Report from Gaza

LGF reader Michael Fenenbock emailed this interesting report from Israel; he was able to get access to the battle zone in Gaza and interview IDF soldiers, unlike the mainstream media.

January 15, 2009
Jerusalem, Israel

Michael Fenenbock, veteran political consultant and founder of the18, made a lightning visit to the Gaza war zone yesterday to interact with IDF troops near the front.

Accompanied by senior security personnel, Fenenbock gained access to a zone where reporters are not permitted to enter. Fenenbock’s most striking impression was that morale is extremely high at all levels of command and that the professionalism and commitment of the IDF are impressive.

What follows is Michael’s first-hand report from the front lines.

Rafi, the head of security for 17 kibbutzim bordering the Gaza Strip is an extraordinary man. Of Iranian Jewish origin, he calmly conducts business with an Uzi in his lap, three cell phones, two radios and a walkie-talkie going at the same time; helicopters overhead, Israeli planes thundering in the distance; alarms announcing the firing of Kassam rockets at Ashkelon and the kibbutzim; Rafi calmly races between rocket attack locations.

Nearby, IDF soldiers covered in dust and grime, refit damaged tanks and send them spewing black diesel smoke back into the fray.

At the side of one of the massive IDF tanks I’m introduced to the young men of the tank crew who are taking a brief respite from the battle. “Hi, I’m Michael from New York.” “And I’m Sasha from Moscow,” one tall, fair-haired officer responds.

Another young soldier and I engage in a discussion about the New York Yankees and their prospects this year.

I talk to still more dust covered soldiers from the prestigious Golani Brigade. All express surprise, welcome, and appreciation for our visit and support.

“Are you getting everything you need?” I ask, remembering the dreadful reports from Israeli troops of shortages of supplies and food during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. This time, the answer always comes back the same. ‘Absolutely, we have everything.’

As we continue our tour of the staging area, we stand aside as an officer briefs a group of men while flipping the pages of aerial photographs. Three female soldiers in charge of piloting the intelligence drones drive by in an IDF jeep. They smile and wave.

In an open area next to a cultivated field is a sight not seen in other nations at war — hundreds of parked civilian cars. The cars belong to reservists who have reported for duty from all over the country. Much of the IDF is a civilian army.

Rafi calls a temporary halt to the briefing to take us into a kibbutz hothouse, where he hands us yellow bell peppers fresh off the vine. The kibbutz specializes in the production of bio-organic produce.

We munch away as reports come in that one of the kibbutz vehicles has taken a sniper bullet – Gaza is 200 yards away. Fortunately, the driver is unhurt.

From an observation post looking over Gaza that only a mountain goat could climb, we see smoke pouring from high-rise buildings in Gaza City. Rafi tells us that the city skyline has changed as of late. Many such buildings are used by Hamas as terrorist bases and rocket launchpads and so have been leveled by the IAF. It is a surgical operation.

Back at the kibbutz, Rafi stops to admonish four schoolboys who are outside kicking a soccer ball. “Shai, get back in the shelter and take your friends with you,” he yells.

The kids smile, wave, and continue kicking the soccer ball.

Rafi shares with us that when Israel removed all its citizens from Gaza three years ago he believed in the promise of peace. He had friends on the other side, men he negotiated with about building a maternity hospital that would serve mostly Palestinian women and about how the Karni crossing would become a mecca for trade.

But, Rafi explains, rolling his eyes and sadly shaking his head, it was all a ruse by the Gazans, an attempt to lull Jews into a false sense of security that would make them vulnerable to attack. “So that they could slaughter us,” Rafi says.

To underscore his point, Rafi shows us the last several days’ collection of jagged shrapnel – razor sharp pieces and mean-looking parts of the rockets fired on Israel’s southern residents. As we examine a piece of shrapnel we’re told the rocket it comes from was manufactured in China. Other rocket parts, Rafi tells us, come from Iran.

On the border, we pick up one of the flyers in Arabic that Israel distributed by the thousands to the citizens of Gaza, warning civilians of the impending military campaign.

As we drive out of the war zone and head north back to Jerusalem, we pass a soldier hitching a ride in the other direction, toward the battle. When I glance back, I see a car stop and pick him up.

A little further north we come upon the line up of news crews, trucks, cameras, and satellite dishes. They are only allowed to go as far as this point.

Michael Fenenbock is a long-time American political consultant. He and his wife Daphne are the founders of the18 and the No on Two-State campaign. They live in New York, but spend a great deal of time in Jerusalem.

Jump to bottom

153 comments

1 karmic_inquisitor  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 9:52:27am

Very cool. Great job Michael Fenenbock! Got a nic?

2 maddogg  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 9:56:51am

I can't tell, are those M1 Abrams tanks?

3 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 9:57:03am

Good report. The IDF does seem to have things under control. Now if only the politicians will let them get the job done.

Hamas Delenda Est.

4 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 9:58:25am

re: #2 maddogg

I can't tell, are those M1 Abrams tanks?

No, those are Israeli Merkavas. They have much more angular turrets than M1s.

5 Devil's Advocate  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 9:58:53am

A plane crash is not a miracle!

6 x-wing  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 9:59:01am

re: #1 karmic_inquisitor

Very cool. Great job Michael Fenenbock! Got a nic?

I was thinking maybe our overnite play by play guy? Wont say the name though.

7 [deleted]  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 9:59:18am
8 jwb7605  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 9:59:37am

How come all the really good reporters are named "Michael"?

9 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:00:07am

re: #1 karmic_inquisitor

Very cool. Great job Michael Fenenbock! Got a nic?

Soon if not yet I hope!

10 gop_patriot  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:00:09am

Thank you for the report, Mr. Fenenbock! Well done.

11 pat  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:00:33am

Merks

12 pat  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:00:51am

Good read

13 bulwrk  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:01:02am

re: #2 maddogg

No that's a Merkava

14 Kragar  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:01:02am

re: #2 maddogg

I can't tell, are those M1 Abrams tanks?

No. Israel produces their own tanks. I would say Merkava, but I think they recently began using a new model/type

15 Semi Cartman  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:01:06am

After five days of Gaza-cam, it's great to read a story with some solid Non-MSM background. It adds some real perspective to the whole thing, since the cam has zero commentary, it just follows the smoke.

16 Cheese Eating Victory Monkey  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:01:23am

Another article from the scene:

[Link: www.tnr.com...]

17 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:01:45am
Of Iranian Jewish origin, he calmly conducts business with an Uzi in his lap, three cell phones, two radios and a walkie-talkie going at the same time; helicopters overhead, Israeli planes thundering in the distance; alarms announcing the firing of Kassam rockets at Ashkelon and the kibbutzim; Rafi calmly races between rocket attack locations.

Rafi is the ULTIMATE multi-tasker!

18 jcm  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:02:33am
But, Rafi explains, rolling his eyes and sadly shaking his head, it was all a ruse by the Gazans, an attempt to lull Jews into a false sense of security that would make them vulnerable to attack. “So that they could slaughter us,” Rafi says.

Israel tried peace.....

To underscore his point, Rafi shows us the last several days’ collection of jagged shrapnel – razor sharp pieces and mean-looking parts of the rockets fired on Israel’s southern residents. As we examine a piece of shrapnel we’re told the rocket it comes from was manufactured in China. Other rocket parts, Rafi tells us, come from Iran.

This front in the war on terror will have to be dealt with. Now, will the price is "cheap" or later when it cast much, much more. It's not if we will have to, just when, and on whose terms.

As Israel discovered peace is not always what it means. The next four years our new POTUS will seek a Gazan Peace with our enemies, Delaying the inveitable and increasing the cost.

19 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:02:49am
Golani Brigade

Is this brigage normally tasked to defend the Golan Heights?

20 yma o hyd  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:03:00am

Good stuff, that!
Illustrates very well the huge difference between this war and the Lebanon war in 2006 - something we all read between the lines, but which the MFM won't talk about.

Thank you, Michael, thank you vey much indeed!

21 steve  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:03:29am

I c an see the MSM sneering at him as he was driven to the front and back again.

22 Leonidas Hoplite  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:03:49am

Awesome! Another nail in the coffin of the MSM!

23 Kosh's Shadow  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:03:52am

The MSM, really wants to be embedded with Ham-ass. I can imagine their reports:
"Here is Abdul. His brother and sister were killed by Israelis. How do you feel about that Abdul?"
"I want to kill all the Jews for what they did to my family!"
"How did they die?"
"As glorious martyrs! They proudly strapped on bombs and went out to kill Zionist soldiers in kindergartens and pizza parlors. And I want to avenge my father's death; he died while building the bomb I was to take against the Zionist entity. Now I have to work harder to enter paradise."

24 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:04:00am
Rafi calls a temporary halt to the briefing to take us into a kibbutz hothouse, where he hands us yellow bell peppers fresh off the vine. The kibbutz specializes in the production of bio-organic produce.

Over in Gaza, the hothouses have produced nothing but death and destruction.

25 yma o hyd  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:04:25am

re: #17 MandyManners

Rafi is the ULTIMATE multi-tasker!

And he's not even a woman!

:-))

26 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:04:42am
Rafi tells us that the city skyline has changed as of late.

LOL!

27 Kragar  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:05:25am

re: #19 MandyManners

Is this brigage normally tasked to defend the Golan Heights?

No. Its just the name of the unit, considered one of the elite forces for the IDF.

28 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:05:33am
Back at the kibbutz, Rafi stops to admonish four schoolboys who are outside kicking a soccer ball. “Shai, get back in the shelter and take your friends with you,” he yells.

In Gaza, the kids would be dragged by their ears to surround the terrorists.

29 yma o hyd  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:05:49am

re: #24 MandyManners

Over in Gaza, the hothouses have produced nothing but death and destruction.

They're not producing that any longer, thanks to the IAF!

30 maddogg  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:06:09am

re: #4 Dark_Falcon

No, those are Israeli Merkavas. They have much more angular turrets than M1s.

Yes, I just managed to make that out. The Merkava is the IDF main battle tank.

31 yma o hyd  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:06:41am

re: #27 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

No. Its just the name of the unit, considered one of the elite forces for the IDF.

The current Chief of the IDF, Gabi Ashkenazi, is a former commander of the Golani division.

32 bulwrk  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:06:43am

re: #4 Dark_Falcon

The bore evacuator on the M1 is also further up on the main gun.

33 Kragar  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:07:00am

re: #29 yma o hyd

They're not producing that any longer, thanks to the IAF!

Though I think they are hoping Obama will give them a stimulus package.

34 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:07:31am

re: #25 yma o hyd

And he's not even a woman!

:-))

He gets extra points, then.

35 Dainn  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:07:51am

Good article. I hope this represents the status of the IDF all over the war. I guess it makes sense that people would drive their cars to the war, but that fact surprised me.

36 kevrobin45  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:08:32am

Another great reporter named Michael, should be a lot easier to remember....=)

37 subsailor68  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:08:36am

re: #22 Leonidas Hoplite

Awesome! Another nail in the coffin of the MSM!

Hey Leonidas, just a quick note - terrific job on the picture in the earlier thread! Nice work.

38 ThinkRight  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:08:37am

Ann Coulter is on Rush

39 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:08:40am

re: #27 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

No. Its just the name of the unit, considered one of the elite forces for the IDF.

Thanks!

I wonder if the Jordyptians have names for their units? Jew Killing Brigade? Child Shield Brigade?

40 jcm  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:08:59am

re: #30 maddogg

Yes, I just managed to make that out. The Merkava is the IDF main battle tank.

Merkava's share Chobam armor technology with the M1A1.

41 ratherdashing  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:09:58am

I hope he gets deep enough into Gaza to interview the rooster.

42 Digital Display  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:10:57am

re: #41 ratherdashing

I hope he gets deep enough into Gaza to interview the rooster.

SAVE THE GAZA ROOSTER!

43 x-wing  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:11:14am

re: #40 jcm


The front slopes of the hull is almost identical to the M1, but the rear deck is rounded off.

44 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:11:17am

re: #29 yma o hyd

They're not producing that any longer, thanks to the IAF!

The different uses of the hothouses and the treatment of children he wrote about are telling illustrations of how the Jordyptians are different from the Israelis.

45 karmic_inquisitor  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:12:06am

Related -

Hamas "Iranian Unit" destroyed - captured terrorists describe surprise/fear among Hamas

[Link: www.israelnationalnews.com...]

46 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:12:10am

re: #35 Dainn

Good article. I hope this represents the status of the IDF all over the war. I guess it makes sense that people would drive their cars to the war, but that fact surprised me.

To me, it shows how small Israel is.

47 Kragar  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:12:15am

re: #41 ratherdashing

I hope he gets deep enough into Gaza to interview the rooster.

It will have to be without the military around. The Rooster says he refuses to meet with the Colonel.

48 snowcrash  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:12:37am

Great report and insight into the morale of the troops and the Israelis who live nearby. Keep us posted. Thanks.

49 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:12:51am

re: #35 Dainn

Good article. I hope this represents the status of the IDF all over the war. I guess it makes sense that people would drive their cars to the war, but that fact surprised me.

Don't Jordyptians drive/ ride in ambulances to their positions?

50 MandyManners  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:13:16am

re: #38 ThinkRight

Ann Coulter is on Rush

*snicker*

51 Achilles Tang  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:13:25am

I was not impressed with that earlier video of "The 18". The name sounds like something from a made for TV superhero fantasy, and the words offered nothing new; in fact all they offered was more of the same, just like Hamas does.

(for those who don't know where I stand; don't misinterpret the above)

52 karmic_inquisitor  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:13:40am

re: #50 MandyManners

*snicker*

DMTA.

53 lawhawk  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:13:53am

Hamas misjudged and lost. They didn't know or expect Israel to do what it did.

Israel got its survival instinct kickstarted after the Hizbullah war failures. Oh, and for those who think Iran isn't involved, think again:

The so-called "Iranian Unit" of Hamas has been destroyed, according to Gaza sources cited Thursday by the Haaretz daily. The sources said most of the unit's 100 members were killed in fighting in the Zeytun neighborhood of Gaza City.

The terrorists had been trained in infantry tactics, the use of anti-tank missiles and the detonation of explosives, among other skills, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard at Hizbullah camps in Lebanon's Beka'a Valley, as well as sites in Iran.

The IDF Southern Command has reportedly stepped up ground operations in Gaza, in anticipation of a ceasefire declaration in the near future. Senior officers said Thursday that there are probably no more than a few days until the end of the fighting.

Hamas and Hizbullah are proxy armies for Iran, and the Hamas defeat isn't going to sit well with Ahmadinejad and the thugs in Tehran. This goes to why Meshaal is busy demanding Hamas attack and ignore ceasefire calls. His neck is on the line, not because of an Israeli attack, but because he's perhaps been told in no uncertain terms that Iran is about to revoke his Damascus privileges. There's a disconnect between Damascus Hamas and the Gazan Hamas who are swiftly being turned to humus.

Israel has indeed fought Hamas to a bloody pulp, and Israel isn't done yet.

Fatah has finally found its courage to take on Hamas in the West Bank, cracking down on Hamas there. That wouldn't be possible without Israel's operation in Gaza. Hamas wants to think that Israel has lost it by going after Hamas terror masters? Good. Let them.

Let Hamas know that their days are numbered. They started this war. Israel restrained itself for years while being bombarded by Hamas rockets and mortars. Israel endured attack after attack during a six-month ceasefire that lasted all of five days before Hamas couldn't wait to open fire on Israelis. Now, Israel has unleashed only a fraction of the firepower it has at its disposal to take out Hamas embedded throughout Gaza.

Hamas had the power to start the war, but they are in no position to end it. That is up to Israel now, and Israel has an opportunity to do something it hasn't done in a generation; create conditions for a real and lasting peace with Palestinians who must taste real and bitter defeat to show that their religious ideology is a failed one and that Israel will survive and thrive.

54 Racer X  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:13:57am

re: #38 ThinkRight

Ann Coulter is on Rush

Kickin the crap out of the NY Times

55 Kragar  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:13:59am

re: #43 x-wing

The front slopes of the hull is almost identical to the M1, but the rear deck is rounded off.

Large rear hatch and cargo space allows it to be used as an APC or medical bay as well.

56 JammieWearingFool  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:14:26am

Coulter and Rush. I'm loving it.

57 maddogg  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:14:35am

re: #40 jcm

Merkava's share Chobam armor technology with the M1A1.


Is that the secret reactive armor?

58 alegrias  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:14:47am

Silly Iranians--they drove out hero Rafi from Iran, and now he's kicking Iranian 'n' Hamas heiny with the IDF.

JihadistMullacracy: How to NOT make friends or influence people.

59 JammieWearingFool  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:15:09am

re: #38 ThinkRight

Ann Coulter is on Rush

She can be on me any time.

60 Opinionated  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:15:39am

Seem like nice stable decent guys for the genocidal child killers that the media portrays.

61 [deleted]  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:15:42am
62 mean Gene  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:16:33am

There's so much more depth and education to be gained by being here and reading the reports like this one.
I, too, get up at night and watch Gazacam.
But I refuse to listen to msm news more than traffic and weather and breaking news.
It's off!
I wish more people learned the truth about Hamas.
But where can they?
From the same media who sold them an empty suit for US President?
I don't think so.

63 Achilles Tang  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:16:36am

re: #59 JammieWearingFool

She can be on me any time.

If she wasn't also a creationist I might agree with you, but I can't stand creationists on me.

64 jwb7605  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:16:41am

re: #59 JammieWearingFool

She can be on me any time.

I'd like to hear BuzzSawMonkey and Ann Coulter on Rush simultaneously.
That would be audio entertainment!

65 LGoPs  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:17:47am

re: #39 MandyManners

Thanks!

I wonder if the Jordyptians have names for their units? Jew Killing Brigade? Child Shield Brigade?

15th Suicide Martyr's Battalion......motto - "I keeel you"

Hard to keep their ranks up to strength.........bastards keep dying off.
/

66 alegrias  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:18:01am

re: #54 Racer X

Kickin the crap out of the NY Times

* * *
Did you see where the Minneapolis Tribune declared bankruptcy? Another one bites the dust.

67 x-wing  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:18:35am

re: #49 MandyManners

Don't Jordyptians drive/ ride in ambulances to their positions?

It is surreal from a military standpoint to see personell going to battle in their POV's..

But then this whole region is surreal.

68 realwest  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:18:54am

re: #40 jcm Yup, and I sure as hell wouldn't want to go up against either the M1A1 or the Merkava!
It does look as if the IDF did learn some valuable lessons from '06.

69 Opinionated  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:18:55am

Man wearing Jewish symbol stabbed near Paris

The ministry said in a statement Friday that the attackers shouted anti-Semitic threats at the man as they stabbed him four times with a knife in the Thursday evening attack.

[Link: www.jpost.com...]

70 maddogg  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:19:06am
71 LGoPs  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:19:15am

re: #55 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Large rear hatch and cargo space allows it to be used as an APC or medical bay as well.

Israeli's have solved the age old problem of keeping your infantry with your tanks. The infantry rides along.......

72 jcm  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:19:25am

re: #56 JammieWearingFool

Coulter and Rush. I'm loving it.

Good stuff!

73 ThinkRight  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:19:33am

re: #59 JammieWearingFool

She can be on me any time.

Limbaugh / Coulter 2012 !

74 subsailor68  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:19:38am

re: #67 x-wing

It is surreal from a military standpoint to see personell going to battle in their POV's..

But then this whole region is surreal.

Yeah, how would you like to have to show up for the battle in your Prius?

:-)

75 alegrias  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:19:50am

re: #61 buzzsawmonkey

What will be left? The skin?

* * *
Only its cockroach exoskeleton--there's no spine at the NYT!

76 scottishbuzzsaw  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:19:56am

re: #53 lawhawk

From your link:

"We never thought that we would reach the point where fear will swallow the heart and the feet will want to flee. You [Israel] are fighting like you fought in '48. What got into you all of a sudden?"

Go Israel!

77 JustABill  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:20:05am

re: #57 maddogg

Is that the secret reactive armor?

No, its a layered armor designed mostly to defeat shaped charged attacks (HEAT warheads). There are gaps between the layers to allow the charges jet to dissipated. There are also really hard/dense parts that do a pretty good job against kinetic weapons (sabot rounds)

78 maddogg  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:20:36am

Coulter and Rushbo, singing Barry's praises no doubt :)

79 realwest  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:20:57am

re: #45 karmic_inquisitor
Hey thanks for that comment and link! They were surprised that Israel did more than air strikes!

80 ThinkRight  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:21:35am

re: #78 maddogg

Coulter and Rushbo, singing Barry's praises no doubt :)

You know it
LOL

81 x-wing  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:21:46am

re: #55 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Large rear hatch and cargo space allows it to be used as an APC or medical bay as well.

Really? So where's the engine compartment?

82 jcm  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:21:56am

re: #70 maddogg

Chobham armor.

French decided not to use Chobam on the Leclerc. I guess multiple reverse gears are adequate protection......

83 Opinionated  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:22:09am

re: #68 realwest


It does look as if the IDF did learn some valuable lessons from '06.

Maybe the IDF did, but not the pusillanimous Kadima Government which is nagotiating a cease fire......with the United States.

[Link: www.jpost.com...]

84 LGoPs  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:22:36am

re: #81 x-wing

Really? So where's the engine compartment?

I believe up front.....

85 x-wing  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:22:43am

re: #57 maddogg

Is that the secret reactive armor?

Yes

86 jcm  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:22:44am

re: #78 maddogg

Coulter and Rushbo, singing Barry's praises no doubt :)

B. Hussein....

87 realwest  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:23:01am

Great job Michael Fenenbock! Do you post out here on any sort of regular basis? Got a nic here?

88 yma o hyd  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:23:18am

re: #44 MandyManners

The different uses of the hothouses and the treatment of children he wrote about are telling illustrations of how the Jordyptians are different from the Israelis.

Yep - odd innit, like, how the MFM always miss out on all that ...

None so blind as those who don't want to see, comes to mind.

89 LGoPs  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:24:02am

re: #82 jcm

French decided not to use Chobam on the Leclerc. I guess multiple reverse gears are adequate protection......

Naw...their protection is based on their tactics....surrender before anybody shoots at them......
/

90 maddogg  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:24:07am

re: #82 jcm

French decided not to use Chobam on the Leclerc. I guess multiple reverse gears are adequate protection......

This years upgrade automatically lifts the white flag while blowing yellow exhaust smoke when the spring loaded transmission lever is nudged into "retreat".

91 karmic_inquisitor  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:24:09am

If this is true then it is utterly nuts -

According to Channel 10 news, Israel is willing to open Gaza crossings as part of the ceasefire deal. In exchange, Hamas would be required to reduce its demands regarding the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. The group is currently demanding the release of over 1,000 terrorists, including senior terrorists who bear direct responsibility for multiple murders.

If Hamas scales back its demands, a deal could be reached that would lead to Shalit's release, political analysts say. Barak met with Noam Shalit, Gilad's father, on Thursday, apparently to discuss developments in Gaza and the negotiations with Hamas.

So Israel kicks Hamas' ass, and for a cease fire will open a border crossing so that Hamas can send over suicide bombers to "avenge" the killing of senior Hamas leaders in the war, and Israel will hand over less than 1000 terrorists in hopes of getting Shalit back?

What don't I understand about Israel? Why not just keep fighting?

92 opnion  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:24:55am

re: #69 Opinionated

Man wearing Jewish symbol stabbed near Paris


[Link: www.jpost.com...]


The perps were probably those radical Amish.
They will find the assailants? How will that work if they are living in public housing in a Paris suburb that is a no go zone because of violent members of the ROP?

93 x-wing  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:25:17am

re: #74 subsailor68

Yeah, how would you like to have to show up for the battle in your Prius?

:-)

That would be embarassing. ;>}

94 [deleted]  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:25:18am
95 Czarny_Smok  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:25:39am

re: #2 maddogg

I can't tell, are those M1 Abrams tanks?

Israeli Merkava 3 or 4 probably, totally home grown. Most likely it's a Merkava 4 as the turret looks a lot like a clam sucking on a straw. Engine in front, with door in back for carrying dismounts, and to un-ass the tank should it take a real hit - most unlikely.

96 realwest  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:25:53am

re: #83 Opinionated
Yeah, but from your link:

The memorandum would bind the incoming US administration as well. According to Channel 10, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's preference in light of the new development was to conclude a ceasefire "over Hamas's head" regardless of the terror group's position, working with Egypt and the US.

"The MOU that Foreign Minister Livni and I will sign should be thought of as one of the elements of trying to bring into being a durable cease-fire, a cease-fire that can actually hold," Rice told reporters.


Methinks they may have learned more than you think: they sure as hell ain't gonna get any help from Obama.

97 x-wing  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:26:34am

re: #84 LGoPs

I believe up front.....

Wow.

98 Kragar  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:26:38am

re: #57 maddogg

Is that the secret reactive armor?

Reactive armor is no secret. It places blocks of shaped charges on the outside of the armored vehicle which, when hit with sufficent force or triggered thru a sensor, react (explode) directing the explosive force away from the tank which would then deflect and/or disable explosive warheads before they could penetrate the conventional armor and disable the vehicle.

99 dhg4  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:26:44am

re: #35 Dainn

Good article. I hope this represents the status of the IDF all over the war. I guess it makes sense that people would drive their cars to the war, but that fact surprised me.

I have cousins (something like 4th cousins) who are fighting. I think that they carpooled to their unit's meeting point. I don't think that they drove all the way to the front. I suppose that it's different for reservists.

100 subsailor68  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:26:55am

re: #93 x-wing

That would be embarassing. ;>}

Yeah, but you might score some points with the regimental commander, Major Ed Begley, Jr.

:-)

101 realwest  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:27:15am

re: #91 karmic_inquisitor
Please see my #96 above.

102 maddogg  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:28:06am

re: #98 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Reactive armor is no secret. It places blocks of shaped charges on the outside of the armored vehicle which, when hit with sufficent force or triggered thru a sensor, react (explode) directing the explosive force away from the tank which would then deflect and/or disable explosive warheads before they could penetrate the conventional armor and disable the vehicle.

Its existance is no secret, but I've been told the actual configuration is secret.

103 realwest  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:28:21am

re: #92 opnion
Nope, radical Mennonites - I know, it's hard to tell 'em apart from a distance!

104 [deleted]  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:28:29am
105 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:28:46am

re: #57 maddogg

Is that the secret reactive armor?

No, Chobam Armour (named after the British facility were it was developed, hence the British spelling of Armor) is a composite armor. It uses a highly classified mix of armor plate, Depleted Uranium mesh, ceramic blocks, and Tungsten Rods to provide protection equal to much greater thicknesses of homogeneous armor.

106 Kragar  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:28:59am

re: #97 x-wing

Wow.

Yes. The Merkava places the engine up front, ahead of the crew compartment to give more solid metal between the front of the tank and the crew, increasing survivability for the crew if not the tank.

107 opnion  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:29:11am

re: #103 realwest

Nope, radical Mennonites - I know, it's hard to tell 'em apart from a distance!


Can't trust either one of them!

108 realwest  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:29:29am

re: #97 x-wing
Yup, designers believed putting the engine up front would provide better protection for the crews.

109 yma o hyd  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:29:47am

re: #83 Opinionated

Maybe the IDF did, but not the pusillanimous Kadima Government which is nagotiating a cease fire......with the United States.

[Link: www.jpost.com...]

Heh.
They're signing an Memorandum of Understanding, which may help to enforce a later cease fire.
Livni is not giving an inch - she knows her job, come the elections, is on the line.
Its actually quite clever - Hillary will hardly revoke this as one of her first acts in office.

110 realwest  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:30:04am

re: #106 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir) LOL! GMTA - see my #108!

111 filetandrelease  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:31:45am

re: #53 lawhawk

Bingo.

112 yma o hyd  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:32:11am

re: #91 karmic_inquisitor

If this is true then it is utterly nuts -

So Israel kicks Hamas' ass, and for a cease fire will open a border crossing so that Hamas can send over suicide bombers to "avenge" the killing of senior Hamas leaders in the war, and Israel will hand over less than 1000 terrorists in hopes of getting Shalit back?

What don't I understand about Israel? Why not just keep fighting?

These sort of 'cease fire trial ballons' seem to have been lofted up by Channel10 exclusively - and seem to have fallen on deaf ears in government and IDF.

Just as everywhere, I suppose, tehhe are some sections in Israel which are decidedly moonbatty ...

113 midwestgak  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:33:45am

re: #73 ThinkRight

Limbaugh / Coulter 2012 !

If you haven't seen it, 1/2 Hour News Hour on U Tube makes the idea doable.

114 Wishing  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:33:53am

re: #45 karmic_inquisitor

Related -

Hamas "Iranian Unit" destroyed - captured terrorists describe surprise/fear among Hamas

[Link: www.israelnationalnews.com...]

Hooray!
GO IDF!

115 Silhouette  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:34:02am

re: #69 Opinionated

Man wearing Jewish symbol stabbed near Paris


[Link: www.jpost.com...]

When I read about these attacks, besides the outrage over the evil, I am struck with worry that French Jews will surrender the public space to bigots, and begin to hide their faith while in public.

The reaction should be the opposite. More people should be openly Jewish, and non-Jews should join them in a "I am Spartacus" mentality.

116 dhg4  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:35:04am

re: #16 Cheese Eating Victory Monkey

Another article from the scene:

[Link: www.tnr.com...]

The Michael Oren article makes an important point about how Israelis view this war as just regardless of how the rest of the world thinks. It's a point elaborated on by Jonathan Tobin.

What's odd, is that all these media types think that there's something strange about Israelis believing that their fellow citizens ought to be protected from terrorist missiles, but they never seem to find the level of support given the terrorists by Palestinians troubling. In fact Palestinian support for terror never seems to dampen the media's enthusiasm for the necessity (if not legitimacy) of a Palestinian state, but should Israel's defense kill one innocent, Israel's very legitimacy is questioned.

117 lawhawk  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:35:16am

re: #91 karmic_inquisitor

Hamas is making the same demands for Shalit's release that they've been making from the day he was captured after a Hamas unit invaded Israel to capture Israeli soldiers (two other IDF soldiers were killed in the operation). They've been demanding the release of hundreds of terrorists in exchange for Shalit.

Israel must disabuse Hamas of that notion, but given the way Israel forked over hundreds of terrorists for the remains of Goldwasser and Regev, Israel will eventually cave, unless they learned that lesson as well (that you never carry out trades with terrorists because it only encourages further incidents).

118 Opinionated  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:35:25am

re: #96 realwest

Yeah, but from your link:


Methinks they may have learned more than you think: they sure as hell ain't gonna get any help from Obama.

Olmert and Livni were saying the exact same things when they agreed to the Lebanon cease fire. What ever was signed is worthless. Obama and Clinton will do what they will.

119 x-wing  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:35:37am

re: #106 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Yes. The Merkava places the engine up front, ahead of the crew compartment to give more solid metal between the front of the tank and the crew, increasing survivability for the crew if not the tank.

I've wondered for awhile why our DOD wont implement some of the Israeli upgrades on our Armored vehicles. They are the pickiest country when it comes to the quality of their vehicles. For good reason too.

120 ThinkRight  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:36:25am

re: #113 midwestgak

If you haven't seen it, 1/2 Hour News Hour on U Tube makes the idea doable.


Hussein Obama bought the election with the help of the MSM
Rush could outspend the One and maybe put the Republican party inline like they should be

121 Opinionated  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:37:32am

Hey, whoever down dinged me for #60, I just should advice you that it may be difficult to navigate life if you can't recognize obvious sarcasm.

122 Digital Display  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:37:49am

re: #103 realwest

Nope, radical Mennonites - I know, it's hard to tell 'em apart from a distance!

Are you sure it's not the radical wing of the Salvation Army? :)

123 tommy  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:38:15am

How would one say "G-d bless the IDF" in Hebrew?

124 Guanxi88  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:38:19am

re: #103 realwest

Nope, radical Mennonites - I know, it's hard to tell 'em apart from a distance!

The give-away for telling Amish from Mennonites is the cadillac. If you see and Amish in a Cadillac, then he's a Mennonite.

125 Digital Display  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:39:49am

re: #121 Opinionated

Hey, whoever down dinged me for #60, I just should advice you that it may be difficult to navigate life if you can't recognize obvious sarcasm.

I updinged you.. everything is equal now..
/saved by zero

126 Spider Mensch  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:40:00am

just a couple of items to comments above..Israel isn't surreal it's reality personified...when you have a country the size of New Jersey and surrounded by people who dis like and hate you, yes, you drive to the front where the fighting is. well the closest bases anyway to hook up with your unit. and their are bases throughout the country.
The Golani brigade is primarily made up of young Jewish men from other countries. hence the men quoted in the article are from New York, Moscow. many in the Golani brigade come to serve and do their duty from their homeplaces in other countries. they live elsewhere but come back to defend Israel. they are a brave group as all the men and women in the IDF are.

127 Czarny_Smok  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:40:02am

re: #119 x-wing

I've wondered for awhile why our DOD wont implement some of the Israeli upgrades on our Armored vehicles. They are the pickiest country when it comes to the quality of their vehicles. For good reason too.

Same question has been asked innumerable times. The Merk is a tank that is designed for use in the Israeli environment, the M1A1 and variants are designed for broader applications. Merk is a great platform, and so is the Abrams, just set up for very different ROE's.

128 dhg4  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:41:01am

re: #117 lawhawk

Hamas is making the same demands for Shalit's release that they've been making from the day he was captured after a Hamas unit invaded Israel to capture Israeli soldiers (two other IDF soldiers were killed in the operation). They've been demanding the release of hundreds of terrorists in exchange for Shalit.

Israel must disabuse Hamas of that notion, but given the way Israel forked over hundreds of terrorists for the remains of Goldwasser and Regev, Israel will eventually cave, unless they learned that lesson as well (that you never carry out trades with terrorists because it only encourages further incidents).

It's Israel that should be dictating terms. I'm sure guys like Haniyeh and Zahar are quaking in fear. Israel's the ones who should be saying:

I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.
129 Kragar  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:41:22am

re: #119 x-wing

I've wondered for awhile why our DOD wont implement some of the Israeli upgrades on our Armored vehicles. They are the pickiest country when it comes to the quality of their vehicles. For good reason too.

Watch "The Pentagon Wars". Satirical movie about the design of the Bradley and you can see how our designs get picked.

130 Opinionated  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:44:41am

re: #125 HoosierHoops

I updinged you.. everything is equal now..
/saved by zero

Thanks. But it wasn't the ding that concerned me, it was the actual curiosity of whether what I wrote was not readily recognizable as pure sarcasm.

131 jcm  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:50:50am

re: #113 midwestgak

If you haven't seen it, 1/2 Hour News Hour on U Tube makes the idea doable.

Guaranteed to win.... all the lefties head will have exploded at the idea of it.

132 [deleted]  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 10:51:16am
133 NY Nana  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 11:17:47am

re: #123 tommy

Here is a prayer in English for the IDF..the Hebrew one is also included.

Invoking God's protection for the members of the Israel Defense Forces.

He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our God, from the border of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Aravah, on the land, in the air, and on the sea.

May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighters from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.

May He lead our enemies under our soldiers' sway and may He grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is the Lord your God, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you.

Now let us respond: Amen.

134 razorbacker  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 11:26:03am

Well, well. I guess I could ask how many layers of fact checkers verified this report before posting it at Little Green Fields.

Can't be too relevant, anyway. Where are the pictures of spotless teddy bears sitting in rubble? No sobbing Gazans morning their dead? Not even a poignant photo of a rusty iron key to a home taken by the Juice in '48?

Charles has a long way to go before he joins the MSM. Thankfully.

135 dahozho  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 11:27:09am

To use some very American venacular-- Ain't nobody takes care of business like the IDF! Am Israel Chai!

136 Ward Cleaver  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 11:38:12am

Considering that they have Olmert as CiC, I'm amazed that their morale is so high.

137 tommy  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 11:56:11am

re: #133 NY Nana

Re 133

Thanks, that is beautiful.

May it be so. Amen.

138 iminfidel  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 11:59:57am

Instead of the evening nightly snews re-gurgs i watch Cash Cab. I learn so much more.

139 NY Nana  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 12:12:07pm

re: #137 tommy

I hope that soon this war will end, with Israel triumphant....the prayer really is beautiful, but sadly, in the past 60 years plus, it has needed to be used far too many times.

The enemy is throwing yet another tantrum, trying to steal what is not theirs, and meanwhile they are busy inculcating their kids, from birth, with what is a genetic hatred of Israel and the Jews, and also the Christians who live peacefully in Israel.

140 nyc redneck  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 12:13:18pm

i like that michael got in to give a factual honest account of what these soldiers are doing and the msm was shut out. as they should be.
they have no interest in honest factual reporting.
let them make up their lies from a distance.

141 Irish Rose  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 12:51:09pm

Great stuff, more please!

142 wiffersnapper  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 1:03:28pm

Thanks Mike for the great report! I don't think it'll get on TV anytime soon though, unfortunately. Those Fiskie media types are pretty elitist you know.

143 yochanan  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 1:15:12pm

re: #133 NY Nana

Here is a prayer in English for the IDF..the Hebrew one is also included.

amen

144 path  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 2:12:06pm

re: #53 lawhawk


Yes, you say it so well.............let's hope Isreal doesn't stop now. Go IDF

145 NY Nana  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 2:19:00pm

re: #143 yochanan

Shabbat shalom!

How is your son doing?

146 NY Nana  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 2:20:13pm

re: #141 Irish Rose

G-d bless you for your posts on a certain blog! I am astounded that they were not delete.

147 path  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 2:21:24pm

re: #133 NY Nana


Amen

148 NY Nana  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 2:27:24pm

re: #147 path

Amen....

149 Smorgasbord  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 2:32:16pm

Here is the way I look at the IDF not allowing the propaganda media to be with them. Let's say the IDF is your computer, and the propaganda media were a computer virus. Would you want THAT VIRUS in your computer? Keep up the virus shield IDF!

150 Render  Fri, Jan 16, 2009 5:14:06pm

Nope. That's not me.

Wish it was but that kind of travel is way outside of my current budget and living situation.

Very nice work Michael Fenenbock and congrats on the well deserved scoop, (you too Charles - and thank you for the Live Blogging opportunity - You didn't have to and I appreciate it more then you can know).

===

Shown in the headline photo is a Merkava Mk4, (an armored Cat D-9 is visible in the back round). The Merkava Mk4 shares its 120mm main gun with the M1A2 and the German Leopard 2. Not surprising as the US and Israeli gun is based on the German Rheinmetal 120mm gun.

It also shares much of it's armor design with the Abrams, the British Challenger, the German Leopard 2, and to an uncertain extent, the French LeClerc 2. Unlike the M1, the Merkava uses an autoloader with a ten round magazine for its main gun.

It is powered by a front mounted 1,500-horsepower direct injection, liquid cooled diesel engine, (co-produced in the USA by General Dynamics and MTU). The exact same engine is mounted in the French LeClerc 2, so no more jokes about the French tank.

All tanks have multiple reverse gears, including the M1's. That's just common tactical combat sense. So again, no more jokes about the French tank.

As long as it isn't painted in UN white, the LeClerc 2 is one of the better MBT's in use today. Certainly in the top five.

[Link: www.defense-update.com...]

The Merkava is a very different kind of main battle tank (MBT) from all other MBT's. Israeli tanks are optimized for fighting in the region surrounding Israel. Merkava's are designed from the start for crew and passenger survivability to a level that no other tank has ever been. The tank can die, the men are irreplaceable.

The Merkava Mk4 is also quite a bit slower then the M1A2 and slightly lighter in weight.

===

The Merkava Mk4 that was seen on the night of the fighting around the UNRWA compound unloaded it's entire ready-use magazine of ten rounds at a much more rapid rate then I would have expected, and then to my complete surprise, fired two more 120mm rounds in less then a minute. I could be wrong, but I thought I saw it fire a single LAHAT tube launched missile in the same volley. All while burst firing its fixed 50cal and it's co-axial 7.62mm.

That crew is nothing short of amazing. The level of training and skill that they exhibited in a night time firefight rivals the very best, in any military today, including the US military.

===

One more time, Charles, thank you.

MR. JOHNSON,
R

151 insomniac  Sat, Jan 17, 2009 1:39:54am

as someone else has mentioned before......

mainstream media = mediots

152 mdaspinall  Sat, Jan 17, 2009 4:55:51am

re: #70 maddogg

Chobham armor.

Unfortunately although the coalition lost no tanks during the Iraq War 2003, the new Russian ATM is very succesful against the Merkava as demonstrated in the 2006 Lebanon war. 49 Tanks in fact. This was 1/6th of the entire armour sent acroos the border. Also despite Israeli Claims NO tanks have been lost in Gaza, unfortunately videos posted by Hamas DO in fact show the opposite. The tanks themselves actually are hampered in streets and are really designed for old style 'national' warfare. The first Merkava to be destroyed in Gaza was before the withdrawal by members of the Saladin Brigade in an ambush that tooks months to plan. A 30kilo IED held up a convoy and when the Merkava turned up for rescue it was wiped by a 120kilo charge. The second was destroyed near the Rafah crossing by members of the Al Quds Brigade using an RPG on the back door weak point. You can check the latest Hamas videos showing tanks in Gaza as we speak being ambushed and knocked out on You Tube. Luckily Hamas does not possess the latest Russian gear unlike Hizballah or Israel would be losing a hell of a lot more. The IDF soldiers are an entirely different matter and if the politicians zippy liverless etc gave distinct orders (such as Maggie Thatchers famous 'Get the Islands Back') the IDF would do far better. Like the hunt for Saddam Hussein and the 'DEck of Cards' the IDF should just aim for capturing or killing the leadership and then holding them hostage for Gilead Shalit and then copying Nasrallah send those leaders back in body-bags 'after' the exchange.

153 Render  Sun, Jan 18, 2009 2:45:24pm

re: #152 mdaspinall

Wrong, wrong, and more wrong.

At least show some links for what you're claiming.

FACTS
NOT
FEELINGS,
R


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