Friday, October 28, 2005

Michigan Friends of the IDF - Dinner Meeting with Maj. Gen A.Z.

I attended the Michigan Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces Gala Dinner last night. The dinner honored the great contributions of Asa and Sara Shapiro to Israel and also to the Detroit area. The meeting opened with the Anthems of both the USA and Israel and a prayer for the safety of the soldiers of the United States and Israel now in harm's way in the current conflict.

The Michigan Friends of the IDF raises money to provide recreational facilities for soldiers, care kits, University Scholarships, and items for health care for wounded IDF members.

The Intelligence Briefing

Attending the meeting was Major General A.Z., head of Israel's military intelligence (I will identify active Israeli soldiers attending MIDF events only by their initials on this blog.).

Maj. Gen. A.Z. provided us with an informative briefing on the current state of the conflict in the middle East with the following highlights:

1. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are attempting to acquire what they consider to be balance-breaking weapons: Surface to Air missiles, Anti-Tank Missiles, Katyusha rockets, and other rockets with a greater range than their indigenously produced Kassam rockets in order to tip the current balance of power between Israel and the PA.

2. The PA and Hamas are using the truce/ceasefire as a Hudna and are using the relative operational pause to acquire more weapons and plan more attacks on Israel.

3. Iran is providing nearly 100% of the 100 million dollar budget for Hizb'allah terrorist group.

4. Iran is providing Palestinian Islamic Jihad with $12 million dollars per year for their terrorist activities.

Maj Gen A.Z. also showed the audience footage from the taking of the Karine-A, the ship that was attempting to bring a huge load of weapons, including anti-tank missiles to the Port of Gaza from Iran. The footage shows Israeli Naval Commandos stealthily boarding the freighter and their discovery of the huge cache of weapons on board. The General pointed out that such activities require good Intelligence- divining the enemy's intentions, finding when and where the enemy will act, and arranging to disrupt the enemy's plans.

Maj Gen A.Z. pointed out that over 175 attacks last year were prevented by solid intelligence work and the close cooperation between the intelligence units and the operational units that successfully intercepted the terrorists' plans.

Briefing from the Operational Side

In addition to the General, we also had a presentation by Lt. E.G of the Paratroop Brigade. The presentation included video footage of a raid by the Lt's company that successfully captured a terrorist in Balata, along with a cache of explosives and weapons. Ominously, included amongst the items captured was a family photo album that depicted even the youngest children of the family dressed in military fatigues and holding automatic weapons.

The evening was a great success and helped raise money for America's greatest ally in the Middle East and for the soldiers involved in the War on Terror.

To Contribute to the Friends of the IDF go to the Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces Webpage

No comments: