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Operation Pillar of Defense





November 20, 2012


Keep your Spirits Up and Your Head Down!




            Tel-Aviv residents for their part are fighting back in their own fashion with self-deprecating black humor about the burst of Tel-Aviv's 'bubble mentality'* including variations on the joke about the perils of rushing with a full cup of hot espresso out into the stairwell.  One of the most barbed gems tells of an unnamed Yuppie who gushes after being surprised by wailing sirens announcing the first rocket to reach Tel Aviv: "I took the espresso machine and rushed to the shelter and I hoped we'll succeed in saving the children, as well."

            Another joke in a similar vein relates how "Tel-Avivians wanted to send residents of the south virtual hugs of solidarity via the Internet but ungrateful residents of the south refused to leave their shelters to accept the hugs." (Ynet and Bidur Haoref)


* charges that Tel-Avivians remain apathetic and unconcerned about security issues that challenge Israelis elsewhere, outside their orbit.




An Israeli cottage industry that makes all-natural earplugs hand-crafted from a combination of waxes, fibers, organic creams and butters has seized the day to offer its product to the residents of southern Israel, claiming its Natural Noise Blockers buffer and tone-down ambient noise by 70 percent – even if the source is an incoming Grad rocket, not just noisy neighbors, excessive snorers, baking dogs or a kid learning to play the violin or the drums.

            Under the come-on From the Sounds of War to The Sounds of Silence the developer, Joy S. who lives on a moshav near Kiriyat Gat – within 'Grad Alley,' is offering special prices for residents of the south: 50 NIS (about $12) for a family pack of 6 pairs of earplugs including home delivery by post. 

            Splendid, but will wearers be able to hear the warning sirens?

            The vendor didn't say.*  (Rehovot anglo listserve)


* In an e-mail to Chelm-on-the-Med, the designer answered - yes.




Locksmith Arieh Cohen says he's doing a land office business among residents of the Big Orange, as countless jangled Tel Aviv dwellers sprinting out of their apartments into the stairwell for the first time since the 1990 Gulf War, automatically grab their cellphones on the way, but leave the keys to their flats behind. 

            "Right now I'm not doing reserve duty, so from my perspective such 'call-ups' [after each Fajr rocket attack] are a form of national service, and I only take half of what I'd normally charge," revealed  the patriotic locksmith.  (Ynet)




When rockets begin to fall, Israelis don't flee abroad, they cancel their vacations in droves 'for the duration.'

            El-Al may have been privatized but it's still very much the national airline:  The national carrier (whose motto in Hebrew is ha-chi ba-byit sh-yesh*) not only let military personnel and those who received immediate call-ups (tzavei 8, in Hebrew) cancel their tickets without penalty.  Any Israel citizen who chooses to stay close to home and scrap their vacation or business trip (or wishes to hasten their return date to Israel from abroad) is free to cancel and reschedule their trip – no questions asked. (Yediot)


* the homiest it gets




With 90 seconds flat to take cover between launch and impact*, the Tel-Aviv Municipality, in typical Israeli fashion, decided to improvise instant access to shelter for pedestrians – requesting all apartment buildings in the Big Orange immobilize their intercoms and leave the entrance doors to their buildings unlatched for the duration to allow perfect strangers access the stairwell in the event of a rocket attack.

            Parallel to this, a new Apple app – Secure Spaces  – can be downloaded for free to one's iPhone, iPod or iPad.  The app instantly notes the closest public safe zone in Ashdod, Ashkelon or Beersheva – such as underground parking garages, safe zones in public buildings and local business establishments. (Galei Tzahal Radio)


* as of this writing (November 20, 2012), all Fajr rockets targeting Tel Aviv have been intercepted and destroyed by Iron Dome.




Palestinians have been forced to turn to fabrications to try and win the imagery war.

            Faced with a critical shortage of bloody pictures of 'Israeli bestiality' they not only stooped so low as to recycle a heart-wrenching picture from Syria of a father carrying an injured child, as if it was wounded in Gaza; the height of chutzpa, Palestinians even 'adopted' an Israeli infant injured by a Grad rocket in Kiryat Malachi that killed three persons, claiming it was a Palestinian child…

            On the fifth day of Operation Pillar of Defense, Palestinian journalists were also caught red-handed peddling a video segment of an 'injured' Gaza man' being carried off to a hospital after an Israeli surgical strike in the vicinity, who made a rather remarkable recovery – caught on camera, back on the street and back on his feet, within minutes – giving new context to the concept 'doctored footage.' (Israel Hayom, Fox News, the IDF Spokesperson's Office and Yediot Aharonot)




It's hardly news that supermarkets offer free delivery of the groceries to those sticking closely to home and that cable and satellite providers opened their hearts and all their television channels (100!) to stir-crazed subscribers in the south – without charge. So what's new? 

            Well,  for one, Eldan  a nationwide rental car chain whose founding family the Dahans are Ashkelon residents – offered a free rental car to anyone whose vehicle has been put out of commission by a rocket from the 'neighbors' in Gaza.  (Yediot Aharonot)




            When Alex Walvich went to pick up his in-laws in Beersheva to bring them to his home in Metar – just beyond city limits, the couple encountered an unexpected glitch. The foursome were caught by wailing sirens as they exited the city.  In keeping with Homeland Defense directives they ditched their car on the side of the road and hit the dirt, taking cover in a ditch.

            While Israel habitually witnesses a sharp drop in crime during wartime, a pair of unpatriotic two-bit crooks remain unfazed. In the rush to take cover, Alex left the keys in the ignition and the motor running – all that the two unidentified car thieves needed to help themselves to the Walvich's family sedan, leaving the unscathed but stunned foursome in a cloud of dust.

            Will governmental compensation authorities recognize their loss as war damage?

            Probably not.  But perhaps Eldan will make this 'hit and run' a special exception and lend them a free rental car…  (Yediot Aharonot)




"Why I Won't Budge" by Daniella Ashkenazy in the Times of Israel (