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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon’

Minister Ya’alon on Threat From South Lebanon, Zionism, and a Personal Message About Aliyah

Monday, June 24th, 2013

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With Yishai currently serving in the IDF, we present some recent stand out segments. Yishai presents his exclusive interview with Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon. Yishai interviewed Minister Ya’alon during his visit to the Mount of Olives Jewish community in Jerusalem. They discuss the rocket threat to all of Israel from South Lebanon and how Tzipi Livni’s claim to have a solution for peace is nothing more than a deception. They move on to talk about the need to strengthen Zionist and Jewish identity among Israelis. Ya’alon gives a personal message to all Jews about the centrality of Israel. Yishai ends the segment with his reaction to Minister Ya’alon’s views and some ideas on how to infuse Israeli society with Jewish culture using practical steps that will improve everyone’s lives.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Haredi Deans Refuse Meeting with Knesset Committee over IDF Recruiting

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Haredi Yeshiva Deans in Israel who received an invitation to meet with the chairman of the Committee on Burden Equality, Minister of Science, Technology, and Space Yaakov Perry, refused most adamantly to show up, according to the Lithuanian Haredi newspaper Ha’peles.

In his letter to the Haredi deans, Minister Peri wrote that he is appealing to them personally, and inviting them to appear either before the committee or to talk to him in private and present their positions.

Peri told the deans that his committee is determined to set hard and fast rules on burden equality, but that it intends to act with maximum sensitivity to the needs of every segment of the population, in an attempt to avoid a split in the nation. The minister was asking the deans to provide him with a “comprehensive picture, cutting across sectors and political parties, which will help us in formulating the bill.”

According to Ha’peles, the yeshiva deans who received the letter made it abundantly clear that they would not recognize the authority of the Perry Committee.

The article in Ha’peles added an editorial note to the news report (it seems to be going around across the media these days), warning deans that “the Minister wishes to legitimize the work of the Committee and its dangerous goals, but it is clear as day that no teacher of Torah would fall into their trap and give recognition to the Committee that’s seeking to implement destructive goals.”

The newspaper report concluded:

“Minister Perry and committee members do not need to meet with heads of yeshivas to know about the steadfast resolve of the Torah world, which has been expressed and published several times by the gedolim of Israel and yeshiva deans. The entire purpose and of the new appeal is to wrap in beautiful words and soft expressions the declaration of war by the new government, which is seeking to lead to a culture war and undermine the foundations of the world of Torah and God fearing public.”

Meanwhile, a mini coalition crisis has been pitting members of the Perry Committee Likud representatives, headed by Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, against the Yesh Atid (Lapid) members. Likud is asking Yesh Atid to rescind the enlistment figures reached in the coalition agreements on the quota of yeshiva students absolved from military service.

Committee members suggested that the entity deciding which 1,800 students are picked to stay away from the army service would be comprised of a representative of the Ministries of Defense and Education, as well as members of the Yeshiva Deans Committee. The new entity would submit its list by mid-March each year.

The IDF representative on the Perry Committee, Brigadier General Gadi Agmon, argued that it was not likely that the deans of Haredi yeshivas would take part in the proposed entity. “And on what basis are they going to decide?” he asked.

Minister Limor Livnat (Likud) offered to hold a lottery to pick the 1,800 lucky candidates, while Minister Yaalon declared that he is opposed in principle to any exemption quotas – and with that he basically killed the carefully negotiated burden equality figures that Lapid’s and Netanyahu’s factions had signed on in the coalition agreement.

“We’re already seeing more Haredi soldiers,” the defense minister told the committee. “We can’t ignore that. We should allow the natural process of enlistment to take its course. Setting quotas will only push the Haredi the sector against the wall. My recommendation is to leave the matter of quotas open and to check [enlistment figures] again in five years. We should provide incentives: anyone who serves in the IDF should be rewarded more than someone who does National Service, who in turn should get a higher reward than a yeshiva student.”

Bibi Kissed the Ring, Erdoğan: Apology ‘Exactly the Way We Wanted’

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday addressed the agreement on the renewal of his country’s diplomatic relations with Israel, complete with reinstating each country’s ambassadors. Erdogan said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology was “the way we wanted it.”

The rapprochement between the two leaders had been organized by visiting U.S. President Barack Obama, minutes before he departed to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah.

Obama insisted that Netanyahu end the feud with Erdoğan, particularly in light of the deteriorating situation in Syria. Both countries stand to benefit from cooperation in the political, military and intelligence aspects of the Syrian civil war, a cooperation that had been severed following the Gaza flotilla affair.

The wording of Netanyahu’s apology was a tad elusive, and different from the original Turkish demand for an apology for the killing of its citizens. Instead, the wording the two sides finally agreed to include “an apology to the Turkish people for a mistake that could lead to loss of human life.”

The alteration was based on the Israeli investigation of the incident, which indicated a number of operational errors during the takeover of the Turkish boat Mavi Marmara.

During the conversation, Netanyahu clarified that the tragic consequences of the flotilla were not intentional. He expressed regret in the name of the State of Israel over the loss of human life. The two leaders also agreed that Israel will transfer reparations to a humanitarian fund established specifically for the families of the victims, instead of paying reparations directly to the families, as the Turks originally demanded.

Erdogan, who took back some of the things said against Zionism, agreed to stop the existing legal proceedings against IDF soldiers, including any proceedings which were to be opened in the future.

The Turkish prime minister rescinded his unequivocal demand to remove Israel’s blockade on Gaza. At the same time, Netanyahu noted during the conversation the easing of the closure which has already taken place. The two leaders agreed to continue working together to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Former (and future) Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who currently heads the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, criticized the apology, calling it “a serious error that affects the motivation of IDF soldiers.”

Except, that, considering the fact that IDF soldiers were lowered from a chopper onto the Mavi Marmara’s deck to be beaten mercilessly like Jewish pinatas, just knowing that stupid, callused decisions like that won’t be made again could go a long way to improve IDF morale.

Knowing that Ehud Barack, the architect of that victory, is no longer at the helm at the Defense Ministry, is also a big relief.

Indeed, the new Minister of Defense Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon was very much in favor of restoring relations with the Turks, even at the cost of his boss eating a few slices of humble pie.

New Netanyahu Coalition Govt All Cobbled and Ready, Maybe

Monday, March 18th, 2013

On Monday evening, the Knesset will host the swearing in ceremony for Israel’s 33rd government, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s third term—second consecutive—as prime minister (his first term ran from June 1996 to July 1999).

Immediately after the ceremony, Netanyahu will convene a brief cabinet meeting, with a toast. Then the bunch (22 ministers and 8 deputies) will travel to the presidential residence, for the traditional group picture.

The Knesset session will open with the selection of the Speaker of the House. It will likely be Likud MK Yuli Edelstein, who will replace the former Speaker, Reuven Rivlin, who wanted very much to continue in his post but, unfortunately, had committed the ultimate sin of criticizing the Prime Minister’s anti-democratic tendencies, not the kind of slight which Netanyahu’s wife Sara easily forgives.

As usual, Netanyahu never shared with Rivlin his plan to depose him. In fact, as far back as a year ago, he assured the popular Speaker—who is also closely associated with the Settlement movement—that he’d have his support for the post of President when Shimon Peres completes his 7-year term, 2014.

Yuli Edelstein’s life’s story is fascinating: Born in the Soviet Union to Jewish parents who converted to Christianity (his father is a Russian Orthodox priest), Edelstein discovered his Jewish connection through his grandparents. He studied Hebrew back when that was considered a subversive act, for which, in 1984, he was sent to Siberia (the charges were drug related, but everybody knew it was the Hebrew thing). He made aliyah with his wife, Tanya, served in the army, and entered politics, ending up in the Knesset in 1996. He has switched between several parties, until finally landing in the Likud, and has held several ministerial portfolios. And if he doesn’t catch Sara’s ire, he could become as memorable a Speaker as Rubie Rivlin.

But the biggest losers, without a doubt, are the Haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism. They were almost literally kicked out by Yair Lapid, who stated openly that, should he be seen in the government group picture with the Haredim, his voters would abandon him. Surprisingly, Naftali Bennett, his newly found brother from a different father (Yair’s father, the late MK Tommy Lapid, was a true hater of the religion), supported the dubious position that, in order to truly help the Haredi public, government had to first be cleared of Haredi partners.

Shas, a party that depends completely on patronage for its very existence, is seething with anger over Bennett’s “betrayal.” It’s hard, however, to take seriously the victimized self-pity of Shas, whose spiritual father Rav Ovadia Yosef dubbed the Jewish Home party a “Goy Home.” Altogether, it appears that, perhaps counter intuitively, the National Religious leaders as well as the rank and file, have been harboring heaps of resentment against the Haredim. The Haredi slights of several decades, including their occupation of the Ministry of Religious Services and the Chief rabbinate, doling out jobs to Haredi officials who reigned over a population that looks nothing like them—those slighted chickens have been coming back to roost.

Take for instance Rabbi Hayim Drukman, who responded to both the Haredi pols and to Netanyahu, who accused the Lapid-Bennett axis of “boycotting” the Haredi parties. Rabbi Drukman Argued that “the Haredi public are the biggest boycotters, boycotting for years the Torah of the national religious public.”

“Any Haredi apparatchik who gets elected to the Knesset, immediately becomes a rabbi, while the real rabbis of the national religious public are noted in the Haredi press by their first names (without the title ‘Rabbi’). Is this not boycotting?” Rabbi Druckman wrote in the Saturday shul paper “Olam Katan.”

Inside Shas, the short knives have already been drawn and they’re aimed at MK Aryeh Deri, the former convict who came back from the cold to lead Shas into a glorious stalemate (11 seats before, 11 after).

“We were very disappointed in Deri,” a senior Shas pol told Ma’ariv. “He did not bring the votes he promised Rav Ovadia, there was no significant change in seats, and, in fact, Deri is responsible for our failure.”

In United Torah Judaism they also seem to regret their alliance with Shas, it’s highly likely that, in a few months, they’ll opt to enter the government without Shas.

Israel Has New Government

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Reshet Bet announced early Friday morning that the Likud and Habayit Hayehudi have resumed their talks, after a 12-hour disconnect, and reached a final agreement on a new government, which will be introduced later today, Friday.

The agreement was reached after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called up Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett and asked him personally to overlook the slight of not receiving the title of Deputy Prime Minister. He told him that in the new government there will be no Deputy Prime Ministers at all.

Both Bennett and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid responded curtly to a news item they heard over the radio on Thursday, that the Deputy positions, about which they had reached a verbal agreement with the Likud-Beiteinu negotiating team, were taken away.

Likud circles not particularly enamoured with the PM spread the rumor that it was Sara Netanyahu, Benjamin’s wife, who insisted, at the last minute, on sticking it to her husband’s new coalition partners.

The PM’s circles denied the rumors, saying it was just another vicious attack on Sara Netanyahu, and her personal arch-enemy, Naftali Bennett.

Habayit Hayehudi circles said in response that it was not a reassuring way of ushering in a new coalition—killing unilaterally an item everybody had shaken hands on.

The Bennett people refused to attend the meeting Thursday evening in which the government deal was supposed to be finalized, and the first coalition crisis appeared to have erupted even before there was a coalition in place.

Netanyahu had to swallow a frog in apologizing to Bennett personally, and Bennett and Lapid in return swallowed the frogs of not becoming acting PMs when Bibi is away touring the world.

Now the fact that Sara’s contribution effectively killed the position of Deputy PM, Netanyahu will not be able to dole out bites at this honor to senior Likudniks, such as MK Silvan Shalom, who won’t receive a real portfolio. Thank you, Sara.

The Shas and United Torah Judaism factions are livid, obviously, arguing that if they’re out of office, their constituency is going to be ignored. Well, not exactly ignored, more like enlisted and made to study Math and English in yeshiva.

MK Aryeh Deri, who was reinstated in the Shas Knesset list with the hope of increasing its size (they ended up with 11 – just like the Knesset before), was making the rounds all day Thursday, promising to be part of a fighting opposition, whose utmost goal would be to topple this government. A renowned Haredi leftists, who pushed his party into signing on to the Oslo Accords, Deri said he had no problem cooperating with Labor, Meretz, and the Arab lists, to bring down Netanyahu.

Unless he get a government seat sometime down the road.

Habayit Hayehudi will possess five portfolios in the new government, although those will be divided among only three ministers. So Naftali Bennett is now also Minister of Religious Services.

The 20 Likud MKs are competing over a mere 15 positions of power: seven ministerial roles, four deputy ministers, four heads of Knesset committees and the role of Speaker of the House. The portfolios of Homeland Security, Agriculture, Tourism and Absorption has been given to members of the Israel Beiteinu, while members of the Likud will take Interior, Transportation, Communications, Homeland Defense, and the Strategic Affairs Ministry.

A big improvement would be the appointment of former IDF chief of staff Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon as Defense Minister. Yaalon, whose boss at the time, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, opted not to renew his contract in 2005, because he did not trust the former to pursue zealously the evacuation of thousands of Gush Katif Jews. Mofaz appointed Dan Halutz to the job, and Halutz promptly bungled an invasion of Gaza and a war in Lebanon.

Beginning next week, probably on Monday, Israel’s 33rd government—Netanyahu’s third—will be sworn in, featuring 22 ministers, including the Prime Minister, and eight deputy ministers. The Speaker is expected to be the current Minister of Information and Diaspora, MK Yuli Edelstein.

In the almost-final compromise agreement reached Thursday, Netanyahu agreed to give up the education portfolio, which will go to Yesh Atid’s MK Rabbi Shai Piron, Likud-Beiteinu will get Interior, and Habayit Hayehudi will head the Knesset Finance Committee.

Everything You Wanted to Know about the IDF Scandal…

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Deputy Prime Minister and former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon on Monday called for a criminal investigation of the Harpaz document saga, following publication Sunday of the State Comptroller’s report that found grounds for rebuking both sides in the scandal – the IDF brass and the Defense Ministry.

“The facts published in the report are disturbing, shaking and worrying,” Ya’alon said. “It’s hard to digest the level of misconduct and the violation of the most basic values by those involved.

“Their behavior casts a dark shadow on the army and the security apparatus, and requires those involved to account for their actions. The lines were crossed in this case in the relationship between the political and military levels, in understanding where the source of authority lies, and breaking moral and ethical codes.”

According to Ya’alon, the IDF and the security apparatus are not “pawns in the hands of one office or another, or in the hands of one person or another, and they’re not anyone’s private domain.”

He said the conduct described in the report violates the public trust “and raises serious doubts and questions among commanders of all ranks, who are looking upward only to see ugly power struggles, loss of judgment and bad culture, which dishonored the IDF and the security apparatus.”

IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz said today was “a sad day for the IDF, the state of Israel, its citizens and anyone who happened near the case.”

The case has to remind those of you who are fond of British musical shows of the immortal tune They Were Only Playing Leapfrog, from Oh What a Lovely war (see video at the end).

In early April, 2010, Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced that he was not planning to extend the term of office of IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi another year. The decision damaged an already terrible relationship between Barak and the topmost soldier in the land. The State Comptroller’s review of the scandal that emerged from that decision described the Defense office and the IDF command as being in an “atmosphere of war.”

To make matters even worse, if such a thing was even imaginable, Barak decided to proceed with the appointment of Ashkenazi’s successor completely behind the latter’s back.

The candidates that were mentioned at the time as being up for the job were Generals Benny Gantz (who got the appointment), Gadi Shamni, Gadi Eisenkot, Yoav Galant and Avi Mizrahi.

On August 6, 2010 journalists Amnon Abramovitch and Roni Daniel revealed on Channel 2′s Friday night news magazine “Friday’s Studio” a document containing guidelines for building a positive image for candidate General Yoav Galant, as well as corresponding guidelines on defaming both Gabi Ashkenazi and Benny Gantz. The document bore the logo of the public relations office of a media consultant by the name of Eyal Arad.

The two journalists let their audience know that both Galant and Arad were claiming that the document was a forgery, but stressed that it was important even as such, as an illustration of the pervasive culture inside the defense community, and attested to the involvement of external players in the process of selecting the next chief of staff and the downgrading of the status of the serving chief.

Israel’s police opened an investigation following the disclosure of the document, and invited for an interrogation the Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and IDF spokesman Brigadier General Avi Benayahu.

While the investigation was going on, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ordered the freezing of the process of choosing a new chief of staff.

On August 19, 2010, police announced it had clear evidence that the document was, indeed, forged, but then announced that the entire IDF General Staff were cleared of criminal suspicions.

Subsequently, AG Weinstein gave the OK to continue the process of selecting a new IDF chief.

Channel 2 refused to reveal who leaked the document, but then, on August 20, 2010, Colonel (Res.) Gabi Siboni confessed to being the source.

On August 23, 2010, police arrested Lieutenant Colonel Boaz Harpaz on suspicion of falsifying the document. Investigators concluded that Harpaz passed on the document to IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Col. Erez Weiner, who passed it to Siboni.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-the-harpaz-scandal-but-was-too-disgusted-to-ask-fun-video/2013/01/07/

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