3 Things to Remember after Operation Pillar of Defense

Most Americans are back to work,

 having finished their leftover Thanksgiving turkeys.

Australians down under are getting ready for summer holidays.

Israeil tank

The Israeli tanks facing Gaza  

Israeli soldiers

and the IDF battle-ready reserves at the border have returned home.

But before pre-election politics takes over all the headlines, 

there are three important things to remember

now that Operation Pillar of Defense has ended.

3.  Schools were closed for over a week in much of Israel.

Not only young children stayed home with anxious parents,

 but medical schools and universities in the line of fire were closed.

Or Etzion yeshiva, Yeshiva beit midrash. study hall

This yeshiva study hall is located on the second floor of the building.

 It is usually full of students day and night,

but it was emptied during Pillar of Defense.

Many students were called up for army service,  

and for the rest, it was too dangerous.

 It was more than 15 seconds away from the nearest shelter.

2. Bomb shelters had become a way of life in Southern Israel.

Israeli bomb shelter

This Kiryat Malachi shelter was furnished with activities for children,

Israeli playground

but the playground nearby was empty,

shelter in Kiryat Malachi

as parents with young children stayed close to the shelter entrance.

Remember, there are only 15 seconds to get everyone to safety.

Ethiopian couple in Kiryat Malachi

With a break in the rocket fire, there was time for simple things 

boy smiling

like food shopping.

Israeli bomb shelter

Some people were forced to sleep in community shelters for safety.

“Lucky” families had their own reinforced room at home. 

safe room

These girls have grown up with the threat of rockets.

As we all gathered in their safe room during a red alert siren, 

they were happy to make faces and smile for the camera.

near Gaza border

Many Hamas rockets do land in open spaces in Southern Israel.

 But perhaps the ONE most important thing to remember

destroyed apartment Kiryat Malachi

is that those Hamas rockets from Gaza can and do kill.

It only took only 20 seconds to murder

three people sitting in this living room.

After 12,000 rockets from Gaza,

it was time to #StopTheRockets. 


Iron Dome the Winner

After having spent two days in Southern Israel, 

I can state for a fact that the winner in Operation Pillar of Defense

was the Iron Dome.

iron dome

Those three puffs are not smoke, but each a destroyed rocket.

Hamas rockets from Gaza caused damage and deaths.

rockets were being shot at Southern Israel at a mind-boggling pace.

We only experienced one Red Alert siren while on the open road,

and missed the one in Jerusalem, Israel on Tuesday.

israeli tanks

We saw that Israeli tanks

israeli soldeer

and soldiers ready to respond to Hamas aggression.


Cameras recorded as injured Israeli soldiers arrived

at Soroka Hospital shortly before a cease-fire was announced.

The hospital was eerie, usually so busy, it was quiet.

 because of the barrage of rockets in Beer Sheva,

people were forced to stay home and off the streets.

The Hamas rockets from Gaza continued well after time to cease firing.

The press will disappear and the reserve soldiers will go home.

Who won in Operation Pillar of Defense will be argued.

But the Iron Dome proved over and over

to be a life saver to those living in Southern Israel.



Storm Clouds over Jerusalem

Tzeva Adom, Color Red, another rocket is headed to Beer Sheva,

it was actually quiet on the radio for a couple of hours, 

but the flood of rockets from Gaza into Israel continues.

Schools are closed in much of the south, two were hit today,

 children are kept home.

 Hamas wants to provoke Israeli soldiers to cross the border.

On day 6 of Operation Pillar of Defense,

Knesset in fog

the grey sky over the Knesset in the morning was eerie,

not like the regular fog.

storm clouds,

Storm clouds come and go over Jerusalem, Israel, but with no rain.

There was a siren Friday night that sent neighbors

running into their stairwells.

People are going about their routines,

trying to keep calm & keep going.

For those who would “like to do something” 

my friends at the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin

are in need of donations now to buy warm clothing

for lone soldiers who have been called up and are waiting.

Everyone is waiting, just not sure what we are waiting for or when.

Operation Pillar of Defense  goes to day 7.