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August 25, 2016 / 21 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘military’

Liberman Embarks on First visit to DC as Defense Minister Amid Military Aid Dispute

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) is coming to Washington DC on his inaugural visit as Defense Minister against the background of a dispute between the White House and Congress over increasing US support for Israel’s missile defense research and development. He’ll be meeting with US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who maintained a personal friendship with Liberman’s ousted predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon (Likud). Liberman and Carter are expected to discuss the White House proposal for a long-term US military aid, which would be larger than the current package, but conditioned on Israeli agreement not to solicit additional military aid from Congress.

Last Tuesday the Administration opposed a call by Congress to increase funding for Israel’s missile defense program by $455 million, to $600 million, well above the 2017 fiscal year White House budget request.

Israel is looking to expand the US annual military aid package from the current $3.2 billion to upwards of $4.5 billion, a portion of which would go to purchases from Israeli companies. The White House is looking at a more modest increase over 10 years, and for the entire amount to be spent in the US.

According to a senior defense ministry source speaking to Ma’ariv, the military aid package is not the central purpose of the visit, rather the trip is mainly planned for introductory meetings with key players in the defense department and in Congress. “We don’t expect dramatic breakthroughs in the coming week,” the source said.

Liberman will also meet with the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Committees.

On Wednesday, Liberman will attend the Lockheed Martin roll out ceremony for the F-35 fighter planes purchased by the Israeli air force — the first of which is expected to arrive in Israel in December. The defense minister will also tour an Elbit Systems plant and meet in New York with the defense ministry purchasing delegation.

According to Walla, there is a dispute between the professional echelon in the defense ministry and Prime Minister Netanyahu over the American proposal, with the DM staff recommending signing the aid package now, and Netanyahu preferring to wait out this administration and dealing with the next president, Clinton or Trump, either one of whom would be more pro-Israel.

Liberman is much more liked by the current administration than Netanyahu, because back when Secretary of State John Kerry was still pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on the 1967 borders, Liberman, then Israel’s foreign minister, supported the US effort, saying this was the best deal Israel could expect.

In that vein, Liberman is expected to use the opportunity of his US visit to allay fears regarding his hawkish reputation on defense, by making a major dovish statement about the two-state-solution.

JNi.Media

Naomi Returns To Bethlehem; Last Time Jew Does So Without Military Escort

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

{Originally posted to the humor website PreOccupied Territory)

Bethlehem, Judah, June 7 – The widow of the late tribal leader Elimelech came back to her hometown today after ten years in the land of Moab, marking the final time for about three millennia that a Jew will enter the city without need of an armed escort, local sources are reporting.

Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth, also widowed from Naomi’s son Mahlon, returned to Bethlehem this morning now that the famine that drove her and Elimelech away has subsided, and hunger no longer hovers over the land. The pair entered the town by themselves, causing a stir, both because the people were shocked to see how Naomi had aged and that they were witnessing the last time a Jew would be able to enter Bethlehem safely not in the company of several men carrying weapons to fend off Arab attackers, at least for three thousand years.

“Is that Naomi?” the townspeople were heard to exclaim, surmising that the withered old woman, once so vigorous and youthful, had decided to come back into the town while it was still possible to do so unaccompanied by soldiers. “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded, according to witnesses.

“Call me embittered, for the LORD has made it exceedingly bitter for me,” presumably referring to her dire economic circumstances and the fact that for many centuries hence, a Jew would need serious protection upon entering her beloved hometown, lest he or she be attacked by hate-filled Palestinians bent on making Bethlehem judenrein again.

“She doesn’t look too good, she and that Moabite woman,” said a bystander who asked to remain nameless, but who described himself as a relative. “They’re going to have a tough time of it now. I imagine they’ll have to sell some of the family’s ancestral holdings, which will eventually be taken over by Arabs as if it had always been theirs, and then those Arabs will resort to violence to keep Jews from reestablishing their presence here. Also, that daughter-in-law of hers is from Moab, and that’s not such a popular thing around here. At least not with me.”

Other observers had a more favorable assessment. “That takes guts, coming back here under such embarrassing circumstances,” said an elder named Boaz. “I imagine that many, many years from now, the descendants of these fine women will similarly disregard the physical dangers of reestablishing their presence in their ancestral homeland. Of course, it can’t hurt to to have a few strong youths, like my field hands, for protection.”

PreOccupied Territory

Report: Israel Attacked Missile Stocks at Syrian Military Base

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

Syrian website Zaman Al Wasl reported Tuesday that the Israeli air force over the weekend attacked a military installation south of Homs, with an air defense division and a compound of an air defense school of the Syrian Army. According to the report, the Israeli planes did not train their rockets at the air defense systems but focused on the base warehouses, which were stocked with anti-aircraft missiles. The attack resulted in major damage to the stocks.

According to reports, the Israeli airforce planes flew very low above the region, and were exposed throughout the attack to the defense systems, but the Syrians apparently held back and did not fire at the attackers.

The Homs area is a war theater involving President Assad’s forces, rebel forces and ISIS troops, but Zaman Al Wasl, which has a reputation for reliable reports, insists the attackers were Israeli.

Defense Minister Liberman visits the northern front

Defense Minister Liberman visits the northern front

This would be the first attack ordered by the new defense minister Avigdor Liberman, who on Tuesday visited the northern front with Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, GOC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, and senior officers in the Northern Command.

During the tour, Liberman said, “I’ve been hearing today reviews of this region, which is always sensitive, and I can say that our northern border is in good and secure hands.” He noted: “We have no plans here other than to maintain the quiet, I hope everyone understands this well enough, including our neighbors, and in any case I don’t suggest for anyone to try and test us.”

David Israel

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

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Mitchell Geller was an unlikely candidate to be a chaplain; and had never, ever, envisioned an armed forces career. On the contrary, he was a regular, ordinary rabbinical student at Yeshiva University when the U.S. military introduced a lottery in 1951 to supply chaplains for the armed services. Geller’s selective service fell on 18 – usually an auspicious number – but in this instance it meant an unavoidable stint in the services.

Not especially suffused with a rush of patriotic fervor, Geller – like many Jewish conscripted young men – sought a way out. As he weighed his very limited options, he wished to invoke spiritual insight and blessing. Accordingly, he turned to the Lubavitcher Rebbe as how to best avert the governmental decree. The Rebbe, however, looked at matters differently, and advised him to serve the nation.

Legally and rabbinically, Geller’s fate was now sealed. He was headed for the armed services; his sole volition would be in selecting which branch. Hailing from Houston, and his grandfather from Galveston, his natural inclination, in sync with his geographic background, was the Navy.

Alas, he was even deprived of this decision. Then, as now, the Jewish Welfare Board (JWB) was in charge of supplying the military with chaplains to accommodate Jewish recruits. The decision of which branch to furnish was ultimately theirs.

The JWB’s Rabbi Goldberg (Reform) was in charge of the Navy chaplaincy and under his tenure he had kept the Navy Orthodoxrhein. Although he was orthodox about this policy, he couched his rejection on a seemingly “objective” criterion.

Geller, who wore eyeglasses, was dubbed impaired by Goldberg. And he added, “You have vision, but no sight.” It wasn’t clear if he was being medical or philosophical, but for good measure he threw in, “The Navy will never take you or anyone who isn’t 20-20.”

The very notion of the Navy being spectacle-free in the 1950s was preposterous, but it was clear that the JWB, as far as the Navy was concerned, would not be considering Michell Geller. What other options were there? As Geller had no interest in the Army, he applied for the Air Force, which apparently did not have optical limitations. Indeed, the position of the JWB representative manning the Air Force desk was, “If you have eyes; we’ll take you.”

And indeed, they did. After induction Rabbi Geller was sent to chaplaincy school in Fort Slocum, N.Y., for six weeks. After this he was deployed at the Barksdale Air Force base near Shreveport, La.

This was quite an adjustment for the Gellers, who were wed in the interim between the lottery and induction. They quickly found out that life on an Air Force base was not a honeymoon nor in any way similar to the lifestyle dominant in religious neighborhoods.

Militarily, Mitchell started off his new posting on the wrong foot when he neglected to salute the passing car of the base commander, as is Air Force protocol. This is not the kind of offense for which you get a ticket in the mail.

An irate commander emerged from the car and demanded that the non-compliant soldier identify himself.

“Freshly-arrived Chaplain Geller,” the smiling rookie replied, unaware that he had committed the slightest faux pas. He stretched out his hand, totally disarming the hardened commander. “Oh,” the commander mused, “you’re my new chappy!”

Chappy Geller did fine in the Air Force, actually enjoying his “first-class” duty for 21 months. After this period Rabbi Geller cycled out of active duty and into the Reserves.

In 1966 Rabbi Geller’s father passed away, and after the sheloshim period of mourning he did not entirely shave off his beard and maintained a goatee. Other than the change in facial hair, nothing else was altered in Chaplain Geller’s routine and regimen. At the time, his Reserve Duty consisted of going into the Air Force every other month for two days of training.

Geller wore the goatee for seven full years without incident until one day the base chaplain informed him, “Your beard is against regulations; it’s gotta come off.”

Generally mild-manned, Chaplain Geller was not willing to comply on this issue. By this point the beard, which was initiated out of mourning for his father and was becoming for a Jewish chaplain, had been a non-issue for too long. Something that was accepted, tolerated and approved for nearly a decade, could not just morph one day into the verboten zone.

The base chaplain, however, with the full weight of the United Sates Air Force behind him, saw the matter otherwise. Geller was not conforming with Air Force regulations and simultaneously was disobeying an order. Thus, he was presented with the following choice, “Either you go to the barber shop or you go to jail.”

To be continued.

Chodesh Tov – have a pleasant month!

Rabbi Hanoch Teller

DM Avigdor Liberman: ‘War and Peace Must Have Support of Majority’

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman held his first meeting with the military top brass in the IDF late Tuesday following the pomp and circumstance involved in his installation as head of the defense ministry.

At his first working meeting with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and the generals, Liberman underlined his vision of the importance of the bond between the army and the civilians.

According to a report broadcast by Israel Radio, the new defense minister told the generals that in a democratic society, matters of war and peace must express the will and enjoy the support of the majority of the people.

Liberman said “We cannot engage in unnecessary conflicts. In Israeli society we are only allowed to fight unavoidable wars.”

Earlier in the day he also held a conversation with his predecessor, former Likud Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, as well.

Hana Levi Julian

Body of ‘Jerusalem Bezeq Terrorist’ Returned to Family, Buried as an ‘Honored Martyr’

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Late Monday night Israel Police returned the body of Ala’a Abu Jamal, the Bezeq technician-turned-terrorist who carried out a ram-and-stab attack in Jerusalem seven months ago.

Abu Jamal murdered Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky on Malchei Yisroel Street last October, ramming his Bezeq car into a crowd waiting at a bus stop. He then got out of the vehicle and then attacking people with an axe until he was shot and killed by a security guard.

Some 200 Jerusalem Arabs crowded outside the cemetery during the killer’s funeral in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, in the Jabel Mukabar neighborhood.

The funeral became a mass scene of hatred and incitement to more terror, with participants in the proceedings calling out “Allahu Akbar!” (Allah is Great) and “In blood and faith we will avenge you, O Martyr!”

Watch the video at this link.

It is not the first time a terrorist’s funeral has erupted in demonstrations of hatred and incitement to terror – one reason that Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan had opposed the return of the bodies of terrorists who died while killing Israelis, to the Palestinian Authority and/or the families.

Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon vehemently disagreed with this policy, as do military and intelligence officials, who say it simply exacerbates tensions without accomplishing deterrence.

On Tuesday morning, Erdan once again instructed police to cease returning terrorists’ bodies to their families for burials.

“I was just shown the outrageous images from the funeral last night in East Jerusalem, in which the conditions set by the police were violated and the commitments made by the families were broken,” Erdan said, according to the Hebrew-language Ynet news site.

“The terrorists’ families lied to the High Court of Justice. It’s a shame the High Court believed them and pressured the police to return all the bodies by Ramadan.”

But police claimed the family met the conditions that were set — only 40 people were allowed into the cemetery. Border Guard Police prevented the crowd from entering.

Police delayed the return of the body for six months, until an agreement was reached with the family that the funeral would be held late at night with a small number of participants. The agreement was made in order to avoid the demonstration that developed in any case late Monday night – and despite the guarantee signed by the family.

The chanting took place outside the cemetery while the body was being carried from the nearby mosque to the burial site, police noted. (italics added)

Hana Levi Julian

Report: US Using Foreign Aid to Damage Israel’s Military Industry

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

The security agreement between the US and Israel is yet to be signed, and as time goes by it appears that the Americans are in no hurry to complete the deal, Walla reported on Tuesday. Sources at the defense ministry who expected the US aid package to be agreed on by the Passover holiday are seeing the weeks since that target date passing by with little movement from Washington. So far, the Obama Administration has decided to increase the security aid budget to Israel above the current annual $3.2 billion, but in addition they would like to reduce the portion of the budget which may be converted from USD to shekels for IDF purchases from Israeli security manufacturers. That last part would be the most painful, with long-term consequences for Israel’s security.

As part of the US aid package in the past, Israel was allowed to convert a quarter of the money into 3 billion shekel ($786 million) for purchases from Israeli companies. The Israelis object to the American decision to bite into that part of the package, because it would result in a long-term effect on Israel’s defense budget and its military industrial complex.

A former senior defense apparatus official told Walla that “the US plan to cancel the conversion to shekels, even if it’s only a reduction, would have a significant effect on the attractiveness of the entire US security aid package.”

The aid budget offer as it stands today is far lower than Israel’s stated ambition at the start of negotiations with the US. Congressional sources have said that Israel was asking for $4 to $5 billion a year, which over the span of the deal, from 2019 to 2028, could total $50 billion — compared with $30 billion for the 2009 to 2018 package signed with President George W. Bush. The final deal will likely fall between $37.5 billion—the US position, and $40 billion—the amount Israel has come down to. Even at the minimalist, US version, Israel still receives a bump of $750 million over 10 years.

Today the US pays for $3 billion out of Israel’s $15.6 billion defense budget.

The defense source speaking to Walla said an American decision to keep the entire aid package in dollars, to be spent only with US manufacturers, could mean serious out-of-pocket costs for Israel. “For instance,” he explained, “when we purchase the F-35 from the US, it comes with additional derivatives paid for in shekels: we are expected to build an advanced infrastructure for the new squadron, as well as specialized maintenance and special takeoff lanes—for which the US budget converted part would have paid. Cutting it would directly harm the defense budget as well as the military industries.”

Incidentally, as Defense News reported in April, Israel is demanding of Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office to maximize its autonomy over its new stealth fighter force, including its own command, control, communications and computing (C4) system, indigenous weaponry and the ability to perform heavy maintenance in-country rather than at predetermined regional overhaul facilities. No other buyer has asked or received these exceptions for a system that’s considered the most advanced and secret in the US’ possession.

Brig. Gen. Tal Kalman, IAF chief of staff, told an audience in Tel Aviv this year that Israel’s “unique requirements” demand independence in maintaining the stealth fighters. Speaking on Sunday at a conference of Israel Defense and the Fisher Institute for Strategic Air and Space Studies, Kalman said the IAF is going for a “phased and coordinated process” to establish an F-35 logistics center at squadron headquarters at Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-us-using-foreign-aid-to-damage-israels-military-industry/2016/05/17/

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