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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ehud Barak’

Phantom Nation – Ehud Barak Goes Ballistic [audio]

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

The death rattle of the Sabra generations can be heard in Barak’s speech that has become the talk of the town. The expiring socialist atheist Labor Zionism that led the country into dependence is finished.

Phantom Nation 20Jun- SHOW

Israel News Talk Radio

Again with the Binoculars

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Ever since former Defense Minister Amir Peretz was photographed looked through binoculars with the covers still on, it’s become the photo everyone looks for first whenever our political leaders visit an IDF lookout point.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took the obligatory binoculars photo today, and the covers were off.

A picture is worth a thousand words: former defense minister Amir Peretz looking through a capped binoculars. The video became a huge hit.

A picture is worth a thousand words: former defense minister Amir Peretz looking through a capped binoculars. The video became a huge hit.

Former Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe 'Boogie' Ya'alon seen during a visit in the Golan Heights, Northern Israel.

Former Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe ‘Boogie’ Ya’alon seen during a visit in the Golan Heights, Northern Israel.

Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak during his visit at the Israeli Northern Command.

Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak during his visit at the Israeli Northern Command.

Israeli President Shimon Peres looks trhough binoculars durign a visit at the Northern Israeli border.

Israeli President Shimon Peres looks through binoculars during a visit at the Northern Israeli border.

Israeli president Reuven Rivlin looking through binoculars during his visit in the Northern district border of Israel

Israeli president Reuven Rivlin look through binoculars during his visit in the Northern district border of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks through binoculars during his visit in the Northern district border of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks through binoculars during his visit in the Northern district border of Israel.

Photo of the Day

Netanyahu Confronts Ya’alon Over Call to IDF Officers to ‘Speak their Minds’

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Sunday night got on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wrong side when he urged IDF leaders to speak their mind in public and not fear reprisal. At this point it appears that some reprisal may be coming Ya’alon’s way from the Prime Minister, who summoned him to what the Israeli media described as a “rebuke meeting” Monday morning. Neither side in the meeting has issued a statement yet, which suggests that the meeting may not have ended in a compromise.

Ya’alon spoke at an event in Tel Aviv Sunday night and referred to the public storm around the speech by Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Gen. Yair Golan, which in turn had alluded to the episode of the IDF soldier who shot a neutralized terrorist on the ground in Hebron last Purim day. Golan, speaking at a Holocaust Remembrance Day event, compared episodes such as the Hebron shooting to the events in 1930s Germany which later resulted in the European Holocaust. At the time, Netanyahu was critical of Golan, and demanded that he apologize, since it sounded as if he was saying the IDF was a proto-Nazi army. Golan came close to saying just that, as many on the right suggested, while the IDF denied any such allegation.

An examination of the speech text reveals that the overall subject of Golan’s message was the concept of “purity of the weapon,” meaning that he was indeed criticizing phenomena inside the IDF when he made the Nazi Germany comparison.

Instead of an apology, the IDF Spokesperson’s office issued a denial, which Netanyahu probably did not love, but decided to let it go. With the narrowest possible majority in the Knesset, a puny 61 MKs, at least three of whom can be classified as Netanyahu’s enemies inside his own Likud party, the PM did not need another internal battle, certainly not with a national figure such as Ya’alon. But then, instead of the industrial peace Netanyahu needed so badly, on Sunday night his defense minister upped the ante with a new challenge to the boss, under the guise of protecting the freedom of expression of IDF officers.

“Tonight, too, I again demand of you and of your subordinates: continue to say what’s in your hearts. Do it even if your ideas are not part of the mainstream, and even if they challenge the ideas and positions adopted by the high command or the political echelon.”

Was the defense minister calling on his officer to rebel against the political class? Probably not, although he sounded dangerously close to saying just that. In his own mind, Ya’alon was probably hailing the old IDF tradition of encouraging questions from soldiers and officers, which may make the army a little harder to organize, but also encourages it to keep thinking outside the box, at least in some of its units. It should be noted that this tradition of rejecting iron clad “conceptions” dates back to the early, abysmal failure of the political and military leadership in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The accepted dogma was that the Egyptian and Syrian armies were too fearful of Israel after 1967 and the string of local victories by the IDF that followed, to dare launch another all out war against the Jewish State. A subsequent investigating committee discovered that the intelligence pointing to an imminent attack was all there — it was just discarded by the decision makers.

But, in the end, Ya’alon on Sunday night was not engaged in an educational effort to breed more independently thinking soldiers and officers. He was, in fact, declaring a culture war against rightwing Israel. He described the issue at hand as a struggle “against an extremist minority which is active on the ground and in social media. Some of it has infiltrated the social mainstream, too. Under cover and concealment it is trying to influence the character and values of the IDF. This is a hugely significant fight, perhaps the most vital and important in many years. Not only over the image of the IDF, but the image of Israeli society as well.”

Since the appointment of the new Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, the IDF has been engaged in a persistent effort to “de-Jewify” itself. Jewish education was removed from the military chief rabbinate and handed to HR, which in turn made it the purview of the Education corp, guaranteeing that it take on a secular bend. And there were several minor assaults on the traditional Jewish elements in the army, such as when soldiers were ordered to shave their beards. So that when Ya’alon reviles extremism he is not concerned with leftwing NGOs who turn in to the PA for imprisonment and a possible execution Arab land brokers. He is after the Jews.

 

YA’ALON AND THE WINTER AFFAIR

At this point we must pause to relate the story of Givati Brigade Commander Colonel Ofer Winter, who, on July 9, 2014, during the Gaza War, issued a daily “commander’s note” to his soldiers, in which he stated: “History has chosen us to serve at the forefront of the fighting against the terrorist enemy in Gaza, which is taunting, cursing and blaspheming against the God of the Armies of Israel. … I raise my eyes up to the heavens and say along with you, ‘Shema Israel, God is our Lord, God Is one.’ The God of Israel, please make successful the path we take as we prepare to fight for your nation Israel and against an enemy which blaspheme Your Name.”

Needless to say, the text, which refrenced Psalms 44 and Samuel I 17, as well as the She’ma Israel, was not received well by the Israeli largely secular media. It should be noted that Reform rabbi Uri Regev was among the first in Israel to attack the Colonel for mixing his private religious sentiments and the military. Many others continued to target Winter for the six months that followed.

It should be noted that Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon led the attacks on his subordinate. “I didn’t love it,” he told a forum of the heads of pre-military preparatory institutions. He said the Brigade Commander should have stuck with language that is common to all his recruits, presumably not language that cites from Jewish sources. He also questioned how a Druz soldier might have responded to the Jewish text, as if non-Jews should be naturally offended by the concept of a Jewish State and a Jewish army.

 

NETANYAHU VS. HIS GENERALS

Netanyahu has had a rough relationship with the military leadership for most of his terms as prime minister. It began in his first term in the late 1990s, with overt confrontations with then Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak and head of Shabak Ami Ayalon, as well as Netanyahu’s defense minister at the time, Yitzhak Mordechai. Netanyahu dismissed Mordechai before he had a chance to resign, in 1999, and Mordechai left Likud along with several other members to establish a new Center party, which failed miserably and ended up joining Ehud Barak’s new Labor-led government.

If their meeting on Monday did not reach a working compromise, both leaders must be thinking back to the Yitzhak Mordechai episode and wondering how soon before Ya’alon would jump ship to Labor.

Ya’alon’s colleagues in the Likud went after him with a vengeance Monday morning. Culture Minister Miri Regev, who served as the IDF Spokesperson at one time, told Channel 2 News that “It is inconceivable that a serving officer would grab the reigns from the political echelon and conduct himself as if this is an army that also has a state.” She continued: “The defense minister is confused. Military officers should speak what’s in their hearts in the appropriate forum and regarding the issues under their care.”

Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio, “I do not understand what’s driving the defense minister in these statements. His job is to instill discipline in the IDF. There must be a red line between army and state and between army and politics. I think his words were a miserable mistake. Ben Gurion would never have allowed for such a thing to happen.”

And Likud MK Oren Hazan, who often opposes Netanyahu, stood squarely behind the PM in a tweet that went: “Someone should remind Bogy (Ya’alon’s nickname) that we are a democracy and not under martial law. The IDF is not a junta, his job is to carry out the decisions of the political echelon and not oppose it and set a different policy.”

JNi.Media

Labor Boss Herzog Interrogated with a Warning for 2nd Time

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

MK Yitzhak Herzog, chairman of the Zionist Camp (Labor) party and leader of the Knesset opposition, on Sunday was interrogated with a warning by the police anti-corruption unit Lahav 433 on suspicion of receiving illegal donations, failing to report donations and providing a false affidavit. The interrogation focuses on Herzog’s activity during the primaries for Labor Party Chairmanship in 2013, when he competed against incumbent chairman MK Shelly Yachimovich. The special police unit received the approval of Attorney Genral Avichai Mandelblit to pursue the interrogation.

Police want to know whether Herzog set up a parallel campaign center whose assignment was to find out and publish dirt on Yachimovich. Police suspect that Herzog funded that “dark headquarters” through copanies and business people whose interests he had served as minister of social services.

In May 1999 police investigated former prime minister Ehud Barak over alleged violations of the Party Funding Law, which later involved the interrogation with a warning of Herzog, who then served as cabinet secretary. In his interrogation Herzog maintained his right to keep silent. The prosecution eventually decided to close the case against Herzog, despite police objections. At the time Herzog was criticized severely for his conduct both during the campaign and in his interrogation by AG Elyakim Rubinstein (now Supreme Court Justice) and state prosecutor Edna Arbel (former Supreme Court Justice). But despite their rebuke, they let him get away with it.

Herzog’s office issued the statement: “Head of the opposition and chairman of the Zionist Camp MK Yitzhak Herzog arrived this morning to offer his version of events in response to a request from law enforcement officials. From the moment his investigation had been leaked, Herzog stressed and requested to be allowed to offer his version of events in order to leave the matter behind him, which he has done. Herzog has full confidence in the law enforcement officials and he is grateful for their dignified and decent conduct.”

MK Yachimovich said on Sunday that she is “convinced Herzog has the best interests of the party and the opposition on his mind.” She promised to “act in cooperation with him and with my colleagues in the party to decide what steps to take next. There is no doubt that an interrogation with a warning of the chairman of the party and the opposition makes the situation worse. I trust completely the police and law enforcement authorities.”

Last week Herzog referred to the possibility that he would be invited for an interrogation with a warning and said that the job of a leader is to “deal with crises, deal with criticism and also deal with libel.” Speaking at a ceremony of raising a glass in honor of the approaching Passover organized by MK Amir Peretz, Herzog added that “there are few leaders who have endured personal and political upheavals, absorbed nasty criticism, dealt bravely with a complex reality and still managed to carve out one of the most impressive success stories in military history ever — I believe Amir is familiar with all of the above up close.”

As defense minister, Amir Peretz endured a punishing war against Hezbollah in Lebanon and was ridiculed worldwide for looking through a pair of covered binoculars pretending to be seeing something. Eventually, though, he made his reputation as the man who dreamed up the concept of Iron Dome, the computerized defense system that allows Hamas to continue amassing and shooting rockets at Israeli civilian centers without Israel’s having to retaliate for it because few civilians are ever hurt.

Herzog told his party pals on that occasion: “You’ve followed me since I entered politics, you know my clean hands and honesty are the values in whose light I’ve walked and in which I believe. Since the announcement of the authorities’ looking into the party primaries became public knowledge, I’ve been telling all of you, publicly and personally, that this is part of the role of a leader: to also deal with libels that always rise up on the eve of elections. The job of the leader is to deal, lead and win. You elected me to lead this party and this camp towards governing and I intend to continue marching on this path, even if it is difficult and full of obstacles.”

David Israel

MK Avigdor Liberman: ‘It’s Israel’s Turn to Help Support Diaspora Jewry’

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

In a small sparsely-furnished office, containing a cherry wood desk, a matching credenza, an Israeli flag, some small personal photos and a large framed print of the father of Zionism, Vladimir Jabotinsky, is seated a man larger than life, the head of Yisrael Beiteinu and former Foreign Minister of Israel: Avigdor Liberman.

When the JewishPress.com met with Liberman late one morning this past week, he was told that most non-Israeli Jews really don’t have a good sense of who he is. So he was asked to explain himself.

ALIYAH, JEWISH CONTINUITY, ABSORPTION

Liberman began this way:

“First of all, my highest priorities are Aliyah, Jewish Continuity and Absorption. My positions are clear right wing without compromise, but very pragmatic.”

One of his pet projects combines all three priorities: he envisions schools of Jewish education everywhere in the Diaspora, along the lines of American schools abroad. Those schools would focus on both Judaism and Zionism.

Liberman explained the need for this educational initiative: “At the Saban meeting, people like [American Jewish journallist] Jeffrey Goldberg talked about the problem of the younger Jewish generation not being so supportive of Israel.”

“He said that the decline in support was due to Israeli government policies. But that’s not the problem,” Liberman said.

The problem is that the “younger generations of Jews don’t really know much about and so don’t care much about Israel.”

This dovetails with Liberman’s preoccupation with Jewish assimilation. He cites statistics and surveys which predict the near total extinction of Jews in only a few more generations.

“Fewer than 10 percent of American Jews have a Jewish, Zionist education. In places like France, Russia, even Canada, there is a 70 percent assimilation rate,” Liberman explains, with horror.

Naturally, the first question is who would fund such a project? Knowing that even many American Jewish Federations have turned away from significant contributions to Jewish day schools, the prospect seems bleak.

But Liberman isn’t looking to the Diaspora as the primary funding source. He explains: “during the 1940’s and ’50’s, Israel was a small, poor country and needed tremendous financial and political support – which it received – from the Jewish Diaspora.

“Now, with Israel’s vibrant economy, it’s our turn to give back and our turn to help support the Jewish people. We are a strong country with a huge budget,” explains Liberman.

Liberman believes that Israel must contribute something on the order of $365 million – which should be met with matching funds – to this vitally important enterprise.

The suavely-dressed, slimmed-down, blue-eyed politician sees this contribution by Israel not just as providing moral support to the waning Diaspora Jewry, but as a crucial investment, “it is for our future as well.”

The idea was first pitched by Liberman nearly a year ago in a speech in the United States. The concept was immediately overshadowed by the subsequent Israeli elections and, increasingly, by the nation’s focus on the then-looming and seemingly catastrophic Nuclear Iran Deal which the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the U.S., the U.K., France, China and Russia), plus Germany (the P5+1) was negotiating, and then concluded, with Iran.

Liberman believes his concept is critical if there is to remain a global Jewry outside of Israel. Not surprisingly, one of the reasons Diaspora Jewry with a strong Jewish and Zionist identity matters so much is as a steady source for Aliyah.

But the current governing coalition “does not care about the Diaspora,” Liberman said.

This discussion led naturally to the question of why Yisrael Beiteinu walked away from being in the ruling coalition. It’s of course harder to promote enormous new projects from the outside.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Family of American Killed in Flotilla Raid Suing Ehud Barak, But Accounts Suggest Not Guilty

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

(JNi.media) The parents of a young American who lived in Turkey and was killed on board the Marmara in the flotilla to Gaza in 2010, filed a civil suit in a Los Angeles court against Ehud Barak, who served as Israel’s Defense Minister at the time. The plaintiffs allege that their son, Furkan Doğan, was shot five times, once in the head at close range.

Furkan Doğan was born to ethnic Turkish parents in Troy, New York on October 20, 1991, precisely 24 years to the day prior to the lawsuit. He moved to Turkey at the age of two. His father, Ahmet Doğan, graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an MBA in accounting, and works as assistant professor of accounting at Erciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey.

Doğan was not too interested in politics, according to the NY Times’ Roger Cohen. It’s not clear, then, why he decided to participate in the Gaza Flotilla. His father said “Furkan was a US citizen only and he never thought that he would be killed since he was an American citizen.” But his final diary entry written on the ship, reveals a zeal for martyrdom: “It is the last hours to martyrdom, insha’Allah [God willing]. I am wondering if there is a more beautiful thing. The more beautiful thing is only my mother, but I’m not sure. The comparison is very difficult. Martyrdom or my mother? Now, the hall has been evacuated. So far people were not serious, but they have become serious recently.”

According to Reuters, the civil case is being brought by some of the same human rights lawyers who have been attempting, to push on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague to launch a criminal investigation of the Marmara case.

According to IDF accounts consolidated by Wikipedia, the MV Mavi Marmara was part of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH). It claimed to be carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials, in an attempt to ram through the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel, which questioned the humanitarian motives of flotilla organizers, said they were welcome to unload their cargo in Ashdod, in southern Israel, to be trucked to Gaza following an inspection—but they refused.

On May 30, at 11 PM, the Israeli Navy’s three warships, UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, and 71 commandos made contact with the flotilla, some 120 miles northwest of Gaza, 80 miles off the coast of southern Lebanon, in international waters, and ordered the ships to follow them to port in Israel or be boarded.

After a failed attempt to board the Marmara from speedboats, the Navy sent in the Black Hawk with a 15-man assault team on board. A rope was dropped from the helicopter to the ship’, but three passengers tied it to the deck. A second rope was dropped and the soldiers started sliding down to the deck. Each soldier was met by a group of violent passengers who assaulted him with makeshift weapons. The commandos responded with their less-lethal weapons and tried to physically fight off the passengers.

Three Israelis were captured. The first, the commanding officer of the assault team, was roping down from the helicopter when he was attacked by ten men before his feet hit the deck. He was beaten across his body and head, then picked up and thrown to the lower deck, where he was attacked by a dozen passengers. They beat and choked him, removed his bulletproof vest and sidearm and smashed his helmet, and shoved him into a passenger hall below deck.

JNi.Media

Assad Flies to Moscow to Thank Putin

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Dateline, Moscow, Syria – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew from Damascus to Russia Tuesday night to thank president Vladimir Putin for saving his life and keeping in power, for the time being.

Assad has not left Syria since the Arab Spring swept through the country in 2011. He rode out the storm for a couple of months, backed by the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who called him a “reformer,” before his heavy hand of suppression boomeranged into civil war.

So far, the alternative to Assad is a worse barbarian.

President Barack Obama says there will be no peace in Syria so long as Assad is in power. Fortunately, what he says means less and less in the world, especially in the Middle East and particularly in Syria, where Putin has outfoxed and out-smarted President Obama to fill the vacuum of power.

Putin’s massive military support for Assad, ostensibly to attack the Islamic State (ISIS) but in reality to protect the Assad regime from revel groups, Al Qaeda and a host of other enemies, has erased the overdone predictions that Assad is about to disappear, one way or the other.

Everyone has been saying that for four years, including Israel’s then Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who public stated that he would be toppled within six months. That was three years ago.

News of Assad’s visit was kept secret until Wednesday morning, when the Kremlin released a transcript of the Putin-Assad meeting. The Syrian president may have returned to Syria already.

Moscow is just about the only place on earth he could have visited without fearing that he might never return to Syria, unless in a coffin, if he were lucky.

The world’s “most dangerous man,” as Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Joel Brinkley once described Assad, was given a royal welcome by Putin, for whom Assad is a pawn.

Assad said during the visit:

First of all I wanted to express my huge gratitude to the whole leadership of the Russian Federation for the help they are giving Syria.

If it was not for your actions and your decisions the terrorism which is spreading in the region would have swallowed up a much greater area and spread over an even greater territory.

Putin stated:

We are ready to make our contribution not only in the course of military actions in the fight against terrorism, but during the political process

The United States is the big loser in the Middle East chess game. It lost credibility long ago with the make-believe “peace process” that has left Kerry somewhere on another planet.

It remains to be seen whether Russia one day will be sorry for trying to be in charge of the Syrian-Iranian axis if the eternal Muslim hatred of outsiders trying to tell them what to do explodes in Moscow’s face.

For the time being, strange as it seems, Israel is a winner, despite the constant threat of Iran’s nuclear development that Russia has helped fund.

Assad is a butcher, dictator, a despot and corrupt, just like almost every other Middle East ruler. However, it was clear from the fall of Hosni Mubarak that the alternative of anarchy is even worse.

If Assad can remain in power, especially if Putin calls the shots, Israel can feel more secure that the Syrian his hatred of Israel and his threats to capture the Golan Heights will remain rhetoric.

Another bonus is that with Russia in charge, the United States will make less trouble.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/assad-flies-to-moscow-to-thank-putin/2015/10/21/

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