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Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


Hoo boy, this is real. It's happening. My first "Ask me" thread, which is also my first forum thread. But I'm already digressing. Let me answer some basic questions for the sake of context before you folks ask away about the topic at hand.

Who are you?

- 26 year old male, living in Israel for about 2 years and a half. Born in Argentina, moved to Canada at 16, and then to Israel when I was 23.

Did you really serve in the Israeli army?

- Ayup. That's a "yes". Solid copy, or whatever.

How long did you do the army for?

- Short answer: one year and a half. Long answer: I was supposed to do 6 months, due to my age, but I decided to volunteer for longer for multiple reasons, one of them being that "I want to fit in".

What unit did you serve in?

- Combat Engineers, or Engineer Corps, however you wanna call it. Disarming/planting mines, handling explosives, shooting M16s, all that jazz. Finished with the rank of "Sargeant", but was a regular soldier in terms of my tasks.

What does the army mean for the average Israeli citizen?

- It's a big part of life. Every 18 year old Israeli, whether male or female, HAS to do the army. Boys do 3 years, girls do 2, or at least that's the basic service if you don't become an officer or other higher ranks. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule of mandatory enlisting, but those are usually related to health problems. Also, not every soldier learns to do what you see in them First Person Shooters; some work in offices, make coffee, and other quiet stuff. Lastly, unlike what some might think, most Israelis aren't THAT patriotic about joining the army - it means a couple of years of being forced to do something you most likely don't want to do, and this is right after finishing high school.


So there. Shoot. I'll do my best to answer. Obviously I can't answer a question that would compromise the army's super-special-awesome-secret-information, but I'll still do my best to reply.

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Reis
Sep 11, 2005


What's your opinion towards ultra-Orthodox Jews who won't serve in the military but want laws passed that fit their views of society more closely?

Lief
Nov 23, 2004


What does the typical diet consist of?

Missouri Fever
Feb 5, 2009

av by ed
do re mi
fà pí qì


Why did you move to Israel?

The Read Menace
Apr 4, 2003



What do you think of this shirt?

Al-Saqr
Nov 11, 2007


Sheikh of the Couch

Why do you feel any kind of loyalty towards a religious supremacist system you were not born into to the point that you'd gladly participate it's armed forces and aid in the occupation and oppression of the native populace of the land you JUST decided to make your home three years ago? it's not like you were born in Israel and brainwashed all your life, so why would you decide to leave Canada and participate in something you didnt need to?

What are your views of arabs? Why did you decide to partake in an army that regularly bombs them when they've never been been a problem for you in Argentina and Canada?

jalopybrown
Oct 11, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 5 days!


It seems any discussion on the IDF online quickly descends into a polarized "gently caress yeah show those terrorist ragheads" and "You're just as bad as the Nazis" did you expect and prepare for this eventuality?

Relevant to context question, describe your average day as a member of the IDF, are there any duties you kind of feel iffy about, protecting settlers or whatever?

Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


Reis posted:

What's your opinion towards ultra-Orthodox Jews who won't serve in the military but want laws passed that fit their views of society more closely?

I think everyone should serve, even if it's some sort of volunteer work involving no combat experience. There are some units that accommodate religious Jews, so it's already doable.

Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


Lief posted:

What does the typical diet consist of?

Hoo boy, that's a GOOD question. It depends mostly on what unit you're in, because certain units (*cough*Golani*cough*) get MORE money than others.

In my case? Crappy food. The main and only dining room, supposed to feed the whole base, is INFAMOUS for it's crappy food.

Breakfast: veggies, cream cheese, sometimes some sort of mini-dessert thingy, sometimes eggs

Lunch: pasta, sausages (ew), schnitzel, sometimes actual chicken, salads, etc.

Dinner: Like breakfast, sometimes with pasta, loads of cuscus, rice, and more disgusting stuff.

That's on base. When we'd go out to the desert (my base is surrounded by sand and more sand) we'd have a "soldier's meal", a cute cardboard box containing the following:

Can of olives, can of peanuts, 9 cans of tuna, bread, 1 protein bar. That's usually for 12 people. 12 hungry, hungry people. HAVE FUN. Well, it's not too bad once you get used to it.

When we got to the border bases and did regular patrolling and stuff (after advanced training) the food gets actually decent. Not restaurant-level, but still, you eat like a decent human being.

Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


Missouri Fever posted:

Why did you move to Israel?

Canada wasn't working out for me. Wait, how's this related to the army? Oh well, you get a freebie.

Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


The Read Menace posted:

What do you think of this shirt?


That's terrible.

Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


Al-Saqr posted:

Why do you feel any kind of loyalty towards a religious supremacist system you were not born into to the point that you'd gladly participate it's armed forces and aid in the occupation and oppression of the native populace of the land you JUST decided to make your home three years ago? it's not like you were born in Israel and brainwashed all your life, so why would you decide to leave Canada and participate in something you didnt need to?

What are your views of arabs? Why did you decide to partake in an army that regularly bombs them when they've never been been a problem for you in Argentina and Canada?

I'm not going to bother answering - I don't want no flame wars in my first thread.

Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


jalopybrown posted:

It seems any discussion on the IDF online quickly descends into a polarized "gently caress yeah show those terrorist ragheads" and "You're just as bad as the Nazis" did you expect and prepare for this eventuality?

To be honest, I was actually naive enough to think that on THIS forum people would be less extreme. So no, didn't prepare, but I don't really see the need in hindsight.

jalopybrown posted:

Relevant to context question, describe your average day as a member of the IDF, are there any duties you kind of feel iffy about, protecting settlers or whatever?

Fantastic question. My "average day" was different during and after my training.

During training we woke up usually at 5 am (having slept 6 hours or less), met with our beloved commanders ON TIME, did the morning cleaning/order, breakfast, then lessons/training/etc. Repeat until lunch, then until dinner. Training included lessons on how to deactivate mines (Israeli soldiers suck at paying attention at important stuff like this, btw o_O), doing exercise (regardless of weather), preparing our equipment, going out on "hikes" (I forgot the US army term. Sort of like a march, with all your battle gear on?), and other random things. We go to bed late at 11pm or so, and there's almost always guard duty, even within base because some Israeli kids apparently have no respect for private property.

After training it's completely different. For us it means going to a base in one of the borders (in my case north, with Lebanon) and guarding the area and the villages/settlements/people in the area. We have two main duties there: guard the base (it's as boring as it sounds, I'm afraid), or going out on patrol in an armored jeep, and making sure the fence is secure, no enemies, etc, etc. Usually something makes the fence go "ping", and that something tends to be an animal, so yeah, loads of false alerts. Other than that, we just stay in the base doing whatever, practicing, trying to get some rest (haha, no, it doesn't happen), and hanging out.

All of that being said, I was never "iffy" about any issues, like settlers or the such, because I wasn't guarding the "contested" areas that could arguably belong to either nation. Thankfully.

Gabriel Pope
May 16, 2009

diggle zone


So does mandatory service apply to immigrants too? Do you just show up and they're like "awesome, now you're in the army"? Or did you volunteer, and if so, what was your motivation?

Konstantin
Jun 20, 2005


Corsario posted:

- It's a big part of life. Every 18 year old Israeli, whether male or female, HAS to do the army. Boys do 3 years, girls do 2, or at least that's the basic service if you don't become an officer or other higher ranks. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule of mandatory enlisting, but those are usually related to health problems.

One big exception that you didn't mention is that Arab Israelis are exempt from conscription. You mention "fitting in" as a reason for your service. Do a lot of veterans look down upon those who are exempt and choose not to serve?

NathanScottPhillips
Jul 23, 2009


Corsario posted:

That's on base. When we'd go out to the desert (my base is surrounded by sand and more sand) we'd have a "soldier's meal", a cute cardboard box containing the following:

Can of olives, can of peanuts, 9 cans of tuna, bread, 1 protein bar. That's usually for 12 people. 12 hungry, hungry people. HAVE FUN. Well, it's not too bad once you get used to it.
Wow that's pretty sparse rations. Even still it sounds like it's much more than the 2279 calories per day that the average person living in Gaza gets. Do you ever feel guilty that the government you carry weapons to defend has calculated the minimum amount of calories a human needs to live and makes sure that not any more is allowed into Gaza?

Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


Gabriel Pope posted:

So does mandatory service apply to immigrants too? Do you just show up and they're like "awesome, now you're in the army"? Or did you volunteer, and if so, what was your motivation?

Mandatory service depends on your age - the older you are past the 18 year mark, the less time you have to do. So if you're an 18 year old immigrant, guess what - Uncle Shlomo wants YOU to join!

I volunteered - at the age of 23 I only had to do half a year as a "jobnik", that is, a non-combatant job, and for that amount of time, and with my then crappy Hebrew, you're not getting anything decent, unfortunately. So I wanted to do the "for realz" soldier deal and try a year and a half - I've always been the stereotypical geeky guy, and for me this was a great way of trying new things, like shooting guns, sleeping in the dessert, not showering for a week, learning to use explosives... the list goes on. Like I said earlier, I also wanted to fit in - Israeli males, for the most part, do the army, even as non-combatants, and it's like a sign of "I'm here for realz" if you've done a combatant service. When in Rome...

Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


Konstantin posted:

One big exception that you didn't mention is that Arab Israelis are exempt from conscription. You mention "fitting in" as a reason for your service. Do a lot of veterans look down upon those who are exempt and choose not to serve?

You're right about that - they are exempt. I didn't mention it because it's too specific a case.

And no, people don't "look down" on you if you're exempt, especially if it's for good reasons. On the other hand, if you did enlist and you didn't really have to (or had too many good reasons not to), then people "look up to you" for the most part. Many Israelis, both in and outside the army, have complimented me on enlisting despite my age and other factors.

On the other hand, people who sneak out of the army through lies and being "sick"... that's considered pretty shameful in general, and few will admit to it.

jalopybrown
Oct 11, 2012
Probation
Can't post for 5 days!


How volatile is the border with Lebanon, do you guys live with concerns Hezbollah might try a major offensive in the near future? What's the situation like on the Jordanian, Syrian and Egyptian boarders currently, we never really hear about those much in the UK, it's usually just the US & Israel vs Iran & Palestine situation.

Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


NathanScottPhillips posted:

Wow that's pretty sparse rations.

The definition of "sparse" gets a whole new meaning after you eat those things 3 times a day for a week.


NathanScottPhillips posted:

Even still it sounds like it's much more than the 2279 calories per day that the average person living in Gaza gets

Do you ever feel guilty that the government you carry weapons to defend has calculated the minimum amount of calories a human needs to live and makes sure that not any more is allowed into Gaza?

First of all, that number doesn't mean what they get - it's a minimum set by the government to avoid malnutrition. In other words, that's the bare minimum they can get, and usually get more.

And no, I don't feel "guilty". I do feel bad for the innocent people in Gaza, that have to suffer for what Hamas (a terrorist organization) is doing to their land. The blockade on resources was implemented solely because Hamas took over Gaza, by the way.

I hope that answers your questions.

Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


jalopybrown posted:

How volatile is the border with Lebanon, do you guys live with concerns Hezbollah might try a major offensive in the near future? What's the situation like on the Jordanian, Syrian and Egyptian boarders currently


It's all relative here - things are always "tense", but the question is "how tense?". To answer more directly, I'd say it's pretty chill with most borders, relatively speaking, the Syrian one being the obvious exception.

Jordan and Israel have been "best buddies" for a while now - no conflicts, no nothing.

Egypt was doing fine even after the Mubarak coup. That being said, with the current revolution going on, it could mean that a new party that is against Israel takes over, but hey, a meteor could fall on my apartment tomorrow, so I guess everything is possible.

Lebanon is tricky because the government doesn't want any conflicts, but Hezbollah does, and what with Syria being in chaos, and those chemical weapons begging to be taken... well, let's say that the attack will come from Lebanon, but not done by the government.

jalopybrown posted:

we never really hear about those much in the UK, it's usually just the US & Israel vs Iran & Palestine situation.

That, unfortunately, is how the media in general works for anything around the globe.

NathanScottPhillips
Jul 23, 2009


Corsario posted:

The definition of "sparse" gets a whole new meaning after you eat those things 3 times a day for a week.


First of all, that number doesn't mean what they get - it's a minimum set by the government to avoid malnutrition. In other words, that's the bare minimum they can get, and usually get more.

And no, I don't feel "guilty". I do feel bad for the innocent people in Gaza, that have to suffer for what Hamas (a terrorist organization) is doing to their land. The blockade on resources was implemented solely because Hamas took over Gaza, by the way.

I hope that answers your questions.
3 times a day? drat that's downright luxurious!

Why are you in favor of collective punishment considering the UN and most of the world considers it a war crime?

Also, I was under the impression that Hamas won the election against Fatah and are the legitimate government of Palestine. Fatah is the group that took over power illegally.

Corsario
Nov 2, 2012


NathanScottPhillips posted:


Why are you in favor of collective punishment considering the UN and most of the world considers it a war crime?

I'm not "in favor" of it so much as I accept that it has to be done, please don't jump to conclusions. I'm sure that if there were a better solution, it would've been implemented already. The moment Hamas and other terrorist groups lay down their arms and intent to take all the land for themselves, the government will remove the blockade.


NathanScottPhillips posted:

Also, I was under the impression that Hamas won the election against Fatah and are the legitimate government of Palestine. Fatah is the group that took over power illegally.

Last time I checked, it was the other way around. But regardless of that, we're digressing from the main topic here: the Israeli army. Let's go back to that one, yes? My main motive behind this thread was army stuff, not morally ambiguous political banter about Israel-Palestine, and I'd like to keep it that way.

goku chewbacca
Dec 14, 2002


Post pictures of smoking hot Israeli girls in fatigues holding large guns.

Noun Verber
Oct 12, 2006

Cool party, guys.


Corsario posted:

I'm not "in favor" of it so much as I accept that (A loving WAR CRIME) has to be done...

Can you see why people compare you to the Nazis now?

NathanScottPhillips
Jul 23, 2009


Corsario posted:

I'm not "in favor" of it so much as I accept that it has to be done, please don't jump to conclusions. I'm sure that if there were a better solution, it would've been implemented already. The moment Hamas and other terrorist groups lay down their arms and intent to take all the land for themselves, the government will remove the blockade.

Last time I checked, it was the other way around. But regardless of that, we're digressing from the main topic here: the Israeli army. Let's go back to that one, yes? My main motive behind this thread was army stuff, not morally ambiguous political banter about Israel-Palestine, and I'd like to keep it that way.
Wow, that's pretty impressive. I've never seen someone so blatantly in favor of committing war crimes and justifying them. Especially when there's not a single example in all of human history where collective punishment has ever worked towards any constructive end.

Sorry for going off topic but it was the IDF that helped Fatah initiate a coup after Hamas won the 2006 election 44% to 41%, and assassinating civilian leaders of Hamas, and it is the IDF who currently keeps Hamas out of power by blockading 1.6 million people behind remote-controlled machine guns.

Whatever you want to call it, this discussion definitely isn't morally ambiguous.


If you want to talk about something closer to you personally, how do you feel about the IDF using advanced guided weapons on civilian homes and apartment blocks during the 2006 invasion of Lebanon? Do you feel that your family in Israel is more at risk because of the IDF's blatant murdering of civilians?

axolotl farmer
May 17, 2007

I had me a vision
there wasn't any television



Corsario posted:

But regardless of that, we're digressing from the main topic here: the Israeli army. Let's go back to that one, yes? My main motive behind this thread was army stuff, not morally ambiguous political banter about Israel-Palestine, and I'd like to keep it that way.

You joined an army that's currently involved in occupation and displacing people from land that they have lived on for generations. Worse than that, you volunteered for it. Don't whine about that its your first thread and that you're new on the forums.

There is an entire military subforum, maybe you will have better luck there, but don't count on it.

Bishop
Aug 15, 2000


This thread is heading to hell real fast. I'm pretty anti Israel but for once can we just let someone talk about their experience in the IDF without a useless political clusterfuck?

My question: Before moving did you take the "Free Jew Trip" (that's what my Jewish friends who have done it call it) where they pay for just about everything and you get to tour the country while being convinced to immigrate? If so, was that a selling point on moving to Israel at an older age?

Earwicker
Jan 6, 2003



Are you into goa trance?

Junior G-man
Sep 15, 2004

Bawk Bawk THERAPY CRANES Baaawk!


Bishop posted:

This thread is heading to hell real fast. I'm pretty anti Israel but for once can we just let someone talk about their experience in the IDF without a useless political clusterfuck?


I don't see how that can, in any reasonable way, be possible with regard to the IDF. Unless we can only ask things like 'when do you need to wake up' and 'what are the exercise routines like'.

Corsario posted:

The moment Hamas and other terrorist groups lay down their arms and intent to take all the land for themselves, the government will remove the blockade.

So I take it you're not in favour of a two-state solution then. What would you say is the answer instead?

Or, hell, if you think that's too 'political'; here's a munitions question: how do you feel about IDF use of phosphorus munitions in built up areas?

Ferdinand the Bull
Jul 30, 2006


I went to Israel on a guides tour about three years ago. All (most*) of the Israelis I met were really down to earth whilst simultaneously exceptional human beings. I really care a lot for them.
For a long time, I couldn't reconcile the individuals within Israeli society with the government and societal structure at large
I'm not Israeli, so it's ignorant for me to say I have a solution, but it's still my right to say my opinion. Things is saw and heard from people there are majorly f***** up. The average Israeli need to take a stand and really work to guide their country's foreign policy into a more sane direction.

My question is, what is your opinion of Haaretz's reporting as how it relates to the safety of the average Israeli soldier?

Ferdinand the Bull
Jul 30, 2006


http://haaretz.com

For those of you not familiar, Haaretz is a newspaper in Israel whose reporting has been criticized in the past as endangering Israeli soldiers serving in country.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"


Yeah I'm not particularly fond of Israel's actions and if this was D&D I'd pile on the moral justifying but I think there's more to be learned than just "why do you support war crimes?" It's a valid question but the thread ends up being people shooting at the OP until they leave or admit they've been complicit in criminal actions and volunteer to spend the rest of their lives smuggling medical supplies into Gaza (one of these probably won't happen)

On a related note though: what is the attitude communicated in training regarding the whole situation? Is there a general unspoken understanding that the situation with the Palestinians is the reason you're all there or is it more overt in terms of lots of information on attacks and constant reminders that the Palestinians are the enemy? Is it something that's ever addressed our talked about or does everyone just sort of assume they're on the same page?

Saint Celestine
Dec 17, 2008

Lay a fire within your soul and another between your hands, and let both be your weapons.
For one is faith and the other is victory and neither may ever be put out.

- Saint Sabbat, Lessons

Can you tell me about the IDF Armored corps? Hows the Merkava? Why did the recent incursion into Lebanon turn out so badly in terms of tanks lost? Is it roomy inside?

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moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web

Ask me about being a mohel

plz no circumcision debate guys...

gently caress you

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