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.”

Israel Warns It Will Hold Hezbollah Responsible for Any Retaliation Attacks

Hezbollah fighters / AP

Israel has warned Hezbollah that it will hold the Lebanese militia responsible for any attack abroad on Israeli institutions or citizens that might be carried out in retaliation for the helicopter attack last week that took the lives of 12 Hezbollah and Iranian military personnel in Syria, including an Iranian general.