After two straight days of waking up to the sounds of the Red Alert sirens, I thought I was home free when my body woke itself up around 9:30am to relative silence. No rockets; no alarms; no explosions. Thinking that maybe Hamas would take a break seeing as Fridays are like their Sabbath (combined with the fact that they are in the middle of the Ramadan holiday), I decided to get myself ready to go to the big shopping mall by my house to buy my roommate a birthday present. As I was about to walk out of the door the sirens blazed through my open window. I grabbed the dogs, headed into my bomb shelter, and waited as I heard 4 explosions over my head. At the same moment Ashdod was hit, and there was not only horrific damage done to property in the city, but one of the rockets fell on a gas station which exploded and a man was injured quite seriously. It almost looks like the pictures from Gaza… But you won’t find these pictures in your newspapers or on your news channels.
Life Must Go On
The first attack of the day had come and gone. Knowing that attacks in Tel Aviv don’t happen as frequently as they do in the south, I figured I probably had a good few hours to try and get what I needed to get done before any more attacks came our way. I shopped rocket free, ventured to the grocery store to get all that I would need to prepare a Shabbat dinner for Stephane and me, made it home safe and sound, started my cooking, and then… The sirens wailed throughout the entire city. Stephane and I grabbed the dogs, headed back into the shelter, and waited until a few minutes after we heard the explosions to venture back out into the apartment. Luckily the dinner didn’t burn, and we were able to start our Shabbat meal with only a slight delay.
We hoped for quiet
The candles were lit and we were in the middle of Kiddush when my phone rang out “Tzeva Adom…Tzeva Adom” (Red Alert, Red Alert). The alert was for the neighboring city of Holon so the sirens didn’t ring in Tel Aviv. Stephane and I rushed to the balcony to check if we could see what was going on, and no sooner had we stepped out when we saw a Hamas rocket jet past the balcony… The explosion came seconds later when the Iron Dome downed it over Holon. Our quiet shabbat never came.
For Palestine the world screams
As my Shabbat dinner came to an end I began to hear reports that major protests were forming in countries like England, France, and the United States. Pro Palestinian and Anti Israeli hoards took to the streets to protest the atrocities the Palestinians are facing at the hands of the Israelis. I’m horrified to say there were even Jewish groups protesting in the United States, and each and every one of those people should be ashamed to call themselves Jews. ASHAMED, as us Jews are fighting and dying to keep our state from falling to the hands of Islamic terrorists. Us Jews who stand with Israel because we know the world will always be against us. I wish I had the time or capability to ask each individual if they had ever been here; if they had ever seen what actually goes on in this area.
Someone said to me “while you are safe in your house eating your dinner, Palestinians are dying left and right”. I find it very necessary to address this particular statement because I think this is of critical importance due to the fact that many people are probably are wondering the same thing. Why is it that I, as an Israeli, am safe in my house despite the fact that hundreds of rockets have threatened my safety every day for the last 4 days? Why is it that the Palestinians are suffering losses of life, while the Israelis none?
We value life… They value death
Our government and our army does anything and everything in its power to protect the citizens of this country. Billions of dollars are spent each year on defense weapons such as the Iron Dome (the true hero of this war), public bomb bunkers, bomb shelters in homes, intelligence, emergency medical services, and more. Hamas, however, places their terror arsenals in schools, homes, mosques, and hospitals, and then tell their citizens to ignore Israeli warnings when we give notice that we are going to be striking an area. Not only this, but Hamas has done nothing to ensure the protection of Palestinian civilians, in fact they have done the opposite. They have not built shelters, or bunkers, have alienated themselves and their people from most Egyptian aid, and they have given the civilians in Gaza very little chance.
But the world blames us. The world continues to blame us for Hamas’s incompetence and inability to both lead and protect their people. They terrorize us with what would normally be life threatening rockets (were it not for Iron dome), and then tell their citizens to stay put during Israeli strikes on their terror cells and rocket launching sites. And the world blames us for crimes against humanity.
We fire warning shots alerting civilians to clear the area before a strike, and Hamas instructs them to stay where they are… and they listen… and some die. This is the reality of war. If you live in a country governed by people who could care less about whether you live or die, it is a recipe for horrible suffering and disaster.
I read a comment on Facebook the other day that broke my heart. A Palestinian in Gaza reached out and informed us that he had received the IDF’s warning to leave his area due to a strike on a known terror cell, and he then said “where should I go?” And that is the sad truth of it all. Their government has put them in an impossible situation, and has given them no place to go. You say Israel is carrying out genocide against the Gazans? Because it really looks a lot like Hamas is doing just that from where I am sitting.
We can only do what we can do
This is the 4th day the citizens of Israel have been ravaged by terror, rockets, sirens, and explosions. When we find a cell we destroy it. We inform, we warn, we wait… then we strike. Stop blaming us for the incompetency of Hamas. Stop blaming us for the fact that they put their citizens in harms way. You are wasting your breath and your time, because the minute we give up striking a terror cell to save civilians who chose to remain in harm’s way at the request of their government, is the minute rockets will come over to Israel that Iron Dome might not be able to intercept. And Israel can’t and WON’T ever let this happen. This is why we live, and this is why we will win and they will lose. They always lose and they never learn.
I miss you every second of everyday friend, and I know you are up their protecting us. I love you forever and always.
Until we meet again <3,