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The Other Soldiers

Israel's 1,000-member Aliyah Battalion defends settlements with borrowed weapons -- and no pay.

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/community_briefs/article/the_other_soldiers_20030307_7537

The battalion is the brainchild of Roman Rathner, a former major in the Russian green berets -- the Spetznaz -- who immigrated to Israel a decade ago, who offered his expertise and knowledge to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and was refused because he was older than 30 -- too old. A year ago he went on the Russian radio and appealed to his former colleagues. "Aren't you tired of watching our women and children getting killed on TV? Don't you want to do something to help?" he pleaded.

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