Ex-Israeli infantry soldier and police detective, Lior Offenbach runs a demonstration on disarming an attacker after a Krav Maga class at IDF Training in Caulfield. Photo: Jason South
A Melbourne gym that offered to teach its members to use firearms like elite Israeli army snipers in April is now offering to help Australians join the Israel Defence Forces, it has been revealed.
Earlier this year, The Age revealed that IDF Training in Caulfield – best known for its courses in Krav Maga, a form of combat training used by the IDF and popular abroad as a form of self-defence – had emailed its members, including minors, to spruik a new shooting course called “Intro to Israeli Tactical Shooting” at Oakleigh Pistol Club.
This week, it has now also been reported that IDF Training is currently recruiting and offering support to young Australians seeking to join the IDF in response to the recent spate of “lone wolf” attacks in Israel, sparking much controversy and debate in relation to the recent ‘foreign fighter’ legislative pieces passed through the Australian parliament.
This isn’t the first time young Australians have openly trained for, supported and joined the operations in Israel. It was reported in late-2012 that young Jewish Australian Zionists were preparing to go to Israel so they can join the army and fight in any future conflict.
These young Australians said they are ‘ready to risk everything to support Israel’, and the ‘recent violence has only increased their enthusiasm’.
Australia’s youth Zionist groups organise activities and Jewish education programs for teenagers in the hope they will actively support Israel, and for young Zionists, the state of Israel is central to Jewish life with a long tradition of leaving home and moving to Israel – called ‘making Aliyah’.
In the past four years, more than 400 Australian Jews have made the move and most of them have done compulsory military service.
MELBOURNE TO ISRAEL:
IDF training is co-owned by former Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldier Avi Yemini , who spent almost three years on the border of Gaza serving as a Golani Brigade sharpshooter.
Mr Yemini said after the recent spate of “lone wolf” attacks in Israel, there had been “a big response” to the gym’s offer to help recruit Australian fighters to Israel.
“I think that people who see it – both Australian and Jewish – what’s going on in Israel, all the knife attacks at the moment, people stop to think ‘what can I do?’,” he said.
Under current legislation, it is legal for Australians to serve in ‘legitimate armies for internationally-recognised countries’, however, some political commentators have voiced concerns with the impunity Israel receives when dealing with international legal affairs.
Hereward Fenton from Truth News Radio Australia:
Last I heard, legitimate armies don’t conquer and occupy and dispossess sovereign citizens of other nations, or engage in brutal collective punishment which amounts to mass murder.
The distortion of language and meaning evident here is something Orwell discussed in depth. When you successfully redefine words like this you commit a kind of atrocity against meaning itself, and by implication, against all of civilisation.
As reported on TOTT News, it is illegal for Australians to travel to declared areas in Syria and Iraq, or to provide any assistance to armed groups in ‘combat zones’. Despite these potential loopholes to national security, Mr Yemini doesn’t see a contradiction when encouraging his members to join the IDF in Israel.
People will compare what we’re doing to Islamic State, but people need to remember there’s a big difference.
What we’re doing is promoting joining the forces of an ally to Australia. We have the same mentality and the same philosophy … there’s no comparison between the two.
In the email to gym members, Mr Yemini wrote:
I want to spread the word as you might not be aware that we help people interested in joining the IDF, by supporting them through the process of applying from Australia and ensuring their training is top notch so that they are physically prepared.
This, he said, would include supporting people through the process of applying to join the IDF and undertaking physical training to give participants the capacity to serve in a range of units.
This could include the 15-month voluntary Machal program, which allows Jewish foreigners to join the army without becoming citizens, or more specialised units for dual citizens.
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Blood of Aussies shed to give Jews freedom, says Zionist: http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/blood-aussies-shed-give-jews-freedom-says-zionist/2469548/
Abbott a ‘raving Zionist’, Gaza rally told: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/abbott-a-raving-zionist-gaza-rally-told/story-fn3dxiwe-1226523357473
Aussie Zionists training to fight for Israel: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-28/australian-zionists-prepare-to-join-israeli-army/4397478
The Fall of Australia: Complete overview of new ‘anti-terrorism’ legislation https://tottnews.com/2014/10/06/australia-descending-into-darkness-draconian-laws-police-state-surveillance-and-more/