Monday, September 26, 2016

From Ian:

Eugene Kontorovich: The Palestinians unsporting and illegal ‘football war’ against Israel
Human Rights Watch published a long, graphics-rich report on Sunday denouncing Israeli semi-pro soccer (football) clubs in towns in the West Bank. A few weeks ago, a group of European Parliament members sent a letter along similar lines to FIFA, the international soccer governing body. The parliament members argue the clubs violate international law, and for good measure, the FIFA constitution, and call for the expulsion of the teams, or Israel itself, from world soccer.
These efforts are all part of a broad Palestinian push to pressure Israeli in international forums. The legal arguments raised in these documents are entirely contrived. They contradict longstanding FIFA practice and create a double standard for Israel. And that’s just not sporting.
The human rights claims in the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report are tendentious — they assert that the local soccer leagues (all quite small-time) are “making the settlements more sustainable, thus propping up” the system. Most of the communities in question are just a few kilometers from the 1949 Jordanian-Israeli armistice line and would remain in Israel in all the major two-state proposals; their residents typically commute to work in bigger nearby cities. It is laughable to think anyone would leave them if the football league moved a few kilometers down the road. In any case, contrary to the HRW’s claims, there is simply no support in international law for prohibiting business in occupied territories, as British and French courts have recently affirmed.
Indeed, Morocco maintains a team, part of its national football federation, in occupied Western Sahara. Yet the HRW completely fails to mention this fact in its report. The human rights abuses in Western Sahara — where the majority of the population are Moroccan settlers and the indigenous population has been heavily displaced — are too vast to recount. No one — including the HRW and the Parliament members — has suggested expelling Morocco on account of its team, based deep in land taken from the Sahrawi.
The football-as-human rights-violation arguments against Israel are tendentious and prove too much. So those campaigning against Israel rely principally on a lawyerly claim about FIFA’s rules: The clubs “clearly violate FIFA’s statutes, according to which clubs from one member association cannot play on the territory of another member association without its and FIFA’s consent,” the members claim.
Curiously, the Parliament members and the think tanks that support them do not cite any statutes saying this. And that is because the statutes specifically do not say that — and numerous precedents show it is not how they are understood.
Lib Dems: Tonge’s ‘Jewish power’ article not anti-Semitic
By sharing an article about “Jewish power” in British politics, former Lib Dem peer Baroness Jenny Tonge was not being racist, according to the Liberal Democrats.
The ruling, from the party’s Regional Parties Committee, follows a complaint from Gary Spedding, a liberal activist in Northern Ireland, who took issue with Tonge sharing an article by Israeli musician Gilad Atzmon.
Tonge, who is a strong critic of Israel, is no longer a Lib Dem peer and sits in the House of Lords as a cross-bencher. While she remains a member of the party, she does not speak for it in an official capacity.
Relaying the decision, a Lib Dem spokeswoman says: “Having reviewed your complaint, our view is that an opinion can be controversial – and even offensive – but still fall short of being racist.”
She explained: “We are a liberal party that places immense value on freedom of speech… That includes the freedom to criticise in the strongest terms the actions of states and governments and the causal effects of their policies… Any desire not to offend also needs to be balanced against the right to criticise in the strongest terms the actions of states and governments.”
Spedding, who had called for Tonge to be thrown out of the party altogether, said was left “speechless” by the response to the complaint.
UK's Liberal Democrats suspend former MP for alleged antisemitic tweets
A party member of the United Kingdom's Liberal Democrats has been been suspended after posting a series of alleged antisemitic tweets to social media, The Jewish Chronicle reported Sunday.
Matthew Gordon Banks was sacked by the faction after accusing party leader MP Timothy James "Tim" Farron of winning his position due to "London Jews" financing his campaign.
“What fascinates me is that Farron's leadership campaign was organized and funded by London Jews,” Banks posted to Twitter earlier in the week.

London mayor vows to 'root out antisemitism' in Labour after Corbyn re-election
London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Sunday reiterated his pledge to stamp out antisemitism in the English capital and in his Labor party the day after Jeremy Corbyn was re-elected as leader of the British opposition.
Khan, who backed Corbyn's opponent Owen Smith in the Labour leadership election, touched on an antisemitism scandal that has enshrouded Corbyn's leadership over the past year.
"Whenever antisemitism rears its ugly head, I’ll be the first to call it out, condemn it and then work to stamp it out," the mayor wrote in an essay published by the Holocaust Educational Trust on Sunday.
"I’ve been clear - we must do all we can to root out antisemitism wherever we find it – and, yes – that includes within the Labour party," he underlined.
Khan noted his British-Muslim background, saying "I know what it’s like to be discriminated against just because of your background or religion. And that’s why I’m determined to fight racism in all its forms and why challenging the alarming rise in antisemitism is a priority for me."
Khan's remarks came as Corbyn faced a complaint by the UK's non-profit Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) over a campaign video, which the organization charged had portrayed Jews as fabricating reports of antisemitism.
Jewish MPs Tell UK Labour: End the Denial and Cleanse the Party of Anti-Semitism
Jewish Labour MPs have reacted angrily to claims that allegations of anti-Semitism in the party are “exaggerated” and have been selectively “weaponised” in an attempt to undermine leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.
Jackie Walker, vice chair of pressure group Momentum who was briefly suspended from Labour for saying Jews were the “chief financiers of the slave trade”, started the debate when she claimed anti-Semitism had “become a weapon of political mass destruction” and there was “little if any” evidence it was a major problem within the Labour ranks.
Speaking at a festival organised by Momentum on the fringes of the Labour conference in Liverpool, she said: “The most fundamental aim of such allegations is to undermine Jeremy, silence his supporters… It is the silencing of any criticism or potential criticism of the Israeli state, attacking and undermining anyone who supports Palestinian rights.”
Many activists in the room applauded the comments.
Ms Walker was supported by Jonathan Rosenhead from Free Speech on Israel, who said: “There is an elephant in the room. How has this monstrous soufflé of moral panic whipped up? Where did this come from?”
Momentum Withdraw Israeli Journalist’s Press Accreditation
An Israeli parliamentary correspondent saw his press pass revoked by Momentum just over an hour after it was approved. Jerry Lewis was granted accreditation to Momentum’s “The World Transformed” fringe event at the Labour Conference before they withdrew just 1 hour 22 minutes later when an email told him he had been approved by mistake.
A shocked Lewis shot an email back, asking for an explanation:
I am sure it has absolutely nothing to do with my application mentioning my broadcasting credentials for Israel Radio for whom I have been their UK correspondent for over 35 years, nor some of my other journalistic endeavour as the Jewish Telegraph’s Political and Diplomatic editor for a similar period, in which both capacities I shall be attending this week’s Labour Party conference for the thirty-sixth year in succession.
Momentum’s Joe Todd apologised and claimed, despite previously allocating one, that they had “run out of press passes” for the event; described as Momentum’s four day festival of politics, art, music and culture. Does anyone really believe that?
Today at Labour Conference
9:46am: Corbyn tells Jewish peer who quit Labour over anti-Semitism to “reflect“.
9:56am: Corbyn says he backs war crimes investigations into British troops.
11:52am: Ken Livingstone talks about Hitler on the BBC.
1:42am: Delegate rants about “Jewish MPs” and “Jewish plot to oust Corbyn”.
1:50pm: Fringe speaker compares Tory welfare policy to Nazis’ Arbeit Macht Frei.
5:00pm: Momentum host speaker who called for a Jewish man’s throat to be cut.
5:25pm: Anti-war merchandise mocking injured British soldiers on sale.
6:00pm: Jackie Walker says anti-Semitism in Labour is “exaggerated“.
6:30pm: Leaflets circulated: “Jewish Labour Movement does not belong in Labour”.
Iran, Venezuela and Sinn Fein Praise Corbyn Victory
Corbynmania has gone global! In Iran, Corbyn’s former employers at the state television channel Press TV last night praised his “brave position” on Israel and discussed how British voters apparently prefer left-wing candidates:
“the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn of the British Labour Party is showing that when given a choice, the mood of the British electorate stands behind more leftist and progressive candidates”
What about his comrades in Venezuela? The country’s human rights abusing president Nicolas Maduro retweeted this message of support:
California Governor Jerry Brown signs anti-BDS bill into law
California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that prevents companies that boycott or discriminate against any sovereign country, including Israel, from doing business with the state.
Brown signed Assembly Bill 2844 on Saturday afternoon. The State Senate approved the bill by a vote of 34 to 1 on August 24, and the State Assembly passed it by 69 to 1 on August 30.
An earlier version of the legislation banned the state from making contracts worth over $100,000 with companies boycotting Israel. In order to satisfy critics, who said it violated the constitutional right to boycott, the bill was modified to include reference to other countries as well.
The approved version does not prohibit companies working with the state from boycotting Israel. Rather, companies have to certify that they do not violate California civil rights laws in boycotting a foreign country – including Israel, the only country mentioned by name – according to The Jewish Journal.
“We commend Governor Brown for signing this bill,” said Janna Weinstein Smith, American Jewish Committee’s Los Angeles Regional Director, in a statement. “The bill sends the clear and unmistakable message that the state of California wants no part of the goals and tactics of the BDS movement. Thanks to this legislation, those who wish to target Jews and Israelis for discrimination will not be doing business with the state of California.”
Over 70 American academics call for targeted boycott of Israeli settlements
Dozens of American academics and political commentators have signed an open letter calling "For an Economic Boycott and Political Nonrecognition of the Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Territories."
The letter was recently featured in The New York Review of Books ahead of the publication's October 13 issue.
The petition stated that although those who signed it oppose boycott of any kind inside Israel's 1967 borders, they do believe in "targeted boycott of all goods and services from all Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, and any investments that promote the Occupation."
They also called for the exclusion of settlements from US trade benefits and tax exemptions.
Noted signatories of the petition included American journalist Peter Beinart and Jerusalem/US-based Hebrew University adjunct professor Bernard Avishai.
"It is our hope that targeted boycotts and changes in American policy, limited to the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories, will encourage all parties to negotiate a two-state solution to this long-standing conflict," the letter concluded.
Dear Anti-Israel Activist
If you really cared about the Palestinians, you would fight to improve their education, public health, and economic opportunities. You would advocate for dismantling the UN agency that prevents resettlement of descendants of Palestinian refugees, instead nurturing statelessness and victimhood for generations. You would object to the brainwashing of children in schools and summer camps, of youth on social media and adults in mosques and the media, indoctrination to hate and incitement to violence. If you were a true progressive, you would fight for the rights of women, of LGBTQ, and of religious minorities, all of whom suffer enormously in Arab (including Palestinian) societies. If you cared about freedom of expression and a free press, you would oppose the arrest and abuse of journalists by both Palestinian governments.
And if you really cared about Palestinian statehood, you would invest in building institutions and infrastructure, and in fostering a social climate conducive to eventual Palestinian self-rule and self-sufficiency. You would educate for peace and coexistence, not violence and war.
The reason you don’t do any of these things is because, in fact, you don’t care at all about the Palestinians. You represent a campaign of hate and bigotry, disguised as a national-liberation movement. You then add to it a phony veneer of social-justice and—the irony!—a sprinkle of political correctness, in order to attract well-intentioned progressives to support your cause. In reality, you don’t even want a Palestinian state, only to eradicate the Jewish one. (That’s what “From the River to the Sea” actually means, of course.) You don’t support dialog, or peace, or coexistence. You reject overtures at “normalization,” as though being “normal” is somehow objectionable rather than a laudable goal.
You are a fraud. You are, of course, proudly anti-Israel and profoundly anti-Jewish. But you are also, in fact, anti-Palestinian and anti-peace. Thoughtful progressives are waking up to your true nature and looking for ways to truly support the causes of justice, of coexistence, of peace, and ultimately of the Palestinian people themselves.
IsraellyCool: Non-Story Of The Day: Bibi Booed?
Binyamin Netanyahu’s US trip seems to have hit a snag if this Page Six headline is anything to go by: Benjamin Netanyahu booed by audience at ‘Hamilton’
Oh no! What happened? Sounds like the audience did not appreciate Bibi politically or perhaps because they dislike Israel.
Let’s get this straight. When he entered, there was a lot of applause, with a few loud boos. In other words, the applause outnumbered the boos, so a more appropriate headline would have been Benjamin Netanyahu applauded by audience at ‘Hamilton’, or even Benjamin Netanyahu encounters a few boos at ‘Hamilton’.
Of course, Page Six is a gossip site, so without exaggeration, there really is no story here.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Migrating Birds Reject BDS, Fly Over Israel (satire)
Advocates for the economic, cultural, and political isolation of Israel expressed frustration today that millions of birds continue to migrate over the Jewish State on their way to warmer climes, despite more than a decade of agitation to find an alternative route that does not imply legitimacy for the entity over which the birds fly.
The beginning of autumn last week ushered in the modest beginnings of the winter migration for several species of birds that summer in Europe and west Asia, though most of the migrating birds will begin their southward movement later in the season as the weather cools more perceptibly and daylight hours decrease further. Since the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement launched in earnest last decade, the continued choice of countless fowl to fly over and even land in Israel on their way to and from Africa each autumn and spring has proved disappointing and irksome to BDS activists.
“We’re not sure how to approach this anymore,” admitted Omar Barghouti, who pursued a Master’s Degree at Tel Aviv University while advocating for BDS. “All the ornithological experts we’ve consulted – obviously, only the ones who have renounced contacts with Israeli colleagues and institutions – agree birds can hear. That means they’re intentionally disregarding our admonitions to bypass the illegitimate Zionist entity, and the provide that entity with unwarranted positive associations.”
Rania Khalek, who writes for the scientific journal Electronic Intifada, notices a pattern. “It wouldn’t be beyond the Mossad to have recruited and trained all these flocks of birds to maintain the migration route they’d been using for eons,” she posited. “If they can operate sharks, birds of prey, boars, octopuses, and who knows what other kinds of wildlife for their nefarious ends, it shouldn’t be that difficult to locate, track, capture, recruit, train, equip, and provide constant follow-up training and support for up to a billion birds following these migration patterns every year, including each new generation of hatchlings every year.”
The Independent places the Temple Mount in “Palestine”
An article published earlier in the month at Indy100 (The Independent’s BuzzFeed–style website featuring ‘click bait’ and viral content) highlighting photos from around the world of Muslims celebrating the festival of Eid al-Adha.
Here’s a snapshot of one of the Eid al-Adha celebrations across the globe featured in the story written by the virulently anti-Israel Indy100 journalist Narjas Zatat.
The photo shown depicts the Dome of the Rock, located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, built in the 7th century CE on the spot where the Jewish Temples had stood.
Though the Temple Mount (Judaism’s holiest site) is administered by Jordan’s Islamic Waqf, and future control of these holy sites (as with the rest of “east” Jerusalem) is in dispute, under the current status quo Israel retains sovereignty and security control of the area. It’s no more accurate to claim that the Temple Mount is in “Palestine” than it would be to characterize neighborhoods in “east” Jerusalem (due to Palestinian claims on these neighborhoods) as located in “Palestine” – a country, of course, which currently doesn’t exist.
ABC News: Humanitarian Aid is Wrong! (When it Comes from Israel)
In a further example of missing context, ABC writes that Gaza’s hospitals are crumbling, with no mention of the $100 Million in foreign aid money per year that Hamas misuses to fund its war against Israel: building weapons and tunnels instead of hospitals and infrastructure. ABC also covers up that Hamas regularly turns its hospitals into military headquarters, and uses its ambulances for military transport, thus putting them at risk during times of war, to the detriment of Palestinian people.
Think about how remarkable this is: Gaza has declared itself an enemy of Israel, is engaged in an active war against the Israeli people, destroys its own hospitals and medical infrastructure for military purposes, and yet Israel nonetheless provides constant medical care to Gaza’s residents, often at great personal risk to Israel’s civilians. This kind of humanitarian care for an active enemy is almost unheard of, not only throughout the world, but throughout human history.
Given the massive danger that Gaza poses to Israel, is it any wonder that Israel might wish to perform security checks before allowing Gaza’s residents to enter?
Did ABC check whether any of the parents who were refused entry to Israel were in some way connected with Hamas’s military machine?
Did ABC praise Israel for performing thousands of humanitarian medical procedures every year in a manner that is almost unheard of in human civilization?
Of course not.
Instead, ABC has taken one of the most remarkable acts of humanitarian care in our world today, and somehow turned it into a bad thing.
In this case, ABC’s upside-down reporting has gone beyond unethical journalism: it is practically a magic trick.
HRC Prompts Globe and Mail Correction: Israel Isn’t Building 1,000 New Settlements
On September 23, the Globe and Mail published (in print and online) an oped by Michael Bell who erroneously claimed the following:
“The Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas is powerless. Some 1,000 new Israeli settlements are slated for the West Bank and the security barrier is to be expanded. There is nothing the PA, Fatah, or Hamas can do, although Palestinian radicals have the ability to disrupt the lives of Israeli citizens, as they continue to do in the so-called “intifada of the knives.”
Contrary to this statement, Israel has not built a new settlement in many many years, nor is it planning on building 1,000+ new settlements in the near future. Instead, Israel may be building several hundred homes within existing settlements. There are no new settlements slated for the west bank.
While Mr. Bell is entitled to his own opinions, he’s not entitled to his own facts. Accordingly, HonestReporting Canada told senior editors at the Globe and Mail that a correction should be issued to set the record straight.
Commendably, the Globe agreed that an error had been made, thanked HRC for bringing it to their attention, and commissioned the following correction which appeared in the September 24 edition of the Globe:
NPR Omits Critical Context
National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” produced a rare segment exploring some of the true complexity in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The program described the story of a Palestinian man who helped Jewish terror victims in the wake of the much publicized attack on Rabbi Micky Mark last July. The Palestinian man (who has insisted on remaining anonymous) likely saved several lives due to his quick and selfless impulse to help.
Shortly afterward, this same Palestinian man was subjected to tremendous pressure from Palestinian society: including losing his job and suffering public insults. It was at that point that Yochai Damari, head of the local Jewish settlers’ council, stepped in to help this Palestinian man get his life back on track.
This is a kind of depth and complexity that we rarely see in mainstream media.
Yet NPR made a critical and disturbing error. Toward the end of the article, NPR writes:
Three weeks after the incident, the Israeli military traced the Mark family attacker to a home in the village of Surif. That night, soldiers bulldozed the house, killing him. His wife Hadeel Odeh, who was not with her husband at the time, is six months pregnant.
In a breach of journalistic ethics, NPR failed to include this critical context:
The attempt to arrest Mohamed al Fakih (Rabbi Mark’s killer) turned into a shootout only after Fakih, along with an entire armed cell of terrorists, opened fire on the IDF.
The soldiers returned fire, and after a lengthy shootout, Fakih died in the very gun battle he had started.
BBC Radio 4 fails to clarify the agenda of the BDS campaign and the PSC
The uninformed listener would hence not be capable of putting Jamal’s portrayal of the specific BoD/UJS handout which is the subject of the item into its appropriate context or understanding that the undertone of the Livingstone Formulation that portrayal includes is not apparently by chance.
“One of the concerns I’ve got at the leaflet or pamphlet that’s been produced is it’s part of an attempt I think to reframe a tactic of boycott as something that is inherently divisive, hostile or at worst extremist or even quasi-violent.”
“I think my concern is this is an attempt to frame any advocacy of boycott or any criticism of Israel as inherently hostile.”
Clearly the predictable absence of adequate explanation of the BDS campaign’s true agenda in this item once again undermined the BBC’s public purpose remit of enhancing audience awareness and understanding of the issue in general and certainly did nothing to contribute to the general public’s comprehension of the very serious problem of antisemitism on the campuses of UK universities.
Scots Auschwitz heroine Jane Haining’s bravery revealed
The last will and testament, letters and photographs of the only Scot to be honoured at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial in Israel has been discovered in a Kirk archive.
Jane Haining, a Church of Scotland missionary who was forced into slave labour, died in Auschwitz in 1944, aged 47, after refusing to abandon the Jewish girls in her care at a home for Jewish girls run by the Scottish Mission in Budapest, Hungary.
Scots missionaries were advised to return home from Europe but Haining, a farmer’s daughter from Dunscore in Dumfriesshire, refused, and wrote: “If these children need me in days of sunshine, how much more do they need me in days of darkness.”
Haining managed to keep the girls safe for four years before being betrayed.
Known as “Miss Haining” to her girls, the Scot was arrested by the Gestapo at the Mission and charged with eight offences including weeping when seeing the girls wearing yellow stars, listening to the BBC and sending British prisoners of war parcels.
The papers telling the extraordinarily moving story of prisoner 79467 were found in the World Mission Council’s archives at the Kirk’s head quarters in George Street in Edinburgh,
Israel consortium signs ‘historic’ 15-year, $10b gas deal with Jordan
An Israeli gas consortium on Monday signed what Israel called a “historic” $10 billion deal with the Jordan Electric Power Company to supply the Hashemite Kingdom with natural gas for 15 years.
The agreement will provide Jordan with a total of approximately 45 billion cubic meters of gas from the Leviathan offshore gas field, turning Israel into its largest gas supplier.
The Leviathan consortium, which includes the US-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group, aims to bring the massive Leviathan oilfield online in 2019. The field is thought to contain over 500 billion cubic feet of gas and is expected to transform Israel into a regional energy powerhouse.
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) on Monday praised the deal as “an extremely important national achievement.”
“This is an important milestone in strengthening the ties and strategic partnerships between Israel and Jordan and the entire region,” he said, according to Channel 10.
Aiming high: Intel Israel creates ‘world’s smartest office building’
Intel Israel broke ground yesterday on what it claims will be the world’s smartest building. Being constructed in Petach Tikva, Israel, this 34,000-square-meter research and development center will join half a dozen Intel locations in Israel, including two manufacturing facilities.
Thousands of smart sensors scattered around the building will use cutting-edge information technologies to gather relevant data and provide what employees need in order to do their work. “The smart building will make the work environment work for you,” says Kobi Bor, Intel Israel’s smart campus project manager.
According to Intel, this energy-saving building, which will be home to some 2,500 employees, will recognize employees’ faces, so they won’t need a badge; turn the lights on and off; offer carpools to employees based on estimated arrival times to the office; and even direct employees to vacant parking spots.
Israel qualifies for its first-ever World Baseball Classic game
Israel qualified for its first World Baseball Classic with a 9-1 victory over Britain on Sunday to clinch the four-team qualifying tournament in Brooklyn. The Israeli baseball team was the final team to qualify for the event.
The 16-team international World Baseball Classic tournament took its first swing in 2006. The event was proposed to the International Baseball Federation by several professional baseball leagues, including Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the World Baseball Softball Confederation. It is the main baseball tournament sanctioned by the WBSC, and grants the winner the title of world champion.
Israel narrowly missed out on reaching the Classic four years ago with their inaugural team, losing to Spain in the 10th inning of the qualifying final.
Sunday's game at MUA Park on Coney Island saw five blue-and-white pitchers, including former Major Leaguer Jason Marquis, combined on a four-hitter and Israel slammed three home runs, while the offense pushed the team to a 6-0 lead through seven innings, belting the British team.
U.S. Veterans With PTSD Find 'Common Bond' and Healing in Israel
Female U.S. war vets are finding help for their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) far from home.
Thanks to a pioneering program, they've gone to Israel — and speak of a "common bond" shared with their Israeli counterparts.
"I came with the goal that I needed to meet people that I could talk to," said Kamilla Miguel, who was only 17 when she enlisted in 2007 on the advice of her grandmother.
She returned from Afghanistan aged only 22 but drifted, avoided her family, turned to alcohol and hung out with the wrong crowd.
"Anyone can go to a shrink, but my shrink didn't serve, what is she going to know, does she really understand what I'm going through?" Miguel explained.
Heroes to Heroes, a New Jersey-based nonprofit, organizes trips designed to provide emotional and spiritual healing for groups of 10 vets to meet Israeli counterparts suffering from similar problems.
Miguel, 27, recently returned from one such trips, which included visiting the Beit Halochem — 'House of Warriors' — rehabilitation center in Tel Aviv, which supports wounded veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces.
The 6 most important changes in the past year
As the Jewish New Year approaches, we reflect on the greatest advances in the IDF over the past year. Here are our top six:
The Creation of the Commando Brigade
In order to improve effectiveness of IDF special operations, four elite units were combined into a single brigade. The ability to jointly instruct soldiers from Egoz (anti-guerrilla warfare), Duvdevan (urban counter-terror), Rimon (desert reconnaissance), and Maglan (classified), allows for a quick response to all types of threats regardless of the complexity of the situation.
Change in attitude towards Gender and Gender Identity
Over the past year, the Women’s Affairs Advisor to the Chief of Staff (Yohalan) Unit has undergone changes to become the Gender Affairs Advisor to the Chief of Staff (Yohalam) Unit. The unit has begun dealing with issues regarding gender and gender identity as well as the rights of parents in the army, including single parents, same-sex couples, and non-traditional families. The unit continues to address pressing women’s issues such as the integration of women into combat, fighting sexual assault and harassment, and promoting equal opportunities for female soldiers.
First Israeli F-35I Fifth Gen Stealth Fighter Jet Revealed
On June 22nd, the first Israeli F-35 fighter jet was revealed in Fort Worth, Texas. In December, the first two planes will cross the Atlantic Ocean and join the Israeli Air Force fleet. The new technology in the jets far outpaces that found in the IAF’s current F-16’s and F-15’s and will allow the IDF to vastly expand our defensive abilities.
Introducing the new Commando Brigade
In order to improve effectiveness of IDF special operations, four elite units were combined into a single brigade.

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