It’s Friday, time yet again for another posting of Interesting Jewish Stories & Facts. Today we glance at the news and see that Israel is once more under attack.
Israel once again is mourning the loss of life, victims of Palestinian terrorists striking at civilians in the southern region of the country. Seven people were killed and over 40 wounded earlier this week in five separate attacks.
The terrorists slithered out of Gaza and made their way south along the Egyptian border, slipping into Israel just north of Eilat on Thursday. Around noon they opened fire on an Egged bus that was traveling from Be’er Sheva to the resort community.
Over the next several hours, the terrorists managed to pop up in several different areas, firing an anti-tank missile at a sedan carrying civilians, setting off an explosive device next to an IDF patrol and exchanging small-arms fire with Israeli troops.
Those are the facts. Now let’s suppose for a moment that all this loathsome activity was happening closer to home. What if you or I, family or friends were headed south along I-75 to Florida? Our car is packed with luggage and good cheer, the AC set on chill and a CD blasting out our favorite holiday tunes.
Just South of Valdosta, as we cross into Florida, we spot a Toyota Tacoma in our rearview mirror, a silver blur advancing wildly in our direction. Hanging out of the passenger window we can just make out the metallic glint of a weapon and then we see two thugs, their heads wrapped in keffiyehs, standing in the cargo bay.
We notice a puff of smoke blossoming in our direction and then suddenly the asphalt to our right explodes. We press down on the accelerator and our family sedan lunges forward just as a few bits of shrapnel ping off the back bumper and crack a side window.
Despite our best effort, the Toyota pulls alongside. We glance quickly to our left and in sheer terror spot the front end of a Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) launcher. Time slows and we can actually see the first fiery exhaust of the weapon being fired. Absolute madness!
And it is – madness. Of course life in the Land of Cotton is often hot, but not deadly. Politics here can get rancorous but we don’t often have to worry about our neighbors trying to kill us off. Just imagine if they tried – the immediate response from civil authorities; the media coverage and headlines; outrage and support from around the world.
Yes, the world has taken note that Israel was attacked – again. The international press has printed a few stories and television networks have offered a few minutes of coverage. But where’s the outrage and condemnation. Even though it’s been two years since the last major attack, it all feels like business as usual in the Middle East. Madness!
A footnote: Exactly a week earlier, a friend of mind was a passenger on the Egged Bus that was attacked on Thursday. David P is a retired NYC policeman who is in Israel to take part in a program, Sar-El, that places volunteers on IDF bases to help with menial chores. He, like the injured civilian passengers, was headed to Eilat for a weekend holiday.