Hard Core of Islamist Activists Seized Ship Long before Israel
This surprisingly candid BBC Panorama documentary lays out the events surrounding the Mavi Marmara Turkish Flotilla designed to break the Gaza blockade, and the Israeli seizure of the ship.
The facts are presented with compelling video evidence and they are quite damning, but not for Israel as the media onslaught portrayed. Rather for the organizers, Turkey, and the IHH (now designated a terrorist supporting entity by Germany).
- The Organizers were prepared to break the siege at all costs, sanctioned violence.
- Islamists seized the Ship before Israel arrived.
- Islamists prepared for martyrdom, violence, and an assault on the IDF.
- Turkey was complicit.
- The so called AID was a farce, cover for a violent confrontation.
- The IHH set out to create a staged media disaster against Israel.
- Hundreds of passengers were used as pawns.
- Islamists sought to 1st lynch, then murder IDF troops.
Here is the video in 2 parts
The world rushed to judgment
But as usual the real story is a familiar one. Radical Islam, terrorists, violence, lies, manipulation.
Where No Jew Has Gone Before.. Except, we have.
Israel, already a leader in space technologies is looking to raise its profile in the space game. At stake? Military supremacy in the new century and a boatload of cash.
Activity this past week focused on a high profile meeting between Israel’s space agency head and Mr. Bolden (of recent Muslims in Space, Obama shenanigan fame) over at NASA.
Apparently good things come in small packages (who knew?), and when it comes to satellites Israel packs them in pretty tight. NASA has expressed interest in this miniaturization technology, and Israeli developed radars that can pierce the atmosphere for mapping Venus.
The minister said the conversation mainly focused on NASA’s interest in Israeli technological developments. “We’re going for grandiose collaborations in areas NASA needs us. There are talks about collaboration in at least three areas where Israel is a leading force in the world of space.”
According to Hershkowitz, the US agency showed interest in Israel’s ability to create light satellites which weigh a fifth of American and European satellites while having the same capabilities. Light satellites can be launched from aircrafts and not only from ballistic missiles.
Another Israeli specialty that caught NASA’s attention is hyperspectral cameras which can detect land, air and sea pollution from space and classify types of soils and minerals. The two also discussed Israeli developments in the field of satellite antennas aimed at analyzing photos using radars. NASA is planning to map out Venus, and Israeli technology could help it see through the planet’s layer of clouds. [...]
An agreement of ‘future intent’ has now been been struck with NASA, complete with fancy space words. Impressive!
Israel is currently one of only 8 countries capable of putting sats into orbit, and has done so on numerous occasions.
Even sexier, because of Israel’s generally hostile eastern borders Israel launches its satellite rockets opposite the earth’s rotation. A mean feat designed to prevent boosters & technologies falling into enemy hands. This counter rotation launch has necessitated the miniaturization Israel now excels at, putting satellites into lower earth orbits.
Paging Ahmadinejad – Please call your office.
Israel’s advanced home built 3 stage solid fuel Shavit-2 launcher, is now rumored to be capable of 800KG payloads.
That kind of ‘Big Boy’ payload can deliver a lot of thermonuclear juice boxes. It is based on Israel’s multi-stage Jericho ballistic missiles, but those payloads also open Israel up to new markets. The most recent Shavit launch was in late June, the Ofek 9 military satellite.
TEL AVIV – Israel delivered its latest spy satellite into low Earth orbit on June 22, using an improved version of its indigenous Shavit launcher, defense sources here said.
An official Ministry of Defense (MoD) notice of the launch, which took place about 10 p.m., was expected by midnight, once technicians ascertained that the satellite appeared to be functioning. [...]
The Price is Right
Offek and this miniaturization spell commercialization. Which while not entirely related to the NASA news above, is part of the this week’s space focus.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to approve an ambitious plan to turn Israel into a satellite superpower. According to details obtained by The Jerusalem Post, the aim is to increase sales of Israeli space platforms to nearly $8 billion a year.
The multi-year plan calls for the government to annually increase support for space research and development by several hundred million shekels. This investment would focus on new platforms – primarily Israel’s niche market in “mini satellites” – intended to yield billions in sales. [...]
Israel’s specialty, Eshed said, lies in manufacturing “mini satellites” like the recently launched Ofek 9. These weigh just a few hundred kilograms, in contrast to the mammoth satellites of several tons operated by the United States and Russia.
Despite Israel’s advanced technology, sales of its space platforms over the last 20 years have totaled less than $2.5b. Yet the international space market, Eshed stressed, is $250b. a year, and Israel could carve out at least 5% for itself. [...]
The combination of exciting NASA cooperation, and new commercial markets could have important benefits for Israel economically.
Feed naturally into defense applications, move Israel further into the realm of nanotechnology and open new avenues with technological and commercial partners. All the while solidifying our alliance with our favorite ally America well into the new century.
Jews are already in space, we’re just reaching higher.
Obama Triples US Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia. Just like the Deficit!!
A funny thing happened along the way to ‘containing’ Iran. Israel lost its historic military edge in the Middle East, and Obama tripled the Bush arms commitment to Saudi Arabia. Haha, the joke it appears is on us. In the last year of the Bush administration the US announced 3 major arms packages.
- 10 year, 30 Billion dollar arms commitment to Israel.
- 10 year, 20 Billion arms sale package to Saudi Arabia
- Multi billion dollar arms sale package to US Gulf allies.
Last year, I wrote that per capita (dollars spent per person) Israel was the largest defense spender on the planet. However, in raw dollar numbers Saudi Arabia was doubling us. According to the Economist, in 2009 Israel spent approximately 16 billion dollars on arms, roughly 3 billion of it coming from US military aid. Compared to the Saudis who spent an alarming 38 Billion dollars on weapons.
Alarm bells went off
Early on in the Obama administration Israel voiced serious concerns to the US at the highest levels. Commitments to Israel regarding arms packages had been broken, and top of the line advanced US weapons were being sold to Saudi Arabia, including guided weapons, smart bombs, and advanced fighter aircraft as part of their 20 billion dollar package under Bush.
Senior sources in the current U.S. administration, and senior officials at the foreign and defense ministries in Israel, have suggested that during the last year of the Bush administration the U.S. sold advanced military equipment to moderate Arab states – Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. The Americans justified the arms sales with the need to bolster these countries against the perceived threat posed by Iran.
In an address before the National Jewish Democratic Council, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, commented on the matter. “We discovered that the qualitative edge of the IDF has been eroded,” Oren said. “We came to the Obama administration and said: ‘Listen, we have a problem.’”
According to Oren the response of the Obama administration was positive and immediate. “They said they are going to deal with this matter and ensure that the qualitative edge of the IDF is preserved,” he said. “Since then we have embarked on a dialog [on preserving the IDF's qualitative edge].” [...]
The Obama administration and democrats tried to make hay implying that Bush was not Israel’s friend, rather Obama is. They were going to fix this. This week it all came gushing out. Today Israel announced it was agreeing to pick up approximately 20 F35 JSF fighter from the US in a 3 billion dollar deal, in order to ostensibly ‘maintain our qualitative edge’.
At the same time, last week the Saudi’s were reported to have agreed to purchasing 84 new F15 fighters from the US in a 30 billion dollar arms deal. As the big fix to allay Israel, Obama had agreed to keep some of the long range weaponry destined to the Saudis out of their deal..
Wait for it.. Today the other shoe dropped.
The Saudi deal swelled, doubling to 60 BILLION DOLLARS over the next 10 years. Throwing in on top of the 84 F15s, an additional 130+ attack helicopters – Some 60 of them advanced Apache gunships, plus US Blackhawks. This will bring the Saudi air-force well above the 200 mark for advanced F15s, and dwarf Israel’s attack helicopter fleet by a factor of about 3.
Obama came through all right..
He in theory cut some of the munitions & systems going to the Saudis, and instead TRIPLED the 20 billion dollar Bush commitment turning it into a 60 billion dollar arms orgy.
One that will see Israel numbers wise outgunned, outspent, and in theory possibly outmatched in the next 15 years. Shifting the balance of power in the Middle East, a balance which was already tilting of late away from Israel toward Iran & terrorists.
Containing Iran is costing us dearly indeed, and they have not even developed the nuclear weapons yet.
The JSF saga continues, but it is nearing its end.
We may not be gaining access to critical JSF components, but the tough to swallow price tag may now be muted according to Israeli sources. In the form of a 4 billion dollar manufacturing cost offset which will somewhat lessen the economic sting of a JSF costing twice as much as an F15 latest gen Boeing fighter..
Israeli defense companies have scored one of the biggest deals in the industry’s history: They will be making about $4 billion worth of parts for the next generation of American fighter jets, industry sources told TheMarker.
While no official announcement has been made, Israeli defense officials have been talking with the U.S. defense companies involved in the development and production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. [...]
It is a testament to how badly Israel, the US & Lockheed want to make this whole thing work. After the JSF balloon in cost, both the USA & Lockheed need orders for the jet badly. Israel needs help paying for it.
The IAF is indeed a huge win in the jet fighter realm.. The Israeli airforce is world renowned and other countries pay close attention to Israeli procurement. Israel would be the 1st original non official partner on board buying the jet. A huge prestige win for Lockheed & a needed vote of confidence in the JSF.
We can only go with 19 instead of 75 for now, but rest assured a procurement win of 20 or so from Israel will eventually mean a few hundred JSFs sold to other countries down the road. Something the Pentagon & both Lockheed will need to bring down the cost of the jet for US use via mass export / increased production over the next two decades.
Nothing is official, but if Israel can lend abiltiy, expertise & benefit from the gigantic JSF economy of the future it is almost a certainty that the JSF will have a trump card the F-15 cannot compete with on price alone.
There are other factors at play between the two jets competing over Israeli airspace, but the JSF cost balloon was a substantial & critical one.
Damaging Imagery Shows UNIFIL Forces Shielding Lebanese Soldiers Attacking the IDF
The IDF informed UNIFIL UN ’peacekeepers’ of the brush clearing operations which were taking place on the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon in advance. The images clearly show soldiers working with a crane to clear brush. This is how it looked..
From Haaretz (AP & Reuters Images)
The UN forces were supposedly enhanced & put in place by resolution 1701 ending the 2006 war to keep Hezbollah from the border with Israel. They have failed at that mission clearly in general.
So now what is their purpose? Is it to shield the Lebanese Army while it opens up with automatic sniper fire on IDF soldiers in ambush!? Is it to allow the Lebanese to fire RPGs at us while we cannot respond lest the world go insane because a UN Peacekeeper / Human Shield was hurt or killed??
Israel Defense Forces GOC Northern Command Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot announced Tuesday that the two Israeli officers had been very seriously hit during the exchange of fire. Eizenkot said that the incident had been a “deliberate ambush.”
Eizenkot told Israeli media that “a routine operation was carried out during the afternoon near Misgav Am – an operation whose purpose was to trim some bushes near the border, in our [Israeli] territory. It was on both sides of the border but still within [Israeli] territory. Officers oversaw the operation from a permanent position. Sniper fire was directed at the officers, and two of them were wounded as a result.”
The GOC Northern Command stressed that “this was a pre-planned event, aggression by the Lebanese army who shot at soldiers inside Israeli territory without any provocation. We view this as a very severe incident.”
Where is Ban-Ki Moon?
- Where is US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice?
- Where is the UN Security Council which only convenes emergency sessions to CONDEMN Israel?
- Where is our only ally the United States of America who helped negotiate & force this UNIFIL farce in the 1st place in 2006?
They have all been very quiet today. A stark contrast to their usual rush to judgment statements when it comes time to smear the State of Israel.
Yamit: There is no doubt in my mind of UNIFIL’s complicity. Israel meaning BB is also complicit in our tepid response. Most of all Bush and Olmert are responsible for the murder of a senior Israeli officer. The silence of the world is deafening, is anyone surprised?
Yes – You can hear a pin drop when Israel is the victim. No matter.. Am Israel Chai.
SD also has unanswered questions on the UNIFIL role, and the media reportage.
Crashes Always Bring Out The Critics
The tragic loss of an IAF CH-53 in Romania possibly killing 7 is sure to bring out the critics as such tragic events nearly always do. The Yasur has indeed suffered some horrific collisions & crashes over its near 50 year history with the IAF..
The most notable of these accidents was a crash in February 1997, when a mid-air collision of two Yasur craft killed 73 Israeli servicemen en route to southern Lebanon. Two decades earlier, in May 1977, the Yasur was at the center of another deadly accident, when 54 paratroopers lost their lives in a crash during a training accident not far from the West Bank town of Jericho.
Several months later, another accident involving the Yasur saw four servicemen killed in a crash close to Kibbutz Gat in southern Israel. In summer 1971, another Yasur helicopter crashed into the sea off the Sinai coast, killing 10 soldiers and officers as they returned to Israel following a mission.
In April 1974, two more Yasur helicopters were involved in a collision, when one landed directly on another already on the ground. Eight soldiers were killed in the incident.
In August 1992, two members of the IDF’s elite search and rescue unit, the 669, were killed in a training accident in the Judean Desert. The two soldiers fell to their deaths when a rope used to descend from a Yasur broke.
During the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah succeeded in shooting down a Yasur, killing its five crew members. [...]
Those incidents represent extreme numbers casualty wise. But the numbers are high because the Yasur is both so critical, and heavily utilized. It is the backbone of the IDF’s troop transport capabilities holding over 20 soldiers. Nearly every legendary assault by the IDF in some shape or form involves our CH-53s. Recently, there have been pushes to replace the venerable Yasur choppers with the US VTOL Osprey.
The Yasurs are just too old is the usual theme, followed by those heavy loss statistics. However, today’s IAF Yasurs are a far cry from their original incarnation and have undergone two full modernization programs, the latest Yasur 2025 has extended the operational life of the choppers well into the next 2 decades.
A new version of the ‘Yasur’ helicopter joined the growing IAF fleet. The ‘Yasur 2025’ program, two and a half years running, hopes to improve the IAF’s ‘Yasur’ helicopters by extending their service in the force until the year 2025. “Today Israel’s best assembly lines are rolling out prototypes of new strategic combat helicopters,” said commander of the IAF base in Tel Nof, Brigadier General Ronen Dan during his speech.
The ‘Yasur’ helicopters squadron has served the Air Force since the 1960s and is an essential part of the IDF fighting forces. Whether in routine operations, in transporting forces and equipment, in evacuating combat soldiers from the field and in executing other special missions. “From 1969 until today, the ‘Yasur’ helicopters have written many significant pages in history, and have executed operations which the vast majority of people are not even aware of, but are grateful for” added Brigadier General Dan. Three years ago, it was decided that the expected life for functioning helicopters should be extended, and lengthen their service until 2025.
As part of the project, new systems were installed on the helicopter, among them were, self-defense systems, electronic countermeasures, network communication, flight safety, and other advanced systems – most of them are developed in Israel. “We all wait with baited breath to fly on the newly improved platform which brings with it impressive capabilities in many different aspects. It has the compatibility for further improvements in the future as well as installing other systems, and is infinitely important to the battlefield of the future.
The choppers have been retooled. The IDF naturally generalizes but part of the re-tool includes upgraded modern avionics & systems with Israeli variants, offensive Air to Ground missile targeting and launching capabilites, hover & stabilization technologies, as well as a new raised operational ceiling well above normal..
Work to modify the CH-53 “Yasur” with 20 new systems was completed at the air force’s 22 maintenance unit late last year, with key elements including the installation of new electronic warfare and satellite communications equipment. Some of the equipment will enable the CH-53 2025 to perform high-altitude relay missions, with earlier test flights having seen the type reach an altitude of 18,000ft (5,490m).
The latest crash was deep in mountainous terrain within Romania, likely at higher altitudes perhaps testing some of the new Yasur 2025 capabilities in adverse weather. Dangerous business. The loss of our soldiers especially during operational training is never easy. Keeping the IDF on the cutting edge in both manpower & technology is a terribly costly endeavour. Pilot error, mechanical failure all take their toll and leave every Israeli saddened.
But now is not the time to just mourn this sacrifice, question our brave men and women or their equipment. Instead we should celebrate their achievements. Our pilots and the Yasur’s they fly are the workhorse of the IDF, keeping us safe through their skill and daring.
Through 2025 and well beyond.
The following are the names of the six missing personnel who were on the IAF helicopter that crashed in Romania:
Lt. Col (Res.) Avner Goldman (48), Modi’in
Lt. Col. Daniel Shipenbauer (43), Kidron
Maj. Yahel Keshet (33), Hatzerim
Maj. Lior Shai (28), Tel-Nof
Lt. Nir Lakrif (25), Tel- Nof
Sergeant 1st capabilitiesClass Oren Cohen (24),endeavor Rehovot
Let’s hope they can yet be recovered.
Sadly I was being respectful to the families this morning when I wrote that line above. We all knew tragically, that no one was going to be recovered alive from the crash site. The IDF has released now officially that all six Israeli aviators and the lone Romanian soldier onboard were KIA in the crash.