Tag Archive | rockets

Tisha B’Av: Mourning, Reflection, and Future

Every year, on the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, the Jewish people fast and mourn.  This year, we are fasting, and mourning, on the tenth day of Av, because the ninth day was Shabbat – and on Shabbat, we do not fast or mourn.  On this day (like on Yom Kippur), we do not wash, wear leather shoes, or use creams.  Think about not showering when it is forty degrees Celsius outside.  Think about how awful the pit in your stomach would have to be, for you to do it.

Ten years ago, those living in Gush Katif, and northern parts of the Shomron, were expelled from their homes.  They were promised land, and houses, and help resettling; they were given caravans, that they stayed in until they could afford better.  Ten years later, there are still families that have not been able to rebuild.  Many of those expelled were farmers, and found it hard to integrate into the job market.  They were forced out of their homes, and made to build their lives from scratch.

It is hard to imagine what being forced out of your home means.  Many of the communities have stayed together, hoping to resettle together and maintain some semblance of normalcy.  But imagine the police coming to force you out of your home and out of your city.  You have no job, no home, no money, no schools for your children.  You have nothing.  They pick you up from your home in Maine, and move you to Oregon, giving you a caravan, and expecting you to start over.

Ten years later, that “be niceexperiment has proven to be an utter disaster.  From the very beginning, we saw that it would not work; the first thing that the Arabs did was not to take over the existing structures, but to burn all the synagogues down to the ground.  If you remember, today they are claiming that they have no homes and no infrastructure.  Why is that?  They were handed everything on a silver platter – places of worship to renovate, schools, community centers, pools, theaters, farms, greenhouses, hothouses – everything.  Everything was burned, ransacked, or used for terror activity.  This was their choice, not ours.

And from there, they used all the humanitarian aid (that they wouldn’t have needed if they were truly homeless refugees looking for permanent homes) to build tunnels and shoot rockets.  Some of the expellees were expelled from Yamit, in Sinai, and went to live in Gush Katif at the direction of Ariel Sharon – the very man who later expelled them a second time.  And all this, why?

So that we could fight Operation Cast Lead (Oferet Yetzuka, 2008), Operation Defensive Shield (Amud Anan, 2012), and Operation Protective Edge (Tzuk Eitan, 2014).

So that we could get thousands of rockets fired at us; towards Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Be’er Sheva, Lod, Beit Shemesh, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot, Mitzpe Ramon; Hertzliya.

So that we would have to worry about not hurting the human shields that the terrorist regime uses to protect itself, even though many of those human shields are future terrorists or wives of terrorists.  Would you pity Osama bin Laden’s wife?  Then why do you pity the wives of Islamic Jihad terrorists?  Why is Islamic Jihad, or Hamas, different from Al Qaeda?

Now, on Tisha B’Av ten years later, we are living in the ominous shadow of an Iran deal.  No matter what we do or don’t do, we are in trouble.  “Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”  (Excuse my language, please.)  If we wait, we are in trouble, because by September, Iran may be able to defend itself.  If we don’t wait, we will be accused of not giving Iran a fair chance.  If Congress decides against the deal, well, dontcha know, it’s Israel’s fault.

But when Saudia Arabia and Israel agree, you know that something is up, and that it’s serious.

I won’t give away any of Israel’s theoretical plans by writing them on the internet.  I will just say that Yitzchak and I have full faith that Israel can deal with an Iranian nuclear threat, provided that we do not wait until they actually have nukes, and provided that we have cooperation from certain countries.  I will also say, that at least two of the four countries that we would like to have helping us, will help us.

This does not mean that we have nukes, because of course we do not have nukes.  But we do have an extremely smart army, and the worst person to fight is one who has nothing to lose, because if he has nothing to lose, he will fight to the death.  We believe that the reason all of the recent wars have been such utter failures, is that we knew that we could scare our enemies without hurting them.  We tried to be as nice and humane as possible.

But I need to tell you: If Israel is forced to deal with Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah all at once, we will not have the ability to be patient or humane.  We will do what needs to be done, quickly and efficiently, and spare no lives but our own.  We will carpet bomb Gaza, if necessary, and take out Hezbollah’s stock of chemical weapons; we will cripple Iran’s nuclear and military infrastructure so that they have no hope of retaliation of any sort, and we will do it all in a way that ensures that World War Three does not break out with all the “civilized” Western countries coming to “innocent” Iran’s defense.

Because if it is a question of fight or die, we will fight.

The world is turning Israel into some kind of inhumane monster, responsible for all the world’s ills.  We, as Jews, who have survived centuries of persecution, and have not yet forgotten the Holocaust, hear a familiar ring to these words.  We, as Jews, hear Jew-blaming as a lead-up to pogroms.  We, as Jews, see the rise in anti-Semitism the world over, and know that our only hope is in the Jewish army that G-d has given us, in the land that G-d has given us.

Because we know that the world cannot be counted on.

And therefore, we have been keeping up with Iran’s abilities, and have been setting them back, successfully, for as long as we could.  When it comes down to it, we will finish them off.  And as soon as we do, we will see another war with Gaza, in retaliation, and we will retake Gaza.  We will have to fight Hezbollah, and we will cow them into putting their energies into their fights in Syria.  Let the Muslims kill each other, and the world will be a better place for it.  We will put a halt to the intifada that is happening at this moment, because we will simply not have the ability to ignore it or deal with it in a nice way – so, we will deal with it any way that works, no matter how brutal.

Because no matter how humane Israel is, as a people, as a nation, as a country, if we are forced into a glaringly obvious fight for our lives, we will decimate our enemies’ ranks.  And when we stand up for ourselves, G-d is with us.  When we are cowards and think that we can manage on our own, G-d lets us try it out.

This is not new.  This is thousands of years old.

The Persian Jews thought they could make Achasverosh their friend; they were nearly killed.  During the Greek rule, they thought that the closer they were to Greek culture, the better they would be treated.  Under Nazi regime, the thought that assimilation was a solution, was disproven; the solution was hide, leave, or be sent to the camps.  And now, the solution is either fight like we mean it, or be crushed.

All I can hope is that we will see the intifada for what it is, and fight instead of allowing ourselves to be crushed.  About Iran – and Gaza, if necessary – I have no doubts.  We will fight; we will not be crushed.

Today iis Tisha B’Av.  Today, we mourn the loss of both Holy Temples (Batei Mikdash), the martyrs of our nation, the pogroms, the Holocaust, and the Iran deal.

Today, we pray that G-d will be with us, and Av will turn to Adar and Tisha B’Av to Purim.

Today, we pray that Israel will, very soon, deal completely and fully with all the threats surrounding us: Iran, Gaza, Hezbollah, ISIS, and (nearly worst of all) the terrorist intifada that the PA is quietly waging against us.

Amen.

Woo-woo

It’s the middle of the night.  Shlomo woke up, came to join us, and got back into bed.  I’m nearly asleep again.  Suddenly I hear a familiar, unmistakable sound – wooo-wooo, starting off low, getting higher, then dropping back to the low.  Oh, great.  In the middle of the night.  Do I have to get up?  What happens if I just ignore it?  And what do we do now?

No, the risks are too great.  Yes, I have to get up.  Yitzchak will get Shlomo, find his shoes, and head to the door.  I will find where my hat fell (to cover my hair), find my slippers, and go.  This whole conversation in my head lasts about five seconds.

I bolt upright, planning to find my slippers and hat.

“Chana, what happened?” Yitzchak turns over, startled.

And I realize –

there’s no siren.

It was just a dream.

I was half asleep.  Only half asleep.  And it sounded so clearly that I had no doubt that it was real.

“Nothing, I thought there was an azaka (air-raid siren).”  I lay back down; my heart is still beating fast.  In my stomach, I feel the effects of the adrenalin rush.  It’s a good thing.  I take a deep breath, remind myself that it was just a dream, and try to relax.

I guess this is how Shlomo feels when he dreams of woo-woos.

 Just so that you can hear what I heard (or what I thought I heard).  Ours are slightly louder – or maybe not, it could just be less traffic.  Notice that the cars are stopping.  When there is an azaka, people who are driving are instructed to stop their vehicles, get out, and lay prone on the ground, to minimize the chance of injury.  Because not everyone follows these instructions (and just in general), it is safer to go to the side of the road, which is why everyone is going over to the shoulder. 

Of Shelters and Illegal Settlements

Another post that I wrote on Sunday (July 20).

I feel bad for the Bedouins that were hurt yesterday (Shabbat, July 19).  Really, I do.  They didn’t deserve it and for the first time, my heart hurts for a Muslim.  But when I hear complaints, I get annoyed.

First of all, if you are building illegally – and these people are not in a legal settlement, nor do they want to be* – then you have no right to complain that the country is not helping you out.  The government would help, and has offered to help, you relocate to a legal location.  The offer was angrily rejected.

Second of all, not every place has a shelter.  There are neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and here, and everywhere, that do not have shelters.  Sometimes there is a communal shelter, sometimes there is a single neighborhood shelter that is not easily accessible to everyone.  And sometimes there is nothing, and you do the best you can, according to the instructions of the Home Front Command.

Yitzchak and I happen to be safety freaks.  One of our criteria for choosing an apartment, with the exception of the first one we lived in, before we had Shlomo, was that it have easy access to a shelter.  We would prefer a safe room in the house, but that is not a reality yet.  However, we do have a shelter, shared by our neighbors, that opens with a key that we have a copy of, within the amount of time allotted.

Another of our criteria was no less than a minute of time to run, preferable a minute and a half.  These are our criteria, and we are nuts and admit it, and if these were also the criteria of the Bedouin family that was hurt, they would not have been hurt – because they would have chosen to live in a different place.  Yes, we are crazy.  (Example: I plan furniture arrangements and picture hanging around what would happen if there was an earthquake.)  But we are also blessing our craziness every single day.  So while I do feel for them, and hurt for them, and do not believe they deserved to be hurt – I also do not think that the anger at the government is justified.  There are people who are spending most of their day in sewage pipes that serve as movable shelters.  They are constantly barraged with rockets, and yet the government can only offer sewage pipes.  And we’re not talking about ten minutes once a day.  We’re talking about ten minutes twenty times a day.  And these people are in legal settlements, and they are Jews.  In addition, I have friends who live in areas with only fifteen seconds and without a proper bomb shelter, or even a sewage pipe, nearby – they just go to the innermost room in their home.  In Be’er Sheva, there are 50,000 people without access to a bomb shelter.  So don’t tell me about illegal Bedouin settlements and how the government doesn’t care about them, specifically.  The government isn’t helping a lot of people.  JNF, though, is thankfully picking up some of the slack – not just for Bedouins, but for legal, Jewish cities as well.

The only good thing about the rocket having hit Bedouins is that maybe Hamas will think twice after they found out that they hit their own brothers.  Maybe.  But knowing Hamas – who has no issue using children as human shields – maybe not.  It’s still a possibility, though.

 

 

*I get mad about destroying Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria because the vast majority of homes that get destroyed were legally built, with all the proper paperwork, and then someone decided to make trouble.  This is different – these homes were never legal in the first place.

60 Rockets

Seriously?

I mean, obviously these terrorists/murderers/idiots don’t know how to aim (thank G-d) and so, thank G-d, no one was hurt and there was only one incidence of property damage so far.

But, hello??  60 rockets in one day is ABSURD.

And by the way, we finally have a video of these Gazan “refugees” firing their rockets at our civilians, from a residential (i.e., civilian) area of Gaza.  In other words, they are inexcusably involving their own innocent (well, whatever) civilians in their war crimes against our innocent (for real) civilians.

Obviously, they are trying to take revenge on us for something or other.  Because we shot three of their terrorists who were firing mortars at us.  Because we caught the ship from Iran.  Because whatever.

But just so that you know . . .

Here’s the video of these animals firing at us from civilian areas.

Of course, the Iron Dome deflected a good portion of these rockets.  But the siren still sounded too many times, and is too traumatizing  – for them and for the rest of us.  I, like you, found out through the news.  Actually, not through the news.  From the Hebrew-language forum I’m on; someone wrote “scary scary scary, 60 rockets in an hour and a half!!”  I thought she was kidding me, though it’s not something you kid about, ever.  But instead of making a fool out of myself, I looked at Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew site – the English one didn’t say anything yet – and found it was true.  Hopefully, I won’t have to find out about rockets from the siren, because we’ll just keep hearing about it after the fact, from the news.  Better yet, there should be nothing to hear.

And, can I say s-*-*-t?  Because my brother-in-law (Jack) is in the army, not even finished his training, and there’s a chance he’ll have to be a security guard at one of the Gaza border checkpoints.  And there’s a smaller chance, but still a chance, that he’ll actually be sent into Gaza.  Remember, he – and the rest of his unit – haven’t even finished training.  But when you need soldiers, you take what you’ve got.  Even if they’re not finished training and very possibly not ready for the task they’re given.

Updated: This morning I found out that 90 rockets were fired at us last night, but thankfully, a third of them were misfired and never crossed into Israel.  In other words, thirty rockets were fired by terrorists, at Gaza.  And since these rockets were fired from civilian areas, it’s safe to assume that they fell in those same civilian areas, injuring and killing “innocent” civilians.  From my perspective, the more potential terrorists are killed by active terrorists, the better.  The dirty work is better done by them than by us – and no one can blame Israel for Gazans killing Gazans, though I’m sure they’ll try.

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