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Israel to Receive Its First F-35 Stealth Fighter Jet

By Israel Hayom

The Israeli Air Force will receive its first F-35 fighter jet on Wednesday -- the first of 33 aircraft Israel has acquired -- in a festive rollout ceremony to be held at the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas. The aircraft is expected to arrive in Israel by the end of the year.

The F-35, or the Adir as it has been named in Hebrew, is a fifth generation stealth fighter jet that will position Israel's air force at the cutting edge of technology. Questions regarding the aircraft's capabilities have been raised but the Israeli Air Force is convinced that all the challenges facing its development have been nothing more than growing pains and that the aircraft is essential to Israel's qualitative military superiority in the region.

On Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter held a closed-door meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who only assumed the post late last month. Carter and Lieberman discussed regional security challenges in the Middle East and areas of mutual defense cooperation before Lieberman headed to Texas for the rollout ceremony. Israel will be the first country outside the U.S. to receive the F-35.

Lieberman's visit to the Pentagon came as the U.S. and Israel were in the process of negotiating a new 10-year defense aid agreement to replace the current one, which expires in 2018. Lieberman is interested in finalizing a deal with the U.S. before the next American president takes office in January. It should be noted, however, that the main player in the talks with the Americans is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (via the National Security Council), not Lieberman.

In Israel, meanwhile, the air force will welcome four female graduates next week into its ranks of pilots, navigators and flight engineers following a grueling three-year training course. Considering the fact that the course has only been open to women less than two decades, this year's four graduates represent a relatively high number of women. The highest number of women graduated the course in 2011, totaling five. Forty-two women have completed the course since becoming eligible for it in the late 1990s, soon to be 46.

The air force has undertaken to increase the number of women in its ranks and has adapted the acceptance process into the training course to that end. The air force actively recruits women whose general profiles fit the course's requirements rather than only passively accepting applications. The air force also holds recruitment conferences to raise awareness among women who are potential air crew members. In the last five years, 6,000 women and 29,000 men have applied for the course.

'Majority of Israeli Arabs Don't See Hizbullah as Terror Group'

By Israel Hayom

The majority of Israeli Arabs do not think of Hizbullah as a terrorist organization, despite its repeated threats to strike northern Israel, which could potentially wreak havoc on the Arab communities in the area, a prominent figure within the sector told Israel Hayom.The 2006 Second Lebanon War was the first to take a heavy toll on the Israeli Arab sector, as Hizbullah's fire on Israel's north claimed 19 lives among the community, wounded dozens and left many homes in northern Arab towns in ruins.

The northern Israeli city of Haifa, which suffered daily rocket attacks during the 2006 conflict, is home to 65% of Israel's Arab community. Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah's belligerent rhetoric often names Haifa as a prime target during any future conflict between Israel and the Lebanon-based Shiite terrorist group, but the threats, it seems, have not tempered the support Hizbullah has among the Israeli Arab sector.

Israeli Arab leaders told Israel Hayom that they and their public support the pan-Arab approach -- that is Hizbullah's assertion negating Israel's claim that it had legitimate cause to launch the 34-day military campaign in Lebanon in the wake of the abduction of IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev by the group.

The Israeli Arab sector's stance on the 2006 conflict remain steadfast, seemingly oblivious to solid counterarguments, such as the fact that Hizbullah is an Iranian proxy, and therefore it is directly link to the unpopular Islamic republic; the fact that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, many of the Persian Gulf states and even some of the Sunnis in Lebanon agreed that Israel's move was justified; and the fact the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was -- and remains -- unrelated to the situation on the northern border.

One source described the Israeli Arab sector's support of Hizbullah as a reflection of the rift between the Jewish and Arab communities in Israel. Perhaps the most prominent example of this situation came days after the conflict erupted: On July 19, 2006, a Hizbullah rocket hit a Nazareth home, killing two Arab children aged three and seven.

In a special broadcast aired on Hizbullah's television station, Nasrallah apologized for the incident and declared the boys "martyrs." Speaking over his sons' graves, the father did not blame Hizbullah for their death. He accepted Nasrallah's apology, said he bore the operatives that fired the missile at his home no ill-will, and declared instead that the "Israeli occupation" was to blame for the situation.

In another reflection of this sentiment, in 2013, a resident of the Arab Galilee town of Majd al-Krum, where several people were killed by Hizbullah rockets in 2006, was convicted of spying for the Shiite terrorist group and sentenced to seven years in prison.

A senior official in the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee told Israel Hayom that while the Shiite organization is not popular among Israeli Arabs, the discrimination the community suffers "at the hand of the Israeli government" makes Hizbullah and other Palestinian terrorist organizations seem as popular resistance groups "fighting a just war against the Israeli occupier."

Israeli Arabs, he said, "blame Israel for oppressing the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as for the displacement of over a million Lebanese from their homes and destroying infrastructure, entire villages sometimes, in Lebanon.

"While in the wake of Israel's inception the majority of Arabs here made the strategic decision to accept Israeli rule, obey the law and avoid an armed struggle or joining the Palestinian factions, there is a tendency to blindly following nearly any form of resistance to Israel imperialism. There is also similar support to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict only in the form of an independent Palestinian state, including restoring all occupied Arab lands in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights."

The official stressed that the affiliation with Hizbullah among Israeli Arabs, which he said was, at times, "by default," was further fueled by the belief that "Hizbullah never deliberately tried to hurt them [during the 2006 war]. Accidents happen, and they are willing to pay the price in the name of pan-Arabism."

Booklets Demonizing IDF Draft Spread in Mainstream Yeshivas


Booklets encouraging students not to join the IDF that compares soldiers to Nazis and cannibals have been distributed in recent days in mainstream yeshivas. They have also been sent via emails, with the recipients requested to print physical copies to distribute them to yeshivas.

The 57-page "guide," produced by Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews, describes the trajectory that awaits young persons of their sector from their first call-up notice. It claims that the IDF representatives who meet with them during the process only seek to harm them. It thus recommends avoiding cooperating with them as much as possible. "For the next hour," the booklet says, "they will examine your every smile and every sentence to give you a deadly assessment, similar to the 'assessors' at Auschwitz's gates of death who assessed the state of every youth, and even the slightest change could determine his fate to die."

The booklet is not signed by any official organization, but, as opposed to previous similar publications in the past against service in the IDF, it cannot be associated only to known anti-Zionist groups, as it is directed for mainstream yeshiva students. Amongst its distributors are members of "the Jerusalem faction" of the Lithuanian Haredi sector.

The faction's leader, Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, declared war against the law to draft ultra-Orthodox Jews, including its modified and weaker version. He blamed senior Haredi leaders in that matter, and he ordered his followers not to present themselves at all at the induction office as required. His faction also organizes from time to time demonstrations at central junctions throughout the country in response to arrests of yeshiva student deserters.

Young ultra-Orthodox youth are warned in the guide not to be impressed with the warm reception that they receive in the induction office, as it has but one goal: enticing them to leave the world of Torah. The soldiers whom they will meet there appear as "cannibals" via a series of fables and stories. "It's not excitement and admiration of your many skills and your special personality," the booklet reads, "They don't need you as a person. They need you as a pound of meat…for every person that they draft, they get money—a lot of money."

Those distributing the material take advantage of the opportunity to warn the yeshiva students of "collaborators and mercenaries" who work trying to draft them outside of bases in civilian appearance: "They roam the fringes of Haredi society and constantly engage in hunting souls. According to various estimations and calculations, the authorities invest tens of thousands of shekels for one 'Haredi head' that can be a hearty meal for a large team of 'modern cannibals.' It should be eminently clear to you: Nobody escapes from this trap."

In light of this, the booklet recommends, "It doesn't matter how successful, witty, brilliant and extensively knowledgeable in different fields you are. In this interview, endeavor to know the minimum that every yeshiva student knows, and speak of less than that—and with serious consideration.

To avoid being assigned a suitable position, the booklet recommends disregarding the instructions for the tests administered in the draft process: "On the computerized test, don't waste your time, and don't read the questions. For every question, strike 'Enter,' and you'll finish the test in a few seconds. Being nice is wonderful—outside of the induction office.

"At the office, you're nobody's friend. You don't go with anything, aren't open, and don't get dragged to anything. Don't try to leave an impression on anyone, even if you're intelligent and pleasant. In the office, you're just a dry and dull character who doesn't get jokes, doesn't know how to smile, and just came to hand over forms and leave."

To strengthen the yeshiva students' resolve in the rightness of their path, the booklet besmirches the IDF and its soldiers: "When we see tanks, planes, rifles—the heart may be impressed. So we go back and review: Zeroes. (The soldiers are) not even stinking maggot flies. Like children who play with Lego and build planes and ships."

Regarding ultra-Orthodox who do serve in the army: "Those soldiers and commanders are destroying the country and its inhabitants… Those poor zeroes, who run about with their rifles to and fro, playing at (a children's program) as if they were protecting something or other."

Those who can no longer learn Torah and are interested in leaving yeshiva are warned not to serve in the army: "You learned for a quarter hour during that time (during a period of a few months —KN)? That quarter hour is your defense of the people of Israel (and yourself) more than any of those soldiers for their three years (of service)."

The booklet also alleges that there are also less spiritual reasons to dodge the draft: fear of dying, the "tyranny" of commanders, abuse of soldiers (mainly religious ones) and loneliness. "In the secular public, anyone who can dodge the draft dodges," the booklet alleges, "Don't be a sucker. It's a lot easier to sit in jail for three years than to be in the army for three years. Inside the army, you don't have a family to go back to…Families have broken apart, fathers have declined, children have become orphans while their fathers are alive because of a reckless move of induction."

The IDF is described as a "dark, cruel, cold and aloof" place that brings soldiers to utter depression and complete exhaustion. The booklet alleges that the suicide rate ("number 1 cause of death in the IDF") is higher and that "for every person who commits suicide, there are another hundred who wanted to and who didn't have a weapon on hand, and a thousand wandering about with suicidal thoughts."

The booklets' authors summarize their principal rules that must never be ignored: Don't sign any document ("even if it states that you're a yeshiva student or if it's washing machine instructions"), don't wear a uniform ("even just for a photo") and don't come to the induction office without a hat and suit ("a clear recipe for problems").

"Make up whatever you want— just don't sign," the booklet adds. "Say that you swore to your father with a handshake that you wouldn't sign. Tell them that you swore to your mother that you wouldn't sign. Tell them that you made a thousand-dollar bet with your friend that you wouldn't sign."

Hitler's Trousers, Goering's Cyanide Container Sold at Auction

By Reuters and Israel Hayom

Trousers with leather pockets worn by Adolf Hitler and a brass container that held the cyanide used by a top deputy to commit suicide were among a trove of Nazi memorabilia sold for hundreds of thousands of Euros at an auction in Germany.

The sale of items from a collection of an American medical officer who attended to the needs of defendants at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials was condemned by Germany's Jewish community as "scandalous" and "disgusting." The auctioneer did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

German media said one Argentine bidder spent over 600,000 Euros ($681,000) alone at auctioneer Hermann Historica's weekend auction in Munich, snapping up Hitler's trousers and military jacket, and an aviator watch that belonged to Hermann Goering, the Nazi air force commander, among other things.

The trousers sold for 62,000 Euros ($70,000), the jacket -- made from "finely-woven field gray cloth" -- went for 275,000 Euros ($312,000), the watch for 42,000 Euros ($47,000) and some silk underwear owned by Goering for 3,000 Euros ($3,400), according to the German daily Bild.

Other items under the hammer included the brass container for the hydrogen cyanide phial that Goering swallowed while awaiting trial in Nuremberg in 1946, which fetched 26,000 Euros ($29,000), and Hitler's medical X-rays after a failed assassination attempt in July 1944, Hermann Historica said on its website. It said the pockets of Hitler's black trousers were leather lined "so he could carry a gun unobtrusively with him."

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