A Strong Message, Whether or Not Deif if Dead

Did the IAF succeed in killing Muhammad Deif in last night’s bombing of the house in Gaza? That is the question that the Israeli press is chewing on tonight. My take is that of course it will be a blow to Hamas if he was taken out, but a strong message was still sent out even if he survived (again).

The Israel Air Force did not hesitate to bomb the house, even when they knew that Deif’s wife and children were there.

This is a change from the usual procedure of calling off strikes when civilians are in danger.

All of the other leaders in Hamas will now take note that their families are not safe. (I wonder how many wives and children will now be given shelter in the tunnels?) They also know that after being separated from the family for a long time, Israeli planes are still hovering and waiting for them to appear aboveground and “help” them to become the shahidim that they supposedly want to be.

Perhaps after this latest round of rockets, the self preservation instinct will kick in and Hamas will come to think that this round is over.

 

Did We Win?

A lot of political pundits will debate whether we won the war in Gaza. I personally completely agree with Victor Davis Hanson in his analysis here, where he writes about the political side of the war. (Of course we won).

A more important question in my mind is how we fared as people in this war – and again we unquestionably won. We won by being united and by giving of ourselves to each other. I have lived in Israel since 1991, and I don’t remember such unity. The past 20 (!) years, after the Oslo Accords were signed and we started a long period of bitter fights over the security situation, culminating in the disaster of the disengagement, have been very tough for Israelis. The unabashed patriotism and outpouring of love for the soldiers is a tonic for everyone here.

Davka now, a lot of ahavat chinam is what we experienced. Baruch Hashem!

 

Family Update – Both the Nuclear Family and All of Israel

A short update on what is happening with our family.

My son was transferred to what in Hebrew is called “maatzar patuach” in the Tel HaShomer army base, until the court decides if and how much time he needs to spend in military prison before he starts his regular army service. This means that he has to stay in the base and can only go out when he gets official leave, which for the past 6 weeks has been every few weeks for Shabbat.

His wife can visit him by standing at the gate of the base, but she does not have official permission to enter the base to see him. As you can imagine this situation is not ideal for a newly married couple, but they are both dealing with it as best they can. We are hoping that the military court will finally come to a decision so that even if he needs to do some prison time we will know when it ends.

As far as the security situation, when we are home in our yishuv things are very quiet, but when we are at work we are like everyone else in Tel Aviv – periodic sirens where we need to go to the miklat (in my case an inner stairwell in our office). In general people are feeling secure since the Kipat Barzel system is shooting down the bombs before they fall, but there is still a danger from the shrapnel that falls to earth after the bomb is destroyed, so being in an open space is scary. The sound of the sirens themselves is also frightening.

There is a general increase in anxiety though. After a siren in a specific place the phone system goes into overdrive because everyone needs to call their family to make sure everyone is ok. Watsup is my tool of choice for this.

Many people have soldiers in their family who have been called up and will be going into Gaza when there is a ground invasion.

As usual we react to the stress with a lot of black humor, increased prayer, and the repeating cycle of obssessing with the news/Facebook and then taking a news fast when it gets to be too much. Working full time happens to be a positive thing – the work still has to get done, no matter what is going on outside, so people can’t obssess too much.

We should only hear good news!!!

Mazel tov!

I’ve disappeared from the blogging world for a good reason – looking for a shidduch for my oldest son. Baruch Hashem he got engaged this week and we of course are thrilled.

I will probably disappear again until after the wedding and Sheva Brachot (the week of celebration afterwards), but hopefully I’ll be back…..

Faster Please

There will be a new air defense system to compliment the Iron Dome that Israel has deployed against the kassam and Grad rockets fired from Gaza. This system, sometimes called Magic Wand, is supposed to be ready for deployment within two years, and was unveiled at the Paris Air Show rcently.

This system will be very much needed if Hizballah decides to start firing rockets at us from Lebanon. The craziness in Syria has its affect in the other countries surrounding Israel – as this interesting analysis of last night’s rocket fire from Gaza points out.

A Tribute to Our Soldiers

I would like to share this beautiful tribute to the IDF soldiers that I found on the IDF Facebook page. My two younger sons are now in the process of going through the various tests to figure out where they want to serve, so this is becoming more and more relevant to our family.  Enjoy!

The Forgotten Refugees

Today is the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Tevet – a minor fast day in the Jewish calendar. It is also called the Yom HaKadish HaKlali in Israel. This means that today is the official day of mourning for Jews who do not know the exact date of their relative’s deaths, and they say Kaddish for them today. Most of the people who fit this unfortunate category are Holocaust survivors, and the day is sometimes used to educate the younger generation in Israel about Holocaust history (usually in the Orthodox community, since it coincides with a fast.)

Today, in contrast to past years,  I would like to share a interesting video about the survivors of anti-Semitism and persecution from another part of the world – specifically from the Arab countries. They call themselves the “forgotten refugees” – since there is very little written about the million Jews expelled from the Arab countries around the time of Israel’s independence in 1948. Very little is written also about the riots and massacres carried out before the expulsions.

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