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October 17, 2014

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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, OCTOBER 17, 2014 0, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny exercise in the Golan Heights on Aug. 21, 2012. Ori Shifrin, IDF Spokesperson's Unit Gantz visits a Golani Battalion By Amos Regev and state "to maintain eye con- Yoav Limor tact," according to Gantz. In the following interview with Israel Hayom, the IDF It's hard not to take notice leader looks back on Op- of Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz's eration Protective Edge and good mood. After a long, ahead to the developing situ- exhausting, and somewhat ation on the northern front. bitter summer, the Israel Did lsrael win the summer Defense Forces (IDF) chief war with Hamas? of staff is calm, happy, and at "I think that absolutely [we peace with himself and with won], yes. It is important to the world. The 50-day Gaza constantly separate the is- war, which Gantz says Israel sue of military achievement "absolutely" won, is in the from the question of victory rearview mirror, and loss, and the question of But Gantz still has plenty toppling the enemy. These to worry about. On a tour are three entirely separate of Tel Hezka in the" Golan concepts. Our objective was Heights for the 41st anniver- to devastate Hamas's capa- sary of the Yam Kippur War, bilities and invalidate their he says the Israel-Syria bar- strategic assets as much as der "is just one of the fronts" possible, with an emphasis on the defense establishment is firepower and terror tunnels. concerned about at the Start "I think we made great of this Jewish calendar year. gains in terms of combating He describes a "very high the terror tunnels and fire potential for instability at power. They still have some any one of [Israel's] fronts," capability--about 20-30 including Gaza, Sinai, Syria, percent of their short-range and Lebanon. At the same rockets--but they sustained time, though not bordering a debilitating blow to their Israel, Iran and its nuclear fighters, their commanders, program force the Jewish their manufacturing facili- ties, their command centers, and their combat capabilities. And after all that, those guys came to Cairo, defying Qatar, and accepted'an open-ended cease-fire agreement with no time limit, and they didn't get any of the conditions they demanded. I wouldn't call that losing." Many people believe Israel was taken by surprise this summer by the revelation of Hamas's terror tunnels. Do you believe Israel will not be taken by surprise again the way it was during the 1973 Yam Kippur War? "We don't think and we don't say that the failures of the Yam Kippur War will never be repeated. But I do think that our intelligence abilities are at an extremely high level, with a lot of infor- mation and know-how and better access than ever to the intelligence consumers from the strategic level all the way to the operational level in the field. But still, intelligence is not infallible, and it probably never will be." D*o you know the status of Mohammed Deif, the definedbythegovernmentit- thatwe'veseen fromHezbol- Hamasmilitary commander self. If the government decides lah in northern Lebanon and targeted by an airstrike and to redefine the objectives, we in Syria." presumed dead? will provide the appropriate Can Nasrallah seize an "You know, there is meat, recommendations. That is Israeli town? there is milk, and there is how it works." "Theoretically, yes. Practi- parve. Sometimes there are With the civil war raging caily, he would have to go signs that the man exists, in Syria, does the phrase through us. Can he think and sometimes there are 'barbarians on the fence'ac- of doing such a thing? Ab- indications that he does not curately describe what Israel solutely." exist. In my opinion, he is faces at that border? Are terror tunnels a threat still with" us." "There are people here in the north? If you could go back to July with the potential to be- "The purposeoftunnelsis 7, the day the war began, what come problematic who are tocrossanareathatiscovered wouldyou do differently? simply too busy with other, by the IDF, both operationally "I think we need toask more pressing matters at andintermsofintelligence.In ourselves how much shorter the moment. That doesn't the south, they used tunnels we could have cut the fight- mean that Israel is not in because the above-ground ing. In my opinion, the an- the picture, it just means route was blocked. In the swer is not by much, because that we are next." north, the terrain is different; of the complexity of the Can jihadist terror orga- it is not that simple. The to- diplomatic process thatwas nizations be defeated from pographyissuchthatitcanbe undertaken, intandemwith the air, the way the U.S. crossedabovegroundaswell. the military action and the wants, without "boots on the We don't know of any active unwillingness to compro- ground?" tunnels, butweareconstantly mise strategically. But it is "There are many possible on the lookout." worth investigating." actions that don't involve In Israel we have relative Some Israeli government ground troops. There are quiet and prosperity cam- officials claim you needed actions that would involve a pared to the rest of the Middle to be coerced into confront- limited ground force. There East.Doyoueveraskyourself ing the tunnel threat, into are actions, as what we did why Israelis complain all the presenting a wider war plan. in Gaza now, that involve a time? What's your response? limited maneuver at the end. "I am very happy that our "I will not speak on behalf I suppose that it is possible to reality is what it is, and that of the cabinet." contain and debilitate the Is- our standard of living is level Then can you speak on lamicStategrouponitshome withtheOECD(Organization behalf of the military? turf, butiftheywantt0achieve for Economic Co-operation "I assert that the military a more substantial objective, and Development). We are said the right things at the theywillhavetoenactground a Western nation that has righttime.Weweren'tcoerced operations as well." everything you could ever into anything, we weren't What is the most substan- want--a robust economy, pushed into anything, andone tial threat currently facing infrastructure, growth, high day, ifyouwant, Iwill give you Israel? GNP (gross national product). a list of questions and a list of "There is no doubt that the "So I am in favor of this people you can goask. I won't northern front is the most tendency to criticize, but I do that now." menacing arena in terms of onlyaskthateveryonekeepin Why didn't Israel re-con- scope and the probability of mind that there are enemies querGazaandtoppleHamas? confrontation." at our gates. Therefore, even "Because the State of Israel JustSyria, orLebanon too? though we look at things in needstodecideonamovethat "Not Lebanon--Hezbol- OECD terms andwe are held means a strategic shift for lah." up to OECD standards, we years ahead. These are issues Is there pinpoint intel- have to remember that there that have been very seriously ligence indicating a specific is also a threat here, mostly discussed, and decisions were threat? external, that could seriously made that I think are right. "We understand that it is challenge this mechanism. On the whole, I am pleased part of their combat style to After all, what is the State of that most of the military's iaunchsuchactions.Weheard Israel? You either love it very decisions were approved, [Hezbollah head Hassan]much, or you hate it. Those but they were all extensively Nasrallah say, 'I will conquer who love it are not from this debated, with and without the Galilee.' He doesn't mean region. And those who are us. Re-conquering Gaza was it literally, but I think he is from this region, you can never part of our objective, as hinting at offensive actions guess the rest." By Ben Sales parent cloth and the roof is a bamboo mat. (JTA)--With its panoramic Welcome to one of a dozen views of Jerusalem, plush private sukkahs built on the seating area and decorative porchesofthe five-starhotel's elements, this could be almost Penthouse Suites. any other room at the Inbal These hotel sukkahs repre- Jerusalem Hotel. Except the sent the vanguard of holiday floor is made of AstroTurf, hoteiluxuryinJerusalem.The the walls are made of trans- sukkahsuitescarryapricetag 982641357 463795821 1573'28964 675982143 341567289 298413576 729154638 836279415 514836792 of approximately $50,000 for a family of four for the eight- day holiday; the cost includes three meals a day. The seat- ing area in the 430-square- foot sukkah includes a wide red couch, two matching armchairs and a glass coffee table with a polished wood frame. There's also a dining area and walls decorated with faux grapes hanging from a wooden weave. All 12 private sukkah suites on offer at the Inbal are already booked for the holiday. Like most hotels in Israel, the Inbal also builds two huge sukkahs for the regular folks: huts that together can ac- commodate 600 guests at mealtime. But those who can afford a more intimate experience need not leave their penthouses during the holiday. Waiters serve hot meals from set up on an annex on the top floor. Guests dine with sterling silverware on a starched, white table- cloth. When the meal is over, waiters clean the table and bring in cots for guests who Penthouse guests at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel get to custom design in the suite, complete with full-service meals and a space to relax. Ben Sales their private sukkah want to sleep in the sukkah and layout of their personal staffers for the penthouse at night, sukkahs: Some are green with floor, according to Alex Her- Most Jews who build their roll-up windows, others red man, theInbal'svicepresident own sukkahs start thinking with a clear plastic window all of salesand marketing. about design and decoration around. The faux fruit design "It's having people sitting a few days before the holiday, changes accordingly, herewithalotofdemands,"he if that. At the Inbal, sukkah The whole enterprise costs said. "They're expecting a lot. designbeganthreemonthsago, the hotel around $100,000, It's a long stay. I've.learned to Guestschosethecolorschemes including dozens of extra live without sleeping."