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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘liberman’

Bennett Rebukes Netanyahu on Misrepresenting Terror Tunnel Record

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Education Minister and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett on Tuesday morning tweeted a response to the statement by Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu Monday night, that the security cabinet discussed the Gaza terror tunnels before the 2014 Protective Edge Operation. Bennett said Netanyahu should accept responsibility for the ramifications of his decisions, not try to conceal them.

“Any company commander in the army learns his lessons at the end of an exercise, to avoid making future mistakes, and what’s true for an infantry company is doubly true for the political and security leadership of the State of Israel,” Bennett tweeted. “In preparation for the next war, we must learn from the mistakes of the past and not deny them. Drawing real lessons is a sign of strength and self-confidence. He who does not learn from the mistakes of the past is doomed to repeat them,” Bennett concluded.

Netanyahu has been saying in closed sessions that the IDF had been seeking operational solutions to the terror tunnels since 2013, and the security apparatus had dealt with it numerous times. The PM was responding to the harsh attacks on his administration’s conduct of the 2014 Gaza War.

On Sunday, 32 bereaved families of fallen IDF soldiers in Gaza demanded in a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liberman that a state commission headed by a judge investigate the government’s decision-making process throughout the war.

Bennett stood out during the war weeks as the most stubborn advocate of sending the IDF in to demolish the Hamas terror tunnels, and was behind the popular notion that the Netanyahu security cabinet was unaware of the tunnel threat. But Walla, which in recent years has emerged as Netanyahu’s other favorite media outlet, reported on Tuesday that the cabinet held at least eight debates on the tunnels, and hosted 20 professional discussions with IDF and Intelligence officials to examine ways to locate and demolish the tunnels.

JNi.Media

Defense Minister Liberman Attacks Predecessor’s Public Conviction of Hebron Shooter

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Monday criticized his predecessor, MK Moshe Yaalon (Likud) on the latter’s public comments following the incident of IDF medic Sergeant Elor Azaria who shot dead a terrorist that had already been neutralized. “Deciding in advance [that Azaria had broken the law] was a serious mistake,” Liberman said.

Liberman was visiting the IDF reception and screening center, where, he said, “I enlisted in the IDF 37 years ago, in 1979, and now I’m coming back as defense minister.” A combat recruit who enlisted in the Golani and Givati brigades, asked Liberman about the rules of engagement, to which the defense minister answered: “We want to maintain the most battle ready and the best operational army, and also the most moral army. These are the values that guide us.” Liberman recommended that soldiers who are not sure about the rules of engagement ask their superiors.

Answering a question from another recruit regarding the political horizon of the Israeli-Arab conflict, Liberman said that “whoever believes that a political maneuver would improve our situation vis-à-vis terrorism is wrong. Terrorism is not rational, ISIS and the crazies devote their lives to dying as shahids. You can’t appease them through a political maneuver.”

Liberman added that Hamas is no different from ISIS and Al Qaeda. He told the recruits, “Look at what’s going on in the Muslim world. More than 90% of the victims are within the Muslim world. We live in a very tough neighborhood, a neighborhood of deep changes. Moses committed a strategic blunder when he brought us here and not to the Swiss-Italian border. We’re in a very problematic neighborhood.”

Regarding his summoning last week of the Army Radio commander for a hearing over the broadcast of a program about anti-Israeli poet Mahmoud Darwish, Liberman said, “I suggest everyone go back and read the goals of the military station as they were set by Ben Gurion at its establishment. [For this same station to devote time] to someone whose entire work is a call to the Jewish people to go away, and in one of his poems he describes eating the liver of the ‘occupier’ — someone got confused here. It’s my duty as defense minister to clarify; but we don’t get involved in content but in the army’s spirit.”

David Israel

2014 Gaza War Parents Demand Investigation of Operation’s Conduct, High Losses

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Two years after Operation Protective Edge, in which 66 IDF soldiers and five civilians were killed, the bereaved families of the fallen are demanding an independent committee to examine the preparations for the war, the way it was conducted, and the lessons to be learned.

The 32 families on Sunday demanded in a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liberman that a state commission headed by a judge investigate the government’s decision-making process throughout the war.

In their letter, the families mentioned the fact that the Knesset Foreign and Security Committee had been asked to examine the events of the 2014 war and has yet to issue a report. One report that had been produced by the committee was shelved because of the 2015 elections. Referring to the same committee’s publicized intent to renew its investigation, the families argued it made no sense to “reconvene a committee that has already investigated the events and opted not to publish its conclusions.”

“Even if the decision to shelve the conclusions was made by a different person than the current committee head, it would be inappropriate to renew the discussion after such a long period of time, and it could appear as a lack of transparency or exterior pressures which do not belong in an investigation of this scope,” the families wrote.

On the evening of June 12, 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and later murdered in Judea and Samaria by Hamas operatives. Their bodies were discovered on June 30. Israel retaliated with air strikes on Gaza in which 3 Arabs were killed and a dozen injured. Hamas retaliated with rockets that were fired at Israeli civilian centers wounding three people. On July 7, 80 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, and the Netanyahu security cabinet decided to launch a counter-terrorist operation. The IDF bombarded targets in the Gaza Strip with artillery and airstrikes, and Hamas continued to fire rockets and mortar shells into Israel. A cease-fire proposal was announced by the Egyptian government and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on July 14, and the Israeli government accepted it and stopped the attacks on the morning of July 15. But Hamas rejected the ceasefire and the war was renewed. By July 16 the death toll in Gaza had reached 200.

On July 16, Hamas and Islamic Jihad offered a 10-year truce with ten conditions, including lifting of the Gaza blockade and the release of prisoners who were re-arrested after being released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. Israel refused those terms. On July 17, a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire, proposed by the UN, took place. But a few hours before the ceasefire was to start, 13 armed Hamas terrorists emerging from a tunnel on the Israeli side of the Gaza border. The IDF destroyed the tunnel’s exit, ending the incursion.

After the ceasefire, the IDF launched a ground offensive on the Gaza Strip, aimed at destroying the terror tunnels crossing under the Israeli border. On July 20, the IDF entered Shuja’iyya in Gaza City and encountered heavy resistance. Thirteen IDF soldiers were killed, including two Americans serving in Israel. Seven of the IDF soldiers were killed as their armored vehicle was hit by an anti-tank rocket or an improvised explosive device, and three were killed in clashes with terrorists. Three IDF soldiers were trapped in a burning house. In the next 24 hours, three more IDF soldiers were killed in Shuja’iyya.

Shortly after the battle, twenty civilians from Shuja’iyya were shot for protesting against Hamas. Hamas said it had executed Israeli spies.

On August 3, the IDF pulled most of its ground forces out of the Gaza Strip after completing the destruction of 32 terror tunnels. On August 5 Israel announced that it had arrested Hossam Kawasmeh, suspected of having organized the killing of the three teenagers. According to court documents, Kawasmeh stated that Hamas members in Gaza financed the recruitment and arming of the killers.

JNi.Media

Liberman Reads Riot Act to Army Radio Chief Despite AG’s Objections

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

New Israeli defense minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) has spent his first month in office directing the military apparatus in substantially different directions, most notably his order for the generals to come up with a concrete plan to remove the Hamas government in Gaza — it turned out they hadn’t thought it would be useful to have one. And as the defense ministry and the army are starting to sound and act in a different manner than they did under Liberman’s predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon (Likud), the new defense boss is mending the more ideological aspects of the military system. He has added his support to the chief of staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot’s call to shut down the left-leaning Army Radio station, and on Thursday he became directly involved in the same station’s programming.

To be precise, earlier this week the Army Radio station devoted a program to the poetic works of Mahmoud Darwish (1941 – 2008), a member of the Israeli Communist party who is widely perceived as a “Palestinian symbol” and served as an artistic spokesman for Arab opposition to Israel. In 1988, one of his poems, “Those Who Pass Between Fleeting Words,” was cited in the Knesset by Yitzhak Shamir (Likud) for demanding that the Jews leave Israel:

“O those who pass between fleeting words / As bitter dust, go where you wish, but / Do not pass between us like flying insects / For we have work to do in our land,” Darwish called on Israel’s Jews, and concluded: “So leave our country / Our land, our sea / Our wheat, our salt, our wounds / Everything, and leave / The memories of memory / O those who pass between fleeting words!”

Following the broadcast on Army Radio, which included Darwish’s texts in its “Broadcast University” series on “Israeli founding texts,” Defense Minister Liberman summoned Army Radio commander Yaron Dekel to a disciplinary hearing Thursday at noon.

“On its face it appears to be a serious issue, whereby someone who wrote anti-Zionist texts that are still fueling acts of terrorism against the State of Israel merits to be included along with his texts by the military station in the foundation texts of Israeli society, together with Jerusalem of Gold and The Silver Tray (two popular and very beautiful song by Naomi Shemer and Natan Alterman respectively),” Liberman said. “Obviously this constitutes an [ideological] eclipse which cannot be ignored.”

On Wednesday night Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit phoned Liberman to inform him that he does not have the authority to intervene in the Army Station’s programming. Mandelblit based his warning on a 2015 opinion by Vice Counsel on Legislation Affairs Dina Zilber, that ruled against ministers intervening in the military station.

And now Liberman decided to ignore Zilber’s opinion, which is almost unheard of in Israeli governmental politics. In many ways this might prove to be Liberman’s bravest act so far, and he may live to pay for it as an irate judicial civil service could rise up against him.

Already the president of the Press Council, retired Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner, told Israel Radio that the intervention by the Minister of Defense in Army Radio broadcasting was dangerous, and said that it frightened her. “I cannot believe this is happening,” she told left-leaning hot Aryeh Golan Thursday morning. Yes, the red wagons are being circled.

David Israel

Liberman, Eizenkot, Agree on Shutting Down Left-Leaning, Elitist Army Radio

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Israel’s most popular radio station, especially among younger, draft-age listeners, Army Radio, has been under the threat of elimination for decades now, mostly from rightwing politicians who couldn’t understand why the IDF should finance a leftwing station that more often parrots the views of Ramallah than of Jerusalem. Now, with the new defense minister, Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) at the helm, and with the support of IDF chief of staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, the station is as good as gone, say Israeli media experts.

A review board headed by Defense Ministry Director Udi Adam is expected to submit its recommendations to Liberman in two weeks, and those are expected to be to take the successful station off the security budget, but not necessarily to shut it down.

Unlike the previous chief of staff, Benny Gantz, who had a soft spot for “Galatz” (the acronym Galay Tzahal, or IDF Waves), Eizenkot has no hidden sympathy for the station and, in fact, already recommended publicly to his previous boss, defense minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud), to dump Galatz. Ya’alon refused, and the station crew were hoping this threat would end like all the similar threats of the past decades, and then Liberman’s shadow darkened their door.

According to Ma’ariv, the only question now is whether the station will be closed or be transformed into a civilian outfit. MK Nachman Shai (Zionist Camp), who used to be the Galatz commander at one point, is convinced this time it’s for real: “It always used to be that either the defense minister wanted to change things or the chief or staff did, but this time it’s both of them together. Liberman has no love lost for Galatz.”

MK Shai does not fault Liberman for the decision, especially since it came originally from the commander of the army, and does not represent a Liberman vendetta against those leftist editors and hosts. Shai is also convinced the public couldn’t care less either way. Gone are the days when Galatz was the only light music outlet in Israel’s centrally controlled media. There’s a plethora of Israeli FM stations to choose from on the dial today, plus numerous online sources for Israeli music.

Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) couldn’t be happier with the decision to shut down Galatz, which she has identified as a bastion of Ashkenazi, leftwing, elitist culture. Regev was also among the politicians who have been calling on Ya’alon to shut down the station, “but he failed to do so, despite a clear recommendation from chief of staff Eizenkot,” she said, adding, “I count on Minister Liberman to lead the needed change.”

The last straw in Galatz’s elitist load was the Gidi Orsher affair — Orsher, the station’s movie critic, posted a particularly offensive Facebook status in which he described Jews from Muslim countries as superstitious savages — which got him suspended and made him the subject of weeks of torrential attacks from everywhere, especially from his friends on the left. In a sense, at this point all Liberman has to say in order to quash further debate regarding the Galatz future is: Gidi Orsher. Because, at last, this Ashkenazi-elistist-secularist-anti-settlement radio ship has sunk.

JNi.Media

Defense Minister Liberman Meets and Praises Donor Who Canceled Donation

Monday, July 11th, 2016

(Monday, 11th July 2016) – Defense Minister and Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor Liberman met today with Michael Gross, a Jewish philanthropist, who canceled a significant donation to Ben Gurion University because of its hosting of a conference supporting BDS organizations. Mr. Gross told the minister that: “Battling BDS should begin in Israel. It cannot be that Israeli universities which receive funding from the state provide a platform for those acting against Israel worldwide and supporting BDS.”

Defense Minister Liberman agreed that much of the support for the BDS movement comes from Jews and Israelis, and spoke about the activities the Yisrael Beytenu party has undertaken against those who delegitimize Israel, including through legislation.

Defense Minister Liberman declared that all Jewish philanthropists should act in the same manner and support Zionist causes and not anti-Zionist activities that encourage BDS and the delegitimization of Israel.

“Jewish philanthropists around the world should not donate to anti-Zionist causes,” Defense Minister Liberman said. “Rather they should be supporting Zionist causes which assist building and defending our country and strengthening the Jewish People.”

“We all have a collective responsibility to our nation and people and to not side with our enemies.”

The CEO of World Yisrael Beytenu Alex Selsky also attended the meeting. Mr. Selsky, whose organization works to strengthen Zionist activities in the Diaspora, outlined to Mr. Gross some of the projects in the field of strengthening the global pro-Israel movement and the fight against the de-legitimization of Israel around the world, especially in the United States.

Mr. Gross and Mr. Selsky agreed to cooperate to expand operations in North America and Europe.

As a real estate expert, Mr. Gross also spoke to the Defense Minister about promoting initiatives in the struggle to lower housing prices in Israel.

Also present at the meeting was Mr. Alon Tal, head of the TAO Family Office, which works in conjunction with World Yisarel Beytenu to strengthen the involvement of Jewish leaders in the struggle against the delegitimization of Israel around the world.

Jewish Press Staff

Liberman Appoints Two of his Party ‘Rebels’ to Key Military Industrial Complex Roles

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

In a move that seemingly contradicts the conventional media views of his self-interested party boss manner, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Monday appointed two talented men to head two of Israel’s top military industrial institutions, despite the fact that both men have walked out on his party a year ago.

Liberman appointed Yair Shamir as chairman of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and Yitzhak Aharonovich as chairman of Israel Military Industries (IMI). The appointments were made in coordination with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu). The announcement of the two appointments said that “these are the most appropriate people for these roles and they will advance the companies they will head.”

The son of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Yair Shamir served as MK for Yisrael Beiteinu between 2013 and 2015, and held the post of Minister of Agriculture. Shamir has already served as chairman of IAI, between 2005 and 2011, when Defense Minister Ehud Barak removed him from office. He was credited with the company’s stunning recovery, most importantly because in his first year as chairman he replaced 13 of the company’s 19 top managers. Under his leadership the company’s net profit grew from $2 million in 2005 to $130 million in 2006, with revenues growing from $2.341 billion to $3.148 billion by 2010. Shamir issued Israel Aerospace Industries tradable bonds worth $363,360. He also took IAI to the Russian market, established a leading position in the drone industry and launched four space satellites.

In January 2015 Shamir, whom Liberman had appointed party leader in 2012, announced he was leaving the party and would not run in the 2015 elections because of disagreements with Liberman over foreign policy.

Incidentally, in an interview with The Jewish Press in 2004, Shamir said that he did not believe in surrendering Israeli-controlled land to the Arabs, and criticized Benjamin Netanyahu for caving in to pressure too easily. Shamir stressed that Israel should do what it thinks is right without regard to what the world thinks.

Yitzhak Aharonovich in January 2015 announced that he was retiring from politics, and would not run in the 2015 elections, but did not spell out his reasons. His tenure as Minister of Public Security was marred with the escalation of terrorism in Jerusalem, including attacks on the light rail, a gas station, and the Temple Mount police post, several ramming attacks, the Har Nof synagogue massacre, the assassination attempt on Yehuda Glick, and countless riots on the Temple Mounts. Several high-ranking police officers were forced to retire over sex abuse violations. Aharonovich was criticized by many for his failure to instill law and order, most notably by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and by political rival Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi).

A former commander of the Border Police, Aharonovich’s only experience in corporate management was his one year (2004 to 2005) as director-general of the Dan Bus Company.

In 2009, Aharonovich was widely criticized and forced to apologize for telling an undercover police detective in Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station that he looked as dirty as an “Araboosh,” the Hebrew equivalent for the N word for Arabs.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/liberman-appoints-two-of-his-party-rebels-to-key-military-industrial-complex-roles/2016/07/05/

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