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by Yossi Blum Halevi


General Kaplinski Boasts on IDF Radio

A few days ago I heard a lecture by General Moshe Kaplinski, commander of the IDF's Central Command, broadcast as part of IDF Radio's "Radio University." Anyone not familiar with current army linguistic usage would have concluded that an alien speaking broken Hebrew had taken over the minds and tongues of the officers of the IDF's General Staff. One term which recurred repeatedly in General Kaplinski's learned lecture was "conceptualization." His listeners were told of the IDF's ability to conceptualize to the Palestinians "the strength of the most powerful military in the Middle East," thus supposedly avoiding the need to use that strength against "the weak Palestinians." In other words, the honorable general wanted to say "We do not want to use our overwhelming force, but only to send you a message," to "messagize" (a linguistic innovation of my own) to them how strong we are, and that our feeble punches were only meant to preserve our ever weakening power of deterrence.

Another concept which he used with great frequency, and which can often be heard from our brave commanders, was "intensity." Intensity, in the concept- and conceptualization-rich lexicon of the IDF's generals, is not just some linguistic innovation by Eliezer Ben-Yehuda's military successors; rather, it is an obfuscating expression used by these officers who, as we well know, have succeeded so well in deterring our Palestinian foes for the past four years, in particular their irrelevant leader Arafat and the other leading Palestinian terrorists, who have been killing our people, men, women and children, with such low intensity that truly consoles the families of the dead, whose numbers in this low-intensity conflict have passed the wonderfully low number of one-thousand people murdered and slaughtered in scores of different low-intensity ways, as described and documented in an IDF website entitled
"Statistics on Operation High Tide Low Tide Victims"

But General Kaplinski did not let mere statistics interfere with his glowing descriptions of our great army's victories in this low-intensity conflict. He also provided his listeners with the following scholarly descriptions of the conflict's characteristics: "a conflict whose nature is not that of all-out war," "a war or struggle that does not endanger the very existence of our overall national security," as well as "a low-intensity war which, unlike a total confrontation, does not demand that all our national efforts and other resources be mobilized for the purpose of attaining victory over the enemy."

The learned general went on to explain that "a war on terrorism or a guerilla war can never end in the lightning victory of a conventional army over an organization which is not a state," thus providing us mere civilians with an explanation for the fact that this war has been going on now for nearly four years.

In fact, so beautiful and convincing were the general's explanations for Israel's continued defeat in the face of the Fatah-Hamas-Hezbollah terrorist gangs, that my eyes became moist with tears of joy, a satisfied smile appeared on my face, my bent back became upright once more, and in my mind's ear I heard once more the well-known IDF march which in days past would open the morning edition of IDF Radio's news program many years before Rafi Reshef and his amiable leftist friends began to open each day of the military radio station's broadcasts with a sympathetic interview with Barghuti, Rajub or Dakhlan, the IDF's subcontractors for Israel's security.

I shall not go on, my dear reader, to repeat the rest of General Kaplinski's boastful nonsense, whose intellectual depth does not exceed the thickness of the working paper published in the media a few days ago which contains a description of the total full-intensity war that the army of the people of Israel, on orders of the generals Ariel Sharon and Shaul Mofaz, has declared on 10,000 settlers in Gush Katif and northern Samaria and on their twenty-five settlements built in accordance with the law on public land which had never been under any other legal sovereignty than that of the State of Israel alone.

Of Mice and Men in the High Command - A Tom 'n' Jerry General Staff

If we were to briefly summarize the philosophy of our security forces under the pair Sharon-Mofaz, we would perforce be led to the inescapable conclusion that everything that has happened all these long years has not been a war, but rather a game of hide-n-seek between a strong, fat cat and a small, clever mouse, in the kind of scenario familiar to us from Walt Disney cartoons, in which Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse run all over the screen, and the audience knows that the evil cat will never be able to catch the weak, but clever and just, mouse. I believe, therefore, that the IDF General Staff can best be likened to the character of Lenny, the unemployed mentally handicapped vagabond in John Steinbeck's famous novel Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck's Lenny dreams together with his friend George about a farm in which they would raise soft hairy hares together. Lenny the fool plays instead with the mice which he finds on the farm, but he has no idea of how a man of his strength should handle such tiny animals and the results are tragic, for both mice and men.

General Kaplinski Knows Which Side of His Bread is Buttered

Kaplinski, like most of his colleagues in the IDF senior command, has extreme leftist views, and he certainly knows which side of the bread awaiting him after retirement is buttered. During the discussions on the dimensions of the disengagement plan Kaplinski declared himself in favor of getting out of most of the areas of Judea and Samaria beyond the "security fence" in a single move (as reported by Ben Kaspit in the newspaper Ma'ariv, "Meeting of security forces," February 17, 2004).

Like Mofaz, Kaplinski owes his promotion from anonymous brigadier general to a central player in the third Palestinian campaign against Israel, and the first in the 21st century, to Sharon. Kaplinski, who commanded a division in the "security strip" at the time of Ehud Barak's and Mofaz' shameful flight from Lebanon, apparently retains fond memories of the defeat inflicted on the strongest army in the region by a battalion-sized force of Hezbollah fighters reinforced by some members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Yom Tov Samiah, Joseph's Tomb, and the IDF's Strategy of Flight

IDF commanders in the year 2004 are no longer ashamed, as were their predecessors, to run away with their tails between their legs. The commander of the IDF Southern Command at the beginning of Operation High Tide Low Tide, General Yom Tov Samiah, even went so far as to "threaten" then-Prime Minister Barak and Chief-of-Staff Mofaz that "if the IDF did not retreat from Joseph's Tomb he, Yom Tov Samiah, Commander of the Southern Command, would resign from the army!" The IDF was duly impressed by this threat, and so Joseph's Tomb was abandoned, as well as a soldier bleeding to death, who waited in vain to be evacuated by General Jibril Rajub, Mofaz' and Barak's security contractor.

The unnecessary death of border policeman Yusuf Midhat was an event of monumental proportions in the history of the relations between grunts and the junta of degenerals typified by such people as Haim Bar-Lev, Avraham Adan, Gorodish, Dov Tamari and many other senior officers who abandoned IDF soldiers to their fate on the Bar-Lev Line, at the Chinese Farm, Sultan Ya'qub and many other places, not to mention the fallen outpost on Mt. Hermon.

The Midhat affair is still an open, bleeding wound, but no one in the General Staff cares what the simple soldiers think. What is important to these people is how they will cover their backs after the war is over, when medals galore will be awarded to serial yes-men by the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Staff.

Covering one's back, medals, benefits and corruption are just small change for General Kaplinski and his fellow officers on the IDF's current General Staff. They have become used to commanding a defeated army. Kaplinski is no longer ashamed to flee. He can rely on the precedent set by previous unsuccessful commanders who fled from the battlefield and far from being punished were in fact promoted and awarded medals, but only on one condition, that they refrain from criticizing the system.

Mitsna and Danni Rothschild: Flight and Building a Career in the Civilian Oligarchy

Take General Mitsna for example. He abandoned his soldiers during the battle for the Chinese Farm and the Chic Path during the Yom Kippur War and had himself evacuated because of a slight injury. Mitsna realized that he will not achieve greatness on the field of battle, but rather within the warm, loving embrace of the leftist, defeatist oligarchy.

Never mind the fact that this cowardly and honorless oligarchy stole the State and the Land of Israel from the Jewish people. Mitsna and Kaplinski do not owe their allegiance to their people and homeland, but to those who promoted them and gave them material benefits, using a system whereby these people are set up for life. Take for example General Danni Rothschild, who now shamelessly helps the enemy in his war against Israel by appealing to the High Court of Justice on the matter of the Security Fence. Before the ink was dry on the shameful decision of Aharon Barak to grant the Palestinians a full victory in this battle, Generalissimo Rothschild hurried to the media to blame the IDF for "useless aggression," as he called the use of targeted killings, that lead, so he claims, to "violations of the peace and firing of Qassam rockets at Sderot."

Generalissim Danni Rothschild, head of the Council for Peace and Security, is a rich man, well-upholstered with a number of honorary consulships, possessing diplomatic license plates for his black presidential Mercedes, as well as having economic ties to both Europeans and Palestinians. Anyone who saw him speaking on television as a "security expert" got the impression that he and is colleagues on the Council for Peace and Security junta were divinely ordained and inspired, and therefore possessed the right to negotiate "painful concessions" by Israel to the Arabs, and to inflict the most dire of punishments on those among the settlers who resist being evicted.

Mitsna, who fled even from his failed leadership of the Labor Party, is an important representative of that junta of proud Israeli generals. Indeed, Mitsna has a brilliantly poor reputation from the days of the war in Lebanon, when he was awarded an accelerated promotion by the media after he backed that cowardly deserter Eli Geva and during that same period also led another revolt against the then Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon and his Chief of Staff Raful. Like his friend Geva, Mitsna also benefited from his betrayal of the country's leadership at the time.

Mitsna and Sharon - Love and Hate Meet on the Philadelphi Road at the Gush Katif Crossing

Sharon and Mitna both went a long way before their paths met on the road to the great rout from Gaza and Samaria.

Mitsna, Kaplinski's spiritual mentor at Central Command, said in 1987: "Terrorism has no military solution, only one of political negotiation." This defeatist and nonsensical philosophy opened the way to the defeat of the State of Israel in a campaign of vital importance to its survival. This failed soldier's subversion of the sovereign government to which he swore loyalty made it possible for the terrorists to flourish from 1987 to this day and to defeat Israel and its army in a prolonged war of attrition, a kind of war which the founders of the State warned against, and therefore built the State's security doctrine on the need to nip any such attrition in the bud.

Mitsna was also the senior military officer in Judea and Samaria whose direct orders abandoned the mukhtar of Qabatiya to his fate; he was murdered in cold blood and his house and body burnt publicly in the town.

The road from Qabatiya to the burning of Jewish children in restaurants and busses was short, passing through Oslo and the rivers of blood it caused.

The Military Philosophy of Generals Rafi Noy and Giora Inbar: In Lebanon There Is No One to Defeat, But Our Soldiers We Shall Abandon to Their Fate

Another Brigadier General in the Northern Command, the Command's Chief-of-Staff Rafi Noy, said a few years before Barak fled from the Security Strip: "In Lebanon there is no one to defeat."

Another Brigadier General, Commander of the Lebanon Division Giora Inbar, went even further, and after retiring from the army joined the hedonist money-grubbers of the extreme left and took part in the junta of generals who supported Yossi Belin's "Geneva accords" and his operators/financiers in the European Union.

Giora Inbar is doing very well financially as a post-Zionist and anti-Jewish intellectual. This same Inbar told his soldiers who had remained in Lebanon that "their war was pointless and unjustified, and their blood was being spilled there in vain." Inbar, like Eli Geva before him, fled from the battlefield. But the simple soldiers under his command were not granted the privilege of doing the same; they thus remained there, with the stark truth that they with their bodies enabled the inhabitants of the north of Israel, and the rest of the State as well, to live their lives in relative peace.

Kaplinski, like his fellows, will certainly enjoy a brilliant carreer after eventually leaving the army. Perhaps he will go into business together with that great Chief of the General Staff, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who abandoned his soldiers in the Chinese Farm, or maybe he will join in the lucrative businesses of Ehud Barak who gets tens of thousands of dollars for lectures abroad and hundreds of thousands for advising nameless corporations in Europe.

On Abandoning Simple Soldiers in the IDF of Mofaz, Barak and Sharon

Or perhaps Kaplinski, a favorite of Ariel Sharon, will join his fellows who developed an academic career, together with Brigadier General Dov Tamari, the one who ordered Lipkin Shahak to send the soldiers of Battalion 890 to a pointless death with his misleading and irresponsible command to "take out a number of Egyptian tank hunters south-east of the Chinese Farm," whereas in reality a whole Egyptian armored brigade waited for them and killed scores of their comrades. Furthermore, while the paratroopers were fighting desperately General Adan and his lieutenant Tamari provided no artillery or armor support, and had to fight without proper intelligence concerning the enemy's strength.

In his lecture General Kaplinski praised the "achievements" of the IDF command in the war against terror, spoke of how courage and sophisticated technologies were combined together, and expressed in words of glowing praise his appreciation for the IDF High Command that, in his words, was able "to prepare for this low-intensity confrontation wisely, courageously and with determination, and still maintain the purity of our arms, act within the law as well as the demands of military ethics and discipline, in very difficult combat situations involving numerous international and regional organizations." Not surprisingly no mention was made at all of Yusuf Midhat when he enumerated the lessons which the army learned, so he claimed, from the prolonged conflict.

Only then did the IDF's Chief Education Officer and today's Adjutant General say, many months ago, that "Extricating combatants from the battlefield is not an absolute value which must be adhered to in every possible situation on the battlefield." Did you understand this, you soldiers who fought at Joseph's tomb, who will for all time suffer from post-traumatic battle shock?

Why Has the IDF not Won the War?

The General was not asked, nor did he volunteer, to cope with the hard questions about the IDF's failure to defeat an army of lightly armed terrorists who slaughter the citizens of Israel almost at will.

Yes, it's a fact! In our oppressed land no journalist or TV correspondent can be found who will ask senior commanders hard questions about our national security and the "achievements" of a strong, modern military against a weak and poorly armed enemy. For four years now this army has failed to defeat the armed terrorist gangs and the infrastructure of suicide bombers, financed mainly by Hezbollah from Lebanon and Teheran, who will certainly hit us even harder after the cruel and inhuman "disengagement" is carried out.

No one in the media has asked Kaplinski for example to explain how it is that in a "low-intensity" conflict one-thousand people have died whereas in the Six Day War, the most extensive war we've fought since the War of Independence, only 750 soldiers were killed? How is it that in such a "low-intensity" confrontation an entire nation is thrown into deep economic depression, with hundreds of thousands left jobless and suffering from hunger, poverty and deprivation, while at the same time the army is building militarily useless fences which result in Israel being dragged to the International Court of Justice at the Hague? Wouldn't it have been better to start a total war lasting days, or even a few months, and to pay a much lower price than we are paying in this "low-intensity" war? Some Statistics about the Low Intensity of Operation High Tide Low Tide

Did you know that the price so far to the Israeli economy of the El-Aqsa War, known also as Operation High Tide Low Tide, is NIS 80 billion?

Did you know that since the first Intifada in the days of the Oslo agreements nearly two-thousand Israelis have been killed?

Did you know that this "low-intensity war" is so far the third most expensive in terms of lives lost in the history of Israel, after the War of Independence (6500 dead) and the Yom Kippur War (2750 dead)?

The Legacy of the Late Immanuel Wald: Israel is Living on Borrowed Time Because Its Security System Has Collapsed

The late Immanuel Wald was the first to have warned as early as the beginning of the 1980s that Israel was living on borrowed time as a result of the ever diminishing security output produced by Israel's security establishment, as well as due to a long-term intellectual failure to understand Israel's security needs, which were subordinated to what may be called "absolute security against all threats."

Why did the IDF abandon the effort to prepare itself appropriately for low-intensity warfare? Why instead of coping intellectually with the most serious threat to democracies in our days we hear idiotic techno-tactical ramblings which have no effect whatsoever on terror, except to encourage it and to strengthen it every time we flee, retreat and disengage?

Since Colonel Wald passed away the army has continued to sink into complete mental defeat and eminent disbelief in its ability to back the State of Israel's policy decisions. Sharon, just like his predecessors, has despaired of the armed forces. Instead he has made a personal decision to be accepted into the warm embrace of the leftist oligarchy that rules Israel, even at the price of betraying his soldiers and the settlers who have implemented his own original ideology. Like a monster attacking its own creator Sharon now has his own "national" and personal aim, to be the "strongman," the only one who can show the settlers the way out, back into the confines of the "Green Line."

Sharon is on the path of disengagement from his past and his former beliefs, betraying his loyal soldiers in the settlements and ignoring human history and the lessons of the past.

Sharon neither understands nor wants to understand that civil wars do not happen. They are caused.

Yossi Blum Halevi is Israeli born and has degrees in history, geography and systems analysis. He lives in Alfie Menashe, Samaria.

He served in the IDF in the Sea Commando unit and in Regiment 890 of the Paratroops Division 35. Since 1966 he has served in Reserved Paratroops Division 55 as combat sergeant. He took part in the Six Days War, the Attrition War, the Yom-Kippur War, and the Lebanon War. In these wars, the 55th Airborne Division liberated Jerusalem, fought in the Jordan Valley against Fatah terrorists, and on the Bar-Lev Line in the Suez canal, crossed the Suez canal in the Yom Kippur War, and fought against the Syrian Army and the terrorists in the Lebanon Valley in 1982.

He is author of "Calling Paratroops," (1972, IDF publishing) and "Sacrifices - Memoirs from Yom-Kippur War," (1999, MITAAM publishing). He is a member of an intellectual civil group that researches the wars of the IDF to help the IDF continue to improve its capability to win wars.

This article appeared on, and is archived at Thanks are due Dan Willens, who told us about it.


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