When I had the good fortune to visit Israel several years ago, I made a good friend in the Head of The Raphael Recanati International School at IDC Herzliya, Jonathan Davis.
With an increase in fighting between Hamas and Israel over the past several days, I decided to get in touch with Jonathan and let him tell you what it's like over there. You can listen to our conversation from yesterday right HERE.
In order to keep you up-to-date, I emailed Jonathan last night asking him for an update. This is what he wrote:
"Negotiations are underway for a cease fire, but usually while these negotiations take place the situation is still one of being under fire. The number of rockets fired from Gaza on a daily basis is going down. The Iron Dome has intercepted a vast majority of the rockets which were headed for heavily populated areas in Israel’s cities. However, the Iron Dome is not infallible (90 percent success rate and improving) and some of the rockets have hit buildings. Luckily a vast majority of the civilians in those buildings were unhurt because they adhered to the strict instructions of the Homefront Command and stayed in shelters or their “safe rooms”. Thus far during this action over the past week, there have been five Israelis killed, and 80 wounded, a vast majority, slightly wounded. This is after 1300 rockets have been fired from Gaza, 380 of which, which were on their way to hitting civilian targets, and were intercepted by Iron Dome, and unfortunately 47 rockets out of the 1300 managed to penetrate into the civilian areas. Without Iron Dome, almost 430 rockets would have penetrated, creating far far greater havoc and killing and wounding countless more Israelis.
Once more, due to the cool, calm, responsible and mature behavior of the population, the number of casualties were greatly reduced. During the peak of the firing last Thursday, the 15th of November, the terrorists fired 316 rockets. Yesterday, it was 120 rockets, which shows that the bombardment of the Israeli Airforce (1500 targets hit in Gaza in one week) are making an impact. Once more, it is important to stress that if we were using Syrian tactics there should have been about 10,000 casualties in Gaza if we carpet bombed as the Syrians do. So, after all of the Israeli attacks from the air, the Palestinians suffered 132 casualties in one week, out of whom more than 50 percent were terrorists, and 58 were civilians due to collateral damage and last week in Syria, 850 civilians were killed, Moslem killing Moslem. The relatively low number of Palestinian casualties is because of our Jewish values which does not allow us to kill innocent civilians on purpose, and thus we perform surgical strikes rather than radical Islamic and Syrian massive murder tactics. I should mention that actually there were 64 casualties in Gaza and not 58, since the Hamas shot 6 Palestinians they accused of spying for Israel, and dragged their dead bodies through the streets of Gaza, tied to the back of motorcyles. The IDF is still perched on the outskirts of Gaza, should they need to go in. Clinton and Bunki Moon are now in Israel. Egypt seems to be taking some responsibility here, and has been acting in a relatively moderate way---due to western pressure and due to their disasterous economy since they cannot afford any other items on their agenda right now. That is it, at 9:25AM on the way to work, on a normal, regular work day here in the Tel Aviv region. God bless to y’all. Jd
PS—It should be mentioned that life in the south of Israel has been greatly disrupted since schools have been closed for a week, shopping centers are practically empty, and the citizens need to be close to shelters and their safe rooms. Many of the southern children have been bussed up here and are being treated to all kinds of fun and goodies for some deserved R and R, as are many of their parents. Up here, in the Tel Aviv region, and along the coastal plain, where most Israelis live it is business as usual. The citizens of the south deserve better, and we will have to come up with an agreement which basically says if ONE rocket is fired, after the cease fire we come down on them like a ton of bricks."
Please say a prayer for my friend and his country this Thanksgiving...