From Susan

I met Susan Nolan when we were young mothers, living in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Susan’s son, Jamie, and my son, Sammy, were in the same play group. Susan and I were good friends then and through the years, even separated by oceans and thousands of miles, Susan and I remained close. When I needed support a few years ago, Susan came on a “mercy flight” to help me out. She traveled through Israel with me and felt the holiness of the Land. She is a true friend. She is soon to be ordained as a minister. This is the letter she sent me today.

Dear Rona,

The actions of Hezbollah bring me back so many years to the tactics of the North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War.

The North Vietnamese, like Hezbollah- both of whom do not honor the value of human lives- gave us the first glimpse of guerilla tactics that made women and children victims, in order to influence the media.

That was the precedent for what we are seeing today, in my opinion.

They set up their mortars in heavily populated areas and also near such targets as Buddhist temples.

Of course, when the American and South Vietnamese soldiers returned fire, innocent civilians were killed-playing right into the North Vietnamese hands.

The American media went wild.

As a result of the public uprising,the American Congress then began micro-managing the war- setting up “no-fire” zones. A no-fire zone was, as it sounds, an area into which the Americans and South Vietnamese were not allowed to fire mortars – and not allowed to bomb.

I was married, at the time, to a young US Army lieutenant who was in Vietnam, serving with an engineer group. There was an incident that he told me about that I never forgot. He and his platoon had just finished putting up a fire-base on a mountain outside Da Nang. One night, shortly after it was up and operational, the North Vietnamese began shooting mortars at an American base in Da Nang. My husband described the frustration that the soldiers at the new fire-base experienced, when they called in for permission to fire back at the location from which the enemy fire was coming. (They could even see the flashing of the mortars in the night.) They were denied permission to fire, because the enemy (surprise surprise) was firing from a “no-fire” zone.

There were many American soldiers killed at an American base in Da Nang that night. I recall my husband telling me how some of the soldiers at his fire-base literally cried, as they watched the destruction of that base, knowing Americans were being killed, and that they were helpless (because of the no-fire rules) to help them. It was a tragedy, and a farce, that was repeated over and over again in Vietnam.

So sad.

When will we learn?

I believe those guerilla tactics are why the US and South Vietnamese were so badly defeated in that war.

It pains me to see the same happening to Israel…and throughout the Middle East.

What does it take for us all to understand that these “people” don’t care about the rules of civilization. They don’t care a whit about Geneva Conventions or anything else.

They intend to defeat all of us by using our respect for life against us.

I expect Hezbollah will cause the death of many more Lebanese women and children and old people and whoever else they wish to sacrifice……until we can’t stand watching it on television any longer…and try to humiliate and torment Israel into stopping its self-defense.

Hezbollah will have to answer to God for this act against their own brothers and sisters.

The rest of us will be called to answer for Israel. God gave Israel to the Jews. I believe we will all be called to answer for harm done to them.

I pray that the world will come to see the truth of Hezbollah and all of these Islamic terrorists. They are bloodthirsty killers.

They promulgate evil.

And they cynically manipulate the media for their own evil purposes.

I pray for your protection every day.

Susan

Yet more from the home front

I was going to write an article asking what most Americans would do if their cities were being bombarded by houndreds of rockets– Rockets aimed at hospitals (yes, they’ve been targeting hospitals in Haifa, Safed, and Nahariya, striking one in Nahariya , but the patients had been moved underground), shopping centers, schools, and homes AND it wasn’t stopping AND people were being injured and killed AND people were either forced to move out of their homes or to spend weeks in shelters AND they knew where the launcher was… What would they do? Would they want to put it out of commission? Would they want to save the lives of their citizens? Would they attempt to warn any civilians in the area of the launcher that it is not a safe place to be? Would they do it many times over a period of time with leaflets, radio announcements? And then, finally, take out the launcher? Then why is it Israel’s fault if innocent Lebanese were killed? Did they stay because they were true believers in the cause and wanted to be martyrs? Well, then perhaps they bear the responsibility for what happened. Were they prevented from leaving by Hezbollah? Well, then Hezbollah bears the responsibility.

And now, after listening to a briefing by the most self-conscious Army in the world, there’s a large doubt as to what happened there and to who and what caused those deaths. Naomi Ragen sent out the following which summarizes what we know:

1. Tonight, an IDF spokesman showed aerial photos of rockets being fired from residential areas in Qana. It showed the portable rocket launchers being parked beneath residential buildings. The spokesman said that the bombs dropped on Qana were dropped at 1 a.m. The reports of the building collapse took place at 7 a.m. Also, no bombs actually hit the building. So, who was responsible for the collapse of that building? Could Hezbollah weapons have exploded, destroying the building? Was it deliberate, a way to pressure Israel into a ceasefire the same way they did last time, in exactly the same spot? And whyis no one in the media picking up on this time gap and asking questions?

2. The number of those injured is being supplied byLebanese sources, and being quoted by all the news stations. So far, only 26 bodies have been recovered. But news reports are saying the number was twice that, and half are children. That too is supplied by unknown sources and repeated by the major media.

3. At 7 a.m. a barrage of Hezbollah rockets hit the shopping center and buildings of Kiryat Shmona, unlike anything else the town has experienced. Altogether 1500 kilograms of bombs have hit the area’s
approximately 25,000 residents remaining in their homes. Where is the outrage over that?

More from the home front

It’s been hard to write for the last two days. We have lost nine precious souls– men who willingly gave their lives so that the people of Israel can live. One, Major Ro’i Klein, 31, and the father of two young sons, saw a grenade thrown toward his men and realized it was too late to escape it, so he said, “Shma Yisrael…” and threw himself on the grenade to minimize the harm to his men.

But his is not the only story of bravery. There are all of the soldiers who gathered up their wounded comrades and carried them on stretchers two kilometers to the nearest place a helicopter could land safely and the helicopter pilots who flew into an area where they knew they could be shot down. There are those who went in under cover of night to rescue the bodies of their fallen comrade so that Hezbollah would not desecrate them or make use of them as bargaining chips.

And on the home front, the nation is amazingly resilient and brave. Many of the towns in the North are bare of inhabitants. Haifa could have less than half of its population at present. All of these people are being housed with family, friends, and strangers. Real estate agents have been contacting foreign owners of apartments in Israel and asking if they might be used as temporary shelter. Nursing homes are moving their patients together and making space for people from the North. And for those who have stayed in their homes, the banks have sent vans up so that people can get their banking done. One of the credit card companies is allowing people to miss their August payment with no interest. There are mobile doctors’ offices and post offices so that people don’t have to endanger themselves traveling in unsafe territory, and one of the largest supermarket chains is offering customers the opportunity to send foodstuffs to people in the North by just adding the cost to their bill. The love and caring of this people is exquisite.

Today I saw a couple who made aliya only a month ago from the US. I said to them, “I guess this was not such a wonderful time to come.” The husband responded, “Well, in the city we came from, last week there were seven murders. In another part of the US some kid shot people on a freeway because he was mad at his folks and somewhere else a kid who didn’t get to go to the prom murdered his family. In comparison, it’s pretty tame here.”

These are difficult times for us in Israel, but make no mistake; these are times that have enormous implications since our victory here will be the beginning of the defeat of terrorism.

May it be G-d’s will.

650 Frenchmen and a cat

It was another emotional day. Rockets were falling. People were missed by a matter of moments or yards. When a news person asked the Russian immigrant who had witnessed one of the hits in Haifa and who had gathered the ball bearings and other devices that were packed into it to inflict maximum harm on a civilian population whether perhaps he regretting having come to live in Israel, the man was incredulous. He said, “This is the safest place for a Jew to live.”

So it didn’t surprise me a bit when today two planes filled with new immigrants arrived– 500 from Paris, 150 from Marseilles. Our new citizens were welcomed with joy and singing and they couldn’t have been more elated.

This afternoon, we took another new immigrant (this one from Oklahoma) over to the airport to pick up the last member of their family to make aliya, their cat, “Lila Tov Chatul” (Goodnight, Cat). She too seemed anxious to begin her new life here.

Blessed be G-d

Sometimes it hits me all over again…

A few minutes ago, a rocket scored a direct hit on a large apartment house in Haifa. When the reporter interviewed the police officer about the condition of the people in the building, he answered that there were only two people lightly injured, “blessed be G-d.”

What a country!

My son wrote me this: More than 110,000 residents of northern Israel have fled their homes due to the bombing. The difference between them and the Lebanese refugees is that we don’t think of them as refugees; they are simply guests.

Kibbutz Givat Brenner near Rehovot, for example, is hosting 500 guests from Kibbutz Snir. Last night about 45 youth slept on the floor of the gymnasium. The gymnasium is considered a good place to stay, due to the shower stalls there.

For those concerned about us, you can read about what two communities are doing for our brothers and can give your help, should you choose. Remember, these are only two of the communities that are assisting and they are two small communities. Our people are being housed throughout the center and south of the country:

FROM: LEMAAN ACHAI:

Not just the date is 24/7 – that’s how the community in Bet Shemesh is responding to the War and its Refugee Crisis.

Phase One – The first few days of this war brought untold numbers of families fleeing the rockets & terror of the North, to their families and friends in Bet Shemesh. One local family has 35 guests in their small apartment; another has 15, in addition to their own family of seven. Hundreds of other apartments in our town now have sundry extra folks who’ve turned up, and are being warmly hosted.

Phase Two – In a remarkable cross-community coordinated program, Bet Shemesh Municipality, together with the Community Centers, Charitable Organisations and many many volunteers, have undertaken a community-based refugee relief program.

Two schools have so far been opened up their doors (Shaalei Torah and Uziel); Shaalei Torah has taken 105 people from Tiveria/Tiberius and Hatzor; Uziel school has 52 people from Naharia; 35 in Nofei Aviv; 9
in Maorot Yeshiva from Naharia; 41 at the Kadosh Family. Total: 233 refugees.

In addition, many of the families who are lodging with their families and friends in Bet Shemesh (Phase One), are now hitting the limits of reasonable hospitality. Both financially and emotionally, too many people in too small a place on zero-budget for who-knows-how-long, is a major stress.

Basic meals have been arranged for all these people. Everyone has a mattress, blanket, access to showers, etc. Summer camps have been initiated for the kids, run by Ariel and Bnei AkivaYouth Groups. The Community Centers are helping with cultural activities and arranging volunteers. A buddy scheme has been set up, matching incoming refugee families with local hosting families (who provide laundry,showers, and social support). The whole community is working on this – 24/7.

Lema’an Achai www.lemaanachai.org , together with Deputy Mayor Mr Shalom Lerner, has been mandated to raise and manage the funding of the food and other primary needs of this shell-shocked & transient population. (No Government funds have been made available for this).

The cost is currently $2200/day. And rising.

Current Status: We have many calls each day from towns all over the North of Israel – pleading with us to accept more buses of despairing families, unable to take the constant air raid sirens, exploding rockets, the cramped bomb shelters and fearful, screaming kids.

We want to immediately accept the next 200-300 people into our very hospitable and welcoming town. In order to do this we need more money for food; we need to buy more mattresses, blankets and other basic
items. Total cost will be around $4000/day, plus $10,000 in purchased goods.

Third Phase: We are also developing a solution for when the schools become overloaded. So that we can accommodate 1000 or even more refugees. We’re looking at tent cities and other emergency-relief solutions.

Lema’an Achai, a highly reputable, prize-winning charity in Bet Shemesh, has now established a designated Refugee Relief Fund to meet these emergency needs, with its own subcommittee of experts to oversee, supervise and prioritise allocations.

Please now donate generously to:-

24 Hour Credit Card Service in Israel – +972 (0)2. 99.999.33

US Tax Deductible Donations:
Checks payable to: “US Friends of Lema’an Achai”
Memo line – “Refugee Relief”
PO Box 532, Oceanside, NY 11572-0532

UK Tax Deductible Donations:
Cheques payable to “Jewish Aid Committee”
c/o Refugee Relief Fund – Lema’an Achai,
40/7 Nachal Lachish,
Ramat Beit Shemesh,
99093, Israel.

Canadian Tax Deductible Donations:
Checks payable to: “Shaarei Tefilah Charity Fund” -
Memo Line: Refugee Relief Fund – Lema’an Achai
C/O Murray Shore, 31 Marvill StreetToronto, Ontario, M3H 3L2

Israel Tax Deductible Donations:
Checks Payable to “Lema’an Achai – Refugee Relief Fund”
40/7 Nachal Lachish,
Ramat Beit Shemesh,
99093, Israel.

In the (happy!) event that any funds raised are not required for Refugee Relief, they will be used for other critical charitable services.

Any questions – feel free to call David (+972-2-9997107). 24/7.

Thank you for your generous support.
——————————————————–
FROM THE EFRAT FOUNDATION:

As a result of the many missiles raining down on the communities in Israel’s North and the evacuation of civilians from that area, we are hosting at this point in Efrat, close to 300 people and we’ll be happy to take more if needed. Our social services in coordination with the municipalities of Karmiel, Moshav Or Haganuz, Moshav Bar Yochai, Tzfat and the Bay area outside Haifa, has coordinated the arrival here of these evacuee families.

The families that have arrived are already in the dormitories of our Educational facilities which have been re-opened despite being closed for the summer vacation. These facilities will service the rooms, provide a dining hall with hot meals, and activities for the children. The Efrat Emergency Medical Center is providing medical attention free of charge. We are opening our hearts to them and trying to give them some minimum relief in the hope that the fighting will soon be successfully over, and they will be able to return home. Many of our
local residents are involved in the logistics, planning, hosting, and opening their homes on a voluntary basis, including our youth.

The Efrat Municipality is funding the food for all these people on our own. The cost of hospitality for a person for a day is $20 for meals and $5 for activities and transportation for the kids.

We ask you at this time of emergency to help us now! Help fund a brother from the North by sponsoring them! You can really help!

Your tax deductible donation can be made out to

`The Efrat Development Foundation’(payee)
EIN 20-2178658 (501 C 3)
for our “Ezra LaTzafon” (Assistance to the North) project, and sent to:
Efrat Development Foundation USA
c/o Mr. Joe Katz,
Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP,
190 Willis Ave, Mineola, NY 10501

From the Jerusalem Post

Normally I avoid reprinting other people’s work, but this article is too important to miss. It is reprinted from the Jerusalem Post online edition (www.jpost.com)

Jul. 22, 2006 22:49 | Updated Jul. 23, 2006 19:05
The predictable condemners
By ALAN M. DERSHOWITZ

The Hizbullah and Hamas provocations against Israel once again demonstrate how terrorists exploit human rights and the media in their attacks on democracies.

By hiding behind their own civilians the Islamic radicals issue a challenge to democracies: Either violate your own morality by coming after us and inevitably killing some innocent civilians, or maintain your morality and leave us with a free hand to target your innocent civilians.

This challenge presents democracies such as Israel with a lose-lose option, and the terrorists with a win-win option.

There is one variable that could change this dynamic and present democracies with a viable option that could make terrorism less attractive as a tactic: The international community, the anti-Israel segment of the media and the so called “human rights” organizations could stop falling for this terrorist gambit and acknowledge that they are being used to promote the terrorist agenda.

Whenever a democracy is presented with the lose-lose option and chooses to defend its citizens by going after the terrorists who are hiding among civilians, this trio of predictable condemners can be counted on by the terrorists to accuse the democracy of “overreaction,” “disproportionality” and “violations of human rights.”

In doing so, they play right into the hands of the terrorists, causing more terrorism and more civilian casualties on both sides. If instead this trio could, for once, be counted on to blame the terrorists for the civilian deaths on both sides, this tactic would no longer be a win-win situation for the terrorists.

IT SHOULD BE obvious by now that Hizbullah and Hamas actually want the Israeli military to kill as many Lebanese and Palestinian civilians as possible. That is why they store their rockets underneath the beds of civilians; why they launch their missiles from crowded civilian neighborhoods and hide among civilians. They are seeking to induce Israel to defend its civilians by going after them among their civilian “shields.” They know that every civilian they induce Israel to kill hurts Israel in the media and the international and human rights communities.

They regard these human shields as shahids – martyrs – even if they did not volunteer for this lethal job. Under the law, criminals who use human shields are responsible for the deaths of the shields, even if the bullet that kills them came from the gun of a policeman.

Israel has every self-interest in minimizing civilian casualties, whereas the terrorists have every self-interest in maximizing them – on both sides. Israel should not be condemned for doing what every democracy would and should do: taking every reasonable military step to stop the terrorists from killing their innocent civilians.

NOW THAT some of those who are launching rockets at Israeli cities have announced they have new surprises in store for Israel that may include chemical and biological weapons, the stakes have gotten even higher.

What would Israeli critics regard as “proportioned” to a chemical or biological attack? What would they say if Israel tried to preempt such an attack and, in the process, killed some civilians? Must a democracy absorb a first strike from a weapon of mass destruction before it fights back? Would any other democracy be expected to do that?

The world must come to recognize the cynical way in which terrorists exploit civilian casualties. They launch anti-personnel rockets designed to maximize enemy civilian casualties, then they cry “human rights” when their own civilians – behind whom they are deliberately hiding – are killed by the democracies in the process of trying to prevent further acts of terrorism

The very idea that terrorists who use women and children as suicide bombers against other women and children shed crocodile tears over the deaths of civilians they deliberately put in harm’s way gives new meaning to the word “hypocrisy.” We all know that hypocrisy is a tactic of the terrorists, but it is shocking that others fall for it and become complicit with the terrorists.

Let the blame fall where it belongs: on the terrorists who deliberately seek to kill enemy civilians and give their democratic enemies little choice but to kill some civilians behind whom the terrorists are hiding.

Those who condemn Israel for killing civilians – who are used as human shields and swords for the terrorists – actually cause more civilian deaths and make it harder for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank.

HOW THE WORLD reacts to Israel’s current military efforts to protect its citizens will have a considerable impact on future Israeli steps toward peace. Prior to the recent kidnappings and rocket attacks the Israeli government had announced its intention to engage in further withdrawals from large portions of the West Bank.

But how can Israel be expected to move forward with any plan for withdrawal if all it can expect in return is more terrorism – what the terrorists regard as “land for rocket launchings” – and more condemnation when it seeks to protect its civilians?

The writer is a Professor of Law at Harvard and the author of Preemption: A Knife that Cuts Both Ways.

Ups and downs

It is fascinating to watch people coping with this war. In addition to the cookers and the cleaners, there are the watchers (of the news) and the listeners (to the news) and the avoiders (of all news) and those, like me, who regulate the amount of news they can tolerate on an hour by hour basis. There are some days that I am with the news almost constantly and others that I spend very little time listening or watching. And I believe that each and every person has his or her own way of coping.

But, strangely enough, life goes on, albeit in a sadder tone.

Today I took my daughter to Raanana to make a shiva call at the home of a family whose son, a major in the Israeli Army, had been killed in the fierce battle with Hezbollah that took place north of Avivim. His story, like so many others, is tragic. He had married only three weeks ago. He and his wife had just begun to set up their home. The son of Anglo immigrants, he seems to have been someone who everyone loved. My daughter was visiting because she had been a coworker of his mother.

While in Raanana, we took a walk on the tree lined main street which was bustling with traffic and populated by stores filled with wares that spilled out onto the sidewalk. People were sitting in cafes and people were walking through the street as if it were just a normal day. I remarked to my daughter that had I taken a videotape of our walk today, no one would have believed that things here are so normal.

Of course in the North they are anything but normal. By this morning, before the day’s barrage of rockets, Nahariya, a lovely seaside town where we spent a weekend this past winter, had sustained damage to 500 buildings. And that is only in one town. Hezbollah has hit in or around every town in the North of Israel.

So there is simultaneously this sense of things being fine and of pain and loss and destruction. And this week we added into the mix one more factor.

On Friday July 14, our youngest son and his wife presented us with a darling new granddaughter. This past Thursday she was given the name “Shira”. We pray that she will grow up in a country that will be safe and secure and where none will make her afraid.

Disproportionate mercy

Today, as I was watching CNN (we get CNN Europe, which, I am told differs from CNN in the USA and I hope that is correct) I became outraged. One of the talking heads was talking about the middle east and all of the terrible things that are happening here. She (I think it was a she; I at first tried to repress this because I didn’t want to become hypertensive) was talking about how people were affected and spoke of “the refugees from Lebanon arriving in Syria with tales of horror” and the Israelis “watching missiles land.” Now let’s see: I suppose the woman in Nahariya who saw her husband approaching the shelter where she and her small children were taking refuge and then saw him be so obliterated by a direct missile hit that there were only a few small pieces left could be said to have watched a missile land. That is indeed true. But I, as a somewhat compassionate person would be tempted to think of that as a tale of horror.

But wait…. I have forgotten something…. he was a Jew. When Jews are killed, well, that’s OK. When arabs are killed, that’s horror.

View from the shelter

This is a piece written a couple of days ago by someone who is on an email list in Israel. Although I don’t normally post other people’s articles, her personal experience is something I wanted to share with you. I am most grateful for her permission to use this.
*****************************************************
I’ve kinda lost track of days and such, but since I work at a hospital in Safed, I decided to stay here for a couple of nights. I have everything I need and the miklat [shelter] is much nicer than the one in the neighborhood. Sunday nite the hospital had a near-hit. A katyusha fell at the periphery of the main building. There was no structural damage to speak of, but tons of broken glass. 14 staff were treated for shock. I was either under my dining room table or in my local miklat in Karmiel at the time, but not everyone was so “lucky.”

The miracle is that the attack took place at about 10-11 p.m., so the public areas were empty, and the heads of departments had already taken the precaution of moving patients from the north to the south side of the building, and mommies and babies had been relocated to the day surgery center in the bowels of the main building. All but one window in the Pediatrics dept were blown out by the force of the blast as were most of those in the surgical ward, the waiting rooms, and others.

A 13 year old boy recovering from surgery for a ruptured spleen and internal bleeding was watching t.v. in the dining room when the blast took place and was hit in the head by flying glass, suffering a nasty, deep gash. No brain injuries, but lots of stitches. A patient in the orthopedics dept, recovering from shrapnel wounds and the subsequent surgeries, was thrown out of his bed. He said he could feel the whole building move.

Sunday and yesterday (Tuesday) I heard loud booms and saw the aftermath of rockets which had fallen across the wadi, some hundreds of meters away, but scarey enough to see out of your office window…

I met with 4 groups of reporters yesterday (they’ve discovered us!) Most of them were really professional—-but when the chickie from CBS called to make an appointment for 8 PM and asked if there was any chance that they could interview a patient who had been hurt by this attack (yes), and wanted to know whether — by chance he might be from New York (nooooo — Safed by way of Morocco), she decided to come but not to interview. “I really wanted to talk to someone from NY, or at least an American,” she said. I told her that I was sorry that I hadn’t received more notice so that I could have arranged to have an American wounded for her… It went right over her head.

BTW, they showed up at 10:30.

Anyhow, I’m tired and testy. Slept in the cardiology ‘benoni’ room [step-down unit] with 4 other women, one of whom sounded just like a diesel truck warming up on a cold winter’s day. I don’t do well on hospital mattresses (and who does?), so I was up at 3:30 again. But it was nice to have other people around whom I know. And since I have a vacation in the US scheduled for a few weeks, perhaps I will catch up on sleep there.

Something I didn’t anticipate was that my grandkids are watching the news on t.v. in America. They are 12 and 7. I had no idea they watched the news or that they had any understanding. Apparently they are very upset and the 7 year old just wants to hold his Bugs Bunny. And that’s from yo-many thousands of miles away. The kids here are really suffering, as most of you parents must know. I know of two families among my acquaintances who had to go as far south as they could just so the children would stop having panic attacks.

This is really (fill in your expletive), this massive, indiscriminate bombardment of innocents.

Stay safe,
Sylvia

Another day

It’s another surrealistic day in Israel. All day long Hezbollah has been lobbing rockets our way as well as mortars. They have hit pretty much every place in the North that people live. At times they were firing over 70 an hour. Most, thank G-d, landed in open fields starting fires, but not harming homes or people. However, some did damage to livestock—one hit alone killed tens of cattle. And the constant firing means that farmers can’t tend their livestock or their crops. However, once again, we paid the highest price with two soldiers killed in a firefight and three Israeli Arabs killed in Nazareth.

Shimon Peres, a well-known dove, former friend and confidante of Yassir Arafat, said today, “What does Hezbollah want? We have nothing that belongs to them. We have not threatened them.” He understands the irrationality of their hate, a hate so great that they put all of Israel and all of Lebanon in danger. I called my daughter up this evening and told her to make a note of this day. Chaim Ramon, a man whose opinions have been predictably diametrically opposed to mine was saying exactly what I believe—that this is a battle we HAVE to win. This is a battle that the Western world needs us to win. We are the front line in the terror war and we can’t afford to cave for our own sakes and for the sake of the rest of the freedom loving nations.

Our days here in Modi’in are fairly calm. It’s quiet outside and there is a warm breeze. At the health club this afternoon, I biked while watching our soldiers firing mortars and heard the reporters speaking as katyushas landed around them. I heard about the terror alert that paralyzed the center of the country until the terrorist and his explosives were located and the attack was prevented. I saw the battle in Nablus around the Mukata, I heard about the Kassams being fired from Gaza and heard about the man who died from a heart attack after a Kassam landed nearby. His brother had been killed in a terror attack about a year ago.

We pray for our soldiers, for those in the line of fire, for our leaders to continue to lead us with wisdom, and for G-d’s help in this just cause.

If you are interested in getting a newscast from Israel in English, this URL will be helpful to you. Thanks for all of the public and private support. I could never tell you how much it means to us.