Studies show that US coverage is Israeli-centric. The main bureaus for CNN, Associated Press, Time, etc. are located in Israel and often staffed by Israelis. The son of the NY Times bureau chief is in the Israeli army;"pundit" Jeffrey Goldberg served in the IDF; Wolf Blitzer worked for AIPAC. Because the U.S. gives Israel over $8 million/day - more than to any other nation - we feel it is essential that we be fully informed on this region. Below are news reports to augment mainstream coverage.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Why is Israel conducting unprecedented drills?

Ma'an, Nasser Laham – Israel continues to implement a plan set up in 2004 by Ariel Sharon, to change the Israeli army from huge and heavily armed to a smaller and smarter one.

Sharon had learned lessons from the third Gulf war when the US army, thanks to long-range missiles, managed to destroy a huge Iraqi army counting up to five million soldiers in a blink of the eye.

Since that time, Israel has been seeking to completely outdo armies of the Arab countries, or “to remain the strongest country military wise 10 kilometers from Jerusalem as the crow flies,” to quote Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak.

In fact, Israel has become a dangerous military arsenal in the Middle East despite the small size of its army which counts not more than 125,000 troops. Israel is capable, though, of destroying and even exterminating states and complete peoples either by nuclear warheads, or internationally banned weapons such as biological, chemical, hydrogen, and atomic weapons.

Weirdly, the UN and the international human rights groups and committees pay very little attention to that if at all, despite all reports by people of expertise which explain that the Israeli nuclear reactor in Dimona, built in 1950s, is too old and might result in leakage.

Over the past few days, Israel has conducted unprecedented major military and home front drills. The immediate question that pops in is what exactly is Israel doing and why?

The drills are all about the home front, not the army, and Israel seeks to achieve three goals:

The first goal is to maintain a small and smart army instead of a large and heavily armed one. This army will operate in the future inside Arab cities rather than in the Negev desert, the Golan Heights, or the Jordan Valley. This is to keep the home front and the Jewish people steadfast. The battle inside the enemy’s land will be fought only by the air force, the navy, the submarines, and long-range missiles.

Secondly, Israel wants to train the home front and the different cities to remain steadfast and to stop complaining as they used to do. Previously, Israeli forces’ defeat started from the home front which exerted huge pressure only two weeks after any war crying and complaining, especially when the country was attacked by missiles. One goal of the recent drills was to train the public in Israel to tolerate a couple weeks more until the army can attack as much targets as possible from the air.

The last goal Israel sought to achieve was to prepare correspondents for the coming stage, given that current wars are being fought live, which means cameras and waves are sometimes more influential than ministers of defense and tanks.

Israel is still a big fan of what the US president did to the leader of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, to a degree that Israel will attempt a similar adventure to satisfy the public.

The author is Ma'an News Agency's editor in chief.