Article from Gulf News, Online Edition, published on the 4th April, 2003:
One of many overseas friends whom the retired American General Jay
Garner plans to invite to post-war Iraq is the former Israeli defence
minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer.
Well-informer European sources have told Gulf News that Gen Garner, named by the United States Administration as 'Iraq's ruler' once Baghdad falls, has been lately soliciting views of many friends abroad and the Middle East, including Ben-Eliezer and other Israeli defence officials.
Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, known also by his Arabic name Fuad before he immigrated from Iraq to Israel late in 1940s, and the General have known each other for many years as a result of Garner's close defence and political links with Israel.
Garner who is currently in Kuwait waiting for the final assault on Baghdad before moving to the Iraqi capital, was involved in the deployment of Patriot missiles in Israel during 1991 Gulf War. He was also commander of the U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defence Command from 1994 to 1996.
He is closely linked to the group of hawks led by U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld (who gave him his latest job), his deputy Paul Wolfowitz and Vice President Dick Cheney, who are as keen to bypass the UN in the aftermath of war as they were before it. In October 2000, Garner put his name in a statement that said that "Israel had exercised remarkable restraint in the face of lethal violence orchestrated by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority."
The statement was part of a campaign organised by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Beyond the strong Pentagon links of an ex-military General, Garner's political leaning is obviously with the Republican neo-conservative right. His contacts with the Vice President go back to 'Provide Comfort' of 1991 in Iraq's Kurdistan, when Cheney was Defence Secretary to the first Bush, while his relationship with Rumsfeld has been sealed through recent close co-operation on missile defence policy.
The retired General works for a company specialising in missiles and makes money from systems deployed in Israel and used by the American-led forces in Iraq.
Israel is now protected by a new system called Arrow which SY Coleman is involved in its development. Garner oversees its development, a programme partly funded by the U.S.
As president of SY Coleman, a missile systems contractor that gives technical advice and support on the running of the programme, Garner established close relations with then Israeli defence minister Ben-Eliezer and the current minister Sha'ul Mofaz.
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