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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘military’

Jewish Practice In The U.S. Military (III)

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Eight years after the issue of Chaplain Geller and his beard was tried, the issue of accommodation to Orthodox practice would again spread its wings in the United States Air Force. This time the focus was Captain Rabbi Dr. Simcha Goldman who entered the military in September 1970.

From the time of his induction into the Navy, Goldman never encountered a problem wearing a yarmulke in the U.S. military. Initially, he had served as a chaplain (the JWB Navy chaplain screener at the time of Geller had subsequently retired) and for those years (1970-1972) the yarmulke that he constantly wore was never a concern to anyone. In 1973 Goldman’s aspirations took flight when he realized that the Air Force had more to offer him and his professional interest in clinical psychology than the Navy.

Goldman made the necessary adjustments between the military branches and was admitted to the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program earning his PhD in clinical psychology in 1977. Goldman’s method to repay Uncle Sam for the education was four years of active military duty. He was awarded the rank of captain and assigned to the March Air Force Base (subsequently closed) in Riverside, Calif., some 30 miles east of Los Angeles.

At this deployment too, he also wore his yarmulke without controversy, until matters would change in April, 1981. At that time Dr. Goldman was called as a defense witness in a court martial. As the hearing was a military tribunal, Dr. Goldman testified in uniform.

The prosecution’s case against an airman accused of grand theft of government property was contingent upon discrediting the testimony that the psychologist provided in his defense. Toward this goal, the prosecutor questioned as to which precise examinations were applied to determine the defendant’s sanity, as there are different methodologies that are considered standard.

“Was,” queried the prosecutor, “the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory: a standard psychometric test of adult personality and psychopathology) administered?”

As Dr. Goldman had not administered every exam, the thoroughness of his evaluation was called into question. Simcha Goldman did not take this as a personal affront, assuming that this was standard procedure employed by the prosecution to advance their case and weaken the defense.

One year later, Goldman was again called as a defense witness in a court-martial where the accusation was argued by the very same prosecutor. The man wanted to know which exams were used to determine the mental health of the accused. Repeating the tactics of one year earlier, the prosecutor demanded, “Did you perform an MMPI?”

This time the answer was affirmative, causing the prosecution to wax long and hard as to how inferior an evaluation the MMPI provides. The fact that the very same man could change 180° in just one year irritated Goldman, but he did not say anything, dismissing it once again as the methodology of litigators who are wont to employ the arguments that best serve their case, even if it is not consistent.

He didn’t say something initially, but he also did not totally dismiss it. Goldman put his psychological training to work and plotted how to one-up the prosecution. Dr. Goldman argued that the defendant possessed a weak personality and was influenced by bad friends with stronger personalities. And with this assertion Simcha Goldman had sowed the seeds of manipulation.

The prosecutor took the bait and, electrified like a cold motor from a jump-start, questioned, “Did you ask him if he had any good friends?”

“I didn’t believe that this was relevant.” Goldman deliberately answered vaguely, placing the red meat directly before the predator.

The military prosecutor fell for the trap head first and demanded to know why such a key factor would not be considered relevant when determining the innocence or guilt of the accused?

“Captain, I did not believe,” explained Goldman in the tone of a teacher repeating what should have been comprehended on the first take, “that this was a relevant question.”

Goldman’s response did not merit an immediate response. Silence began to flood the courtroom as everyone present understood with dread clarity that the prosecutor had been irked. The insult leveled caused annoyance to spew out of him like the spray from a hydrant wrenched open in the summertime.

Grabbing hold of himself, he finally uttered through clenched teeth, “Dr. Goldman just answer the question and let the court decide what is relevant.”

“Captain,” Goldman responded all smiles, “I don’t think the question is relevant to my clinical evaluation.” It was cheap, but it worked. This snappy rebuttal brought down the house. Ultimately, however, it was the prosecutor who would have the last laugh.

Ten days later, Goldman’s commanding officer informed him that a complaint had been lodged against him for wearing a yarmulke in violation of Air Force regulations. And just as a face can launch a thousand ships, one line can ignite a legal battle all the way up to the United States’s Court of Last Resort.

 

To be continued

 

Chodesh Tov – have a pleasant month!

Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Military Court of Appeals Critical of Administrative Restrictions of Jews without Hearings

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

The President of the Military Court of Appeals, Judge Col. Netanel Benisho, leveled sharp criticism at the IDF Central Command for issuing dozens of administrative restriction orders against Jews over the past year.

In July, Judge Col. Benisho ruled on an appeal filed by legal aid society Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado regarding an administrative restrictive order served by the GOC of the Central Command against a Jewish youth residing at Givat Baladim, a hilltop community adjacent to Kochav HaShahar in the Binyamin region. The youth was banned from entering Judea and Samaria, except for Kiryat Arba, which meant he was prevented from tending his flock which he keeps in the area of Kochav HaShahar. The duration of the order was extended after it had expired once, which was the reason for the appeal.

More than 50 administrative restriction orders were issued by the GOC of the Central and Home Front Commands over the past year against Jewish youths.

Judge Col. Benisho accepted Yado’s argument that the Central Command systematically withholds the right to a hearing before serving the administrative orders against Jewish subjects, and called on the authorities to make sure that the right to a hearing is observed.

The right to a hearing is granted by law and may be revoked only under unusual circumstances, when an individual poses an immediate danger. Attorney Yado argued that the unusual had become the rule and the Central Command admitted that not one of the Jews who had been served with an administrative order over the past few years had received the opportunity of a hearing before the order was served, including in cases of extending an existing order.

Judge Col. Benisho wrote in his decision that “the commanding officer must be conscientious in granting [detainees] the opportunity to plead their case, prior to serving them with restriction orders, unless there is significant cause to grant this right only after the order has been served. … Closely adhering to the above-mentioned guidelines is especially advisable when dealing with the extension of an order, as it is in this case. In such situations it is reasonable to assume that the suspicions raised by the representative of the commanding officer are weaker. Therefore it is expected that there must be even more diligence in correctly implementing the right to appeal.”

Judge Col. Benisho also called on lawmakers to require mandatory appearance in court in every case of an administrative restriction order, as is currently done in the case of an administrative detention order: a deliberation must be held within 24 hours at a district court.

The judge also recommended to the Knesset: “It would be proper for lawmakers to institute a mandatory judicial review similar to the one existing concerning administrative detention orders.”

Judge Col. Benisho also ruled that, after “lengthy consideration,” the order currently being appealed will not be canceled, due to confidential information provided by the Shabak. However, he also demanded that in order to extend the order again, the army and the ISA must present “intelligence information which fundamentally alters the evaluation of dangerousness,” or there must be “a fundamental change in the security situation of the district.”

Honenu Attorney Yado said in a statement: “This is the first step in limiting the discretion of a GOC in issuing [administrative restriction] orders. We have no doubt that many of the orders are disproportionate and will not stand the test of a [trial in civilian court]. Concerning the procedure, the court reminded the GOC that young residents of Judea and Samaria also have legal rights to a court deliberation, and compelled the GOC to hold hearings prior to serving [administrative restriction] orders, something which the GOC, contrary to the requirement of the law, had systematically neglected over the past year.”

JNi.Media

5 Dead in Russian Mi8 Helicopter Shot Down in Syria

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Two military officers and three crew members aboard a Russian Mi8 transport helicopter were killed after the Mi8 helicopter in which they were traveling was shot down Monday over Syria.

It is the deadliest incident for the Russian military since the force arrived in the Middle East over a year ago.

The troops were heading back from Aleppo to the Russian “Reconciliation Center” at Hemeimim Air Base on the Syrian coast when the aircraft was shot down over Idlib province.

It is not clear how the two pilots and three crew members died.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an update, “From what we know from information provided by the Defense Ministry, all those who were on the helicopter died.”

The Russian crew “died heroically because they tried to move the aircraft away to as to minimize losses on the ground,” Peskov said. “The Kremlin conveys its deep condolences to the families of those killed in action,” he added.

The aircraft had allegedly been delivering humanitarian aid to the besieged former commercial hub city of Aleppo, according to a statement by the Russian Defense Ministry. There are some 300,000 people still trapped in the opposition section of the city with rapidly depleting supplies and surrounded by intense fighting.

Idlib province is a stronghold of the Al Qaeda-linked Jaish al-Fateh (“Army of Conquest”) groups which have captured most of the province. The Kremlin said in its statement that the helicopter was shot down by ground fire.

The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra, which announced it is changing its name and de-linking from the mother group, is part of Jaish al-Fateh.

In the past several months there have been at least three other incidents in which Russian aircraft have been shot down or crashed due to other reasons. Each time, two pilots were killed.

Opposition forces may have received new anti-aircraft weapons, freelance journalist Alaa Ibrahim told RT.com.

“I’ve heard some local sources where the [Russian] helicopter was downed speaking of the possibility of MANPADs – shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles – being used in that context,” he said.

Portable surface-to-air missiles would be a game changer in the hands of rebel forces, as such weapons counter air superiority — not only that of the Syrian regime Air Force, but also that of anyone else.

Although Western nations have tried to tease out the differences between “moderate” and “extremist Islamist” groups among the opposition forces, such parsing is not only very hard to do, it also becomes irrelevant as soon as any group faces heavy conflict with Syrian regime forces. At that point, all of the opposition groups tend to band together and share weapons, regardless of their ideological differences. This includes the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists and Al Qaeda as well as the Free Syrian Army, who are facing the Iranian Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards and the Tehran-backed Hezbollah guerrilla forces, as well as the Syrian regime forces.

The weapons “sharing” gets worked out after the battle, sometimes peacefully and sometimes not.

At the end of the conflict when the war is at an end, most or all of the groups are likely to aim their arms at the State of Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Could A Military Coup Occur In Israel?

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Unlikely. True, the radical leftist Ha’aretz newspaper fantasizes about a coup. And until just a short while ago we had a defense minister who echoed Ha’aretz’s stand and called upon IDF officers to publicly express their disagreement with Israel’s government. But no, it does not seem that a military coup could occur in Israel – simply because, in many ways, the army already rules here.

Israel is an army that has a state much more than it is a state with an army. Think about it for a moment… What is the first institution taken over during a putsch? The radio, of course. But, unlike the army of every other free country, the IDF already has its own radio station. In fact, it’s the most popular radio station in the country!

Furthermore, despite the fact that there are almost no Arab armies threatening Israel and that the relevant threats facing her only require an air force, technology, and special units – in other words, much less manpower – despite all this, there is a mandatory draft for all Israeli citizens, and Israel’s army is the largest ever. Why? The answer is simple: An army that has a state does not like to leave citizens outside its sphere of influence.

In Israel, the Holocaust museum, Yad Vashem, is the Holy Temple, the defense minister the High Priest, the army officers are the priests in holy service and enlistment day is the bar mitzvah of Israeli-ness. A person who doesn’t serve in the army is not really “Israeli.”

The gatekeepers of the Israeli ethos enjoy immense power and unlimited faith from a public that does not have the professional tools or the conscious ability to criticize them. Take, for example, the last war in Gaza. For a month and a half, missiles slammed into Tel Aviv and all that the IDF managed to create was a tie between the Israeli elephant and the Gazan fly. But a poll showed that public faith in the IDF had skyrocketed. Even the Second Lebanon War fiasco is sold to the public today as a success.

When the prime minister asked Chief of Staff Ashkenazi and Mossad Chief Dagan to prepare Israel’s forces to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, the two refused to obey his orders (Dagan publicly admitted this). They were not fired and they were not executed by a firing squad. They both continued in their positions and it was the prime minister who backed down. The deputy chief of staff who compared those Israelis who do not agree with his values to Germans at the beginning of the development of Nazism was not relieved of his duties and was not put on trial. On the contrary, he was given great respect and recently accompanied the prime minister on his state trip to Africa.

So what is Israel? A state with an army? Or an army with a state?

There is nothing to worry about. There will be no military coup in Israel. In too many ways, the army already rules here. What Israel really needs is a civilian coup.

Moshe Feiglin

Turkish Government Fires Tens of Thousands After Coup Attempt

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Tens of thousands of government employees have been dismissed by the Turkish government in the wake of last week’s failed coup attempt.

Every department, every area of government has been affected by the event, from the judiciary to security to administration.

Some 9,000 judges, prosecutors, security personnel, religious leaders and others were arrested and taken into custody earlier in the week. The courts ordered 85 generals and admirals jailed as well. In addition, 9,000 police officers were fired Monday by the Interior Ministry, which then dismissed another 8,777 more employees on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Education fired 15,200 employees, and the Board of Higher Education “requested” the resignation of 1,577 university deans across the country.

At least 3,000 military personnel were arrested and held in custody over the weekend. Nearly 500 clerics, imams and religious instructors were dismissed by the Directorate of Religious Affairs. Nearly 400 staff members were fired by the Ministry of Family and Social Policy.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile has continued to advocate for the restoration of the death penalty. His government has formally submitted an extradition request to the United States for the deportation of elderly Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by the Turkish leader of fomenting and driving the attempted coup.

Gulen has denied any involvement in the plot and has said he will cooperate with the extradition if the U.S. decides to expel him.

Secretary of State John Kerry responded to the Turkish government with a request for concrete evidence connecting Gulen to the coup as a condition for cooperation by the U.S. with the extradition request.

Hana Levi Julian

Erdogan Blames Former Military Attaché to Israel and Muslim Peace Advocate for Coup Attempt

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

One of the senior military officials mentioned in the flurry of accusations in Turkey over who exactly was responsible for the failed coup attempt Friday night was former air force commander Akin Ozturk, who was the Turkish Military attaché to Israel between 1996 and 1998. Ozturk, who commanded the Turkish Air Force between 2013 and 2015, is suspected of being the leader of the coup attempt, according to a Hurriyet report.

Ozturk has been a member of the Turkish Supreme Military Council since August 2015, and government media reports have claimed that he may have decided to launch the uprising before an upcoming meeting where his possible links with Turkish opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen were to be raised.

Akın Öztürk / aksam.com.tr

Akın Öztürk / aksam.com.tr

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged President Obama on Saturday to extradite Gulen, a Turkish preacher, former imam, writer, and politician, founder of the Hizmet (service) movement, who is living in self-imposed exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

“They [Gulen supporters] were like a tumor within the military, and now this tumor is being removed,” Erdogan told a crowd in Istanbul less than 24 hours after the end of the coup. “I told you [the US] to deport or give this person back to Turkey. I told you that this person was in a preparation for a coup against Turkey, but I could not make you listen to me,” Erdogan said.

Erdogan Reiterated his demand, “I repeat my call on the US and president Obama, give this person back to Turkey.”

Gülen is actively involved in the societal debate concerning the future of the Turkish state, and Islam in the modern world. He has been described in the English-language media as an imam “who promotes a tolerant Islam which emphasizes altruism, hard work and education.” He teaches that the Muslim community has a duty of service (hizmet) to the “common good” of the community and the nation and to Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world; and that the Muslim community is obliged to conduct dialogue with not just the “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians), and people of other religions, but also with agnostics and atheists.

Some 2,839 military personnel involved in the coup attempt have been arrested, and 20 pro-coup soldiers, including some senior officers, were killed during the attempt to overthrow the government. An estimated 194 Turks were killed overnight in the coup attempt.

On Friday just before 11:00 PM local time military jets flew over Ankara, and both main bridges from Asian to European Istanbul were closed. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said military action was being “taken outside the chain of command,” calling it an “illegal attempt” to seize power by “part of the military.” Tanks were posted in Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport. Internet users within Turkey were blocked from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The Turkish Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar was taken hostage. The coup took place while President Erdogan was vacationing in south-western Turkey.

Between 11 PM and midnight, helicopters bombed the police special forces headquarters and police air force headquarters outside of Ankara, leaving 42 dead and 43 injured. Satellite telecommunication Türksat headquarters near Ankara was also attacked, and two security personnel were killed.

Just before midnight, soldiers occupied Taksim Square in central Istanbul. At about the same time Turkish soldiers entered the buildings of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), in Ankara. Soldiers forced anchor Tijen Karaş to read out a statement saying that “the democratic and secular rule of law has been eroded by the current government” and Turkey was now being governed by a “peace council” that would “ensure the safety of the population.” The statement also read that “Turkish Armed Forces have completely taken over the administration of the country to reinstate constitutional order, human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and general security that was damaged. […] All international agreements are still valid. We hope that all of our good relationships with all countries will continue.” This was “done to preserve democratic order, and that the rule of law must remain a priority.” The statement ended with a declaration of temporary martial law, promising a new constitution “as soon as possible.” Eventually TRT was taken off air.

Pro-coup soldiers surrender in Ankara / Anadolu Agency

Pro-coup soldiers surrender in Ankara / Anadolu Agency

Bombs struck near the Turkish Grand Assembly, injuring 12, two of whom were in critical condition. There were reports of shelling from the air of several locations in the capital Ankara, including the ruling AK Party headquarters, the presidential complex, and the General Staff.

MPs from all parties converged on the Assembly and inscribed on the wall of the main session hall a declaration that “Sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the Nation.” They then moved into a bomb shelter to hide from the airstrikes.

A Turkish army F-16 reportedly shot down a Sikorsky helicopter, and aircraft belonging to the army continued to fly over the capital to repel any attacks on key buildings.

Reuters reported that in early Saturday the coup had “crumbled” as crowds defied the rebelling military units and gathered in major squares of Istanbul and Ankara to oppose the coup. Pro-coup soldiers eventually surrendered to police in Taksim Square, Istanbul. At 5:18 AM Atatürk airport had been completely cleared of pro-coup forces and police later surrounded the coup forces inside the Turkish army headquarters, calling on them to surrender. There was a skirmish there between 6 and 8 AM, after which the coup was by and large over. Ümit Dündar, head of the First Army, was appointed as the Army’s Acting Chief of Staff.

JNi.Media

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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