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December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ya’alon’

Israeli Media: 2 US Jewish Groups Attack Yaalon’s Comments; True?

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Two American Jewish groups closely associated with the Democratic party’s positions allegedly issued scathing statements about Israel’s Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon’s comments critical of U.S. foreign policy, delivered at Tel Aviv University last week.

But did those groups issue those statements? Or did the Israeli media simply claim they did, and everyone left it at that?

The two groups that were reported by both Haaretz and YNet as condemning Ya’alon, are the National Jewish Democratic Council and the Israel Policy Forum. That those two groups would attack an Israeli leader for having criticized this U.S. administration is hardly surprising.

The NJDC, after all, is the Jewish wing of the Democratic party, just as the Republican Jewish Coalition is for the Republican party. And the Israel Policy Forum is widely regarded as the “old man’s J Street,” or as one of the precursors to the current young-ish bucks who seek to dislodge mainstream American Jews from what people of that bent consider the grips of the American Israel Public Affairs Council.

So when articles in Thursday’s Haaretz and YNet contained extensive quotes from the two U.S. administration-leaning Jewish groups slamming Ya’alon for comments he made at a Tel Aviv University address last week, few were surprised.

At that address, Ya’alon said the U.S. has shown “weakness” in various arenas around the world, and that its Middle East allies are disappointed. He also reiterated a prior statement, that Israel would have to go it alone against Iran and cannot depend on the U.S. to lead on that front.

ISRAEL POLICY FORUM PRESS RELEASE QUOTED IS A MONTH OLD

The articles in the two Israeli media allegedly quoting the American Jewish groups are very similar. Both include the same quotes from the Israel Policy Forum. The quotes include:

• “The Israeli Policy Forum, a pro-peace group, said in a statement that it “condemns recent statements by Ya’alon that insulted the Obama administration and harshly criticized American foreign policy in the Middle East and around the world.”

•”Ya’alon is compromising US-Israeli relations. His obstructionist outbursts simply support a view that Israel is not negotiating in good faith and better serves its critics and those opposed to a lasting peace.”

Both also included this statement, including the double negative:

•”We believe that Ya’alon’s criticisms of President Obama’s diplomatic efforts with Iran were unwarranted and not unconstructive [sic]. His statements demonstrate a pattern of behavior which is not appropriate for the proper conduct of Israel’s diplomacy.”

To those statements, YNet added that the IPF  “condemns recent statements by Ya’alon that insulted the Obama administration and harshly criticized American foreign policy in the Middle East and around the world,” and “IPF welcomes Minister Ya’alon’s late apology and sincerely hopes he will return to the important process of negotiating an agreement with the Palestinians that will insure Israel’s future as a secure and Jewish democratic state.”

The problem is, all of this language is from a press release issued by the IPF on Feb. 21, and was not in response to Ya’alon’s latest comments. Oddly, the two articles quoting the earlier press releases appear on the IPF website in the “IPF in the News” section. The IPF’s latest press release, according to its website, is from March 12, and is about another matter entirely. So the IPF site contains the misquotes of its own press releases in the section bragging about how it is quoted in the media.

All of this is not to say that the IPF has changed directions and applauds Ya’alon’s frank assessments of America’s foreign policy. But doubling the number of Jewish American groups which criticized Ya’alon’s (from one to two) remarks is worth noting. Except there is also a problem with the quotes from the other American Jewish group.

For Yaalon, Kerry, Love Means Totally Saying You’re Sorry

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

In the 1970 film Love Story, Ali MacGraw tells boyfriend Ryan O’Neal: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” That might just mean there’s no love, lost or otherwise, between Israeli Defense Minister Moshe (Bogey—as in Humphrey Bogart, not Boogie, as in boogie-woogie) Yaalon and U.S. secretary of State John (the Boston Brahmin) Kerry. Because Bogie apologized to Kerry, in both Hebrew and English, for his disparaging comments.

Incidentally, I don’t recall President Barack (Barry) Obama ever apologizing to Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu for whining about him on an open mike, in conversation with French President Nicolas (Sarko) Sarkozy, back in 2011. Sarko said, “Netanyahu, I can’t stand him, he’s a liar,” and Barry said, “You’re sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day…”

According to Yedioth, Yaalon said Kerry “operates from an incomprehensible obsession and sense of messianism” and “can’t teach me anything about the conflict with the Palestinians.”

And then he said: “The only thing that might save us is if John Kerry wins the Nobel Prize and leaves us be. We’ve given enough and have received nothing… enough is enough.”

In comparison, Bogey’s saying the Brahmin is obsessive and has a messianic complex, then suggesting someone should give the guy his Nobel Peace Prize already so he’ll leave us alone – well, yes, it’s about as bad. Not the worst thing anyone has ever said about Kerry (Where are the Swiftboaters when you need them?), but of all the things being said every day about the United States, the world’s last remaining superpower decided to pounce on Yaalon.

Because it was a golden opportunity, seeing as the talks are in the toilet, the Palestinians are breaking the Oslo principles once again, going to the UN for recognition, the entire Kerry effort is exposed as so much smoke and mirrors—let’s hit Bogie hard.

According to Yaalon, the negotiations over the past seven and something months have been not so much talks between Israel and the Palestinian as a harsh and bitter fight between himself and the American team. “I am the nut they can’t crack.”

They may be annoyed with Netanyahu, but the Americans hate Yaalon with a passion, because he’s a professional military expert, because he is trusted by most Israelis—Bibi is afraid of him politically, so trust there is not possible, especially when Sara is in the room.

Yaalon sees every little fault in the American proposed security plan and has said publicly that it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on (someone needs to upgrade that putdown to include PowerPoint presentations).

So State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki expressed outrage on Tuesday: “The remarks of the defense minister, if accurate, are offensive and inappropriate, especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel’s security needs.”

Oh, the remarks are accurate, sister, your boss is 100 percent certifiably obsessive, and nasty, too. And that stuff about securing Israel – do us a favor, go secure someone else.

But, of course, Yaalon can’t quite say that, although I would have loved to see him giving our parental figure a little lip. What are they going to do? Announce they’ll cut off military support because of what Bogie called Kerry?

I’d still pay good money to watch it.

“Secretary Kerry and his team including General Allen have been working day and night to try to promote a secure peace for Israel because of the secretary’s deep concern for Israel’s future,” the pesky Psaki said, sounding like the proverbial disappointed mother.

After all the sacrifices your father and I are making for you, how dare you say hurtful things like that?

IDF Closes Civilian Air Space in North

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

The IDF was scheduled to shut down civilian air space in the north as the United States prepares to attack Syria. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and the commanders of the Home Front and Air Force discussed the impending attack on Syria in an emergency meeting Thursday afternoon.

Additional defense measures were taken to protect the port city of Haifa.

Defense Minister Ya’alon: Assad Has Lost Control

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Against the background of the gas attack in Syria and the reports about hundreds of victims, perhaps more than a thousand, Israeli Defense Minister and former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon said on Wednesday that “the Syrian regime has lost control over the country, is present only in about 40 percent of its territory and is finding it difficult to subdue to opposition forces.”

Speaking at a ceremony welcoming the new Jewish year at the defense ministry compound in downtown Tel Aviv, Ya’alon said that “for some time now this has not been an internal Syrian conflict. We decided not to intervene in this conflict, but we drew red lines to make sure our interests are not harmed.

The defense minister expressed skepticism about the ending of the war in Syria. “We don’t envision the end of this situation, since even the toppling of Assad won’t bring about a conclusion. There are many open, bloody accounts yet to be settled by the various elements.”

“It’s a conflict that has turned global, with one axis receiving support from Russia and the other bein helped by the U.S. and Europe. Lebanon is connected to the massive Iranian support and therefore the war has been dripping into its territory as well. Inside Lebanon there are focal points of confrontation as well. But, generally speaking, the borders are peaceful and we are watching to make sure the cannons are not trained on us,” Ya’alon said.

According to rebel sources in Syria, the number of dead as a result of the chemical gas attack on a suburb of Damascus has topped 1,300, including women and children. The rebels are claiming this was a massacre of innocent civilians, who were hurt by poison gas in the area of the Guta camp, a rebel held spot outside Damascus.

A Syrian government spokesperson has said in response that those claims are unfounded, and are intended to sabotage the work of the UN inspectors who have just arrived in Syria to investigate earlier reports of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army.

Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, head of the 20-member inspection team, told news agency TT that he finds the reports of such a high number of casualties suspicious.

“It sounds like something that should be looked into,” he told TT over the phone from Damascus. “It will depend on whether any UN member state goes to the secretary general and says we should look at this event. We are in place.”

Minister Ya’alon referred to situation in Egypt as well, saying there has been relative quiet on the Israeli border with Egypt, but noted that extremist elements like the World Jihad will attempt to destabilize the border.

He warned against the recent developments in the Sinai, such as the execution by Islamist terrorists of 25 Egyptian policemen, spilling over into Israel.

“Over the past week, the Sinai border has been the hottest, and it obliges us to realign for it.”

Netanyahu Recovering from Hernia Operation

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is recovering from a hernia surgery he underwent late Saturday night.

Netanyahu was admitted to a Jerusalem hospital after complaining of abdominal pain.

The surgery took about an hour. Netanyahu is expected to be released on Sunday.

A Cabinet meeting planned for Sunday will be postponed.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is serving as caretaker prime minister.

IAF Retaliates Against Gaza Terror Targets

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Following 3 rocket launches from Gaza on Tuesday evening, the Israel Air Force struck back at targets within Gaza.

This was the first time that Israel has responded with an air assault to the Gaza rocket launches since the Pillars of Defense cease fire. No one was reported injured in the IAF strike.

The Gazan rockets hit in the Eshkol region.

There was also a mortar launched earlier in the day that fell short and landed within the Gaza Strip.

The IDF Spokesperson said,

“The IDF will not accept any attempt to attack Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers, and the IDF has no intention of allowing the return to the situation as it was before Operation Pillars of Defense.
The IDF views the attacks on Israel as very serious, and holds Hamas responsible.”

Earlier in the day police also found the remains of the Palestinian rocket that targeted Israel during President Obama’s visit on March 21.

The Gaza rocket had hit a kindergarten in Sderot. The school was closed and empty at the time for the extended Passover vacation.

NYT: Fans Mirror Israel’s Racism—Ignores Europe’s Hate Stadiums

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Like Europeans, Israelis are mad for their soccer.  For some, soccer is the true religion of the Middle East,  one shared by Muslims and Jews alike.

But just as in Europe, not all soccer fans follow the normal rules of civility, and the behavior of some fans of one Israeli soccer team in particular, Jerusalem Beitar, has been reprehensible.  Beitar was the last of the 30 Israeli soccer teams without any Muslim players. The anti-Muslim racism of its fans has led to Beitar being banned from some soccer matches and being fined, as well as having demonstrations by Israelis denouncing their behavior.

When Beitar management last week brought in two Muslims from Chechnya to join the team, the response by the haters was ugly, if not unexpected.  Despite official efforts to celebrate the inclusion of Muslims into the Beitar family as an important Israeli value, some fans responded at a game over the weekend with shameful calls for “Beitar purity,” and unfurled a vicious banner: “Beitar, pure forever.”

But today’s New York Times story about the incident is shocking in its narrow focus and excessive reliance on Israel haters to suggest that the racism of the worst Beitar fans accurately reflects Israeli society.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told The Jewish Press by telephone from Berlin, “You want to know what “mirrors” Israeli society?  Walk in the Mamilla Mall on a Saturday night,  Arabs and Israelis, Muslims and Jews, all strolling, eating and shopping together – that’s the mirror of Israeli society.”

The official response to the boorishness was swift and unequivocal: the team was fined 50,000 NIS ($ 13,400) and 50 of the worst offenders were banned from an upcoming match.

Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon slammed the ugly behavior, saying “I was shocked by the racism displayed in the Beitar Jerusalem stands yesterday against having Muslim or Arab players on the team.”

“We cannot ignore these displays of racism which not long ago were directed – and are still being directed – towards the Jewish people,” he wrote on Twitter.

And in a show of solidarity, Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat attended the Tuesday press conference welcoming the Muslim Chechen players, Zaur Sadayev and Gabriel Kadiev, who had previously played on the premier Russian team Terek Grozny.

Barkat said, “I want to tell viewers around the world that we will not put up with racism or violence.  This is an ethical statement that goes out from Jerusalem to the world.”

And Beitar’s team captain Amit Ben-Shushan said at the press conference welcoming the new players, “We do not engage in politics.  As far as we’re concerned, we will do our best to welcome the players in the best possible fashion.”

The Russian-born billionaire owner of Beitar, Arkady Gaydamak, rejected the nasty response to the new players, telling Israeli Army Radio last week that the “small group of so-called supporters of the team do not represent the general opinion of the Israeli public, and they should not be allowed to win.”

No one suggests there is no racism in Israel or amongst Israeli sports fans – far from it.  A horrible incident received a lot of attention last spring when Beitar fans, chanting “death to the Arabs” after a game in Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium poured into the nearby Malha Mall, where Arab workers were allegedly assaulted by some participants.

But the only “experts” quoted in the NYT article are ones whose professional livelihood is built and dependent upon denouncing Israel as a racist society.

For example, Professor Moshe Zimmerman, chair of Hebrew University’s German Studies Department, is quoted as expressing strong support for the article’s headline, that the racist Beitar fans reflect Israeli society.

It might have been useful for readers of the NYT article to know that Zimmerman was chastised by the relatively restrained Anti-Defamation League as far back as 2005, for repeatedly comparing the Israeli Defense Forces and authorities to Nazis.

Yet the NYT writer places Zimmerman as the first expert in the article.  “People in Israel usually try to locate Beitar Jerusalem as some kind of the more extreme fringe; this is a way to overcome the embarrassment,” and Zimmerman continues, “the fact is that the Israeli society on the whole is getting more racist, or at least more ethnocentric, and this is an expression.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/nyt-racist-fans-mirror-israels-racism-ignores-european-stadia-of-hatred/2013/02/01/

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