In Israel, the boundaries between the home-front and the army are very blurred. My son and family, who live in the south, are constantly being bombarded by missiles from the Gaza Strip - by air and ground. Two weeks ago, 700 missiles were fired from Gaza to the south of Israel! in which several civilians were killed. One rocket even reached Tel-Aviv. At the same time, their youngest daughter (Adi) is an army instructor. She belongs to a corps which teaches soldiers, taken from all the army’s ground forces, how to use the different weapons used to locate and destroy enemies and armament - in order to clear the area.
It’s hard for me to picture Adi, who is an extremely feminine young woman of 20, instructing soldiers on how to use lethal weapons. These include a particular type of rocket called “Gil”, which was developed in Israel. With the means of a special device the “Gil” can follow any target, even a moving one. The shooter can manoeuvre the rocket all the time while it is in the air, in order to strike the target with maximum precision (just like a computer game), and can reach to a distance of up to 4 kms.
Usually two divisions of a regiment, each consisting of 20 fighters, are sent to her corps simultaneously. Adi mostly instructs older civilians from the army Reserves who are called up, usually one month a year, in order to maintain their fighting skills. Since the Reserves make up 70% of the fighting forces, it is very important that they keep up with their particular task, since it is never known when hostilities will break out.
It is particularly hard to instruct middle-aged civilians since they are not accompanied by commanders of the corps who – in the case of regular soldiers - can impose disciplinary measures. To keep them focused on the subject at hand is a real challenge, especially when the instructor is a young woman.
Adi spends an entire week of intensive training with each group, in which they eat together and train together in the field. She says that she finds the work very stimulating since she has to adapt her training methods according to the particular group she is instructing at the time. In this way, she gets to meet interesting and diverse types of soldiers from a wide variety of backgrounds.
At times when no such groups of Reservists are sent, the instructors are taken to frontiers all over the country in which regular soldiers are serving. In this way Adi has the opportunity to travel to different army bases which is an experience in itself.
The work can be difficult, especially in times of pressure when they get up very early and get to bed very late - the whole day being spent, either in the field, or giving lessons. This also affects the attention span of the soldiers who have to be motivated enough to concentrate.
In Adi’s words: “The job has taught me how to stand before an audience and to speak without getting nervous and with self-confidence. I have learned to master complicated material and to present it in an interesting way. Also, the ability to conduct a discussion with different types of people. I am grateful to be part of a team of female colleagues with whom I enjoy a warm and very friendly relationship".
The fact that the ability of the fighters to serve their country in the best possible way is dependent to a large extent on their training, gives the trainers a significant role in any future war. The satisfaction they experience as a result is enhanced by the trainees themselves, who show respect and appreciation to their instructors.
At the start of April, Hebrew media reports quoted
unnamed Israeli security officials as saying that the Iranian-backed
Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror faction, which possesses a rocket arsenal even
larger than that of Hamas, was planning a major attack on Israeli targets.
The disclosure of this information appeared to achieve
its goal of discouraging the perpetrators, and no attack transpired. But the
fact that PIJ was reportedly planning an incident that could have upset
Egyptian attempts to restore calm to the Gaza Strip could hint at a wider
struggle taking place within Gaza between Egypt and Iran.
The clash of interests between these two regional
powers seems clear. Egypt wishes to see Gaza calm, stable, and cut off from
ISIS-affiliated terror networks in Sinai, which also threaten Egyptian
security; while Iran sees Gaza as one more base from which it can exercise its
radical influence and encourage the growth of a terrorist army that threatens
not only Israel but the stability of the whole region.
Iran transfers $100 million a year to the military
wings of Hamas and PIJ collectively, according to Israeli estimates.
Boaz Ganor, executive director of the International
Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya,
recalled that with the signing of the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, Cairo
had no interest in retaking Gaza.
Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat “understood the
problematic nature of this territory, which is the most crowded in the world,
and racked with poverty, fundamentalism, and a lack of a sovereign ruler,” said
Ganor. As a result, Sadat did not demand a return to Egyptian rule over Gaza,
even though Egypt had controlled the Strip prior to the 1967 Six-Day War.
“What Sadat understood, [current Egyptian President
Abdel Fattah] El-Sisi also understands, although in a different manner,” Ganor
said. “Sisi understands that the Strip contains many risks to Egypt within it.
Hamas, which controls Gaza, is tied by the umbilical cord to its mother
movement – the Muslim Brotherhood – who are Sisi’s loathed strategic enemies.”
Sisi has identified a process of Iranian infiltration
into Gaza via its proxy, PIJ, “and is concerned by the growth of a forward
Iranian post on the northern border of Egypt,” said Ganor.
Another source of concern for Sisi is the fact that
ISIS in Sinai is linked to other Salafi-jihadist elements in Gaza. These
security and political factors, as well as Egyptian concern over the prospect
of a new armed conflict erupting between Israel and Hamas on Egypt’s border,
have all led to “massive Egyptian intervention and a will to be active in what
is taking place in the Strip,” said Ganor. Israel, for its part, is in favor of
this intervention and has even requested it over the years.
Iran is trying to neutralize Egyptian influence in
Gaza, Ganor noted, while looking to tighten its links with its Gazan proxies.
Tehran is trying to transfer funds and weapons into Gaza. “It also seeks to
instruct its proxies to disrupt every process that can lead to calm,” said
Tehran’s relationship with Hamas is somewhat
According to Ganor, “Iran’s influence on Hamas is
significant, but much smaller than its influence on Hezbollah. Hamas zealously
safeguards its independence and does not view itself as being obligated to
With Iran conducting training sessions for PIJ inside
the Islamic Republic, the organization is an “explicit proxy of Iran, in
contrast to Hamas, which is under Iranian influence but has its own agenda and
is more independent,” he argued.
Egypt has far more at stake in Gaza, which is at its
back door. “Whatever happens in Sinai directly influences Egypt. Iran,
meanwhile, is distant, and tries to activate its influence in Gaza by remote
control,” said Segall.
He summed up the Iranian proxy strategy as follows:
“The more Israel bleeds on its borders, the less it can engage Iran directly.”
And the Iranians would like the same thing to happen in the West Bank, with
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calling for terror factions there
to be armed just as they are in Gaza.
“This is central component in Iranian doctrine. It’s
about asymmetric warfare. Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria have become part of Iran’s
asymmetric warfare doctrine,” said Segall. “The Iranians work with a proxy
toolbox against the Saudis, the Egyptians and Gulf states. This is not limited
to Gaza,” he said.
While Iran has the power to activate PIJ to disrupt
Egyptian mediation efforts or spark a new conflict, PIJ also faces pressure
from Hamas, which can force its will on it, including through the force of
arms, according to Segall.
“I think that on the day they receive their orders from
Iran, PIJ will obey and cash its checks, which it has received over the years
from the Iranians,” he said.
home this evening from a lovely visit to my 6 year old grand-daughter and her 8
month old baby brother I was listening to the radio.
20 minutes or so it took me to drive from Yokne'am to ZIchron Ya'akov the radio
broadcast was interrupted EIGHT times so that those in Ashdod could hear a
siren and be given the advice, "Go to the shelter." Eight times.
Eight attacks. TWENTY minutes.
one hundred kilometres south of this rolling peaceful landscape, tens of thousands
of Israeli civilians are being attacked in their own homes.
A grandmother just like me isn't laughing with her
grandchildren. She's cradling them and comforting them and telling them there
is nothing to worry about as the explosions sound in the night air outside.
Sometimes it's even hard for us here in Israel to really
grasp the everyday reality of our Southern countrymen.
Perhaps we can understand that ordinary people in other
countries don't get it. But how, how can the media twist and lie about the
What evil drives them to demonise Israel, our tiny
country, where we Israelis just want to live in peace in our ancient home land?
This tiny country that has given more to the world than any other. This tiny
country that is made up of parents and children, grandparents, aunts, uncles,
cousins, just ordinary decent human beings.
Why do the BBC, The Guardian, The New York Times, CNN …
the list goes on and on … why do they dehumanise us, we who go to such lengths
to prevent loss of life of an enemy that chants for our blood, that wants us
wiped off the face of the earth?
Who does it help when they wilfully paint this false
picture, over and over again?
By launching 600 rockets in 30 hours from positions within the civilian population of Gaza, the terror organizations are committing a double war crime: the targeting of Israeli civilians while using their own civilian population as human shields. (Incidentally almost 400 landed in open areas and nearly 200 were intercepted by the Iron Dome system )
Following sniper attacks on Israeli soldiers that took
place yesterday (Friday, 3 May 2019), wounding of two IDF officers,
the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations initiated today (Saturday, 4 May) a massive rocket attack of
over 430 rockets that were launched on Israeli towns and villages
in southern Israel. Several Israeli civilians were injured in the
attacks, including one fatality. The shelling also caused severe
damage to homes and property.
In response to the rocket attacks, the IDF targeted
terror facilities belonging to the Islamic Jihad and Hamas
terror organizations in the Gaza Strip, destroying dozens of terror
targets including an Islamic Jihad terror tunnel from Rafah, rocket
launchers, underground weapons manufacturing facilities and terror training bases.
The rockets were launched from positions within the
civilian population of Gaza. The terror organizations are thus
committing a double war crime: targeting Israeli civilians on the
one hand while using their own population as a human shield on the
Both terror organizations, Hamas and Islamic Jihad
(which acts as an Iranian proxy), are acting against the interests
of the residents of the Gaza Strip and are the main barrier to the
peaceful development of the Gaza Strip.
Hamas, which also receives direct support form Iran, ruthlessly
rules the Gaza Strip and bears full responsibility for any attack.
This murderous regime holds the residents of the Gaza Strip captive
and endangers their lives.
Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system was activated
dozens of times on Saturday to intercept the barrage of rockets
launched at Israeli communities from Gaza. Israel will continue to do its utmost to defend its citizens and ensure their security
against the aggression of the terror organizations controlling the Gaza
The rocket barrages come shortly before a
potentially tense month, with Ramadan,
Israel’s Memorial Day and Independence
Day, Nakba Day, and the one-year
anniversary of the opening of the American
Embassy in Jerusalem.
The IDF is also preparing for violence
ahead of Eurovision, the finale of which
will take place in Tel Aviv on May 18
with thousands of tourists expected to attend.
D.C. Synagogue will mourn Palestinians, ignore Israeli
Stephen M. Flatow..01 May '19..
A prominent synagogue in Washington, D.C., will mark
Israel’s 71st birthday by mourning “Palestinian losses” alongside Israeli
terror victims, and refrain from holding any kind of Israeli independence celebration.
It’s the latest example of an appalling “both sides”
mentality that blurs right and wrong, good and evil, and Israel and its
On Tuesday evening, May 7, Israelis—and Jews around the
world—will hold solemn Yom Hazikaron ceremonies to remember the approximately
25,000 Israeli Jews murdered by invading Arab armies and Palestinian Arab
terrorists since 1948.
But at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue in the nation’s
capital, a different kind of ceremony will be held. Called the “Israeli-Palestinian
Memorial Day Ceremony,” participants will gather together for what they
describe as “a memorial based on the values of hope, solidarity and
non-violence. Hear from Israelis and Palestinians as they share their families’
stories of loss.”
Yes, Palestinian Arabs have been killed in the course of the
But that doesn’t make them all “victims.” And that doesn’t
mean they should all be “mourned.” That doesn’t place them all on the same
In the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs,
Israel is the victim and the Palestinian Arabs are the aggressors. Nobody is
saying Israel is perfect. No country is perfect. No army is perfect. But we
still should be able to make the basic distinction between right and wrong. We
still should have enough sense to distinguish between cops and robbers.
( This is a pathetic attempt at moral equivalence without any semblance of understanding of the Palestinian mentality)