Dear Readers: So, the Young Prince is out of school for the Thanksgiving Holiday. He is attending his fencing school’s “Deadliest Warrior” camp — pitting Samurai against Musketeers. He is choosing to be a Musketeer — though the fake muskets are a “fail” according to his standards. Between sessions, he is planted in front of the computer playing “RoBox”, “Pirates 101”, or “Medieval Total War”.
He now has found an excuse to game away.
While many of the boys in Idan Yahya’s high school class were buffing up and preparing themselves for selection into elite combat units, this gawky teenager was spending “a lot of time” playing Warcraft — the real-time strategy computer game where opposing players command virtual armies in a battle to dominate the fictional world of Azeroth.
Four years later, the high school jocks who sweated it out in pre-military academies so they could make the cut into the Israel Defense Force’s Special Operations units are now crawling through the sand dunes on the outskirts of the Gaza Strip and watching while Idan knocks rockets out of the sky hundreds of meters above their heads. Idan Yahya, 22, an Iron Dome “gunner” in the Active Air Defense Wing 167, currently holds the record for the number of rockets intercepted: eight.
People in the army describe him variously as a geek and an ace. But the geek who grew up playing Warcraft is now a highly prized soldier on the cutting edge of real war craft. He’s the Israeli army’s top rocket interceptor.
I wanted to take a moment to introduce a new friend of the Shrine: Anne of Anne’s Opinions. She is formerly from London, Englandthe moved to Jerusalem until her marriage, and then moved to Petach Tikva. Anne blogs about life in Israel, pro-Israel activism, and hopies. She also monitors anti-Israel and antisemitic activity on the web. I will be adding her to the blogroll.
Her current post features an update on Israel’s operations against Hamas terrorists, which is called Pillar of Cloud:
We’re technically into day 8 of Operation Pillar of Cloud but I just wanted to update before I close for the night.
Sadly today two more Israelis were killed by rocket fire in the south. One victim was an IDF soldier, 18 year old Yosef Partuk, the second victim was a local Bedouin:
Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at a kibbutz in the Eshkol region on Tuesday killed 18-year-old IDF soldier Yosef Partok and Alian Salem Alanbari, a married man with children from the Bedouin village of Rejwan in the Negev.
Five other soldiers stationed on the kibbutz on the Israel-Gaza border were injured in the attack.
Partok was the fourth Israeli and Alanbari the fifth to be killed in rocket attacks since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense last Wednesday. Three residents of the southern town of Kiryat Malachi died in a rocket strike on their home on Thursday.
As an expert on ancient Egypt, I can testify it’s not wise to try and take-out the Jews:
Professor Jacobson has an update on the results, and an analysis of the American stance: Israel squanders initiative waiting for Obama
Israel caught Hamas off guard. While Hamas reasonably could have expected retaliation for stepped-up missile fire, it did not anticipate the nature of the retaliation — the assassination of the head of Hamas’ military wing and the bombing of numerous long-range missile depots.
The lesson of Lebanon and the prior Gaza conflict is that air power alone cannot stop missiles from being fired by people who hide among civilians. The international community of thugs and anti-Israeli journalists will scream about Israeli retaliation..
And, to conclude with a more poignant mother-child interaction, via Twitchy:
THIS IS REALITY OF LIFE IN ISRAEL living near Hamas butchers: Mom defends her daughter during Siren in Ofakim. #tcot pic.twitter.com/rndzT3Q4
Now compare that image to a group of Hamas supporters: Hamas Drags ‘Israeli Sympathizer’ Through Streets of Gaza