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A CHELM-ON-THE-MED SPECIAL REPORT - Protective Edge Column VII
Operation “Protective Edge” (Tzuk Eitan) – Column VII
a mixed bag of piquant
“BACKPAGE NEWS FROM THE FRONT”
GLEANED FROM THE HEBREW MEDIA
August 15, 2014 – August 21, 2014
Keep your Spirits Up and Your Head Down!
YIKES, WHO’S MINDING THE SHOP?!
It’s not exactly a Yom Kippur War scenario, so one could shrug off the fact that the media and the government both assessed that there was “a low probability” that Hamas would resume rocket fire after nine days of quiet. What’s worrisome is apparently the Home Front Command (!) also dozed off.
When a lady from Beersheva called at 3:43 PM on the Tuesday 19 August to say she’d just heard rockets exploding not far from her house, an irritated operator at the other end of the line barked: “Madam, you must be nuts! Go to the doctor to improve your hearing!” (Debka Files, Ynet)
* At 3:46 PM the IDF announced laconically, “apparently three rockets exploded in the vicinity of Beersheva.” All hell only broke loose several hours later when Hamas opened up with a massive barrage of rockets towards most everyone else.
WHAT WAR ZONE?
Need some signs that countless run-of-the-mill Israelis also thought the war was over? ● The day before the cease-fire collapsed, several hundred anti-Zionist ultra-religious Jews from Mea Shaarim in Jerusalem had the chutzpa to demonstrate against the draft. ● Ultra-secular activists, with equal chutzpa, utilized the cease-fire to open fire on the commander of the Givati Brigade Ofer Winter (who had just emerged from Gaza in one piece) due to a written ‘pep talk’ Colonel Winter had penned to the officers under his command on the eve of the ground offensive that the critics found offensive because it contained religious motifs; a second salvo unjustly targeted the religiously-observant commander claiming he banned a female singer, when in fact his men had opted for a free concert from Moshe Peretz instead of a free concert from Sarit Hadad. ● The UN prematurely put out a 108-page Atlas of the Gaza Crisis August 2014 with full-color glossy before-and-after satellite photos of war damage to Gaza. ● Beersheva’s residents optimistically scheduled a ‘white night’ – an all-nighter summer festival from dusk to dawn like Tel-Aviv’s Lilah Lavan to jump-start the local economy with street theatre, musicians and food concessions…tonight (21 August). Apparently Beershevans will have to be satisfied with loosing some sleep in the ‘regular way’ – with Hamas-sponsored ‘summer fireworks.” (Channel 10, Yisrael HaYom, Yediot)
DEVIL OF A DILEMMA
Demonstrating in a truly unique fashion that ‘politics make strange bed fellows,’ the Hezbollah chief Hasan Nasrallah declared that “defeating ISIS was a life or death struggle for Hezbollah that was no less important than the struggle with the Israeli enemy, because ISIS actions serve Israel.” (Yisrael HaYom)
GROUND TRANSPORT, ANYONE?
Royal Jordanian Airlines resumed service to Israel after a few weeks, but with a unique fly-by-night operation: They continued as usual to sell tickets in Tel-Aviv to Israelis seeking cheaper flights to the Far East – tickets that said they originated at Ben-Gurion Airport, and fly to their final destination with a stop-over or transfer in Amman. But in fact, up until 18 August, Jordan’s national airline continued to shun Ben-Gurion airport, giving Israelis a royal kick in the ‘but,’ telling stunned travelers who arrived at the terminal that their flight to the Far East was right on schedule, but…they were being bussed to Amman* (!) – more than two hours away, to board their flights. (Calcalist, newhorizon.co.il)
* Maybe Royal Jordanian can apply to Guinness Book of Records for a slot as the longest airport shuttle bus in the world.
Yisrael HaYom columnist Yair Nitzani described in a column devoted to his family’s quickie vacation optimistically embarked on to coincide with one of the short cease-fires between Hamas and Israel – you know, a short breather in nearby Greece, not too far to dash back home if all hell broke loose, he said. Nitzani bought a little gadget in the duty free that gave the family Internet access while abroad, just to keep abreast of things…only his wife forgot to disable the Israeli application for a Red Alert on the laptop, thus when Hamas broke the cease-fire by firing on Kfar Maimon, the family jumped out of their skins, and almost out of their beds until they remembered where they were, at the wail of the siren in the wee hours of the night… (Yisrael Hayom)
WATCH, IT’S GOT YOUR NUMBER!
Who needs to play the lotteries these days, when one can (again) play the one-and-only Grad Lotto ‘Run for Your Life’ courtesy of the Home Front Command?!
To minimize disruptions caused by alerts to take cover, the Home Front Command numerically coded Israel into small geographical sectors. Iron Dome tracks outgoing salvos and instantaneously sends an ‘incoming’ message (literally and figuratively!) via smartphone or computer monitor, to those in the sector where a rocket will land or be intercepted – telling them ‘their number comes up.’
This led Yediot’s satire columnist Yadidya Meir to carry following personal ad spoof in his column Epes: “Single man from the Gaza border 227 seeks a spouse, preferably from Beersheva 109 or 528.” (Yediot, Haaretz)
* according to Haaretz, the Home Command hopes to further upgrade the system to cut Israel into 3,000 and eventually 3,600 one-square kilometer areas.
AND THE WINNER IS…
In a Middle East pissing contest, in the midst of the 9-day cease-fire, Hamas announced ‘they’d won’ but columnist Avi Nousbaum explained to the terrorists they’d have to come out of their bunkers to make such an announcement; when the IDF Spokesperson immediately went on the air to explain ‘only Israel won’ Nousbaum explained to the IDF that the minimum for declaring victory is not to have little orange boxes declaring RED ALERT popping up on the television screen in the midst of such an announcement. (Yisrael HaYom)