IDF to Open Chareidi Paratrooper Platoon
(Yoav Zitun and Kobi Nachshoni/Ynetnews) First it was the Netzah Yehuda and Tomer platoons in the Kfir and Givati brigades. Now, the IDF is planning to open a special chareidi paratrooper unit as part of continuing efforts to integrate the ultra-Orthodox into Israeli society.
The Ministry of Defense has announced that it is opening up a first-of-its-kind chareidi paratrooper platoon and that it has begun a campaign to draft ultra-Orthodox into it.
The first round of draftees will enter the unit in November. As with every other paratrooper platoon, the chareidi draftees will have to undergo a strenuous selection process lasting several days.
Fliers for the platoon have been distributed throughout chareidi communities in Israel over the past few days alongside ads for the units on chareidi social media pages.
There has been incitement against chareidi soldiers from the community in recent years, and the ministry of defense is trying to stamp this out.
Drafting the chareidim—especially to combat roles—is no easy task. Posters printed by the ministry of defense are seeking to instill both pride in Israel and the IDF alongside pride in Torah study within the sector.
The chareidi soldiers will serve in a base completely devoid of female soldiers, will be provided with glatt kosher food and will have daily Torah studies. After seven months of combat training, the approximately 100 soldiers will be integrated into one of the pre-existing paratroopers’ platoons, and will begin their regular service in the various areas of operation.
The head of the battalion will be a paratrooper commander, and the other officers will all be religious and include soldiers who served in the chareidi Netzah Yehuda battalion of Givati.
The platoon will operate similarly to the Tomer platoon of the Givati battalion, whereby after serving for two years in a combat role they will study for the third and final year of the service for either their matriculation exams, a vocational trade or a mix of finishing their matriculation exams and beginning studying for a bachelor’s degree in order to integrate into the workplace.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman held a meeting at the defense ministry with the directorate responsible for the initiative. The minister gave his blessing to develop the initiative as much as possible. The next step in the framework to draft and integrate as many chareidi into the military as possible will see a similar chareidi tank unit set up.
The IDF is expected to draft 3,200 ultra-Orthodox soldiers in 2017.
Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan has been leading the initiative to draft more chareidim into the IDF and fight against incitement in the chareidi sector.
Trump to Campaign in Israel for Expat Votes
(JNS.org) Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is reportedly working on a campaign in Israel that will target American citizens living in the Jewish state who are eligible to vote via absentee ballot, according to a report by Israel’s Channel 10.
Trump will appoint Israeli campaign staff by this weekend, and will begin working on the campaign in the coming days, the Israeli channel reported. Trump also plans to visit Israel during his presidential campaign against democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he does not plan to endorse either presidential candidate.
Palestinian Civil Engineering Student Planned Jerusalem Light Rail Attack
(JNS.org) A Palestinian civil engineering student was revealed to be the terrorist arrested for plotting a large-scale attack two weeks ago on Jerusalem’s light rail in revenge for Jews visiting the Temple Mount, Israeli police said on Tuesday.
Ali Abu Hassan, 21, was a student at the Polytechnic University from the Palestinian village of Beit Ula in the Hebron region.
Prosecutors said in a statement that prior to taking three pipe bombs and other weapons in a bag to Jerusalem’s Jaffa Center light rail stop to detonate during rush hour, Abu Hassan had left a will at the university, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
Abu Hassan not only built his own pipe bombs with shrapnel doused in rat poison, but he even tested out explosives in open areas in the Hebron region, Israeli police said.
A security guard noticed Abu Hassan and asked him to open his bag for inspection. Abu Hassan was restrained when he ignored the request. Then another guard found the bombs in his bag and he was arrested. Abu Hassan will be indicted for attempted murder.
IDF Tests Augmented Reality Technology
(JNS.org) The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is testing the Microsoft HoloLens technology, a smart glass handset that works as a wireless computer, after two units of the device were delivered to the IDF’s telecommunications and information technology unit. The HoloLens is an Augmented Reality (AR) device, which the IDF wants to use for training and for conceptualizing enemy territory using holographic images.
“We understand that in the fast world in which we live, with an emphasis on the technology aspect, the only constant is the element of change. If we fight the next war like we fought the previous one, if we use the same technology that was right for that war, then it likely won’t be easy for us to win,” Maj. Rotem Bashi, chief programmer at the IDF’s telecommunications and information technology unit, told Israel’s Channel 10.
JLNJ Editor’s note: Augmented reality is the technology upon which Pokémon GO is based.
Israelis Want IDF to Embrace Pluralistic Values System, Poll Says
(JNS.org) A new study on religiosity and pluralism in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reveals that a majority of Jewish Israelis believe the IDF should embrace more of a pluralistic values system that includes placing military rules above religion, if necessary.
According to the Israel Democracy Institute’s (IDI) “Monthly Peace Index” poll, 72 percent of the respondents said soldiers should obey military orders over a rabbinical ruling should there be a contradiction. Only 12.4 percent said soldiers should obey the rabbinical ruling, and the rest were unsure or declined to answer.
Additionally, 69 percent believe the IDF should have a pluralistic value system including accepting “others” such as the LGBT community, while 23 percent did not believe such a system was good.
The majority of respondents across the religious spectrum believed the army should be pluralistic, with 81 percent secular, 76 percent nonreligious-traditional, 52 percent religious traditional and 57 percent religious agreeing with that sentiment. However, 29 percent of Haredim respondents disagreed with the open-value system.
Black Lives Matter Movement Declares War on ‘Israeli Apartheid’
(Arutz Sheva) The radical “Black Lives Matter” movement released a formal platform on Monday, singling out Israel for what it calls the “genocide” against Palestinian Arabs and “Israeli Apartheid.”
BLM, which emerged in the summer of 2013 following the acquittal of George Zimmerman, a Hispanic man who shot and killed an African American teenager in self-defense, aims to combat what it calls the “War on Black People.” The Black Lives Matter movement alleges that the United States actively targets and oppresses African Americans, while promoting “global imperialism” abroad.
In the new BLM platform, the movement claims American society is driven by “white supremacy, imperialism, capitalism and patriarchy.”
“As oppressed people living in the US, the belly of global empire, we are in a critical position to build the necessary connections for a global liberation movement. Until we are able to overturn US imperialism, capitalism and white supremacy, our brothers and sisters around the world will continue to live in chains.”
While the bulk of the BLM platform lambasts the United States for what it deems systemic racism, the document also singles out one foreign country for not only criticism, but specific policies.
In fact, while there is scant reference to other countries in the document, Israel is mentioned 10 times, and “Palestine” nine times.
And while other countries are mentioned in passing, Israel is the only foreign country targeted by the platform. Israel is referred to as a “human rights violator” in the BLM platform, and indeed is the only country mentioned by name in that regard.
After accusing Israel of “systematic discrimination” against Palestinian Arabs, apartheid-like policies, and even outright genocide, the platform calls for an end to US foreign aid to the Jewish state, which should instead be diverted to reparations for “victims” of “American war-making” like Iraq and Libya, as well as African Americans descended from slaves in the American South.
“Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people,” the platform claims, alleging that there is an Israeli “genocide taking place against the Palestinian people.”
The Black Lives Matter platform also calls active opposition to legislation intended to curb the BDS movement, warning the “anti-BDS bills being passed in states around the country,” harms “the movement to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”