget become a “Turkish bazaar.”

Lapid, who chairs the Yesh Atid party, is not willing to quit the coalition without a fight over the issue, however – and certainly not willing to crash the government over it.

“Elections are not a good thing for the state of Israel,” Lapid said in an interview with the Hebrew-language Ynet site. “I’m not afraid of elections, but they’re not necessary.. “

Nevertheless, he said, “I will quit the government rather than raise taxes. I ran with this for office and I said I won’t let it get to a situation in which every time there’s a problem, the government milks the public for all it has.”

At the end of the day, however, it doesn’t seem as though there will be a real problem in getting a budget passed. The kind of wrangling going on over the issue is the same kind of debate that is seen every time a budget comes up for discussion, Lapid said.

“It does not seem to me to be very different to the kind of conduct we’ve seen before every budget passing. I’ve been through a hard budget already with all of the pressures it involved. There are always pressures being put on the finance minister.”

Pressure is one thing, Lapid said, and he understands the defense ministry needs more money to be able to deal with the expenses of this summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge. There must also be a budget to pay for defense against other enemies, and to deal with the issue of possible return shelling and rocket attacks, and terrorists rebuilding tunnels in Gaza.

Yes, he acknowledged, “We need money for that. But I won’t let it turn into a Turkish bazaar. I want to give you all the money we have, but I can’t give you money we don’t.”

Upgraded Arrow-2 Anti-Ballistic Missile System Tests ‘Go Green’

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

The improved Arrow 2 anti-ballistic missile system performed as planned Tuesday morning at an intercept test over the Mediterranean Sea, a Defense Ministry spokesperson said.

The test was conducted by the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of DDR&D and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency at an Israeli test range.

During the test, “an Arrow 2 missile was launched and performed its flight sequence as planned,” the spokesperson said. “The results are being analyzed by program engineers.”

The test results, however, have no effect on Israeli operational systems’ capability to cope with the existing threats in the region, the spokesperson emphasized. “This test was an improved version of the joint U.S.-Israel Arrow Weapon System, intended to counter future threats.”

The five-tier defense system is being developed and integrated by Israel Aerospace Industries in conjunction with Boeing, Elta and Elbit/Elisra.

The mobile Arrow defense system is comprised of the hypersonic Arrow anti-missile interceptor, the Elta “Green Pine” early warning AESA radar, the Elisra “Golden Citron” center and the Israel Aerospace Industries “Brown Hazelnut” launch control center.

The first operational missile defense system specifically designed and built to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles, the Arrow system is considered to be one of the most advanced missile defense programs currently in existence.

Jointly funded and produced by Israel and the United States, development of the Arrow began in 1986, with improvements and adjustments continuing ever since. The Israeli Air Defense Command of the IDF remains — at least for now — the sole user of the complete Arrow system.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/upgraded-arrow-2-anti-missile-system-tests-go-green/2014/09/09/

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