53 thoughts on “Major IDF Manuevers in Northern Israel Threaten Lebanon, Syria, Iran – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. It still is listed within the NRG website. it appears as a news flash. This exercise has nothing to do with the incident of last week, it takes months to plan for something like this.
    i’m sure that unifil was informed months ago.

      1. Richard, Yuval is right.

        Military exercises of this size (according to the report) do not happen within days nor within weeks. The fact the IDF censored the info doesn’t make getting an operation that size take any less time.

        Moreover, exercises like these happen quite frequently – the press reports about them I’d say about every year or so.

        1. Of course i am right.
          but facts are rare to be find around this blog. this blog, and any news paper to that affect, is based on interpretation of the facts by the writer. in the process we all get a glimpse of the writers agenda. in the case of this particular blog based on reading the axiom is that Zionist was a bad thing, Zionist stole the land from the indigenous people who reside there for many years (anyone ever heard about the massive transfer of Muslims from the Balkan region to the the southern parts of the ottoman empire at the end of the 18th century ? Benny Moris book victims is one place you can read about it.) hence every action of the Zionist state to date, lacks any credit in the eyes of the writer. seems kind of one sided to me, but it is obvious has i don’t share the writers views.

          1. Richard, applying labels to yourself is one thing. You can say you’re a Super Zionist, but Yuval sees something different. This is regardless of whether I agree with him or not.

            It’s funny, because you demanded that I prove (this is so ridiculous) that I have participated in Peace Now and Gush Shalom demonstrations before. So the idea that merely stating that you are a Zionist and that it alone refutes anything Yuval said is ludicrous.

          2. Unlike you I actually take seriously my own self definition. Anyone who denies me the right to call myself a Zionist or disputes that I am, is not only misguided & totally misapprehends Zionism, but smears me & lies about my true beliefs.

            Yuval sees something different.

            I don’t care what Yuval sees. He not an arbiter or true reflector of my beliefs. Unlike you, I have clearly laid out my beliefs for all to see & any reasonable person can see that I am a Zionist. YOu on the other hand made claims that you did things which you refused to support with any evidence & which were contradicted by the actual ideas & words you laid out here in yr comments.

          3. Unlike you I actually take seriously my own self definition.

            So now you’re saying I don’t take my own self definition seriously. Well, you are not only misguided, but also smear me & lie about my true beliefs.

            Unlike you, I have clearly laid out my beliefs for all to see & any reasonable person can see that I am a Zionist.

            I have read your views, and your suggested solution to the Palestinian conflict, and have also commented on it and said that we are mostly in agreement…

            YOu on the other hand made claims that you did things which you refused to support with any evidence & which were contradicted by the actual ideas & words you laid out here in yr comments.

            I don’t think I referenced any particular demonstration, yet you claim that my comments and ideas as presented here contradict my being in said demonstration. What.

            How the hell would I be able to prove my being there? I don’t have any photos. More importantly, WHY would I want to prove things to you? To earn your respect? To convince you? Perhaps you should stop assuming most of your commentors are liars. I’m not one.

            You ‘challenge’ others to “prove” their being X, but when a reader asks you of something similar, this is what you have to say about it:

            I don’t care what Yuval sees. He not an arbiter or true reflector of my beliefs.

            If you don’t care what your readers see and think about what you have to say, why do you allow commenting at all?

          4. WHY would I want to prove things to you?

            Because if you make a claim & readers doubt it & you refuse to provide evidence for the claim no one will believe anything you say here. So if you want to continue publishing comments here after almost no one believes anything you say, that’s yr perogative.

            If you don’t care what your readers see and think about what you have to say

            Did I ever say anything remotely close to the words that you’ve put in my mouth? No. I attached the name of a specific reader to that sentence which you conveniently elided so as to make it appear that I ignored the views of not just Yuval, but all my readers. This is a typical distortion on yr part. I doubt you’d care to be more careful & precise in future, but it might help you make less of an a(# of yrself if you were.

          5. # Shai)
            Didn’t you leave this blog a month or two ago, slamming the door behind you when leaving, saying that you were fed up with the discussion, that it was your last post and if someone wanted to contact you, Mr Silverstein was allowed to give your e-mail ?

            Fortunately, ‘ridiculousness does not kill’, as the French say, or you would’ve gone off to the Other World by now. If I mix you up with someone else, please do accept my apologies.

          6. @ Richard
            To understand your statement one would have to start by determining what Zionism is, for that we would use Wikipedia.
            “Zionism (Hebrew: ציונות‎, Tsiyonut) is a nationalist[1] Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, calls for the self-determination of the Jewish people and a sovereign, Jewish national homeland.”

            Any attempt to maintain a home for Jewish nation is based on Jewish aspiration and Jewish majority within that state. Otherwise Germany or Poland would have been a great place for a Jewish homeland in the earlier parts of the 20 century, and the USA would have been such a place these days.
            If I am not mistaken you advocate for the transformation of the state of Israel to a multicultural state, not a multicultural Jewish state, but a multicultural multi-religious state, would you care to explain what your views has to do with Zionism? Please understand that I am not passing judgment I am just trying to understand.

          7. one would have to start by determining what Zionism is, for that we would use Wikipedia.

            Since when is Wikipedia an accepted authority? Not by me. At least not on this question. My definition of Zionism is not the same as this. Martin Buber, Judah Magnes, Ahad Ha-Am were all Zionists. But they didn’t view Zionism through the prism offered by Wikipedia. I do accept most of Wikipedia’s definition. But I differ in a few key, important nuances.

            The Israel I envision would represent self-determination of the Jewish people in a national homeland. The only difference is that this state would be a homeland for two peoples. And this is a view that is accepted within the Zionist movement as “Zionist,” though of course not by Herutniks or the likes of you. But that’s because you don’t really know the history of Zionism. Or if you do, you only know part of the history, the one that is most convenient to yr own political views.

            You should also examine the views of “The Magnes Zionist,” who shares my own views of this. And note Jerry Haber too calls himself a “Zionist.”

          8. Let me start by saying that I am open to learning new facts from anyone, in the spirit of the Jewish theme “מכל מלמדי השכלתי”, I hope you are as open minded as I am.

            Judah Magnes, was trying to persuade the American government to object to the formation of the state of Israel, if this you’re idea of Zionism I really do not know what I should say.

            Ahad-aHam believed in Zionism the old fashion way but thought it wasn’t enough; he thought that Israel should become the center of the Jewry life and have higher morals and standards. He believed in Jewish continuity in the orthodox sense.

            As for my political orientation, you couldn’t be any further away from the truth calling me Herutnik.

          9. Judah Magnes, was trying to persuade the American government to object to the formation of the state of Israel

            You’re twisting the facts. He believed that the formation of a independent state at that particular moment would cause a devastating war, which it did. He was not against creating a state. He just didn’t want to create one through blood & fire.

            I didn’t call you a Herutnik if you look back at what I wrote. I don’t know what you are. But you’re certainly not someone w. which I have much in common.

          10. I have to tell you that i think that you are gifted, judging after few posts that we have nothing in common requires a talent that i do not have.

            as for our different of opinions, Yehuda Magnes, Martin Buber and others who believed in multinational state were the minority around the Jewish national movement. their ideas represent the minorities to date.

            Magnes identified with the Arab side and advocated passionately for the creation of a multinational state, from opposing the partition plan to his meeting with Gorge Marshal on may 4th at which he tried to persuade the Americans to oppose the creation of the state of Israel.

            Shabbat Shalom

          11. Yehuda Magnes, Martin Buber and others who believed in multinational state were the minority around the Jewish national movement.

            I didn’t claim they were the majority. I claimed they were Zionists & that my views have similarities to their own. So if you’re not arguing they aren’t Zionists, then my claim to be a Zionist is vindicated unless you wish to falsely claim they weren’t ZIonists or my views have no similarity to theirs, which would also be false.

            Magnes identified with the Arab side

            An utterly foolish & false statement. He was the founder & first president of the Hebrew University and co founder of Brit Shalom. He was a Jew & ZIonist. He was not an Arab-lover (pls. excuse this term as I’m attempting to make a pt using the terms of the commenter rather than this being my own belief) as you attempt to make him out to be. What stupid nonsense.

          12. The Silverstien Method, exchange knowledge with harsh words, when you don’t have the facts just say the others are talking nonsense, etc.

            Yehuda Magnes was Zionist part of the way that actually lived by his words and immigrated to Jerusalem. He was the one founded the AJC in NY in 1906 but in 1910 he resigned his functions as he realized the reforms were wrong, and the reform movement means the end of the Jewish lives.

            Facing the difficulties of living in the land of Israel, he became an advocate of a multicultural state, and actively preached for the extension of the British mandate as he feared war between the arabs and the jews and didn’t think the “Yeshuv” had any chance of survival.
            Magnes thought that the Jews of the diaspora should have the same weight in determining the path the Israeli state will take.

            Though he may have called himself a Zionist, he was never perceived in such a way by the “Yeshuv”. As he helped forming Hebrew U, they honored him, but that has nothing to do with him being or not being a Zionist.

            As someone told you, if you choose to call yourself a super Zionist, you can – but it has nothing to do with reality

          13. Yehuda Magnes was Zionist part of the way

            Since Judah Magnes was one of the most important Zionist thinkers of the 20th century & a leader of a major early Zionist political movement, and his philosophy is recognized as such by the leading reference works on Zionism, including Arthur Hertzberg’s Zionist Idea, I’d like to know where you get off substituting yr judgment for theirs?

            didn’t think the “Yeshuv” had any chance of survival.

            That’s simply false. Why would he have lived in the Yishuv for decades & died in Israel if he thought the enterprise was doomed. You’re not even making sense on yr own terms. Yes, he was in favor of delaying declaration of the State. But delay is just that. It doesn’t mean he wasn’t in favor of creating such a state. He just wanted that state to be founded on diff. terms. Still a totally Zionist concept.

            Telling us how Magnes was perceived by the vague, undetermined concept “Yishuv” is telling us nothing. He was an extremely important Zionist figure. Period, love him or hate him.

            The next time you deny I’m a Zionist you will be banned. I don’t mince words on such fundamental principles of self-definition. Do it again & you’re out.

          14. @Richard
            First I didn’t deny you were a progressive Zionist, that is how you define yourself, and I can’t deny that.

            Second, as for Magnes, you don’t have the right facts, he was born in San Francisco in 1877 (July 5th) and immigrated to Israel when he was 46 in 1922. he died in NY in 1948 (October 27th) at the age of 71 , which means he lived most of his adult life in the US and not in Israel.

            As he was the first president of Hebrew University his remains were brought to Israel and he his buried in Jerusalem.
            In my opinion: if you do not know where he died (which means you probably don’t know where he lived and how much time he actually lived there) I don’t think you know much about him, though I may be wrong.

            as for my knowledge about him i read the book that Joseph Heler Wrote titled
            “מברית שלום לאיחוד, יהודה מגנס והמאבק למדינה דו לאומית”
            and few others.

        2. Military exercises develop within a political context. That context happens to include the fact that Lebanon & Israel have come closer to attacking ea. other than any time since 2006. So it doesn’t matter whether the exercise was planned before, after or during the tree trimming incident. It so happens that THAT is the political context & as such it informs the military exercise & acts as a further irritant in the process.

          1. Military exercises develop within a political context.

            This is simply not true. Military exercises happen all the time. There are yearly ones, bi-yearly ones, and so on. Look up אבני אש. Large-scale exercises are, as said above, planned months ahead. I myself took part in preparations for such exercises weeks before they happened.

            Correlation != causation.

          2. Military exercises happen all the time.

            Not military exercises like this one which every news source which has dared to cover it (not many have) have noted were very large and NOT ordinary. I’ve also consulted an Israeli expert on security issues who disagrees w. you & believes this exercise has EVERYTHING to do w. the political context.

            You can argue nonsense till you’re blue in the face & it will still be nonsense.

  2. In Leah Rabin’s book, she writes that Nasser’s screams were the result of bad intelligence being accidentally leaked to Egypt, that Israel was planning to invade. She claimed that Israel had no intention of doing so, but when Nasser became so hostile, Israel had no choice but to act in a defensive way.

    I wish I had the book handy; I’d jot down the exact quote, and page (it took me quite a while to get my jaw off the floor).

    1. Miri:

      What has this got to do with the above post or comment?

      Just which invasion was Rabin talking about in her book?

      Can her version be accepted as objective?

      1. Gene Schulman:
        Miri probably meant the Six Days War (67). But Then Menachem Begin in an interview 12 years ago admitted that 3 of Israel wars were by choice (56/67/82): “In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him. This was a war of self-defense in the noblest sense of the term. The Government of National Unity then established decided unanimously: we will take the initiative and attack the enemy, drive him back, and thus assure the security of Israel and the future of the nation.”

        1. Thank you, amaris, I understood that. She could have been talking about any of Israel’s preemptive attacks on Egypt. All were “wars of choice.”

          But I still ask, what has this to with the subject at hand? Miri’s post is a non sequitur.

  3. You said:

    “Haaretz reports that the IDF has already threatened to assassinate the Lebanese commander who ordered the sniper fire which killed the Israeli officer on the border.”

    You imply that the IDF actually quoted this to Haaretz. When one reads the article you quoted it states something significantly different.

    “The Lebanese paper based its report on “Israeli sources” who reportedly warned that if Lebanon fails to take substantial action against this commander, Israel would target him personally and view the Lebanese soldiers deployed along the border as enemy soldiers.”

    Your statement is very misleading. It’s a Lebanese source quoting an “Israeli source”, being reported back in an Israeli paper.

    Not quite the same. IF the IDF had delivered such a statement, or “Israeli soucres” had indicated this, then Haaretz would have quoted it directly.

    Why didn’t you just simply state that a well respected Lebanon paper reports this? It’s more accurate and doesn’t falsly imply that the IDF made a direct quote to Haaretz.

    1. Shorthand, my friend. I believe that the IDF made this statement. If I didn’t believe it I would’ve reported it differently. If the IDF is willing to bring the Lebanese front to the brink of war, it’s certainly willing to “off” a Lebanese officer for giving an order to fire at an IDF officer.

      1. “I believe that the IDF made this statement”.

        Well, that’s great that YOU believe it, no problem for you to state your opinion… but please don’t mislead your readers and falsely state that the IDF has admitted to such in an Israeli paper.

        There is no proof that the IDF ever stated this and not to Ha’aretz and certainly not to the Lebanon paper. Your twisting a murky “source” into an actual admission to fit your own thinking and opinion.

  4. Even routine exercises can have frightening outcomes:

    NATO used to hold a “signals exercise” every year, whereby the communications troops from each division would go out to various parts of Germany and send and receive messages as part of a wargame to give the generals realistic information feeds. No tanks or anything other than Military Police went with the communications trucks, the generals playing the wargames were in military colleges rather than wartime headquarters -and it happened the same way for twenty years running, same week each year.

    Until the year when KGB “intelligence” analysts, went and told the General Secretary that NATO had suddenly fully mobilised without warning and was moving forward to invade the East. This despite the KGB having a spy at NATO headquarters who’d sent them the exercise plans in advance, as he did every year.

    Readers of this blog may not remember this, but that was the week you all nearly died and didn’t know it.

    Only when NATO’s own intelligence analysts saw soviet warships anchoring close to cliffs, water misters all going on deck, and tank regiments scattering into the wide blue yonder, all measures to limit the damage from a nuclear strike, did they put two and two together and cancel the exercise before the KGB could hype it up any further.

    So, you’ve got two problems here:

    the message that the IDF is trying to send -and-
    the message that other countries will choose to hear.

    The first could be bad, the second worse.

    Like you, Richard, Syria and Iran are expecting something bad (as it we near the anniversary of the last invasion of Lebanon), so whether this actually is something bad or not may not matter.

    There are times when it’s better not to do certain things, even though countries have a right to do them. This isn’t a week to be sailing carrier groups through the Yellow Sea, anymore than it’s a week to send tanks rolling towards Lebanon.

    Hope we’re all still here next week.

      1. He says that it is belief based on what…Kuntar told him. Different than saying “did not kill” let alone proving it.

          1. You are right, I was only responding to the Gideon-thing that you rightly banned who made a comment on Kuntar. Sorry.

          2. Sword of Gideon is the notorious “Bill Pearlman,” who posts provocatively at Mondoweiss & other blogs. I banned him long ago & perhaps Phil has too. He somehow creeped back in from the ooze where he hangs out. I wonder whether he’s “Chaim Pearlman”‘s cousin or brother. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

          3. I do read Mondoweiss, and I remember the Pearlman guy, he made me fall off the chair more than once. A profound racist in the real sense of the word. He once wanted to prove the ‘superiotity of the Jews’ by saying that all Jewish women were beautiful and all Arabs ugly. Someone posted photos of Golda Meïr and Queen Rania of Jordan :-))

  5. I am in no position to tell whether this exercise was planned months in advance or not but whenever I see troops amassing somewhere, especially close to a border, I am getting worried.

    In the end, the folks on the other side may not know or may find it hard to believe that this is just a routine exercise that was planned in February and thus has nothing to do with the tree cutting incident and therefore it could be seen as a provocation regardless of whether the purpose of the exercise is or is not to provoke.

    Well over a thousand civilian causalities in Lebanon in 2006, well over a thousand civilian casualties last year in Gaza, thousands of traumatized civilians on top of that on both sides of these two respective borders as a result of the hostilities.

    Are we getting more of the same this summer? I really hope not and therefore I totally support the call to halt the exercise and to return the troops to the barracks.

    1. I’d tend to agree if that didn’t set a precedent. Pretty much any military exercise can be seen by traumatized civilians as a provocation. I don’t want to cripple the IDF’s ability to train because some might misinterpret its goals.

      1. I would say in some places more than in others and the timing also matters. Does it really have to be now and right there? Could it perhaps be posted and/or be done some place else?

        Maybe not, maybe this is just the way it is. But the consequences could once again be devastating. How many more doctors and psychologists need to support the victims and their families? How many more wheelchairs will the aid organisations need to distribute?

      2. Maybe the timing could have been a few weeks different.
        Also, exercises don’t have to be a dress rehearsal of what you think will happen.

        I think the Far East is probably more dangerous than the Middle East, though, at this moment: the Americans really are prodding a fully-primed bear trap with a short stick, and cannot even be persuaded to try a longer stick.

        Probably, the IDF wants to see if Hezbollah can be provoked into readying its munitions stocks for use, which will allow them to determine where they are -and who is giving the orders about their use.

        Doing nothing might be a winning strategy for Hezbollah, because it’s hard to see the IDF repeating 2006 without some considerable threat to Israeli civilians to justify the casualties. Unfortunately, Hezbollah aren’t the only party able to make sparks in this particular tinderbox: Iran and Syria will need to show a bit of “courageous restraint”, too.

      3. I don’t want to cripple the IDF’s ability to train

        Again, this isn’t a standard “training” exercise. This is a war simulation, a very serious endeavor & completely out of the realm of the ordinary. What you’re really saying is that it doesn’t concern you if an Israeli exercise simulating a war with Lebanon or Syria provokes an actual war.

        1. No, that’s not what I’m saying, and it’s ridiculous to think that anyone would think that. You said not many news sources have dared to cover this exercise, but it appears on IDF’s site.

          By the way, it’s also in central Israel, so referring to it a north-exclusive exercise is misleading and not true.

          Also… aren’t pretty much ALL military exercises war simulations in one way or another??

          1. The article is NOT on the IDF site. It WAS on the IDF site & taken down & this has been confirmed to me by Israeli journalists who explained that the IDF decided the article compromised operational security. The link I provide is from Google cache or did you not notice that?

            The exercise covered territory ranging from Beit Shean northward to the Lebanon border. Since it’s a war simulation who do you think Israel would be fighting in central Israel? Jordan? No not all military exercises are war simulations. At least not in the sense that this one was.

          2. No, it’s you who don’t know what YOU’RE talking about. The article was taken down during the exercise. If it was put back up on the site that was done after the exercise was over.

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