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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘defense’

11 Rightwing Questions to Incoming Defense Minister Lieberman

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

As the coalition deal between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman is about to be signed, and Lieberman will be assuming his new role as Defense Minister, replacing the ousted Moshe Ya’alon, many on the right have been wondering how exactly would things change from one minister to the next, and would Lieberman be able, or willing, to act on his many past declarations. The new appointee has already apologized for the names he called the prime minister: “liar, cheat and scoundrel,” and his government: “defeatist.”

“I confess that in the heat of political debates some unnecessary things were said which I shouldn’t have said,” Liberman told his party members in the Knesset last week. “Moreover — I apologize for what I said, there was no justification for it, even if we don’t reach an understanding in the coalition negotiations, these things were unnecessary.”

Lieberman has also been critical of the Netanyahu government’s defense policy, which he said was aimed at containing rather than eradicating terrorism. He promised that, if he ever became defense minister (be careful what you wish for), his first move would be to demand that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh return the bodies of Israeli soldiers the group has kept since 2014, or else, “in two days you’re dead.” Assuming Lieberman receives his appointment today, should Haniyeh prepare for his Thursday assassination?

Another test of the Lieberman approach to the defense ministry will be coming up in eight days, when the month of Ramadan begins. Traditionally, the Israeli security apparatus prepares for eruptions of Arab violence, and also tries to prevent it through gestures that ease the limits on Arab movement, on permits to visit the holy sites in Jerusalem, and even on entry permits to enjoy Israel’s beaches. Will Lieberman encourage the same positive approach under his rule?

We at the Jewish Press online came up with a list of issues we will be following up during the Lieberman administration at the Defense Ministry, and the reader is invited to add more items:

1. Will DM Lieberman suspend the demolition and moving of the Amona homes?

2. Will DM Lieberman change the rules of engagement, freeing security forces from the obligation to protect the civil rights of terrorists?

3. Will DM Lieberman openly adopt the Edmund Levy report recommendations, and work with Justice Minister Shaked to impose Israeli law on Area C, where Jewish communities have been living under martial law for almost 50 years?

4. Will DM Lieberman support AG Avichai Mandelblit’s plan to compel PA claimants on property sales to settle for equal market value property elsewhere — should they prove their claim in court, rather than order the demolition of already built homes which have been paid for?

5. How far is DM Lieberman willing to take his idea of imposing the Death Penalty on terrorists? He alluded this week to relying on the military courts in Judea and Samaria to use their judgment, but military courts receive their directives from the person at the helm — so, are we going to see murderers of innocent Israeli civilians being put to death?

6. Will DM Lieberman allow faster and less restrictive approval for construction in Settlements and in eastern Jerusalem?

7. Will DM Lieberman stop the Administrative Detentions and Distancing Orders of Jews, which his predecessor imposed with much glee, without charges, without indictment and certainly without proof?

8. How will DM Lieberman deal with the PA’s half billion dollar debt to the Israeli electric company?

9. How will DM Lieberman deal with the shipments of cement to Gaza that are being diverted by Hamas (and which have been renewed this week by COGAT?

10. Will DM Lieberman approve an offshore Gaza port, which Turkey has been asking for?

11. Will DM Lieberman implement a subsidy plan to help Gazans emigrate to safer countries?

We concede that most of these questions require more than a yes or no answer (although a few do). But on all of them it was clear what the pre-defense ministry Lieberman’s position has been. We intend to follow-up on his application of those principles.

David Israel

Analysis: An Afternoon of Hard Maneuvering May Yield New Defense Minister and 67-Member Rightwing Coalition

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Israeli media reported Wednesday evening that MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) has accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation to join his government and receive the portfolios of Defense and Immigrant Absorption — which is a nice package considering Liebrman is only adding six seats to the coalition.

But what a difference six seats make. With the budget vote coming up this Summer Session, Netanyahu will be able to breathe easy. Last session, three rogue members of his Likud faction chose to abstain from voting just to make a point, which helped derail some government legislation, awarding undeserved wins to the opposition. With 67 members, the fourth Netanyahu government can live out its entire four-year term.

Also, unlike the earlier potential coalition partner, Isaac Herzog’s left-leaning Zionist Camp, Lieberman is a natural fit in the current government. When he ended his 90 minute private meeting with the PM (which followed the PM’s meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, where the latter was given his walking papers), most of Likud’s senior ministers were quick to congratulate and welcome him back into the fold. Liebrman really is no stranger to Likudniks — from 1993 to 1996, with Netanyahu in place as party chairman, Lieberman served as the Likud party’s director-general. When Netanyahu was elected to his first term as prime minister, Lieberman served as director-general of the prime minister’s office, the equivalent of the White House chief of staff, from 1996 to 1997. With a few noted exceptions, Lieberman has been to the right of Netanyahu, and left his side to start Yisrael Beiteinu in 1999 over concessions Netanyahu granted the Palestinians in the 1997 Wye River Memorandum. But these days there’s very little daylight between Lieberman and the majority of the Likud Knesset faction.

In addition to Netanyahu’s need for coalition stability, the other issue behind Wednesday’s dramatic change was the growing gap between Defense Minister Ya’alon and the rest of the Likud party, which could have put Netanyahu’s future in danger had he continued to be associated with his DM. In several key episodes in the country’s fractious confrontations with Arab terrorists, Ya’alon appeared to be going out of his way to drag the Netanyahu government to the left.

Last Purim, an IDF medic in Hebron shot and killed a terrorist who had already been neutralized by six bullets to his body. The soldier’s commanders on the ground planned to give him a disciplinary hearing at the time, but an Arab B’Tselem agent shot and released a video of the event, and shortly thereafter military police picked up the medic on murder charges. Ya’alon supported the MP and the military prosecutors, despite an unprecedented wave of protest against the IDF brass that frightened Netanyahu. The PM met with the Medic’s father, the charges were reduced to manslaughter and the case may yet be dismissed, but the PM felt that his DM had stuck him in an untenable spot with the Likud diehard rightwing voters.

Then came the notorious Holocaust Memorial Day speech of the IDF deputy chief of staff, who compared, albeit not directly, episodes such as the Hebron shooting of the terrorist to the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany. Again, Netanyahu’s core voters were outraged. He ordered his DM to extract and apology from the general, but the IDF would not apologize, and denied the charges instead.

Finally, there were the terrorists’ bodies. On several occasions, Netanyahu opposed returning the bodies of killed terrorists to their families for burial without some cost, the least of which would be to let them wait a few days, or weeks, as a deterrence to others. In early May, against Netanyahu’s explicit request, Ya’alon ordered the return of the body of a terrorist who had been killed after attacking and wounding three IDF soldiers, one critically, with his car. Then the IDF said something preachy about having no interest in detaining the bodies, ostensibly as political chips.Netanyahu was livid. Anyone who was following those events and understood the growing resentment in Likud against Ya’alon, could see that his days at the helm were numbered.

It isn’t clear whether Netanyahu was very smart or just very lucky when he allowed himself to be talked by his finance minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) into inviting MK Isaac Herzog to join his coalition government. On its face the move looked crazy if not stupid: for one thing, it wasn’t at all certain that more than half of the Zionist Camp MKs would make the switch over, seeing as they view Netanyahu as the poison tree that must be uprooted, not the shade tree for their top members to sit on lucrative portfolios. So the most Bibi would have gotten were 15 or 16 new MKs, but at the cost of Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi 8 seats, which would have netted him only 7 or 8 additional seats — but would have alienated his rightwing voters. So why did he embark on this apparent fool’s errand? Like we said, either because he is frighteningly clever or frighteningly lucky.

Avigdor Liebrman’s mission from the first day of the 20th Knesset has been to topple Netanyahu’s government and come back after the next elections as the most viable rightwing leader. This is why he refused Netanyahu’s repeated courting in the spring of 2015, and continued to bide his time in the opposition, together with Arabs and leftists, the people he dislikes the most—waiting for his chance. He figured, when the time came, with a big enough issue, and with Bibi’s rogue MKs doing their bit, Lieberman could deliver the deadly blow to Netanyahu, with a resounding vote of no confidence.

But when it started to look as if the Zionist Camp was going to boost Bibi’s numbers beyond the point of toppling, Lieberman realized it was time to shelf his revenge plan and get inside the tent before he’d lose any hope of leaving an impression on his voters this term. And so, seemingly out of the blue, Lieberman gathered a press conference in the afternoon, even as Bibi was scolding Bogie (Lauren Bacall’s nickname for Humphrey Bogart which somehow stuck with Ya’alon during his long and decorated military service) — and the Russian refusnik of yesterday suddenly started to play a serenade to Bibi on his balalaika. For the right price—defense and absorption, and the right terms—the death penalty for terrorists, for instance, he and his Yisrael Beiteinu are definitely ready to jump in.

Netanyahu may have been clever or lucky, but Lieberman was, without a doubt, brilliant. He may appear from this day on as serving Netanyahu, but it will be the PM who’ll be forced to do his bidding on security, because it is Lieberman and not Netanyahu who speaks for the rightwing Likud voters. If Bibi flinches at one of Lieberman’s calls (which the latter will issue politely and calmly) — then Bibi’s voters could easily go for the alternative. Say what you will about Avigdor Lieberman, but he could teach a class on maneuvering to a school of sharks.

As a result of all of the above, and should the coalition talks between Bibi Netanyahu and Yvette Lieberman be successful, Israel will have its first truly rightwing government ever. The Haredim are concerned about the draft, but it’s doubtful the new DM will focus on that hornet’s nest at this stage of his new career. If he does, it would bring a quick and unhappy ending to the 20th Knesset.

The one remaining unknown at this point is Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who really wanted to bring the Zionist Camp into the government and is now stuck to the left of Netanyahu, and with polls that show his Kulanu party dropping from 10 to 7 seats come next elections, while his identical twin, Lapid, is projected to win 19 or 20 seats next time around. Kahlon could kill this latest coalition deal in a kamikaze departure followed by resounding vote of no confidence, at which point nothing could save Bibi’s fourth government.

Oh, what interesting times we’re having.

David Israel

Memorial Day Speech by Former IDF Chief of Staff and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

“We will use any means to ensure that the Israeli society is based on equality, ethics and justice,” he said. “We must not lose our morals or our purity of arms, even during the most difficult times. No small number of soldiers and commanders have endangered their own lives, and even injured or killed for the sake of these values. This shows the legitimacy of our path.”

This is the same Mofaz who is directly responsible for the death of IDF soldier Madhat Yusuf as he bled to death defending Joseph’s tomb from “Palestinian security personnel” (terrorists in uniform whom we acknowledged with the Oslo perfidy, and with weapons we gave them) in October 2000.

Rather than risk the “peace” with our “peace partners,” Mofaz, then chief of staff, was there on the scene observing with his field glasses, as delirious Arab mobs assailed and desecrated our holy site and shot at our soldiers cowering inside.

Incredibly, Mofaz chose to put his faith in his “Palestinian counterpart” as he was assured that the attacks will end and the he will send an ambulance to help the wounded. The ambulance never arrived.

Our soldier bled to death – but the “peace process” survived!!

This is the ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ mind set that directs people like Mofaz; and our current deputy chief of staff who sees a parallel between Israel today and Nazi Germany of the 1930’s…

Of course, these self appointed bearers of the moral torch, were there as advocates of handing our land to our enemies at every opportunity, even , or especially, if it meant the mass expulsion of our people from their homes and destroying their lives. Morality demands

This Memorial Day we remember the 23,447 soldiers and victims of terror who gave their lives for us in our land. This ghastly number does not include the tens of thousands crippled in body or mind– or both. It does not count the thousands of devastated families who will never be the same.

On this day, I rather not hear from our “military leaders” who have lost the moral compass and rub salt into our wounds.

Perhaps we can better understand now why Israel has not won a war since 1973. (We fought five since then; three in Gaza in 2005 that we gave to Hamas and two in Lebanon that we gave to Hizbullah in 2000)

The chief of staff during the 2006 Second Lebanon war was , Dan Halutz. While sending men into battle he did not forget to take the time to sell his entire portfolio as he knew that war and stocks don’t go well together..Smart man . Great leader. Lost war. Lots of dead soldiers. Saved his portfolio.

One year before, to the day, Halutz very proudly presided over the very successful, well planned military campaign in Gaza – the one in which he expelled ten thousand Jews from their homes and handed it to Hamas..

On this Memorial Day, as we remember our true heroes, those 23,447  who put down their lives despite the blustering and warped moral compass of some of our generals, let us take solace in the fact that the people are indeed waking up.

No doubt, these blowhard “leaders” realize that their light is fading.

Servants of values not shared by the majority of Jews in Israel, the baton of leadership is slowly but surely changing hands.

May we be blessed with leaders who know the value of Jewish lives and Jewish land.

 

Shalom Pollack

US Defense Official to Court: Pollard Still Security Risk

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

National Intelligence Director James Clapper claims that recently freed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who spent the past 29 years behind bars in a maximum security prison, where national security information was not readily available, presumably, nevertheless still holds information that could harm American national security, which is why he must endure the strict parole conditions imposed on him for the next five years. These include not permitting him to move to Israel, where he has been granted citizenship.

Clapper submitted a document to a New York court and the parole commission handling Pollard’s case saying that Pollard continues to hold “sensitive and confidential information classified as top secret” that could harm American national security, Israel’s Channel 10 News reported Friday.

US District Court in the Southern District of New York on Tuesday granted Pollard a hearing of his appeal against the parole conditions, which require him to wear a GPS device that violates Shabbat and holidays. Also, his computers are being monitored by the government, which Pollard says limits his employment opportunities.

Pollard’s lawyers Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman wrote the judge a letter saying, “Even assuming some information [inside Pollard’s head] is still ‘classified’ as a practical matter, it is extremely unlikely that Mr. Pollard remembers, or could possibly remember, the details of 30-year old information to an extent that it could be of any value to anyone.”

The lawyers added, “There is nothing before the commission to indicate that Mr. Pollard ever memorized the documents he delivered, or that he could possibly remember any usable details 30 years later.”

David Israel

Defense Ministry ‘Accidentally’ Returns Terrorist’s Body Despite Netanyahu’s Orders

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

The body of axe-wielding Arab terrorist Ibrahim Baradiyeh has somehow been returned to his family, despite a direct order from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prohibiting the return of any more terrorist bodies to their families.

Baradiyeh attacked an IDF soldier in Judea Thursday afternoon in the Arab village of El Aroub, located along Highway 60 between the Gush Etzion junction and Kiryat Arba.

The terrorist was hiding in the bushes and ambushed the soldier as he passed by, swinging the axe at his head. The soldier was protected by his helmet and sustained minor injuries. The terrorist was shot and killed by a second soldier.

Sources in the Palestinian Authority told the Hebrew-language Ynet site that the body was returned by Israel on Friday. A few hours later, the IDF Spokesperson said in a statement that “due to a misunderstanding” the terrorist’s body had been returned. “The return of terrorists’ bodies is carried out in accordance with the decisions of the political echelon,” he said.

Baradiyeh was a member of the Hamas terrorist organization who served time in an Israeli prison.

Netanyahu ordered Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon last month not to allow the return of any more terrorists’ bodies to their families or to the Palestinian Authority. The order was confirmed March 29 by sources in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) have strongly disagreed with this position of holding terrorists’ bodies, which is one that supported by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.

Hana Levi Julian

Ben-Gurion University Launches International CyberTech Summer Program

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will launch a cybertech program for international students this summer in data mining and business intelligence.

University President Prof. Rivka Carmi described the curriculum in her opening remarks Tuesday at the 2016 Cybertech Conference and Exhibition. BGU is the academic sponsor of the event for the third year in a row.

Over the last few years, data mining has become a factor in the competitive environment and is used in organizations from operational decisions to strategic planning.

The summer program in data mining and business intelligence is designed to meet the need for academic training in these fields, Carmi said. The Summer Program in Data Mining and Business Intelligence is to provide both theoretical and practical knowledge, including tools, on data mining.

The program offers two academic courses where students learn the basic tools of data mining and the utilization of machine learning techniques for cyber security. The program includes a mandatory one week internship at BGU’s Cyber Security Research Center. The internship corresponds with the course materials and contributes the practical experience component. In addition, students will take part in professional field trips to leading companies, in order to enhance their understanding of data mining and cyber security.

The program is intended for high achieving students in their final year of undergraduate studies or pursuing graduate studies in Information Systems Engineering, Software Engineering, Computer Science, or Industrial Engineering and Management. Applicants must have a GPA no lower than 82 and be proficient in English.

“The world is increasingly turning to Israel for cyber security, and within Israel, BGU is leading Beer-Sheva to become a major national and international center,” Carmi said.

BGU has gathered partners to create the CyberSpark hub in Beer-Sheva.

Deutsche Telekom, EMC, Lockheed Martin, IBM, PayPal and others will cooperate in launching centers of excellence at the Gav Yam Negev Advanced Technologies Park (ATP) adjacent to the University.

“The Park is a one-of-a-kind public-private partnership arousing international interest because of its rapid growth and achievements,” Carmi said.

Israel’s government is providing financial and logistical support via the Israel National Cyber Bureau. In addition, Israel’s CERT will move to Be’er Sheva in the coming months as well.

In a few years the IDF’s elite technology units will also have their own campus adjacent to the Advanced Technologies Park. Soldiers will earn degrees from BGU and conduct joint research with the University and industry partners.

Hana Levi Julian

Elbit Systems: $70M Deal in Israel, $50M Sale in Asia

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd. defense electronics firm announced Monday that it has been awarded a contract by the Directorate of Production and Procurement of the Israeli Ministry of Defense (“IMOD”), valued at approximately $70 million, for the supply of Electronic Warfare (EW) systems.

The systems, developed and manufactured by Elbit Systems EW and SIGINT – Elisra Ltd., is to be delivered over a five-year period, and will be installed on board all types of Israeli Air Force fighter jets.

Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, said: “We are proud to provide the Israeli Air Force, recognized as one of the world’s most advanced air forces, advanced EW systems, covering the full range of fighter jets, and we trust that this win will further enhance our position as one of the world’s leading EW manufacturers.

“The modern global air combat arena is extremely challenging, and pilots are facing many new threats. Our systems provide a solution to a wide variety of current and future threats, and we hope that other customers will follow the IMOD and the Israeli Air Force and select our EW systems.”

The company also announced that it has won a new three-year $50 million contract with an Asia-Pacific nation. The firm will supply a “comprehensive airborne solution for use in intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.”

Through its ISTAR division, Elbit said it will upgrade equipment already deployed in the field, including long-range electro-optical (EO) cameras and sensors. These are to be supplemented with Israel Aerospace Industries unit Elta Systems’ advanced SAR/GMTI Reconnaissance systems, the company said.

The upgraded system will be able to perform advanced functions such as mission planning, battlefield management, terrain analysis and simulation modeling both before and during intelligence-gathering operations.

“By combining multiple sensors, advanced C4I and intelligence analysis systems, all into one integrated solution, we enable customers to carry out more effective and flexible ISTAR operations,” said Machlis.

“There is a growing demand for this sort of solution, and we hope that this project, which marks a significant milestone for us, will lead to more orders from new and existing customers in the near future.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/elbit-systems-70m-deal-in-israel-50m-sale-in-asia/2015/12/28/

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