3/27/13 Tripping to 'Reshape 'Middle East': First stop Palestine/'israel''?

Will Obama's visit shape a new Middle East?
3/25/13 http://www.npr.org/sections/middle-east/

O-K corral regional assets
Digest commentary: Every US word and move is directed toward salvaging its failing global domination. Why was Palestine #1 stop on this regional corral -the -assets operation?

In Ensuring Israel's Qualitative Military Edge (QME see below) - the proxy whose very existence depends on the US, as President Shimon Peres publicly acknowledged - the US state explains US 'national security interests' underlie its extraordinary support. On this 'middle east pivot' it was the lynchpin to 'unite' and leverage Arab-Israeli operational 'counterterrorism' assets - Jordan and Turkey, faithful fascist feudal Arab client states, Qatar, Jordan, plus the Arab League and GCC - against sovereign nations Iran and Syria - that dare to defend their national sovereignty and directly oppose the hegemon, and are welcomed around the world building anti-USrael domination support. Not revolutionary anti-imperialists for sure, but nevertheless 'terrorist" resistance which the US global state terror war was designed to coopt or crush - but cannot, and never will, defeat.

Palestinian national liberation aspirations live on, but increasingly under USAID/WB/IMF/Soros NGO soft power 'peaceful intifada' treachery, led by its PA/PLO agents. (below). Over 60 years of genocide against the Palestinians, their heroic struggle, a universal inspiration, is the major obstacle to imperialist-zionist regional, thus global, supremacy.
So this 'remake the middleeast' juggernaut began with a last-gasp attempt to 'solve' the 'Palestinian-Israel conflict'. Groundwork had been laid. Most obvious was the installation of an ultra-nationlist-led new USsraeli regime days prior to the US executor's arrival, ready to advance an updated US 'peace process' wetdream: dump the 'two-state peace plan' and officially wipe the nation of Palestine off the map for a 'final solution' (below).

Future digests will provide more documentary back-up on these and related issues including post-trip O-K corral developments. And fundamentally on the critical issue of the absolutely bogus claims 'israel' is based upon (below). These foundational lies, heavily promoted by neoliberals, claim AIPAC the israeli PR lobby, 'zionist agents' control world-dominating US, holding the poor oppressed fascist state hostage. Spewed by some formerly decent anti-US imperialists - like James Petras & co.- these 'progressive lefts', pretending world-dominating-destroying US imperialism IS NOT, AND HAS NOT, ALWAYS BEEN ZIONIST: pretending zionism and imperialism are inseparable; pretending zionism's 'jewish homeland' didn't try to get land elsewhere, and wasn't spawned by, in order to serve, geostrategic western imperialist interests; prtending religious judaism and political zionism are not synonymous, many religious jews oppose zionism; screaming 'anti-semitism' to silence all exposure and resistance - as if jews and arabs aren't both semites.
These deeply-embedded lies rally public opinion to target its proxy as #1world-enemy, thus supporting both US finance capitalism and the proxy it owns.
To counter US dis/misinformation, readers are urged to extrapolate digest material and spread urgently needed truthful information as far as possible, even without attribution.

Israeli history Professor Shlomo Sand's The Invention of the Jewish People demolishes a major zionist pillar of Israel's claim to a state as a homeland for the 'Jewish People'.
Sand’s new book, The Invention of the Land of Israel goes after the other pillar central to Zionism, "Eretz Israel", “Land of Israel”

Peres: We cannot exist without the United States
10/22/10 http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=192392
President Shimon Peres said Israel cannot survive without the help of the United States at a Jerusalem conference of the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute Thursday.
Peres said "for our existence, we need the friendship of the United States of America.. It doesn't sound easy, but this is the truth." ..."We cannot give back to the United States what the US is giving us, but in our own small way, we can be of help."...the president said Israel could be of help to the US by enabling an "anti-Iran coalition in the Middle East, and the contribution will not be by declaration, but if we stop the secondary conflict between us and the Palestinians," in order to allow the US to focus on the Iranian threat.

"Israel will have no greater friend than the United States," President Obama said during an appearance with Israeli President Shimon Peres.
"I fully support your vision," Peres said. Peres told Obama that his vision of peace for the region can be accomplished... "peace is not only a wish but a possibility."
3/20/13 http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/03/20/174814019/arriving-in-isr...

” Israel ...serves as a cornerstone of our regional security commitments."
Ensuring Israel's Qualitative Military Edge, QME
Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Remarks to The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Washington, DC,
11/4/11 http://www.state.gov/t/pm/rls/rm/176684.htm
As President Obama said: “the United States sees the historic changes sweeping the Middle East and North Africa as a moment of great challenge, but also a moment of opportunity for greater peace and security for the entire region, including the State of Israel.”..our security relationship with Israel is broader, deeper and more intense than ever before. Prime Minister Netanyahu said the security cooperation between our two countries is “unprecedented.”... Yet, with such significant change in the region, we must continue to forge an ever closer relationship. As Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs, one of my primary responsibilities is to preserve Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge, or QME....I want to talk about why...a Strong Partnership Supports U.S. National Security. So let me first turn to why this relationship is so important to the United States ...The most direct tool the United States uses to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge is security assistance. For some three decades, Israel has been the leading beneficiary of U.S. security assistance distributed through the Foreign Military Financing program, FMF...each year Israel accounts for 60 percent of U.S. security assistance funding distributed through FMF....Our total FMF funding amounts to $5.5 billion per year, of which more than 80 percent goes to the supporting our partners and allies in the Middle East.
Ensuring Israel’s military strength and its superiority in the region, is critical to regional stability and as a result is fundamentally a core interest of the United States. 

U.S., Israel To Negotiate Military Aid Extension
5/24/13 * http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130324/DEFREG02/303240005/U-S-Israe...
JERUSALEM — In an extraordinarily emotive visit aimed at rallying Israel’s current and future leaders...U.S. President Barack Obama doubled down on U.S. security support with a new agreement to extend US Foreign Military Financing (FMF) annual military aid through 2027. The 10-year military aid package would commit Washington to $40 billion in additional (FMF) assistance... The current agreement elevated Israel’s annual aid from $2.4 billion to $3.1 billion, and Israeli officials expect the add-on package to boost it to about $4 billion..Obama’s unusually early authorization.. is one of many confidence-building, security measures “encouraging the Israeli government to take those risky, yet necessary steps toward peace..." In addition to extending annual FMF aid, Obama pledged additional measures to preserve Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME).. to ensure “no interruption” to 2013 funding for Israel’s Iron Dome active defense system...work with Congress on future Iron Dome funding,,,estimated by sources here as an additional $600 million...
Obama’s visit here in the opening days of Netanyahu’s center-right coalition government was meticulously crafted to set the stage for the next four years.
In a public endorsement of Israel’s claimed right to unilaterally pre-empt the nuclear threat from Iran, Obama said, “Each country has to make its own decisions when it comes to the awesome decision to engage in any kind of military action.”... Netanyahu said... “I’m absolutely convinced the president is determined to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons.".

* FYI: US based 'Defense News' apparently does its proxy's 'strategic information' and 'public diplomacy 'news'
Defense News and DefenseNews.com are produced by Gannett Government Media (GGM), the world's leading publisher of news about military and government.
The Defense News Media Group, GGM's defense business-to-business unit, also includes Armed Forces Journal, Training & Simulation Journal and C4ISR Journal. GGM's Military Times Media Group publishes Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times, newsweeklies and web sites for the rank and file of the U.S. military that cover pay, benefits, careers, operations and lifestyles. GGM also produces Federal Times, the leading newsweekly for federal government managers.
Defense News is the authoritative, independent, professional news source for the world's defense decision-makers.

Reconsidering the two-state solution
3/21/13 .http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21872408
map....
A "two-state solution"... the declared goal for a final settlement that would see the creation of an independent state of Palestine on pre-1967 borders in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem...alongside Israel...In a 2009 speech in Cairo, Obama called the situation for Palestinians "intolerable" and their "undeniable" suffering in pursuit of a homeland...Under heavy US pressure, Prime Minister Netanyahu made a speech in 2009, in which he first committed to a "demilitarised Palestinian state...A year later, peace talks were revived but quickly derailed with the end of a partial freeze on Jewish settlement building...If these went ahead, even the UN said they would represent "an almost fatal blow" to the chance of a two-state solution...Meanwhile, the construction of Israel's barrier in and around the West Bank and expansion of settlements on occupied land make a Palestinian state less possible....In recent months, Netanyahu's government announced plans to construct thousands of new settler homes, including in the sensitive "E1" area that would separate East Jerusalem from the West Bank ...

3/21/13 original FRONTPAGE article
"Obama urges Palestinians to resume peace talks with Israel despite settlement activity"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/obama-meets-with-palestinian-leaders...
West Bank Obama urged Palestinian leaders to quickly resume peace negotiations with Israel, setting aside their condition the Israeli government first stop building on land Palestinians view as part of their future state...

... If peace with Israel can be achieved, Abbas said, Israel knows that Arab and Islamic states would immediately recognize the state of Israel....
3/21/13 http://www.voanews.com/content/obama-visits-west-bank/1625688.html

Barack and Barak need a champion in the Israeli cabinet
3/23/13 http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/barack-and-barak-need-a-champion-in-the-i...
Barack Obama and Ehud Barak share commitment to peace built on two states and a robust, militarily secured Israel. Barak is retired who will champion this with sufficient force and influence?

Peres to Obama: New Coalition will make it difficult for Netanyahu to make progress in negotiations
Kerry talks in Jerusalem and Ramallah to renew negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, ask Arab states to re-endorse the Arab Peace Initiative
03/22/13 http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/peres-to-obama-coalition-w...
3/21/13 At the Jerusalem International Convention Center Thursday speaking to a young and sympathetic audience that was vetted with care, Obama delivered what was essentially a State of the Union speech for Israel.... Like an experienced masseuse, he oiled and caressed his customers, massaging the national ego from every possible angle. Like an enthusiastic suitor, he didn't miss a single soft spot...The Jerusalem speech also made clear why, during the reception at the airport the day before, Hatnuah leader Tzipi Livni and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid received slightly more attention than the other ministers... Livni has already proved she is interested in pursuing negotiations with the Palestinians...while it is still too early to tell whether Lapid's loyalties lie with the negotiations or with his partner on the right, Naftali Bennett...Obama laid out U.S. policy on Israel over the next four years

President Peres to Present President Obama with Israel's presidential medal
www.guardian.co.uk/ world/ 2013/ feb/ 18/ barack-obama-israel-presidential-medal-distinction
President Shimon Peres said Obama's "unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens", his overall support and backing of the Iron Dome missile defence system will be recognized by the prestigious presidential medal of distinction in March when he visits Israel

Peres: "Abu Mazen's courageous words prove Israel has a real partner for peace"
11/3/12 http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/abbas-refugee-comments-wow-israel-enr...
Israeli President Shimon Peres saluted "courageous" Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas relinquishing Palestinian refugees' right to return to their former homes in what is now Israel.
"Abu Mazen's courageous words prove Israel has a real partner for peace," Peres said using the name the Palestinian president is informally known by in Arabic.Abbas also pledged that as long as he remains in his post there would be no armed resistance to Israeli occupation on the part of his western-backed Palestinian Authority.
"As far as I am here, in this office, there will be no third armed intifada, ever. We don't want to use terror, we don't want to use weapons, we want to use diplomacy."
In the Gaza Strip, thousands rallied against Abbas in demonstrations called by the militant Islamic group Hamas which said that it will never recognise Israel. In Jabaliya refugee camp, the enclave's largest, about 3,000 people chanting "Out, out, Abu Mazen!" marched and burned his picture. Thousands more protested in Gaza City and the southern town of Khan Yunes.

‘Hamas agrees to Palestinian state on ’67 lines
2/26/13 http://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-agrees-to-palestinian-state-on-67-lin...
Moussa Abu-Marzouq, the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau and the top candidate to replace the organization’s chief, Khaled Mashaal, after his expected retirement, said in an interview published on Hamas’s website that Hamas and Fatah had agreed to statehood based on the pre-1967 ceasefire lines as part of a national reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo on May 4, 2011. PA President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly said Hamas had agreed to Palestinian statehood along the pre-1967 lines, but a Hamas official has never before so explicitly confirmed it. Hamas engaged last week in indirect talks with Israeli officials in Cairo, through Egyptian mediators, to finalize the ceasefire terms reached with Israel following Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012...Hamas had agreed to share power with Fatah, even allowing Abbas to serve as prime minister in a future unity government,

Obama urges Palestinians to drop settlement precondition
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21872408http://www.bbc.co.uk...
.. Obama told Israelis they had a "true partner" for peace in Mr Abbas...President Obama and Mahmoud Abbas gave a joint new conference. Thanking the US administration for its continuing support for the Palestinian Authority, Mr Abbas said peace with Israel should not be achieved through violence, occupation, settlements, arrests or denial of refugee rights....and that Mr Abbas and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad were "true partners" for peace. President Obama and Mahmoud Abbas gave a joint news conference following talks About 150 protesters were kept away from the Palestinian president's compound by police...Thursday morning, Israeli officials said two rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel, but there were no reports of anyone being hurt. A further two rockets fired from Gaza reportedly fell inside Gaza itself....

"Palestine Authority and US security men"
Palestinians protest Obama visit: We want RPGs, not CIA Collaboration
http://www.haaretz.com/news/obama-visits-israel/palestinians-protest-oba...
Much of Ramallah, the de facto capital in the West Bank, was shut down for Obama's visit with hundreds of armed PA and US security men, police officers and plainclothes enforcers patrolling the streets....Palestinian protesters tried to wave away the helicopter bringing U.S. President Barack Obama to the West Bank Thursday..Around 150 demonstrators chanted anti-American slogans, saying they wanted weapons not presidential visits, "We want RPGs, not collaboration with the CIA," ...In the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Islamist group Hamas, a fierce rival of the Western-backed Abbas, Palestinian opposition to Obama's visit was more militant. Guerrillas fired two rockets at southern Israel in the early morning, causing slight damage, in a signal that the world should not ignore them in any discussions on regional diplomacy. Dozens of protesters in Gaza city smacked pictures of Obama with the soles of their shoes, burned U.S. flags and chanted that the president should "get out of Palestine".

Hamas ditches Assad, backs Syrian revolt
2/25/12 http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=462913
CAIRO (Reuters) -- Leaders of Hamas turned publicly against their long-time ally President Bashar Assad of Syria on Friday, endorsing the revolt aimed at overthrowing his dynastic rule...
"I salute all the nations of the Arab Spring and I salute the heroic people of Syria striving for freedom, democracy and reform," Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, visiting Egypt from the Gaza Strip, told thousands of Friday worshipers at Cairo's al-Azhar mosque. "We are marching towards Syria, with millions of martyrs," chanted worshipers at al-Azhar, home to one of the Sunni world's highest seats of learning. "No Hezbollah and no Iran....Hamas and Hezbollah, on Israel's southwestern and northern borders, have long had a strategic alliance...and have fought wars with Israel in the past six years....The divorce between Hamas and Damascus had been coming for months.... exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and his associates quietly quit their headquarters in Damascus and has stayed away from Syria for months, although Hamas tried to deny it had anything to do with the revolt. Haniyeh visited Iran earlier this month...the outcome of his visit is not clear...Hamas-Hezbollah relations were good in the past. But Hamas did not attack Israel when it was fighting Hezbollah in 2006 and Hezbollah did not join in when Israel mounted the major offensive in Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009....Israel has been warily watching recent Hamas moves to reconcile with its Abba West Bank Fatah rivals movement of There was no immediate Israeli comment on Friday's speeches.

Israel restores tax transfers to Palestinians following Obama visit
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/israel-restores-tax-transfers-to-pal...
Obama urged resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and he and Secretary of State Kerry, in follow-up meetings with Netanyahu and PA President Abbas, pressed for confidence-building measures to help restart negotiations.... Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said at the end of Obama’s visit that Israel was prepared to carry out confidence-building steps, provided they were also taken by the Palestinians...Netanyahu has authorized resumption of the monthly transfer of taxes and customs duties collected by Israel for the Palestinian Authority..The taxes and customs duties of about transferred by Israel, about $100 million a month, are two-thirds of the Palestinian Authority’s domestic revenue ...unable to pay salaries of about 150,000 employees because of disruption in Israeli payments and falloff of foreign donor funds, particularly Arab states. Israel has suspended tax transfers in the past as a punitive measure...but has sought to avert a collapse of the PA with which it has effective security cooperation... transfers to the PA include customs duties Israel collects on behalf of the PA for imports through Israeli ports, value-added taxes on purchases of Israeli goods, and excise taxes on fuel sold to the Palestinians...under the 1993 Oslo Agreement...

'palestinian leaders'
Palestine Papers: Now we know. Israel had a 'peace partner'
The classified documents blow apart a staple of Israeli public diplomacy for years: the claim 'there is no Palestinian partner '...is undone by transcripts which show there a Palestinian partner ... more accommodating than will surely ever appear again....Jonathan Freedland 23 January 2011

What the Palestine Papers show
February 7, 2011 by occupiedpalestine
PA President Abbas (right) with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton A MOUNTAIN of 1,600 leaked documents chronicling years of collaboration[...]

“I believe only [the] West Bank and Gaza is Palestine, the other parts [are] Israel” Abbas
Abbas Ready to Compromise...
3/11/13 By Adiv Sterman, http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-was-willing-to-compromise-on-right-of...
photo: 2008 Then-prime minister Eud Olmert shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Jerusalem,

Abbas Seeks NATO Role in Palestinian State
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28828.htm
(Ma'an) Members of the US Congress and Senate delegation, led by Democrat Senator Steny Hoyer, met with President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and quizzed Abbas on Israel's designation as a Jewish state, the status of refugees, and reconciliation between the President's Fatah party and rival Hamas. President Abbas told the US Congressmen Thursday the security of the future Palestinian state will be handed to NATO under US command...stressed to the delegates the Palestinian bid for UN recognition as a state was "not an attempt to isolate or delegitimize Israel"

US unblocks extra $500M for PA
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4360135,00.html
The US quietly unblocked $500 million aid to the Palestinian Authority frozen by Congress after US President Barack Obama met top Israeli and Palestinian leaders. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the administration also notified Congress in late February it was seeking a further $200 million to fund US Agency for International Development (USAID) Palestinian programs...PA finances plunged further into chaos after president Mahmud Abbas won upgraded UN observer status at the UN General Assembly in late November... Congress froze US funds....And Israel, which also strongly opposed the move, suspended monthly transfers of the tax and tariff revenue it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA)..

2012 dates reflect long US-israeli planning
Bennett wins Habayit Hayehudi leadership race Party newcomer, hi-tech millionaire and former Yesha Council chairman, gets two-thirds of the religious-Zionist party's votes. 11/07/12 ">http://www.jpost.com/Authors/AuthorPage.aspx?id=80>

The new (secular) face of religious Zionism
12/26/12 http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-new-secular-face-of-religious-zionism/
... Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi) party’s success is due in large part to its new leader, Naftali Bennett, a young, charismatic former officer who served in one of the military’s best units — the same commando outfit that produced Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak — who also made a great deal of money in high-tech... the combination of militarism and capitalism has proved an effective draw. Bennett wants to bring the ideology of the religious settlement movement even closer to the heart of mainstream politics. Ayelet Shaked is a key part of that plan....A veteran of nationalist PR campaigns and former aide to Netanyahu, Shaked — a fluent conveyor of the Israeli right’s ideology pragmatism — is certain to be a visible member of the next Knesset....“Judaism has swallowed nationalism whole, as if a snake had swallowed a mongoose and roughly taken its shape,” the Israeli historian Gershom Gorenberg wrote of the post-1967 changes in his “The Accidental Empire,” history of the settlement movement ...Shaked and Bennett founded My Israel, that pushes right-wing Zionism online and in the media, then moved to Jewish Home party....
Shaked said there is no crisis in ties with the United States, and no need to be concerned by the deterioration of Israel’s international standing... Ties with the Americans are very important — and they’re very strong. The US gave us more security aid in past years than it ever had before. It was the closest cooperation in years.”...In other words, the US might criticize Israel on occasion but can be counted on for support even if Israel continues its current policies.

Likud signs deals with Lapid, Bennett
3/15/13 http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4356913,00.html
"During the establishment of the government, PM Netanyahu will present the Knesset the composition of his government, which will include three ministers of behalf of Habayit Hayehudi party: The economy and trade minister; the religious affairs minister; the Jerusalem and Diaspora affairs minister." ...
Coalition members committed to working together to advance and achieve the government's goals...detailed Habayit Hayehudi's roles:
Habayit Heyhudi gains control of most social-economic affairs ...
Habayit Chairman Naftali Bennett will be part of the ministerial team headed by Netanyahu to promote the peace process with the Palestinians, alongside Justice Minister-designate Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister-designate Moshe Yaalon, Finance Minister-designate Yair Lapid and the foreign minister.
Habayit Hayehudi will also be handed the Housing and Construction Ministry in charge of Israel Land Administration (ILA)...
Habayit will [become] minister of pensioner affairs....
Habayit Hayehudi will also have a deputy minister at the Education Ministry...
Habayit Chairman Bennet will be a member of the ministerial committee for national security (Diplomatic-Security Cabinet) and any diplomatic-security and economic forum the prime minister is part of.
Bennett will also serve as chairman of a subcommittee of the Social-Economic Cabinet for standard of living affairs, economic concentration and competitiveness...
Bennett will serve as acting committee chairman and member of the ministerial committee for privatization affairs ....
"The Social-Economic Cabinet will guarantee the rights of reserve soldiers according to a plan submitted by Habayit Hayehudi chairman, and the committee will be chaired by a minister on behalf of Habayit Hayehudi."
Bennett gets civil service administration too
Two ministers will serve on the ministerial committee for settlement affairs on behalf of Habayit Hayehudi, and two will serve on the ministerial committee for legislative affairs.
One Habayit representative will be a member of the judges rabbinical selection judges committee. Another will serve as deputy Knesset speaker.
A Habayit Hayehudi lawmaker will serve as chairperson of the Knesset's Finance committee and as chairperson of a special committee to implement the equal share of the burden outline.
A new civil service administration will be under the responsibility of a lawmaker selected by Bennett.
Habayit Hayehudi will coordinate coalition representatives in the body selecting Chief Rabbinate candidates... a Jewish identity administration will be established as part of the Religious Affairs Ministry to improve Israel's conversion system.

... If peace with Israel can be achieved, Abbas said, Israel knows that Arab and Islamic states would immediately recognize the state of Israel....
3/21/13 http://www.voanews.com/content/obama-visits-west-bank/1625688.html

Ex-Army Chief Yaalon Named Israel’s New Defense Minister
3/17/13 http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130320/DEFREG04/303200019/Hagel-Pla...
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement released by the party “In a period so critical to the security of the state of Israel, with all the region around us in turmoil, it is important this position be filled by a man so rich in experience as Moshe Yaalon,” ...[who] has made a name for himself as a strong supporter of Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank...“I am determined to drive the Israeli army ... and security forces to new heights in facing the challenges of the future,” Yaalon wrote on his Facebook page after his nomination...
The rightwing coalition will control 68 of the 120 seats in parliament...[including 12 to the far-right Jewish Home party

* 3/20/13 Hagel Plans Israel Visit To Boost Defense Ties
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130320/DEFREG04/303200019/Hagel-Pla...
“Minister (Moshe) Yaalon congratulated Defense Secretary Hagel on his appointment and on his intention to visit Israel next month” in a telephone conversation, the ministry said in a Defense Ministry statement.... “I look forward to strengthening (security) relations between Israel and the United States in light of the common challenges that we face and to strengthen our personal relationship,” Ya'alon was quoted by the Israeli ministry as telling his U.S. counterpart.

Israel To Push Hawkish Yet Realistic Security Agenda
3/25/13 http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130325/DEFREG04/303250018/Israel-Pu...
With avowed hardliner Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon replacing Ehud Barak as Israel’s defense minister, and all but two ministers in Netanyahu’s top ranks principally opposed to West Bank withdrawals, prospects for a two-state Palestinian peace deal are dim. Yet the former military chief of staff who stemmed West Bank terror in a decisive 2002 ground war, and later sacrificed his command by opposing then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, is also pragmatic. He is known to prefer coordination with Washington against the Iranian nuclear threat...“This will be a government of realistic hawks, with Bogie having enormous influence in shaping the prime minister’s security strategy,” said Danny Ayalon, deputy foreign minister in Netanyahu’s previous government and former Israeli ambassador to Washington. Ayalon said Ya’alon is not alone in a preference for coordinated action against the Iranian threat... for the US to lead"..Ya’alon’s deputy at the Ministry of Defense (MoD), Danny Danon, a Likud Party stalwart who actively supports expanding Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank...Among his duties as Israel’s new deputy defense minister, Danon will oversee issues pertaining to Palestinian freedom of movement and Jewish construction in the disputed West Bank....Retired Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, former deputy chief of staff and former Israeli defense attaché to Washington, with considerable experience in bilateral matters of strategic cooperation, maintains contacts with former colleagues in the political-military and industrial communities of both countries is expected to be MoD director-general....Ya’alon will retain retired Brig. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, his former policy chief, as a senior adviser, possibly head of MoD’s political-military directorate.... another prospective member of Ya’alon’s senior team is Sima Shein, a strategic affairs specialist who served in the Mossad and Israel’s National Security Council...a moderating force against...more politically extreme members of the coalition government...“Especially in this period of unprecedented regional instability, Ya’alon will be the leg in the door. Where there are gaps on political-military-strategic matters, his counsel is critical. He knows we can’t embarrass the United States with uncoordinated acts, and we won’t act vis-à-vis Turkey and the Gulf without coordinating with them first.”...
In one of his first acts as defense minister, Ya’alon phoned U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to express his commitment to building a strong personal relationship and strengthening bilateral security cooperation. Hagel reciprocated by announcing plans to visit Israel next month. as Ya'alon's guest...

Former IDF officer Yityish Aynaw first Ethiopian-born woman to win Miss Israel beauty pageant.
2/28/13, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4350667,00.html
Miss Israel to dine with President Obama at dinner hosted by President Peres
3/14/13 http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4356342,00.html