Snapshot: The IDF as Never Seen Before Reviewed By Norm Goldman of
Norm Goldman

Reviewer & Author Interviewer, Norm Goldman. Norm is the Publisher & Editor of

He has been reviewing books for the past twenty years after retiring from the legal profession.

To read more about Norm Follow Here

By Norm Goldman
Published on July 20, 2018

Author:Yoav Limor: Photo Journalist, Ziv Koren

Publisher: Gefin Publishing House

ISBN: 972-2-538-0247

What exactly is the Israeli Defense Force (IDF)?

Author: Yoav Limor: Photo Journalist, Ziv Koren

Publisher: Gefin Publishing House

ISBN: 972-2-538-0247

Shortly after the State of Israel was founded in 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the then defense Minister, created the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which was formed out of the paramilitary group of the Haganah incorporating the militant groups Irgun and Lehi. Since 1948 the IDF has been involved in several wars such as the 1948 War of Independence, the 1951–1956 Retribution operations, the 1956 Sinai War, 1964–1967 War over Water, the 1967 Six-Day War, the 1967–1970 War of Attrition, the 1968 Battle of Karameh, the 1973 Operation Spring of Youth, 1973 Yom Kippur War, the 1976 Operation Entebbe, the 1978 Operation Litani, the 1982 Lebanon War, the 1982–2000 South Lebanon conflict, the 1987–1993 First Intifada, the 2000–2005 Second Intifada, the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield, the 2006 Lebanon War, the 2008–2009 Operation Cast Lead, the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, and the 2014 Operation Protective Edge. As a result, it ranks among the most battle-tested and highly trained armed forces in the world. Over the years it has come a long way and is a far cry from its initial creation.

What exactly is the IDF at the present moment? Who serves in the military? How do they operate? What are its different factions? What are some of its military and other challenges? What are the guiding principles of the IDF? Why does Israel exist in a conscious state of perception of existential threat and is this realistic? How does it suppress terror and defend its borders? What is the shadow war that is hidden from view? What are the special forces according to foreign sources? Who are the angels from Israel who save lives, even the Syrians caught up in their own civil war? How are the women integrated into the IDF and what roles do they play? How does the IDF accommodate their religious soldiers? How does it deal with cyber warfare and why is membership in the units dealing with cyber warfare in strong demand? What does the future hold for the IDF?

These and many more are some of the questions that are dealt with in the full color coffee table book,  SnapShot: The IDF as Never Seen Before that was created by Yoav Limor and Ziv Koren.

Limor is a veteran journalist who has covered Israel's defense establishment for the past thirty years. Koren is Israel's award-winning and premier photo journalist and serves as a representative for the Polaris photo agency in Israel. Together they have crafted a tome that not only provides dozens of stunning full color photo images but also an informative text that help readers understand the “modus operandi” of the IDF. It should be mentioned that each image contains a caption that provides relevant information for better enjoying the piece included. In addition, the authors not only explore the questions mentioned above but also tender their own opinions as to the strengths and weaknesses of the IDF.

What also is fascinating about the book is its multiple pages of tidbits that kept me scratching my head and repeating to myself, I didn't know that. For example, once upon a time everyone served in the military. It was taken for granted. Today, only fifty-one percent of 18 year old youngsters serve. In less than two decades, the number of draftees will decline to one-third of the eligible population. The authors go on to state that in the past soldiers saluted and performed, or at least this was the norm. Today, a soldier tells the military what he wants to do. In the past there had been a problem drafting ultra-Orthodox young men and women, today many serve as mechanics, and intelligent inspectors, as they have been trained since infancy to read and decipher texts and thus have a significant advantage for this position.

After digesting the information contained in the book, I have to admit that if you try to quickly plow through it from start to finish, you will find the going tough. The multitude of breathtaking photo images, information and the authors razor-sharp points of view are enough to make you dizzy. Better to take it slowly. Readers who are unfamiliar with the IDF will gain a better understanding and a wealth of knowledge from this one source.