Monday, August 7

The 'Support Israel' Flag

The "Support Israel" Flag is a special way to show your support to Israel during this difficult time. The flag is constructed of logos of the many organizations that support Israel through Hasbara, Donations, Aliya, Education etc.

By clicking on the organizations' logos you can take a look at the websites, learn about their activities and choose your preferred ways to help Israel.

By forwarding the Flag to your friends, you show your support and help Israel reach as many millions of supporters as possible.

Breaking News: IDF downs Hizbollah UAV over Israel (UPDATE)

Iranian UAV
, similar to that
aired in film clip

The Israeli army has downed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flying over Israeli territory.

The device, launched by Hizbullah from Lebanon, reportedly carried 45-kilograms of explosives, according to my beeper service, and was shot down over water, according to Israel Channel Ten TV.

UPDATE 20:45: An IAF anti-aircraft officer, who denied that the aircraft was armed, told the program anchors in a telephone interview that the craft was spotted at 19:00 this evening traveling from north to south, 10 kilometers out to sea. He said an F-16 jet downed the UAV, and that it was the third attempt to send such weaponry into Israel.

Haaretz has more details.

The Jerusalem Post has an IDF pic and here's a brief clip segment from JerusalemOnline video news.

Shocka! Int'l media bias against Israel (Exclusive Podcast)

Kevin & Gregg, co-hosts over at Pundit Review Radio deconstruct several examples of blatant media bias against Israel (too bad Reuters' pics can't talk, hmm).

Here are two examples of stunning media bias in the coverage of the Hezbollah-Israeli war.

These are montages of the questions asked during interviews with Israeli government representatives. The first clip is by BBC and the other from CNN. In both cases, the anchors are regurgitating Hezbollah talking points fast and furious, claiming their “primitive” rockets can inflict very little damage. The interviews are 100% focused on Israel’s crimes against the innocent people of Lebanon. Of course, they offer not one second of attention to civilian casualties on the Israeli side. Apparently, only Lebanese civilians are under attack.

We then play a very compelling clip of a Podcast from recent guest, citizen journalist Dave Bender, an Israeli-based blogger whose site is Israel at Level Ground.

As Dave and the residents of Haifa know, Israeli citizens are under attack. Too bad the BBC and CNN can’t come to term with this. This is a great piece of citizen journalism by Dave Bender, and when put side-by-side with the international media’s work, it is really telling.

The full interview is here.

What is Pundit Review Radio? This unique show brings the best of the blogs to your radio every Sunday evening from 7-10pm EST on
AM680 WRKO, Boston’s Talk Station.

Israeli summer camp: Katyushas and color wars

  • (Colleague Brian Blum and I have something in common far beyond mere blogging: we both have 13-year-old daughters who are best friends - Merav (L) and Shayna (R) who are in summer camp together. I am Shayna's father mentioned further down in this post, who was on the way to the north to cover the war, when I got the update mentioned below about a Katyusha strike near her camp in the Jordan Valley.

  • I opt for honesty here and will tell you that the "irate reader," Brian notes further down is actually an American Jewish relative of mine who has often blithly remarked that I have thrown away my life and the assured riches of America by coming to live in Israel, and needlessly endanger my children - with his crass note to Brian serving as a stand-in for telling me directly. I am pointing this out to show you, the international reader, the complexity, nuances and depth of experiences making and loving a life here - "Normal," or otherwise, engenders in families and the Jewish world. As the sages tell us (I think it was Moe Howard)"Two Jews = Three Opinions = Four Synagogues."

  • The girls, along with the rest of the campers are, well, "happy campers," although Shayna complained to me in a phone call Saturday night that she didn't like hearing four rocket alert sirens and bomb shelters messing with her idyllic summer camp experience. Bet color wars in your
  • summer camp were never like this...- DB.)

Last week I wrote that my 12-year-old daughter, Merav, was scheduled to depart for two weeks of camp at Kibbutz Shluchot, just south of the town of Bet Shean in the northern Jordan Valley. In my post, I questioned whether it was irresponsible to send Merav that much closer to the front, despite the fact that nothing had happened at Bet Shean nor was anything expected to at the time. In the end, we decided to continue with our "normal life" and Merav climbed happily onto the camp bus that Friday morning.

Imagine, then, my concern last week, less than a week after camp had started, when I received a frantic call on my cell phone from the father of Merav's friend Shayna who was at the camp with her. "Did you hear?" the father asked breathlessly. "Sirens just went off in Bet Shean."

A minute later, the phone rang again. It was another parent who had just spoken with his daughter. "She said she heard a big boom," he said and asked if I had any more information. I didn't - there was nothing on any of the Internet sites I've been monitoring constantly since the conflict began.

After several tense minutes where I incessantly pushed the "refresh" button on my browser, a headline finally appeared: a long-range missile had penetrated into Israel the farthest of any to date, landing in Bet Shean proper, while another hit an open field somewhere between Bet Shean and the West Bank city of Jenin.

Bet Shean is 10 minutes north of Kibbutz Shluchot - a veritable gulf in this war of missiles. Still, that didn't particularly put my mind at ease, considering that at the very moment the missile was striking ground, my daughter Merav was not at the kibbutz at all. She had been come down with a nasty stomachache that morning, and the camp nurse sent her to the closest HMO doctor…yes, where else, but in Bet Shean.

Now, I know the chance of the one missile Hezbollah has fired at Bet Shean actually hitting the exact spot where Merav was traveling at that moment was very low. But today's strike in Kfar Giladi that killed a crowd of 10 people who were standing in a wide-open field shows that sometimes one's worst fears really do come true.

Tenseness Builds.

Until we located Merav, I was shaking.

After a very long 20 minutes, my wife, Jody, got a hold of Kenny, one of the camp directors, on his cell phone and he told us that Merav had just returned and was heading to the infirmary to take the pills the doctor had prescribed. We learned further that the camp had taken to the kibbutz bomb shelter for a drill that morning (Merav later told us she had done the real thing at the doctor's office, spending 15 minutes in the shelter there).

They were taking all precautions, Kenny reassured us, and were in touch with the home front command for any further instructions. We were not to worry.

The missile that landed near Merav is, fortunately, one of only a few long-range rockets Hezbollah has left. The IDF has been particularly effective at knocking out these weapons. It's the thousands of short-range missiles that pose a more constant threat to Israel's north. It was one of those that caused the deaths today at Kfar Giladi.

Unlikely Feedback

At about the same time as the missile was landing on Bet Shean, I received an e-mail from an irate reader who took exception with my post on sending Merav to camp in the first place. In his particularly ill-tempered message, he called me a variety of names I will not stoop to print here, but his message was clear: Either I am "in denial" or am "unbelievably cavalier" he wrote. "You think sending your kid closer to the border war is OK, because that means you are not taking a defeatist attitude? That's a bunch of s--t if I ever heard it."

After the missile that landed near Bet Shean, I was momentarily inclined to agree with him, despite his foul language. But then my unpleasant correspondent continued on to shoot himself in the foot (not an easy task given that his pedestrian appendage was inserted firmly in mouth).

"Imagine if the U.S. was in a border skirmish with Mexican terrorists," he wrote, "and I decided to let my kid go to summer camp in San Diego or La Jolla, Calif., a stone's throw from the border? How stupid would I have to be to do that?"

Other than the fact that I have family living in both the aforementioned southern California cities who would be equally offended at his accusation, I have to ask: what would my tormentor do instead? If everyone took his approach, all terrorists would have to do is hit a few well-situated locations in the U.S. and, eventually, the entire population would wind up confined to a tiny corner of Wisconsin. Guess who'd win the global war on terror then?

We didn't send Merav to camp in order to fight. But we're not pulling her out either, despite our concerns and the Katyusha that landed too close for comfort. The big bully who wrote might call me cavalier. If so, then bring on the cavalry.

Brian Blum writes the syndicated column This Normal Life and operates, an online publishing service for budding bloggers. E-mail him at

Picture this (Editorial Cartoon)

Click here for the straight dope
on the Reuters photo scandal

Why I love my readers - and you should help them

Letters like this are why I love (most of) my readers - and you should too:
I would like to volunteer to help in northern israel, in hospitals, police, , civil guard, etc.. anything i can do in the distressed northern israel. I have a tehudat zehut [Israeli ID card] and both of my parents are in israel and i am in good shape. Volunteering in hospitals (orderly bringing in any victims of the strikes, etc.. Please also let me know iif i can extend it beyond a week and if there is any financial aid offer as my heart is fully devoted to israel i am planning on making aliya and want to help asap.
Please get back to me as soon as possible as to what my options are in helping in northern Israel and the cost? If there is financial assistance i would greatly appreciate i feel bad asking but i am low on funds. please let me know and thank you very much. I feeel that when Israeli's in northern israel see volunteers in hospitals from america it will lift there moral spirit and that is very important i care very much and want to make a difference.
Thank you,
G. A.
Readers? Send me replies ASAP, and I will forward all to this tzaddik.

JerusalemOnline news update: 00:00, Aug. 6th (Video - Channel 2 TV)

  • 12 dead, 12 wounded in rocket strike on northern kibbutz

  • At least three dead, over 160 casualties in multiple Katyusha barrages on Haifa

  • Damascus threatens war if Israel targets Syria

  • Lebanon rejects UN cease-fire bid
  • Israel: Hizbullah kidnapper of IDF soldiers nabbed

Click on image to view latest
Israel Channel 2 video news

(Full disclosure: I am on the news team, and prepared tonight's episode, with translation, editing and voiceover.

It was a bitch to write tonight's show - the Haifa Katyusha attack was just before airtime, so the story and details kept changing throughout the script...

The video editor and I were stunned trying to keep up with the narrative - and the body count, especially after this morning's strike against Kfar Giladi.)


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