Wednesday, February 26, 2020

With Hawks Like This, Who Needs Leftists?


With Hawks Like This, Who Needs Leftists?

1 Adar, 5780 °°  Feb. 26, '20
Opinion and Perspective,

By Binyomin Feinberg,


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The Israeli Army recently released a new Five-Year Plan for a major military upgrade, named "Momentum" ( ). Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, who approved the plan and presented it to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, explained that the plan "will allow the IDF to strike the enemy faster, more intensely, with a stronger destructive capacity, thus overcoming the enemy and bringing victory," adding that "The plan puts the principle of victory back at the top of the list of priorities." It is designed to increase offensive and defensive capabilities sevenfold.

The cost is projected to be NIS 30 billion ($8.75 Billion) - annually - to bolster Israeli military "air, ground, sea, and cyber capabilities, its intelligence superiority, and technological prowess."

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi presented the plan, stressing the urgent nature of the threats Israel now faces, saying "they won't wait" for Israel to resolve its electoral crisis. Israelis are expected to vote at the beginning of March, for the third national election in a year, although without much prospect of differing results (perhaps illustrating Einstein's famous maxim, regarding repetition of the same actions while expecting different results).

It was reported that "Momentum focuses on strengthening the military's war readiness, placing an emphasis on the operational edge of the IDF's elite point units in all corps, upgrading the quantity and quality of the munitions used but the Air Force, and transforming the army into a deadly and multidimensional technological force across all spheres of battle, including cyber and electronic warfare."

"Implementing this plan will make the IDF exponentially faster, more precise, and deadlier," Kochavi was quoted.

However, the tough talk bubbling over this ambitious plan appears to contrast a bit with another IDF milestone, of sorts. As Michael Peck reported in The National Interest (January 28, 2020), in an article titled "The Israeli Army Is Unprepared for a Ground War with Iran and Hezbollah" (, the Army is suffering from an acute neglect of some basic military needs.

The article opens:

"If Israel has to go to war tomorrow against Iran or its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, there's a problem. The Israeli mechanized division that would defend Israel's northern border, or enter Syria or Lebanon to eject Iranian and pro-Iranian forces, [is] in bad shape.  The 319th Division, stationed in northern Israel, is short of equipment such as tanks, and the equipment it does have is in poor condition, according to an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) audit cited by Israeli news site Ynet.

"According to the audit's findings, 52 percent of combat vehicles are unfit for use and there is a 20 percent shortage of weapons and night-vision equipment for soldiers," Ynet said.

"The auditors found that many armored vehicles were lacking during proper maintenance checks, with 68 of them sitting uncovered and unprotected against the elements. Dozens of other vehicles were found unusable due to faulty tires and broken engines, ...

According to an audit by the IDF itself, 52 percent of the 319th Division's combat vehicles are unfit for use."

The Ynet expose  sported photos of dilapidated military vehicles, and vehicles unprotected by tarps against the elements.

Auditors identified similar neglect of the 319th Division's support units, as well. "The Northern Command's logistics unit, upon which the 319th Division relies in times of war, has a shortage in communications equipment and vehicles for medical evacuation, and the division's medical unit hasn't had a commanding officer or lieutenant for almost a year."

"One reason for the 319th Division's woes is that there isn't enough equipment to meet both operational and training needs. 

'The audit found that about half of the 319th Division's Mark 4 Merkava tanks and almost 100 communication devices have been lent to the Armored Corps training unit, located more than 350 kilometers [217 miles] from their main storage and maintenance areas in the north," Ynet said.

"These tanks are worn out, impairing their emergency and combat capabilities. A high-ranking officer in the IDF Northern Command said that the issue of lending equipment and armored vehicles is a military decision, citing the Mark 4's production lines being incapable of accommodating both the standard and training units."

Mr. Peck cogently provides a broader perspective, adding the observation that "the 319th Division's woes reflect a larger pattern in the IDF. In the 1973 October War, Israeli units hastily mobilized to stem the surprise Arab invasion found themselves with shortages of equipment and gear that had been poorly maintained."

Mr. Peck doesn't address this point, but we'd be amiss to omit the fact that the leftist Israeli Establishment was considered criminally negligent in ignoring warnings about a serious Arab attack prior to the Yom Kippur war. Arab invaders and leftist Jewish arrogance together killed over 2,500 of the Israeli Army's best young soldiers, many of whom were killed fighting heroically while being massively outnumbered. Reports like these raise the question of whether the Israeli government is repeating history.

"In the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War, Israeli troops suffered from shortages of basic items, from food and waterto ammunition, as well as poorly trained logistics personnel.

"The IDF may have only hours to prepare for battle along Israel's northern border.

"Ironically, the IDF – which prides itself on flexibility to rapidly adapt to the chaos of battle – bases its approach on the mission-oriented tactics of the World War II German army. Yet despite being a virtuoso on the battlefield, the Wehrmacht's logistics skills were often lacking: German troops constantly ran out of fuel, ammunition and food during Operation Barbarossa, the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union.

"... as this writer learned while observing an Israeli armored brigade on maneuvers along the Golan Heights in February 2019, the IDF may have only hours to prepare for battle along Israel's northern border.  Time to fix mistakes is a luxury Israel does not have," the article concludes.

(The author of that article, Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest, and a Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum.)

However, the exquisitely blended blundering bluster of the Army should be measured against the tangible steps the Army has indeed been courageously taking in confronting impending national security threats: All-Women tank crews.  Last week (at the approach to the consummation of the Holy Weeks of Shovavim), it was reported that the Israeli Army is introducing all female tank combat crews, apparently to protect the country from ISIS attacks in the South, and the like. No, we couldn't have made this up:

Apparently, the Israeli Army has upgraded the religious standards of their military "Equality" crusade. No "Ta'aroves" (gender mixing) in these tanks, R"L, nor any need for those pesky mechiztos, like those hanging in some Chareidi buses.

Why in the world? Has recent exposure of the human-trafficking agenda of the Army's female draft prompted Teshuva (repentance) at the highest levels? Has Draft Office Commander of Vice Avner Lotati finally been sent to work in Hollywood?   Well, if so, why are there an estimated several dozen girls still languishing in military prisons Four and Six, wishing to avoid conscription into the Mizron Tzahali Paradigm?

Well, perhaps, this Army frumming initiative may have been reciprocal in nature.  Perhaps this overture is the Army's way of telegraphing "hakarat hatov" (a "thank you") in response to recent cooperation by a handful of trailblazing frum women, who've lately been spotted providing the IDF free headhunter services, by naively sending ostensibly "weak" girls into Rayon Dat interrogations.  (Presumably, this is being done with the best of intentions - to save the "weak" girls from falling into the Army (the latter being the very goal-by-design of the Rayon Dat).)

But questions still abound. Will the female tank personnel be provided tefillin, to actualize Spiritual Equality with the men? Will there be an accompanying Yo'etzet attached to every unit? What about an Ayin-Horah lady on call, if fighting ever gets really difficult for these neshei chayil? Another major question remaining is: will these Equality-showcasing units units be open to heterosexual women as well?...

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