IDF

Civic Service In Israeli Life

07/17/2012
Special To The Jewish Week

National service is in the news, given the finding by Israel’s Supreme Court that the Tal Law, which grants army exemption to ultra-Orthodox young men of draft age, is not constitutional.

As a new draft law is being hammered out, Israel is grappling with the fact that 400 Torah scholars who benefited from Ben-Gurion’s exemption in 1949 have become 58,000 today.

Nessa Rapoport

That's Why They Call It The Bubble

I just got back from Israel. I went as a kind of pre-state pilgrim, but the circumstances and the trappings of the trip were hardly old-fashioned, or pious. My ever-generous in-laws wanted to show off their grandchildren at a wedding thrown by olim relatives, so the grandchildren’s parents got to come along.

Bubbles are so beautiful

West Point Cadets Train With The IDF

07/03/2012

A delegation of five cadets and an officer from the United States Military Academy at West Point visited Israel for a weeklong training seminar at the Israel Defense Forces’ Tactical Command College, located five miles north of Tel Aviv.

The U.S. delegation, which departed from Israel June 30, toured the country with trainees from the IDF College and their commanders, and learned about the Israeli soldiers’ expertise in counter-terrorism.

Haredim Rally Against Draft In Jerusalem

06/26/2012
Thousands of haredi Orthodox held a prayer rally to protest the forced enlistment of yeshiva students. The early Monday morning demonstration by men, women and children was organized by the Eda Haredit organization in Jerusalem. Participants reportedly read psalms and lamentations. The protest came as the Plesner Committee was meeting to find an alternative to the Tal Law, which grants military exemptions to haredi Orthodox Israeli men. The law is set to expire next month, and it is believed the committee will call for the required draft of haredi Orthodox men.

Hamas Claims Responsibility For Rocket Attacks

06/20/2012

Hamas has claimed responsibility for firing 10 long-range missiles into southern Israel.

Hamas said Tuesday evening that its armed wing, Izzaddin al-Kassam, fired 10 Grad missiles into Israel in the afternoon. At least 40 rockets fired from Gaza struck southern Israel on Tuesday.

Hamas also took responsibility for firing several rockets late Monday night that landed in Ashkelon but did not cause any damage or injuries. The Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported that the rockets were targeting a nearby military base. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.

IDF Posts Photo Of Gay Soldiers On Facebook

06/12/2012

The recent international Gay Pride celebrations have not skipped over the the Israel Defense Forces. On Monday, the IDF Spokesperson’s Office posted an illustrative photograph on its Facebook page of two male soldiers, ostensibly from combat units, holding hands under the headline: “It’s Pride Month. Did you know that the IDF treats all of its soldiers equally?”

When Noam Married Hagit

05/07/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Everyone expects fireworks when they fall in love.  For Noam and Hagit, the skies lit up on their wedding day – two months ago. But these fireworks weren’t fun. These were rockets fired by Arab terrorists.

Hundreds of rockets from the Gaza Strip were aimed at cities in southern Israel, placing more than a million Israelis under the threat of death.  The IDF had important decisions to make. So did Noam and Hagit.     

Love and war: Noam Blau and Hagit Brodsky didn't let rocket attacks from Gaza stand in the way of their big day.

Religious Exemptions From IDF To Change, Says Netanyahu

04/29/2012

The Tal Law, which enables full-time yeshiva students to be exempted from mandatory army service, will be replaced with "a more egalitarian and just law," Israel's Prime Minister promised activists.

"The division of the burden must be changed. What has been is not what will be," Benjamin Netanyahu told representatives of reservist activists protesting as part of what is called the "suckers' encampment."

IDF Demotes Commander In Rifle-Butt Incident During Protests

04/18/2012

Israeli soldier Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner has been dismissed from his post following an investigation into an incident in which he hit a Danish pro-Palestinian activist in the face with his rifle.

Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz dismissed Eisner from his position as Deputy Division Commander on "moral grounds," according to the IDF spokesman.

Palestinian Carrying 7 Bombs Stopped At Jordan Valley Checkpoint

04/12/2012

Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in the Jordan Valley discovered seven homemade bombs on the body of a Palestinian man.

The Palestinian, 19, from Nablus, attempted to cross the checkpoint Wednesday with the seven bombs and several knives, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

He planned to attack either Israeli citizens or soldiers during the intermediate days of Passover, which is a busy vacation season in Israel.

He was searched at the checkpoint after acting suspiciously, Ynet reported. He had also set off the metal detector.

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