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Tuesday, October 3, 2000
Moshe Arens: Learn your lessons well - the Arrow and Israeli technological development

Ha'aretz 3 October 2000

On September 1, after the American ballistic missile interceptor again failed to perform in a test-firing exercise, President Clinton announced that there was insufficient confidence in the technology to permit him to decide on the deployment of the National Missile Defense System.Moshe Arens: Learn your lessons well - the Arrow and Israeli technological development

Ha'aretz 3 October 2000

On September 1, after the American ballistic missile interceptor again failed to perform in a test-firing exercise, President Clinton announced that there was insufficient confidence in the technology to permit him to decide on the deployment of the National Missile Defense System. Clinton noted that establishing such a system is a worthy goal since threats posed to American national security and geopolitical interests - especially from North Korea and certain Middle East countries - are still very real.

Two weeks later, the Arrow, Israel's ballistic missile interceptor, registered another resounding success in a test firing. Here there is full confidence in the technology developed by the Israeli engineering teams and the system is in the process of operational deployment. Israelis will be able to sleep more soundly under an anti-missile umbrella operated by the Israel Air Force to protect the country from the threat of missiles that are being developed in certain Middle East countries, with the assistance of North Korea, Russia, and China.

The Arrow system is a tremendous achievement for Israel's defense industry, reached despite seemingly insurmountable technological difficulties and under constant criticism at home. Throughout the years of development, Israeli critics, including senior IDF officers, have insisted that the project was too ambitious and beyond the capabilities of Israel's defense industry. They also argued that the Arrow system would not provide an adequate response to the danger of missile attacks with non-conventional war-heads against Israel in any event.

A number of attempts were made to cancel the program, which survived only due to continuous U.S. financial assistance and the unwavering support of ministers of defense, over the objections from the IDF. In 1992, the defense minister's procurement order for the Green Pine radar system from Elta, despite the objections of the chief of staff at the time, was the turning point in the development of the Arrow, leading to its full-system capability.

The critics of the program failed to understand that in order to face the danger of a possible non-conventional missile attack in the future, Israel must be equipped with a range of possible responses and the ability to intercept an incoming missile is an essential part of the required response mix. It adds an additional dimension to Israel's existing deterrent capabilities and greatly increases the level of uncertainty that would face an aggressor contemplating launching missiles against Israel. The Chinese and Russian objections to the development of ballistic missile interceptors by the U.S. are a clear indication that missile-interception capabilities significantly affect the strategic equation between attacker and defender.

In recent years, the Israeli defense industry has engaged in four major system-development programs: the Merkava tank, the Lavi fighter aircraft, the Ofek reconnaissance satellite and the Arrow ballistic missile interceptor. All these programs have been criticized as being over-ambitious, beyond Israel's capabilities and unnecessary - in short, a waste of money. Although each of these programs was intended to provide the IDF with added capabilities to perform its mission of defending the State of Israel, many of the senior staff of the IDF, strangely enough, led the opposition to these programs, calling for their cancellation. The Lavi was canceled in 1987, while the rest were on the verge of disappearing a number of times.

The Merkava project survived thanks to the adamant and energetic leadership of Major General (res.) Yisrael Tal, an internationally-renowned expert on armored warfare and the designer of the tank generally considered the best in the world, and despite objections from IDF generals, who preferred acquisition of the M1 tank from the U.S. The Ofek satellite program went ahead without the support of the IDF intelligence branch, its ultimate customer, and the Arrow project, under the leadership of Dov Raviv, succeeded in becoming a part of former president Ronald Reagan's Star Wars program and as such was not totally dependent on Israeli funding.

The Lavi fell victim to the narrow-minded and uninformed critics who succeeded in securing a one-vote majority in the Israeli cabinet and thereby led to the demise of what would have been the world's best fighter aircraft, which was already well on the way to proving its outstanding capabilities. Anyone reviewing the minutes of the cabinet meetings devoted to the subject would be amazed by the misinformation and deception fed to the ministers by IDF generals, who were eager to spend the Lavi funds on other projects, and by the browbeating of the lone Labor minister who supported the program, Shoshana Arbeli-Almozlino, who was forced, against her better judgment, to vote for the cancellation and give the opponents of the program a one-vote majority. Israel lost what would have become its best fighter aircraft, one that would have provided a significant qualitative edge over the fighter aircraft of the Arab air forces.

The Merkava tank, the Ofek satellite, the Arrow missile interceptor and even the scrapped Lavi fighter have contributed greatly to providing the IDF with a qualitative edge over its potential enemies and laying the foundations for the Israeli high-tech industry. Those generals - who fought technological progress, who preferred procurement from the U.S. to development in Israel, who deemed every Israeli project over-ambitious and unnecessary - have never had to give an account of their mistaken judgment. Some of them have gone on to become politicians. Hopefully they have learned their lessons
0010031000100310/3/00 0:00:0012/30/99 17:34:19Israel Radio buries story that Rajoub promised no reaction to Sharon visit Israel Radio buries story that Rajoub promised no reaction to Sharon visit

Aaron Lerner Date: 3 October, 2000

Israel Radio reported this morning that Minister of Internal Security
and Acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami was promised by Jibril
Rajoub, head of PA Preventive Security, that there would be no
reaction to Likud MK Arik Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount as long
as Sharon did not attempt to enter the mosque itself.Israel Radio buries story that Rajoub promised no reaction to Sharon visit

Aaron Lerner Date: 3 October, 2000

Israel Radio reported this morning that Minister of Internal Security
and Acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami was promised by Jibril
Rajoub, head of PA Preventive Security, that there would be no
reaction to Likud MK Arik Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount as long
as Sharon did not attempt to enter the mosque itself. Rajoub made the
promise in a transatlantic conversation with Ben Ami while Ben Ami
was in the US.

The story was only broadcast once and it was buried within a longer
item.

Since then the story has not been repeated on Israel Radio.

The five PM newsreel also did not repeat the story but included
instead an item by Israel Radio military correspondent Carmella
Menashe in which she quotes "a senior military source" calling for an
investigation of why security officials did not warn against plans
for Arik Sharon to visit the Temple Mount. Carmella Menashe went on
to quote the unidentified source as blaming Sharon for the blow up
that she said followed the visit.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director
IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-548-0092
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
pager 03-6750750 subscriber 4811
Website: http://www.imra.org.il



0010031100100310/3/00 0:00:0012/30/99 17:34:59Israel Radio: LAU missile seen by Tulkarem Israel Radio: LAU missile seen by Tulkarem

Aaron Lerner Date: 3 October, 2000

Israel Radio reported this afternoon that IDF forces in the
industrial area next to Tulkarem saw a Palestinian with a LAU
missile.Israel Radio: LAU missile seen by Tulkarem

Aaron Lerner Date: 3 October, 2000

Israel Radio reported this afternoon that IDF forces in the
industrial area next to Tulkarem saw a Palestinian with a LAU
missile. The forces fired at the Palestinian but he escaped.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director
IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-548-0092
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
pager 03-6750750 subscriber 4811
Website: http://www.imra.org.il



0010031200100310/3/00 0:00:0012/30/99 17:36:19PM BARAK MEETS WITH ARAB MKS AND LOCAL COUNCIL HEADS PM BARAK MEETS WITH ARAB MKS AND LOCAL COUNCIL HEADS


(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Jerusalem Tuesday, October 03, 2000

Prime Minister Ehud Barak today (Tuesday), 3.PM BARAK MEETS WITH ARAB MKS AND LOCAL COUNCIL HEADS


(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Jerusalem Tuesday, October 03, 2000

Prime Minister Ehud Barak today (Tuesday), 3.10.2000, following a
3.5-hour discussion with Ministers Ben-Ami, Ben-Eliezer, Beilin, Cohen
and Vilnai, Deputy Minister Massalha, Arab MKs and heads of Arab local
councils, said that the government is determined to make every effort to
achieve peace, equality and partnership.

Prime Minister Barak noted that the operational staff he has
established, headed by Minister Matan Vilnai, will deal with current
issues on the agenda. At the same time, the government will work to
implement a five-year-plan which it has already prepared to advance the
Arab sector.

Prime Minister Barak announced that he has directed the police to act
with maximum restraint in order to prevent casualties. He also called
on the Arab public not to violate the law or attack its representatives,
even during moments of emotion and pain.

Prime Minister Barak said that hoped that it will be possible to open
all roads within 24 hours and added that the use of live weapons is
forbidden unless there is a clear and immediate danger to life.

Prime Minister Barak proposed that the leaders of Jewish and Arab local
councils open a friendly dialogue among themselves and with government
ministries.

Prime Minister Barak also announced that he has decided to establish a
team headed by an independent person to investigate and clarify recent
events in a credible, responsible and direct fashion.

[Contact: Prime Minister's Office Foreign Press Coordinator David Baker,
02-6773649, 02-6512631 (fax), 02-6294666 - #48400 or
.]



0010031300100310/3/00 0:00:0012/30/99 17:36:57Ha'aretz: Days before the conflagration Arafat and Barak have warm meeting in Kochav YairHa'aretz: Days before the conflagration Arafat and Barak have warm meeting in Kochav Yair

By Uzi Benziman Ha'aretz 29 September 2000

When President Clinton phoned the prime minister's residence in Kochav Yair,
Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat got into a contest of manners reminiscent of
the flurry of "after-you"s the two exchanged at the entrance to the
president's cabin at Camp David.Ha'aretz: Days before the conflagration Arafat and Barak have warm meeting in Kochav Yair

By Uzi Benziman Ha'aretz 29 September 2000

When President Clinton phoned the prime minister's residence in Kochav Yair,
Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat got into a contest of manners reminiscent of
the flurry of "after-you"s the two exchanged at the entrance to the
president's cabin at Camp David. Each one insisted that the other be first
to speak with Clinton. Unable to agree, they tried to activate the
speaker-phone so that they could listen to the president and respond
simultaneously but were frustrated when they couldn't figure out which
button to push. In the end, Arafat acceded to Barak's argument that the
guest should rightly go first in this instance. Each was able to hear the
other's answers to the American president's questions.

That, more or less, is all that is known about the meeting that has been
described as a major ice-breaker between the two leaders. The chemistry
between the two men was reportedly so good it makes one wonder why no
friendly get-togethers of this type were arranged earlier and why it took an
American millionaire, Danny Abrams, to organize the tete-a-tete, complete
with Clinton's phone call to Barak's living room. The men were hitting it
off so well that Arafat was regaling Barak with stories about his days as a
prisoner in Damascus. As the Palestinian Authority chairman took his leave
of Barak, he kissed and embraced him.

For a good part of the evening, Barak and Arafat sat out in the garden apart
from everyone else. They had a one-on-one conversation that lasted about an
hour. Afterward, Barak volunteered very little information about what had
transpired in the course of that conversation. It was a dialogue between
leaders, each conscious of his nation's expectations and of the constraints
he must take into consideration. Inside, with everyone present, expressions
of a commitment to peace were the order of the day. The diners spoke of the
linked destiny of the two peoples, of how history has decreed that they must
live together, of the necessity of obtaining an accord because the
alternative of armed conflict won't alter the basic situation and about the
need to reach a compromise. Still, the Israeli participants noted that Abu
Mazen and Abu Ala were taking only a modest part in the discussion.

A few hours later, Shlomo Ben-Ami and Gilad Sher took off for the United
States, having received an urgent summons from the administration. They went
to meet with the American peace team after Arafat and Barak agreed to
seriously review some new bridging proposals different from the ones
presented at Camp David. The new American ideas apply not only to
arrangements regarding the Temple Mount, but also to other issues that
remain in dispute.

The Kochav Yair meeting and the talks in the United States appeared to
constitute a final attempt by President Clinton to reap the fruits of the
enormous efforts made during the past year and a half, propelling Barak and
Arafat toward an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Now that Ben-Ami
and Sher have returned, we'll see if a breakthrough has in fact been made.
In any event, Barak came out of his encounter with Arafat with the
unprecedented feeling that the Palestinian leader also does not wish to miss
this opportunity.

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