Eitam, Israel’s next Defense Minister

By Ted Belman

Effie Eitam is a man to watch. He achieved the rank of Brigadier General in the IDF and then became a MK with the NRP. Previously he quit Likud over the disengagement. He spoke in NY last night. I was there. Here’s what he said to say in no particular order

1. After the next elections, he expects to be appointed Minister of Defense.
2. Israel is united in the belief that Iran can’t be permitted to obtain the bomb.
3. Israel is quite capable of destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities. It would be a major campaign lasting over one month. (I believe the regime would also be targeted. First they would destroy the air defenses and then probably the Revolutionary Guard. They would degrade Iran’s fighting capability sufficient to allow Special Ops to land and take out the nuclear facilities after they are bombed.)
4. Present leadership is not up to the task of defending Israel. The next generation is just coming on stream and it will be up to the task. The balance is shifting from the secular left to the religious right.
5. The major lesson Israelis have learned from Gaza and Lebanon is not to cede any more territory.
6. Abrogate Oslo and annex Judea and Samaria.
7. To survive Israel must embrace its roots. Israelis are beginning to appreciate this.
8. Israel lost an historic opportunity to destroy Hezbollah and restore its deterrence. So the loss in Lebanon must be measured in terms of what the war didn’t achieve.
9. Israeli Arabs are a growing threat.
10. If Israelis have to take shelter in shelters, he would make certain that the Arabs had to also.

May 9, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. I believe part of this is hope, but also part of it is the expectation that the U.S. would intercede and play a considerable role.

    As for the pulse of the Israelis, Eitam does have a fair idea of what is happening. He rightfully sees that there is a desperate need to somehow return the frontier Zionistic zeal to the cause of Israel’s existence, and that many Israelis are coming around to that. Israel as a solely secular/westernized country may make for a nice warm climate to visit with sandy beaches and all, but without the “Jewish” calling, why fight and die for essentially a piece of land?

    Israel must be seen by Israelis and Diaspora Jews alike as a real need for Judaism; for safety, security, protection, religious fulfillment and Jewish continuity if it is to survive as a Jewish state.

    [Jewish] Israelis who say that they are Israelis, not Jews, who want to live, work and play in their own country as liberal/secular/westernized individuals would never cede equal citizenship or free and open borders to the Arab neighbors. If you ask them, they’ll tell you that and the reason will be because “they want to harm us, kill us and push us out”. Us being Jews. They may outwardly deny their Jewishness and play up in every way how modern and advanced they are – somehow feeling that any attachment to Jewish tradition makes them less advanced or primitive – but they deep down recognize that their Jewishness is at the core of the Islamists enmity. So they do know that whether or not they see themselves as Jews, their enemies certainly do.

    Effie knows this and he believed that every Israeli must come to terms with some kind of Jewish identity that returns their yearning to want and need Israel – for their souls, and not merely for the nice climate.

    He does not advocate a religiously imposed state, but a state in which Judaism and its core values are at the heart of everything it does.

    Breaking the tiresome chain of government corruption and restoring people’s faith in the system are all part of his plan.

    He has the secular Zionistic background, having been the first generation of Israelis born to the new state, being raised on a secular/socialist kibbutz. He has the religious background, having become a ba’al tshuva after the Yom Kippur war, seeing what he refers to as the “Power of G-d” in the victory, and he has a 30 year military background, serving the elite Golani units, having been in Entebbe and the first Lebanon War, and rising to Brigadier General as a frum Jews.

    There are few better positioned to bring Israel back to the level of decorum and Military prowess that it was known for, who understand the needs of the religious and secular Jews and can meld al the experiences into an honest leader who doesn’t want perks and patronage, but what is really best for Israel – strong and lasting existence as a Jewish national homeland.

  2. I have difficulty understanding Eitam’s following views on Israel attacking Iran which he says will be:

    a major campaign lasting over one month. (I believe the regime would also be targeted. First they would destroy the air defenses and then probably the Revolutionary Guard. They would degrade Iran’s fighting capability sufficient to allow Special Ops to land and take out the nuclear facilities after they are bombed.)

    The difficulty I have is that I highly doubt if Israel began such an attack, that Israel would have the luxury of a month of unhindered opportunities to devastate Iran as Eitam postulates. I highly doubt that Syria, Hezbollah or the entire Muslim Middle East would sit idle and just watch from the sidelines as Israel’s attack unfolded as Eitam states.

    Surely Eitam has considered this issue. I wonder just how he envisions Israel could paralyze the Muslim Middle East to take no action to enable Israel the month it would need to achieve victory.

    As for Eitam’s other comments as you summarized, if he does have his finger on the pulse of Israelis and the political climate, his words foretell a very substantial shift to the right coming in Israel’s policies and a toughening up of Israeli resolve stand firm against Palestinian/Arab demands and American and world pressure to accede to those demands.

    Again, I wonder how much this is Eitam talking about how he wants to change things as opposed to his accurately relaying that change as he lays out, is soon coming.

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