Monday, 21 July 2014

Postcards from an Israeli Soldier part 3



This is Number 3 in the series of tweets I post from "our Israeli Solder".  If you have not met him yet, look  here for No. 1 and here for No. 2.   I don't do his tweets justice - time, space, attention spans are short and so I each time I collect his tweets, I'm faced with a kind of "Sophie's Choice" because I like them all.  I go looking for his tweets first thing in my Australian morning and when, one day, there were none, I got "worried". Virtuality has become quite real:  for me "Gidon"  represents Israel, and I am concerned for this embattled yet so brave little country. 

This morning I found this, posted by someone who was obviously not on the side of Israel:

"I suggest that we will install #Israel on the moon....ok?" he goaded. 

Gidon:  "Well Israeli spacecraft will land there soon. Because we use our rockets for things other than killing civilians". 

Touché ! Yayyyyyyy :)




14. July 2014





I've had some 700 new followers since I was called up for #OperationProtectiveEdge. There have been over 1000 rockets at Israel. Just saying.




Lots of pro-Palestinian new followers. Hope they learn that even as we fight we do not hate the people of Gaza. But the rockets will stop.



I'm not really pro Israel or pro palestine. I'm pro stopping rockets from being fired at children. I guess that does make me pro Israeli.









 Retweeted by Gidon
"An Israel Soldier Giving Goodbye kiss to his kid
before leaving for the war




Just spent an hour cleaning the gun and fixing up the rest of the equipment. Don't tell my wife, that I know how to clean!




I remember seeing some very poignant tweets from our soldier about his children where he said  that he had never been away this long from the littlies. I  remember reading a quote from  one of them asking what daddy's name was. Have spent a long time yesterday, looking for these pearls, could not find them but found this instead, the way Israelis prepare their children for relative  safety from the HAMAS bombs. Apparently this song was written by a teacher a few years ago...so how long have HAMAS fired rockets at Israeli Kindergartens already?





      






I did find this tweet about his boy from 15 July:



My son (2) calls me early in the Morning to tell me to come home ...




A retweet:


@Gidon son drew 4 u & chevra. Chayal shooting projectile. Words on building behind 'Anachnu mitpalelim sachem'


 


9. July 2014:







Red alert right now. Above my head. Sound like it was intercepted.



Unending noise from planes overhead



It's 36 degrees Celsius here. Hot.


This says it all: Hamas instructs Gaza residents to ignore IDF warnings, refuse to evacuate buildings targeted by Israel Air Force.






15th July 2014



Keep reminding myself. If terrorists attack, first deal with that threat, and only after can you stop and tweet about it





It's actually a lovely night for guard duty in the desert. Lots of stars. Quiet, except for the occasional plane/ helicopter




Hive mind : there is a quote I remember but can't place: men left alone with guns at night have strange thoughts. Who said it?







A retweet:


Emily Dickinson gravestone temporarily visible w.o. obstruction during fence #preservation in #AmherstMA last summer






@Gidon: Thanks for RT. Glad (1) you found charger (2) you have time for poetry in midst of somber circumstances 


Gidon: If not during war, then when? @CitizenWald






Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all,



And sweetest in the gale is heard;

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.


I've heard it in the chillest land

And on the strangest sea;

Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me. 






Today is the fast of 17 Tammuz, marking the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem 2000y ago. Today we fight for safety of the Jewish state.




Retweet: @CiFWatch


· BBC continues to promote theme of “homemade” rockets 



Reading some papers description of Hamas rockets, it seems the journalist believe Hamas is bombing Israel with giant Hello Kitty dolls..


The area around Gaza is really quite beautiful



·#OperationProtectiveEdge is slowly moving from the soldiers wanting free pizza phase, to the wanting clean underwear phase.





"Can you spot the soldier?"






16th July 2014






The shirt that was too filthy to wear three days ago, is now the "clean" shirt of today. In the army dirt is a relative concept.





It's been a week since we've been called up. I don't mind staying much longer, so long as we put an end to the reality of rocket fire.



A humanitarian cease fire is as great time to sit atoning and wait for the Hamas to break the ceasefire.


Geez who would have guessed that a terror organization doesn't respect humanitarian cease fires?


· The Hamas never miss an opportunity to screw up life for the Palestinians.



So using my night vision scope I was watching a hedgehog in a field for 5 min. I've never seen a live one in Israel before.


Water container through my night vision scope on my gun.



Talk about things going bang in the night... Finished patrol where every minute something exploded.






18th July 2014



It has been over a week since I've been called up. I've no regrets. This war was forced upon us, and we will prevail against terror.



No hatred of the people of Gaza, but we will not allow our citizens to be targeted by rockets and tunnels of terror.



This is an eminently justified war. Rockets must stop, tunnels must be neutralized.




Reports in Israeli media that UNRWA actually gave back to Hamas those rockets it hid in an UNRWA school. Speechless.




@ChrisGunness want to explain to Israelis why you gave Hamas back the rockets they hid in a school?



@HillelNeuer have you seen reports UNRWA gave the rockets they found in school back to Hamas ???




Look I'm not anti UN. But at least regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict it really should just admit it has no credibility.




What happened to the days when during war Leonard Cohen would come to IDF bases to sing for the troops? Leonard where art though?








Can't get more Israeli than sitting in army uniform, vest and gun, and eating Bamba.



A cake that arrived at base with this note..



                                             



















Saturday, 19 July 2014

Postcards from the Israeli Front 2










I promised to post tweets from "My Israeli Soldier" as they came to hand, I will, but I'm running late. The reason for that is that I started to feel a little  intrusive and wanted to ask his permission. While my  questions were on the voluble  side taking up three tweets at least, his answer fitted the image I had  formed of him via his tweets: 

"No worries" 

Yaaayyyyyyyy :) 

His name is Gidon, the photo below  was taken on the 13. July 2014. He is a Lawyer, PhD candidate in International Law, Senior Research analyst, and as he said: "now I guess I am a soldier"

I want to make an unapologetic value judgement here: 

Should something happen to this soldier at the hands of the HAMAS Terrorists, even the potential  lost would be many many many x many  times greater than if one of the terrorists met his 72 virgins prematurely. 

I so often think about this, when I reflect on those "operating" Auschwitz...6 Million...what fraction of the great Potential they murdered? 





On a beach chair, munching bagels and watching another unit doing a drill..



Incidentally he later tweeted about that photo:

My wife is a little angry about that photo of myself in a beach chair..Tells me if that is what I'm doing I should come home




After you rush your kids to a bomb shelter bc of rockets, any question of the justness of this operation is mute.








Pictures of my sleeping kids have been retweeted 119 times...
I guess they are just that cute...












9th July 2014





OK, charging phone + Shaver + Kindle (yeah!).






The modern version of the book and the scythe... An M16A3 and a kindle.




Man those boots haven't been polished since operation pillar of defence. Sigh. Will try and get a new pair on base.









Thanks for all the warm wishes. Just gave my sleeping kids a kiss, hug to my wife, and now my neighbour is driving me to the pickup spot.



Look I'm not complaining. Some 250 new followers, and all I've done so far is sit around and wait for a bus. Once the fighting starts...



A soldier saying goodbye to his fiancé. Soldier is a funny term. An hour ago he was just a guy watching tv.



Awwww his fiancé is crying... Man I have something in my eye...



One guy here claims him and his three brothers got called up tonight. My Facebook also suggests a major call up.



Weirdly, I'll be joining my cousin, and brother in law, both currently serving - and 12 years my younger...


My commander has yet to arrive. He SMS me what other than a book he should bring. I SMS back, clean underwear. The uniform affects humor.



The officer here is about ten years younger than I am. He studies law. I could be his lecturer next year. Yet here, he's the king...



I will stress the point. Most soldiers do very little for a great amount of time. Currently we are sitting waiting for a bus to pick us up.



First rule of being a soldier, doubly so a reservist. Don't believe rumours. No one knows what is going on.


I can relax. Based on the chatter every guy here is a potential general.
 



The nation of Brazil is falling apart because of 7 goals. The nation of Israel is uniting because of hundreds of rockets. Crazy world.



On the bus. I'm going to catch some sleep. I have a feeling this may be the last chance for a while.








Weirdly, this is exactly like the army. Three hours on the bus, and we've almost returned to where we started. Picking up soldiers.



Three am. Still on bus. Soldiers telling stories of past glories, wives and girlfriends, children and guns. 



Follow ‪@cdlazear, the only other just called up reservist on this bus who tweets. The call up found him in the middle of a shot of whiskey


The brave soldier schweik is probably the best literary comparison at the moment.


I'm signing off for Shabbat. Shabbat shalom!













To be continued - as they say



Friday, 18 July 2014

Shalom from Munich :)



   


Yes, yes  I know, it's a little on the corny side, but today  I am just proud of my old country, and that makes me go silly;)

 Have a look at how nice  a demonstration of solidarity can be - no shouts of Allah-u-Akbar, or "kill the Jews" as we have recently witnessed in Paris,  Amsterdam, London,  Sydney and just about in any city that has been taken over by violent thugs. 



   


Compare this peaceful march to  the "Solidarity-with-HAMAS" hate feasts... no Riot Police needed here...


   


On the tape below, watch from about  min. 0.22 - No-one disturbs that counter-protester, obviously a pro-Hamas demonstrator and,  judging by the demographics of the most typical   "European" Jew Haters,  she would be a post-menopausal female left-over from the Baader Meinhof period, considering that she is  obviously not a young male of what is sometimes referred to as "of middle Eastern appearance".


   




That cute lady "loves Israel", so I do I, Madame, so do I.


   




Hevenu Shalom Alechem - "We stand by Israel"


   





Hevenu Shalom Aleichem  "We brought peace onto you"


   




The Marienplatz Munich: 



   






"Am Yisrael chai"

Someone tells me this means: 

"The people of Israel is alive"

And that is good !






The Bavarian colours are also White and Blue
...perhaps there is something in it...


The light at the end of the tunnel
 might not be an oncoming train after all ...

;)









Thursday, 17 July 2014

#Israelunderfire - the Hashtag War








In a letter from Israel, published on J-Wire yesterday, the 20 year old, Melbourne-born Delilah Schwartz, an IDF officer in training tells us  that, while her brave embattled little country has to defend itself on so many fronts, there is one in which we, the keyboard warriors, can participate:  the war of "Hasbara", i.e. the Israeli public relations campaign. She writes:


Post the truth through hashtags such as:

#freegaza, #gazaunderattack, #freegaza #freepalestine


This,at first sight, might appear to be counter intuitive but she explains that, when posting under pro-Israel hashtags like #Israelunderfire etc., "we're preaching to the choir".





Here is the whole letter of this pretty young Israeli soldier:




"My country is being pounded by rockets on all fronts – women, children and soldiers alike the targets of the Hamas terror machine. 

My mum, a tourist visiting from Australia, was sent out of a performance hall and into a squashy bomb shelter in the heart of Tel Aviv midway through a play. My boyfriend, an officer in an elite unit, is running on no food or sleep as he prepares on the Gazan front line. My friends’ fathers and brothers, years out of the army, have been called on reserve duty to base.


The tension is in the air. The country is on edge. My phone buzzes every few minutes as the application “Code Red” (an Israeli app that sends an alert every time an alarm goes off in an Israeli city) sends an update of which population has to run to their closest bomb shelter. Before taking a shower this evening on base I had to consider how I would dress myself in a split second if the siren wailed – after all, I can’t exactly appear in all but a towel in the shelter in front of my officers.

The country’s anxiety is palpable, but my people are strong. As I scroll through the news alerts on my Facebook page I see jokes – “Hamas, please fire the next grad rocket at 7:30 tomorrow morning. My alarm broke and the sirens do the trick!”, “All this running to bomb shelters is doing wonders for my fitness! Keep it up, neighbour! Jokes help to lighten the mood, but nothing can remove the hard pounding in our hearts when we hear the sharp call of the siren.

Of course, no one can deny that the citizens of Gaza too are suffering. More so than us, even. I too would be racked with fear if my own government used me as a human shield as they fired Grad rockets from my house. I would be utterly terrified if my ‘army’ threatened to lock me in a room filled with explosives if I heeded the Israeli warnings to evacuate.


The #gazaunderattack hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is flourishing – filled with horrible, heart wrenching pictures of women and children wounded from Israeli airstrikes. What is missing, however, is the videos of Hamas leaders calling on Gazans to “love death like the Israelis love life”. Of their appeals to citizens to form a human shield around the martyrs and their bombs. Of their pride in their peoples’ united “industry” of terror. And whilst the West fumes regarding the latest news on “ISIS” and lashes out about radical Islam, it hypocritically turns and slams Israel from defending itself from the same radical Islam acting under the name “Hamas”.


As Israel fights one war with anti-missile technology and air strikes on terror cells, there is another war being fought – the war of Hasbara*. (*Hasbara = Explanation. The Israeli public relations campaign).


Hamas is well versed in propaganda. I couldn’t help but laugh at the preposterousness when I saw a screen shot from the horror movie “Final Destination 2” of a blown apart corpse declared as a photo of a Gazan civilian killed by the Israeli retaliation strikes. And yet, there are those gullible who do not see through the lies.


My appeal is to all Israel’s supporters living outside the blue and white borders. YOU can help Israel fight this online war.


Post the truth through hashtags such as #freegaza, #gazaunderattack, #freegaza #freepalestine – unfortunately when posting via #Israelunderfire and so forth, we’re preaching to the choir.


Israel needs YOU. As us soldiers put on our vests, and sling on our guns, we ask you to simply open your laptops and smartphones.


We, Am Yisrael, are a united nation. Both wars need manpower. Join the cause.







   





PS: Soon I will poste more tweets from "my Israeli soldier"



Postcards from Egypt to HAMAS



One of my ongoing  personal fights is with  anti-semitism which has been showing its ugly face again for some time now. But over the last couple of weeks the tiny see-through  fig leaf of the "We-Dont-Hate-Jews-Only-Zionists" excuse has been taken off and Europe has been swamped  by a wave of naked Jew-hatred. 

What is the  reason pretext for all these "solidarity marches" by Arabs/Muslims/Sub-Saharan Africans, Greens, National Socialists Socialists, Feminists (yes, really !), your common garden variety of Leftists and the rest of that Nietzschean herd?  In "solidarity" with whom or what are  these Jew-hating slogans polluting the air  in Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, London and even in Sydney ?  

The "solidarity feelings " these aggressive and even  violent  wannabe jihadists  express during these hate feasts are with HAMAS, an organisation that even the Obama (mis)led USA has  declared a TERRORIST  Organisation. 

While Europe and Australia are now exporting jihadist murderers with European and Australian  paper-nationalities to islamic countries, in a nation  like Egypt, "civilisation" seems to be braking out after the departure of the Muslim Brotherhood and the speakers in this video (ta vlad) put all  those "born-again Jew haters"  to shame. 

Have a look what message Egypt has for HAMAS: 












   

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Postcards from the Israeli Front



This is the little twitter exchange from Israel which caught my eye on 8 July:

Yeah, I'm back. Just rushed my 3 kids into a bomb shelter. Jerusalem. My kids are 1-2-5.
Barbarians.

The answer, witty and concerned made me giggle and assume that it too came from an Israeli:


"They aren't barbarians. They are just young. ;)
Stay safe"


The twitter profile of this Israeli father  shows the photo of  a rather handsome young man and his ID reads: "Lawyer, PhD candidate in Int'l Law, Senior Research analyst @ xxxxxx Opinions are my own, RT not endorsements".

I read a  few more tweets by him and decided to follow him and to post the ones I like best here on my blog. 






8th July 2014 

Just to remind Hamas, my kids - now asleep in a bomb shelter after sirens in Jerusalem, are civilians.

Until further notice, Hamas is responsible for all my spelling mistakes. Barbarians.

Spelling and Twitter do not go together well.

BTW...Iron Dome rocks

That little moment of rushing to pick up sleeping toddlers and rushing to a bomb shelter. Stopping that IS why this operation is justified

Let me just put it this way: They are firing rockets at innocent civilians. Children. My children. There is a word for that. TERRORISTS.

Ok I've finally stopped watching the news, and switched to seeing Brazil getting whipped.

So in about 10 min the world cup game is over. I've a feeling we will see more rockets right around then.

I wouldn't have imagined its possible, but Brazil is having a worse night than we are....








9th July 2014




Kids woke up after night in bomb shelter. Have no memory of how they got there.


General feeling in Israel this morning."SO Hamas, that's the best you got?"


I personally prefer the chinese brand rockets, and not the cheap syrian ones. Those leave a nasty jihadist after taste.


The stopping of rocket fire for the game last night...not really comparable to the WWI christmas truce.


Pro tip: If there are mountains in the background of the picture, it wasn't taken in Gaza. 




What followed then hit me, in safe far away Australia, like a bomb shell:

I just got called up. Feel free to follow me, for a reservist's account of the war.

From this point on, assume I don't really know anything. Will tweet the experience of an IDF reservist, but no news.

So what do you do when you get called up? first thing is you have to pack. Choices...you want a light bag.

I've been given the equipment, the gun, the bullets. I guess I'm a soldier now.



And so, this Hamas terrorism has now become more tangible for me, in a nearly personal way because I will follow this young Israeli  father and worry about him. I will call him "my soldier" and will  share his tweets, as they come to hand, with you, here. 


   



***More to follow ***

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Postcards from HAMAS-occupied Gaza









On Vlad's Blog I found (among the many fascinating news they bring) a link to  the following article with videos which I reproduce here  in toto and unedited: 



Israel often warns 'Palestinians' whose homes are about to be bombed because their residents include Hamas terrorists by a 'knock on the roof.' We've often seen this practice from the IAF's aerial video, but on Saturday, the Gaza-based Watania news agency posted ground-level video to its YouTube account.

This recent footage from Gaza shows an airstrike by the Israeli Air Force of a home belonging to the Nofal family. A warning rocket is fired first and then, a minute later, an F-16 airstrike hits the building via two missiles.

According to Watania (from whom I did not take the video), about 15 minutes elapsed between the warning and the home's destruction. The family in the building - the Nofal family - escaped.

Let's go to the videotape.




                           






London's Daily Mail describes what you've just seen.

Gaza-based Watania news agency posted the footage to YouTube yesterday, describing it as the moment the home of Samir Nofal and his family was bombed.

Filmed from across the road from the three-storey target, it shows how passing aircraft first fire small rockets at the roof of the building, causing a blast powerful enough to blow out the curtains and shake the street.

The house is not destroyed but, according to the caption, around 15 minutes later the warplane returns. This time it fires two fully armed missiles at the building, causing a tremendous explosion and filling the street with smoke and debris.

As the dust gradually clears it can be seen that the structure has been devastated, its front has been blown off and what remains is a skeleton with the trappings of daily life spilling out.

Yes, true. but notice something else. The home next to it - which presumably was not inhabited by terrorists - escaped completely unscathed. Where else have you ever seen that?

And here's what it looks like from the air. Note the secondary explosions at the end. Do you think you saw those in the first video as well? You probably did.

Let's go to the videotape.











Israel, I stand proudly on your side. 




    .