a different side of Israel

Tag: IAF

Settling Accounts & South Heats Up

Today in a cabinet meeting Netanyahu said “We have collected a high price from them and we are still collecting, we will continue to operate as long as it is necessary.”

Friday the IAF caught up with the leader of the Popular Resistance Committee’s, Zuhir al-Qaisi (49). He took his office after the previous head of the Popular Resistance Committee, Jamal Abu Samadhana was also killed by an Israeli attack. He replaced the first head, also killed by the IAF.

Zuhir, AKA “Abu Ibrahim” was one of the planners of the Highway 12 terror attack near Eilat in August 2011. Eight Israelis were killed in the attack. He was also involved in the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, attacks on the border crossing and numerous rocket attacks on Israel.

According to Israeli Intelligence, Zuhir was actively planning a large terror attack on the southern border with Egypt. He was extremely religious and had a radical interpretation of Islam, publicizing this a few days ago:

“Islam is the solution. Islam is a religion that will not exist without Jihad in Alla’s way. Alla will not change the people’s situation, until the people will change their own situation themselves.”

In the ensuing hostilities the terror groups Popular Resistance Committee and Islamic Jihad fired over 90 rockets into the south of Israel, hitting Ashqelon, Ashdod, Beer Sheva and small communities all over the area. Hamas seems to not be interested in hostilities and is so far standing back and some say is even trying to calm things down.

Israel’s “Iron Dome” rocket defense system is proving handy. The system up until Saturday has shot down 25 of 27 rockets that entered its sphere of defense, proving highly effective and making the military folks and southerners feel better. Overall there have 5 wounded on the Israeli side and Palestinians are reporting 14 dead so far.

Islamic Jihad is vowing to continue the attacks.

Attack on an arms depot in the North of the Gaza strip:


Those geniuses in Israel have done it again. Readers, WE have done it again…as we have always been a nation by and for the Jews and under one auspice of nature divine – if you don’t mind.

Stumped in a game of international nuclear chess, the Jews have long wondered how to eliminate the Persian threat. It worked in Syria and Iraq and the world was impressed. And if you were not impressed by IAF stealth in annihilating nuclear reactors in our enemy states, then you’re either jealous, or you know something which the world has yet to.

But what can we do about the Jew hating rhetoric spitting dictatorship over there in Tehran? What should we do?

So the IAF has introduced a fleet of pilotless planes which can remain airborne for 20 consecutive hours and can even reach the Persian Gulf – not to mention ol’ Iran.

I am talking about the Heron TP drones with their grand wingspan of 86 feet (26 meters). Almost as impressive as that book Gilgamesh by that Hammurabi fellow – or do I not have my facts accurate?

At the fleet’s inauguration ceremony at a sprawling air base in Tel Nof, the drone dwarfed an F-15 fighter jet parked next to it. The unmanned plane resembles its predecessor, the Heron, but flies higher, reaching an altitude of more than 40,000 feet (12,000 meters).

Israel’s military refuses to say exactly how large the new fleet is or admit whether or not the planes were designed for use against Iran. The plane’s maker, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, has said it is capable of reaching the Persian Gulf, which would put Iran within its range – capable but is it willing?

The Tale of Aharon Lipner: The Un-Zionist

Turkey makes it clear that they are disturbed by Israel, but not THAT disturbed – that is to say, when it comes to the threat of losing money, their attitude changes, fast!
So amidst inter-government turmoil, Turkey is trying to draw in the ultra-Orthodox community.
The sad part is that the Israeli tourism industry is letting the ultra-Orthodox be exploited.
A delegation of haredi journalists will be traveling to Turkey next week, to visit Jewish attractions. The delegation will ride courtesy of the Turkish Tourism Ministry. The brains behind the idea belong to one Aharon Lipner, owner of Club Kosher, a haredi tourism company.
While the haredi journalists are there, among other cool things to look at, they will find a brand new glatt kosher restaurant – Turkey’s first in the resort town of Antalya. The restaurant will be called the King David, with kashrut under the supervision of Rabbi Moshe Nahshoni – and the restaurant manager, none other than Lipner. The opening of the restaurant is the initiative of another Israeli tourism company, Eshet Tours.
So, why might we be angry?
These guys are totally disrespecting an unofficial Israeli tourism embargo on Turkey.
First Israel gets cut out of aviation training activities by Turkey – with complete disregard for all of the favors that the IAF has done in training the Turkish air force.
Then, if that didn’t leave you offended – your blood began to boil when Turkey for the second year in-a-row, aired the second television program, which slanders Israel and Israelis.

In 2009, Israeli tourism to Turkey plunged 44%.

Lipner said:

“The idea is to clear the slate in the hearts of Israelis… Turks will continue to accept the Jews very respectfully. They have great confidence in the religious and haredi sectors, so they decided to finance the delegation.”

In other words, as long as my company makes money, so can an Israeli-bashing Turkey!
No they’re not as bad as some countries, but shouldn’t we make an example? We will not stand aloof while you spread lies about us!
Efraim Kramer, CEO of Eshet Tours, says that
the religious sector is a major “player” in the tourism industry, and

“designing special resort packages to suit the needs of this sector will constitute a completing product for public of conservative, institutional and young customers of Eshet Tours as well.”

Senior Israeli Officials Speak at IAF Graduation

At an
Israeli Air Force School Graduation Ceremony on Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority to reenter in negotiations on the Middle East peace process. It is expected that Abbas will meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Sunday, when the two leaders are expected to discuss the US-backed plan.
At the ceremony, Barak said this:

“We must explore every possibility to advance a regional peace arrangement, based on an agreement with our Palestinian neighbors, based on the Road Map, the concept of two states for two people, and a declaration of an end to this long running conflict.”

He added:

“We once again call on the Palestinian leadership and Mahmoud Abbas to show responsibility to his countrymen and to return to the negotiating table, in order to achieve the hoped for peace.”

Also present as the ceremony was IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. He pointed out the dangers and threats that the Jewish Country faces.

“At this very hour a number of threats are gathering, both near and far away.”

The IDF chief went on to say that

“standing against all these threats…are these same newly-minted pilots, along with the IAF family, to defend Israel.”

US Should Down IAF Jets Over Iraq? Are you CRAZY?

Back when Barack Obama was just a junior Senator from Illinois and running for president, much of the Jewish community was up in arms about the various friends and advisers surrounding the young presidential hopeful. They included the vitriolic anti Semite Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s personal pastor, Weather Underground member Bill Ayers, who was caught plotting to bomb the Pentagon over Vietnam in the 70’s, and there was also a former cabinet member in the brzezinski zbigniewCarter Administration, National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, who besides having way too many consecutive consonants in both of his names, has been known to be viciously anti Israel in his past statements. Brzezinski was luckily denied a position in the Obama Administration thanks largely to efforts of the pro Israel lobby in blacklisting him and putting pressure on Obama to repudiate him as a possible adviser by hanging the Jewish vote over his head.

In any case, Obama’s fans downplayed each of these associations, saying they either weren’t important or didn’t influence his opinions, Obama is just trying to be diplomatic and friendly with the other side, etc. Maybe they are right. However, today, Brzezinski came out with a statement that may just knock their socks off. Brzezinski has actually urged Obama to make it clear that if the IAF tries to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities via Iraqi airspace, the US Air Force will shoot down the Israeli jets.

Wow. Talk about total lunatic-tinged insanity.

He continued, “We are not exactly impotent little babies,” Brzezinski told The Daily Beast in an interview published Sunday. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch? … We have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not.”

The implications of such a confrontation would be entirely catastrophic in so many senses that it is impossible to count or assess. For one, and most immediately, it would ensure the safety of the Iranian nuclear program until the entire Islamic middle east is armed to the teeth with WMD. Second, it would irreversibly damage, if not destroy the friendship between Israel and the US for years, if not decades, to come. It would quite simply change the entire world in a matter of seconds.

That, however, does not seem to matter to Brzezinski. It seems that his distaste for Israel and its existential safety are of no concern when it comes to his not wanting to look like “impotent little babies,” in the eyes of the Jews with the planes.

Here’s one word of advice, Brzezinski. Allow Iran to complete its nuclear ambitions by shooting us down, and you will end up an impotent little baby in front of the Ayatollahs. And unlike Israel, they don’t take well to being shot down if they’re armed with nuclear weapons.

Assaf Ramon, Son of Late Ilan Ramon, Killed in F16 Crash

Assaf RamonThere are some stories that just make you go wide-eyed, and pretty much stay that way for weeks. The shock never really goes away, and every time you think about it, you are somewhere between cringing, crying, and shedding a tear of pride. And let’s not ever forget, simply asking why.

We all felt this when Ilan Ramon, the first Israel astronaut and one of the most sublime representatives the Jewish people has ever had, went into space with the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Ramon took upon himself what is arguably the most pervasive sanctification of the name of God in modern times by bringing a Holocaust Torah into space and doing his best to keep Shabbat as a representative of the Jewish people while he was flying around the globe in the space shuttle Discovery back in 2003.

Upon reentry, as we all well know, Ramon’s craft was destroyed, killing the entire crew and burning everything including the Torah that was written in a death camp, save 37 pages from a diary Ramon had kept which, beyond any rational explanation, survived reentry while the space shuttle itself did not. The wreckage was found spread out over a southern US city called Palestine, Texas. We all cried, we all felt incredibly proud, devastated, perhaps sick to our stomachs, and the lump in our throats wouldn’t leave for weeks. We also scratched our heads, thinking that something strange just happened that we couldn’t readily explain.

Ilan Ramon was survived by his wife and four children. His eldest son, Assaf, decided to be an F16 pilot, just like his father Ilan, so he could be closer to him, posthumously. So he did, graduating at the top of his class, and he of course would have made Ilan proud. He certainly made his mother, Rona, proud.

Yesterday, Assaf Ramon was killed in a training accident over the Hebron Hills. He was flying the same plane flown by his father in 1981 as the Chief Navigator of the mission to blow up Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor.

The plane took off from the Nevatim air base at 1 P.M. on a routine training flight in a single-seat Falcon as part of the advanced flight training course. The pilot Assaf was working with could not find him on radio, and reports followed of residents near Hebron reporting a plane flying at low altitude, followed by an explosion.

An IDF officer who was one of the first on the scene said that “all that was left was a big, burned out crater, with very little debris.” The IDF brought hundreds of soldiers who began combing the mountains for debris. Ramon’s remains were found near the crater.

Ramon was named best cadet in his class after finishing his training almost three months ago. He is now buried next to his father.

Rona, Assaf’s mother and Ilan’s wife, now has three children left. Only God knows the pain she is going through, as only God knows why this family has to suffer so greatly.

So it is with a sense of entirely contradictory emotions of profound sickness, pride, shock, hope, and sincerity, as well as many others I dare not list, that I wish the Ramon family comfort in the new year that will begin at the end of this week. May they know no more sorrow, oh God. They have had enough.

May God comfort them among the mourners for Zion and Jerusalem.

Asaf Ramon Follow Up

Asaf Ramon Crash SiteI though this to be a small, sparsely covered yet important story worth some space. According to a report by IsraelNationalNews, a group of Yeshiva students at a high school in the town of M’aleh Hever (shown here) near Hebron were the first to take pictures and footage of the crash site of Asaf Ramon’s plane on Sunday. Only 1.2 kilometers away, they ran outside with cameras and filmed the plane bruning, the arrival of emergency crews, and the chaos of the incident.

Being the only ones to obtain footage of the incident so close to the actual impact, they were offered thousands of shekels by several news agencies for rights to broadcast it. They would have, yet when they found out that an IAF pilot had been killed, they consulted the head of their Yeshiva, Rabbi Amichai Chazan, who cautioned them to behave ethically.

They decided not to sell the footage out of respect for the family and the dead. “I don’t want to profit from this type of situation in which a soldier dies,” said Nehorai Hadad, one of the students involved.

They decided, instead of selling the pictures, to give the photos to the army personnel investigating the crash – and dedicated their evening’s Torah study in memory of Assaf ben Ilan and Rona Ramon.

Hezbollah Round Three

Hezbollah Katyusha LauncherLooks like Round Three with Hezbollah is just around the corner. Intelligence has it that 40,000 rockets are now stockpiled near the Lebanese/Israeli border, with Hezbollah training its men to use missiles that will reach Tel Aviv. Added to the mix are ground-to-ground and anti aircraft missiles, which could be a bit of a game changer if the IAF is actually in danger from them. I shudder to think what will happen the day Hezbollah succeeds in downing an IAF aircraft.

The consensus is that Hezbollah is indeed stronger that it was before Round Two in 2006, which was cut short by UN Resolution 1701 designed to keep Hezbollah from rearming and preventing a Round Three from happening. Ever so surprisingly, it didn’t work, and UNIFIL inspectors didn’t seem to be able or willing to do much of anything to stop Hassan Nasrallah from rearming his gang.

Hassan Nasrallah Cartoon 4

As for his bragging to the media, Nasrallah threatened to attack Tel Aviv in Round Three should the IDF bomb the southern suburbs of Beirut, as it did in Round Two. However, if we consider the fact that Nasrallah still hasn’t been able to do anything in response to the brutal explosive slaying of his own number two, Imad Mughniyeh in February of last year (probably executed by Mossad agents, though this is unconfirmed), we can come to one of two possible conclusions. One, that he’s impotent, scared, and unable to do anything serious, which is why he has such a big mouth. Two, he’s really angry and coordinating his strategy with Iran, waiting for an Israeli attack and then letting loose with his 40,000 rockets and having a free for all.

I’d bet on option 2.

Meanwhile, last month one of Hezbollah’s storehouses blew up in southern Lebanon, which happens when you’re an army of mostly untrained thugs who don’t know how to safely store explosives and pack them in a room, only to have some idiot come in there and light a cigarette or something, and BOOM.

The explosion revealed that Hezbollah was still stockpiling rockets south of the Litani River, violating Resolution 1701. Here’s the thing about 1701. Did anyone think it would actually work? Why would Hezbollah commit to not rearming itself? What’s the point of a war if you’re not going to finish the job and make the other side surrender unconditionally? What you get if you do that is another Round.

And Round Three ain’t gonna be pretty. And if Israel doesn’t finish the job this times and we see another UN Resolution about how Hezbollah isn’t allowed to rearm wink wink, we will definitely be seeing a Round Four.

Round Three probably cannot be prevented now. But Round Four still can, and probably not by trying the same thing as last time. Let’s see what happens.

IAF Unmanned Aircraft a Big hit at Paris Air Show

IAI HeronIsrael’s high technology expertise in the military armament fields is once again on display at this year’s 48’th Paris Air Show. This year, the main attractions appear to be the IAF’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s for short). UAV’s are being used more and more on both combat and reconnaissance missions as they can be controlled effectively from a base far away from where the mission is actually taking place, and without endangering pilots’ lives. Three of the more prominent exhibitors include Elbit Systems, Rafael, and Urban Aeronautics, who are showing off their new creations at the IAF’s new exhibition pavilion, which cost more than $ 1,500,000 to construct.

Something completely new this year is the unmanned rescue MULE, which has been designed to rescue wounded combat troops in battle zones. The MULE can carry approximately 317 kilograms over an 80-kilometer radius, at a top speed expected to be in the range of 100 knots, with a maximum operating altitude of 3,660 meters. It is also a vertical takeoff vehicle, enabling it to take off and land from a limited space.

Another unusual UAV is one called the Picador, which is an unmanned helicopter capable of carrying a 180 kg payload at a distance range of 200 kilometers. This craft can be used by both land and naval forces and can have armament mounted on it such as air to surface missiles, as well as surveillance equipment. The Picador is being offered by Aeronautics Defense Systems.

Hermes 1500Other noteworthy items on display this year include the HAROP drone aircraft which can be used as a “kamikaze” aircraft to destroy enemy installations by hovering over them and then diving to crash into them while exploding a munitions payload. A relatively inexpensive UAV, the HAROP can be launched from various platforms and is designed to be especially effective in destroying enemy missile launching sites, such as those the Hezbollah has in southern Lebanon. It is also said to be an excellent weapon against enemy air defense systems. IAF spokesmen noted that the IAF has entered into a contract to supply these drones to the Indian Air Force.

Not featured at the show is a new missile interception device known as the “Iron Fist” which can be mounted on ground armored personnel carriers and will be used to intercept incoming missiles by means of a radar and passive optical system that detects incoming threats and destroys them within a fraction of a second using a combustible blast interceptor.

Israel learned a lot in the 2006 war with Hezbollah and this gained knowledge is being used to construct various new weapons systems and other equipment as noted. Using the old phrase of “necessity is the mother of invention” the IAF is continually upgrading is weaponry and developing new systems to maintain it’s qualitative edge over Israel’s adversaries.

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