A newly released book offers readers a comprehensive look at what many consider to be the most elite unit in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Israel’s Edge, which was published by Gefen Publishing House in Jerusalem and is available on Amazon, is the first-ever book to examine the Talpiot unit, which until recently was a closely guarded secret. This unit has become top priority for IDF recruitment, even above the fighter pilots of the future.
In his new book, Jason Gewirtz, an executive producer for the business network CNBC, who has covered Israel and Israeli business extensively for CNBC, shines a spotlight on this special IDF unit, which was created after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Talpiot was established in order to give Israel the power to advance its arsenal through the brain power and imagination of the young.
Instead of being trained to fight, the few soldiers each year selected for Talpiot are taught how to think. In order to join Talpiot, they have to commit to being in the army for 10 years, rather than the three years a normal soldier serves. Talpiot members are taught advanced-level physics, math and computer science as they train with soldiers from every other branch of the IDF. The result is young men and women who become research and development powerhouses.
“Talpiot has been tasked with keeping Israel a generation ahead of a rapidly strengthening and technologically capable Iran, making this book extremely timely,” said Gewirtz. “The unit contributes to all of the areas that will be most important to the IDF as Iran becomes more powerful including missile technology, anti-missile defense, cyber-warfare, intelligence, satellite technology and high-powered imaging. At the same time, Talpiot was also designed to keep Israel on par with American and Russian military technology as both sell weapons to the other players in Israel’s very dangerous neighborhood.”
The author noted that after leaving the IDF, many men and women from Talpiot have become a major force in the Israeli economy, developing some of Israel’s most famous and powerful companies.
Israel’s Edge contains dozens of interviews with Talpiot graduates and some of the early founders of the program. It also explains Talpiot’s highly successful recruiting methods and discloses many of the secrets of the program’s success.
The book also profiles some of the most successful businesses founded by Talpiot graduates including CheckPoint, Compugen, Anobit, recently bought by Apple, and XIV, recently bought by IBM.
“No other military unit has had more of an impact on the State of Israel and no other unit will have more of an impact in the years ahead,” said Gewirtz, referring to Talpiot.
Gewirtz added that all of his profits from the sale of his new book will be donated to Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans (FIDV—Beit Ha’Lochem), an organization that is committed to caring for Israeli servicemen and women who were disabled in the line of duty and victims of terror attacks. FIDV provides therapeutic treatments, sports and recreational facilities, cultural and educational programs, scholarship support, and family-oriented activities to help them resume lives of purpose and dignity. The organization is also working on a new program designed to help American veterans wounded in combat.