The 2014 '30 Under 30'

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Schrader: What’s really going on in Israel

Last night when I was sitting in my class at Tel Aviv University, I saw a tweet pop up from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) official Twitter account. It announced an official operation against Gaza after the recent increase in rocket attacks fired against Israel civilians from the Gaza Strip by the terrorist organization Hamas.

As some of you may remember, a similar operation was launched in 2008 with Operation Cast Lead that did in fact deter rocket attacks, I can’t say I was upset or even concerned when I read this because I figured I was safe in Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv, we were told, was pretty much safe from most rockets that Hamas fires because it’s a about 69 km away, with the exception of the Iranian Fajr-5 rockets that have 75 km range. Furthermore, I assumed that Hamas would not be foolish enough to attack Tel Aviv because the ramifications from the Israeli Army would be devastating for them.

I was wrong.

Israel began by taking out about 20 weapons caches in Gaza and assassinating the leader of Hamas Ahmed Jabari. This led to a major retaliation in the south of Israel (more than 275 rockets since last night).  Then, this afternoon, Hamas fired Fajr-5 missiles at Tel Aviv for the first time in 20 years.

 

Main freeway in Tel Aviv during rocket attacks

I was in Jerusalem helping with an emergency social media meeting for various pro-Israel groups and helping to disseminate information at the time of the attack, so I was safe. But all of my friends heard the rockets and the sirens, and we are all scared. Other friends in the neighboring city of Rishon Lezion heard rockets land near their homes, and Holon, another suburb of Tel Aviv, had sirens going off this afternoon as well.

Watching the videos of the neighborhoods I regularly bike around and hearing rocket sirens go off is unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life.  Of course I have always been supportive of Israel, but no one should have to live like this, ever. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to live in southern Israel (only an hour or two away) under constant rocket fire.

I suspect that this is the beginning of an escalating conflict, and as I write this, I honestly don’t know where I will be staying for the next few days. I don’t know if it’s safe, or will be safe, and everything seems very confusing. I anticipate the IDF sending in ground troops as they just brought in 30,000 reserve soldiers. Although this is a very trying time, I believe this is a necessary escalation because Hamas firing rockets at innocent civilians is simply unsustainable.

 

Comments

Comments

  1. Right message, wrong facts says:

    How did Cast Lead deter rocket fire if days after the operation, rockets were again being fired? Also, Hamas did not fire the Fajr missiles, Islamic Jihad did. How could your friends have heard rockets, plural, land in Rishon if multiple rockets did not land there? Having clearly wrong facts hurts your legitimacy.

    1. Sivan says:

      For your information, Cast Lead was 4 years ago, so it deterred rocket fire during 4 years. Not so bad. Also, Hamas did fire Fajr missiles, they even claimed responsibility for it. And on Thursday, a rocket has been fired on Rishon and has been intercepted by an anti-ballistic missile. That was the “boom” we heard. And the same thing happened in Tel-Aviv on Friday, Saturday, and twice yesterday. You apparently have the wrong facts.

  2. Katrina says:

    Stay safe! Thanks for your on-the-ground perspective. God bless!

  3. Narayanan says:

    Are you saying that until the cities are attacked, IDF the political and military establishment do not take these attacks seriously? You do know that all this can be ended easily

  4. Allan R. Erickson says:

    Dear Emily,
    The US government may have abandoned Israel, but the majority of American citizens have not. I and my friends will redouble our prayers for you and all of Israel. May God be with you.

    Allan R. Erickson

  5. David says:

    I pray for your safety. Do you have a link for the audio file for an Israelis rocket siren?

  6. Stella Baskomb says:

    “Hamas firing rockets at innocent civilians is simply unsustainable”

    Unsustainable?

    I can think of other words.

    But as to “unsustainable” the violence and aggression has been “sustained” (off and on) for more than 60 years. Some might say for more than 3,000 years. Why, in view of all the possible words you could choose, did you choose “unsustainable”?

  7. Pakvi Roti says:

    If y’all would push the so-called Palestardians into the sea, or into Egypt and be done with them, you would be much better off. These vermin need to be put down once and for all. They do NOT want peace, or their own State, they want Israel destroyed and the Jewish people obliterated.

    Finish them!

  8. Dantes says:

    Good luck and thanks for the updates. It’s too bad the USA now has such a hostile administration towards Israel, but there are plenty of Americans who support Israel and its war against Islamic radicals…which includes Hamas, of course, whatever the New York Slimes has to say about it. Goes without saying…stay frosty, keep your head down and stay safe.

  9. Ezra Gonzalez says:

    A question for you: What are the sirens like, I mean are they similar to tornado warning versions here in the U.S. or what? Off the wall question, I know, but when I hear the test alarms here in my area I think to myself “What if they were warning of incoming rockets?”

  10. Arty says:

    It’s easy for me to say “you can’t live in fear” because I’m not living there. Be brave and stay safe, all the best.

  11. Andy S. says:

    Israel stands alone now because Obama was reelected to provide free birth control to American sluts who somehow are unable to manage their sex lives without government intervention. What a wonderful world.

    1. Fred Dunlop says:

      Andy S.

      Your post is confusing in so many ways. First, will you kindly explain what you mean when you say that, “Israel stands alone now?” I am going to guess by that remark that you believe the US government under the current administration no longer supports Israel. The truth is that the country of Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign aid since World War II. Up to March 2012, the US has provided Israel US$115 billion in bilateral assistance (I believe that includes the past four years when Barak Obama was in his first term). For FY2013, that unsupportive Obama Administration has requested US$3.1 billion in military aid for Israel. Sounds to me like Obama supports Israel in a very important way. Second, will please explain how you have come to the conclusion that President Obama was reelected for the sole purpose of providing birth control to anyone. Third, how you can possibly believe that all women seeking birth control are “sluts,” and are “unable” to manage their sex live without “government intervention,” whatever that means.

    2. Fred Dunlop says:

      Andy S.

      First, will you kindly explain what you mean when you say that, “Israel stands alone now?” I am going to guess by that remark that you believe the US government under the current administration no longer supports Israel. The truth is that the country of Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign aid since World War II. Up to March 2012, the US has provided Israel US$115 billion in bilateral assistance (I believe that includes the past four years when Barak Obama was in his first term). For FY2013, the Obama Administration has requested US$3.1 billion in military aid for Israel. Second, will please explain how you have come to the conclusion that President Obama was reelected for the sole purpose of providing birth control to anyone. Third, how you can possibly believe that all women seeking birth control are “sluts,” and are “unable” to manage their sex live without “government intervention.”

  12. Rich K says:

    I’d say we got your back sister but the dude in the WH has Golf to play and no time for silly foreign adventures with a people who are too small a sample to take seriously as a culture.Sound about right?

  13. Bob C says:

    Emily, please watch yourself. If at all possible, you might want to get out of the country until it is safe for you to be there. We all appreciate your fine reporting; we just want you to be safe! Good
    luck.

  14. Barry Meislin says:

    “Hamas fired Fajr-5 missiles at Tel Aviv for the first time in 20 years.”

    Um, no. Hamas has never fired Fajr-5 missiles at Tel Aviv (at least not successfully).

    I think that what you meant to say is, this is the first time in 20 years that missiles were fired at Tel Aviv. Those (previously fired) missiles were scuds, courtesy of Saddam Hussein, in January 1991.

    (I get sloppy too, but please proofread your posts. This stuff is too important to screw up.)

    Thanks for the post, though, and good luck!

  15. dennymack says:

    I heard Ambassador Oren on Public Radio (US) today. He was asked about the “escalation.”
    It just struck me as odd that it is not considered newsworthy in the US media when Hamas fires rockets at its neighbor, but when the Israelis react it is an escalation.
    I think if the US fired rockets into Mexico or Canada they would not be asked to justify their reaction.

    1. Kathy Kinsley says:

      “I think if the US fired rockets into Mexico or Canada they would not be asked to justify their reaction.”

      Umm, Yes they would. OTOH, if Mexico fired rockets into the US, it would probably be somehow justified. (Canada not so much…they might take some flak.)

    2. Kathy Kinsley says:

      “I think if the US fired rockets into Mexico or Canada they would not be asked to justify their reaction.”

      Umm – yes, we would. OR anywhere else in the world.

      OTOH, if Mexico fired rockets into the US, they probably would not be asked to justify their reaction. Except by some in the US. (Canada might take some flak if they did so.)

  16. denise says:

    Praying for the people of Israel…for God’s protection. Praying for the leaders of Israel…for God’s wisdom. God’s blessing, love and mercy for the country He claims as the apple of His eye.

  17. Rich Vail says:

    Everyone knows that peace loving Pelishtim wouldn’t ever launch rockets into Israel, the NYTimes said so.

    /sarcasm

    The US media isn’t really covering this story at all, since it goes against their narrative. I hope that the IDF can reduce the threat.

  18. Georgia says:

    We here in the U.S. take so much for granted.

  19. Renee says:

    All eyes are watching what is going on Israel. All will be in my prayers.

  20. SenatorMark4 says:

    Well, now, looks like we’ll finally get to see how well our billions of dollars investment in the Egyptian military works out. If you can’t agree in Congress to support the civilized man, I guess we’ll get to sell guns to the barbarians and hope the Israelis nip their butts.

    God’s Breath on Israel.

  21. zac says:

    israel should be tired of this by now..friends *israel* we have left you behind and will not be coming to help you any time soon if ever again we have abandon you. *US* that is to say has left you…I am sorry for this I really am I would come and help fight this if allowed or if by some miracle we sent troops to help you..Id rather fight for the right of the promise land than fight for the US.

    I hope soon that you all see this and go after these enemies in full attack leaving nothing for them to attack with or the will to attack for many many years to come..strike harder and faster than ever dont fear what the world would say, its not their lives cause if it was they would have destroyed them years ago. God said to kill all of them many ages go..its not too late to do so.

  22. Andrew says:

    Pakvi Roti is right.

    End it now. Drive the Palis into the sea or Egypt. Or kill them all. I don’t care.

    1. nuda says:

      how can u say that and who the hell are u to say that … long live PALESTINE !!!!! the Israeles should be the ones pushed out to sea

  23. Ashley says:

    I will be praying for the people of Israel and Israel! Stay safe and remember God is with you.

  24. Evette Logue says:

    My God grant His peace in the Middle East…………

  25. Sean, Lee. says:

    Issacc has his back to the Sea. He is surrounded by his enemy who call out for his complete destruction as alway’s.
    Thus he fight’s from most Desperate Ground . Per Sun Tzu’s Art of War .
    And it is here that the Palestinian’s and Hammas . Morsi, the Fascist Muslim Brotherhood of the extended party of the Nazi Grand Mufti Party, as well as Hezbolla etc. Make there first mistake’s .
    Thus they all make there first mistake’s in battle stratagem ! Because Issacc will fight ferrociuosly in having nowhere that he can retreat !
    So ? Schrader how come you have so many friend’s ? I am new member ! So Mirror , Mirror on the wall ? Whom is the fairest of them all ?
    Someone please get me up to battle speed ? The urge to merge is of a life song of one’s own destined destiny .
    Why are you in Tel Aviv ? Citizen ? Journalist ? Tourist ? Other ? Can you please tell me ? For it’s quite a bit to read ? To hear it directly from you. Would or could be of some enlightment to me?
    Other than that as you can clearly see . I am somewhat of a special case in need. Who need’s thing’s spelled out directly and promptly .
    Of what I would graciously thank thee ! For any insight I might ask of you . Or you of me ?
    Ending the rant of a Poet, in the long held tradition’s of just such poetry. As has been the custom of this particularly and articulate Familee.
    P.S. Now I will be stuck all day reciteing poetry looking for rhyme and rythm in the sequence of Fibronacci . Only to offer some insight as it may very well be .
    My prayer’s are with Israel, and the continued struggle for the peace of the Israeli and the change of heart that is needed from the Nazi Party of the Grand Mufti. A change of heart that is needed for peace in the middle East .

    Most sincerely , Sean, Lee.

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