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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘defense’

The Last Line of Defense

Monday, January 9th, 2017

Workers began putting down a series of concrete blocks and fences near Jabel Mukaber and the Tayelet in order to prevent future ramming terrorists from reaching their targets.

They say that the best offense is a good defense.

Building Fence near Tayelet

Concrete Barriers Near Jabel Mukaber

Photo of the Day

Defense Ministry to Secure Immunity from Prosecution for IDF Fighting Forces

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Even as the political and social storm continues over the verdict in the trial of Sgt. Elor Azaria who shot a neutralized terrorist in Hebron last March, Israel’s Defense Ministry is preparing a bill to protect future warriors who might become similarly entangled in legal troubles for their interpretation of the rules of engagement, Ma’ariv reported Saturday night.

According to the bill’s sponsor, Deputy Defense Minister MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) offers blanket immunity to members of the security forces for their actions before, during and after an operation or a terror event – as opposed to action during routine operation.

The proposed law would provide immunity to “every IDF soldier, commander and officer whether doing compulsory service, career NCOs and officers, GSS operatives, Police, Border Guard, Knesset Gurad, and any other member of Israel’s security forces as decided by the Minister of Defense.”

The bill says that “a member of the security forces will not bear criminal responsibility, nor be interrogated with a warning, and will be immune to every judicial action in connection with an operation he carried out or did not carry out, or an act he committed or did not commit, before, during and after an operation, depending on whether the operation was or was not carried out as part of his assignment, or in preparation to carry out his assignment, as member of the security forces.”

Ben-Dahan told Ma’ariv that the new law would “deliver a clear message to IDF soldiers: just as they are protecting us, we protect them. This is a balanced law which on the one hand enables IDF soldiers to carry out their mission protecting the State of Israel and the Nation of Israel without fear of later retribution, and on the other hand determines a mechanism to remove such immunity when the rules had been violated.”

The law will not protect soldiers accused of looting, destruction of property, taking bribes, bullying, and sexual offenses against people who were involved or uninvolved in a military operation.

JNi.Media

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

Obama Administration’s Dishonest/Cynical Defense of Anti-Israel UN Vote

Sunday, December 25th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

At 2:20PM Friday afternoon, the anti-Israel team of Barack Obama & John Kerry directed UN Ambassador Samantha Power to abstain rather than veto an anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security Council. Since the abstention allowed the resolution to pass, the Obama action had the same effect as an anti-Israel UN Vote.

Not only did the Obama directed action in the anti-Israel UN vote give the Palestinians a free pass to continue to avoid negotiations, and it locks Israel into the 1948 Armistice line and declares Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem occupied Palestinian land. As Security Council resolutions create international law, this means that the Jewish State’s presence in East Jerusalem, commonly known as the “Jewish Quarter” is illegal. This absurd action ignores the fact Jews have been living in the “Jewish Quarter” since the time of King David, except for the period of 1948-1967 when Jordan kicked out the Jews and destroyed many of the Jewish holy sites in the “Jewish Quarter.”

The resolution that passed thanks to Obama’s anti-Israel UN Vote also asks UN member states not to use Israeli products that were created in the disputed territories.

New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal were co-sponsors of the draft resolution despite the fact that the original sponsor, Egypt requested the anti-Israel UN vote be delayed indefinitely.

Barack Obama who has proven to be the most anti-Israel president in American history allowed resolution to pass, rather than casting its veto. Then in a cynical move, UN Ambassador Samantha Power who once called for the militarily imposing a peace solution on Israel followed her abstention vote by railing against the United Nations for its anti-Israel bias. She also contended that opposition to the settlements was a bi-partisan position of American Presidents which is not really true.

After the vote, I participated in a conference call that included Ned Price the Spokesperson for the National Security Council, who was joined by Ben Rhodes (who made the claim that he fooled the press to sell-in the Iran deal, and Robert Malley who was made a career of trashing Israel and who’s dad was a close friend to Yasser Arafat.

Mr. Price said the contention in the press, made by an unnamed Israel source that Obama administration was “abandoning Israel” and that the United States was really behind the resolution was totally untrue. He added that no administration has been as supportive of Israel as the Obama administration (that statement was also not true).

Price reiterated Samantha Powers contention about the bi-partisan objection to any settlement building, including those in existing communities. He added that there was a significant up-tic in new housing units in existing and new communities.

The truth is objections to settlement activity has not always been bi-partisan as Mr. Price claims. In a 2009 Wall Street Journal commentary, written Elliot Abrams who served in the Bush #43 administration as deputy national security adviser for Global Democracy Strategy, Mr. Abrams said he negotiated a deal between the U.S. and Israel in which the Jewish State agreed not build any housing units outside the existing communities (no new settlement communities), and the U.S. would not object to the construction in existing communities.

Interestingly, it was only after the Obama administration refused to acknowledge agreement, that the up-tic in housing units began.

In August 2009 Prime Minister Netanyahu announced a ten-month “settlement” freeze. It was approved by the cabinet and implemented on November 25, 2009 and was to run till September 25, 2010. Despite pressure from the United States, the Palestinians refused to join any talks the first 9+ months of the freeze; they did not come to the negotiation table till September 2010, three weeks before the freeze ended.

As the end of the construction halt approached, the US began to negotiate with the Israel to extend the freeze. Based on their experience with Clinton denying the deal negotiated by Elliot Abrams during the Bush Administration, Israel demanded that any proposal be presented in writing, as any they considered any oral deal with Clinton and the Obama administration was worth the paper on which is was printed on.

That written version of the offer never came because Clinton, the Secretary of State wasn’t negotiating in good faith. Instead Ms. Clinton working in conjunction with President Obama was playing “Bait and Switch.”

An Al-Jazeera report on Oct. 11, 2010 revealed that Netanyahu was willing to extend the ten-month settlement freeze he unilaterally implemented, if the Palestinian Authority would recognize Israel as the Jewish State. Netanyahu made a similar offer in May 2011, when he spoke before congress (Israel as the Jewish State was part of the original UN Partition resolution (UN Resolution 181) Both times Palestinian President Abbas rejected the offer outright.

Despite what seemed to be an opening to Obama’s goal of stopping construction, there did not seem to be an administration follow-up to either of Netanyahu offers. But if settlements were such an important issue to President Obama, why was there no follow-up?  And why were settlements such a big issue for this Administration anyway? During the Bush 43 reign there was construction and negotiation at the same time. Only after Obama made it an issue did it become an issue for the Palestinians.

It seems as if the Obama Administration has been trying to delegitimize the Jewish State for as long as it’s been in power; ignoring previous US/Israel deals,  publicly berating Israel at every opportunity,  leaving Israel’s Premier to sit and stew with the Israeli delegation in a White House conference room for an hour because they wouldn’t capitulate to the President’s demands, and even blaming Israel and American Jews for pushing the U.S. into the Iraq war while he was trying to sell-in the disastrous Iran Deal. While this president has criticized Russia for (in his opinion) trying to skew the American election toward Donald Trump, he sent some of his political advisers to Israel and allowed the State Department to spend money, all in an attempt to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Israel’s most recent election.

With all that in mind, why is anybody surprised that Obama who has proven to be anti-Semitic as well as anti-Israel during his White House tenure, abstained in this UN vote?

Certainly, not Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), he strongly objected to Obama’s anti-Israel UN Vote:

“This is absolutely shameful. Today’s vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel. Our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel.”

In a very rare move, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who will be the senate minority leader in January, making him the most powerful Democrat in the federal government voiced his displeasure of the action by the president of his own party, abstaining in the anti-Israel UN Vote

“It is extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the Administration has failed to veto this resolution. Whatever one’s views are on settlements; the U.N. is the wrong forum to settle these issues. The U.N. has been a fervently anti-Israel body since the days of ‘Zionism is racism’ and, unfortunately, that fervor has never diminished. Knowing this, past Administrations – both Democrat and Republican have protected Israel from the vagaries of this biased institution. Unfortunately, this Administration has not followed in that path and its actions will move us further from peace in the Middle East.”

It is no surprise that this president abstained in this anti-Israel vote, allowing it to to be passed by the UN Security Council with less than a month left in his administration.  Like the Arctic Drilling ban announced earlier this week, Friday’s UN action is not easily un-done by the Trump administration. The only way to overturn a UN Security Council resolution is another UN Security Council resolution. Since Russia and China each have a veto, it is very unlikely that will happen.

Obama vetoed a similar Security Council resolution about a year ago. But there is a major difference between the two votes. This vote occurred after the Presidential election and almost two years before the mid-term elections.  Obama is cynically counting on the fact that the major Jewish donors to the Democratic Party, as well as the traditional Democratic voting bloc of Jewish voters will forget this action before the next election.

Sadly he is probably correct.

 

Jeff Dunetz

Defense Sec. Carter in Israel Welcoming F-35 Amidst Trump’s Cost Complaints, Experts’ Hype Accusations

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is in Israel Monday, waiting to usher in the first much touted stealth F-35 fighters expected to – as Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman put it – “present another component in maintaining air superiority in our region.”

With its estimated cost at close to $400 billion, the new next-gen plane is by far the US’ most expensive weapons system, and Israel is included in a very small group of countries to receive it. and expressed gratitude to Carter, who was welcomed with a military honor guard at a Tel Aviv army base.

One man who is decidedly unhappy with these costs is President-Elect Donald Trump, who told Fox News on Sunday, “Look at the F-35 program with the money, the hundreds of billions of dollars.” Trump continued, “It’s out of control. And the people that are making these deals for the government, they should never be allowed to go to work for these companies. You know, they make a deal like that and two or three years later, you see them working for these companies that made the deal.”

File that one with Trump’s complaints about the excessive costs of Air Force One, complaints that have already hit its maker, Boeing, in the stock markets.

Perhaps more disturbing that its costs – which, presumably, the next president will renegotiate – are the rumors that the F-35 is not meeting its high praise and great expectations. Michael Gilmore, DoD’s chief tester, has been arguing that Pentagon officials have been misleading the public with their assessment of the progress of the F-35, Bloomberg reported.

“If not changed, the existing responses would at best be considered misleading and at worst, prevarications,” Gilmore, director of operational test and evaluation, wrote Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Az).

Gilmore has been challenging several key statements from DoD regarding the F-35. For instance, he does not believe the F-35’s development phase will be completed in early 2018, which Defense is claiming. He says Defense is spreading false information when it says all weapons systems’ testing will start in mid-2018 and be completed in 2019. Gilmore thinks the testing won’t be finished before well into 2020.

Gilmore says it is “highly unlikely” the F-35s delivered in fiscal 2018 will have full combat capability, due to delays in testing the plane’s software and correcting “276 pending deficiencies.”

There’s an Israeli angle to these predictions of delayed delivery: during last month’s test flights, symbols on the Elbit helmet display used by pilots in aim air-to-ground attacks were “unusable and unsafe to complete the planned testing.”

These issues of cost and delays didn’t seem to bother Col. Asaf, the deputy commander of Israel’s Nevatim Air Force base in the Negev, who told ABC News, “We are going to be very strong for a long time, having these airplanes. And Israel has to be strong in this region for its existence. It’s a message for everybody that Israel will keep on holding the high-end technology in this area.”

“This specific airplane is going to be a very good one for the next decades,” Col. Asaf said added.

JNi.Media

Leading Candidate For Defense Secretary Draws Concern In Pro-Israel Community

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Donald Trump confirmed on Sunday that retired Marine General James Mattis is a leading candidate to be his secretary of defense, a day after the two met at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Word of Trump’s comments immediately raised concerns in Israel and among supporters of Israel in the U.S., with Zionist Organization of America president Morton Klein issuing a lengthy press release calling on Trump not to appoint Mattis and describing Mattis’s past statements as “hostile to Israel” and reveal[ing] a lack of appreciation for and understanding of the extraordinary value to American security resulting from a strong American-Israeli alliance and a secure Israel.”

Speaking at a gathering of the Aspen Institute in 2013, Mattis gave his emphatic backing for what he called then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s “valiant” efforts to reach a two-state solution, saying that the foundation of a Palestinian state was of paramount importance for not only Israel but the United States.

“So we’ve got to work on this with a sense of urgency,” Mattis said. “And I paid a military-security price every day as a commander of CENTCOM, because the Americans are seen as biased in support of Israel, and that moderates all the moderate Arabs who want to be with us, because they can’t come out publicly in support of people who don’t show respect for the Arab Palestinians.”

In addition, Mattis characterized Israeli control of Judea and Samaria as “unsustainable,” warning that Jewish “settlements” were liable to turn Israel into an “Apartheid” state.

“The current situation is unsustainable. It’s got to be directly addressed…. We have got to find a way to make the two-state solution that Democrat and Republican administrations have supported – we have go to get there. And the chances for it, as the king of Jordan has pointed out, are starting to ebb because the settlements and where they’re at are going to make it impossible to maintain the two-state option.

“For example, if I’m Jerusalem, and I put 500 Jewish settlers out here somewhere to the east and there’s 10,000 Arab settlers in here, if we draw the border to include them either it ceases to be a Jewish state or you say that the Arabs don’t get to vote – Apartheid. And that didn’t work too well the last time I saw that practiced in a country.”

While the Trump transition team has yet to issue a formal statement on the choice of defense secretary, Trump tweeted on Sunday regarding his meeting with Mattis Saturday afternoon, praising him as “very impressive,” “a true General’s General,” and “the real deal.”

(Jewish Press, INN)

Combined News Services

US Ambassador, Israeli Defense R&D Outfit, Celebrate 30 Years of Rotorcraft Cooperation

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

An official ceremony was held at Israel’s Ministry of Defense (IMOD) Thursday, on the occasion of 30 years of fruitful collaboration on rotorcraft technologies and human factors engineering. The ceremony was attended by US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, IMOD Head of DDR&D, Brig. Gen. (res) Dr. Daniel Gold, Director of US Army Aviation & Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (ARMDEC), Mr. James B. Lackey, IMOD Head of R&D Technology Base, Dr. Moshe Goldberg, officials and guests.

The rotorcrafts technologies effort is jointly headed by the ARMDEC and the IMOD Directorate of Defense Research & Development (DDR&D). Participating parties include the research and development teams at the IAF, the Technion, Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion, and Haifa Universities.

Ambassador Shapiro (R) and Dr. Danny Gold

Ambassador Shapiro (R) and Dr. Danny Gold

The United States and Israel have been collaborating on rotorcraft technologies since the 1980’s, with more than one hundred scientists and engineers from both sides developing breakthrough technologies in the areas of aeronautical mechanics, aerodynamics and human factors engineering (HFE) for helicopters.

The operation of helicopters is especially challenging due to the technical complexity and operational demands of low-level night flights. Accordingly, advanced HFE solutions are required to enable efficient and safe operation. The research efforts in this domain resulted in improved pilot displays and obstacle avoidance solutions. Additional efforts addressed the challenge of two aircraft jointly lifting heavy loads, beyond the capacity of a single helicopter. Some of the research products have been implemented in US rotorcraft, come of which are also operated by the IAF. Other will be integrated in future platforms or upgrades.

Ambassador Shapiro said in a statement: “This rotorcraft cooperation has long been considered among the best US-Israel research agreements. It is unique in that it brings together the technical leaders from our two countries to conduct joint research on problems of common interest to our countries.  At the same time the personal connections have enriched understanding of each other’s cultures and history and strengthened the ties between the two countries.”

Dr. Danny Gold said in a statement: “The defense ties and close collaboration of the US and Israel are deep and long-lasting. The Rotorcraft Project Agreement (RPA) collaboration is very special, as it embodies the deep research cooperation between the Parties. In my view, the RPA collaboration sets the gold standard for US-Israeli Defense R&D.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-ambassador-israeli-defense-rd-outfit-celebrate-30-years-of-rotorcraft-cooperation/2016/11/03/

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