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While it's quiet...

Aug. 20th, 2006 | 12:39 pm
location: Rehovot, as always
mood: okayokay

On Friday night we heard the jets again. We knew something was up. Jets don't fly here on Shabbat unless they are on their way to a mission. We knew things weren't too bad because there were no jets on Shabbat during the day. Only after Shabbat did we learn that a mission had been launched to stop Syrians/Iranians from rearming Hisballah. Apparently, it was a broader mission than just blowing up a truck or bombing a stockpile. Our soldiers returned with two Senior Hisballah operatives. Well, almost all returned. We lost Lt.-Col. Imanuel Moreno, 35. Unlike the "martyrs of Islam", every one of our soldiers has a name, a family in mourning, a nation to grieve for them. Golda Meir said that we will never be able to make peace with them until they love their children more than they hate ours. She would be appalled to see how far they have moved in the opposite direction.

We are all doing well. I volunteered another day at Tel HaShomer doing plenty of sock and underwear packing, assembling flak jackets, hauling boxes and clearing away garbage from 8-4pm. On Thursday, I devoted the day to catching up on my paid work and spending time with our guest.
Daniella leaves tomorrow morning for a couple of days of training in Netanya in preparation for her year of National Service here in Rehovot. Then she puts in two more days training in Rehovot and her new year of service begins. The boys are bored and not particularly motivated to change that status quo. Eliav is starting to connect to the idea that doing well in school is somehow connected to getting into the army units (Intelligence and/or Computers) that most interest him. Positive step. Cobi has some decisions to make re: his classes this year. He's back to playing the piano on a regular basis---- Gorgeous. Jeff is back at work...

So you'd think that nothing happened... and yet we are all waiting for the early warning signs of the next war and doing what we can to prepare as best as we can. We're expecting our gov't to "fall"... new elections, etc. As the Chinese curse says: "May you live in interesting times."

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Hope for peace, prepare for war

Aug. 16th, 2006 | 07:16 am
location: Yup
mood: busybusy

It's 6:15 AM and I have to hurry but I wanted to catch everyone up.
Yesterday was a big day for changes. I spent all day at the Army camp in Tel HaShomer making packages of socks and underwear for soldiers at the front and assempling flak jackets. I have to leave in 15 minutes to catch my bus so I can do the same today.
Our visiting family went home last night. We enjoyed them and were grateful to be able to contribute to the effort by hosting them. Now we are grateful for the quiet and return to normalcy. Also, Sandi Isaacson, our college buddy, came last night. We like having a revolving door on our guest room. And the Millers, our great neighbors, are back. Gotta go.

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Ceasefire? We'll see...

Aug. 13th, 2006 | 08:10 pm
location: Still home
mood: gloomygloomy

The ceasefire is supposed to go into effect tomorrow. It's hard to be hopeful, but I keep trying. Maybe it will be OK... at least for a while.

In the meanwhile, our guests are still here and trying to figure out how to know when to go home. Since Carmiel was still under fire today, we'll have to see what happens. This morning, Gittle took Hunny to the pool and this evening I took Gittel clothes shopping. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping!

I am also trying to clear my desk quickly because I volunteered to join a Sar-el group http://www.sar-el.org/ to help out at a local army base on Tuesday, Weds. and Thurs. from 7:50AM until evening.

Meanwhile, nobody's shooting at us down here, up here relative to Gaza, so I guess we are pretty fortunate. Two soldiers from Rehovot died over the last 24 hours; one was Keren Tendler, a helipcopter mechanic and the first woman to die in this battle for our existence...

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Smile...Then They'll Wonder What You're Up To

Aug. 9th, 2006 | 01:55 am
mood: amusedamused

Come on. Take your eyes off of SkyNews/BBC/Al-Manar for a quick gaffaw. It'll all still be there when you get back...

Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad calls President Bush and tells him,
"George, I had a wonderful dream last night. I could see America, the
whole beautiful country, and on each house I saw a banner."

"What did it say on the banner?" Bush asks. Mahmud replies, "ALLAH IS

Bush says, "You know, Mahmud, I am really happy you called. Last night I
had a similar dream. I could see all of Tehran, and it was more beautiful
than ever. It had been rebuilt completely, and on each house flew an
enormous banner."

"What could you see on the banners?" Mahmud says. Bush replies,

"I don't know, I can't read Hebrew."

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Smile...Then They'll Wonder

Aug. 9th, 2006 | 01:54 am

Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadinejad calls President Bush and tells him,
"George, I had a wonderful dream last night. I could see America, the
whole beautiful country, and on each house I saw a banner."

"What did it say on the banner?" Bush asks. Mahmud replies, "ALLAH IS

Bush says, "You know, Mahmud, I am really happy you called. Last night I
had a similar dream. I could see all of Tehran, and it was more beautiful
than ever. It had been rebuilt completely, and on each house flew an
enormous banner."

"What could you see on the banners?" Mahmud says. Bush replies,

"I don't know, I can't read Hebrew."

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Look Who Managed To Form Some Intelligent Sentances...

Aug. 8th, 2006 | 10:34 am
mood: chipperchipper

We are all fine here. We have all cut way down on our news-watching and Internet news checking so we can move forward in living our day-to-day lives.

Some of us are fighting terror by defending our lives. The rest are fighting terror by insisting on living our lives.

Bush: Ceasefire must not let Hezbollah keep Lebanon grip
NEDRA PICKLER Associated Press

CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush said Monday any Mideast cease-fire must prevent Hezbollah from strengthening its grip in southern Lebanon, asserting “it's time to address root causes of problems.”

Mr. Bush urged the United Nations to work quickly to approve a resolution to stop hostilities that have been raging between Israel and Hezbollah for more than three weeks and killing hundreds.

A draft resolution proposed by the United States and France faced opposition from Lebanon and other Arab nations because it would not call for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Lebanon.

Mr. Bush indicated he wants Israel to stay until an international force is deployed that can assist Lebanon in taking over control of the southern part of the country, where Hezbollah's operations are based.

“Whatever happens in the U.N., we must not create a vacuum into which Hezbollah and its sponsors are able to move more weapons,” Mr. Bush said in a joint news conference with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “Sometimes the world likes to take the easy route in order to solve a problem. Our view is, it's time to address root causes of problems. And to create a vacuum is unacceptable...”

“We understand that this has been a very emotional and indeed devastating and tragic set of circumstances for Lebanon and for Israel, and obviously the parties have views on how to stop this,” Ms. Rice said.

“Their views are not going to necessarily be consonant about how to stop it,” the secretary said. “The international community has a view. But of course we're going to take a little time and listen to the concerns of the parties and see how they can be addressed."

“I understand both parties aren't going to agree with all aspects of the resolution,” Mr. Bush said. “But the intent of the resolutions is to strengthen the Lebanese government so Israel has got a partner in peace.”

Ms. Rice played down differences on the draft, saying it is a firm foundation that both sides can accept once “issues of timing and sequence” are worked out.

The resolution calls in the longer term for a buffer zone in southern Lebanon, which Hezbollah controls and where Israeli troops are now fighting. Only Lebanese armed forces and U.N.-mandated international troops — once they are deployed — would be allowed in the zone.

“This international force will help Lebanon patrol its border with Syria and prevent illegal arm shipments to Hezbollah,” Mr. Bush said. “As these Lebanese and international forces deploy, the Israeli defence forces will withdraw.”

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Little Solice...Very Little

Aug. 7th, 2006 | 12:03 am
location: Rehovot
mood: worriedworried

I keep telling you not to believe what the media is telling you. Here's a little ditty that says to me "just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get you":

Reuters Drops Photographer Who Faked Israeli Bomb Results

Reuters News Agency has announced it is cutting from its payroll a freelance photographer who altered a photograph that showed that the results of an Israeli bombing were far worse than in reality.

An American news site caught the fake when it noticed that the billows of smoke in the photo showed a repetitious pattern. However, the news agency said that the photographer, Adnan Hajj, said the image was changed after he tried "to remove dust marks and that he made mistakes due to the bad lighting conditions he was working under."

Hajj also photographed images of a dead child in the explosion in the village of Kana last week. Several private web sites have questioned the veracity of the pictures.

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Tasteful support...

Aug. 6th, 2006 | 11:46 am
location: Rehovot, typing away
mood: ditzyditzy

This is just too cool! For all of you out there sending prayers and positive vibs to our troops in Lebanon and Gaza, how about sending something more substantial... like PIZZA or BURGERS. Now that is the kind of support a soldier can sink his teeth into...

http://www.pizzaidf.com/ and http://www.burgeridf.com/

P.S. I guess there are SOME advantages to being so close to the homefront ;-)

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Need some good news?

Aug. 4th, 2006 | 07:13 pm
mood: hopefulhopeful

We're getting all ready for Shabbat. Our guests helped prepare dinner and bought a yummy cake for dessert after lunch. All in all, our little kibbutz is running pretty smoothly. The parrot takes Cheerios from my fingers (without removing the fingers) and Nili, the baby, has throws a mean fastball--- using a candle shaped like a minute watermelon.

All quiet on the Rehovot front. If only that were true up North...

This week is Shabbat Nachamu- the Sabbath of Consolation. When we need a little 'consolation', we scour the news for items like this:
"In a radio interview with John Batchelor, retired Air Force General Tom McInerney detailed a debriefing with a senior IDF official in which he detailed that Israel believes their airstrikes have eliminated 70 percent of the long-range Iranian ZelZal missile systems in Hizballah hands. McInerney noted that over 1000 Hizballah infrastructure targets have been struck by Israeli air power up and down the Bekaa Valley (once called the most heavily defended air corridor on the planet) and throughout Southern Lebanon, including weapons storage facilities, command and control centers, vehicle repair facilities and 18 Hizballah financial centers which serve in the place of banks.

While sustaining these enormous losses, Hizballah is having difficulty re-supplying across the Syrian border. Convoys from Syria are struck by F-16’s and drones once they are within Lebanese borders, often with the massive secondary explosions that indicate arms shipments. The Israelis believe that Bashar Assad is “directly involved” in the attempts to smuggle rockets, other arms and ammunition to Hizballah, and the release of the results of "defense establishment" intelligence is Israel’s way of sending a message to the Syrian president."

And this:
"Although Hezbollah has refused to make public the extent of the casualties it has suffered, Lebanese officials estimate that up to 500 fighters have been killed in the past three weeks of hostilities with Israel, and another 1,500 injured.

Lebanese officials have also disclosed that many of Hezbollah's wounded are being treated in hospitals in Syria to conceal the true extent of the casualties. They are said to have been taken through the al-Arissa border crossing with the help of Syrian security forces....

Hezbollah's operational council has drawn up casualty lists that have been passed to the Shaheed Foundation (in Iran). Copies have been seen by the Daily Telegraph and have also been obtained by Lebanese newspapers, which have been pressured by Hezbollah not to publish them.

"Hezbollah is desperate to conceal its casualties because it wants to give the impression that it is winning its war," a senior security official said. 'People might reach a very different conclusion if they knew the true extent of Hezbollah's casualties.'"

Shabbat Shalom, everyone and may truly good news greet us with the beginning of this brand new week.

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The 9th of Av: The Mourning Continues

Aug. 3rd, 2006 | 11:32 pm
location: Rehovot
mood: awakeawake

First of all, we are all fine... all four adults, three teens, two kids, dog, cat, and parrot of us. We sigh collectively when we hear about the deaths of our brave soldiers and innocent citizens. We gaffaw at Nasralloh's threat to bomb Tel Aviv if we attack Beirut. Aside from the fact that our air force has already done hit Beirut, he talks as if he needs a reason! Is anybody actually falling for that???

The 26 hour 9th of Av fast commenorating the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians and, then, the Romans, is over here in the Holy Land. Fasting is never easy and never pleasant. However, the events of the last month serve as reminders that the more thignd change, the more things stay the same. Last night at the reading of Lamentations, we followed our custom of reading Kinot- poetry that mourns the loss of the Temple and ties it to more recent tragedies that we as a people have undergone... so many. The last one we said was a kinah mourning the Holocaust. The following commentary in Maariv seemed particularly appropos:

We Will Not Capitulate

Ben Caspit proposes the text for a speech by the Prime Minister that would explain to the world exactly what we're fighting for

July 31, 2006
Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world. I, the Prime Minister of Israel, am speaking to you from Jerusalem in the face of the terrible pictures from Kfar Kana. Any human heart, wherever it is, must sicken and recoil at the sight of such pictures. There are no words of comfort that can mitigate the enormity of this tragedy. Still, I am looking you straight in the eye and telling you that the State of Israel will continue its military campaign in Lebanon.

The Israel Defense Forces will continue to attack targets from which missiles and Katyusha rockets are fired at hospitals, old age homes and kindergartens in Israel. I have instructed the security forces and the IDF to continue to hunt for the Katyusha stockpiles and launch sites from which these savages are bombarding the State of Israel.

We will not hesitate, we will not apologize and we will not back off. If they continue to launch missiles into Israel from Kfar Kana, we will continue to bomb Kfar Kana. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Here, there and everywhere. The children of

Kfar Kana could now be sleeping peacefully in their homes, unmolested, had the agents of the devil not taken over their land and turned the lives of our children into hell.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's time you understood: the Jewish state will no longer be trampled upon. We will no longer allow anyone to exploit population centers in order to bomb our citizens. No one will be able to hide anymore behind women and children in order to kill our women and children. This anarchy is over. You can condemn us, you can boycott us, you can stop visiting us and, if necessary, we will stop visiting you.

A voice for six million citizens

Today I am serving as the voice of six million bombarded Israeli citizens who serve as the voice of six million murdered Jews who were melted down to dust and ashes by savages in Europe. In both cases, those responsible for these evil acts were, and are, barbarians devoid of all humanity, who set themselves one simple goal: to wipe the Jewish race off the face of the earth, as Adolph Hitler said, or to wipe the State of Israel off the map, as Mahmoud Ahmedinjad proclaims.

And you - just as you did not take those words seriously then, you are ignoring them again now. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world, will not happen again. Never again will we wait for bombs that never came to hit the gas chambers. Never again will we wait for salvation that never arrives. Now we have our own air force. The Jewish people are now capable of standing up to those who seek their destruction - those people will no longer be able to hide behind women and children. They will no longer be able to evade their responsibility.

Every place from which a Katyusha is fired into the State of Israel will be a legitimate target for us to attack. This must be stated clearly and publicly, once and for all. You are welcome to judge us, to ostracize us, to boycott us and to vilify us. But to kill us? Absolutely not.

Four months ago I was elected by hundreds of thousands of citizens to the office of Prime Minister of the government of Israel, on the basis of my plan for unilaterally withdrawing from 90 percent of the areas of Judea and Samaria, the birth place and cradle of the Jewish people; to end most of the occupation and to enable the Palestinian people to turn over a new leaf and to calm things down until conditions are ripe for attaining a permanent settlement between us.

The Prime Minister who preceded me, Ariel Sharon, made a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip back to the international border, and gave the Palestinians there a chance to build a new reality for themselves. The Prime Minister who preceded him, Ehud Barak, ended the lengthy Israeli presence in Lebanon and pulled the IDF back to the international border, leaving the land of the cedars to flourish, develop and establish its democracy and its economy.

What did the State of Israel get in exchange for all of this? Did we win even one minute of quiet? Was our hand, outstretched in peace, met with a handshake of encouragement? Ehud Barak's peace initiative at Camp David let loose on us a wave of suicide bombers who smashed and blew to pieces over 1,000 citizens, men, women and children. I don't remember you being so enraged then. Maybe that happened because we did not allow TV close-ups of the dismembered body parts of the Israeli youngsters at the Dolphinarium? Or of the shattered lives of the people butchered while celebrating the Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya? What can you do - that's the way we are. We don't wave body parts at the camera. We grieve quietly.

We do not dance on the roofs at the sight of the bodies of our enemy's children - we express genuine sorrow and regret. That is the monstrous behavior of our enemies. Now they have risen up against us. Tomorrow they will rise up against you. You are already familiar with the murderous taste of this terror. And you will taste more.

In a loud and clear voice

And Ariel Sharon's withdrawal from Gaza. What did it get us? A barrage of Kassem missiles fired at peaceful settlements and the kidnapping of soldiers. Then too, I don't recall you reacting with such alarm. And for six years, the withdrawal from Lebanon has drawn the vituperation and crimes of a dangerous, extremist Iranian agent, who took over an entire country in the name of religious fanaticism and is trying to take Israel hostage on his way to Jerusalem - and from there to Paris and London.

An enormous terrorist infrastructure has been established by Iran on our border, threatening our citizens, growing stronger before our very eyes, awaiting the moment when the land of the Ayatollahs becomes a nuclear power in order to bring us to our knees. And make no mistake - we won't go down alone. You, the leaders of the free and enlightened world, will go down along with us.

So today, here and now, I am putting an end to this parade of hypocrisy. I don't recall such a wave of reaction in the face of the 100 citizens killed every single day in Iraq. Sunnis kill Shiites who kill Sunnis, and all of them kill Americans - and the world remains silent. And I am hard pressed to recall a similar reaction when the Russians destroyed entire villages and burned down large cities in order to repress the revolt in Chechnya. And when NATO bombed Kosovo for almost three months and crushed the civilian population - then you also kept silent. What is it about us, the Jews, the minority, the persecuted, that arouses this cosmic sense of justice in you? What do we have that all the others don't?

In a loud clear voice, looking you straight in the eye, I stand before you openly and I will not apologize. I will not capitulate. I will not whine. This is a battle for our freedom. For our humanity. For the right to lead normal lives within our recognized, legitimate borders. It is also your battle. I pray and I believe that now you will understand that. Because if you don't, you may regret it later, when it's too late.

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