THE PLANK JANUARY 4, 2009
Michael B. Oren, freshly summoned to war, has written a piece for us from Israel. Here's how it starts:
Dawn, the morning after Israel's ground incursion into Gaza. Last night, I received an emergency IDF call-up order--via SMS. Israel, 2009. Gone are the days when such commands were hand-delivered or broadcast in code over the radio. Gone are the prearranged assembly points in town where members of various units would meet and file into specially-mobilized buses. Today we travel to our bases individually, often by cab. Yet the result is the same: The citizen army of Israel has been summoned and is heading to war.
To be sure, I am far beyond reserve age (two of my post-army kids are waiting for their call-ups), but have remained in the ranks because of my familiarity with the foreign press. Though I'll soon be signing off on a weapon and body armor, more efficaciously, I'll check out the maps, photographs, and statistic charts designed to reinforce Israel's case in the media. Such accoutrements can be as crucial as any tank on today's battlefield, where victory may hinge as much on individual valor as on a collective image on TV. And, with all due deference to Hamas's fighters, journalists often pose a more formidable challenge.
You can read the whole article here.