A New Way of War

An IDF military post in Lebanon in 1998 / Oren1973

In Pumpkin Flowers, Matti Friedman provides a brief, finely written account of an army outpost in Israel’s security zone in southern Lebanon in the 1990s and the men who served there. ‘Pumpkin’ was the outpost’s name, while ‘flowers’ was the Israeli army’s code word for wounded soldiers. The term, writes Friedman, reflects “a floral preoccupation in our military intended to bestow beauty on ugliness and to allow soldiers distance from the things they might have to describe.” The Pumpkin itself was far from poetic, a “rectangle of earthen embankments the size of a basketball court” where there was “nothing unnecessary to the purposes of allowing you to kill, preventing you from being killed, and keeping you from losing your mind in the meantime.”

GOP Strengthens Israel Platform Following Free Beacon Expose

IDF tanks / AP

Republican Party leaders reinserted key pro-Israel language into its 2016 platform on Monday following an exclusive Free Beacon report late last week describing efforts by certain elements of the GOP in 2012 to weaken language pertaining to the Jewish state.