Late Friday afternoon, Erev Shabbat, November 16, 2012, warning sirens blew in earnest in Jerusalem for the first time since we have lived here. Later reports claimed that two rockets launched from Gaza had landed close to, but outside the city. Even though Marcia, the neighbors and I had all heard and felt faint concussions from explosions that Hamas later boasted came from “improved Qassam” rockets, everyone here remained calm.
Out on the street, pedestrians walked at the same leisurely pace as before. In an apartment next door, an orthodox gathering sang together while the sirens wailed, preparing for blessings over wine and bread and a Sabbath meal.
But after all kinds of prior talk about being prepared, Marcia and I still weren’t quite sure what to do; then Marcia’s all-girl intelligence network kicked in. Her cell phone rang continually as she gathered tactical assessments from women all over town. Everyone and everything seemed okay. After a quick meeting with our fellow building mates we agreed to meet in Miriam’s makhsan (storage room) if the sirens blew again. (Modern buildings in Israel all have fortified safe rooms, by code, but ours was built well before this rule, sometime in the 1930s.)
While Jerusalem’s and Tel Aviv’s recent experience is relatively unique, missiles have fallen regularly into southern Israel from heroic positions in Gaza (urban centers, hospitals and schools) for years. Citizens in the south are urged to reach shelter within fifteen seconds of an alert to be safe.
Here in Jerusalem the recommended time to respond is a luxurious 30-90 seconds.
Shortly after the missile attack we watched English language television news and saw a video of a US state department press conference during which a spokesman stated, “Israel has the right to defend itself.”
How amazingly kind.
An American journalist then asked, “Do the Palestinian people not have the right to defend themselves as well?”
The reporter’s disingenuous question defies common sense and smacks of what Caroline Glick has called the new antisemitism. Gone forever among the clever and polite are direct attacks on Jews. They can now pursue their animosity well within the bounds of political correctness by supporting Palestinians in every instance regardless of the circumstances, no matter the dangers or inequities their unconditional support may heap upon Israel.
It is a real, virulent phenomenon and it is not going away.
PHOTO: PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH
So, here in tiny Israel, as the IDF prepares to call up 75,000 reserves and launch a costly operation for the sole purpose of stopping Hamas from bombing, killing, traumatizing and terrorizing Israeli citizens, Americans should prepare for award-winning photo-journalism showing selective collateral damage that proves Israel wrong for losing patience and finally attacking missile launchers tactically nested behind the innocent. Also prepare for overuse of the phrase, “disproportionate response,” as if the world would praise Israel for turning terrorist like her enemies and launching thousands of rockets into Gaza.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman asked rhetorically during an interview , where is, where has been the outrage from humanitarian activists on behalf of the terror victims of southern Israel?
We all know the answer. As the old English proverb goes, a wink is as good as a nod to a blind horse. But Israel will endure. Former Prime Minister of Israel, Golda Meir once said,
We Jews have a secret weapon in our struggle with the Arabs; we have no place to go.”
Not only have we no place else to go, but the UN and US favor giving half of the little we have to a fictional people committed to our extinction and who suffer tremendously in this region only because of their hateful ideology.
But Ms. Meir was mistaken about Israel’s ultimate secret weapon…
Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right arm them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. (Psalms 17:7)
Our real secret weapon, the right arm of God, will be no secret in time .
Bonus: Grim assessment of American election results: The party of victory.