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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘spies’

Can NATO Member Turkey Ever Be Trusted Again?

Monday, October 21st, 2013

The Jewish Press has had the dubious honor of pointing the finger at Turkey’s chief intelligence officer Hakan Fidan and state flatly that his betrayal of 10 Mossad agents was the stuff that should get him something nice in his car in the morning. Yes, we don’t go for nice over here, but, as you’ll see, the rest of the world is coming around rather quickly to our position, and so, if I’m Hakan Fidan, I’d get me a bus pass.

An Eli Lake article in the Daily Beast has confirmations from U.S. officials of the David Ignatius initial Washington Post report. A CIA officer compared the loss to the betrayal of the Cambridge Five the network of Soviet moles (including the notorious Kim Philby), who provided invaluable intelligence to Moscow during the Cold War.

Danny Yatom, a former chief of Israel’s Mossad, told the Beast: “The fact those ten spies were burned by the Turks by purposely informing the Iranians is not only a despicable act, it is an act that brings the Turkish intelligence organization to a position where I assume no one will ever trust it again.”

Yatom said the Mossad has traditionally informed its Turkish counterparts about meetings with its spies on Turkish soil. He said if Turkey gave Iran any details about these meetings, it would compromise Israel’s intelligence operations against Iran.

Indeed, in April, 2012, the Tehran Times announced: “Iran has foiled Israeli terrorist plots.”

The Iranian Intelligence Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday announcing that it recently foiled several Israeli terrorist plots.

The statement was issued to provide more details about recent operations by Iranian intelligence forces that led to the arrest of 15 Mossad-linked spies and terrorists.

On April 10 [2012], the Intelligence Ministry announced that key members of an Israeli terrorist network had been identified and arrested in Iran.

Presumably, the blood of those 15 agents is on Hakan Fidan’s hands.

Omri Ceren, of The Israel Project, wrote today: “Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that if the story is true, then Turkey’s intel chief Hakan Fidan was just ‘doing his job’ by ‘not letting other intelligence agencies operate in Turkey.’ That might be surprising to Turkey’s NATO allies, not to mention any country that does counterterror work with Ankara.”

And that is a problem well beyond the anger and betrayal anyone in the Mossad might be feeling today. Turkey has the largest army of all the European NATO members and it plays a central role in the alliance. Which means that if you’re a senior security official in any of NATO’s member countries, you’ll start reviewing your exchanges with the Turks. Remember, Turkey serves as a passageway not only for spies going into Iran, but also for terrorists coming out of Iran. If you can’t now trust the Turks to monitor that traffic reliably; if, in fact, you have to worry about them actually aiding and abetting those terrorists – what do you do?

This is far from being an Israel-only problem. I mentioned in an earlier article the similarity between Hakan Fidan’s despicable act and those Afghan soldiers who shoot their American fellows on patrol. If Turkey does not find a meaningful way of convincing its NATO allies that it is trustworthy—it could bring on a sea change in Turkey’s already eroding relationship with the West.

Is Erdoğan’s Turkey turning its back on its European aspirations, in search of a safe and familiar role as the Muslim world’s eternal second fiddle?

The Complainers are Alive and Well in America

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

In this Shabbat’s Torah portion, we met the complainers. Among the different types of personalities and personality disorders, there are complainers. There are people who complain about everything. Wherever they are, whatever they’re doing, they always have the need to complain. “This is no good, and that’s no good. This should be done that way, and I could have done the same thing better.”

We meet them right after our incredibly miraculous salvation from the armies of Egypt, as the Egyptians are still drowning in the sea, and our spontaneous song of joy is still echoing over the wilderness mountains, the people started complaining. Not all the people. The complainers.

First they complained that there wasn’t any fresh water – as if King of the Universe, who split the sea five minutes ago, couldn’t give them a little fresh water! Then they complained against Moshe and Aharon, finding fault with the greatest leaders in the world! Then they complained about the menu, which ever since has become a very Jewish thing to do. “Waiter, this steak is too rare.” Or, “Waiter, this steak is well done.” Then, once again in the wilderness, they complained about the lack of water, accusing Moshe of trying to kill them! A little later on, they are going to start complaining about having to live in Eretz Yisrael.

I’m sure you are familiar with the type. For instance, there is no shortage of them amongst Jewish bloggers in America. Surely you’ve noticed. Some are always complaining: “This in Israel is no good, and that’s no good, the country is too secular, or the religious have too much power, you can’t make a living there, the Israelis are rude, and on and on and on and on.”

After reading this Shabbat’s Torah portion, I realized that they’re the modern-day complainers. Apparently, it’s something genetic. It’s not their fault. They can’t help it. I suppose a doctor would call it an obsessive compulsion, and a psychiatrist might term it a neurotic disorder. It could be there are medicines that can help the problem, like the drugs that doctors prescribe for just about everything else. Maybe anti-depressants would work. After all, they don’t seem like very happy people, the way they’re complaining all the time.

The only other thing I can think of that might help them is to learn Emunah, which means faith. Rabbi Kook would always say that Emunah must be learned. True faith in God doesn’t grow on trees in Brooklyn. Every Jew has Emunah deep down inside. But it must be developed. Emunah is more than eating bagels and lox and putting on tefillin. True faith in God requires learning. Not just any type of learning, but learning designed to bring a person to a living connection with God, and to put his life in line with what God wants for the Am Yisrael, the Nation of Israel.

Books like the “Kuzari” and the writings of Rabbi Kook are a good place to start. And a true reading of the Torah is the best place of all. Like they very thing that we are reading about now – how God doesn’t want us to live in foreign countries, and how He even turned the world upside down with the greatest miracles ever, to teach us this lesson and bring us to the Land of Israel where He wants us to live. But the complainers didn’t like the way God was handling things.

For example, the Spies were outstanding Torah scholars, but they were the biggest complainers of all. They believed in some things, but they didn’t believe in others. They agreed to keep Shabbat and put on tefillin, but when it came to making aliyah, they didn’t believe in God, as the Torah says, “In this matter, you did not believe in the Lord your God” (Devarim, 1:32). In the matter of going to live in Israel. They wanted to live in Brooklyn, and Chicago, and Texas instead.

Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook taught:

The Gemara talks about types of “Tzaddikim who don’t believe” (Sotah 48B). They choose words of Torah and commandments, saying, “This matter is arranged properly by the Almighty. It’s very nice; it pleases me; it’s easy; I agree to abide. However, this matter is not so good.” This approach to Torah leads to dangerous consequences and heresy. There is a startling saying of our Sages in the Gemara regarding someone who says, “This precept is pleasant, and this one isn’t pleasant; this matter is pleasing to me, and this other matter is not. Everyone who chooses between the mitzvot in the Torah, saying this one he agrees with, this one he doesn’t, loses the richness of Torah” (Eruvin 64A).

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/the-complainers-are-alive-and-well-in-america/2013/01/27/

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