by Elon and Hadas Moreh
July 13, 2014
Last night we had our first Air-raid warning siren here in Nahariya as two rockets fell outside of town. This afternoon as I was finishing this bulletin there was another one. At the moment these alerts are of short duration, perhaps a minute or two. By the time we have entered into the security room, closed the armoured window plates and shut the steel door all is over. On the whole the North is relatively safe from Gaza rocket attacks at present. This is not because of any convivial sentiments by Hamas towards Israel's northern residents. Rather it arises from relatively lower numbers of longer-range rockets in the Hamas arsenal, and their preference for using Tel-Aviv for target practice. The missile technology that Hamas fires at Israeli cities is mostly of the "fire and hope for the worst" unguided type, designed for aiming at large area targets, not for individual buildings or satisfying personal grudges, which require something more sophisticated. This is not to say these things are not deadly,-they are. Fire enough of them at a populated area and eventually you will kill someone;--particularly if the area is close by and there is insufficient time for the target population to take shelter. People have been killed in Nahariya in the past and just last night a teenager in Ashkelon was seriously injured by a rocket blast. Hamas' spectacular lack of success is (humanly speaking) at least partly due to the excellent Iron Dome anti-missile system as much as to the unguided nature of their rockets;--it is certainly not due to any lack of effort on their part. Many of these (particularly the smaller) weapons are home-made (produced in workshops which Israel supplies with electricity free of charge, see below) and launched from Heath-Robinson firing platforms, hidden in schools, nurseries, hospitals and mosques or private houses, protected by human-shields and transported to site even in ambulances and even launched from bread-carts. This makes them quite difficult to eradicate. Even after this operation our national leadership know that we are only buying some months or a year or two at best of peace before we have to "take out the trash" all over again.
Spring in Israel is a beautiful time. The night air is often heavy with the scent of Jasmine,Â citrus and other blossoms, and we have been grateful for what little rain we have had, in what has been a fairly dry rainy season. Though rain has been sparse, there was enough to delay the municipal Purim celebration. Each year there is a parade through the main street, with carnival floats and clowns and many in the crowds also wear costumes and masks. The masks are a tradition based on the fact that the name of God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, but it is apparent that He is operating behind the scenes, masked as it were. In Hebrew the parade is called the "Ad-Lo-Yada", which means in Hebrew "until one can not discern". This strange term comes from a Rabbinic idea that Purim it is considered a mitzvah (obligation) to drink wine until once cannot discern between the righteous Mordechai and the wicked Haman.