SLJC notes the 70th Anniversary of the Israel Defense Forces

Michael Cohen, Chair, Friends of Israel Committee, SLJC

David Ben Gurion proclaimed the Israel Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948. On May 28, 1948, he issued the Defense of Israel Ordinance No. 4 establishing the IDF. Over the next 70 years, the IDF established a reputation as being one of the most effective and unique militaries in the world.

On January 28, 2018, The Friends of Israel will present “Israel Defense Forces, a view from the inside; IDF Veterans Share Their Experiences.” Six veterans, whose active duty times ranges from the 1950s to the early 2000s, will tell their stories. Their ranks vary from corporal to lieutenant colonel. They will all share the highlights of their active duty experience.

What make the IDF unique compared to other nation’s military? How do these differences impact on the fulfilling the IDF’s mission? The “Spirit of the IDF” represents the values that guide the responsibilities of the Israeli forces. These values are drawn from four sources: 1) The tradition of the IDF and its military heritage; 2) The tradition of the democratic principles of Israel, its laws and institutions; 3) The tradition of the Jewish people throughout their history; 4) Universal moral values based on the value and dignity of human life.

The IDF is unique in many ways. There is operational autonomy which means that up and down the chain of command, soldiers are told what to do, not how, with initiative being rewarded. There are 360 degrees reviews, with all significant completed actions being dissected both for success and meeting ethical standards. Officers in the IDF lead from the front, allowing immediate responses to changing situations. Being such a small country, active duty soldiers often go home for weekend and holidays, many with their weapons. With 70 years of a continuous active draft and a relatively small population, virtually every family has been impacted by pain and loss from military conflicts.

The panel will discuss the impact of these unique features on the IDF’s mission and also answer questions from the audience. With constant tension and conflicts in the Middle East, this event will be of interest to all. The entire community is invited to this free event. Please join us!

January 28, 2018, 3:00-4:30 p.m., Sun Lakes Chapel Center, 9240 E. Sun Lakes Blvd., Chandler, AZ 85248. Light refreshment will be served, and there will be no solicitations. For questions, call Michael Cohen at 480-895-4660 or email [email protected]