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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Yaakov Katz’

Ketzaleh: I Hate What Sharon Did but He Saved My Life; I Love Him

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

No two politicians could have more of a love-hate relationship than Ariel Sharon and Yaakov Katz.

Sharon is barely holding on to life, and Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz, whose life Sharon saved in war and who worked hand in hand with Sharon to bring Jews to Gaza, Judea and Samaria, recalls how Sharon jilted the nationalist movement, expelled Jews and destroyed their homes and synagogues.

Ketzaleh is a former Knesset Member who stood by his nationalist ideology rather than compromise, no matter the political cost. He founded the Arutz Sheva radio station in 1986 and later its Hebrew language Internet site during the dark days of a single-minded Israel media that ignored terrorist attacks and vilified Jews like him who live in Judea and Samaria.

Katz and Sharon knew each other as IDF officers, but in the Yom Kippur War, they met on the battlefield in the worst possible circumstance, when Katz was left for dead after suffering severe wounds.

Katz had been second in command of an elite 12-officer squad that operated under Sharon’s command and was sent behind enemy lines to locate and destroy Egyptian commandos who were trying to keep Israel from crossing the Suez Canal.

An RPG missile struck Katz, almost cutting his body into two parts.

There were so many casualties that medics decided to let Katz die after concluding it was more urgent to give medical to attention to others than to him, whose wounds were so critical they figured he would not live. A request for a helicopter to evacuate Katz was turned down because they were too close to the fighting with Egyptians.

Sharon overruled the instructions and ordered a helicopter, under Egyptian fire, to evacuate Katz to the hospital.

While he laid in the field, Katz vowed that if would survive, he would dedicate his life to education and to building Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Six months later, Katz walked out of the hospital on crutches and carried out his vow.

In an  interview on Thursday with the nationalist religious Galei Yisrael radio station, Katz recalled his and Sharon’s past that took them sometimes on the same path and eventually on two different streets going in different directions.

Among several comments in the radio interview:

 

Sharon brought us into the heart of Gaza for two years in order to eliminate 1,500 terrorists. He was a man of action; he knew how to read the map….

In violation of orders, Sharon ordered a helicopter that was under Egyptian fire to save me. I owe him my life….

I served as his aide in the settlement program when he was Minister of Agriculture and afterwards as Housing Minster in the Shamir government when then was a huge wave of aliyah from Russia. We split up [our work]: I built with Zambish [Ze’ev Zambish, another pioneer in the settlement movement], and Uri Ariel [now Netanyahu’s Housing Minister] 60,000 residential units in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights.

Arik built 60,000 units in Be’er Sheva, Afula, on the southern end of the Galilee) and Nazereth Illit, located in the Lower Galilee.

With God’s help, we tripled the number of Jews in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights….

Aril was like a father for me. I was closer to him than to anyone else and he was similarly close to me….

He was a man of revolutions, of changes, with the strength of a bulldozer to do the best. His home was my home. My home was his home….

Immediately after I built for him the position of Minister of Infrastructure in the Netanyahu government in 1996, he made a strategic decision to disconnect with us [the settlement movement]. Arik was pulled in by the “clubhouse” to separate himself from settlements in order to sit in the chair as head of the government.

I always told him, “Stay away from … [these] people who will corrupt and ruin you. I did not succeed in keeping him from being drawn to them…

Omri [one of Sharon’s sons] blocked me from reaching him. I also did not try any more, even when I was struggling for Arutz Sheva [which was broadcasting from a boat on the Mediterranean Sea and eventually was shut down by the government]….

After he announced he was going to destroy Gush Katif and [four Jewish communities in] northern Samaria, he once left his office and saw me. He suddenly moved aside, with all of his bodyguards around him, and started to explain to me, “Listen, Katzelah. There are constraints and limitations.”

After listening for a long time, I told him, “Arik, we got over Pharaoh and we will get over you.” He looked at me and laughed….

Arik never explained how he could say “The law for Netzarim [a Jewish community he encouraged in Gush Katif] is the same as the law for Tel Aviv” and then do the damage he did.

During the years that we were together a lot, Arik always asked me, “Katzelah, how is it that you love me so much and don’t believe one word of mine?”

Historians will not forget the last chapter of his life, when he committed crimes against the Jewish People, destroyed their homes, demolished their communities and burned their synagogues. Jews have never done anything like that in our history.

To Unite the Nat’l Religious Camp, U.S.-Born Candidates Offer Themselves as a Sacrifice

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

As the prospects for a merger between the two National Religious parties – the Jewish Home and the National Union – fall apart, the American-born candidate team, Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel have said they would be willing to sacrifice their own potential spot on the Knesset list for the sake of unifying the national-religious camp.

“Our primary goal has never been to make it into the Knesset” but instead uniting the national-religious camp, the two said in a statement released to the press today.

Therefore they will not “endorse a leadership candidate that refuses to support unity between the factions within the religious Zionist camp”

In an e-mail statement they went further, cryptically stating that their support for unity may cost them a spot in the Knesset, but stating that it is “a price we are willing to pay.”

What’s the Hold up to Unity?

The unmentioned hold up to the potential merger referenced by Abramowitz and Gimpel is likely newcomer Naftali Bennett, who, according Lahav Harkov of the Jerusalem Post, said in a private meeting last week that if he were elected to the leadership of the Jewish Home, he would not allow three of the four Knesset Members of the National Union to run with the Jewish Home.

This would make it extremely unlikely that the National Union would agree to join with the Jewish home during the general elections.  It would essentially mean agreeing to disappear to make way for the Jewish Home, even though they currently have four Knesset seats to the Jewish Home’s three.

Unsurprisingly, the National Union’s Knesset Members did not react well to the alleged statements.

Bennett’s campaign told The Jewish Press over the phone today that no such statements were ever made.

Bennett, who is competing for party leadership against current party chairman Minister of Science Rabbi Daniel Hershkowitz and MK Z’vulon Orlev, posted a statement on his facebook page today stating that “To remove all doubt, I support and urge the unity of the camp and to unite with the National Union party. I will work towards it with all my might. I won’t bar a single person. Period.”

The origin of the prospects for merger of the Jewish Home and National Union began earlier this year. When shortly after Pesach it seemed that early elections were imminent, the parties signed an agreement to run as a united list.

Since early elections didn’t occur, the agreement no longer applies. Nevertheless, there are many who want the joint list, including National Union Chairman MK Yaacov Katz.

Katz is one of the three MKs whom Bennett reportedly said he would not allow to run with the Jewish Home. The others were MKs Aryeh Eldad and Michal Ben-Ari. Bennett would reportedly be alright with MK Uri Ariel, the remaining National Union member.

The three on Bennett’s blacklist are considered to have bombastic political temperaments, unwilling to censor themselves, and Ben Ari and Katz in particular make a point of sticking it their opponents.

Ben Ari, for example, brought illegal African immigrants to swimming pools in posh areas of Tel Aviv. During the debate over his proposed “Arrangement Law” Katz said that anyone voting against the bill had “a heart of stone.”

But according to a political strategist who wished to remain anonymous, Bennett is not concerned with the party’s image, but making room on the list for his own political allies.

“Bennett has made many colossal errors,” the strategist said, “the biggest of which is that he has too many people that endorsed him – too many people he owes favors to.”

For Israeli politicians, who are chosen not in general elections, but by internal party mechanisms – often, but not always, primary elections, the real contest is securing a realistic, if not high spot on their party’s list.

If for example, a party gets 12 seats in the Knesset (10 percent of the vote), unlucky candidate number 13, will not get into the Knesset, no matter how popular he may be among the general public. The higher the candidate is on the list, the more likely he is to get into the Knesset and the more likely he is to be named a minister in the government if his party joins the coalition.

Jewish Press Radio with Yishai Fleisher: Situation in Sinai

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by Yaakov Katz, military correspondent for the Jerusalem Post along with Israel correspondent for Jane’s Defense Weekly. They discuss tension that has been created since the Arab Spring between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai and how the region has become a hotbed for terror activity, along with drug and weapon smuggling. Specific problems between the Sinai and Israel are discussed along with potential solutions for these problems. The segment and this week’s show wraps up with Yishai talking about a faux sovereignty controlling in the Sinai and how we should ‘take off the masks’ in the Middle East in order to see the truth.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Is Israel Still The Country It Once Was?

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

As military analyst Yaakov Katz wrote recently in The Jerusalem Post, “Something has changed in Israel.” Once, Israel was renowned for daring military operations like the 1972 capture of five Syrian intelligence officers, the 1976 raid on Entebbe and, even as recently as 2007, the air strike on a Syrian nuclear reactor.

Today – following the Gilad Shalit swap last month for more than 1,000 convicted Palestinian terrorists – it is perceived by many as a country that caves to the demands of its enemies.

With Iran on the verge of going nuclear, many wonder if Israel is considering a possible preemptive military strike. But is Israel the country it once was? These days it seems it can barely push back against the Obama administration’s pressure to negotiate with Hamas and return to indefensible borders. Does an Israel that seemingly surrendered to the demands of terrorists have what it takes to neutralize the looming threat of a nuclear Iran?

In addition to being the military correspondent and defense analyst for The Jerusalem Post, the aforementioned Yaakov Katz is Israel correspondent for Jane’s Defense Weekly, the international military magazine. His first book, Israel vs. Iran: The Shadow War was a 2011 national bestseller in Israel and will be published in the U.S. next March.

Earlier this month at Temple Ner Maarav in Encino, California, Katz spoke on the recent world-changing upheavals in the Middle East, particularly how the so-called Arab Spring is quickly degenerating into an Islamic Winter. He discussed how dramatic developments like the Shalit exchange are impacting Israel, its national security, and its future.

The big beneficiary of the Middle East turmoil is Iran, a looming threat to Israel, which it openly promises to obliterate. The window of opportunity for an Israeli military strike against the Iranian nuclear facilities is closing rapidly. Katz says such a military option is unlikely to be chosen soon.

When Katz ended his presentation to take questions, many in the audience wanted to know why Israel released more than a thousand terrorists to gain Shalit’s release. Katz deplored the message the deal sent – that terrorism and abductions are successful strategies – and said it’s time for Israel to establish a definitive policy about responses to such kidnappings, which are now sure to escalate.

Katz said Benjamin Netanyahu felt he had to make the deal for Shalit before upcoming elections in Egypt bring to power an even more anti-Israel government: “By reaching a deal now, Netanyahu clears his desk and is able to focus on Israel’s true strategic predicaments.”

An audience member asked if Israel could put forward a tougher image by adopting the death penalty for convicted terrorists. Katz noted that studies show, unsurprisingly, that capital punishment is no deterrent to Palestinian suicide bombers. As the terrorists often remind us, they love death more than we love life.

The Palestinians, Katz said, are definitely not partners in the peace process. They have one goal: to delegitimize and isolate Israel until the Palestinians get everything they want.

“The coming year will be critical for Israel,” said Katz. In 1948 David Ben-Gurion pondered the question, “How will Israel survive amid its many enemies?” That same question is relevant today. Katz says there is one national characteristic Israelis can be particularly proud of: resilience. Resilience is what has enabled Israel to defeat its enemies time and again since 1948.

Katz is confident the “same resilience will continue to ensure the greatest miracle of modern times” – Israel’s existence and future.

But will it? Is resilience enough? As Professor Steven Plaut has written, the endless war in the Middle East will end only when Israel pursues “peace through victory” and “returns to its determination to end the terror through military victory and force of arms.”

Mark Tapson is a Hollywood-based writer and screenwriter. He is also a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, focusing on the politics of popular culture. This article originally appeared in slightly different form at Horowitz’s FrontPageMag.com.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/is-israel-still-the-country-it-once-was/2011/11/30/

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