JN-1135

Jerusalem News (2 March, 2015, 11 Adar, 5775)

Contents:
1. Report: Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli jets by Pamella Geller
2. Column One: In Israel's hour of need by CAROLINE B. GLICK
3.  A British Officer  Defends the Israeli Defence forces before a UN Commission
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1. Report: Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli jets by Pamella Geller
http://pamelageller.com/2015/03/report-obama-threatened-to-shoot-down-israeli-jets.html/
Extracts:
When I wrote my book, The Post American Presidency, The Obama Administration's War on America,
http://www.amazon.com/The-Post-American-Presidency-Administrations-America/dp/1439190364
I warned that Obama's antisemitism would have grave consequences. The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma'an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran. ... It's worse than we know. . Report: Obama Threatened to Shoot Down IAF Iran Strike,  INN, March 1, 2015 Kuwaiti paper claims unnamed Israeli minister with good ties with the US administration 'revealed the attack plan to John Kerry.' ... US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran's nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran. Following Obama's threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack. According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran's nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel's back. The report claimed that an unnamed Israeli minister who has good ties with the US administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, and that Obama then threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran. Al-Jarida quoted 'well-placed' sources as saying that Netanyahu, along with Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon, and then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, had decided to carry out airstrikes against Iran's nuclear program after consultations with top security commanders. According to the report, 'Netanyahu and his commanders agreed after four nights of deliberations to task the Israeli army's chief of staff, Benny Gantz, to prepare a qualitative operation against Iran's nuclear program. In addition, Netanyahu and his ministers decided to do whatever they could do to thwart a possible agreement between Iran and the White House because such an agreement is, allegedly, a threat to Israel's security.   The sources added that Gantz and his commanders prepared the requested plan and that Israeli fighter jets trained for several weeks in order to make sure the plans would work successfully. Israeli fighter jets reportedly even carried out experimental flights in Iran's airspace after they managed to break through radars.
See More at:
http://pamelageller.com/2015/03/report-obama-threatened-to-shoot-down-israeli-jets.html/#sthash.B1CIcJy1.dpuf
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2. Column One: In Israel's hour of need
By CAROLINE B. GLICK, The Jerusalem Post
February 27, 2015
www.CarolineGlick.com
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Column-One-In-Israels-hour-of-need-392348
Extracts:
... For most of the nine years he has served as Israel's leader, first from 1996 to 1999 and now since 2009,
Netanyahu shied away from confrontations or buckled under pressure.
He signed deals with the Palestinians he knew the Palestinians would
never uphold in the hopes of winning the support of hostile US
administrations and a fair shake from the pathologically hateful
Israeli media.

In recent years he released terrorist murderers from prison. He
abrogated Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. He
agreed to support the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the
Jordan River. He agreed to keep giving the Palestinians of Gaza free
electricity while they waged war against Israel. He did all of these
things in a bid to accommodate US President Barack Obama and win over
the media, while keeping the leftist parties in his coalitions happy.

For his part, for the past six years Obama has undermined Israel's
national security. He has publicly humiliated Netanyahu repeatedly.

He has delegitimized Israel's very existence, embracing the jihadist
lie that Israel's existence is the product of post-Holocaust European
guilt rather than 4,000 years of Jewish history.

He and his representatives have given a backwind to the forces that
seek to wage economic warfare against Israel, repeatedly indicating
that the application of economic sanctions against Israel - illegal
under the World Trade Organization treaties - are a natural response
to Israel's unwillingness to bow to every Palestinian demand. The same
goes for the movement to deny the legitimacy of Israel's very
existence. Senior administration officials have threatened that Israel
will become illegitimate if it refuses to surrender to Palestinian
demands.

Last summer, Obama openly colluded with Hamas's terrorist war against
Israel. He tried to coerce Israel into accepting ceasefire terms that
would have amounted to an unconditional surrender to Hamas's demands
for open borders and the free flow of funds to the terrorist group. He
enacted a partial arms embargo on Israel in the midst of war. He cut
off air traffic to Ben-Gurion International Airport under specious and
grossly prejudicial terms in an open act of economic warfare against
Israel.

And yet, despite Obama's scandalous treatment of Israel, Netanyahu has
continued to paper over differences in public and thank Obama for the
little his has done on Israel's behalf. He always makes a point of
thanking Obama for agreeing to Congress's demand to continue funding
the Iron Dome missile defense system (although Obama has sought
repeatedly to slash funding for the project).

Obama's policies that are hostile to Israel are not limited to his
unconditional support for the Palestinians in their campaign against
Israel. Obama shocked the entire Israeli defense community when he
supported the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, despite
Mubarak's dependability as a US ally in the war on Islamist terrorism,
and as the guardian of both Egypt's peace treaty with Israel and the
safety and freedom of maritime traffic in the Suez Canal.

Obama supported Mubarak's overthrow despite the fact that the only
political force in Egypt capable of replacing him was the Muslim
Brotherhood, which seeks the destruction of Israel and is the
ideological home and spawning ground of jihadist terrorist groups,
including al-Qaida and Hamas. Obama then supported the Muslim
Brotherhood's regime even as then-president Mohamed Morsi took
concrete steps to transform Egypt into an Islamist, jihadist state and
end Egypt's peace with Israel.

Israelis were united in our opposition to Obama's behavior. But
Netanyahu said nothing publicly in criticism of Obama's destructive,
dangerous policy.

He held his tongue in the hopes of winning Obama over through quiet diplomacy.

He held his tongue, because he believed that the damage Obama was
causing Israel was not irreversible in most cases. And it was better
to maintain the guise of good relations, in the hopes of actually
achieving them, than to expose the fractures in US-Israel ties caused
by Obama's enormous hostility toward Israel and by his strategic
myopia that endangered both Israel and the US's other regional allies.

And yet, today Netanyahu, the serial accommodator, is putting
everything on the line. He will not accommodate. He will not be
bullied. He will not be threatened, even as all the powers that have
grown used to bringing him to his knees - the Obama administration,
the American Jewish Left, the Israeli media, and the Labor party grow
ever more shrill and threatening in their attacks against him.

As he has made clear in daily statements, Netanyahu is convinced that
we have reached a juncture in our relations with the Obama
administration where accommodation is no longer possible.

Obama's one policy that Netanyahu has never acquiesced to either
publicly or privately is his policy of accommodating Iran.

Since Obama's earliest days in office, Netanyahu has warned openly and
behind closed doors that Obama's plan to forge a nuclear deal with
Iran is dangerous. And as the years have passed, and the lengths Obama
is willing to go to appease Iran's nuclear ambitions have been left
their marks on the region, Netanyahu's warnings have grown stronger
and more urgent.

Netanyahu has been clear since his first tenure in office in the
1990s, that Iran's nuclear program - as well as its ballistic missile
program - constitutes a threat to Israel's very existence. He has
never wavered from his position that Israel cannot accept an Iran
armed with nuclear weapons.

...For the past two years, in the interest of reaching a deal, Obama has enabled Iran to take over Iraq,
Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. For the first time since 1974, due to
Obama's policies, the Golan Heights is an active front in the war
against Israel, with Iranian military personnel commanding Syrian and
Hezbollah forces along the border.

Iran's single-minded dedication to its goal of becoming a regional
hegemon and its commitment to its ultimate goal of destroying the US
is being enabled by Obama's policies of accommodation. An Iran in
possession of a nuclear arsenal is an Iran that can not only destroy
Israel with just one or two warheads. It can make it impossible for
Israel to respond to conventional aggression carried out by terrorist
forces and others operating under an Iranian nuclear umbrella.

Whereas Israel can survive Obama on the Palestinian front by stalling,
waiting him out and placating him where possible, and can even survive
his support for Hamas by making common cause with the Egyptian
military and the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the
damage Obama's intended deal with Iran will cause Israel will be
irreversible. The moment that Obama grants Iran a path to a nuclear
arsenal - and the terms of the agreement that Obama has offered Iran
grant Iran an unimpeded path to nuclear power - a future US
administration will be hard-pressed to put the genie back in the
bottle.

For his efforts to prevent irreparable harm to Israel Netanyahu is
being subjected to the most brutal and vicious attacks any Israeli
leader has ever been subjected to by an American administration and
its political allies. They are being assisted in their efforts by a
shameless Israeli opposition that is willing to endanger the future of
the country in order to seize political power.

Every day brings another serving of abuse. Wednesday National Security
Adviser Susan Rice accused Netanyahu of destroying US relations with
Israel. Secretary of State John Kerry effectively called him a serial
alarmist, liar, and warmonger.

For its part, the Congressional Black Caucus reportedly intends to
sabotage Netanyahu's address before the joint houses of Congress by
walking out in the middle, thus symbolically accusing of racism the
leader of the Middle East's only liberal democracy, and the leader of
the most persecuted people in human history.

.... Netanyahu has devoted the last six years to avoiding a fight
with Obama, often at great cost to Israel's national security and to
his own political position.

Netanyahu is coming to Washington next week because Obama has left him
no choice. And all decent people of good will should support him, and
those who do not, and those who are silent, should be called out for
their treachery and cowardice.
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3.  A British Officer  Defends the Israeli Defence forces before a UN Commission
SUBMISSION TO THE UNITED NATIONS INDEPENDENT COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ON THE 2014 GAZA CONFLICT
21st February 2015 jmb82BBp
BY COLONEL RICHARD KEMP CBE

GENEVA, 20 FEBRUARY 2015

Extracts:

I was a Colonel in the British Infantry. Much of my 29 years' military service was spent countering terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Macedonia. I was Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan in 2003. I fought in the 1990-91 Gulf War and commanded British troops in Bosnia with the UN Protection Force and in Cyprus with the UN Force.

From 2002 - 2005 I was seconded to the UK Cabinet Office working on intelligence relating to international and domestic terrorism. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad were among the extremist groups that I monitored and assessed in this role, and I had access to all secret intelligence available to the UK on these and other Palestinian extremist groups.

I was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen in 1994 for counter terrorist intelligence services and Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2006 also for counter terrorist intelligence services.

I was in Israel for much of the summer 2014 Gaza conflict, specifically from 14 July - 8 August and from 27 August - 5 September. During these periods I met, was briefed by and questioned Israeli political leaders, senior officials and Israel Defence Force (IDF) soldiers from general officer down to private soldier. I spent a considerable amount of this time close to the Gaza border where I also met, was briefed by, questioned and observed many IDF officers and soldiers immediately before and after they had been in combat.

I was in Israel also for much of the Gaza conflict in 2012. I visited IDF units and held meetings with many IDF officers, government officials and political leaders before and since then. I have been acquainted with the IDF and the Israeli intelligence services for many years, both during and after my military service.

This submission to the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict is based on observations on the ground during the conflict, 29 years' military experience of conflicts of this type, intelligence work relating to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, knowledge of the IDF and Israeli intelligence services, study of the Israel-Palestine conflict and observations on the ground during the 2012 Gaza conflict. I should add that I have no formal, paid or unpaid, connection with the IDF or with any other organ of the Israeli government.

In my opinion the actions taken by the IDF were necessary to defend the people of Israel from the ongoing, intensive and lethal attacks by Hamas and other groups in Gaza. It is the inalienable duty of every government to use its armed forces to protect its citizens and its terrain from external attack.

In this case there was a sustained assault on the Israeli population from rockets and mortar bombs; attacks on Israeli military posts using tunnels; apparent plans to launch further attacks on Israeli military posts and on civilian settlements also using tunnels; and attempted attacks from the sea.

As the Gaza Strip is effectively a separate state, outside of Israeli control, these actions amounted to an attack by a foreign country against Israeli territory. In these circumstances I know of no other realistic and effective means of suppressing an aggressor's missile fire than the methods used by the IDF, namely precision air and artillery strikes against the command and control structures, the fighters and the munitions of Hamas and the other groups in Gaza. Nor have I heard any other military expert from any country propose a viable alternative means of defence against such aggression.

The only other options, which I do not consider realistic in these circumstances, would have been:

A strategy of carpet-bombing to force Hamas and the other groups to desist from their attacks.
A large-scale ground invasion to find and destroy the offensive capabilities of Hamas and the other groups.

Either of these means would have resulted in far greater civilian casualties, and a ground invasion would also have incurred significant numbers of Israeli military casualties. The destruction of Hamas would also have left Gaza under full Israeli control, which would have needed an investment in military resources that Israel could ill afford given the wide range of threats and potential threats that the country faces, including from Iran, from Hizballah in Lebanon and Syria, from the Islamic State in Syria and from Islamist extremists in Sinai.

In reality, the offensive missile capabilities of Hamas and the other groups could never have been totally destroyed using air operations alone. Recognising this, the IDF commanders and their political leadership calculated that to have eradicated the threat completely would have required a ground offensive that would have caused large numbers of casualties among Gaza civilians,  far more than were sustained during the operation in the summer. They also took account of predicted Israeli military casualties which would have been substantial.

The consequence was an acceptance that while it would be possible to halt Hamas's aggression on a temporary basis, there would in the future be a resurgence of such activity, forcing yet another defensive operation along the lines of 2008-09, 2012 and 2014, and causing further Israeli and Palestinian casualties. Though unsatisfactory in the longer term, this was a proportional and pragmatic response - indeed in my opinion the minimum possible response - to the rocket fire from Gaza.
From my own research as well as briefings from and discussions with Israeli legal, military and political leaders, I understand and know well the ethos and operating principles of the IDF and I know that their commanders place great emphasis on adherence to the laws of armed conflict. This includes the principle of proportionality, which is set out in Israel's manual of military law and is recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

.... The IDF is accountable to the democratically elected government of Israel and also to the Israeli legal system. The laws of Israel require  adherence to the laws of armed conflict as well as domestic military and civilian criminal law. The Israeli military and civilian legal systems,  both widely respected by international legal authorities,  are empowered to take appropriate action against IDF personnel who transgress domestic or international law. There are numerous examples of such action in relation to previous conflicts. I am aware that such processes are currently underway in relation to the 2014 conflict.

....As with all Western armed forces the IDF codify the relevant laws into rules of engagement that determine when Israeli military personnel may or may not use lethal and less than lethal force and into regulations that govern military conduct in relation to treatment of civilians, enemy combatants and property in an operational area. As with British and US rules of engagement, in normal circumstances IDF rules of engagement keep the IDF soldier within the laws of armed conflict by a significant margin. All Israeli soldiers are trained on these rules and regulations and the IDF emphasizes continuous updating of this training for their troops.

I have frequently questioned senior and junior IDF personnel on these issues and I have found that communication of these directions is effective. In my experience the most junior soldiers in the IDF understand them and the imperative of adhering to them in conflict.

I questioned Israeli commanders and soldiers on the ground on their actions in combat on the Gaza border immediately before and immediately after they were fighting in Gaza and during ceasefire periods. I spoke to soldiers from infantry, tank, artillery and engineer forces.

Many of them expressed frustration at the restrictions imposed upon them by the rules of engagement, in the same way as British, US and other Western soldiers express such frustration. This was generally explained to me as frustration due to the additional risks imposed on their own lives and the lives of their fellow soldiers and also on the reduction in effectiveness against an enemy brought about by adherence to the highly restrictive IDF rules of engagement. The latter relates to restrictions that I was told frequently allowed enemy fighters to escape rather than take the risk that innocent civilians might be killed.

Website: www.imra.org.il

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