At 6:30 a.m. on Friday morning, two days after the current round of fighting in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas began, the phone rang in Rafi’s house in Jerusalem, calling him up for reserve service in his combat infantry unit.
Israel's cabinet authorized the mobilization of up to 75,000 reservists late on Friday, preparing the ground for a possible Gaza invasion after Palestinians fired a rocket toward Jerusalem for the first time in decades.
It is often assumed that foreign policy is a field in which deeds matter more than words. But looking at the two presidential candidates in the 2012 election cycle, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney, one might end up with the opposite impression: It is words, not deeds, that make their foreign policies seem different.
The United States and its allies are discussing a worst-case scenario that could require tens of thousands of ground troops to go into Syria to secure chemical and biological weapons sites following the fall of President Bashar Assad's government, according to U.S. and diplomatic officials.
Israeli troops thwarted a terror attack on Israel's border with Egypt.
Three Israeli soldiers were arrested on Tuesday for suspected involvement in pro-settler vandalism and arson, the military said, following a series of attacks in the West Bank that have exacerbated tensions with Palestinians.
The Arab Spring, as a moniker for the revolution that seemed about to sweep the Middle East earlier this year, has given way to far less cheerful seasonal metaphors — from long, hot summer to dark, dismal winter. In Egypt, where “people power” toppled Hosni Mubarak’s corrupt dictatorship, the dream of freedom has morphed into a nightmare of mob violence and military crackdown. In other countries whose dictators have been more willing to use extreme savagery to hold on to power, the opposition is getting slaughtered — except for Libya, where Western intervention has made the difference.
Iraqis fretted about the ability of their armed forces to protect them from violence after U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday all U.S. troops would withdraw by the end of the year.
President Barack Obama said on Friday the United States will remove the remainder of its troops from Iraq by the end of the year and that "after nearly nine years, America's war in Iraq will be over."
President Barack Obama said on Friday he would pull U.S. troops from Iraq this year, almost nine years after the U.S. invasion, after he failed to convince Iraq that several thousand troops should remain in part as a balance against neighboring Iran.
Israel will allow more Egyptian troops to be deployed in the Sinai in order to keep order in the increasingly chaotic peninsula, according to a report in The Economist.
Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man who entered a security zone near the Gaza-Israel border.
Israeli soldiers shot and killed three Palestinians in Gaza who were approaching the security fence in an attempt to plant explosive devices, the Israeli military said. The Israeli military said the men were approaching the fence in the northern Gaza Strip.
Israeli troops on the border with Lebanon went on high alert following the collapse of Lebanon's government. No additional reservists have been called up, however, according to reports. Military officials reportedly are concerned that Hezbollah, whose exit from the government caused its collapse, would initiate a disturbance on its border with Israel in order to deflect attention from the political crisis.
A short distance from the area where many historians believe the Talmud was written, Rabbi Jon Cutler leads one of the only functioning synagogues left in Iraq.
Nessah Synagogue's young Iranian Jewish professionals discuss their support for U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as their preparation of 'care packages' for U.S. forces.
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The fact that a large majority of Jews opposes the war but their communal representatives refuse to speak out may accelerate the estrangement of so many from organized Jewish life, especially among younger Jews.
There is no military option in Iran. If we didn't learn this from the Americans' ongoing experience in Iraq, we should have learned it from Israel's recent experience in Lebanon.
Last week's portion ends with a ferocious battle; this week's begins with the after action report and the distributing of medals. We learn the names of those killed
and those rewarded and then all the troops are mustered and counted, to see who remains alive from the fighting.
Leaving Gaza also made sense morally, said Daniel Sokatch, executive director of the Progressive Jewish Alliance.
"For Israel to remain a democratic and Jewish state, it cannot occupy and control millions of Palestinians indefinitely," he said.
Ah the '60s. Those were the days when Geula, Aliza and Hedva would prance around in their khaki skirts in the Israeli military band -- they were the highlight in entertainment for the young and naive Israel.
After the dust has settled and Israel concludes its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, a key issue will be whether the move will enhance its security or not. Will it be perceived as a "victory for terror" as the right wing has claimed, or a "base for Islamic terror" as former Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said? Or will it enhance Israel's overall security posture? There is absolutely no question at all that from a security perspective this move will in the short, medium and long run only enhance Israel's security.
The Gaza settlements were a strategic dinosaur. They were built in the early 1970s as a buffer between a hostile Egypt and a hostile Gaza. Israel has been at peace with Egypt for almost three decades. The nearest Egyptian gun or tank to the border with Israel is on the other side of the Suez Canal, hundreds of kilometers away. Given the massive military outlay in protecting the 8,000 or so settlers, Gush Katif had turned from a strategic asset to a strategic burden.
Later that same day in Orange, we popped in to some of the antique shops that radiate from the central plaza. In a world of eBay, even antique stores seem antique. In one store, I thumbed through a stack of old advertising posters, and out fell a red-white-and-blue sheet, the size of a movie theater lobby card, depicting a silhouette of a soldier against an American flag, printed with the words "Operation Desert Storm 1990-1991." It was $7.50.
The fact that relics of the last war are already collecting dust alongside World War II-era Japanese ammo belts ($60) and war bonds calendars ($24) made me wonder how, 10 years hence, we'll regard Gulf War II. Will it resonate with world-shifting portent that World War II mementos do? Or will it seem by comparison to today's war somehow small, eclipsed in our mind by more immediate threats and darker developments?
As soon as we returned to the car and turned on the radio, the answer seemed clear. U.S. soldiers had encountered some fierce resistance -- several had been killed, many others taken prisoner. By Monday, there were reports of more missing, of Iraqi troops using guerilla tactics to inflict casualties. Areas that the Army initially announced in coalition control were now in the midst of firefights -- I know, because I've watched several unfold on TV with surreal intimacy.
Reports of the death of a gradual Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire plan may be premature.
A lot of evidence surfaced this week that the initial skepticism that greeted the "Gaza/Bethlehem First" plan was justified. But there were also facts to buttress the optimistic view that the plan might reduce nearly two years of violence.
As Israeli-Palestinian violence hits the six-month mark, Israeli military officials report that soldiers remain motivated to serve in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Israel signed the Oslo peace agreement with itsold enemy, Yasser Arafat, because by 1993 the alternatives had becomeinsufferable. The Palestinian intifada, a revolt of thestreet, was sapping the morale of the Israeli army, fighting a futilesix-year battle with one hand tied behind its back. Nightlytelevision footage of soldiers in combat fatigues, chasing teenageboys wielding slingshots and petrol bombs, was undermining Israel'sdeterrent credibility in its confrontation with the Arab states aswell as its international moral case.