30 November 2008

Nominee for Best Military Blog Award

I've been nominated for the Best Military Blog Award. I'm honored just to have been nominated.

Click the graphic below to add your support!

The 2008 Weblog Awards
تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس


Bielski Brothers Museum Exhibit

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

Little-known tale of heroic brothers opens at Holocaust Museum

By Sherri Day, Times Staff Writer
In print: Saturday, November 15, 2008

Three Bielski brothers used a thick forest in Belarus to conceal about 1,200 Jews during World War II. An exhibit about the little-known story opens at the Florida Holocaust Museum today.
Three Bielski brothers used a thick forest in Belarus to conceal about 1,200 Jews during World War II. An exhibit about the little-known story opens at the Florida Holocaust Museum today.

As a child, Brendon Rennert always knew his grandfather was special.

Strangers would wait outside his grandfather's Brooklyn apartment to talk. His house teemed with "aunts" and "uncles" who constantly enveloped him in hugs and kisses. A memorial in Brooklyn bore his name.

Rennert's mother told him his grandfather was famous, but Rennert was a teenager before he fully understood. His grandfather, Tuvia Bielski, was a Holocaust survivor. But more than that, Bielski and two of his brothers were part of a fascinating but little-known chapter of World War II when they hid 1,200 Jews in a forest in Belarus for more than two years. Together, they evaded the Nazis and likely avoided certain death.

Although the Bielski brothers' story has been told in two books and a documentary, it remains widely unknown. But not for long.

In January, the Bielski brothers' story makes its big-screen debut in Defiance, directed by Ed Zwick, who also directed Blood Diamond and Glory. Daniel Craig, the British actor and reigning James Bond, has the lead role of Tuvia Bielski.

And today, an exhibit that focuses on the brothers' exploits opens at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg. Museum officials say the exhibit, Courage and Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers, is the only one of its kind.

Rennert, who lives in Tampa and helped engineer the St. Petersburg exhibit, can barely contain his excitement. Finally, the world will know about his grandfather's heroism.

"To me, it's one of the greatest stories that have ever been told," said Rennert. "I always get the same look from people when I tell them about it. Jaws open."


Although Rennert, 40, says his grandfather talked little about what happened in the forest, he remembers his stories well. As told by Rennert, his uncle and the Holocaust Museum's curator, the tale unfolds this way:

Tuvia Bielski was one of 11 children in a family of millers in what is now known as Belarus. The family's farm bordered a thick forest. As the Nazis made their way through Belarus, they hauled off Bielski's parents and two of his brothers to a ghetto. Bielski later learned his family had been executed.

Fearing the same fate for themselves, four of the Bielski brothers — Tuvia, Zus, Asael and 12-year-old Aron — fled to the forest. The land seemed dense and uninhabitable to outsiders, but it had been their childhood playground. After learning their family's fate, the three older brothers decided to save as many Jews from extinction as they could by harboring them in the woods.

Tuvia, whose fluency in several languages and physical appearance allowed him to pass as a non-Jew, made frequent trips to ghettos where he implored Jews to flee to the forest. Later, when visits became more difficult, he sent notes telling of freedom beyond the ghetto. His was a fighting force. But any Jew — the old, infirm, women and infants — was welcome. They called it Jerusalem in the woods.

In the forest, the brothers had built a community blanketed by dense foliage and invisible by air. There was a bakery, a blacksmith shop, a tannery, an ammunitions workshop and a bath house to ward off typhus. The inhabitants slept in underground dugouts.

They made their living repairing weapons and providing other services for Russian partisans, who paid them in arms. They took other necessities by force.

The alliance with the Russians protected them from the Nazis, who had no idea how many people were in the forest or their fighting strength. When the Germans did attack, the Bielskis and their allies fought back and retreated deeper into the forest.

In the summer of 1944, German soldiers came upon the encampment as they fled from Russian soldiers. In the standoff, a handful of Jews died, but more than 1,200 walked out alive. The Bielskis emerged as well: Asael joined the Russian army and later died in battle. Tuvia and Zus eventually came to the United States and settled in Brooklyn. Rennert's grandfather, Tuvia, died in 1987, Zus in 1995.

Last year, Rennert and his relatives traveled to Lithuania to see Defiance being filmed. On the way home, the grandson got the idea to create an exhibit to share his grandfather's story with another generation.

The Florida Holocaust Museum was happy to oblige.

"The Bielskis are such a unique story because they weren't only focused on fighting back," said Erin Blankenship, museum curator. "They were focused on saving as many people as they could, and they took in anybody, the old, the sick, children. A lot of other partisan groups turned those people away."

Rennert, who is in telecommunications sales, reached out to family for artifacts. Everybody had a little something — a shirt, a book. The collectibles, along with artifacts unearthed in a dig in Belarus, make up the 50 items in the display. There are also photographs and video testimony from survivors, 29 of whom are still alive.

At a reception Sunday, museum visitors will meet members of the Bielski clan.

Robert Bielsky, Tuvia's son and Rennart's uncle, who has a different name spelling, has seen Defiance six times. He organized the Lithuania excursion and a side trip to Belarus to trace their ancestors' journey. He keeps the names of each person who lived in the forest. They are family.

He appreciates the film and takes pride in his father's heroics, but Bielsky suspects he wouldn't have sought the spotlight.

"What was very important to my father was to see those babies and those children of the descendants being born and grown up because of his feats," said Bielsky, 50, who owns a commercial real estate firm in New York City. "When (he) attended parties like weddings and bar mitzvahs, his satisfaction was to see the children and the grandchildren of the survivors — the regeneration of families that never had the chance to survive."

Hollywood being Hollywood, the movie takes liberties. Tuvia, for instance, didn't die penniless and was not a cab driver, but owned a trucking company, Bielsky said. Still the film lives up to the family's expectations by telling the truth about what happened in the forest.

Now that his grandfather isn't around to tell the tale, Rennert wants to ensure it lives on.

"It's a really great story in every aspect of it," Rennert said. "It's not about death and destruction. It's about life and living. To me, that's the greatest story that's around."

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Sherri Day can be reached at sday@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3405.

Bielski exhibit

Courage and Compassion: The Legacy of the Bielski Brothers. Nov. 15-Feb. 22. The Florida Holocaust Museum, 55 Fifth St. S, St. Petersburg, Florida USA

General public, $12; museum members, free. For information, call +1(727) 820-0100.

Original Article here.


28 November 2008

IDF Women in Video

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس


27 November 2008

IDF Sniper Rifles

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

Some thoughts from IDF Snipers in their own words:

“Two days after I finished my five-week sniper’s course I was sent on my first mission. The whole night before hand I felt unbelievably tense. I lay on my bed and couldn’t stop thinking about all the responsibility on my shoulders."

“The first time I fired my sniper’s rifle was on a mission which started out as a simple mission into Gaza during the night. I was lying out in a field when I saw two suspicious figures in the dark. I felt unbelievable stress. I was lying in a bunch of thorns and rocks but couldn’t feel a thing. I was completely focused on the two images and because of the pressure I forgot everything I had been taught. However, I received the order to shoot, I shot and one of the figures dropped to the ground and ceased to move...When we returned to the base I couldn’t get to sleep the whole night. I began to think about the man I killed and his life, but then I understood that if he had remained alive he would have hurt one of us. At this point I decided to never think about the fact that I had killed a man, but the opposite: that I had saved the lives of my countrymen."

“With time you begin to become accustomed to these missions and then you are able to relax. When I take up a position in an area we’ve taken control of, I find a corner and disengage from everything around me. I sit and wait patiently, sweating like crazy in the summer and suffering the cold in the winter, but I wait in silence. Sometimes we wait for hours, my personal record is eighteen hours straight. I just sat and waited my eyes scanning the territory in front of me."

Sniper Badge
Worn by IDF Certified Snipers

Since the War of Independence in 1948, the IDF has used several sniper rifles:

The Mauser Kar-98k, The M14, and The M24 are the most popular general issue IDF sniper rifles.

My own training was on the Mauser Kar-98k and on the Remington 700 / M24.

Mauser Kar-98k

The Israeli version of the Mauser Kar-98k rifles differ from the original German version in that they have had all of the Nazi markings and emblems removed and replaced with Israeli Defence Force and Hebrew markings as part of an effort to ideologically "purify" the rifles from their former use as an infantry weapon of the armed forces of Nazi Germany. The Mauser Kar-98k rifles produced by Fabrique Nationale post-World War 2 have Israeli Defence Force markings on the rifle as well as the emblem of the Israeli Defence Force on the top of the rifle's receiver. The FN-made Kar-98k rifles with the IDF markings and emblem on the rifle were produced and sold to Israel after Israel established itself as an independent nation in 1948.

Here are a few photos of an original Israeli I.D.F. K98 Mauser front sight adjustment tool.

Here is a photo of an original Israeli made K98 bayonet,

During the late 1950's, the Israeli Defense Force converted the caliber of their Mauser Kar-98k rifles from the original German 7.92mm rifle bullet to 7.62mm NATO after the IDF adopted the FN FAL rifle in 1958. The Israeli Mauser Kar-98k rifles that were converted have "7.62" engraved on the rifle receiver and burned into the heel of the rifle stock for identification and to separate the re-chambered Kar-98ks from the original 7.92mm Kar-98ks that were still in service.
k98.jpg (4142 bytes)

The Kar-98k rifle was used by the reserve branches of the IDF well into the 1960's and 1970's and saw action in the hands of Israeli Army reservists during the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 War.

The Kar-98k were the standard IDF long range infantry style sniping rifle up until the late 1970's when they were replace in this role by the newly arrived M14 SWS. The Kar-98k is still in use today by the Auxiliary Police Sniper Unit.

M14 Sniper Weapon System

The M14 SWS arrived in during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. The weapon underwent heavy modification in Israeli Military Industries (IMI) and since the late 1970's was the standard Israeli long range infantry style sniping SWS in the IDF, replacing the Mauser K98 sniper rifle.

M14 Rifle

M14 Rifle and M14A1 Rifles

The M-14 rifle is a 7.62 mm magazine-fed, gas operated shoulder weapon, designed primarily for semi-automatic fire. The M-14 originally had a M2 bipod for use as a squad automatic weapon.

M14 Length: 44.14 inches (112.12 centimeters)
M14 Weapon DataLength of Barrel: 22 inches (55.88 centimeters)
M14 Weight:
Empty magazine: 8.7 pounds (3.95 kilograms)
Full magazine and sling: 11.0 pounds (5.0 kilograms)
Bore diameter: 7.62mm
Maximum effective range: 500 yards
M14 Muzzle velocity: 2,800 feet (853 meters) per second
M14 Cyclic rate of fire: 750 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 20 rounds

The M24 SWS entered service in the IDF in 1997, replacing the Israeli modified M14 SWS in the role of the standard long range infantry style sniping SWS.

There are several other Sniper Rifles that have been used or are currently in use in the IDF including:

T.C.I. M89-SR

Caliber 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 Win)
Operation Semi-Auto (M-14 action)
Length 33.5" (85 cm)
Length w/suppressor 40.6" (103 cm)
Weight 9.9 lbs (4.5kg) std configuration
Barrel Length 22" (56 cm)
Stock Composite
Magazine Capacity 5, 10, or 20 round detachable box magazine
Designed Effective Range 1000 meters

The M89-SR is designed as a dual purpose weapon. Designed for both urban anti-terrorist operations as well as a battlefield sniper rifle. The factory guarantees 1 MOA and offers a full range of accessories and sales service.

Produced by Technical Equipment International (TEI) Ltd company, located in Tel Aviv, Israel. The M89-SR is intended for both urban warfare and support of mechanized troops in the field - everywhere where the compact size of this bullpup rifle, as well as its rapid-fire capability is a plus. M89-SR is based on the earlier Israeli design, the M36 bullpup sniper rifle, which was developed back in 1980s. The M89-SR is based on the modified American M14 / M1A rifle action, fitted into bullpup stock, and equipped with proprietary scope mount, muzzle brake and a detachable bipod. M89-SR rifle can be fitted with proprietary quick-detachable silencer for low noise work.

Barrett 82A1

The Barrett main Use in the IDF is for Hard (light armored) Target Interdiction (HTI) shooting, and not for extreme range sniping. The Barrett is basically Used as a very accurate heavy fire support, to take out Armored Caring Vehicles (acv), jeeps, cars, shoot through walls, etc.

M82A1 rifle, early version
M82A1 rifle, current version

Related Post: IDF Sniper Training
More here

24 November 2008

Bielski Family Movie

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

This video was created by Sharon Rennert and screened for the Bielski family at the Museum of Jewish Heritage on Sept. 14 2008, before watching a special preview of the movie "Defiance." It features Tuvia & Lilka Bielski, Zus & Sonia Bielski, their children, lots of other Bielskis, and many of the partisan survivors!

The Bielskis achieved renown by saving lives, an act whose resonance grows as the number of survivors' descendants increases. According to conservative estimates, from the over 1200 Jews saved by the Bielski Partisans, they currently number over 40,000 including their descendants.

I can't wait to see the new movie Defiance, the Bielski Brothers story, coming soon to a theater near me!

Hat tip: Sharon Rennert


23 November 2008

IDF Supermen

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس


Handgun and Rifle choices

تنسيق الكليات لعام سكس نيك كس Barack Hussein Obama

I received this email from a reader and thought I would post it for your opinions.

Leave a comment and let him know what you think.

DoubleTapper: After much research, I finally ordered my wife and myself our Christmas presents today, and was wondering what your opinion on the matter might be. Before BHO begins his reign and stamps out all the gun laws in the USA, I ordered a Glock 26 for her and a Glock 17 for myself. Several Special Forces types recommended the 17, and I figured to keep the cal. the same, I would get her the 26 for her smaller hand.

Just wondering what your opinion might be. I know a lot of folks in Israel seem to favor either Glocks or Sigs for personal handguns, but I was wondering what your opinion is with your specialized background. I like the option of extended high capacity magazines as well. Also, I was wondering what would be your choice for a personal semiauto assault type rifle, and what caliber. I have a mini-14 (.223) with several extended high capacity magazines, but was wondering if you might have another recommendation.

I don't know if you have heard what is going on with the gun shops over here, but handguns and assault rifles are selling as fast as the salespeople can ring them up. One shop sold over 400 assault rifles in one day, and the shops keep running out of Glocks and Sigs.

On National Ammo Day (Nov. 19th) I do plan on doing some serious procurement for all my weapons, as I have a strong feeling that BHO will be gunning (punny, yes?) for every aspect of the shooting scene from manufacture to ammo within a short period after inauguration.

I keep Israel in my prayers daily--very few in this country seem to understand or care what evil you face, and now with BHO in power, there is no telling what position he will take.

Go ahead and post your opinions to the comments.


22 November 2008

Bielski in IDF

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس
Elan Bielski was inducted to the IDF on Wednesday.

Elan( in back left) in his new uniform.

Good Luck Elan!

More here.


21 November 2008

Al Qaeda’s No. 2, not a fan of Obama

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس
In an attempt to incite Muslim Terrorists against the USA, Ayman al-Zahari, al Qaeda’s No. 2, said US president-elect Barack Hussein Obama was not an "honorable black American" but a "house nigger" (5:39 into the video message)

Al Qaeda's deputy leader accused Obama of betraying his race and his father's Muslim heritage on Wednesday and urged more attacks, as the group tried to counter the incoming U.S. president's global popularity.

Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's second-in-command Ayman al Zawahri attacked Obama as a "house Negro," a racially-charged term used by 1960s black American Muslim leader Malcolm X to describe black slaves loyal to white masters.

Zawahri has employed the "house Negro" insult before to label Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her predecessor, Colin Powell.

"And in you and in Colin Powell, Rice and your likes, the words of Malcolm X ... concerning 'House Negroes' are confirmed,"

"You represent the direct opposite of honorable black Americans like ... Malcolm X," Zawahri said in an 11-minute recording publicized on the Internet on Wednesday in al Qaeda's first high-level commentary on Obama's election victory on November 4.

Zawahri criticized Obama's support for Israel and plans to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, where he said they were destined to fail. He also said, "And be aware that the dogs of Afghanistan have found the flesh of your soldiers to be delicious, so send thousands after thousands to them." He urged Islamist fighters to keep striking "criminal" United States until it withdraws from Muslim lands.

The recording was distributed on a videotape that carried pictures of Obama at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and Malcom X, flanking Zawahri in the center.

U.S. officials and analysts, are alert for signs of an attack in the period leading up to the transfer of presidential power on January 20

IDF Women in Video

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس


19 November 2008

Photo of Victorious IDF Soldier Annoys Palestinians

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

The following picture of the grinning, "V" for victory IDF Soldier in the Gaza strip area has annoyed Palestinians to the point of exasperation.

On the Arabic "paldf" website, this picture has generated quite a lot of chatter from angry Arabs who believe the "V" for victory sign is reserved exclusively for them. (The Google Arabic to English translator is your friend)

Hat tip Jameel


17 November 2008

Daily Picture from Israel

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس


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Defiance Movie Review

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

One of my regular readers just sent me this email.

"I just saw Defiance in a sneak preview for the National Council of the
Social Studies annual conference in Houston, TX. I know you have
written about this movie because of the historic story line. I think
you will like the movie even more for the way the story is told.

The characters are well developed. The audience can see that each of
the brothers is a human with weaknesses, but they all do great things.
My wife and I were really touched by the humanity of the characters
and their struggle. The love stories did not seem out of place, or
gratuitous. These relationships were a well balanced and integral part
of the story. The final battle scene kept us on the edge of our
seats, and ended in such a poignant manner. I am not a crier, but at
the end of this movie I cried.

I hope that the 250+ Social Studies teachers that saw the movie with
me will use the story in their lessons about WWII. There was a little
swearing, that will be tough for teachers to use more than short clips
of the movies in the classroom. Defiance had no sex scenes. There was
one scene where Tuvia Bielski was holding his bride in bed, and both
of them were shown with bare shoulders. That was as risque as it got.

I look forward to seeing Defiance once more in December with my
family. Thank you for writing so much about this movie and the Bielski
brothers. I would not have gone to see it if I had not read about it
on your blog. Thank you."

If anyone else has seen the movie, please post your reviews here in the comments.


15 November 2008

Bedouin Tribe Claims Relation to Obama

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

A tribe of Bedouin in the Northern region of Israel, the Galilee has now claimed that it is related to U.S. President-elect Barack Hussein Obama.

Abdul Rahman Sheikh Abdullah, says that he has evidence that as many as 8,000 Bedouin tribesmen from northern Israel are related to Mr Obama.

People are now flocking from across the region to pay their respects to the 'Bedouin Obama', whose social standing has rocketed since the news was announced.

Sheikh Abdullah, who lives in the village of Bir al-Maksour in the Israeli region of Galilee, told The Times newspaper: "We knew about it years ago but we were afraid to talk about it because we didn't want to influence the election.

"We wrote a letter to him explaining the family connection."

His 95-year-old mother was the one who first spotted the connection. He says that, when she saw Obama on television, she noticed a resemblance between the senator and one of the African migrant workers who used to be employed by rich sheikhs in the north of British Mandate Palestine in the 1930s.

The African workers would sometimes marry local Bedouin girls and start families and the tribe believes that one of those migrant workers was a relative of Mr Obama's Kenyan grandmother.

Sheikh Abdullah estimates that there are as many as 8,000 members of his tribe, all loosely connected by blood to the senator for Illinois.

He insists that he has evidence to prove the link, including pictures, but has promised his mother not to divulge them until he has presented everything to Mr Obama.

Mr Obama's team have so far not responded to the letter but this has not dampened the sheikh's enthusiasm.

"We want to send a delegation to congratulate him, and we know we'll get an answer soon."

Good Luck Sheikh Abdullah!

More Here


13 November 2008

IDF Women

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس



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