Sunday, November 25, 2012

Just Sayin'

Be strong and take heart, and have no fear of them: for it is the Lord your G-d who is going with you; He will not take away His help from you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Now that the dust is settling, a few statistics:
Approximately 1,506 missiles were launched from Gaza into Israel during the 8 day period from November 14 to November 20. These included Iranian-produced Fajr-5s, Russian-produced Grad rockets, and Kassam missiles.
Of these missiles:
  • 875 landed in open areas,
  • 421 were shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile system (84% accuracy), 
  • 152 landed in Gaza itself
  • 58 landed in urban areas
  • about 30 caused damage including 2 schools, an apartment in Rishon Le’Zion (the first time the Tel Aviv area has sustained rocket damage since the 1991 Gulf War), and an apartment in Kiryat Melachi causing the death of three residents who were unable to reach a safe area in time. Several other houses sustained damage in Beer Sheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod and other cities.
  • Military targets aimed at – 0
  • Civilian targets aimed at – 1,506

Hamas accuracy in hitting populated areas was less than 7%.
Six Israeli citizens were killed, including four civilians and two soldiers. The soldiers, while on active duty, were not killed in combat, but rather by kassams shot into civilian areas.
The ratio of Israeli civilian to combatant deaths: 2:1 (2 civilian deaths for every combat death).
250 Israeli citizens were wounded, including 10 soldiers, while over a thousand suffered from shock. Tens of thousands will suffer from PTSD, including almost the entire population of whole towns.  
Of the approximately 1600 air raids over Gaza by the Israeli Air Force, 1600 targets were significantly damaged including: 
  • 30 senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists
  • 19 command centers
  • 980 underground rocket launchers
  • 140 smuggling tunnels
  • 66 tunnels used for terrorist operations
  • 42 Hamas facilities
  • 26 weapons manufacturing facilites
  • dozens of long-range rocket launchers and launch sites
  • Military targets aimed at – 1600
  • Civilian targets aimed at – 0
About 177 Gazans were killed and about 1000 were injured. According to the IDF, 120 were Hamas or other terrorist operatives.
The ratio of Gazan civilian to combatant deaths: almost 1:2 (1 civilian death for every two combat deaths).
Approximately 1000 Gazans were injured.
To put the civilian/combat death ratio into proportion:
According to a 2001 study by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the civilian to soldier death ratio in wars fought in the last half of the twentieth century has been 10:1, i.e., ten civilian deaths for every soldier death.

What explains the low civilian to combat death ratio in Pillar of Defense? And what could explain the astoundingly low (albeit much much too high) death toll amongst the Israeli civilian population?

The answer to the first question is relatively easy.
1.   Thousands of phone calls and text messages were made by the IDF to warn civilian Gazans to get out of the line of fire.
2.   More than 50,000 leaflets were dropped over Gaza to warn residents “to avoid being present in the vicinity of Hamas operatives”.
3.   The IAF aborted hundreds of attacks due to civilians (especially women and children) being present at the target.
4.   Non-lethal but loud bombs were dropped near buildings as a warning to the residents that the building was a target area due to a Hamas presence, thereby giving residents time to leave.
5.   The IAF has perfected the pinpoint strike, where bombs are precisely dropped on target areas (even going through windows at times) to prevent ‘collatoral damage’.

As for the second questions, the answer is more complex.
In recent years, city councils have cleaned and prepared hundreds of public shelters for the safety of their citizens.
All public and private buildings must, by law, include a ‘safe area’. Many of the older homes and all of the public buildings in a 7km radius of Gaza have received such safe rooms. All new buildings are automatically built with one. The lives of many of the residents whose homes were destroyed by incoming rockets were saved by being in the safe room.
All cities have early warning systems (sirens) to warn the population to take cover during a rocket attack. Some areas have a 15-second warning, other areas, further from Gaza can have up to a full minute.
To minimize targets, at the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, the Home Front Command of the IDF instructed that schools be closed and all gatherings of more than 100 people were to be cancelled. All businesses within 7 km of Gazan were to close.
The Iron Dome anti-missile battery was designed and created to intercept incoming missiles whose tranjectories can be traced to hit a populated area.
In other words, both local and national government bodies have done the maximum to protect civilian life. 
Hamas, on the other hand, did nothing at all to minimize civilian deaths. On the contrary, they did everything possible to maximize the death toll on both sides. Rockets were launched at Israeli residential areas, from Gazan residential areas, thus creating a target for the IAF. Missiles and launchers were stored in apartment houses, mosques, schools, and hospitals, building on the knowledge that the IAF would not strike these areas so as minimize civilian casualties, while at the same time aiming at Israeli homes, synagogues, schools, and hospitals.

There is one more factor that needs to be stated.

I can’t state this as fact, but apparently the Hamas bosses were not pleased with their foot soldiers for not creating more death and destruction in Israel.
“It’s not our fault, boss,” the soldiers said, “We’re aiming the rockets at the Zionist hospitals and schools but their Allah just keeps knocking them out of the way”.

It can’t be declared, stated, expressed, affirmed, or broadcast often enough or clearly enough. The Hand of G-d was evident from beginning to end of the operation. Entire houses were destroyed but the residents walked out whole and healthy. Cars and buses were destroyed only after the drivers and passengers had left. More than half the rockets launched fell in empty areas. Scores of stories have been heard of “I had been there three minutes before,” or “They had gone to visit relatives in the north, so weren’t home”. Miracles upon miracles prevailed. Even the local press, notorious for being unbelieving or at least skeptical, used words such as ‘miraculous’, ‘wondrous’ and ‘by the hand of G-d’.

Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Jews worldwide prayed for the safety of Israel, its citizens and soldiers. Tehilim were said and prayer vigils were held. Those out of range of missiles reached out to those in range, offering respite, meals, lodging, and support. Soldiers all along the Gazan border were given foods and gifts donated by businesses and organizations, both local and international.

City shelters, Iron Domes, and a strong army (bless those soldiers!!) are essential, but no less is unity and care for one another. The Talmud tells us that Kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh, all Israel is responsible one for the other. This is the true strength of the Jewish people.

A famous story goes that Kaiser Wilhelm II asked Otto von Bismarck, “Can you prove the existence of God?”, Bismarck replied, “The Jews, your majesty. The Jews.”

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gaza, Why We Are There


We don’t thrive on military acts. We do them because we have to, and thank God we are efficient.
Golda Meir (1969)

Since Operation Pillar of Defense began on November 14, I have become a news junkie. I have been reading many international reports of the operation, and find the level of journalism, well, simply awful.
My favorite was “This round of fighting began when Israel assassinated Ahmed Jabari…. who was responsible for launching rockets into Israel, 250 in the last week.”
Does anybody see what is wrong with that sentence?
So here are some facts for those who don't know (if you already know them, don't bother reading):

The land on which Kfar Darom was settled was purchased by Tuvia Miller in 1930. In 1946, he sold it to the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and a religious kibbutz was established on the evening after Yom Kippur that year as part of an 11 point settlement drive. The other 10 settlements built on the same night were: Nirim, Urim, Hatzerim, Shuval, Mishmar-Hanegev, Be'eri, Tekuma and Nevatim in the Northern Negev, and Gal On and Kedma further south. The first eight are today all in range of Gaza’s missiles and most have sustained damage.
During the War of Independence, in 1948, Kfar Darom, along with Kibbutz Yad Mordechai and other settlements in the Northern Negev, was overrun by the Egyptian army. While Yad Mordechai and the others were retaken by Palmach forces during the winter of 1949, Kfar Darom was not, and the area – which later became known as the Gaza Strip – was lost to the Egyptian army.

Between 1948 and 1967, while Gaza was under the rule of Egypt, sporadic attacks emanating from the strip killed and wounded dozens of Israeli civilians.

Israel won back the area in the 1967 Six Day War and began settlement there after the return of the Sinai to Egypt in 1979. During peace negotiations with Egypt, Israel offered the Gaza Strip, but Egypt categorically refused responsibility for it. For close to 30 years, a tense quiet prevailed. Hundreds of Arabs from Gaza were employed in the Israeli settlements and more hundreds came into Israel to work daily.

In 2001, the first rockets were fired on Sderot, which is not located in Gaza. Rockets became a daily occurrence in the settlements of Gush Katif. It was because of the ‘occupation’ said pundits, and encouraged the evacuation of the 17 Jewish villages in the strip – including the lawfully purchased and rebuilt Kfar Darom. In the summer of 2005, the Israeli Government, under Ariel Sharon, did just that. 10,000 Jews were taken from their homes. Public buildings were dismantled, hot houses, which supplied a very large percentage of Israel’s cherry tomatoes, bug-free vegetables, and exported flowers, were abandoned to the Arabs, Jewish bodies were exhumed from their resting places, and not a trace of Jewish existence was left.

On September 12, 2005 the last Israeli soldier left the Gaza Strip.

On September 23, 2005, 38 rockets were launched on the city of Sderot.

On June 25, 2006, Gilad Shalit was kidnapped in a cross-border attack which left two other soldiers dead and three wounded.  Close to 2000 rockets had been shot into Israel that year.

There was no occupation of Gaza then, and it was only in 2007, after Hamas took control of Gaza, that Israel (and Egypt) instituted a naval blockade of the strip to prevent ammunition from entering the area.

In the last 10 years, over 15,000 rockets have been fired into Israel. The reason is not the ‘occupation’ as, except for one Israeli soldier held against his will for five years, Israel has not occupied Gaza for more than seven years. It is not the blockade, as rockets were being fired into Israeli territory long before the blockade began.

This is not about borders, or about land, or about water rights. This is about the Jewish right to live in our Land, to work and to study, to raise children; indeed it is about the Jewish right to live.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Why I Am Here

  שִׁיר, לַמַּעֲלוֹת:
אֶשָּׂא עֵינַי, אֶל-הֶהָרִים--    מֵאַיִן, יָבֹא עֶזְרִי.
  עֶזְרִי, מֵעִם יְהוָה--    עֹשֵׂה, שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains,
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.
   Psalm 121:1-2

19:57, 20:08, 20:19, 20:56, 21:07, 21:49, 00:01, 1:10, 2:38, 2:59, 6:27, 7:45, 7:54, 8:06, 8:40, 9:04, 9:17, 12:44, 18:57, 19:46, 19:58, and then I stopped counting.

Those are the times of the 21 sirens that sounded in Beer Sheva in the first 24 hours of Operation Pillars of Defense – from Wednesday evening, November 14 until Thursday evening of November 15. Over 40 rockets were launched at the city, two of them causing damage. 20 people were treated for shock. About 25 of the rockets launched on that one day on the city were shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.
Altogether, over 750 rockets have been launched against Israel since the start of the current operation.

I started this blog a few months ago to report on the good things in life in Israel. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I’ve switched direction slightly. My country is at war, my city is being attacked. It changes things.

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t be anywhere else in the world.

On Thursday morning, I decided to dodge the rockets and go to the supermarket to buy food for Shabbat. I was at the store for about 45 minutes, during which time two sirens went off. Being in a public place during a siren is an interesting experience. When the first siren sounded, I was waiting in line at the meat counter for chicken. The two young lads working at the counter were Bedouin. The siren went off; I tapped the man in front of me who was giving his order to let him know that there was a siren. He finished giving in his order and only then followed the rest of the store’s customers into the shelter, which doubles as an office. A couple of dozen people crowded into the shelter in what can only be described as a party atmosphere. People were laughing and joking, comparing stories of where they were ‘when the siren went’. I waved to a few friends. When, a few minutes later, I returned to the meat counter, the young man was standing cutting up pieces of chicken. “Didn’t you go for a little walk”, I asked him, meaning, of course, going to the shelter with the rest. “No”, he answered, “I’m tired of going for little walks. It’s driving me crazy.”
The second siren, about 10 minutes later, felt like a reunion. “Helloooooo! Long time no see! Haven’t seen you in a such a looooong time!!!!”
I finally got my chicken and stood in the shortest checkout line – which wasn’t particularly short. Many of the checkout girls had not come in that day because they had to stay with their kids, who didn’t have school.
Everyone, however, was calm and polite, and waited their turn patiently. For a minute, I thought I was in an alternate universe.
When I got home, I found my email and facebook account full of messages and invitations from people around the country inviting us to come to them if we felt we needed to get away.  Some of those people I hadn’t spoken to since the Cast Lead operation almost five years ago, and before that I can’t remember when I spoke to them.

But at a time of need, all Israel pulls together.

By Friday morning, the third day of Operation Pillar of Defense (Amood HaAnan in Hebrew – a reference to the clouds that accompanied the Children of Israel in their wanderings in the desert and protected them from enemies), and about 400 rockets later, life had settled into a routine. My elder daughter was not a work, my younger daughter was not at school, my youngest son was not in Yeshiva, but it was Friday, with lots to do to prepare for Shabbat.

And then the phone rang. My eldest son called. I joked with him for a minute or two, and then he told me why he was phoning. He had been sent emergency call-up orders for the army. He was to report immediately.

30,000 soldiers had been called up over the previous 48 hours, with another 45,000 to be called up in the next two days.

My breathing stopped. I told him to stay safe, that we would be in contact with his wife who was staying at her parents in the center of the country. I hung up the phone.

I sat forever with the phone receiver in my hands. I sat wondering why I had ever made the decision to live in Israel. Why did I raise my children to serve their country?

Why my boys?

A siren broke in. I got up heavily, and went to the safe room. It was 7:45 AM. Hamas was once again targeting my home and my family, and my friends’ homes and families for the simple reason that we are alive and they want us dead.

I got through that Friday somehow, thinking about my boys, the one called up and the one already serving. We didn’t even know where the second one was.  But I still had to prepare for Shabbat, do laundry, clean the bathroom, and throughout I had to keep making runs to the safe room.

There were parts of the day when I wasn’t even crying.

Before Shabbat came in, we had heard from both boys. They sounded tired, but not worried, this is what they had both trained for.

I lit the candles for Shabbat, said the blessing, and thanked G-d for allowing me to live in my Land with my family and people, and for giving me such amazing, and heroic children.

Please take a moment, and pray for the welfare of our soldiers defending our Land.
May He who blessed our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, bless the soldiers of the Israel Defence Forces, who stand watch over our land and the cities of our Lord, from the Lebanese border to the desert of Egypt and from the great sea to the verge of the wilderness, on land, in the air, and at sea. May God strike down before them our enemies who rise against us. May the Holy One save and spare our soldiers from all forms of woe and distress, of affliction and illness, and may He invest their every action with blessing and success. May he vanquish by their means those who hate us, and may He adorn them with a crown of deliverance and a mantle of victory. Thus may the verse be fulfilled: "For it is the Lord your God who marches with you to do battle for you against your enemy, to bring you victory.



Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget


We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
In Flanders Field John McCrae
 
Today is November 11, commemorated in Commonwealth countries as Remembrance Day, or Armistice Day. In America, the Monday closest to Nov. 11 is Veteran’s Day.
On November 11 in 1918, Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car in the forest of Compiègne, France. The fighting officially ended at 11:00 a.m., (the eleventh hour in the eleventh month on the eleventh day). As a school child, I remember wearing a plastic poppy on Remembrance Day, to remember the poppies that grew in the European killing fields. Lest we forget.
We memorized the poem In Flanders Field by John McCrae:
In Flander’s field the poppies grow

Except we were all Jewish, and it made us uncomfortable to be talking, even reciting, about crosses.

My Grade Three teacher, Mrs S., would always cry at the services we held. We always snickered at the really old teacher who was crying at some worn out old poems that we were reading. She must have been really old, we reasoned, because not only was she a teacher, Remembrance Day was about World War 1!, which happened a really long time ago!
Of course, years later, we discovered that Mrs. S’ brother had been killed in World War 2, and that she wasn’t that old, and that grief and longing never go away no matter how old you are.

It was only when I came to Israel, however, that I could begin to understood what grief means, how it leaves its mark on you (even if the loss is not personal); how it can well up inside you without warning, how crying at a memorial is the least of the problems.

Mrs S., whereever you might be, I deeply apologize to you.

Lest we forget.

I work at Ben-Gurion University. There is an American funding agency that awards grants for joint Israeli-American research projects. The dead line for the application was supposed to be tomorrow, November 12. They had forgotten it was Veteran’s Day, and at the last minute had to extend the deadline. Nobody had bothered beforehand to look at a calendar. Veteran’s Day, if I’m not mistaken, is just an great shopping day.

Lest we forget.

Four Israeli soldiers were injured last night when their jeep – on a patrol on the Israeli side of the border – was hit with an anti-tank missile. One soldier was injured very seriously, one seriously, and two moderately. Four civilians were hit today, all suffered moderate to light wounds. Altogether, about 50 rockets have been fired into Southern Israel in the last 20 or so hours, including at least two that hit Beer Sheva, sirens going off just as the kids were leaving school. The timing was intentional.

It has been forgotten that there are people who really do want to hurt us and our children. It has been forgotten that while one society wants nothing more than love and peace, another really really truly truly desires – and fights for – death and destruction.

We have forgotten that Lest we forget is not only an admonition not to forget the bravery and the heroism and the ultimate sacrifice of allied soldiers and their families in the two World Wars but also to remember how those sacrifices came about. Evil was allowed to flourish; it was excused; it was ignored; it was allowed to spread. 

We have forgotten that there is real evil in the world.

On this Remembrance Day, please remember those who gave their lives so you could live yours in freedom and in plenty, so that you can demonstrate and complain and shout to your heart’s content. But please also remember the evil that lives on as a direct descendent of the evil of then, as a descendant of Amalek, who attacked the weak who lagged behind the rest of Bnei Yisrael in their wanderings in the desert, who aimed at women in their cars, and children leaving schools.

Remember John McCrae’s words:

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Remember also: I (G-d) will bless those who bless you (Israel), and whoever curses you, I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." Genesis 12:3

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October 31 (1917)

His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country
United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Rothschild (Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild)

Never mind being Halloween, October 31 is a very auspicious day, especially in the Jewish calendar.

First, October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 61 days remaining until the end of the year (December 31).
Here are only a few of the events that occurred on October 31 over the years:
·   1517Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. That bore well for the Jews.
·   1926 – Magician Harry Houdini dies of gangrene and peritonitis that developed after his appendix ruptured. Let’s not forget, Harry was a Jew. A nut perhaps, but still a Jew.
·   1940World War II: The Battle of Britain ends – the United Kingdom prevents a possible German invasion. Paving the way for a final complete defeat of the Nazi enemy (even if it took five more years and 50 million deaths).
·   1941 – After 14 years of work, Mount Rushmore is completed. I don’t know how this is related to the Jews, but it was interesting, so I included it in the list.
·   1961 – In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin's body is removed from Lenin's Tomb. Stalin was one of the greatest enemies of the Jewish people. His memory should be erased.
·   1984Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two security guards. Riots break out in New Delhi and nearly 10,000 Sikhs are killed. Nothing to do with Jews or Israel but it’s also interesting.
Ok, so I copied from Wikepedia, but you get the point.
October 31 may be the anniversary for lots of varied and interesting events, but for us in Beer Sheva, October 31 has been, for the last 95 years at least, ANZAC Day. ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day commemorates the decisive victory of the Allied army over Ottoman forces in World War 1 in the battle of Beer Sheva, or in the immortal words of Wikepedia:
·   1917World War I: Battle of Beersheba – "last successful cavalry charge in history".
In 1917, the General Staff of the British Army understood that to break the Ottoman’s rule in the Middle East, they would need to first conquer the ‘Holy Land’. After two unsuccessful battles in Gaza, (Sir) Edmund Allenby became the commander in chief of the British Forces based in Egypt. He decided that lack of water was easier to overcome than the fortifications in Gaza, and decided to send troops through the Sinai and Negev deserts to Beer Sheva, then an Ottoman administrative town, and face off there. The rest is history. The Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade, commanded by Brigadier William Grant, attacked the Ottoman forces who were under the leadership of some loser the German General Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein (I looked that one up). Suffice to say, the Aussies and Kiwis won the battle, the last successful cavalry charge in history. (The Poles lost their great cavalry charge against German Panzer tanks in the first battle of World War II.)
One small point however, is that the 4th Light Horse Brigade was not a cavalry unit, but rather a mounted infantry unit. The Turks actually waited for them to dismount their horses before beginning battle. They were therefore rather surprised when the British troops charged at Turkish positions.
To be perfectly honest,  the majority of the population of Beer Sheva has probably not heard of ANZAC or the battle, don’t know who the guy on the pedestal is in Allenby Park in downtown Beer Sheva, and have no idea who’s buried in the British Military Cemetery. (Don’t get me started on the educational system in this city…)

British Military Cemetery Beer Sheva
But I love this stuff, and I try to go every year to the memorial service held at the British Cemetery. In recent years, a service has also been held at the Memorial to the Turkish Soldier. We like to play even. Five years ago, on the 90th anniversary of the Battle, the day was commemorated by a mounted parade in the streets. People came from all over the British Empire to commemorate the battle and those fallen; England, Australia, New Zealand, India, Nepal, and South Africa were all represented. The horses were ridden by Australians and New Zealanders whose ancestors had participated in the battle, some of whom were buried in the cemetery in town. This year too, on the 95th anniversary, there was a ‘reenactment’ of the battle.


Preparing for battle

The soldiers and their followers?


Charge!!

Australians and New Zealanders came to participate again; many of them pensioners, and many of them descendants of the original warriors. For these families, the battle for Beer Sheva is significant, and they understand how their family helped to shape history.
ANZAC Memorial about 20 Km from Beer Sheva
The ‘liberation’ of Beer Sheva allowed the British army to continue on and, two months later, ‘liberate’ Jerusalem (where the main street was named after the reigning monarch King George) and Ramle, and on to Beirut and Damascus. The battle for a small, dusty, peripheral town opened the way to the British Empire’s control over and eventual carving up of the Middle East.
It also paved the way to the creation of the independent State of Israel. Indeed, two days after the Battle of Beer Sheva, the Balfour Declaration was issued: His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object… This, in turn, led the League of Nations, the precursor to the United Nations, to approve the Mandate for Palestine in July 1922,  formally incorporating the Balfour Declaration into international law.
Balfour and his declaration
 
Turkish Lancers 1917
What was ironic about yesterday’s ceremonies was that most of them were canceled by the Australian and Turkish embassies. They formally advised their citizens travelling abroad not to enter Southern Israel in general, and any point within a 40 km range of Gaza, in particular, for fear of incoming rockets from Arab-held territory. Australia, and even more so Turkey, have, in recent years, protested against Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, which prevents weapons from reaching the terrorists there. Turkey has all but broken off all relations with Israel over this matter (despite its own occupation of part of Cyprus). Yet, they recognize the fact that Israel is under fire and must defend its citizens. I can only hope that they see the irony also.
Despite the warnings, there were over 100 Aussies and Kiwis who came to pay homage to their warriors, and pay respects to their fallen. As the director of the reenactment stated, “ we’re not going to let a bunch of terrorists tell us where we can and cannot go.”
And he said it in a really strong Aussie accent too, so it sounded really authentic.

The 4th Light Horse Brigade in Beer Sheva 1917