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IDF's 65th Anniversary

IDF's 65th Anniversary

With the mounting tensions along the Golan Heights border with Syria, the IDF once again finds itself in the world’s spotlight. Here as always, the IDF will fulfill its primary duty is to protect the existence of the State of Israel and her independence, and to thwart all enemy efforts to disrupt life in Israel. 


The Development of the IDF


In 1920 an underground paramilitary group was established called “The Haganah”. It was the primary defensive force for the Jewish residents of the British Mandate of Palestine. Though poorly armed and outlawed by the British government, the Haganah successfully defended Jewish settlements throughout Palestine. Before the World War II the Haganah was mostly limited to defensive activities in settlements and along access roads. However, with the close of World War II came an influx of European Jewish refugees seaking life in Palestine. The British denied immigration on a massive scale. This caused the Haganah to change tactics and become a more aggressive, offensive force.



When the UN partitioned Palestine in 1947 the Haganah no longer needed to operate as an underground force. It openly clashed with remaining British and Arab forces. When Arab forces attached, the Haganah successfully defeated them in the Israel War of Independence.

On May 31, 1948 David Ben-Gurion made a controversial decision that the new State of Israel must have an officially recognized military and no armed militias could exist. However, the Haganah was already a strong and well organized group so it became the Israel Defense Forces. These historic origins of the IDF are perpetuated in the official name, Tzva Haganah LeYisrael.


IDF Today


Today the IDF is known as one of the best trained and equipped militaries in the world. It has an extensive structure that includes the army, navy and air force. The army consists of four command areas which are made up of Ground Forces, Armored Corps, Paratroopers, Combat Engineers, Artillery Corps, Education Corps, Intelligence Corps and Communications Corps. The young men and women of Israel are conscripted into service following high school and make up the core of the IDF. Additionally, men are required for annual reserve duty service until they reach the age of 40. These resources will be called upon in times of war, terror or natural disaster.


Furthermore, the IDF’s Homefront Command operates search and rescue missions around the world. They are tasked to come to the aid in incidents such as floods, earthquakes, wildfires, terror attacks and severe accidents. The IDF was one of the first international rescue crews on the scene during the Haitian earthquake in 2010 contributing search and rescue teams, maternity, ICU, pediatrics and surgical wards and pharmaceutical supplies.


The IDF frequently comes under fire literally on the battlefield and figuratively in the world’s press. Existence in the Middle East today requires the IDF for the survival of Israel. Although, we all pray that one day we will have peace. For now, we pray for the safety of the men and women of the IDF.


Join FIDF!

If you are not already a memebr, this would be a good time to consider joining the "Friends of the IDF". There a several ways you can et involved - from receiving updates to coordinating your own campaign or event. 



About FIDF



Want to know more about Israel and Defense? Visit the Jesus Boat website's Learning Center.  

"We extend the hand of peace and good-neighborliness to all the States around us and to their people, and we call upon them to cooperate in mutual helpfulness with the independent Jewish nation in its Land."

- David Ben Gurion, Israel's First Prime Minister



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