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Thread: Americans in the Israeli Air Force

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    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Americans in the Israeli Air Force

    Here is a stiring seven minute documentry about American Fighter pilots of Jewish faith Joining what would become the Israeli Airforce
    in 1948 and turning back Egypt six miles from Televiv...flying Nazi planes...
    http://vimeo.com/54400569

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    Gotta Have Music iluvtodd's Avatar
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    Thank you very much (or, I should say "Todah Rabah"), Chris. This is incredibly moving, and I will be sharing this with family, friends, and synagogue congregrants. We have several children of congregants who have moved to Israel over last summer to join the Israel Defense Forces, including the oldest son of our cantor (the musical leader of our services). Thank goodness for these young (at the time) pilots who saw the urgency of the situation and were instrumental in defending the state of Israel.

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    That's amazing, Chris. Thanks.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    That must have been an incredible experience for the pilots who were involved - I didn't expect that so many would still be alive today, it's great that they managed to find them so that they could share their stories. I do wish they had interviewed some of the Israelis who were involved in the IAF in its early days (there were some ) so that we could hear their thoughts about the foreign pilots and their contributions.

    The way the Israeli military was kind of put together using anyone and anything that could help is the sort of typical Israeli improvisation that can still be seen in the country today (e.g. in the high-tech sector).
    Last edited by Buttercup; 02-22-2013 at 07:52 AM.

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    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    I do hope they get to do a full documentary. As we all know, these heros, both US and Israeli, are getting old and leaving us...I think Stephen Spielberg could do a great movie about 1948.....and beyond. When you look at the history of the country and the IDF, it is amazing....kind of reminds me of the birth of the US in some ways....it warms my heart to see what a few good people can do when they get together and "Just say NO" to tyrants and hold up their hand in a STOP gesture while holding an Uzi in the other....well done, Israel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    That must have been an incredible experience for the pilots who were involved - I didn't expect that so many would still be alive today, it's great that they managed to find them so that they could share their stories. I do wish they had interviewed some of the Israelis who were involved in the IAF in its early days (there were some ) so that we could hear their thoughts about the foreign pilots and their contributions.

    The way the Israeli military was kind of put together using anyone and anything that could help is the sort of typical Israeli improvisation that can still be seen in the country today (e.g. in the high-tech sector).

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    Chris, what a great idea, for someone like Spielberg to make a movie about it.

    A good storyteller (Spielberg is surely one) has to be in charge. I saw George Lucas's Red Tails, about the Tuskegee Airmen, and it missed a lot of chances.

    Maybe Ron Howard, if Spielberg's busy.

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    Thanks for sharing this, Chris. I once did a research project (way back in my undergrad days) on the birth of modern Israel and read about these pilots. Very cool to hear their stories directly.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    it warms my heart to see what a few good people can do when they get together and "Just say NO" to tyrants and hold up their hand in a STOP gesture while holding an Uzi in the other....well done, Israel.
    I'd rather there was no need for anyone to do that, and I don't think what happened in Israel in 1948 was about people saying no to tyranny. I do see your general point, however. Many people made considerable sacrifices in order for Israel to become a nation and to defend the country and help it succeed since then, and some of them did so entirely voluntarily, like the men in this documentary. That's certainly worthy of respect.

    FWIW, Uzis were not introduced into the IDF until the 1950s, and most IDF soldiers do not use Uzis of any type these days.

    I would rather not see a Hollywoodized version of Israel's founding. I like the documentary approach, as was done here - also, the Israel Broadcast Authority produced two major documentary series about the history of the country, Pillar of Fire and Tkuma (part 1 of the English version is on Youtube), and there are of course others. The one thing that might work is if it was something more like Band of Brothers, a miniseries and one that does sensationalize or turn to melodrama.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    There is also the Palestinian's point of view.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    There is also the Palestinian's point of view.
    Which would be a good subject for a different documentary and a different thread.

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    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Certainly. Mathman and Buttercup are entitled to their opinions as to whether or not there really are "Palestinians" or are the people that live there Arabs. But that is not what this thread is about. It is about a courageous people that recieved rough treatment from everyone from the Germans to the Americas and who decided enough is enough and made their own country. And who dont take any crap off of anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Which would be a good subject for a different documentary and a different thread.

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    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    FWIW, the remark about Uzis was just a general remark that the Israelis knew that they would have to defend themselves. As louisa05 will agree, the early Israeli army used quite a few different weapons, many of them German, or of German design, such as those made or refurbed in CZ.Collecting them is a whole field unto itself. Many were converted to 7.62 Nato. Here are a few pics.
    http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...r-Israel-K98-s

    Israel sold quite a few Uzi and Galil rifle replicas in the US (semi auto only) to help pay for its own arms...IIRC, for every Galil replica they sold to us US collectors, they could build two for themselves.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I'd rather there was no need for anyone to do that, and I don't think what happened in Israel in 1948 was about people saying no to tyranny. I do see your general point, however. Many people made considerable sacrifices in order for Israel to become a nation and to defend the country and help it succeed since then, and some of them did so entirely voluntarily, like the men in this documentary. That's certainly worthy of respect.

    FWIW, Uzis were not introduced into the IDF until the 1950s, and most IDF soldiers do not use Uzis of any type these days.

    I would rather not see a Hollywoodized version of Israel's founding. I like the documentary approach, as was done here - also, the Israel Broadcast Authority produced two major documentary series about the history of the country, Pillar of Fire and Tkuma (part 1 of the English version is on Youtube), and there are of course others. The one thing that might work is if it was something more like Band of Brothers, a miniseries and one that does sensationalize or turn to melodrama.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Chris, what a great idea, for someone like Spielberg to make a movie about it.

    A good storyteller (Spielberg is surely one) has to be in charge. I saw George Lucas's Red Tails, about the Tuskegee Airmen, and it missed a lot of chances.

    Maybe Ron Howard, if Spielberg's busy.
    I think I'd be more interested in Israeli filmmakers tackling this subject, to be honest. Or Dover Koshavshvili (born in Georgia; I don't know if he's considered Israeli, but Late Marriage and Anton Chekhov's The Duel were masterful)

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    FWIW, the remark about Uzis was just a general remark that the Israelis knew that they would have to defend themselves. As louisa05 will agree, the early Israeli army used quite a few different weapons, many of them German, or of German design, such as those made or refurbed in CZ.Collecting them is a whole field unto itself. Many were converted to 7.62 Nato. Here are a few pics.
    http://forums.gunboards.com/showthre...r-Israel-K98-s

    Israel sold quite a few Uzi and Galil rifle replicas in the US (semi auto only) to help pay for its own arms...IIRC, for every Galil replica they sold to us US collectors, they could build two for themselves.
    Chris gets an A from the soon to be history prof.

    The difficulty Israel faced was an inability to officially create or arm a military until statehood was declared coupled with the knowledge that their declaration of statehood would immediately plunge them into a war for their own survival. Thus, a military to secure independence was cobbled together and armed as Chris summarized.

    And while the fight to secure independence may not have been, in the narrow view, a fight against tyranny, the complex circumstances that led to the birth of Israel as a modern nation were greatly impacted by the tyranny of Nazism. Many historians hold the view that without the Holocaust, the land that is today Israel would have had an entirely different trajectory.

  15. #15
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    Thank you, Prof! Being an amature historian and firearms historian helps a bit. We can quibble about what I mean when I say tyranny and tyrants....but if Islam were allowed to overrun Israel, I got a nickel that says it would be tyranny, and I dont bet!
    Good luck to you and your carrerr path. And I hope to meet up with you again at some event.
    tyr·an·ny

    /ˈtirənē/


    Noun

    1.Cruel and oppressive government or rule.
    2.A nation under such cruel and oppressive government.

    tyr·an·ny

    /ˈtirənē/

    tyr·an·ny

    /ˈtirənē/

    Noun




    oppressive government.
    Definition of TYRANNY


    : oppressive power <every form of tyranny over the mind of man — Thomas Jefferson>; especially: oppressive power exerted by government <the tyranny of a police state>




    Quote Originally Posted by louisa05 View Post
    Chris gets an A from the soon to be history prof.

    The difficulty Israel faced was an inability to officially create or arm a military until statehood was declared coupled with the knowledge that their declaration of statehood would immediately plunge them into a war for their own survival. Thus, a military to secure independence was cobbled together and armed as Chris summarized.

    And while the fight to secure independence may not have been, in the narrow view, a fight against tyranny, the complex circumstances that led to the birth of Israel as a modern nation were greatly impacted by the tyranny of Nazism. Many historians hold the view that without the Holocaust, the land that is today Israel would have had an entirely different trajectory.

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