The Most Successful Start-Up Protecting the Jewish State

At face value, all armies share the same basic goal: protect its people. 

But as anyone who has served in the IDF knows, the Israeli army has become a unique hub of innovation that many other armies wish to emulate.

Why?

General Aviv Kochavi, the IDF’s Chief of Staff explained that “the IDF itself is one of the country’s central economic growth engines.” As such, he says, the IDF helps provide jobs and with the move of its cyber hub to Beersheva, has helped enhance that geographical desirability of Israel’s South.

The IDF at its core is a hub of innovation and manpower. It takes young Israelis from all across the country and gives them the tools they need in order to succeed when they embark on a career outside of the military. 

“Israel is a leader in innovation much thanks to compulsory service in its military,” Kochavi added.

Recruits, of course, need to go through a thorough round of physical and mental tests prior to enlistment. Those tests look beyond economic status, religion and – usually – even gender, to see what are the unique talents and abilities of each person. Then, once that person is placed in the unit that could best be served by those talents, they get to work. 

“These men and women who serve and protect Israel, aren’t just fulfilling their civic duty. They’re being primed to be the best and the brightest Israel has to offer for the next generation,” Dr. John Grossman, Chairman of LIBI-USA, the official welfare fund of the IDF, marveled.

In fact, the IDF is drafting plans to create a whole division dedicated to innovation and the development of technological systems, according to a recent Globes article. 

And while details regarding that division are hazy at the moment, the new division’s goal will be to develop and enhance weapons systems that will combat future threats and challenges the IDF is bound to face in the future. 

Of course, the IDF is well-renowned for the systems it has already had a hand in creating like the Iron Dome – an anti-missile defense system that saved an untold number of lives during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. 

As for the Iron Dome, the IDF is constantly working on improving not only that system but the alerts that notify civilians when rockets are launched at Israeli soil. This year, the Home Front Command revealed a new, more precise system informing civilians when they are in danger. Israel used to be divided into 255 alert areas, meaning that some would hear the harrowing siren even though they were nowhere near where the rocket was estimated to fall. Now, the country is divided into 1,700, making sure only those really susceptible to danger will have to drop everything and seek shelter. 

It also boasts of an elite unit dedicated solely to cybersecurity and intelligence -Unit 8200. That highly secretive unit – that wasn’t even spoken about a decade go – is at the forefront of the combat the latest cyber warfare threats.  

“When one thinks of the brave men and women who serve in the IDF, combat soldiers in the field are usually the first to come to mind. And although they should certainly be applauded for putting their lives on the line every day, let’s not forget these whip-smart young men and women who prevent Israel from succumbing to dangerous hacks that can cripple the entire country,” Grossman said.

And those threats are very real. As Yossi Melman, one of the top defense journalists in Israel, remarked, “Iran is trying to attack Israeli computers—civilian, military, intelligence—day and night.”

And, in many ways, the IDF becomes a training ground for these tech geniuses to make big waves once they’re released from the army. For Unit 8200 alone, its alumni have gone on to launch mega-companies like Waze, Check Point and Wix. 

8200 became the country’s internal R&D hub–the fuel for Startup Nation–with staffing numbers that grew apace and an expanding mission in an Internet-driven world,” Forbes reported.

The unit is responsible for providing intelligence for many critical operations in Israel’s history. For example, it was 8200 intelligence that helped Israel bomb a Syrian nuclear reactor back in 2007.  

These threats are constant and, in many cases, the public is only notified of IDF intelligence triumphs years after the fact. 

“Whether it be underground, in the air or at sea, the IDF consistently creates new, unprecedented ways to keep the people of Israel safe,” Grossman said. “We owe our gratitude to their ingenuity and ability to think outside the box and it’s our obligation then, to ensure they are constantly operating in the most comfortable environment so they can continue to churn out these indispensable innovations.”

Palestinian Journalist Tells How Hamas Brings Kids To Front Line to Die

A Palestinian journalist has described in detail how Hamas operatives take children in buses to protest against Israel on the Gaza border.

In a new documentary released by TPS, the journalist, whose face is blurred and his voice distorted for security reasons, says he has witnessed Hamas operatives taking chairs and sitting nearby the fence eating seeds and watching people die.

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Things are Heating Up in Israel

Imagine trekking in the sweltering heat, with a heavy backpack strapped over your shoulders, while carrying a heavy machine gun. The comforts of home are a distant memory, as you haven’t been home in days. The uniform, a barely tolerable cotton is suffocating during these summer months, when temperatures in Israel climb to 100 degrees and beyond. 

The winter isn’t much kinder, as soldiers based in the Negev desert watch the knuckles of their fingers turn black from the early stages of frostbite. 

The long hikes, endless hours staying alert and blisters and scabs all over the body are also just another part of the daunting gig. 

This is the life of a combat soldier in the IDF. 

Of course, no soldier enlists in the army expecting it to be a comforting experience. Every one of them – whether they are a combat soldier or a grunt – knows that every minute of their service means they are potentially sacrificing their lives for the Jewish state. 

“It’s impossible to understate the sacrifices and hardships these young men and women go through everyday to protect Israel,” Dr. John Grossman, Chairman of LIBI USA, the official welfare fund of the IDF, said. 

With donations from people from around the world, LIBI USA provides Israel’s soldiers with support, education, and assistance to help ease the burden of their service.

This summer alone was a daunting one. 

Even the use of WhatsApp on their private phones is not safe. Just this week, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit admitted that Hamas operatives were posing as Israeli soldiers and sent messages to them asking for them to divulge information future drills and exercises.  

And when they’re off duty, daily life isn’t so easy either. Take a recent Jerusalem Post report, which claimed that soldiers have to wait weeks for doctors appointments and don’t receive the adequate medical care they need. 

“Although the IDF does what it can to help soldiers, they too are overburdened,” Grossman explained. “At LIBI, we want to take the weight off their shoulders and make things easier for all involved.”

To that end, LIBI helps soldiers by providing recreational centers on the base, helps organize a “fun day” for lone soldiers and helps soldiers with housing. And after university, LIBI also helps integrate Israeli soldiers into the higher education system.

All these initiatives may sound basic to a casual observer, but to a struggling soldier they really make the difference between a smooth service and challenging one. 

And, after all, wouldn’t it make sense to give a little something back to the people who give Israel everything?

Netanyahu: Israel Will “Crush” Lebanon if Hezbollah Attacks

Israel will inflict a “crushing” military blow on Hezbollah and Lebanon if Hezbollah dares to strike Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu’s comments came after Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, gave an interview on Friday on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV to mark the 13th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War. Nasrallah said that “Any war will be bigger than the 2006 war for Israel, and it will put it on the brink of extinction.”

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IDF Troops Train Philippine Counterparts in Counterterror Tactics

A delegation of IDF troops trained their Philippine counterparts in counter-terrorism methods despite ongoing concerns of human rights abuses by the government of Rodrigo Duterte, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The 10-man IDF delegation led by Col. Dan Goldfus, commander of the Nahal Brigade, spent two weeks training 175 Filipino elite unit officers at Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, north of Manila.

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