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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘security’

INTO THE FRAY- To: “Bogy” Yaalon; cc: Dore Gold; Re: Israel’s Security Imperatives

Sunday, August 21st, 2016

What are the political ramifications of the security prescription authored by the former Defense Minister and the current Director-General of the Foreign Ministry?

Israel’s security depends on its retaining defensible borders. This means maintaining control over key areas of Judea and Samaria and certainly over an undivided Jerusalem…This is also why it is crucial for Israel to control the strategically vital Jordan Valley. If it does not do so, the situation along the Jordan border may become similar to that of the Gaza-Egyptian border…[S]afeguarding Israel’s vital security requirements is the only path to a viable and durable peace …This includes defensible borders, a demilitarized Palestinian entity, control of a unified airspace with Judea and Samaria, electromagnetic communications frequency security. -Lt.-Gen. (res.) Moshe “Bogy” Yaalon, Former Defense Minister, and IDF Chief-of-Staff, 2014.

This week, Moshe “Bogy” Yaalon took an additional step to further his declared intention to mount a challenge for the national leadership, after being rather abruptly removed from his position as Defense Minister in a highly controversial move by Benyamin Netanyahu. He announced the formation of a new non-profit entity, called “Different Leadership” (presumably to convey the idea that should he be at the helm, things would be very different than they are at present under Netanyahu), which will serve as the organizational platform for his public activities in the near future.

Owes a moral debt

I have been personally acquainted with “Bogy” Yaalon for almost a decade and a half, ever since, soon after his appointment as Chief of Staff, he kindly invited me for a one-on-one meeting at the IDF General Staff Headquarters in Tel Aviv. Although I cannot claim that we became “bosom buddies”, over the years I did develop both a sense of personal esteem and liking for him—and greatly appreciated his willingness to make himself available for events I was involved with, whenever I extended an invitation to him.

Yet, for all my personal bias in his favor, I must confess that I have been disturbed, disappointed and, at times, even dismayed at some of his decisions in the last few months of his term.

However, for the present I do not wish to dwell on the whole gamut of issues of disagreement I have with him but rather focus on one cardinal point, regarding which he owes the Israeli public clarification and the removal of any ambiguity or internal contradictions in his positions concerning it.

This pertains to the question of the future of Judea-Samaria in light of Yaalon’s own very detailed and tightly argued stipulation of Israel’s security imperatives vis-à-vis these areas.

“Israel’s critical security requirements…”

In 2005, a study began at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), headed by Dr. Dore Gold, currently Director-General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to determine what Israel’s critical security requirements in Judea-Samaria were, in order to ensure it defensible borders—as a crucial foundation for a durable peace. The study continued for a good number of years and—in the words of Gold himself in an October 2014 interview to “Mosaic” magazine—produced “a series of monographs on the subject published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. Copiously illustrated with maps and photographs, they featured essays by such prominent authors as Moshe Yaalon, now Israel’s defense minister, Yaakov Amidror, until recently Israel’s national security adviser, and Major General (ret.) Uzi Dayan [former deputy chief of staff and national security adviser]. The latest edition in the series was released this year…”

The endeavor did, indeed, include an impressive array of participants with unimpeachable security and diplomatic credentials. Apart from those mentioned above, the list included Gold himself, as former ambassador to the UN; Maj.-Gen. (res.) Aharon Ze’evi Farkash, former head of Military Intelligence; the late Meir Rosenne, formerly Israel’s ambassador to France and the US; Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, formerly head of the IDF’s Intelligence Research and Assessment Division; Brig.-Gen. (res.) Udi Dekel, formerly head of the IDF’s Strategic Planning Division, and Dan Diker, former secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress.

“Israel’s security depends on defensible borders”

The underlying theme of the series of studies was that unless Israel’s borders were defensible, the country would be so vulnerable that temptation to launch attacks against it would be irresistibly strong—resulting in inevitable instability, which would preclude any chance of durable peace.

Reflecting this fundamental perspective, in 2014, Gold’s JCPA produced a 160-page ` (an updated version of an earlier 2011 publication), with elaborate maps, photos, and instructive illustrations, entitled “Israel’s Critical Requirements For Defensible Borders:The Foundation For A Secure Peace”. The document (much like its 2011 predecessor), provided detailed explanations of the rationale for these requirements and the imperative for fulfilling them.

Significantly, the authors elaborate on why the decline of the former state-structure and the rise of non-state actors, such as the terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Nusra, as well as the proliferation of high trajectory weapons (particularly the more primitive and readily available variety) do not diminish the importance of the territorial component of these requirements—but in fact enhance them. Indeed, Gold himself underscores the “robust” martial capabilities developed by these organizations, which in both Iraq and Syria, have shown themselves capable of defeating regular army divisions—including those equipped with armored forces.

Like Gold, Yaalon was a prominent contributor to the monograph, authoring the 10 page introduction entitled “Restoring a Security-First Peace Policy”, which set the tone for the ensuing chapters.

Among other topics, these dealt with designating the territory across the 1967 Green Line that Israel must retain in any future political arrangement, the rejection of reliance on foreign troops to ensure security and the need for Israel to maintain control of the airspace above, and the electromagnetic spectrum throughout, Judea Samaria.

Graphic visual illustration

To complement the written papers, Gold’s JCPA also produced a series of incisive videos to illustrate the points made in the study, which were sharply critical of the conventional paradigm of territorial withdrawals as the sine qua non for peace. For example Maj-Gen (res) Uzi Dayan devoted a considerable portion of his analysis to “The Implosion of the Land for Peace Formula and its Consequences” and “Defensible Borders in the Age of Rocket Terror”.

Arguably the most notable of these videos was the five minute long “Israel’s Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace”, which visually encapsulates the essence of the major arguments made in the more detailed written work and conveys them graphically to the public.

The video enjoyed wide public exposure, totaling over 2 million views in its various postings on YouTube. It vividly demonstrates what Israel’s “critical security needs” are—and the deadly dangers almost certain to materialize if they are not met. It condenses the findings of JCPA studies into four concise points: To defend itself Israel must retain control over:

– The Jordan Valley

– Key areas of the mountain ridge [in Judea-Samaria]

– The air space over the “West Bank”

– Its main arteries of transportation [dominated by the western slopes of said mountain ridge] Several participants—including Yaalon (see introductory excerpt)—stressed the importance of retaining control over the electromagnetic spectrum as well. Thus Brig.Gen. (res) Dekel cautions: “Israel must guarantee that the Palestinians do not exploit their topographical advantage to block or neutralize Israel’s communication systems, or to gather intelligence on their own behalf or on behalf of hostile states” and Uzi Dayan warns: “Western analysts…predict that the electromagnetic spectrum will become one of the main targets of future weapons, stripping away the advantages in surveillance”

Summarizing JCPA’s security prescription

Accordingly, the JCPA security prescription reduces to the following: To fulfill its critical security imperatives, Israel must continue to control:

– The Western slopes of the mountain ridge in Judea-Samaria to protect the heavily populated urban coastal plain, its only international airport, major infrastructure installations such as power generation and desalination plants; its main transportational arteries—including

the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway (Route 1), the Coastal Highway (Route 2) and the adjacent Route 4; as well as the Trans-Israel Highway (Route 6)

– The Eastern slopes of the mountain ridge in Judea-Samaria (including the Jordan Valley) to contend with any aggression from the East, whether future hostile military action, terrorist infiltration, or smuggling of arms and ammunition, as is the case in Gaza. This is becoming particularly acute as the current regime in Jordan appears to be increasingly threatened by ascendant Islamist adversaries.

– The airspace above, and the electromagnetic spectrum throughout, Judea-Samaria to facilitate the ability of the IAF to intercept any hostile aerial intrusion before Israeli population centers are threatened; to forestall disruption of Israeli communication and surveillance systems; and to deny such capabilities from foreign entities, inimical to Israel.

These are the core elements of the security prescription that Yaalon and Gold have subscribed to both implicitly and explicitly. Their commitment to it has—or at least should have—self-evident ramifications.

JCPA’s security prescription: What are the political ramifications?

For anyone with a smidgeon of familiarity with the Arab-Israeli conflict, in general, and the Israel-Palestinian one, in particular, one thing should be undeniably clear: If Israel is to fulfill what the JCPA prescription deems to be its “critical security needs”, the chances of reaching a political resolution through negotiation are—to greatly overstate the case—somewhere between extremely remote to imperceptibly slim. After all, if Israel is to retain control of both the Western and the Eastern slopes of Judea-Samaria, the sky above it, and the “ether” that surrounds it, then there is precious little room for instituting Palestinian self-rule—much less sovereignty.

Under these conditions, there is equally precious little chance of finding any Palestinian negotiating partner, who would even contemplate acquiescing to such conditions—much less signing an agreement to comply with them.

Accordingly, given the persuasive case the JCPA experts make for their security prescription, Israel is confronted with the predicament of having to decide what the political ramifications that arise from it are. What kind of political arrangements, if any, does it facilitate? Should Israel forego some, or all, of its critical security requirement to maintain the hope of a negotiated settlement? If it does, how can any future Israeli government justify playing “Russian roulette” with its citizens’ lives for the sake of such a forlorn hope? If not, what will be the fate of the Palestinian-Arabs, resident in Judea-Samaria?

Need for urgent debate

These and other trenchant questions emerge inevitably from the JCPA’s security prescription—precisely because it is so compelling. They are questions that its authors have a duty to address—precisely because they have made their case so compellingly.

The need to debate them is urgent. After all, if the land-for-peace concept has indeed “imploded” permanently, what is to take its place? How is any alternative to be advanced and implemented? What are the ramifications for the future of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews – and for the Zionist ideal? In recent months I have tried to prod several of the study’s participants into initiating discussion of these questions but sadly found little enthusiasm for broaching them. Indeed, quite the opposite, there seems to be a surprising (or not) reluctance to do so.

I am left to hope that perhaps this essay may pique some interest in projecting the political ramifications of JCPA’s persuasive security prescription into the public discourse; and that Yaalon’s newly formed non-profit “Different Leadership” will take the lead—by picking up the gauntlet…


Dr. Martin Sherman

Hotel Guests’ Credit Cards Hacked in United States

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Hotel guests in at least 10 U.S. states and Washington DC have had their credit card information compromised due to a breach in the payment system security firewall, according to a report by Associated Press, and broadcast by ABC News.

Malware was found on the payment processing systems of more than a dozen properties belonging to HEI Hotels & Resorts, based in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Among the locations affected were 12 hotels in the Starwood network, six Marriott hotels and one Hyatt hotel.

The company, which operates nearly 60 hotels and resorts under a variety of brand names, was notified by its credit card processor that a potential breach had taken place between December 2015 and June 2016, although malware may infected systems at a few locations as early as March 2015.

According to the report, the hack affected cards used at point of sale terminals, such as the restaurants and stores within the hotels.

HEI said in its notice to consumers that as soon as the breach was made known the firm separated its payment card processing from the rest of its network, and now uses a stand-alone system. The malware was disabled and programmers are working to tighten security of the network and payment system.

The company added it’s continuing to cooperate with law enforcement officials in the investigation, and said the breach has been contained.

Hana Levi Julian

Barnacled Bombs Discovered Along Lake Kinneret

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Five unexploded mortar shells left over from a past war were found Monday on a beach along Lake Kinneret, also known as the Sea of Galilee, near Kibbutz Ma’agen.

Police officers and sappers from the Israel Police bomb squad were dispatched to the site.

Searching along the beaches of Lake Kinneret for unexploded ordnance.

Searching along the beaches of Lake Kinneret for unexploded ordnance.

Security personnel immediately closed off the area and began a search to determine whether any other unexploded ordnance remained in the area.

At least four other shells were found.

Israel Police and IDF military personnel worked together to defuse the unexploded shells.

Hana Levi Julian

Goldstein on Gelt: What’s the correlation between financial security and self-confidence?

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Financial podcaster and money counselor Jen Hemphill explains why financial struggles are frequently caused by a lack of self-confidence. Why do stay-at-home mothers often feel guilty about not earning money, even though they are doing an important job?

As the American presidential elections approach, Doug Goldstein CFP® and guest co-host, financial advisor Roger Whitney, from The Retirement Man podcast, explore how the resultant economic upheaval may affect the way you invest. What should you do when dramatic world events impact the economy? Can having liquid assets available protect your portfolio?

The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Israeli Public Security Minister to Outlaw Hizb ut-Tahrir Organization

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced on Monday that he intends to outlaw international Islamic organization Hizb ut-Tahrir.

“It is inconceivable that an organization that incites and supports terrorism and that shares the same ideology as the Islamic State terror group is active in Israel,” said Minister Erdan. “I intend to do everything in my power to outlaw the organization.”

According to the Public Security Ministry, Erdan is scheduled to hold a meeting with the Jerusalem District Police in which they will outline a course of action as to how to execute the ban.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is an international political organization dedicated to pan-Islamism. The Sunni Islamic organization’s stated goal is the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate from North Africa to Southeast Asia, much like the Islamic State.

The organization was founded by Taqiuddin al-Nabhani in Jerusalem in 1953 when the city was under Jordanian occupation and has since then grown and spread with a branch on every continent. In Israel, the organization is active mostly in Jerusalem and specifically on the Temple Mount compound, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Al-Nabhani also wrote the organization’s constitution, which serves as the draft constitution of the potential caliphate as well. The constitution calls for the complete eradication of the State of Israel without compromise.

Hizb ut-Tahrir was an unlawful organization in most Arab countries until the Arab Spring of 2006 and it is only legally currently legal in Lebanon, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates. The organization is also outlawed in several European countries, including in France and Spain, while it is considered a terror organization in Russia and Kazakhstan.

According to the Public Security Ministry, Erdan recently saw intelligence about Hizb ut-Tahrir that highlighted the activity of the organization on the Temple Mount.

“Leaders of the organization hold regular classes and preach on the Temple Mount and their influence in that compound is growing,” said a Public Security Ministry spokesperson. “These sermons and classes are of a radical and inciteful nature; they encourage terrorism and challenge Israel’s right to exist.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Pres. Rivlin Urges Israeli Arabs to Enlist for National Service

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin urged the Arab citizens of Israel on Sunday to enlist for National Service, a civilian arm that recruits young adults for a year or more service to the country, instead of doing military service.

Many of Israel’s observant Jewish girls volunteer for National Service, and according to director-general Sar-Shalom Jerbi, some 4,500 Israeli Arab citizens are also participating in the program.

National Service volunteers are found in nearly every agency, school, and hospital throughout the country. They act as tutors, counselors, mentors and assistants in any place they are needed. During times of high tension in particular, their presence is especially important.

There are precious few volunteers that speak Arabic fluently, who can provide qualified assistance in schools and clinics in the Israeli Arab sector; an increase in National Service volunteers for this sector would be invaluable.

But Rivlin would like to see those numbers increase, and this weekend urged the country’s Israeli Arab population to allow its young high school graduates to sign up, despite political disagreements.

The president said at a ceremony in the presidential residence in Jerusalem held to recognize outstanding national service volunteers, “We are one society, and we all live in one country; we are mutually responsible for one another.”

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel is also responsible for the program. At the ceremony he underlined the importance of those serving in National Service, saying their contribution is no less than that of the soldiers serving in the IDF and other security forces.

Those who serve in National Service are deemed eligible for most of the benefits granted to veterans of the military upon completion of their service.

Hana Levi Julian

Security Forces Demolish Sarona Terrorists’ Homes

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Security forces overnight demolished the homes of the two terrorists who carried out a murderous attack at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv two months ago. Four Israelis were killed and 16 injured in the attack. The two terrorists, Mahmoud Khalid Mahamrah and Khaled Mahamrah, both residents of Yatta in Judea and Samaria and both born in 1995, were captured in a manhunt. Last week the Israeli Supreme Court denied an appeal by the terrorists’ families, but ordered the government to avoid demolishing floors with residents who are not related to the terrorists.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/security-forces-demolish-sarona-terrorists-homes/2016/08/04/

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