Sherwin Pomerantz

 Israel’s 94th Day of War  

Hezbollah and foreign media reports claimed today that the IDF killed Wissam al-Tawil, known as Jawad, a key operations commander in southern Lebanon, in an air strike in Khirbat Salem, Lebanon. It was unclear if Jawad, a reportedly significant figure within Hezbollah, had been killed as part of ongoing exchanges of fire between the IDF and Hezbollah or whether he was specifically targeted.  If he was specifically targeted, the attack would seem to be part of a series of recent escalations.

From October 8 until early December, Hezbollah attacked Israel with rockets and anti-tank missiles, but only close to the northern border, to show solidarity with Hamas, and the IDF tended to respond proportionately. In early December, the IDF ramped up its “responses” to start destroying much of Hezbollah’s forces or assets within firing range of the northern border.

Israeli Air Force fighter jets struck Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon after an anti-tank missile landed in the northern city of Kiryat Shmona earlier today, despite no sirens sounding in the area.  No casualties or structural damage was caused, according to Israeli media. The IDF struck targets in Lebanon in response to the anti-tank fire.  In addition, fighter jets struck active Hezbollah military sites and other terror infrastructure along the border, the IDF said.  Over the past 24 hours, a remotely manned aircraft of the Israeli Air Force attacked a launcher from which a shot was fired at Israeli territory, and a combat helicopter attacked an area from which an anti-aircraft missile was launched into Israel.

Regarding the hostages held by Hamas, the leadership of Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America (HWZOA), took significant action on their behalf by submitting a petition to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Tel Aviv on Sunday.  The petition, supported by over 5,000 members and backers of HWZOA, calls on the ICRC to intervene and ensure the well-being of Israeli hostages currently held by Hamas.  The delegation now in Israel representing HWZOA, the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States, has as its mission here to press the ICRC to take immediate action regarding the Israeli hostages being held in Gaza by Hamas.  Expressing deep concern, the petition addresses the ICRC’s apparent failure to fulfill its humanitarian obligations over the last three months since the infiltration of Hamas into Israel, leading to numerous atrocities.    

In ongoing local politics, the National Unity faction, led by minister Benny Gantz, Gadi Eisenkot and Gideon Sa’ar, must resign from the emergency wartime government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition head MK Yair Lapid said earlier today.  “The State of Israel needs a different government, a different prime minister,” Lapid added. “Yesh Atid will give all of its 24 votes in the Knesset to any move to oust the government, either by election or by forming an alternative government.”  There was no initial response from the the National Unity faction.

In Judea and Samaria, Israeli forces from the IDF, the Shin Bet, and Border Police arrested 17 terror suspects overnight Sunday and confiscated many weapons, the IDF said in a statement on Monday.  Reserve soldiers operated in the towns of Azzun and Ni’lin, arresting ten wanted persons and confiscating weapons, the statement said. During the operation in Azzun, explosive devices found in a vehicle were destroyed. In Nablus, forces arrested three wanted persons and confiscated weapons.   The wanted persons were transferred to security forces for further investigation. There were no casualties among Israeli forces.  More than 2,600 wanted persons have been arrested throughout the West Bank since the beginning of the war. Approximately 1,300 of those have been associated with Hamas.

There is a lot of talk now as to what happens here politically once the war ends.  Many people believe that while Israel should be grateful for the leadership provided by PM Netanyahu for so many years, it may be time for new and younger leadership to take us to new levels of achievement as a country.  Some believe that there is simply no one out there to fill the ranks of senior political leadership.  But a country that has achieved what we have in 75 years did not do so from a lack of competent leadership.  We did it because there are people in industry who know how to create, know how to lead and how to manage as well.

Over the next weeks I will profile some our top technical management talent.  Look at their bios and then see if you still believe that we lack for potential leaders.

For example, Eli Carmon, CFO & COO of Microsoft Israel R&D is one of those people. (Full disclosure, none of the people I will profile know that I am doing this.)   Eli leads the finance, real estate, security, procurement, legal, employee experience and IT for all of Microsoft Israel’s R&D sites. He has over 20 years of experience in senior financial positions. Prior to his current role, he served as Director of the Business Controller Group of Microsoft Middle East and Africa. Prior to that, he was the CFO of Microsoft Israel (sales and marketing), Senior Manager at KPMG Israel, and a manger of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Research Unit. Eli holds a B.A. degree in Accounting and Economics from Bar Ilan University and an M.A. in Economics from Otago University in New Zealand.

Pretty impressive background for sure and there are many more like him whose talents we will need in the post-war government. Hope you agree, at least conceptually if not specifically.

About the Author
Sherwin Pomerantz is a native New Yorker, who lived and worked in Chicago for 20 years before coming to Israel in 1984. An industrial engineer with advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and business, he is President of Atid EDI Ltd., a 32 year old Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm which, among other things, represents the regional trade and investment interests of a number of US states, regional entities and Invest Hong Kong. A past national president of the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel, he is also Former Chairperson of the Board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and a Board Member of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. His articles have appeared in various publications in Israel and the US.
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