Joint U.S.-Israel military exercises have gone on for years, even as the world in which they take place has changed dramatically. Today the focus is on Israel's 'minor' wars
Amir Oren, Senior correspondent and columnist
Amir Oren is a senior correspondent and columnist for Haaretz and a member of the newspaper's editorial board. He writes about defense and military affairs, the government and international relations.
Four-day exercise part of Juniper Falcon training series conducted by the U.S. Air Force in Europe, Israel.
When their helicopter takes off tomorrow for a tour of Israel from the sky, Senator John McCain and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will hope it is a rerun of the 1998 precedent: a flight over Israel by then-governor George W. Bush, who later went on to win the presidency.
Bush and Cheney are encountering more opposition to their Iran policies within their own security establishment.
A government whose senior officials are criminal suspects casts suspicion on its policies as well, and it is liable to fall together with them.
In a side drawer at the Defense Ministry, there is an old photo from 1988. In the picture are Yitzhak Rabin and Mahmoud al-Zahar. It is a little hard to believe, but defense minister Rabin met, at that time, four persons from the Gaza Strip, among them Dr. al-Zahar - before it turned out that he was one of the leaders of Hamas.