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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Israel Defense Forces’

IDF Special Force Unit to Require Officer’s Rank of All Fighters

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

The IDF Sayeret Matkal (General Staff Reconnaissance) special forces unit is about to become revolutionized as all its future warriors will be expected to attain an officer’s rank and sign up for an extra three years of service, on top of the current compulsory service time, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Saturday. It will turn Sayeret Matkal into an officers-only force.

The IDF Intelligence HR departments are in the process of completing the work required to carry out this significant change in the unit. The main reason for the move has to do with the fact that the equipment and technological facility required of the unit’s fighters are exceptionally high, making their initial training time longer. The military does not want to lose its investment in these men when they are discharged after three or four years.

Fighters who are already part of the unit will be offered a shortened officers’ course, and would be obligated to sign for extended service which is a prerequisite of their new rank.

Sayeret Matkal was created to fill the void left in 1954, after Israel’s first special operations force Unit 101 was disbanded as a result of the Qibya massacre of October 1953. In 1957 Avraham Arnan, a former yeshiva student and Palmach fighter, was authorized by the IDF General Staff to create a unit that could be dispatched to enemy-held territory to carry out top secret intelligence-gathering missions. Modeled after the British Special Air Service, the unit was trained, among others, by Bedouin trackers. It also took advantage of the IDF new fleet of helicopters for longer and deeper missions in Arab territory.

JNi.Media

Responding to Meretz Petition, State Tells Court Rabbi Karim Does Not Believe in Raping Enemy Women

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

The State on Tuesday responded to a petition served by Meretz against the appointment of Rabbi Eyal Karim as IDF Chief Rabbi, saying the Chief of Staff has picked Karim believing he is the right man at the right time for the job — based on his abilities, knowledge and military background.

Col. Rabbi Eyal Moshe Karim, head of the Rabbinate Dept. at the IDF Military Rabbinate, also served as commander of the paratrooper division’s special forces. In July he was picked by Chief of Staff Gabi Eizenkot to become IDF Chief Rabbi. But then the Israeli media discovered a few “controversial” legal opinions authored by Karim in the online Orthodox news website Kipa. Written as halakhic responsa, Karim’s passages included a reference to the status of a captive enemy woman in time of war, which the Torah deals with from within the socio-political milieu of the second millenium BCE. He also discussed the halakha’s view on women’s military service and on homosexuality.

Needless to say, Karim’s opinions, written some 14 years ago in the context of a discussion involving Orthodox readers, did not go down well with Israeli leftwingers such as Meretz Chairwoman Zehave Galon. Meretz appealed the appointment to the Supreme Court, which suspended it pending an explanation regarding the differences between Israel 3,000 years ago and today.

In its response on Tuesday, the State noted that Rabbi Karim’s responsa were prefaced with a proviso that these are not his legal rulings but rather his review of rabbinical law. Regarding the fact that the Torah permits nonconsenting sex with a captured enemy woman in time of war, the State assured the court that Rabbi Karim does not espouse this as a policy to be followed by IDF soldiers nowadays.

MK Motti Yogev (HaBayit HaYehudi) told Israel Radio on Tuesday that the Supreme Court once again overstepped its boundaries by rudely intervening in IDF appointment decisions. Yogev noted that so far the court has fought the legislative and executive branches and now has added the IDF to its list of targets. Yogev called on his colleagues in the Knesset to find way of stopping the court from uninvited interference in halakhic discussions.

Rabbi Karim is expected to start serving as IDF Chief Rabbi on Thursday, unless the court continues to block his appointment.

David Israel

Former General: Integrating Women in Combat Units a Conspiracy to Weaken IDF

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Major General Yiftach Ron-Tal (res.) former commander of the IDF Ground Forces, currently the CEO of Israel Electric Company, on Sunday told Galay Israel radio that the proposed plan to integrate women as Armored combat soldiers is being promoted “by entities that are trying to weaken the IDF.”

Ron-Tal said the initiative is “a scandal that will harm anything one might imagine, including the IDF’s ability.” Noting that the next goal of the women’s groups involved is to integrate women in combat infantry units.

“Anyone pushing this objective is, forgive the expression, simply nuts,” he said, adding, “Are we off our rocker? The next phase will be not just tanks, but Division 35 (paratroopers), Golani Brigade, Givati Brigade and the Nahal Brigade (combat infantry units).”

Major General Ron-Tal added that in his view, and based on material he has reviewed, behind the integration initiatives stand not feminist but leftwing groups, “whose aim is the weakening of the IDF.” Citing first-person conversations with knowledgeable sources, he warned against “interested entities who’ve been using this move, which on its face is democratic and very important … to weaken our military ability. This is terrible, I know it’s terrible, and I’m very concerned.”

The plan to integrate women in combat units was introduced last week by Head of IDF HR Gen. Eran Shani, who spoke to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. According to a senior IDF HR officer who spoke to ha’aretz Sunday, the IDF Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, supports the plan.

An association headed by Rabbi Amihai Eliahu calling itself Tzav 1 (order 1), which supports the ability of religious soldiers to serve in the IDF in a manner that does not challenge their beliefs, has been warning that the military must choose between having Religious-Zionist soldiers or women in the tank, because they can’t have both. The association is accusing the entities behind the move of attempting to cleanse the IDF of its religious warriors.

JNi.Media

Betrayed by Obama in 2014, IDF Switching to Rafael Missiles in Case of Hellfire Embargo

Friday, November 11th, 2016

In the summer of 2014, in the middle of the 50-day Gaza War (Operation Protective Edge), the Obama Administration betrayed its “greatest ally in the Middle East” by suspending arms shipments to Israel, and delaying delivery of US-made Hellfire missiles to Israel — expressing concerns that Israel would employ these missiles in areas in Gaza population centers. The unimaginable has happened.

This act of betrayal immediately led to Israel reassessing its views on US aid, particularly the notion that it could always depend on US re-supplies in wartime, and initiated new weapons projects to reduce its dependence on US weapons.

According to a Ynet report this week, The IAF has now modified its Apache helicopters to enable use of Rafael-manufactured air-to-surface missiles alongside and US-mad Hellfire. It means Israel will no longer be at the mercy of future American administrations when it comes to utilizing its most important advantage against Hamas — the helicopter.

Rafael Advanced Defense Systems manufactures a number of air-to-surface missiles, most notably the Popeye and the Have Lite missiles. Its website lists their Main features as being effective against high value land and maritime targets; versatile and cost-effective; offering pinpoint accuracy and lethal efficiency; day, night and adverse weather operation; Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) capability; and featuring a variety of trajectories to meet weather and threat conditions.

Israel deals directly with US companies for the vast majority of its military purchases, but those still require US government permission, which is far from being automatic. In March 2000 the Israeli government was refused permission to purchase BGM-109 Tomahawk missiles.

Incidentally, although the US sells Israel close to $3 billion in weapons, paid for by an aid agreement, the US military uses a variety of Israeli-made military equipment, including:

ADM-141 TALD (Improved Tactical Air Launched Decoy) – a device used to protect warplanes from enemy fire.

AGM-142 Have Nap “Popeye” – the standoff air-to-surface missile with precision guidance we described above.

M120 mortar – A 120 mm mortar developed by Soltam Systems.

B-300 / Shoulder-launched Multipurpose Assault Weapon (SMAW) – An anti-tank or bunker buster recoilless rifle developed by Israel Military Industries. The SMAW is based on the Israeli B-300.

Cardom – A 120 mm “recoil mortar system” using modern electronic navigation, self-positioning, and target acquisition.

Gabriel (missile) – A sea skimming anti-ship missile.

SIMON breach grenade – A rifle grenade designed to breach through doors.

LITENING targeting pod – A precision targeting pod designed to increase combat effectiveness of aircraft.

International MaxxPro – An MRAP armored fighting vehicle.

Samson Remote Controlled Weapon Station – A remote weapon system.

IAI Kfir – An all-weather multirole combat aircraft formerly used by the US Navy for training purposes.

DASH III helmet-mounted display – The first modern Western HMD, upon which the JHMCS was based.

Uzi submachine gun – compact submachine gun primarily used by the ZIM Integrated Shipping Services merchant marine and formerly the United States Secret Service.

JNi.Media

‘From Uniform to Studies’ IDF Program Kicks Off

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

This week the IDF and Defense Ministry kicked off a new plan to pay two-thirds of a veteran’s tuition at college or university after he or she completes military service.

The new project is called “From Uniform to Studies” and is geared for now to soldiers in combat units from special backgrounds, specifically those who are new immigrants, lone soldiers and those from minority populations.

The IDF plans to eventually expand the program to include veterans from non-combat units as well.

The program is modeled after the U.S. ‘G-I Bill” that offered benefits to millions of American soldiers after World War II.

Hana Levi Julian

Liberman Appoints New IDF Deputy Chief of Staff, Air Force Commander

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

by Michael Bachner
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman approved a series of appointments of high-ranking IDF commanders to new positions on Thursday, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced. Among the new appointees were Major General Aviv Kochavi as the new deputy chief of staff of the Israeli military, and Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin as Israel’s new Air Force commander.

The appointments, all recommended by IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, will take effect during 2017. After interviewing all the candidates, Liberman accepted Eizenkot’s recommendation that Kochavi be named the army’s second-in-command.

Kochavi, who currently serves as head of the IDF Northern Command, will replace Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan who has served for the past two years as deputy chief of staff.

The new Air Force commander will be Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, who until 2015 held the position of Deputy Air Force commander. He will replace Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel who was the Air Force commander for the last four and a half years.

Maj. Gen. Yoel Starik, who currently serves as head of the Home Front Command, will replace Kochavi as head of the Northern Command. Starik will be replaced by Brigadier General Tamir Yadai, who will be promoted to major-general.

Norkin, the current commander of the military’s Planning Directorate, will be replaced in that position by Brig. Gen. Amir Abulafia, who currently commands the IDF’s 162nd Armor Division (also known as the Steel Formation).

In addition, Brig. Gen. Moni Katz will become the new commander of the army’s Depth Corps, which coordinates long-range operations deep in enemy territory. Katz will be promoted to major-general and replace the previous commander, Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Now They are Going After Jewish Summer Camps

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Camp Mesorah is a co-educational Modern Orthodox sleep-over camp sprawling across more than 100 acres in New York State’s Catskill Mountains.  The camp focuses on sports, Torah, Jewish unity and love for Medinat Yisrael. Some people can’t stand that last part – especially any suggestion that the Israeli Defense Forces should be respected and emulated.

Why? Because the IDF, you know, is a military force and if Jewish campers in upstate New York emulate IDF troops while engaging in team-building and obstacle courses, that really is akin to glorifying torture and violence. In fact, “it’s like the Hamas camps.” At least that’s what some non-affiliated busybodies are claiming.

It’s absurd, but that’s how some Israel-denigrators – even Jewish ones – play the game. Even when it comes to attacking a team-building summer activity for Jewish campers.

Founded in 1990, Mesorah hosts approximatly 800 campers throughout the summers, starting from rising fourth graders through the tenth grade. Nearly one hundred of those Mesorahans come from Israel, and the camp has strong Zionist roots. Campers are encouraged to learn about and learn to love Israel, and making Aliyah is viewed as a positive aspiration. As Joseph Stansky, Mesorah’s co-owner, told the JewishPress.com on Tuesday, “many campers have IDF t-shirts and sweatshirts which they bought at novelty shops on Ben Yehudah [Street in Jerusalem].”

A brief visit to the camp’s website reveals hockey rinks and basketball courts, baseball diamonds and tennis courts, a lake for boating, and two shuls, a kollel, learning gazebos and a library. The owners have brought the camp into the digital age with a section on the website for parents and other family members to regularly see pictures and videos of the campers. There are also promotional videos for interested families.

The promotional videos are rolled out one at a time over the course of the post-summer year, in anticipation of the next summer’s season. One video rolled out just after the Jewish holidays this year focused on the camp’s “IDF-Paintball Program,” which shows campers in camouflage gear engaged in an intensive (by American Jewish camp standards) obstacle and team building course. Many of the campers are wearing their IDF t-shirts.

mesorah-rope-swingmesorah

Imagine that.

But, according to the camp owners, one person unaffiliated with the camp watched the video. He then attacked the video (yes, an adult attacking a children’s sleep-over camp) on Facebook. Why, the camp dared to glamorize Israeli soldiers! His horror at seeing Jewish children who, at least in exercises, are emulating IDF soldiers who defend the Jewish state from terrorists led to a comparison between this Jewish camp where Torah is taught alongside tennis and ceramics to the Hamas terrorist camps in which children are taught to murder Jewish civilians.

The Facebook ranter, Yehuda Kurtzer of the Shalom Hartman Institute, wrote: “Yes, I believe there is a giant moral chasm between the IDF and Hamas but no – there is not much of a difference between ‘their’ videos which promote violence and hate to their children and ‘our’ videos which glorify the same violence to children.” Really? The same violence?

The Facebook rant led to a few people leaving hate-filled talkback comments on the Mesorah video page. The commenters, camp owners told JewishPress.com, have “no connection whatsoever to the camp.”

“We’re not portraying Tsahal (the IDF) as bloodthirsty, that’s not what we are glorifying,” said Rabbi Ari Katz, Camp Mesorah’s owner, shocked at the association, “we’re proud of the Israeli Defense Forces, and we encourage our campers to identify with the IDF as Jews who strive to protect and perfect our Homeland.”

One would have hoped it would be needless to say, but there is absolutely no demonization of Arabs, or suggestions that Arabs be murdered, or that becoming a martyr by killing an Arab is condoned in the Torah anywhere in the video, yet the Facebook critic suggests otherwise.

Parents were concerned by the comments on the video site, according to a camp representative; they didn’t want their children exposed to the hateful comments. The video was temporarily removed from the Internet overnight and then restored, this time with commenting disabled. But no parents, campers or alumni have had anything but positive feedback about the IDF exercise program itself, Stansky and Katz stated.

“That people who have nothing to do with the camp would compare what we do at Mesorah with the glorification of violence, and who become outraged by Jewish children doing what children at many camps do all over the world, simply because they do it with pride in Medinat Yisrael, was shocking,” Katz said.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/us-news/ny/now-they-are-going-after-jewish-summer-camps/2016/11/02/

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