IDF

Leeds IDF festival experiment

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 16, 2010

An Israeli Defence Forces chaplain has brought overseas aid to the experimental Rosh Hashanah programme run by Leeds' Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue.

The shul's Rabbi Jason Kleiman said American-born Rabbi Shalom Hammer "gave a very powerful presentation about role of observant soldier in the IDF. It was the first time shiurim ran alongside services. The feedback has been very positive." The experimental programme had found favour with many who would not otherwise engage in services.

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Esti Ginzburg: IDF soldier, model, Bond girl?

By Jennifer Lipman, September 1, 2010

Jewish filmmaker Joel Schumacher has tipped the Israeli star of his latest film to be a future Bond girl.

Esti Ginzburg, a model who is currently serving in the Israeli army, plays the lead in Mr Schumacher’s new film “Twelve”.

The drama about drug users in New York also stars rapper 50 Cent and Chace Crawford, the Gossip Girl actor with whom she has been romantically linked.

Mr Schumacher, 71, told Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth that the Israeli actress would “get far in life”.

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New IDF chief Galant is 'a natural leader'

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 26, 2010

There has never been an IDF Chief of General Staff from the navy and that is no coincidence. The Israeli navy may be known as the Senior Service but, in the IDF, it has always been the poor and underfunded cousin.

But within the close-knit family of naval commandos, Yoav Galant was a legend, dating back to his days as a young officer on raids on the Lebanese coast in the late 1970s. His physical strength and natural leadership skills gained the respect of his soldiers but also of his commanders.

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Comment: New IDF chief choice is highly political

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 26, 2010

Defence Minister Ehud Barak did not lose a moment. Last Thursday night, the police confirmed that none of the members of the IDF General Staff are suspected of writing the "Galant memo" - an apparently forged document setting out Maj Gen Yoav Galant's aggressive strategy for becoming the next chief-of-staff - and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein informed him that he could legally appoint a new Chief of General Staff (CGS).

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Analysis: No Abu Ghraib photoshoot, but we should all be very concerned

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 19, 2010

The Facebook photos of former IDF Sergeant Eden Abergil's army days drew an inevitable, though ridiculous, comparison this week with the depraved scenes of sexual abuse and torture carried out by American soldiers in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison.

But in many ways, the images of Abergil posing, smiling, with arrested Palestinian civilians bound and blindfolded in the close background, poses a more difficult and complex moral challenge for the IDF's commanders.

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Embassy gunman threatens to 'kill any Jew'

By Jennifer Lipman, August 17, 2010

A Palestinian man has broken into the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv and is threatening to kill any Jew who enters the building.

It is believed two people are being held hostage inside the embassy on Hayarkon Street by Nadim Injaz, a Palestinian from Ramallah. One person, thought to be Injaz, has been shot and injured.

Israel Radio said that rescue workers attempted to enter the building but did not bring anyone out.

Injaz was arrested in 2006 after an eight-hour standoff at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, during which he wielded a plastic gun. Nobody was injured in that incident.

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IDF: Facebook army photos 'base and crude'

By Jennifer Lipman, August 17, 2010

The Israeli army has condemned a former soldier who posted photographs of herself with a blindfolded Palestinian on Facebook.

Eden Abergil has claimed she does not understand what she did wrong, but an IDF spokesman called her behaviour “base and crude”.

The spokesman added: "These actions are ugly and callous; details of the incident have been forwarded up the chain of command."

Israeli human rights organisations have also criticised Ms Abergil’s actions.

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The Israeli army 'Gap Yah'

By Paul Berger, August 12, 2010

Gap year students usually spend their 12-month sabbatical between school and university helping the underprivileged or exploring the world. Most never consider another option - joining the IDF.

"The Israeli army has never recruited outside Israel," said Jay Shultz, co-founder of a new organisation, JoinTheIDF.com, which helps diaspora Jews join the Israeli army or the Israeli civil service for a fee of £1,800.

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Israeli soldiers get Shabbat Bluetooth phone

By Nathan Jeffay, August 12, 2010

Inventors have come up with a Bluetooth device for the Israeli Defence Forces, which can make any soldier's mobile phone permissible for use on Shabbat.

Where lives are at risk, such as in the army and in hospitals, special Sabbath innovations are permitted that are not allowed in other contexts.

The new phone device will eliminate the main transgressions associated with telephoning on Shabbat, making it permissible in the army and in hospitals. But the inventors stress that it does not make telephoning for normal social or business purposes acceptable.

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Sadly, such things are to be expected in Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, August 12, 2010

It is not clear whether a criminal offence has been committed in the case of the "Galant Document". If the list of dirty tricks to be used in the campaign for Israel's most prestigious job, Chief of Staff of the IDF, was compiled by an employee of the most powerful PR firm in the country, it won't be a matter for the police or courts. If there was a fabrication or forgery, it still does not feature high on the scale. Someone wrote a to-do list and stuck on a false logo.

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