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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Iron Dome’

Fact Checking John Kerry, the Man who Knows Everything but Understands Nothing

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

John Kerry’s Wednesday speech that, essentially, pinned the future of the entire Middle East on freezing the settlements enterprise, was rife with so many facts and assessments the Secretary of State regurgitated with an air of conviction and Brahmin self-assurance, many listeners might have been misled to accept them at face level. Thankfully, the complete collapse of the Obama foreign policy before international players who are smarter and better than them, should serve as a reminder to the American people that Kerry is one of those highly educated gentlemen who know everything but understand nothing. And so, like many other rightwing journalists this morning, we’ve embarked on the Herculean effort of removing Kerry’s horse manure from the region’s stables.

Right off the bat, Sec. Kerry declared that “the two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbors. It is the only way to ensure a future of freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people. And it is an important way of advancing United States’ interests in the region.”

The two-state idea actually isn’t the only possible solution for all the above noble goals. In fact, it was the two state solution which has failed time and again, since the first time it was introduced by the Peel Commission report of 1937, 80 years ago. There are many reasons why 2-state hasn’t worked and, in fact, resulted in rivers of blood each time it looked like someone was going to take it off the shelf again, but after nearly a century of failure, it is safe to say that it is the least likely solution to do anything but continue to bleed both Jews and Arabs between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

There’s something almost religious in Kerry’s repetition of the 2-state mantra, in the face of so much failure. It reminds one of the devout Communists of years past, who rejected the examples of Communism’s path of repression, violence and economic failure, arguing that in a place like the Soviet Union it wasn’t done right. If only its principles were applied the way Marx and Engels had intended them to be, you’d see…

There are, in fact, many competing ideas, with their strengths and weaknesses, which claim to achieve the goal of resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict in an equitable manner – ideas John Kerry rejected out of hand Wednesday night, like a true believer.

No American administration has done more for Israel’s security than Barack Obama’s. […] Our assistance for Iron Dome has saved countless Israeli lives.

Let’s discuss the Iron Dome for a minute. It is the best terror-containing system known to mankind. The only problem is, containing terrorism is morally corrupt, and a society that dedicates its resources to continuing to live next-door to a community run by terrorists is inherently insane.

True story: During the June 2012 Paris weapons show, the Rafael pavilion was busy with visitors eager to get a look at the new, exciting, Iron Dome system, the greatest achievement in rocket defense ever. But by the end of the show, Rafael hadn’t made a single sale. The Arrow sold well, other systems did great – Iron Dome wasn’t moving. So they contacted their serious clients and asked how come, and those clients told them no one except Israel has any use for these things. Because in any normal, sane country, if some gangsters across the border were to start targeting civilians with rockets – the national army would go and kill them.

The state of Israel did just that in 2002, with Operation Defensive Shield, following a suicide bombing in the Park Hotel in Netanya that killed 30 Jews on the Seder night. It took several weeks and enormous resources, and then years of follow-up. But today the terror infrastructure in the PA is not operational. And the result is a much better life for the civilian Arab population, a touch of prosperity, new construction – and a significant drop in the birth rate, for your information, Mr. Kerry.

To compare, when asked, also in 2012, what’s the end goal of Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, An IDF official said: to bring the rocket attacks down to a reasonable number. That’s where the US aid achieved with its assistance for Iron Dome: making sure Israel would not invade Gaza and destroy the terror infrastructure there, the way it had done in Judea and Samaria.

Today, there are a similar number of Jews and Palestinians living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. They have a choice. They can choose to live together in one state, or they can separate into two states. But here is a fundamental reality: if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both – and it won’t ever really be at peace. Moreover, the Palestinians will never fully realize their vast potential in a homeland of their own with a one-state solution.

We hear this a lot from the left: 1. Same number of Jews and Arabs; 2. Can’t have a Jewish and Democratic state with an equal number of Jews and Arabs.

The last time a reliable census was conducted among the Arabs of either Gaza or Judea and Samaria was back in the early 1990s, by Israel. All the current figures provided by either the unelected Hamas or PA governments are not just suspect, they’re most likely fabrications. The only ironclad figures we have are about Israeli Arabs, including those in eastern Jerusalem: according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, as of 2015, they number 1.739 million. Of course, unlike their brethren in the Arab-ruled parts of the land, they enjoy Equality, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. You know it’s true, because every time one of these things goes wrong, you read about it plenty.

The same CBS census also counted 6.706 million Jews in 2015. Kerry’s claim that there are, essentially, two million Arabs in Gaza and the PA, is not verifiable, and most likely a lie. In reality, it is safe to assume tens of thousands of Arabs immigrate to better places from the PA and Gaza every years – and you would, too, in their place. The recorded fact is that Jewish births are today equal to and even surpassing Arab births, so that the “demographic ticking time bomb” that used to be one of the foundations of 2-state is no longer ticking.

But let’s accept for a moment that Sec. Kerry is right, and a Jewish one-state would comprise an equal number of Arabs and Jews. What makes it so certain that the country couldn’t remain Jewish and Democratic? (Incidentally, Kerry here appears to reflect the anxieties of some rightwing whites in the US, as presented by Presidential candidate Mitt Romney in his leaked 2012 campaign talk, that once the non-whites become more than 50% of the country, that would be it for white presidents.).

In democratic Israel (very much unlike the situation in Gaza and the PA), every Arab citizen enjoys 29 out of 30 his universal human and civil rights which are (source: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights): the right to equality; freedom from discrimination; life, liberty, personal security; freedom from slavery; freedom from torture and degrading treatment; recognition as a person before the law; equality before the law; remedy by competent tribunal; freedom from arbitrary arrest and exile; fair public hearing; be considered innocent until proven guilty; freedom from interference with privacy, family, home and correspondence; free movement in and out of the country; asylum in other countries from persecution; a nationality and the freedom to change it; marriage and family; to own property; freedom of belief and religion; freedom of opinion and information; peaceful assembly and association; participate in government and in free elections; social security; to have desirable work and to join trade unions; rest and leisure; adequate living standard; education; participate in the cultural life of community; a social order; community duties essential to free and full development; freedom from state or personal interference in the above rights.

What the same Israeli Arabs do not enjoy is the right to their own national homeland. They are Israelis, Israel is a Jewish state by definition, and so they are citizens of a Jewish state. Naturally, under the articles cited here, they have the right to the freedom to change their nationality, by moving away and swearing their allegiance to a different sovereign.

So that when Sec. Kerry declares: “Moreover, the Palestinians will never fully realize their vast potential in a homeland of their own with a one-state solution,” he actually means that, as we noted above, out of the 30 democratic rights listed here, the Arabs living in a Jewish state would only enjoy 29.

Guess what – there are dozens of democratic countries around the world where residents who do not belong to the state religion are deprived of some national rights. In some democracies, they can never become citizens – but they’re happy to stay anyway, because on all other counts they enjoy the prosperity and freedom of a democracy. The Jewish one-state will be one such example, and her Arab citizens would be delighted to live there. Ask them.

The greatest insult of the Kerry speech – and there were many – came in the following paragraph:

Now, you may hear from advocates that the settlements are not an obstacle to peace because the settlers who don’t want to leave can just stay in Palestine, like the Arab Israelis who live in Israel. But that misses a critical point, my friends. The Arab Israelis are citizens of Israel, subject to Israel’s law. Does anyone here really believe that the settlers will agree to submit to Palestinian law in Palestine?

How does he know that? Was there a survey we haven’t heard about? Was there, at any time, anywhere, a statement from the PLO, or Hamas, inviting the Jewish communities in their areas to stay and enjoy those human and civil rights in the best tradition of democracies everywhere — and the Jews refused?

Did anyone in Ramallah propose to remove the PA state law punishing by death any Arab who sells land to Jews? No, it’s still on the books. It’s, in fact, at the root of many ambiguous Arab land claims against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Because the Arab seller’s life was in danger, many of those sales were not registered officially, so that all the Jewish buyers had to show for their millions of dollars were receipts signed by straw men.

Inherent in Kerry’s slur against the inclination of Jewish homesteaders to obey PA laws is the assumption that the PA would certainly be hostile to these Jews and take steps to harm them.

But many Israelis today are willing to accept Arabs from the PA and from Gaza who would agree to submit to Israeli law. Because almost two million Arab citizens of Israel have been doing just that over the past 70 years. Many of them serve in the IDF, Police and National Service; they enjoy fully autonomous municipal governments; they send their representatives to the Knesset in numbers that accurately reflect their demographic weight.

The time has come for a dialogue between Jews and Arabs towards identifying a one-state solution that works. Once 2-state loses its status as the “state religion,” many alternatives should be examined. Jews and Arabs have lived side by side for centuries in the area between the river and the sea – and the only times they fought one another were when it served the interests of some political entity. As Prime Minister Netanyahu put it recently, if Arabs and Jews really want peace, the fact that there are Jews living in majority-Arab areas should not be a deterrent – not any more than the fact that there are Arabs living in majority-Jewish areas.

Yankee, please, go home.

David Israel

Azerbaijan Signs Deal With Israel on Iron Dome

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

Azerbaijan’s Minister of Defense Industry Javer Jamalov told the Azeri Press Agency (APA) on Saturday his government has reached an agreement with Israel to purchase the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

The Iron Dome system, developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries, is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells, fired from a distance of four to 70 kilometers. The system is activated when the trajectory of the incoming projectile is headed toward a populated area.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, for a visit this past week with his wife Sara. The prime minister met with President Ilham Aliyev, who announced to reporters at the time that his government has spent some $4.8 billion in contracts with Israel over the past two decades on the purchase of defense equipment.

During Netanyahu’s visit to the country, agreements were signed in the fields of standardization, double taxation, agricultural cooperation and the establishment of a mixed commission on advancing bilateral cooperation on economic matters, science, technology, health, agriculture and trade.

Hana Levi Julian

Update: Rocket Hits Near Gaza Border Community

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

A rocket alert went off in a community near the Gaza border at 2:26 PM.

Local residents are reporting they heard a rocket hit in an open area, outside their community.

The Eshkol Regional Council reports that it appears that the rocket landed in an open area outside one of the communities. The IDF confirmed their report.

No one was injured in the strike.

Yesterday, a rocket hit inside the city of Sderot. It is believed to have been launched by one of the Salafi groups.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Gaza Rocket Hits Near Sderot School, No Injuries

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

A rocket fell in the town of Sderot near the Gaza Strip border on Wednesday morning, just before 10:30 AM.

The rocket fell near a school on Mishol Homa Umigdal. Some damage to property was reported.

Police and a sapper unit closed off the street.

MDA is treating a number of people for shock, but no one was injured.

Arab sources say the IDF is attacking the Hamas launch site in Beit Hanoun.

David Israel

Israel’s Iron Dome Sale to Azerbaijan May Balance Russian Ballistic Missile Sale to Armenia

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

An Armenian political analyst is questioning reports that Azerbaijan, an ally of Israel, is about to receive a delivery of Iron Dome batteries, having already negotiated a deal with the Jewish State for purchase of the anti-missile defense system.

Armenian political scientist and deputy director of the ‘Caucasus’ Institute, Sergey Minasyan, told the Armenian News Agency (Armenpress) on Tuesday (Oct. 4) that he held political and military doubts about the likelihood such a contract has been, or will be signed.

The comment came after an Azeri lawmaker announced in local media earlier in the day that Iron Dome batteries in Israel are ready for delivery to that Azerbaijan. The announcement came after the Russian-made Iskander short-range ballistic missiles made their debut in the Armenian Independence Day parade on September 21. The two populations have been warring for years over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The system has not yet been purchased, he maintained. Minasyan claimed that Azerbaijani media reports about the negotiations were exaggerated, due to a “psychological shock” resulting from the exhibition by Armenia of Iskander” mobile short-range ballistic missile system it recently purchased from Russia.

“It’s hard to imagine that Israel, possessing one of the world’s leading systems of that type, will provide it to a country that has started to strengthen its relations with Russia and Iran,” Minasyan told Armenpress.

Moreover, he said, “Azerbaijan will have to empty its pockets if it really wants to purchase it.” Minasyan went on to claim that Armenia’s recent purchase of the Iskander equals Azerbaijan’s acquisition of the Iron Dome in its cost-effectiveness ration.

However, “the costs Azerbaijan will have to invest in counter-balancing ‘Iskander’ will far exceed the costs of Armenia’s acquisition of ‘Iskander’ (from Russia),” he explained.

Minasyan claimed there is “no evidence” that the Iron Dome system is effective against the ‘Iskander’ missile ballistic missile, or against others, such as the ‘Tochka’ or against Scuds. “Iskander missiles have quasi-ballistic trajectory and other features against which, as American and Israeli experts note, there are no effective counter-measures,” he said. However, he was not specific about which “experts” made the statements.

Azerbaijan is the biggest supplier of oil to Israel, and one of its strongest allies in the region.

Hana Levi Julian

80 Syrian Soldiers Killed as Russian-US Ceasefire Wobbles, And Israel Deploys Iron Dome

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

It looks like the ceasefire between Russian and American forces is very shaky, if not ceasing, as Da’esh (ISIS) forces appear to threaten the city of Deir el-Zour.

At least 80 Syrian government forces were killed Saturday in an air strike on a base near the Deir al-Zour airport, but it’s not clear which bomb was responsible.

The Syrian government military loyal to President Bashar al-Assad said it was the U.S.-led coalition that bombed its army base in Deir el-Zour. The force contends that the attack caused casualties and damage to equipment, and allowed Da’sh (ISIS) terrorists to advance on the area.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that 80 Syrian soldiers were killed in the strike, citing a source at the airport. But the monitoring group told Reuters that Russian jets — who back the Assad regime — had also been bombing in the same area, at the same time.

The source at the airport confirmed the air strike had the effect of paving the way for Da’esh fighters to overrun Jebel Tharda, according to the UK-based monitoring group.

Russia meanwhile has claimed Syrian opposition forces violated last week’s ceasefire at least 55 times over the weekend, with various clashes, including strikes on military and civilian targets in Aleppo. Russia’s official Interfax news agency quoted Colonel Sergei Kopytsin on Saturday as saying mortar fire and improvised rockets launched by rebels hit Aleppo 26 times.

Syrian state news agency SANA claimed that opposition forces, “insurgents,” violated the ceasefire 12 times in the past 12 hours.

Syrian opposition activists, meanwhile, say that forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have killed at least five civilians from the opposition contingent. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a woman and child were killed in the central Homs province, in the town of Talbiseh. Two men were also killed outside Damascus and a child was killed in Aleppo.

Israeli military officials decided at the weekend to deploy the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system in the Israeli Golan Heights due to the near-daily “spillover” mortar fire that has been reaching over the Syrian-Israeli border. On Saturday alone, the Iron Dome system intercepted two such attacks, neutralizing both shells before they could land and explode on Israeli territory.

Hana Levi Julian

First Time Ever, Iron Dome Deployed, 2 Intercepts on Golan Heights

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system has been deployed by the Israel Defense Forces this weekend in the Israeli Golan Heights.

The move came right in time: the system was activated by late afternoon on the Sabbath, just a few minutes after 4 pm on Saturday, when a projectile was fired towards Israel from Syria.

The rocket or mortar shell – it’s not clear which – was intercepted by the Iron Dome in mid-air, according to the IDF. No physical injuries were reported.

A second attack was launched about an hour later, at approximately 5:30 pm, and again the Iron Dome launched an interceptor missile to neutralize the threat, successfully.

“No injuries have been reported,” the IDF said in a statement.

The rocket and mortar fire from across the border has been taking place all this past week, regardless of the retaliation by the Israel Air Force.

It’s not clear who is firing, nor is it clear whether the mortar or missile fire is intentional or simply spillover from the ongoing civil war that is clearly getting closer to the border.

IDF defense officials have said they believe the attacks are due to spillover from the internal battles that are being waged between government and opposition forces near Quneitra, the sole border crossing with Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iron-dome-deployed-and-busy-in-golan-heights/2016/09/17/

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