At the event, it was announced that a new internet site has been created that will promote and publicize Manny's views and articles, http://winstonisraelinsight.com/. Gail told us that there are thousands of articles waiting to be typed up and uploaded to the site.
The main subject, which was discussed in much fascinating detail was the tragic cancellation of the Lavi, the Israeli fighter plane. Both Arens and Shapiro were heavily involved in that project, so hearing them speak added personal, factual details that can't be found from any other sources. Arens, among other professions, is a historian and political scientist.
Here's what Arens wrote about the Lavi three years ago. It's a must-read:
Who would have believed it? Some years ago Israel was developing the world's most advanced fighter aircraft, the Lavi, while the Western world's aircraft manufacturers were beating their way to our door, eager to participate in the Lavi project, or trying to sell their competing plane to the Israel Air Force. And now Israel goes hat in hand pleading for a chance to be allowed to acquire the F-35 aircraft, at a price tag of $150 million each. But it's not only the astronomical price. Israel is told that the F-35 must be taken as is - no changes or modifications to suit Israel's specific needs, and absolutely no Israeli systems included. Take it or leave it. Just imagine Israel's position today had the Lavi project not been canceled. The IAF would be operating the world's most advanced fighter, upgraded over the years to incorporate operational experience and newer technology. Much of Israel's industry would have moved a great step ahead, Israel Aerospace Industries would have become a leading developer of fighter aircraft, and most importantly, a number of options would be open to the IAF in choosing its next fighter. (complete article)
The Manny Winston site has a very good article, actually more, about the Lavi project. I highly recommend reading it:
Don’t build a better aircraft, or we will shoot it down
Israel was told to drop the Lavi after Caspar Weinberger observed the flight test data. It was too good; the results were coming in too fast on the plus side. So the “Tucker” had to be killed again.
Regretfully, the Lavi was just what the United States needed, particularly after the A-10 was shown as incapable of surviving a heavy concentration of Ground-to-Air missiles. The U.S. desperately needed a dedicated “CAS” Close Air Support aircraft and now. Mr. Dov Zakheim, spokesman for Mr. Weinberger came in swinging. His job was not only to kill the Lavi but to sell a revised version of the F-16 to be called the “A” Agile Falcon 16. This very worthy, totally dedicated air superiority aircraft was now to be modified and called the Close Air Support “CAS” the Air Force was supposed to be looking for. (complete article)
I recorded some of the talk, (until my camera's memory card got overloaded,) especially what Moshe Arens said. As the recordings finish uploading on youtube-shilohmuse, I will post them here. So keep checking up over the next few hours or tomorrow, too.
Herew's Gail Winston talking about what we in Israel really need, Sovereignty!
Moshe Arens speaking...