Church

IDF on High Alert in Golan Heights

IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, tours the Bashan Brigade stationed at the border with Syria in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, on August 28, 2014. IDF forces have been reinforced along the Syrian border. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)
Stand for Israel has been reporting on the developments across Israel’s border with Syria – of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters doing battle with Syrian forces. Israel is well aware of what is going on, and the IDF is on alert in the Golan Heights:
As a result of the fighting on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, the level of alert was raised on the Israeli side, an army spokesperson said Thursday, without confirming that it had been increased to the highest level.
The announcement followed several incidents in the area, including the capture and execution of 160 Syrian soldiers by the Islamic State, gruesome pictures of which appeared online Thursday, and the abduction, also Thursday, of 43 Fijian U.N. peacekeepers by al-Qaeda-affiliate al-Nusra Front at the Quneitra crossing with Israel, where fighting has raged this week between Syrian rebels and government forces.
Please pray for the return of the captured U.N. peacekeepers, for God’s protection over the brave men and women defending Israel in this dangerous situation, and for God’s peace over all of His people.

Source

 

Church

Christians Serving in the IDF

The Jewish Press:

Father Gabriel Nadaf presents a soldier with an ICRF award.

Nearly 90 Christian soldiers from all over the country and from all IDF units came together earlier this week in Nazareth Illit for an event organized by the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum. Although it has only been around for a little over a year, its impact has been astounding. Since its founding, the number of Christians enlisting in the IDF has doubled. According to the forum’s data, 84 Christian soldiers have enlisted since June 2013 alone. In previous years, that would be the amount to draft in an entire year and a half.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed and thanked these outstanding soldiers in a special video message. “The purpose of this forum is clear: to engage Christians who serve in the IDF,” he said. “The importance of your actions goes without saying. I was pleased to hear that over the course of the past year, there has been a significant increase in the number of soldiers. I salute and support all of you.”

“I know that the mission is not always easy,” he added. “But we will be with you along the way. All of Israel is proud and thanks you.”

Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest and president of the Forum, addressed the soldiers as well. “As a Christian spiritual teacher living in the Middle East, I understand that human rights are not something to be taken for granted. For that, I thank the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” he said. “I believe in cooperation between Jews and Christians and our shared fate in a Jewish country. I believe that we can contribute to Israel and I call on all Christians to join the army and help us to protect this country.”

The founder of the forum, Major Ihab Shelian, who serves in the Israel Navy, was overwhelmed to see so many soldiers of the faith gathered together in one place for the first time, a crowd which included high-ranking officers as well. Certificates of appreciation were presented to all the soldiers.

HTIrishanglican’s Weblog.

 

Culture

Lt Col Shalom Eisner Dismissed from Post

On the IDF Blog today:

Following consultations between GOC Central Command, Major General Nitzan Alon, and the Chief of the Ground Forces Command, Major General Sami Turgeman, it has been determined by the Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Benjamin (Benny) Gantz, to dismiss Lieutenant Colonel Shalom Eisner from his post as Deputy Division Commander on moral grounds, while dealing with the incident.

Lt. Gen. Gantz concluded in the investigation of the incident that there were professional and command failure as well.

Lt. Col. Eisner was dismissed from his position and will not serve as the Deputy Commander of the IDF Officer School, and will not be eligible to serve in commanding positions in the next two years.

You may recall, it was for doing this:

But do take a moment to read this:

Shalom Eisner is the man the world would flog. This is the kind of man he is (hat tip: JewishPress.com).

Hagit Rein, grieving mother of the late Major B’naya Rein who was killed in the Second Lebanon War and whose body was recovered by Eisner under fire, called the Army Radio to express her dismay at the way Eisner was being judged by the “media court.”

During that war, B’naya Rein assembled a special force to assist damaged tanks. He was killed on that mission for which he had volunteered, and his body remained in enemy territory. At the command level it was decided that rescuing the body was too dangerous, according to the reservists’ letter. Then it was decided they lacked the necessary resources for a rescue mission.

After three days, Shalom Eisner, who was then commander of an armored battalion, heard about the abandoned body and said it was unacceptable that the body of an army officer would be lying on the ground while his parents were waiting for him at home. Eisner took a jeep, recall his fellow officers and soldiers, put on a flak jacket and went out to get B’naya. “Surrounded by burned-out tanks, missiles flying in every direction, he just went out into the field, loaded the body and brought it back.”

Lt. Col. Eisner’s supporters expressed their complete faith in him “as a man, as a friend and as a moral commander.”

For more on how protesters are treated in Denmark, take a look here.

The former IDF Chief Rabbi Avihai Ronski was critical of the swift decision to suspend Eisner:

… who he described as “a highly ethical individual.”

The reaction, he said, “most likely stemmed from the fact that the activist had just assaulted him and broke his hand. It was instinctual.”

Ronski also questioned what he called the rash decision to suspend the officer: “What’s the rush? Conduct your inquiry first and impose discipline only if the result warrants it.

“How can you say this was ‘a serious event’ after only a few seconds of footage? These kinds of incidents are why today’s commanders feel they have no backing.”