From the NYT Best-Seller List to the IDF

Best-selling American author and entrepreneur Harvey Mackay recently visited the IDF Home Front Command, where he discussed the importance of the IDF’s objectives, training and life-saving missions abroad, in an exclusive interview.

The IDF Blog recently joined Harvey Mackay, prominent American entrepreneur and author of five New York Times best-selling business books, as he visited the headquarters and museum of the IDF Home Front Command (HFC). Mackay was in Israel for a week-long stay that included meetings with a number of Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mackay’s visit to the IDF Home Front Command – which encompasses units tasked with assisting civilians during both military and non-military emergencies – focused largely on the life-saving work that it performs, including humanitarian work abroad.

After viewing a video documenting the IDF’s life-saving work in Haiti – medical and search-and-rescue efforts undertaken following the disastrous 2010 earthquake that rocked the nation – he lamented the limited international awareness of the Israeli army’s involvement in such efforts.

“It’s a shame that the whole world couldn’t see what I just saw with my own eyes. I had no idea that these miraculous things were performed in 12 countries,” he said, referring to the 17 aid delegations sent by the IDF to assist following natural disasters in a dozen different countries over the past 26 years.

“The one thing that’s apparent more than anything else on this tour is the incredible human value every Israeli has for [every single] life,” he added. “It’s one thing for them to say it, but if you look into their eyes attentively, you can see they really mean it.”

Getting to Know the IDF

This trip, Mackay’s fourth to Israel, provided him with an inside look at the IDF and the individuals who comprise its ranks – as well as the importance of the Israeli army’s goals.

Harvey Mackay visits IDF's Home Front Command

Harvey Mackay visits IDF’s Home Front Command

“I believe America’s and Israel’s interests are on the same page,” he explained to the IDF Blog. “What I’ve seen in seven days – the commitment, dedication and focus of the soldiers – every single one knocked my socks off. Truly outstanding.”

 In addition to the defensive importance of the IDF, Mackay emphasized the lasting value of the education soldiers receive throughout their service in the Israeli military.

“My advice to the individual soldier is, whether they stay in the army for part or all of their lives, the principles and values they learn are immeasurable. Every day they learn communication, leadership, negotiation,” he said. “It’s the best training they can receive to be happy and successful.”