a different side of Israel

Tag: Army

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: One of Lear’s Daughters “heaves their hearts into their mouths”

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, two months ago, forced out of office by rioters, says he is willing to cooperate with any investigation to prove he did not own property abroad or posses foreign bank accounts. He recalls for me the misunderstood King Lear.

Mubarak said in a recent speech:

“I was hurt very much, and I am still hurting — my family and I — from the unjust campaigns against us and false allegations that aim to smear my reputation, my integrity, my (political) stances and my military history…”

Former President Mubarak, who with his family has been under house arrest at a presidential palace in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh since his ouster insists he only possessed a single account in an Egyptian bank and held property only in Egypt. He said he would agree in writing to allow the prosecutor-general to contact other countries to investigate whether he or his wife, Suzanne, owned any accounts or property abroad.

“I agree to authorize the prosecutor-general in writing to allow him to contact, through the Foreign Ministry, all countries in the world to prove to them that I and my wife agree to show any accounts or properties I have possessed starting from my military and political career until now to prove to the people that their former president only owns domestically according to previous financial disclosure.”

Meanwhile, in Egypt:

“Egypt’s security forces shot and killed at least two protesters and wounded dozens before dawn Saturday in an attempt to disperse peaceful demonstrators spending the night in the capital’s iconic Tahrir Square, officials and witnesses said. The crackdown was the most brutal since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11 and since the military started running the country.”

Mona el-Naggar reported in the New York Times:

“And in a page that could have been taken from Mr. Mubarak’s manual, the military also asserted that the protesters had been infiltrated by ‘thugs’ and ‘outlaws.'”

She reported, however:

“The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s best organized political force, which had endorsed the protest on Friday, issued a statement on Saturday under the heading, ‘The Army and the People Are One Hand,’ a popular chant among protesters when they were calling on the military to take their side during the revolution.”

Wanted: Soldiers

‘Demographic challenges” are leaving the IDF with fewer soldiers than it needs to defend the country against its threats, forcing the state to take a strong stance against draft-dodging.
Brig.-Gen. Orna Barbivai, deputy head of the IDF’s Human Resources Branch, complained:

Israeli Soldiers

“We don’t have enough soldiers…we cannot lend our hand to draft-dodging in any way whatsoever…we must work to enlist everybody who is eligible, not only in keeping with Israeli law, but also with our national morals…the army can’t wait for something to happen and then say we didn’t prepare; we need to be ready at all times for all situations…our chief of General Staff says we must be prepared at all times to fight the next war. We must be ready and be able to win in war to an extent that there will be no question that we were victorious.”

She continued:

“Up until recent years, some 25 percent of women served as clerks in the army. Nowadays its only 12%, which illustrates the way in which we have created opportunities for women to find roles in the army where they can contribute more and get more out of their service…we see women in the army at every place, at every rank, in professional roles and combat roles all over, and we believe that we must launch every effort to broaden and deepen the service of women in the army.”

“Because we have fewer soldiers than we need, we believe it’s not right to give up on someone for trying to dodge the draft, or for posing as religious. Our situation won’t allow us to give up on 37% of Israeli women…There is no reason that my daughters are required to do national service and someone else’s aren’t…at one point one of my daughters was serving in Jenin, while the other was deployed at the Machpela Cave. Of course, like every mother, I worried about them, but there’s no question, it’s the army, everyone must serve.”

End of the Tank in Modern Warfare?

Losses so far sustained by Israeli armored forces in it’s incursion into Lebanon has many military analysts believing that heavy tanks and other armored vehicles are on their way out in modern warfare. In a previous posted article: A Hill Too Far? , it was noted that Israeli ground forces are facing the reality of fighting a very resourceful ‘street savvy’ enemy who are not only fighting on their ‘home pitch’ but in terrain very unsuited for heavy armor that is better adapted for fighting on more level surfaces.

The Hezbollah are already claiming to have taken out no less than three Israeli Merkava tanks, using a variety of anti-tank missiles, including Russian made Matis-M and French-made Milan missiles. Both of these are touted as being among the best anti-tank missiles in use today. This is not the first time that Israeli Merkava tanks have been destroyed by what have often been called “irregular militia fighters”. Palestinian fighters were able to take out at least two of these tanks in Gaza by planting large explosive charges and luring the tanks to roll over them before setting them off. The Merkava, and its Merkava II successor, have been reputed to be among the best designed fighting tanks in the world, as good, if not better, than the American made M1 Abrams Battle Tank.

The rocky, hilly terrain that consists of more than two thirds of Lebanon’s geographical makeup is difficult at best for heavy armor, including large 155 m/m mobile cannon, to move about easily; making them easy prey for militia-men who easily blend into the landscape and are able to fire their missiles and then disappear before being located by attack helicopters flying overhead. Tanks used by American and British Coalition forces in Iraq, while initially successful in their lightening sweep through mostly flat terrain in March/April 2003, have recently suffered substantial losses from “insurgent forces” using similar missiles and roadside explosive charges. These fighting tactics are very similar to those used by Hezbollah forces in Lebanon. Tank and other armor losses are having an increasing effect on the morale of the US led Coalition forces, with car-bomb and other types of attacks occurring almost daily in Iraq; and in ever increasing numbers.

The problems of armor units in modern warfare brings to mind a historical similarity in which heavily armored knights in the 14th century were killed frequently by lone enemy soldiers carrying newly developed matchlock muskets. Though calvary units on horseback continued to be an important part of military forces until the 20th Century, the romantic symbol of the knight, with his complete suit of body armor; and mounted on his likewise armored trusty steed, became a relic assigned to the annuls of history – like Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

The tank had already become a questionable piece of military hardware when mighty German Panzer Battalions, including the fearsome King Tiger II tank, proved too cumbersome to be effective enough in various combat conditions, not unlike those found today in Southern Lebanon. World military ordinance experts are no doubt studying the experiences of tank warfare in both Lebanon and Iraq, in order to determine whether this costly piece of military hardware may be on its way out in the ‘hit and run’ tactics of modern warfare; not unlike the armored knight in days of yore.

A Soldier Press Charges Against An Activist Who Called Him A “Nazi”

An activist from “Machsom Watch” (Checkpoint Watch) called a soldier from “Nachshon” regiment a nazi and beast while the soldier was checking the comers and going of the Tul-Karem zone checkpoint. The incident took place a month ago.

The offended soldier decided to break the usual silent soldiers display in face of such behavior, and press charges.

According to the soldier’s colleague there was nothing out of the ordinary in the security check up, and for no apparent reason the activist just started swearing at him, calling him a Nazi, Beast and “a piss-head soldier”.

“She treated him in a demeaning manner,” the soldiers say, “for no reason. Most of the time we just let it go and don’t respond, but this was too much. The soldier was deeply hurt.”

The incident was reported to the commanders of the section, which investigated and concurred the activist’s behavior was “inappropriate”. A military personal said, “We have a practical relationship with the women of “Machsom Watch”. Sometimes they even send us reports, and the regiment commander go over them and come to conclusions about the soldiers’ behavior in the checkpoint. But this was too much.”

Other soldiers from this section said, “This is not the first time we’re doing our job when the women of “Machsom Watch” come to the checkpoints. Here and there we had some small incidents, but this was excessive, so he decided to press charges for insulting a public server.”

Taibe police department confirms that an investigation has started, and when the activist will be located she will be brought for questioning.

The day after the incident, a letter from the women of the organization was sent, supposedly carrying an apology. What it actually had in it were more slogans (Such as “The Israeli occupation corrupts the Israeli soul) but nothing about the incident. The activist in question who had written the letter, only pointed out that she was against the checkpoints.

And that, in short, is the problem with Human Right movements in Israel, and forgive me for switching from a reporting tone to a personal one. Don’t get me wrong, Human Rights movements are very important for self-criticism and the preservation of a nation’s moral standards. The trouble is that more often then none, the Human Rights movements in Israel don’t really care about Human Rights. They are driven by hate, either anti-Semitism or a grudge against Israel for that reason or another. That’s why they hold a double standard. It’s a crime when someone mistreats a Palestinian, but you can say and do what ever you want to the Jews. Even in their web site they write about “The excessive Israeli response to the El Aksa Intifada”. Just to remind you, hundreds of Israelis had been murdered during that Intifada, the last of them just a few weeks ago. You can actually hear them say in so many words “So what?”

I call for true Human Rights movements to take a stand and make themselves heard. To criticize and monitor both sides equally, and to criticize and monitor themselves as well.

And most importantly, try to be driven by true ideology, not by hate.

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