Judaism / Personal / Travel

Place Blame Where Blame Is Due: #IsraelUnderFire

Dear Friend,

It was a quiet day yesterday morning. Too quiet almost. We were all waiting for the Red Alert sirens to go off. I went to take my puppy for a walk in our neighborhood park, which is usually full of families enjoying their day off with picnics in the grass, but today it was empty. The dog park was desolate and deserted because no one wanted to be caught outside incase of another attack. I had never seen it so quiet. I threw the ball around with Jasper for a few minutes but then the heat and the worry started getting to me, and I made my way back towards my building where at least I knew there were stairs to an underground garage should a rocket attack happen.

 
No sirens came…But we were still waiting. The South was suffering continuous barrages of rocket fire, there were some serious injuries and two casualties reported from Ashdod to Jerusalem, Palestinians were shooting rockets in the North through Lebanon, and the people of Tel Aviv, myself included, knew it was only a matter of time before they reached us again.
 

Hamas Terror Tactics

Psychological terror tactics are sometimes much worse than the actual rocket attacks. Last night, after Hamas posted a song (in Hebrew) outlining the plans they had for Israel and the Jews (if you would like a translation just let me know and I will provide it), they announced on their website an attack was coming to Tel Aviv at 9 pm with a never before used weapon. My house was full of guests, each one theorizing about what could be coming, and the first thing that came to my and Stephane’s mind was, God forbid, chemical warheads. Neither of us had our gas masks at my apartment… I think deep down we both knew that Israel would have known if Hamas had acquired nuclear or chemical weapons, but with Iran continuously smuggling rockets and weapons into their arsenals it isn’t an idea lacking possibility.
 
I was scared. It was the first time since the rocket attacks had started that I felt unsafe. But then I remembered where I was and who was protecting me and I calmed down, because no matter what happens, Israel’s number one priority is to protect her citizens, and they are doing a fabulous job.

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Hamas-threatens-imminent-attack-on-Tel-Aviv-362499

We aren’t suffering…

I think it is due to the fact that our security is so good, and because the Israeli Army’s priority of protecting citizens is so well carried out, that people don’t feel we are suffering. An astounding number of people think that because our casualty count is low, and because the Gaza casualty count is high and growing, that it’s a walk in the park for us to deal with continuous rocket attacks, which can be fatal if protocol isn’t followed. For example, a teenage boy in Askhelon is in critical, unstable condition because he did not seek shelter when the alarms rang signaling an attack. We are not immune from death and injury here, but if we do what we are instructed to do, and the army does what they are trained to do, it leaves us in a situation where we mostly only suffer psychological trauma.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4542527,00.html

Rockets fired from Gaza make their way to Tel Aviv

Rockets fired from Gaza make their way to Tel Aviv

A rocket over Tel Aviv

A rocket over Tel Aviv

But don’t think we aren’t suffering. Every time my phone alerts me that there is an attack in Ashdod and someone was injured I pray it wasn’t any of Stephane’s family. Every time my phone rings out the siren of Tzeva Adom in the south I know that Stephane’s mom, little brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are are running to shelter themselves from rocket explosions. Every time the sirens sound in Tel Aviv my heart pounds as I run into my shelter and await the explosions wondering where and what they hit. Hamas’s main goal is to get suicide bombers into both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and every time I’m near a bus I wonder if this is going to be the time they succeed like in 2012 when a bus was bombed during Operation Pillar of Defense. We are not immune from suffering here, and since Hamas hasn’t been successful in killing us with their weapons, they try to be successful in scaring us to the point where we can’t live.
 
But we do live because we won’t let terrorists win.

 

Why the civilians of Gaza are suffering

Make no mistake the civilians in Gaza are suffering terribly, but not at the hands of the Israelis. Reports came in today of thousands upon thousands of Anti Israeli protestors from the USA, Germany, France, England, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and India taking to the streets shouting “Free Gaza from the Israeli occupier”… “Free the Palestinians and stop the terror”. In the digital age are people so severely misinformed that they don’t know that Gaza has been free since 2005 when Israel universally withdrew? Do they not know that we have no say in their social or political activities, which ultimately led to the election of Hamas? Their government, Hamas, who they freely elected, started this reign of terror, which was naturally followed by Israeli retaliation, when they began sending rockets into Israel… Unprovoked.  Remember, it wasn’t until 2 days after Israel was bombarded with rockets that we even started retaliating, and despite our numerous warnings, Hamas continues to tell the citizens of Gaza to sacrifice themselves both for the “plight of the Palestinians”, and so that they can get Western sympathy.

Not only this but they allow their rockets to fall on their Palestinian brothers and sisters in the West Bank where yesterday rockets fell in Hebron and Bethlehem, as well as continued attacks on Jerusalem which houses a large population of Palestinians, and is one of the holiest cities in Islam. Where is the outrage? And Who gets hurt? Civilians. Why? Because of terrorism, fanaticism, and a disregard for the sanctity of life.

Hamas rockets destroy a Palestinian home in Hebron

Hamas rockets destroy a Palestinian home in Hebron

After last night’s attack on Tel Aviv this leaflet was dropped by the Israeli Army all over Northern Gaza warning citizens to evacuate their area as there will be a strike on known terror cells at noon today. They were given over 15 hours to evacuate.

 

Israeli soldiers drop this leaflet, written in Arabic, warning the citizens of gaza that there will be a strike in their area giving them more than 15 hours to evacuate.

Israeli soldiers drop this leaflet, written in Arabic, warning the citizens of gaza that there will be a strike in their area giving them more than 15 hours to evacuate.

This was Hamas’s response:

“They call on people to adopt this practice”… Let those words sink in. They call on people to ignore Israeli warnings and stand in the way of the Israeli Air force. They call on people to remain in the homes, schools, mosques, and hospitals where they place bombs and rockets, and the world thinks we are killing civilians by choice.

“We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We can not forgive them for forcing us to kill their children”- Golda Meir

But we do what we can, and this is what the world turns a blind eye to. Today alone we have evacuated hundreds of Gazans with dual citizenship through Israel so that they can reach Jordan and travel to their other countries. We have taken them in, treated them at our hospitals, sent them medical aid, but no one reports this. They say we wouldn’t have to send civilians aid if we stopped attacking them…But we aren’t attacking them. We are protecting ourselves and Hamas is putting them in our line of fire. And we won’t stop because we can’t stop. Because the minute we stop is the minute the terrorists win and then there will be no more Israel. Make no mistake that this is a war, and what country would do half as much for the enemy in the hopes of protecting civilian life. But we are the monsters and you protest our embassies.

As I was writing this post the sirens began to wail in Tel Aviv. We all ran to the stairway to await the explosions. One explosion came… Then another siren… More explosions overhead. Then another siren… More explosions.

Help Us

The voices of the people who are against us for protecting our people and our nation ring loud, and clear, and strong. The voices of those who are with us are silent. Maybe it is for fear of offending others you don’t speak out. Maybe it is because you don’t feel the need to chime in on a conflict happening thousands of miles away from you. This is not just a war here. If Hamas wins, if ISIS wins, if Hezbolla wins, if Iran wins there will be no protecting anyone regardless of their religion.

I beg people to start speaking out. Share posts about what is happening here, share videos, share thoughts, share anything. Don’t just click a like on Facebook and be on your way. Set your Social Network settings to public and help spread our side of the story, because without your help no one will know. This is not just our war and we need your help, because we are isolated and alone.

You may lose friends. People will argue with you. But your silence is giving power to unwavering hate and ignorance. As an Israeli and as an American I’m begging you to help us.

 

I love you forever and always friend and I can’t express how much I wish you were here right now. I miss you every second of every day. Keep watching over us.

השם ישמור עלינו 
 

 

Until we meet again <3,

Jordana Simone

 

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