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Thread: Watching the IDF (catch all)

  1. #161
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Showing in B'ham

    The gatekeepers is being shown in Birmingham (UK) next week for three days, a rare showing I expect beyond London:http://www.macarts.co.uk/event/the-gatekeepers--15

    I will add a review next week.
    davidbfpo

  2. #162
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    The gatekeepers is being shown in Birmingham (UK) next week for three days, a rare showing I expect beyond London:http://www.macarts.co.uk/event/the-gatekeepers--15

    I will add a review next week.
    I’ll be anxious to see what you think! It can be difficult to keep up with some of the names and incidents. I did get the sense that the director made an effort to not bore a domestic audience who knew all the names with foreign audiences getting an introduction.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  3. #163
    Council Member TV-PressPass's Avatar
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    Ah damn!

    This came to my home town, I went and saw it, and I never posted a review here!

    I found it immensely interesting. I appreciated that the interviewer was willing to ask tough questions, and definitely put some of the subjects on the spot. It's always tempting to slide past poor choices or failures, but that didn't happen here.

    I found the 3D animation pretty enough, but largely unnecessary. There were a few times where "recreated footage" could have been slightly mis-represented as original source footage. It was vague to the viewer, which I'm not a fan of.

    Most valuable of all: my girlfriend, who has only the vaguest idea of the middle east and its organizations, was able to watch, follow, and thoroughly enjoy the film.

    For her: the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was a surprise twist.

    Overall, its something that I would buy and re-watch. Definitely.

  4. #164
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default My review

    The Gatekeepers is superb, well worth watching and it is amazing that six Shin Bet (internal security agency) directors agreed to be interviewed on film. Several times being pressed gently, notably over two PLO prisoners being murdered a long time ago.

    Yes the reconstruction(s) of incidents, like the murder, are hard to quickly distinguish from actual footage - some of which is grim, notably of blown-up buses in 'The Second Intifda'. The use of overhead imagery, slides, file cards, maps etc is well done, although could be disconcerting - are you watching real images.

    Fascinating remarks on the post-1967 Six Day War situation, with 1m Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank to monitor. Conduct a census and obtain a 'richer picture', supplemented by informants and arrests etc.

    The morality of Shin Bet, if not Israeli actions is a constant theme. One director starkly stated "There is no morality dealing with terrorism".

    The unexpected murder of Prime Minister Rabin by a Jewish extremist was a great institutional shock; the then director resigned and IIRC was replaced by an outsider, a senior naval officer. I'd forgotten the bombing campaign by Jewish extremists; those convicted effectively being released quickly after public and political pressure.

    HUMINT was the key factor at the start, but after the Oslo Agreement gave the Palestinians Gaza and much of the West Bank Shin Bet became far more desk-bound watching screens.

    At the end several directors admitted Israel was in a far more insecure position, one agreed it was fulfilling a "worst case" prediction as an "occupation state".
    davidbfpo

  5. #165
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    At the end several directors admitted Israel was in a far more insecure position, one agreed it was fulfilling a "worst case" prediction as an "occupation state".
    Most of the directors interviewed seemed eerily willing to admit certain failures and how things had shifted away from what they wanted.

    Not common in most western intelligence agencies according to the docs I've seen.

  6. #166
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Bibi apparently refuses to watch the film (which may actually mean that he refuses to acknowledge having watched it). Par for the course.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  7. #167
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Default Late commer

    I finally had a chance to watch it tonight as my wife, who generally controls the TV, was out for the night.

    First, I would say that every 2LT ought to watch it for no other reason than to see how sometimes the military and security forces have to find solutions without clear guidance from the politicians - and those choices can have long range ramifications.

    Second, I was reminded at the end of the documentary of one of the culminating lines of the first "War Games". It created a feeling that the War on Terrorism is a lot like Global Thermal Nuclear War - "the only winning move is ... not to play".
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

    Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
    ---

  8. #168
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    Im still trying to find it, is it online now?

  9. #169
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Got it through NetFlix
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

    Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
    ---

  10. #170
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Default

    Its also available through Amazon.com

    The Gatekeepers
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

    Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
    ---

  11. #171
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Tragedy and tactics

    A remarkable Australian interview with the film's director, with splices of the film (10 mins):
    ....here's an ABC Radio National interview with the director Dror Moreh, spliced with some footage from the film. Quite remarkable that the film-makers captured all six living directors of Shin Bet calling for peace with the Palestinians....
    Hat tip to Lowy Institute:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/...Palestine.aspx
    davidbfpo

  12. #172
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Default Mark Danner interviews Dror Moreh.

    I happened upon a September, 2012, interview of director Dror Moreh by one of my favorite authors, Mark Danner. Good stuff. [LINK]
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  13. #173
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    Moreh will publish a book with the text of the interviews and additional material
    in Germany in January 2014.

  14. #174
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    Default Review Essay: The Israel Air Force and the Evolution of Arab-Israeli Warfare

    Review Essay: The Israel Air Force and the Evolution of Arab-Israeli Warfare

    Entry Excerpt:



    --------
    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

  15. #175
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Fighting for Israel: the Druze & Bedouin

    Behind the story a Druze officer is to command the IDF's Golani brigade is a surprising aspect:
    According to figures from the IDF, the number of young Druze who serve in the IDF stands at 83%, which is higher than the percentage among the Jewish population. The relative number of Druze officers, noncommissioned officers and soldiers serving in the regular army is very high in proportion to the relative size of their community within the country’s total population. Most young Druze consider enlistment in the IDF as more than just an obligation and a necessary expression of their national loyalty. They see it as the sine qua non for advancement and integration into the country’s civil society.
    There is a downside to this commitment:
    While these young Druze have proved their loyalty to the state and fulfilled their responsibility with integrity, the state of Israel responds with ongoing prejudice, expressed mainly in discriminatory practices surrounding the distribution of development and infrastructure funding for their settlements.
    Link:http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/orig...n-heights.html

    This report cites a 2012 short IDF press release, which has more figures on senior officers:http://www.idf.il/1283-15853-en/Dover.aspx

    I have long had an interest in the participation of minorities in civil-military service to a nation that is either not their own - in the imperial era - and today.

    Somewhere I read that a large number of the Israeli Border Police, which has a national paramilitary role, are from minority groups and some recent footage showed a significant minority of black personnel (ex-Ethiopian Jews I expect).
    davidbfpo

  16. #176
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Bedouin volunteer too

    Taken from an email referring to an Israeli diplomat speaking:
    Since Israel’s founding, Bedouin have tended to have better relations with the state than have their Arab brethren – every year 5 to 10% of the army-age male Bedouin population volunteer for the IDF.
    This loyalty maybe under pressure, following Israeli government proposals for rehousing 40k Bedouin in formal settlements:
    And yet the government’s relocation plan has provoked pushback – not just from some Bedouin, but from Israel’s other Arab citizens and from Palestinians, who see the move as a land grab and an infringement on the Bedouin’s herding lifestyle. Last week protests against the plan, some of them violent, erupted across Israel and in several capitals worldwide, including London.
    (Added) A NYT report gives some background:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/wo...pagewanted=all

    I do recall a few references to Bedouin IDF soldiers, IIRC when an American protester was shot / run-over.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-08-2013 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Add NYT link
    davidbfpo

  17. #177
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    It seems that elements of the specific skill-set of the Bedouin tribes have been highly attractive for the IDF, especially tracking. Manpower is also always scarce and was even more so in the past. It is also likely that the Bedouins see themselves as a quite distinct entity from other Arab groups which in turn made it possible for the Israeli state to initiate and conserve close military ties. Which has of course the additional benefit of denying the opponents to tap their potential.

    In Italy as far as I recall the number of serving men from the ethnic minorities in the northern regions are low in propotion to their relative numbers. In general their standard of living is higher then the national average and they suffered under Italian nationalism so there are few incentives for them to volunteer. On the other hand considering the very small percentage of the minorities it was never deemed necessary to reach out to them. Overall the southern regions are greatly overreppresented in the lower ranks, which has of course to due with the economic circumstances in the last ten years.

    For Italy the (military) integration of the immigrants should be a bigger topic, but military topics other than casualties suffered and spectacular hardware are hardly discussed in the Italian press. One might add the recent discussion about 'golden' retirements for senior figures to that list.
    Last edited by Firn; 12-05-2013 at 06:09 PM.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  18. #178
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default An indispensable reference book on the subject

    Oddly there is not a thread on Israeli counter-terrorism and this appears to be the most appropriate place for this.

    Via an alert on Twitter a book review of Daniel Byman's 'A High Price. The Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrorism', which was published in 2011:http://warstudiespublications.wordpr...nterterrorism/

    The author is Olivier Schmitt, a Frenchman @ Kings College London (War Studies), who gives a bio on:http://olivierschmitt.wordpress.com/about/

    The first paragraph:
    This excellent work of synthesis proposes to return to the fight against terrorism led by Israel since its inception. To a large extent, Israel was the laboratory of terrorism in the twentieth century, many tactics (hijackings, suicide bombings, etc.). Having first been applied against its people before spreading internationally. Daniel Byman offers and to study in detail how the Israeli services have managed multiple threats they faced, in an attempt to draw broader lessons. The result is a balanced book, which hides nothing as Palestinian Israeli errors, and thus may irritate both the proponents of Greater Israel and extremist supporters of the Palestinian cause, but worth reading for its detailed analysis and complete the challenges posed by terrorism to a democratic society.
    Link to Amazon UK, where it has several good reviews:http://www.amazon.com/High-Price-Tri...unterterrorism
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-16-2014 at 07:44 PM.
    davidbfpo

  19. #179
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator adds

    In a moment I will merge the small thread on 'The Gatekeepers' documentary, which featured several directors of Shin Beth (internal security). Another four small threads have been merged; left alone are those threads on war fighting and more general matters.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-23-2015 at 05:00 PM.
    davidbfpo

  20. #180
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Watching the IDF (catch all)

    Israel has attacked missiles in transit from Iran in Sudan before. This week's naval action in the Red Sea has yet to get mainstream media reporting here. IIRC it was an air strike last time in the Sudan.

    Two IDF-sourced reports:http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/Dat..._140612868.pdf and http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/03...sile-shipment/

    Even for covert transport crossing through Sudan, Egypt and into the Sinai is a logistical problem. Lots of questions arise.
    davidbfpo

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