Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Amazingly enough...Israel

It's nice to get back to normal - to post something ironic and funny about my country, rather than something about the war. For now, things are quiet and so Israel today is a country struggling to be normal, to return to our every day activities. And for many Israelis, too many Israelis, that means speeding.

Here's one for the books (from several news sources, including Israel National News):
Police caught Wednesday a driver going 139 kph on the coast highway where the speed limit stands at 90 kph. The 30 year old driver from Ramat Gan claimed he was on the way to a corrective driving course. According to his claim, he has to participate in the course because of his numerous driving violations in the past. The police decided to suspend the driver’s license for 30 days.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wounded Gazans...Treated by Israelis

There are stories that boggle the mind; that both amaze me and, in a way, give me pride. We are at war. Our civilians and soldiers are being wounded every day. We did not start this war. It was started with each rocket and mortar fired at Israeli citizens. One million of our people live in a war zone. And yet, we will not forget out humanity in the midst of this terrible war. Our humanity is there - in the targets we work hard to hit; the civilian population centers we work hard to avoid. No such efforts exist on the Arab side. It is our civilian population centers that they target!

And here, in the midst of dealing with our own wounded, Israel has opened its hospitals to bring in wounded Gazans. I don't know many other nations that do this but this is yet another aspect of our country.
Starting Saturday, injured Palestinians from Gaza will be transferred to Israeli hospitals, based on their medical condition, according to an agreement between Israel and the Red Cross. Pursuant to the agreement, Israel's Ministry of Health announced it would open a temporary Magen David Adom station at the Erez crossing for Gaza patients. It would include pediatricians, gynecologists, GPs and trauma doctors.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Don't Drink Coffee in New Zealand

Ok, you can drink coffee in New Zealand - unless you are Israeli. In that case, perhaps you'd better just go to the store and ask for a Coke? I'm sure this isn't funny - but, on the other hand, one can hope that local residents and visitors will choose to "refuse" to serve this cafe and not purchase there any more. I'm also equally sure that Israel's war efforts and the task it must do in Gaza will not be effected by one man's hatred.

Two Israeli women described themselves as “shocked” after being expelled from a New Zealand cafe this week because they are Israeli citizens. The cafe's owner, a Turkish Muslim, said he had refused to serve the two as a protest against Israel's Cast Lead operation in Gaza, and added that he would deny service to any other Israelis who entered his shop.

Local officials said the storeowner's actions were illegal.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Today's Update...Hamas Still Hiding Behind Civilians

From the IDF comes the following summary of activities in Gaza

a) A total of 18 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel today, no injuries were reported.

b) Four fuel containers and 102 trucks transporting humanitarian aid to Gaza passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing today, bringing the total of aid trucks from the beginning of Operation Cast Lead to 1,028.

The IAF attacked over 160 targets since the early morning hours and overnight, including:
- 90 weapons smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip
- 25 rocket launching sites, including a squad of gunmen who fired mortar shells into Israel. Three gunmen were identified to have been hit
- 30 cells of armed gunmen, some of which were targeted in coordination with ground forces
- Hamas police headquarters in Gaza City
- An area rigged with explosive devices intended for detonation against IDF forces
- Nine weapons production and weapons storage facilities, including one in the home of a Hamas operative in Gaza City

Troops operating in the northern Gaza Strip encountered several gunmen armed with anti-tank missiles and light weapons. The troops directed the Air Force in targeting the gunmen, which successfully hit the gunmen.

Working with infantry troops in northern Gaza, a combat engineering force carried out a controlled detonation of a tunnel leading into Israeli territory in the vicinity of the Nahal Oz terminal. The tunnel, uncovered on Monday in a joint IDF and ISA effort, was apparently intended to be used to kidnap Israeli citizens or soldiers.

Six soldiers were wounded in ground operations throughout the night: In one incident, two officers were moderately wounded and an officer and two soldiers were lightly wounded when they were fired upon by gunmen. Soldiers returned fire and hit the assailants. Another soldier was lightly wounded in a second incident.

On a personal note, I do believe that we need to focus more human rights abuses of Hamas. I listened to the BBC program “World Have Your Say” last night and with their usual bias hardly anyone raised the question of human shields, use of children, and use of mosques and other public buildings, etc

An excellent article appeared this week in the New York Times (not always the friendliest paper) which is worth reading, entitled “A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery”

In summary the article points out:-

- Hamas, with training from Iran and Hezbollah, has used the last two years to turn Gaza into a deadly maze of tunnels, booby traps and sophisticated roadside bombs.

- Weapons are hidden in mosques, schoolyards and civilian houses, and the leadership’s war room is a bunker beneath Gaza’s largest hospital, Israeli intelligence officials say.

- Hamas militants are fighting in civilian clothes; even the police have been ordered to take off their uniforms...

- Israeli officials say that they are obeying the rules of war and trying hard not to hurt noncombatants but that Hamas is using civilians as human shields in the expectation that Israel will try to avoid killing them.

- Hamas tactics are working just fine! Hamas sends its own children into the line of fire and the European and American Left reward them by criticizing the Israelis for "brutality." Ironically, the very people who pride themselves on their "concern" for Palestinian children are ensuring, through their actions, that more children will be deliberately used as cannon fodder.

Standing Strong - My People Lives

The story of Israel is being told not only on the battlefields in Gaza, but in the hospitals in Israel. Two weeks ago, a young man was married and after only one day with his new bride, he left family and friends to continue the "celebration" of his marriage to go off to war. Yesterday, he returned home, critically injured. We are all praying for Aharon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana to have a speedy recovery.

Another story that touched us began ten days ago when Dvir Bar-Chai was wounded. Since then, his family has been by his side. Yesterday, his sister and brother-in-law took their newborn son to Dvir's bedside to perform the brit milah ceremony, circumcising their son and welcoming him into the people of Israel.

Here's the amazing story from Israel National News:
The sister and brother-in-law of badly wounded soldier Dvir Bar-Chai held a brit milah (ritual circumcision) for their newborn son on Tuesday in Soroka hospital, where Dvir is being treated. The location allowed grandparents Tzviki and Leah Bar-Chai, who have spent the last 10 days at their son's bedside, to participate as well. The family had hoped that Dvir would wake up for the brit, but he did not, Tzviki Bar-Chai said. The occasion was still joyful, he said, “Every time a Jew is born it's joyful. It strengthens the family.”The baby was named Amichai, which means "My people lives."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Videos that Show...

What Israel has been doing for the last few days. This is an amazing amount of information released to the public to show clearly waht is happening.

New Videos from idfnadesk

Today's Activities in Gaza

Since this morning IDF forces, including infantry, tanks, combat engineers, artillery, and intelligence, continued to operate against Hamas terrorist infrastructure throughout the Gaza Strip.

Ground forces were involved in a number of incidents in which several armed gunmen were hit.
A squad of terror operatives opened fire at ground forces from a mosque. The forces directed aerial forces that attacked the squad, and then searched the mosque, uncovering Qassam rockets and mortar shells.
In a different incident a force identified a number of armed gunmen and opened fire at them. The force later searched the area and uncovered a large amount of weaponry including anti aircraft missiles, mortar shells and machine guns.

In addition forces uncovered a tunnel and destroyed it while searching a house in the northern Gaza Strip. Another force identified a terror operative planting an explosive device and opened fire at him.

IAF aircraft attacked over 25 targets throughout the Gaza Strip, including the following:
· Eight squads of armed gunmen
· Two mortar launchers
· Four launching area
· Three structures
· Two vehicles in which Hamas terror operatives were driving
· Different targets as assistance to ground forces

165 trucks loaded with humanitarian aid are now being transferred via the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings.

The IDF will continue its operations against all terrorists and those who support them.

Can't explain this one....

I a strange sort of way...why anti-Semites would choose this time to attack synagogues in Paris and London and so many other places. I don't agree with them, but I understand. I have another blog - A Soldier's Mother - where I write about what it is like to have a son in the army, the Israeli army, especially at a time like this.

I a strange sort of way...the hate mail I get, the accusations that my son is a murderer or that Israel is killing innocents. I dismiss these claims - they are easy to dismiss - because these same people were silent for 8 long years when rockets were hitting Israel on a daily basis. These same people want us to return to the "relative calm" period when only TWO HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN rockets and mortars hit Israel.

These, I understand.

This next news piece baffles me and, I have to be honest, even amuses me. I may not agree with their life styles and choices they have made in their lives, but I am not one to judge another and so, with some chuckles on the side and hopes they remain safe, I offer you a bit of levity at a time when we all need it.

From Israel National News:

Muslim extremists have threatened to kill Madonna, the pop star who has expressed admiration for Israel and who professes to study Kabbalah. Mohammed Abdel-Al, spokesman and senior terrorist for the Popular Resistance Committees, was recorded as threatening, "If I meet these whores, I will have the honor – I repeat, I will have the honor – to be the first one to cut [their] heads off…if they will keep spreading their satanic culture against Islam."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hamas Says They Have More Weapons...

According to YNET:
Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, announced that his organization has "many tools which have yet to be used
against Israel."

And our response is likely to do we!

Meanwhile, many countries are pressuring Israel to accept a cease-fire. The simplest of questions is...and how will that stop the war? We didn't fire first, nor does it sound like Hamas is interested. Dozens of rockets were fired at Israel today - like yesterday and the day before; and still more threats. We are not anxious to meet Hamas' weapons and yet, judging from the last few days and the 1000+ targets Israel has already hit, I'd say Hamas will be even less anxious to meet our weapons.

Let the party that started firing cease, and I'm sure the second party (Israel) that fired in response is likely to follow as well. Till then - the war continues.

Helping a Fish Business in Gaza keep swimming!

The Dobkin brothers have a fish farm on Moshav Tkuma, 5 km from Gaza.

They make their living selling fresh and frozen fish to restaurants, wedding halls and individuals in the area. Due to the situation they are without a livelihood. Moshav Tkuma is currently a closed military area.

Instead of complaining or asking for government aid, they are taking the initiative to market their fish in the center of the country in the next few days:

TA, Sharon, Ramat Aviv, Givat Shmuel, Rehovot, Kiryat Ono, Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and other places.

They have an extensive menu of available types of fish, prepared to customer order.
Since attachments cannot be sent with this mailing to the list, I am acting as a clearing house for your enquiries.

Send a request to: info @ (without the spaces before and after the @) and I will send you their Price List and Order Form – in English.

The Moshav is religious and all products are kosher. Their telephone number is on the Price List so that you can make the necessary relevant enquiries if you wish. I have absolutely NO connection with the Dobkin brothers, nor am I profiting from their initiative.

But reaching out and helping in times of need - THIS is Israel!

What Israel Did Last Night...

What is striking in the following report is what Israel did, and more importantly, what it did not do. No, we didn't fire at any civilian cities. No, we didn't shoot missiles into huge populated areas wondering where they would hit. And no, we hit no houses of God because when you put weapons in a house for the purpose of evil, I believe God leaves that house and all His holiness goes with Him.

Summary of Overnight Activity

The IDF operation continued overnight with large infantry, tank, engineering, artillery and intelligence forces operating throughout the Gaza Strip with the assistance of the Israel Air Force and Israel Navy.

IAF planes struck over 30 targets including:
· A mosque used for storing a large amount of weaponry
· An underground Bunker in the area of Gaza city. The attack caused secondary explosions indicating there were explosives inside. Tunnels in the area collapsed.
· A number of tunnels in the area of Rafah used by Hamas terror organization as passages for terrorists in and out of the Gaza Strip and that formed part of the purchasing and supply system of the organization
· 4 houses of Hamas members that were used to store weaponry
· A rocket launcher
· A suspected anti-aircraft missile launcher

Israel Navy boats assisted the ground forces and attacked a number of targets including rocket launching areas, a bunker and Hamas marine forces outposts.

An IDF officer and five IDF soldiers were lightly to moderately wounded in different incident of exchanges of fire in the northern Gaza Strip.

The IDF will continue to operate against the Hamas terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip according to plans in order to reduce the rocket fire on the south of Israel.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Son of Sheik Hassan Youssef

According to Fox News...

"There is no chance. Is there any chance for fire to co-exist with the water?" said Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of one of the group's founding members.

Yousef added: "It's not about Israel, it's not about Hamas: it's about both ideologies."

Yousef, son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of the most influential leaders of the militant group, said the organization betrays the Palestinian cause and tortures its own members.

Yousef said he was indoctrinated at an early age to use violence to challenge Israeli control in the region. As a teenager he moved up within the organization and became the leader of the radical Islamic Youth Movement that fought Israeli tanks and troops in the streets, celebrated suicide bombings and recruited young men to the cause.

Yousef, 30, said he realized the true nature of Hamas and radical Islam during a stint in an Israeli prison. He renounced his Muslim faith, left his family behind in Ramallah and converted to Christianity.

"Islam is not the word of God," said Yousef. "If you want to be offended it's your problem. But you know something? Go study. Think for a second that I might be right. So wake up, look at your path, see where you're going. Are you really going to heaven with 72 virgins after you kill yourself and kill another 20 people?"

Yousef has sought asylum in the United States and now attends an evangelical Christian church in San Diego, Calif.

"The Hamas leadership, including my father, they're responsible; they're responsible for all the violence that happened from the organization. I know they describe it as reaction to Israeli aggression, but still, they are part of it and they had to make decisions in those operations against Israel (for) which there was the killing of many civilians."

Yousef talks more about his extraordinary story of faith, courage, violence and betrayal in a FOX News documentary, "Escape From Hamas," hosted by Bill Hemmer.

Escape from Hamas airs Sat at 10p, with repeats at 1am and 4a, EST, and Sun at 9pm, with repeats at 12 midnight, 2am, EST.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

When There's No Room for More Food...

what can you do?

According to the IDF, the World Food Program has announced that it will not resume shipments to Gaza of food commodities because the warehouses are full. Guess the claims of starvation and serious shortages of basic commodities were, as suspected, political games by the Palestinian leadership to manipulate international opinion and garner undeserved sympathy.

However, there is another option. The World Food Program could continue shipments of food to Gaza...and ask the Muslim clerics to store the food in the mosques. That would, of course, mean they'd have to remove vast arsenals of missiles and explosives from the mosques. It is truly a dilemna for them - let's hope they make the right choice!