Monday, 19 July 2010

Israeli Finance Ministry Explains Recent IDF-sourced Hezbollah stories

Why is Israel hyping up the possibility of another attack on Lebanon? The original Second Lebanon War (actually the 4th or 5th) in July-August 2006 failed to achieve its objectives, despite the Israeli bombing of all the spots noted on the map below. so the Israelis are miffed, and are straining for another go.

On the other hand, it may just be a bunch of bluster and in-fighting in the village hall corridors of Israeli power:
July 11, 2010 Didi Remez - Coteret
Why the sudden spate of Israeli-sourced publications on Hezbollah’s military power?

On Wednesday (July 7 2010) this one, in the Jerusalem Post, elicited a sarcastic Tweet from Foreign Policy’s Marc Lynch:  Israel’s shocking discovery of Hezballah presence in….Lebanon. Believe it or not!

This morning (July 11 2010), Maariv provided a mundane (by Israeli standards) explanation from the Finance Ministry: “it’s interesting how every time the military budget is on the table, they release from the stocks Hezbollah’s missile array and expose sensitive classified material”

The Finance Ministry accuses: “The IDF is using Hezbollah in the battle over the budget

Ehud Barak is the most expensive defense minister in Israel’s history”; “The IDF is impertinently disregarding all of the Brodet Commission’s findings, while deceiving the public”; “it’s interesting how every time the military budget is on the table, they release from the stocks Hezbollah’s missile array and expose sensitive classified material,” — these are just some of the harsh statements that were heard over the weekend among senior Finance Ministry officials and directed against the IDF and the security establishment.

A brutal struggle over the Defense Ministry’s budget is expected next week. Finance Ministry officials, headed by the finance minister versus the security establishment headed by the defense minister. A personal dual in which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is to give the final ruling. The cabinet is expected to vote on the Finance Ministry’s demand that the Defense Ministry’s budget be slashed next year, a cut, the Finance Ministry argues, that will only annul budgetary expansions and not harm the existing budget itself.

In order to promote the cut the Finance Ministry officials are stressing that the Defense Ministry’s budget has increased by dozens of percentage points in recent years. The finance minister himself, Yuval Steinitz, said in recent days that the Defense Ministry’s budget was soaring sky high like an F-16, whereas the other budgets were barely getting off the ground like a Piper plane.

At the core of the dispute are the different interpretations of the Brodet Report. According to Finance Ministry officials, the Defense Ministry has not been abiding by the cuts as required by the report, and has simply disregarded it.

Another sensitive issue: Finance Ministry sources accuse defense establishment representatives of deliberately “talking to the protocol” and insinuating that whoever approves cuts in the defense budget will be held accountable in the report in the next commission of inquiry. “They threaten us by transparently hinting that there is already a commission of inquiry in the background,” said the Finance Ministry sources, who called the move “unacceptable and unwarranted behavior.”

Also see: Israel: Getting Ready For Another Lebanon Rampage

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