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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘soldier’

Gimme Five

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

This is U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sarah Baker with a group of children during a security halt in Qalat City, Afghanistan. Baker is assigned to the Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul’s security force and is deployed from Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

It is a staged picture, obviously, directed by the photographer, or, worse, by headquarters’ PR person. They called the kids over and asked them to slap five, or worse, bussed the kids over from their neighborhood, or, worse yet, hired the kids and the soldier from Central Casting – we have no idea.

So that, strangely, this image of a female U.S. soldier joshing with a group of Afghani children represents bot a reality but a kind of visual wishful thinking. Because we know there aren’t in the world Afghani children joshing with U.S. soldiers, not in the wild, anyway. Because Afghanistan is quickly retreating into what it has always been, a backwards, mountainous, harsh land, with a warlike people who grow poppy and kill each other for sport.

Somehow, the U.S. leadership figured it could succeed in “civilizing” the Afghani, save their women from a life of slavery, educate their children, improve their hospitals – after the Soviet Union and the British Empire and half a dozen other invaders have failed.

Or maybe it just gave us something to do to while away the time and the budget. Folks got rich, nothing to scoff at.

So we’re looking at a soldier and some children pretending to be having some cross-cultural fun together, as dreamed up by a PR team in a conquered country soon to be left to its own devices at the whopping cost of many billions of dollars.

Your tax dollars at make-work?

In Gaza, Israel Confronts An Enemy With Stronger Missiles And Closer Allies

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

KFAR AZA, Israel – In some ways, Israel’s latest confrontation with Hamas looks like past conflicts in the Gaza Strip. Operation Pillar of Defense has left some key Hamas leaders dead, depleted weapons supplies and hit more than 1,000 targets in Gaza.

“We are exacting a heavy price from Hamas and the terrorist organizations” in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at his Sunday Cabinet meeting.

But even as Israeli air strikes hit a Gaza media center Monday evening and killed several leaders of Islamic Jihad, there are some important – and worrisome – differences that Israel is seeing in Hamas this time around.

The terrorist organization that rules Gaza is using more powerful missiles, with a range that can reach the Israeli heartland, and Hamas has closer and stronger allies at its side.

In the past, Hamas rockets threatened only Israel’s south. At their farthest, the projectiles could reach the desert metropolis of Beersheba and the southern coastal cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod.

This time, however, the rockets have flown nearly 50 miles, reaching the densely populated center of the country: Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, making Hamas’s rockets no longer just a problem for Israel’s “periphery.”

Taken together with Hizbullah’s increasing firepower from Lebanon, terrorist missiles can reach virtually all of Israel.

Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system, which shoots incoming missiles out of the air, has helped limit the damage from Hamas’s rocket attacks. The system is deployed to eliminate missiles headed for Israeli population centers, and Israeli officials say the interception rate is near 90 percent.

Complicating matters further for Israel, Hamas has a steadfast ally in Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood-led government. Last week, Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil visited Gaza and voiced support for Hamas. Egypt also recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv after the assassination of Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari, which marked the beginning of the Israel Defense Forces’ Operation Pillar of Defense.

On Saturday, Hamas hosted Tunisia’s foreign minister, Rafik Abdessalem, who during his visit to the Gaza Strip condemned “blatant Israeli aggression.”

Cairo’s sympathies make the conflict especially complicated for Israel, which hopes to safeguard its treaty with Egypt even as it attempts to subdue Hamas. So far, the government of Egypt is playing the role of mediator between Israel and Hamas as the two sides discuss a possible cease-fire.

By Monday, the conflict had claimed three Israeli fatalities – from a missile strike on an apartment building in the town of Kiryat Malachi – and dozens of injuries. In Gaza, about 100 Palestinians were reported dead and more than 600 injured.

Even as cease-fire negotiations took place, some 75,000 Israeli reserve troops were activated, and military personnel and equipment arrived at the Gaza frontier in preparation for a possible ground invasion.

On Saturday night, rows of military jeeps and armored cars sat parked at a gas station near the border while dozens of young soldiers in full uniform – some with helmets and others with vests – stood in groups or clustered with middle-aged officers around tables. For many, the immediate concern was about where to find some food.

“There’s nothing open,” one soldier complained as he watched a nearby restaurant shutter its doors.

Chaim, a soldier who did not give his last name due to IDF restrictions on speaking to the media, said Israel should act forcefully.

“Everyone wants to go in,” he said of a ground invasion. “We’ve waited too long. I’m calm. We have a Father in Heaven.

“We need to keep going,” he said, until the terrorists “don’t exist.”

Yossi, a soldier from Ashkelon, a frequent target of Gaza’s missiles, said he’s excited to serve.

“I take it,” he said of the rocket fire, “and I also defend.”

Polls show Israelis are strongly supportive of the operation in Gaza, and Netanyahu’s political opponents have lined up behind him, notwithstanding the elections in January. “Israel is united in the war against terror,” Labor Party leader Shelly Yachimovich, a Netanyahu rival, wrote last week on her Facebook page. She called Jabari an “arch-terrorist,” writing, “His assassination is right and just.”

The Obama administration also supported the Israeli operation.

“There’s no country in the world that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,” President Obama said at a news conference Sunday.

Three Injured in Eshkol Strike

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

At just after 2PM, two IDF soldiers were moderately wounded and one soldier was lightly wounded from a rocket that exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council. The two soldiers were evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva for treatment. Notification was given to their families.

Update on Two of the Injured IDF Jeep Soldiers

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Dr. Orly Weinstein, deputy director of Soroka hospital reports that one of the IDF soldier’s injured in the anti-tank missile attack against their jeep is still in very serious condition.

The hospital just finished operating on him for his head and eye injuries. He’s more stable than he was when he was first brought in, but he’s unconscious. His life is still in danger.

The second soldier that was brought to Soroka is now listed in moderate condition, and Dr. Weinstein says the operation to remove the shrapnel from his eyes was successful. He was moved to the ICU.

The other two soldiers are being treated at Barzilai hospital and are listed as lightly injured.

Jeep Soldiers in Serious Condition – Undergoing Surgeries

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Two of  the four IDF soldiers injured in Saturday evening’s attack are currently being treated in  Soroka hospital in Be’er Sheva. The two less seriously injured soldiers are being treated at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. They arrived at the hospital at 6 PM.

Dr. Miki Sharaf, head of Soroka Hospital reports that one of the soldiers is in very serious condition, two are in serious condition, and one is lightly inured.

The very seriously injured soldier has head injuries, as well as serious injuries to his eyes. He is undergoing operations that are expected to last through the night. They are currently trying to stabilize him.

One of the seriously injured soldier also has injuries to his eyes and shoulder. Both were injured by shrapnel from the strike.

It’s suspected that their jeep was hit by a Kornet anti-tank missile.

For inclusion in your prayers, the name of one of the injured soldiers is Yehuda Parsi Ben Chana.

 

Orders are Orders

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

For many Israelis, the Presidential election in America had a special urgency because of the increasing nuclear threat from Iran, and the hope that Romney would take a more militant stance than Obama. I wrote a short story on the tragedy of looking to America for our salvation, which appears in my award-winner collection of short stories, “Days of Mashiach” which was translated and published in France this year by a non-Jewish publisher, with reviewers comparing me to Voltaire and the famous fable writer, Jean de la Fontaine.  Big deal. Anyway, enjoy the story, and for readers who value true Jewish literature, I invite you to check out some of my other books at Amazon.

ORDERS ARE ORDERS

By Tzvi Fishman

For the third time that day, Izzy was looking through the snapshots his wife had sent him when a rock richocheted off the guard tower. Outside in the dimming twilight, he couldn’t see a thing. It wasn’t the first time that a rock had hit the tower during his three months on the isolated Samaria hilltop. Arab kids had nothing better to do than throw rocks at Jewish soldiers. To be on the safe side, the young Israeli tightened the strap of his helmet. Orders were orders. And in the army, safety came first.

His gaze turned back to the pictures. How happy his son looked at his first birthday party, as if he understood its significance. Izzy had asked for a special leave to attend the celebration, but since he had only one week remaining in his Hesder army service, the request had been denied.

“Pang!” “Pang!” “Pang!”

Smashing against the metal guard tower, the rocks sounded like bullets. Down below, at the crest of the hill, on the other side of the sheep pen, a group of dark figures had gathered. Izzy stuck his rifle out the window in warning. Just to be sure, he called his two buddies, who were out patrolling the area in a jeep. Some people thought the settlers were irresponsible for staying put on remote hilltops like these during the Intifada, but Izzy didn’t agree. Israel was the land of the Jews, and a Jew had the right to live wherever he chose. It was the job of the government and the army to protect its citizens, whether they lived in Netanya or Hevron.

To his way of thinking, the situation was absolutely absurd. So what if a Jew wanted to live in a cabin on a desolate hill in the heartland of biblicalIsrael. Why should the whole world make such a fuss over it? Why should it bother foreign presidents and kings? Didn’t they have better things to worry about than what a handful of Jews were doing on the other side of the globe?

The twenty-one year old soldier tried his best not to think about it too much. Instead, he studied Gemara whenever he could. He spoke to his wife every day. In a week, he’d be finished with being away in the army, and he could get down to being a father to his one-year old boy.

When a brick smashed through the thick plastic pane of the window, Izzy instinctively ducked. Down on the hillside, a mob of Arabs was advancing his way. Across the dirt road, on the roof of the small wooden cabin, an Arab youth was hauling down the Israeli flag. As luck would have it, the settler who lived on the one-man yishuv was off at a wedding. Besides the barking dog, Izzy was the only defender on the remote, windswept givah.

Figuring he may need some back-up, he phoned his friends in the jeep, but they were being stoned too.

“We’re on our way,” they told him.

Rocks pounding the guard tower reverberated like popcorn popping in a microwave oven. Izzy fired off a few shots in the air to warn off the attackers, but the Arabs continued to advance on the tower. Like the good soldier he was, he wouldn’t fire at them until he received a direct order. His rabbis had taught him that the government of Israelwas holy, the Israeli army was holy, and so was its chain of command. Calling his Mem-kaf, he described the situation and requested permission to shoot.

A Party for Arafat Near The Mount of Olives

Monday, October 29th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by soldier, artist, father, and activist Marc Prowisor.  Prowisor, who is also the director of security projects the One Israel Fund, talks with Yishai about a party held by Arabs, to celebrate deceased leader Yasser Arafat held near the Mount of Olives studio.  They also discuss what is going on among Arabs inside of Israel.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Hamas Releases Gilad Shalit Film

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

On the one-year anniversary of the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Hamas has released a film describing the Israeli soldier’s abduction in 2006.

According to the film, which was released on Oct. 18 on the website of the Hamas military wing, Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, Shalit thought his captors were Israeli because they had put on uniforms resembling those of the Israel Defense Forces.

The operation on June 25, 2006, was carried out at 5 a.m. because “that’s when the Zionist soldiers tended to nap,” one of the interviewees in the film said.

The armed militants who captured Shalit crawled along a 300-yard stretch to reach his tank from the mouth of the tunnel that had been dug in advance. They then split up into three detachments. One was comprised of two men, Mohammed Frauna and Hammed Rantissi, who were discovered and killed on their way to a watchtower.

Another group placed a “very large” explosive charge under the barrel of Shalit’s Merkava tank. They moved back, detonated the charge and fired an anti-tank rocket at the vehicle.

“We saw a soldier climbing up from the hull so we shot him, then another climbed up so we shot him too,” a man named Abu-Hamza said in the film. “We heard someone shouting from inside the tank. We reported that we had a live soldier we went into the tank and we took him. He shouted that he was Jewish because he thought we were Jewish because of our uniform.”

Shalit was released from captivity on Oct. 18, 2011, in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners being held by Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/hamas-releases-gilad-shalit-film/2012/10/21/

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