Saturday 22 March 2014

The 7 Bogies of Moshe Ya’alon

"Bogie" Ya'alon. Never has a handle been more aptly applied

By Matthew Kalman

Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is back in the news following his latest childish outbursts against the US administration. I have never failed to be impressed with the extent of his crushing stupidity. His nickname is “Bogie.” Never has a handle been more aptly applied. Here are 7 of Ya’alon’s most embarrassing gaffes:

1. As head of IDF Central Command, responsible for the West Bank, and then deputy chief of staff, he was one of the key Israeli generals responsible for the pitiful intelligence failure that missed the looming and very obvious signs that the Second Intifada was about to erupt in September 2000.

2. In November 2000, when he was the IDF deputy chief of staff, I asked Ya’alon why the Israel military was responding to the intifada with the clearly ineffectual and probably counter-productive tactic of bombing Palestinian prisons and police stations. His answer: “You want they should hit us and we don’t hit back?”

3. Ya’alon was one of the architects of the catastrophic IDF response to the Second Intifada, which not only failed to stem the violence but escalated it, prolonging the uprising by several years. He was one of the key generals whose adoption of the tactic of targeted assassinations in Bethlehem and Tulkarm led directly to the Palestinian deployment of suicide bombers.

4. As IDF chief of staff from 2002-2005, Ya’alon masterminded the redeployment of the IDF after Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. He so degraded the IDF’s military, logistical and intelligence capability that when the Lebanon War broke out in 2006 the army lacked training, basic equipment and clear lines of intelligence communication.

5. During a study break at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, Ya’alon publicly called for the assassination of then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “We have to consider killing him. All options must be considered,” he wisely told the Sydney Morning Herald.

6. As vice-premier, Ya’alon publicly clashed with his prime minister over attacking Iran, describing military action as “a last resort.” “Iran's nuclear program could be stopped without military force,” he said in October 2012. This week he peformed a 180-degree flip-flop.

7. Since January, Defense Minister Ya’alon has described the US Secretary of State as “obsessive and messianic,” in his pursuit of a peace deal and this week publicly accused the White House of “demonstrating weakness.”

You just wonder what he’s going to do or say next.