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Over-Exaggeration at the Station

Former Senior officials of the IDF stress that despite the gravity of incidents of abuse against Palestinians, they are few and far between. This claim came as a defense after a report of female soldiers’ testimonies of abuse of Palestinians. Former IDF chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak said, “Cases in which IDF soldiers abuse civilian population do exist but they are rare, and cannot be called a phenomenon.”

Former Central Command chief Yair Nave says that indeed the incidents described by the female soldiers do in fact occur. According to Nave, the reality of a soldier facing a civilian is a “forceful” one and that the army would find itself in a problem if it does not put an emphasis on the disciplinary and normative aspects.
Nave said this:

“Power blinds the eyes of the righteous and puts man in an inhumane sphere, it exists in every society…We were blessed with good soldiers and a moral code, it’s not our point of view, but there are unusual cases and they must be handled immediately, and not a year or two after the event.”

Nave stands in criticism of the Breaking the Silence organization and claims that the incidents brought to light, by it are exceptions, if not fabricated altogether. Still, he stressed that during his term as central command chief, complaints were inquired about as fast as they were submitted. He is fully confident that the IDF operates according to the highest of standards.

“One cannot say this will always be the way, and that it’s human nature. The phenomenon must be eradicated.”

Nave says that the IDF is employing various measures, such as assigning the best combat units to the field, stationing an officer or senior commander in the checkpoints on a regular basis, providing soldiers and Palestinians with various complaint mechanisms and employing the services of the women of Machsom Watch.

“The soldiers must face the commanders, there are ways of reporting and one can do it anonymously too. In the IDF, once you investigate there is no bond of silence.”

Former Chief Education Officer Ilan Harari also believes that the problem cannot be fully eradicated:

“We have a fair and moral army, and the IDF handles and educates on any issue but one must bear in mind that nothing can be fully prevented just as traffic accidents cannot be prevented.”

Harari believes the way to deal with the problem is through education and enforcing discipline. In this school of thought, the root of the problem does not lie with the army. It is important to know that such irregular manifestations exist in every sector of society. Lipkin-Shahak said:

“Look at Israeli society; kids attacking and stabbing each other. I don’t know whether it reflects on the army, but there’s irregular behavior everywhere. Only clear statements and strict enforcement will send the right message.”

Deadly Games

When the Iranian scientist Professsor Massoud Ali Muhammadi was killed by a remote control bomb on a motorcycle in Teheran last week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Israel, saying that it was carried out in the signature “Zionist style” – Interior Minister Mostafa Muhammed Najjar vowed revenge.
So last week’s failed attempt on the lives of Israeli diplomats in Jordan, by a roadside bombing, left very few questions asked, as to who the responsible party may have been. A source said:

“We can see Iran’s fingerprints on the roadside bombing…the investigation is continuing in various directions.”

The explosives may have been smuggled into the Jordanian kingdom by Iranian diplomats, and the attack itself was carried out by local al-Qaida supporters, who received explosives and money from Iran.
The sources in Amman pointed out that the attack on the Israeli diplomatic convoy was carried out in a similar fashion to the assault on the Iranian professor.
Israel has been on high alert in recent weeks ahead of the second anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus.

A number of attempts by Hezbollah to avenge Mughniyeh’s February 2008 killing have been thwarted, including a plot to bomb Israel’s embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, last year. The IDF is concerned that Hezbollah will make an effort to strike an Israeli target ahead of the anniversary.
Security officials are also considering the possibility that the attack may have been carried out by an undisclosed Palestinian terrorist group.
Last year three Hamas activists were sentenced in Jordan to five years in prison for conducting surveillance of the Israeli Embassy in Amman.

Cold Turkey

Well, it’s not over yet, relations between Israel and Turkey are still prickly. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon refused to shake the hand of Turkish envoy, Ambassador Ahmed Oguz Celikkol and made him sit on a sofa, lower than his seat, during a meeting in Jerusalem this week. Also, there was no Turkish flag on display at the meeting.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to criticize Israel’s use of force against the Palestinians – as this month violence has continued between Hamas, the IDF and Israeli border police.

Ayalon on Monday, summoned the Turkish ambassador to criticize a television drama in Turkey which depicts Israeli security forces as kidnapping children and shooting old men. This is the second such drama in Turkey broadcasting in two years.
The Turkish response came on Tuesday when their Foreign Ministry issued a statement calling on Israel

“to abide by diplomatic courtesy and respect.”

The statement stated,

“Turkey is expecting steps to repair the treatment of our ambassador in Tel Aviv.”

Ha!
The relationship between Jews, the Jewish State and Turks is complicated. While Zionist pioneers fought alongside the English in the fight for control of Palestine between the British Empire and the Ottoman Empire, during World War I; many years ago Turkey were the ones to embrace Jews exiled by the Spanish Inquisition, and there have remained Jews in Turkey, successful and free, ever since. So we should be cautious before labeling Turks as anti-Semites.

Turkey and Israel grew close in the mid-1990s, basing their alliance on mutual fears of Iran and Syria. Israel has supplied hundreds of millions of dollars of military hardware to Turkey over the years. Furthermore the two countries conduct joint naval exercises and the Israeli air force trains over Turkish airspace.

When Turkey scrapped a military exercise involving Israel last year, the feud began to get ugly.
Since Erdogan’s government came to power in 2003, Turkey has forged closer ties to Iran and Hamas. Turkey believes Hamas must play a key role in the Palestinian territories – One Jerusalem strongly disagrees.

Erdogan said in Ankara, at a joint press conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri:

“We can never remain silent in the face of Israel’s attitude. … It has disproportionate power and it is using that at will, while refusing to abide by U.N. resolutions.”

Ayalon responded that,

“The Turks should be the last to preach morality.”

He was alluding to Turkey’s past conduct against Armenians, Kurds and Greek Cypriots.
A tunnel in Jerusalem’s Old City, near Jaffa Gate, has flyers posted on its wall, depicting the Turkish genocide of Armenian’s in the beginning of the last century. The tunnel is near an Armenian restaurant.
But the Turks maintain that they have the right:

“Deep-rooted relations between Turks and Jews that precede the establishment of the Israeli state and the general structure of our relations give us the responsibility to make such warnings and criticism.”

Cabinet Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer
of the Labor Party, concerned about relations between the two countries apologized, calling Ayalon’s conduct, “uncalled for” and “humiliating.”
Speaking to Army Radio, Ayalon refuted that

“It’s the Turks who need to apologize.”

The New Ultra-Orthodox Zionist

2009 saw approximately 2,000 haredi yeshiva students join the IDF or National Service. This is in sharp contrast to the 300 to 400 in 2008.
Most of these ultra-Orthodox men who chose to enlist in the IDF or do national service were older than 25. Most married with children.

The sharp rise may have been a result of the implementation of the Tal law. The Barak administration established the Tal Committee in 1999, with the aim of resolving problems stemming from draft exemptions for yeshiva students. The Tal law took effect in August 2002.

The law permits yeshiva students older than 22 to take one year off from their studies. During the year, they can acquire a profession or work without being drafted. At the end of the year, the students have a choice of either returning to full-time studies or completing abbreviated national service.

Between 2002 and 2005, only 1,400 yeshiva students, or 3% took a year off from their studies, and only 74 chose to fulfill national service.
The Finance Ministry blocked the creation of civilian national service for yeshiva students interested in remaining in the workforce. And the Defense Ministry, which demanded that men 23-year-olds complete a more lengthy service.

The National Service Administration reported that in 2009, 1,070 haredi men who had previously been enrolled full-time in yeshivot and kolelim opted to do national service. The men chose between a one year eight-hour-a-day track and a two-year four-hour-a-day track.
The normal National Service occupations for ultra-Orthodox participants are inside haredi neighborhoods or haredi charity organizations as paramedics, teachers, and social services workers.

As for the IDF, there’s the Shahar option. Shahar stands for haredi service (sheirut haredim) and targets married haredi men. They focus on training haredi men for non-combat roles like computer programmers, technicians and mechanics. There is also the Nahal Haredi, a battalion designated for ultra-Orthodox soldiers. Both the Nachal Haredi and Shahar provide participants with occupational training.

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, a total of 5,500 21-year-old haredim asked for a deferral of their mandatory military service.
The total number of haredi men who request deferrals for the sake of devoting themselves to Torah education is about 55,000. Therefore, haredi men of various ages who choose to do national or military service make up just 3.5% of the total.

Senior Israeli Officials Speak at IAF Graduation


At an
Israeli Air Force School Graduation Ceremony on Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority to reenter in negotiations on the Middle East peace process. It is expected that Abbas will meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Sunday, when the two leaders are expected to discuss the US-backed plan.
At the ceremony, Barak said this:

“We must explore every possibility to advance a regional peace arrangement, based on an agreement with our Palestinian neighbors, based on the Road Map, the concept of two states for two people, and a declaration of an end to this long running conflict.”

He added:

“We once again call on the Palestinian leadership and Mahmoud Abbas to show responsibility to his countrymen and to return to the negotiating table, in order to achieve the hoped for peace.”

Also present as the ceremony was IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. He pointed out the dangers and threats that the Jewish Country faces.

“At this very hour a number of threats are gathering, both near and far away.”

The IDF chief went on to say that

“standing against all these threats…are these same newly-minted pilots, along with the IAF family, to defend Israel.”

Religious Women and The Draft

On Wednesday, the Knesset rejected a bill which would have reduced the number of girls who dodge military service, by falsely declaring that they are religious. The bill brought by Kadima’s Yisrael Hasson, was quashed 63 to 29.

The meat of the proposed law, would have girls, asking to be exempt from the military on religious grounds, to provide proof that they had attended a religious school, for a period no less than three years.

If religious dodging is not curbed now, said an IDF representative, “In five years it will span 60% of all eligible youth.” Asking girls to provide this kind of documentation, would only match the existing stipulation for religious men.

Kadima criticized Netanyahu for his rejection of the bill saying that the Prime Minister “chose to cower before coalitional considerations and legitimize draft dodging… This is shameful surrender to such elements and spitting in the face of the public shouldering the burden.”

“This is sanctioning mass draft dodging courtesy of the defense minister, Labor and Yisrael Beiteinu. Netanyahu chose to serve his ultra-Orthodox partners and ensure his political survival at the expense of national interests.”

Given the recent settlement freeze which is a strong characteristic of the current administration, it would be hard to consider Netanyahu’s decision against this bill as an attempt to appease the religious masses, with whom he is quickly losing favor; unless it is meant as an attempt to “make it up to them” – after showing “weakness” on the West Bank settlements issue.

Hezbollah Countdown 2010: Hezbollah Brings Terrorism to the Class Room and Farther

anne frankIn an action this week Hezbollah proved that indeed they are not only anti-Zionist but altogether anti-Jewish – of course given this powerful terror organization’s track record of Holocaust denial, this should not come as such a shock.

The Hezbollah-owned television station, Al-Manar, condemned the distribution of a textbook in an English language school in Lebanon, because it contained excerpts from The Diary of Anne Frank.”

In their report, Al-Manar made claims that the distribution of the book was in violation of a Lebanese law, which bans the import of Israeli goods and Lebanese cooperation with Israeli institutions.

About the book, which both English and Arabic translations have apparently been sold for years in Lebanon, Al-Manar wrote on their website, is “focus[ing] on the persecution of Jews during the war, but even more dangerous is the theatrical and dramatic method employed to narrate the diary [entries] in an emotional way.”

iron domeA lawyer who represents the Committee for the Boycott of Zionist Goods, named Naeem Qal’ani said during the Al-Manar TV report:

“This act is definitely punishable under the penal code, and the dealers and importers of the book will certainly be prosecuted…It’s a flagrant violation of the law and is a move towards normalization [with Israel]. The Prosecutor-General’s Office must take action immediately, for this is a criminal act.”

Since the television report the school has removed the textbook from its curriculum. Omar Nashsabe an editor at the Lebanese daily “Al-Akhbar”, however, came to the book’s defense:

“The law [banning Israeli goods] talks about the State of Israel: the Israeli flag, Israeli institutions, the Israeli entity, as a nation…Anne Frank is not Israeli. Anne Frank is part of world literature.”

A statement was released by The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, “denounc[ing] this disgraceful act as a twin blow against decency. It is a blatant expression of Holocaust denial, and an assault on one of the great works of modern literature and civilization.”
The book remains off of the curriculum of the school, which remains nameless.

Mean while in related news, during a recent briefing, IDF Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi told reporters that with Iran’s help, Hezbollah has gotten their hands on “tens of thousands” of rockets to be used against Israel in an upcoming war. While most of the rockets have the same limited range as the ones fired at Israel during the Second Lebanon War, some of them have a range of over 300 kilometers.

Also in the briefing, Ashkenazi informed that in 2010 Israel will deploy the first two “Iron Dome” batteries on the Gaza border. While it will make Israel a harder target, it will not be 100%. Ashkenazi said, “You cannot build a canopy of iron over the whole country. It is an illusion. In future wars, rockets will fall here.” Instead the goal of the “Iron Dome” is to reduce the amount of incidents and increase warning times to allow the IDF to evacuate areas where rockets could hit.

It is needless to recount the IDF’s seizure last week of an Antiguan vessel carrying Iranian arms to a Syrian Hezbollah station. These guys are ready for war and still insist that they were the victor’s of the 2006 Israeli invasion. Obviously they fear that Netanyahu’s Israel will take another stab at crushing Hezbollah in Lebanon, prior to any kind of strike on Iran.
What will happen next? Only fate can tell…

UK Commander Testimony in UN Challanges Goldstone Report

This is something you don’t see everyday.

This is the testimony of Col. Richard Kemp. He disagrees with Goldstone Report that claims that IDF committed war crimes in Operation Cast Lead.

His resume includes (his words): former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan, service in NATO and the United Nations, commander in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Macedonia, and participation in the Gulf War. He also spent time in Iraq since 2003, and worked on international terrorism for the UK Government’s Joint Intelligence Committee.

Another Blood Libel, This Time from Turkey

It’s now gone farther than Turkey banning Israel from a joint military exercise with the US and other EU countries, or Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan ripping Shimon Peres in public at Davos, or accusing Israel of aiming phosphorus bombs at civilian targets, or even staging war games with Syria, which Turkey did a few days ago. Now, they’re starting the blood libels.

Turkey’s new show, “Ayrilik”, broadcast on State television station TRT1, depicts a love story between two Palestinians that takes place during Operation Cast Lead. The IDF is portrayed as a bloodthirsty merciless band of murderers, shooting Palestinian children at point blank range and lining civilians up to the firing squad.

No time for a long post about this right now, but if any of you want to listen to Arabic with Turkish subtitles, then here’s a clip from the show.

On the one hand, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has done the expected, summoning the Turkish ambassador. On the other, Defense Minister Barak warns against breaking ties with Turkey. So once again, a confused stance.

I’d just like to add that I am not at all surprised, or really all that much offended by this. It may just be me, but recently, anti Semitic displays have only given me encouragement. In my estimation, Israel should continue to expect a tightening of international relations with all countries and a general increase in isolation. Life will get a bit more difficult, until some sort of breakthrough is made and the status quo is altered in the Middle East.

The good news in all this is that if history has shown anything about the Jewish people, it is that they persevere under severe pressure. After all, you can’t have perseverance without severe. So prepare for some rough seas, and look forward to coming out safe on the other side. The only question is how long and bumpy will the ride be?

IDF Chief of Staff Credit Card and Rifle Stolen

Gabi AshkenaziHow’s this for an oops story. A soldier on guard duty just roamed into IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi’s office, stole his credit card numbers, and gave them to an Israeli Arab he happened to own money to. While he was at it, he stole a souvenir pistol given to Ashkenazi as a gift by an American general.

The soldier in question had also stolen two M16 rifles in the past, one from a soldier who was attacked on guard duty in July, and it appears that he took up theft in order to pay for an apartment he moved into with his girlfriend.

Gaining access to the top IDF officer’s office and stealing his credit card so easily? This has the IDF breathing a rather sizeable sigh of relief that it was only a credit card, because the army can think of lots of people who would love to get in there and put a microphone under his desk, or even a bomb. That wouldn’t be so good.

Talk about something to starkly contrast with the image of Israel as a security mammoth, El Al guards stopping you at every security level for a flight, asking you weird questions about where you’re going and why, if you know Hebrew, what synagogue you go to and such. And suddenly some guy can just walk into the office of the IDF chief of staff, open up his drawer and swipe his credit card info and a souvenir Western pistol? Well, alright then, if you insist.

The soldiers standing guard in the hallway apparently did not have any intensive background checks before they were accepted to duty, something that will now quickly be changed. Locks have been changed. Well, that’ll make me sleep better tonight, knowing the locks are nice and fresh, and the guy in charge of the next big war has a new credit card.

Female IDF soldier barred from saying Kaddesh in army synagogue

IDF Soliders
She only wanted to say the mourner’s kaddish for her grandmother, who had just passed away. But when the young woman tried to do so in a synagogue at her base, she was barred from doing so, and was so affected by the rejection, that she left the base to say kaddish in a synagogue during the customary 7 day shivah mourning period. The head of the IDF‘s Halacah or ritual department, Rabbi Eyal Krim, ruled instead that the young soldier could pray in a classroom, together with a group of women soldiers – but not together with her male comrades.

This incident, now all over Jewish international news media networks, is nothing new, except for the fact that the young woman came from a religious background – Masorati or traditional that is. Growing up in Masoriti youth groups in Israel, including one known as Noam, she had simply been used to praying together with male worshipers, as well as taking an active part in prayer services. She suddenly found herself cast as a “second class” worshiper, and not even allowed to say that very prayer that gives respect to those who have departed from this life – the Kaddish.
Now comes the dilemma that is very relevant nowadays, especially for young people who grow up in non-orthodox religious circles – even though they may consider themselves to be very observant within the doctrines in which they have been active, the religious establishment simply says to them “sorry Charley, on the best tuna goes into Starkist tuna” or : “only men can fully pray, and say Kaddish in an orthodox Shul.
Back to “square one” for the girls. For sure, observant people (orthodox, that is) will disagree whole heartily with this article; and there is where the dividing line is and will continue to be. And women in the orthodox synagogues will have to continue to sit separately (often in an upper deck or gallery), and forced to recruit a male congregant to say the prayer that they should so much be entitled to say themselves, out of respect for the dead.

Cast Lead or Lead Weight?

Israeli foreign ministry spokesmen have blasted a UN report blaming the IDF for excessive damage to Palestinian and UN installations during the January Operation Cast Lead military conflict in Gaza. The report specifically mentioned damage and casualties sustained to a UN food and supply depot, where tons of rice, sugar and other foodstuffs were being stored, as well as medical supplies. Palestinian schools and other institutions shelled and bombed by the IDF were also mentioned as being targets during the 21 day operation.

Gaza War Hill of Shame (AP)

Gaza War Hill of Shame (AP)

Government and IDF spokesmen refuted these claims, saying that eyewitness accounts, as well as ground and aerial photos indicated that Palestinian fighters were either using these facilities to fire at IDF units or were shooting Qassam and other missiles at Israeli cities and settlements from them, as well as store arms and munitions. Due to the intense crowded conditions of these areas, if Palestinians were launching attacks from buildings located next to UN installations, or schools, hospitals and other facilities, it was very difficult to avoid hitting other buildings; as often was the case.

The apparent bias of the report, which appear to disregard Israeli claims that the IDF did not intentionally fire on UN and other high profile locations, indicates that Israel is getting the “short end of the stick” in regards to the UN’s apportionment of blame.

A letter sent by the Israeli government to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted specifically that the IDF did its utmost to coordinate all operations with UN personnel, and worked in close cooperation with UN inspection teams following the end of the fighting. It was noted in the letter that the UN inspection team is not a legal authority, and hence has no right to function in that capacity.

Hamas leaders were specifically pointed out as using violence and intimidation against the Palestinian population to prevent them from telling the truth as to what really happened during this time. This includes that fact that Hamas placed its men and military equipment in close proximity to these installations, in order to make it more difficult for the IDF when attacking Palestinian insurgents; something not mentioned in the U.N. report.

On matter that wasn’t brought up was the fact that foreign reporters were prevented from entering Gaza during the operation, and were forced to set up their news centers on a hill outside the border with Gaza; the hill subsequently being named “the hill of shame.” Undoubtedly, a number of these journalists, and their auxiliary crews, are alive and well today due to this fact. But of course, that’s another issue.

Israeli earthquake rescue teams hope to see action in L’Aquila Italy

Italy EarthquakeWill Israel’s famed IDF Search and Rescue Team, whose feats were well known in past earthquakes in place like Turkey and Mexico, once again see action in Italy? Following the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that stuck the city of L’Aquila, located in a mountainous region of central Italy. At least 50 people have been confirmed dead and numerous others unaccounted for in the quake which stuck around 3:30 a.m. and caused numerous Renaissance era buildings to collapse, including a university dormitory in which several students were still believe trapped, including possibly one Israeli university student who may be trapped in a collapsed school dormitory.

Four Israelis, said to be in the area at the time of the quake, were still unaccounted for at the time of this writing. Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman immediately offered his Italian counterpart emergency aid, including the dispatching of the rescue team and medical workers, if required. Guido Bertolaso, head of Italy’s Civil Protection Department called the tragedy in his country “the worst event since the start of the Millennium”.

Israel’s famed rescue team was formed following the bombing of a border police headquarters in Lebanon during the 1982 war in which more than 50 border policemen lost their lives when a suicide car bomber blew up the building they were housed in. Since then, the unit has been involved in rescue operations in places like Nairobi Kenya, following the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in 1998; and following the massive earthquake in Turkey in August 1999, when a team which included special search dogs and a portable field hospital were airlifted to Turkey and immediately began operating at the site of the worst damage.

Israel has often offered to dispatch this team to some unusual places, including the southern Iranian city of Bam, where thousands of people were killed in an earthquake in 2003.Their services were refused, however, by a government seemingly unwilling to let Israelis come and help save lives.

Although earthquakes are not a common occurrence in Italy, they have happened in the past and have caused massive damage to historical cities such as Rome. L’Aquila is located about 110 km northeast of Rome in the mountainous Abruzzo region which has two of Italy’s highest mountains not located in the Italian Alps. Famed for its medieval buildings, the city has a population of 70,000 and is the regional capital of the Abruzzo region.

The Gaza War Hill Of Shame and Reporting in Cast Lead

A recent letter to the editors of the Jerusalem Post was sent in by the Dutch RTL media journalist Connie Mus, regarding the baring of international correspondents from Gaza during the recent war there.

Gaza War Hill of Shame (AP)

Gaza War Hill of Shame (AP)

The journalist, who like others from international news services, as well as Israeli journalists, was not allowed into the Gaza Strip to directly report on the recently suspended IDF Operation Cast Lead which, until halted by a very flimsy cease fire agreement, resulted in the deaths of 14 Israelis and more than 1,400 Palestinians. Mus, who is a foreign correspondent for the Netherlands based RTL News Service, complained that she and her fellow journalists were prevented from directly reporting on and filming the fighting in Gaza during the 22 day operation, and were forced to do so from a hill located outside the Gaza border which they named the “Hill of Shame”.

While Ms. Mus may have thought she had some valid points in regards to her comments about the Israeli government barring foreign correspondents from entering Gaza during the fighting there, judging from what occurred during the 2006 war in Lebanon, having a slew of international journalists stationed in Beirut and elsewhere not only increased the negative propaganda war against Israel but also put the lives of these people in mortal danger.

Mind you, field correspondents have often been exposed to harm’s way during warfare, and many have paid the ultimate price for doing so. But due to the intensity of the bombing and fighting which did occur in many parts of Gaza, several of these journalists, and the camera and other logistical personnel which usually accompany them, might have been killed or injured during the three week operation.

It might be noted that during the 2006 war in Lebanon, in which over 1,190 Lebanese (mostly civilians) and 165 Israelis (44 civilians) were killed, a news photographer and TV technician were killed and at least 12 journalists suffered various injuries and wounds. According to statistics noted by the international organization Journalists Without Borders, 81 journalists and auxiliary personnel lost their lives in the line of duty in 2006 alone.

That none of the journalists covering Operation Cast Lead suffered even minor injuries can be attributed to the ban which was imposed on them by both the government and the IDF. After the cease fire was declared, these journalists have not wasted any time going in to Gaza to get the “full story” as was indicated in the “BBC Ad” incident when the BBC refused to broadcast a controversial fund raising advertisement that has been judged to be show partiality towards Hamas. In light of this, maybe there’s logic to these restrictions after all.

Sounds Of War – Alarm Announcement in Sderot on National Radio

You have to live here and be an Israeli I think to realize how (tragically some say) we quickly adapt to our tumultuous environment. There were several issued with the alarms (Red Alerts) in several cities. It was an intermittent issue and the local municipalities in the South really did their utmost to resolve these issues. But the fact remains that when you are in the South of Israel (an hour from Tel Aviv) you can be driving in your car and a Red Alert sounding will not be heard.

SO.. The national radio channels Galatz and Galgalatz both managed by the IDF are announcing the alerts in real time as they get them from the Army. Even if they are in the middle of a song or any broadcast they calmly announce the city and ask you to go to the shelters.

What is strange is the sometimes stark contrast between the music and the announcement as the announcer in this case mentions…. take a listen:


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