“There will no longer be a situation where war is waged on an unknown, distant battlefield, while life continues as usual in the large cities. The war will also reach the cities and homes of Israel’s citizens, and our enemies’ objective will be to target the home front,” warned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, during a tour of the Israel Army’s “Home Front Command” base on Tuesday.

Mr Olmert, who was accompanied by Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai, Israeli army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and OC Home Front Command Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, examined in his visit the application of lessons learned from the Second Lebanon War regarding treatment of the home front.

“The wars of the future, if such wars should break out, heaven forbid, will be completely different from the wars of the past, even the Second Lebanon War,” the prime minister said. “Our enemies are acquiring weapons intended to target the population. The role of the Home Front Command in such a scenario will be more central than ever in Israel’s wars.”

Mr. Olmert was given a briefing dealing with the threats to the Israeli home front, the existing responses, and the deployment of the forces and operating methods. The prime minister also observed a Home Front Command exercise and heard briefings on the various unique measures employed by the Home Front Command. Mr. Olmert said that the briefing he was given showed him an encouraging picture of what has happened in the home front during the two years since the Second Lebanon War.

“The State of Israel, for its part, will not seek to take control of territories in order to hold them, and will focus on preventing its borders from being breached, and on a quick and conclusive victory of the campaign,” said the prime minister. “In the Second Lebanon War we had much more massive weapons and capabilities that we refrained from using because we were fighting a terror organization and not a state.

“If Lebanon should turn into a Hezbollah [-controlled] state, then we will have no limitations in this context. The same applies to any country that will want to attack us. Our task will be to bring about a quick victory, at a minimal cost, while utilizing our relative advantages.”

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com.

©The Bulletin 2008


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.