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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘shape’

The Shape of Things to Come

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Abu Yehuda}

On Friday my son’s wife took two of my grandkids and her mother on a mini-vacation – to Germany. In the four days that they’ve been there, there have been three terror attacks. I’m more than looking forward to their return.

I have a friend who visits Europe often. I try to get him to take a side trip to see me in Israel, but his wife is worried about terrorism. Hmm.

There is a bit of schadenfreude in Israel toward Europe. It gets stronger when the French take time off from picking up the body parts from the latest terrorist outrage to organize lynchings of Israel in the UN.

But we shouldn’t celebrate their misfortune too much. If Western Europe submits to the jihad or dissolves into violent conflict it will be very bad, both for them and for us.

And the United States – now there is a bomb with a short fuse. President Obama is already slipping out the back of the Middle East as Iran comes in the front door with guns blazing, but the real American retreat into irrelevance is yet to come when the rapidly growing internal conflicts start ripping the country apart. Yes, I expect that. I don’t have the words to describe what I think about the coming election and the candidates.

In both Europe and the US, the political options seem to be between those who pretend that the worldwide jihad isn’t a problem and those who think the solution is to kick out the foreigners and build higher border fences. This is only a delaying tactic: think of building a sand castle and surrounding it with multiple walls. Ultimately the tide comes in and the waves get them, one by one.

The solution is for the democratic, enlightened Western nations to get together, make a plan to crush the jihad and carry it out. The military might of the West could make mincemeat of Da’esh, destroy Iran’s nuclear and missile programs and put an end to some of the smaller terrorist groups in a matter of weeks. With the heads cut off, the jihad in general would wither. Islam would have to wait another few hundred years before taking another shot at world domination.

In an ideal world, this is the kind of thing a real “United Nations” would do. Stop laughing, it isn’t funny.

I can’t imagine this happening today, and the likelihood of it happening in the near future seems even smaller. On the other hand, while the jihadists have very different ideologies and goals, they are capable of cooperating when it helps them to defeat common enemies.

Things are getting worse and they will probably get much worse before getting better. It isn’t going to be easy for Israel to survive in the coming chaotic world. So here are some of my suggestions:

  1. PM Netanyahu’s efforts to improve relationships with India, Russia, China, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and several smaller African nations (did I leave anything out?) are a good thing. Chad won’t replace Germany, but in a wild melee, every friend counts.
  2. We need to keep maximum strategic depth. It would be very stupid to open up an eastern door to Iran or Da’esh in return for Western guarantees. The West can’t guarantee its own borders, never mind ours. Just say no to two-state stupidity.
  3. We need to maintain our military strength, even in scenarios in which we can’t depend on the US. The F-35 that the US is selling Israel is very expensive, has numerous problems, is not a match for the latest Russian fighters, and doesn’t meet our needs for a long-range attack aircraft capable of hitting Iran. The US would not agree to provide a new F-15 stealth variant instead of additional F-35s. It may be too late to develop our own, but there are other countries that manufacture capable aircraft, including Russia and China.
  4. We should take steps to reduce the ability of other countries, especially the US, to intervene in our politics and our military operations. Get rid of the European-paid NGOs and the American radar installations. Stock up on ammunition and equipment that is hard to replace.
  5. We should encourage European Jews to make aliyah. This might be a short-term burden for Israel, but it could save their lives. In the long term it will benefit our economy and society.
  6. Do the Bank of Israel and the government have plans for how to respond to a sudden fall in the dollar? They should.

Israel is doing better than it ever has, economically, politically and socially. But the relative stability of the post-WWII period – or even of the longer Western ascendance that began with the Ottoman defeat at the Battle of Vienna in 1683 – may be coming to an end. The geopolitical environment we live in is already changing rapidly.

As usual, I specialize in doom and gloom. But I think we can survive. Perhaps rather than a world-wide dark age, there will be a realignment of powers, with the US and Western Europe playing a less important role, especially in the Middle East. Everything will turn upside down, but there will be advantages as well as problems for us. Our leaders need to think creatively about how to act in a different world. But unlike the past two millennia, the Jewish people don’t have to hunker down and hope for the best. We have the ability to act and steer the direction of history.

It could mean the destruction of Israel and a new dispersion of the Jewish people. But on the other hand, if we make the right alliances and use our power judiciously, it may be that the Jewish state will find its place as a regional powerhouse.

Vic Rosenthal

Kite-Flying Festival

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

The Kite-Flying Festival, held annually at the Israel Museum, has become a Jerusalem tradition. Professional and amateur kite lovers from all over the country gather in Jerusalem every summer to fly kites that they designed themselves or created at the workshops held at the museum during the festival.

During the festival, the museum’s skies are transformed into a vivid display of color and shape that is visible from miles away.

Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Jewish Press Staff

Roger Waters Open Letter Calls on Musicians to Boycott Israel

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

British rocker Roger Waters published an open letter calling on fellow musicians to join a boycott of Israel.

“I write to you now, my brothers and sisters in the family of Rock and Roll, to ask you to join with me, and thousands of other artists around the world, to declare a cultural boycott on Israel,” Waters wrote in the letter dated Aug. 18. The letter was previously drafted in July.

The former Pink Floyd front man said he was inspired to release the letter after British violinist Nigel Kennedy at a recent promenade concert at the Albert Hall in London called Israel an apartheid state. The BBC said it would remove his remarks in rebroadcasts of the concert.

Waters, who has been active in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement for at least seven years, referred to the boycott of apartheid South Africa, saying that first a trickle of artists refused to play there, leading to a “flood.”

He singled out Stevie Wonder’s canceling of a performance for the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces as a recent success story. Wonder quit his participation in the December fundraiser at the last minute under pressure from many corners.

“Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights,” Waters wrote.

Waters recently came under fire for using at in his concerts a huge inflated balloon in the shape of a wild boar with a prominently visible Star of David, as well as a hammer and sickle, crosses and a dollar sign, among other symbols. It is a gimmick he has used for several years.


Female IDF Officer Upgrades Diet & Exercise

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Speaking at the International Women’s Conference sponsored by Stand With Us, IDF Officer Lieutenant Colonel Shirly Subul, a resident of Tel Aviv, said she had the aspiration to serve Israel in the armed forces since age 4. She currently serves in the IDF combat fitness department, where she has personally transformed the Lifestyle Branch, which is responsible for army athletics and encouraging Israeli soldiers to live a healthy life-style, into one of the most influential branches in the IDF.

She was a professional athlete as a teenager but put her athletic dreams on hold in order to serve the State of Israel. In March of 1993 she served in the intelligence unit and continued on to officers training course. Later on she served in the foreign relations department of the intelligence department. During the Second Lebanon War, Lt. Subul’s best friend Anat was murdered in a suicide bombing and she spent five weeks in an underground bunker as the head of the operations division. Her army career took a different direction when she transferred to the combat fitness department. There Lieutenant Colonel Subul sought to combine her passion for serving Israel with her love of athletics and sports.   

Lieutenant Colonel Subul places special emphasis on IDF commanders, believing that their physical condition has a great effect on the army as a whole. Subul is also known for whipping high ranking officers into better shape and has even put obese Israeli commanders on a six month program of diet combined with exercise. In order to keep Israeli soldiers in shape, she has organized four marathons and is planning a fifth. Subul also organizes swimming and bicycling sessions and has special programs for women.

Subul also has a BA in gender studies and sociology from Tel-Aviv University and was a pioneer in this field. As a female IDF officer, Lieutenant Colonel Subul emphasized that women serving in the IDF enjoy full gender equality, stating that 92 percent of the positions within the IDF are open to women, nearly 59 percent of Israeli women enlist to serve, representing 33 percent of the IDF’s manpower, and that the number of female IDF officers continues to rise. Israel is the only country in the world to have mandatory military service for women. “There are so many opportunities for women in the Israeli Defense Forces,” she claimed. Israeli women can be found in the artillery corps, armored divisions, infantry and intelligence units.

Visit United with Israel.

Rachel Avraham

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/united-with-israel/female-idf-officer-upgrades-diet-exercise/2013/08/07/

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