Israel’s shrillest critics often accuse the Jewish State of exaggerating security threats. Some detractors have even characterized Israel’s security conscience leaders as “paranoid.” We often hear them spew tired and meaningless banalities like “peace of the brave” and “risks for peace” in connection with their calls for unilateral Israeli concessions. But Israelis, who have been compelled to fight seven wars with their Arab neighbors since acquiring hard-fought statehood, know better. They are keenly aware that peace treaties with authoritarian leaders and two-bit kings, generals and sheikhs are worth no more than the paper on which they’re written.
Nothing underscores this concept better than outrageous but unsurprising statements recently made by Jordan’s former prime minister, Abdelsalam al-Majali. In an August 18 televised interview, al-Majali, who was a signatory to the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty, stated, “The Arabs do not have any power. If we ever have military power, will we let them keep Haifa? We’ll take it.” And just in case anyone had any doubts as to the meaning of his words he added, “If tomorrow we become stronger and can take Haifa by force, will we really decline just because we have an agreement with them?”
The comments were made in Arabic to an Arabic audience. This is typical. Arab leaders often speak in forked tongues when the topic centers on Israel and have become adept at this type doublespeak. When addressing Western audiences, they moderate their tones and often employ euphemisms and ambiguities to mask their real intentions. But it is an entirely different affair when they address their fellow kinsmen where their true pernicious intentions are exposed.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is under no illusions about the catastrophe that would befall his nation if Israel let its guard down for one second. He once insightfully observed that “If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.” As a result, the Netanyahu-led government has invested heavily in defense. Nearly 6 percent of Israel’s GDP, or $19.6b was allocated toward defense spending in 2017.
All branches of the armed forces are slated to receive substantial upgrades to their operational capabilities. The Israel Air Force (IAF) currently operates a squadron of F-35 “Adir” 5th generation stealth fighters. Israel was the first nation outside of the U.S. to have deployed the F-35 and the aircraft has already seen successful operational use in the Syrian theater. The IAF is expected to take delivery of 50 of these machines, which when added to Israel’s existing fleet of F-15 Strike Eagles and F-16 Sufa fighters will ensure that the IAF maintains its air supremacy over the skies of the Mideast for decades.
The armored corps is slated to receive upgrades to its vaunted Merkava IV tanks with artificial intelligence (AI) enhancements. The new tank will be called the Barak and in addition to AI enhancements, will receive an improved cannon, improved Active Protection System (APS) capable of swatting anti-tank guided missiles and RPGs before the projectiles can reach the tank’s armor, and a 360-degree Virtual Reality (VR) system enabling the crew to survey the terrain without having to expose themselves to enemy fire.
Israel’s Ministry of Defense (IMoD) recently announced the establishment of a missile corps which will be attached to the ground forces. It is a revolutionary concept that will enable the ground forces to deploy rockets possessing various ranges of between 30 and 150 kilometers with unprecedented precision. The missile corps will be integrated with the Tzayad battlefield management system. This platform allows all units in the theater of operations to see each other through interconnected laptops. With a touch to a screen, a commander can communicate to all other units the location of friend and foe alike within seconds. Soldiers of the missile corps would then swing into action launching deadly rockets from as far away as 150 kilometers with incredible precision. The establishment of the missile corps will enable the IAF to concentrate on more strategic targets while the missile corps deals with tactical targets.
The Israel Naval Service will also soon see a significant boost to its operational capabilities with the acquisition of four Sa’ar-6 class super corvettes equipped with sophisticated sea-to-sea missiles, torpedoes, point-defense systems, anti-aircraft missiles and rapid-fire cannon. These along with other naval assets will patrol Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and ensure that maritime traffic in the eastern Mediterranean, the Gulf of Eilat and the Red Sea remains unimpeded. Advanced Dolphin II class submarines, equipped with Popeye Turbo cruise missiles (which can be nuclear tipped) will ensure that Israel maintains second strike deterrent capabilities. Moreover, the Dolphin II’s in Israeli service can be submerged for up to 30 days and are extremely quiet making them ideal platforms for covert operations against close and distant targets.
While these and other military upgrades to Israel’s formidable military will enhance Israel’s security, they are no substitute for strategic depth and defensible borders. Israel’s current leadership understands that the Jordan Valley, with its steep depression and high ridgeline, presents the best natural defense against an attack from the east. Moreover, the Samarian mountain range, which overlooks Ben Gurion Airport and part of Israel’s coastal plain, must never be vacated by Israel. Finally, Israel without Judea and Samaria (West Bank) is only nine miles wide at its narrowest point. In 1998, when then Texas Governor George Bush visited Israel and was informed of this fact, he quipped that there were driveways in Texas longer than that. That humorous observation correctly sums up Israel’s strategic situation and that is why Judea and Samaria is integral to Israel’s security needs.
At the same time, the Trump administration is readying further possible sanctions on Venezuela, the official said.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro attends a military exercise in Maracaibo. (photo credit: MIRAFLORES PALACE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
WASHINGTON, Feb 8 – The United States is holding direct communications with members of Venezuela’s military urging them to abandon leader Nicolas Maduro and is also preparing new sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on him, a senior White House official said.
The Shalva Band following their final performance on “Rising Star.” Photo: Screenshot.
The Shalva Band has removed itself from the race to represent Israel in this year’s Eurovision competition because some of its members observed Shabbat and would not be able to partake in mandatory rehearsals, The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.
The group, made up of eight musicians who have special needs, was one of four finalists in the “Rising Star” singing contest — the winner of which will represent Israel in Eurovision, set to be held in Tel Aviv in May.
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As Birthright Israel reaches its 700,000th participant, certain voices in America have done their best to slander the organization and force it to make drastic changes. Having staffed multiple Birthright trips as a madrich (youth leader), I have had the amazing opportunity to pass on some of the love for Israel that helped change my life.
Local police in Manchester’s Whitefield neighborhood declared the vandalism a criminal act rather than antisemitic.
Protesters hold placards and flags during a demonstration, organised by the British Board of Jewish Deputies for those who oppose anti-Semitism, in Parliament Square in London, Britain, March 26, 2018.. (photo credit: HENRY NICHOLLS/REUTERS)
The Philips Park Jewish cemetery in Manchester, England, was vandalized on Saturday, during which the tomb of Rabbi Yehuda Zev Segal, who died last year, was desecrated.
Protestors call for the severing of diplomatic ties with Israel during a march in Cape Town. (photo credit: MIKE HUTCHINGS / REUTERS)
A proposed multi-million dollar deal between Israel’s Central Bottling Company (CBC) and South Africa’s biggest dairy producer Clover could be in serious trouble due to heavy pressure from the anti-Israel lobby.
Newly-formed consortium Milco, in which Israel’s Central Bottling Company (CBC) holds a majority, is offering to buy 59.5% of the South African dairy producer.
We need to give the Likud Party some credit for not destroying itself in Tuesday’s internal elections. Given that primaries are the very embodiment of deal-making, political machines and big worker unions voting in lockstep, the results could have been far worse.
When it came to casting a secret ballot, the Likud Party’s registered voters did display some maturity. They weren’t the obedient foot soldiers of Benjamin Netanyahu, who has failed again and again in his machinations.
With elections barely two months away, the greatest challenge facing Israel’s Right emanates neither from the Center nor the Left, but, rather, from within.
Indeed, if recent polls are accurate, several small parties on the Right, most of which may not individually pass the minimum threshold to make it into the next Knesset, could nonetheless win a combined total of 10 to 12 seats, all of which would end up in the dustbin if they fail to run together.
August 2017, white supremacists marched in Charlottesville shouting, “Jews will not replace us”. October 2018, one white supremacist posted on social media that “Jews are taking over the white house”, and that Trump is a puppet of the Jews. Shabbat, the same month, a man enters a synagogue during a Bris celebration and butchers Jewish people who are praying. December 2018, Women’s March leader and Louis Farrakhan (“I’m not an antisemite, I’m an anti-termite”) fan, Tamika Mallory says: “White Jews, as white people, uphold white supremacy…”
Henry Ford devoted his life to two passions: making cars and demonizing Jews. When Hitler said, “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration,” he wasn’t referring to his car manufacturing. He was referring to Ford’s anti-Semitic ideology that eventuated in the genocide of six million Jews.
Henry Ford does not deserve to be honored. The question the good people of Dearborn should ask themselves is: What would you do if the performing arts center were named after Jefferson Davis? If the answer is that you would remove Davis’s name, then you should remove Ford’s.
It was reported recently that the USA and the Taliban have reached a peace agreement on Afghanistan that will allow US forces to leave that country 17 years after they invaded it on October, 2001, less than a month after 9/11.
Al Qaeda had used that dysfunctional state as a safe haven and, while there, was able to plan and execute the attacks that took the lives of over 3000 people in. After the West invaded, the Taliban