Yesterday a bus in Tel Aviv blew up injuring as many as 16 innocent people by one count. Israeli sources are saying that it was a via a bomb planted on the bus. What was Hamas reaction? Approval. What was the reaction in the Arab Street? Great joy… as Palestinian mothers handed out candy to children. This is the people we are trying to make peace with.
That they still hate us is abundantly clear and is not going to change. As long as Israel has to take the kind of defensive measures being taken in Gaza, their anger will only increase. And the Hamas leadership in Gaza capitalizes on that anger to perpetuate the status quo… refusing to make any kind of peace with Israel.
Latest updates for Wednesday, November 21, 2012
12:23 AM Effie Eitam said this evening, is that Iran is unhappy with Gaza, since their supplying Hamas with armament was for their attack on Israel – when Iran decides. Now their stores are relatively depleted.
12:12 AM (Thursday) As rockets continue to fall on Israel, the official IDF blog announces the end of Operation Pillars of Defense.
11:18 PM 20 rockets against Israel since cease fire began
11:08 PM 11 year old child hurt in first round of Gazan cease fire missiles
11:01 PM Hamas and Islamic Jihad declare the cease fire to be an Israeli failure.
10:58 PM Nachal Oz, Alumim, Sdot Hanegev, Shaar Hanegev
10:45 PM Iron Dome shoots down post-Cease Fire Rocket
10:36 PM Gan Yavneh, Be’er Tuvia, Gaderot, Chevel Yavneh, Gan Yavneh, Ashdod (post cease fire)
10:05 PM: Dozens of residents of Ashkelon protesting ceasefire
9:59 PM : Red Alert siren in Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi, Be’er Tuvia, Chevel Yavneh, Hof Ashkelon, Yoav
9:58 PM: Red Alert siren in Be’er Tuvia
9:40 PM: Red Alert in Hof Ashkelon and Shaar HaNegev
9:27 PM: Red alerts in Eshkol Region, Chevel Shalom
9:19 PM: Red Alert siren in Sderot
9:18 PM: Red Alert siren in Shaar HaNegev
9:00 PM: Defense Minister Ehud Barak announces during the press conference heralding the beginning of the ceasefire with Hamas and associated terror groups that “the objectives of [Operation Amud Anan] were achieved in full”.
8:53 PM Eshkol Region Mayor says he will not open schools tomorrow despite “cease fire.”
8:47 PM: Channel 2 TV Poll about cease fire: 70% against 24% in favor 6% undecided
8:44 PM: Massive firebomb of car on Road 55 near Kfar Saba, no injuries, lots of damage.
8:40 PM: IAF targeted three tunnels and two launch pads in Southern Gaza.
8:36 PM: Rocket lands in Netivot, one lightly injured.
8:33 PM: Channel 10 is reporting that 2 rockets were fired from Lebanon in the direction of Israel. They landed in Lebanon instead.
8:06 PM Mortar shell fired at Israel from Lebanon lands in Metullah. No injuries reported.
8:01 PM Air Raid Sirens in Ashkelon
7:43 PM: Drive by shooting on bus near Migdal Oz (between Migdal Oz and Tzomet HaGush) in Gush Etzion at 7:30 PM. No Injuries.
7:23 PM: Firebomb thrown at Israeli vehicle on Road 55 near Azzun in the Shomron. No injuries. Damage to car. /Muqata
7:11 PM: Rumors circulating a ceasefire will be announced at 8:00 PM by Hillary Clinton. Blockade of Gaza is not to be lifted.
6:44 PM: Four soldiers were injured in an open area in Eshkol Regional Council, two serious, two light. They were transported to the Soroka Medical center in Beer Sheva.
4:23 PM: The IAF continues to pound terror targets in Gaza. 12 Arabs killed so far today.
4:19 PM: Internal security Minister Itzhak Aharonovitch told reporters the police knows the identity of the terrorist who blew up the bus in Tel-Aviv this afternoon.
2:57 PM: The Israeli Air Force continues constantly attacking terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. At the Palestine Stadium in Gaza planes fired missiles at a team that was about to fire rockets into Israel. 3 terrorists were killed. Hamas TV channel reported assaults in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza and Gaza City. 2 more Palestinians killed in northern and central Gaza. Hamas TV channel reported that the Air Force attacked smuggling tunnels in Rafah. Medical sources in Gaza report that at least 11 people were killed so far today.
2:54 PM: The security “Cabinet of 9″ is meeting now to decide the next phase in Operation Pillar of Defense – a ceasefire.
2:46 PM: IAF hit a rocket launcher in Gaza.
1:58 PM: After a Red Alert siren, a rocket fell in an open area near Beersheba.
1:41: PM: Israeli Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino is being quoted by Israel’s Walla News as saying “There is very high motivation [on the part of Palestinians] to find any way to conduct terror attacks inside the cities, of course inside the big cities…. I cannot remember a time of such massive deployment of Israeli police and security forces throughout the country.” He added that “talks of a ceasefire only caused an increase in attacks. ”
1:34 PM: A rocket exploded in an open area in Mateh Yehuda Regional Council. No one was hurt.
1:15 PM: IAF planes are back above Gaza. Stay tuned.
12:12 PM: Large police and EMT forces are arriving at the bus site. The area is a hub of several government offices. (See complete report)
12:09 PM: It is becoming clear that the explosion was an act of terrorism. Ambulances are at the site.
12:06 PM: A bus exploded on David HaMelech Street in Tel Aviv. A man was seen fleeing the bus. The front of the bus was completely destroyed and blackened. The bus was empty, other than the one person. The bus was moving towards Rabin Square from Weizman Street. The interior of the bus was completely destroyed.
11:56 AM: 2 rockets landed in RC Mateh Yehuda.
11:55 AM: Direct hit at the municipal building of the Be’er Tuvia Regional Council. No one was hurt but the building is on fire.
11:05 AM: An intense volley of rockets and mortar shells fired at Israeli settlements near the Gaza Strip border, including Regional Councils Eshkol, Sdot Negev and Sha’ar HaNegev.
10:56 AM: Direct hit on a house in Be’er Tuvia RC. An elderly woman survived in her fortified room.
10:55 AM: IAF hit a terrorist who was about to launch a rocket in Gaza.
10:01 AM: Israel Channel 2 News reporting that IDF spokesman’s office is calling talk of a ceasefire “irrelevant at this stage.”
9:52 AM: Two rockets are safely neutralized by the Iron Dome missile defense system over Beersheba, one over Ashkelon
9:43 AM: Ashkelon, Hof Ashkelon, Be’er Ganim
9:35 AM: Iron Dome succeeds in shooting down missiles headed for the city of Kiryat Malachi, population approximately 26,000. Iron Dome has neutralized 400 rockets targeting Israeli residential areas since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.
9:30 AM: Red Alert sirens in the Eshkol region
9:26 AM: Rockets fall in open area in Be’er Tuvia, no injuries or damage reported
9:25 AM: Arutz 7 reporting that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has stated that dialogue in Egypt regarding an alleged ceasefire have no impact on the IDF’s actions in Gaza, and that efforts to wipe out terror infrastructure are ongoing.
9:22 AM: Ashdod, Be’er Tuvia
9:18AM: 40 families from Rishon L’Tzion, Israel’s 4th largest city, are homeless following the destruction of their apartments due to a rocket attack last night. Security guards have been placed at the site to prevent anyone entering. Miraculously, no one was seriously injured in the explosion.
9:11 AM: Kiryat Malachi, Gan Yavneh
8:37 AM: 4 Arabs killed and 40 injured overnight by IAF strikes.
7:32 AM: 7 Israeli airstrikes hit tunnels in Rafah causing multiple fires in the area.
7:28 AM Rocket attacks on Ashkelon and Ashkelon beach.
5:20 AM IDF warns journalists to stay away from Hamas terrorists, as they endanger themselves.
5:17 AM Gan Yavneh, Be’er Tuvia, Gadera
4:48 AM Hamas claiming they’ve yet another captured Gazan Arabs collaborating with Israel. They’ve executed (on the street) 6 suspected collaborators already.
4:30 AM Overnight Overview:
Rockets: Ashdod, Nitzanim (1:54 AM)
Ofakim, Eshkol (11:56 AM)
Some 56,000 reserve soldiers have been called up to active military duty.
Reports that Abu Ahmir Darmush killed. (Army of Islam, who kidnapped and held BBC reporter Alan Johnston in 2007)
Demonstrations throughout the South of Israel — Ashdod, Sederot, Ashkelon, Kiryat Melachi — YES TO GROUND INCURSION – STOP THE ROCKETS – BRING QUIET TO THE SOUTH. (10 PM)
Ehud Yaari (channel 2) TV: Israel has bombed Rafiah (South Gaza) and it is going up in flames. The damage to Rafiach’s gas terminal is in the tens of millions of dollars — this has shocked the Hamas to its core. Yaari says that the Palestinian Parliament building which was built for 10 millions dollars has been totally bombed and destroyed less than an hour ago — a strong and humiliating blow for Hamas.
YNET reports from people on the web that Hamas interrupted Channel 2 and 10 Israeli satellite broadcasts this evening and replaced the signal with Hamas propaganda films. These transmissions interruptions only occurred on personal home dishes, not via the satellite.
7th floor of Hamas media/intelligence center blown up. The building also houses foreign journalists.
Violent Arab protests broke out in Hebron and other areas of Judea and Samaria. Reports of small Arab riot in Armon Hanatziv, Jerusalem.
Around midnight, residents of Beit Shemesh and Tel Aviv report hearing loud explosions a few minutes ago. No rocket intercepts or Air Raid sirens reported.
Rishon L’Tzion residents saved yesterday because they entered their safe rooms. Bomb broke through 3 floors.
Around noon, Wednesday, a young man boarded the Dan transit company number 142 articulated bus in downtown Tel-Aviv, an area of many government and business hi-risers (the IDF command center is situated only a few blocks away), and while riding for as few minutes, the man planted a bomb on the bus, exited at the corner of Weizman and Shaul Hamerlech Streets, as behind his back a huge explosion rocked the bus, shattering its glasses and blackening its front and interiors.
The 142 bus exploded a minute or so before it would have reached its most popular spot, by the Arlozorov Street train station, where it would have been boarded by dozens of passengers, in the midst of a large crowd of pedestrians.
A police official told Ma’ariv that the organizers of this attack were hoping for a “big” event with multiple casualties.
Large police, Firefighting and EMT forces are arriving at the bus site. The street was blocked.
There are 17 injured, two of them inmoderate to serious condition, who were taken to the Ichilov Hospital nearby. No fatality, thank God.
The Ichilov Medical Center is right on Weizman Street, a short walk from the explosion.
An Army Radio reporter said that the internal damage was not as extensive as in previous explosions in years past.
Unofficial report says there was no suicide bomber on board, which suggests an explosive charge was planted on the bus. This would explain the relatively limited damage, compared to past explosions. Rumor has it that the terrorist was seen fleeing the bus and security forces were giving chase.
An eye witness told Army radio she heard the explosion and went out of her office, to discover a scene of smoke and shattered glass. She saw a female soldier’s body being removed from the bus.
Office workers in the district received warning to remain in their offices, because police suspect that the terrorist, is still at large.
An MDA official said that because of the war there is an increased number of ambulances in the city.
There are warnings about several terrorist teams in the city who are planning more attacks. Traffic jams are paralyzing access to downtown this afternoon.
Tel-Aviv school children were told to stay in school this afternoon, until further notice.
Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the Fatah wing of the Palestinian Authority, was forced last week to retract some controversial remarks and in the process only succeeded in thoroughly confusing much of the Israeli public.
That is to say, he confused those who have not internalized that an important part of Arab strategy against Israel is to consciously misalign what they say publicly with their actual positions. The reason the rest of us were not confused is because we simply remembered the old adage: “Pay attention to what Arab leaders say in Arabic to their own public, not what they say in English to the world” – thus helping us deduce, more or less, their true positions.
What happened last week was that Abbas actually stated, on Israeli television, that he has no interest in pre-1967 Israel: “I believe that the West Bank [of the Jordan River] and Gaza is Palestine, and the other part is Israel.” He even said that he has no desire to return to his hometown of Safed for more than a visit.
It requires no deep powers of analysis to derive that such remarks are a negation of the long-standing Arab demand for Right of Return [of refugees from 1948 to their old homes in Jaffa, Safed, and elsewhere in pre-'67 Israel].
Has the Messiah arrived?
Not yet. Upon hearing the angry responses from his own Palestinian public, Abbas quickly backtracked. “No one can give up on the Right of Return,” he told an Egyptian TV channel. “I was referring only to my own personal preference. All Arab and Islamic decisions call for an agreed-upon and just solution for the refugees.”
Thus Abbas is willing to tolerate the existence of an Israel next door – as long as it accepts an influx of up to five million Arabs.
While no one in Israel likes war, there are some for whom the need for anything that can be called “peace” is so overriding that their dreams thereof turn into hallucinations. Thus, President Shimon Peres jumped eagerly at Abbas’s original statement and said, “His courageous words prove that Israel has a real partner for peace. This is a brave and important public declaration in which he makes it clear that his aim for a state [does not include pre-'67 Israel].”
But is it? A top PA official was quoted as saying, “What’s the big deal? Even Yasir Arafat said the same thing [about accepting Israel] back in 1988.”
Let us analyze this. We know Arafat never actually meant to permanently recognize Israel. Shortly after signing the 1993 Oslo Accords, he told worshipers in a Johannesburg mosque, “I am not considering [Oslo] more [applicable] than the agreement…between our prophet Muhammad and Koraish.” The agreement with Koraish was to be in effect for ten years, but after only two years, when Muhammad grew strong enough, he abrogated the agreement by slaughtering the Koraish tribe and conquering Mecca.
This is the context, then, in which we must understand Abbas when he says he accepts Israel’s existence. The old “salami” approach is alive and well, by which the Arabs agree to accept just one slice at a time – first Gaza, then Judea and Samaria, then, God forbid, other parts of Israel – and thus inch ahead, little by little, toward their ultimate goal of eradicating Israel.
Therefore, when Abbas says Israel will be his neighbor, he means it sincerely – but only for now, until his PA state is stabilized and can continue the struggle against Israel to its next stage.
In any event, Hamas – the other half of the Palestinian Authority – did not at all like what Abbas said; his remarks sent thousands of Gaza Arabs onto the streets in protest, burning his picture and chanting anti-Abbas slogans. They apparently don’t have the same patience Abbas has, and want to see the end of Israel now.
Meanwhile, PA spokesman Abu Rudeina raised some eyebrows when he explained that Abbas merely “meant to influence Israeli public opinion.”
This enigmatic statement was explained by former Shabak head Avi Dichter, currently running for a Knesset seat on the Likud list. Dichter told Israel Radio that Abbas was trying to strengthen Israel’s dovish camp for the upcoming Israeli elections. “Abbas presented a false picture of his stance regarding the right of return simply in order to bring the topic to the fore of our current events,” according to Dichter.
A big week for Jerusalem: Britain’s Press Complaints Commission ruled that newspapers may not refer to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital, and Palestinian Media Watch publicized five recent examples of the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing attempts to erase Jewish history in Yerushalayim.
The British media flap over Jerusalem began six months ago, when the London-based Guardian correctly identified the holy city as Israel’s capital – and then was pressured to apologize for doing so. As a result, the media watchdog organization Honest Reporting filed a complaint with the UK Press Complaints Commission (PCC).
The PPC is a non-governmental regulatory body that can force media outlets to issue corrections of what it deems “inaccurate, misleading or distorted information.” At first the PPC rejected Honest Reporting’s complaint but reversed course after the latter initiated legal proceedings.
The PPC’s final ruling was that The Guardian was “wrong to refer to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital,” as this “had the potential to mislead readers.”
Honest Reporting was justifiably proud. “The ruling set a precedent on British coverage of Israel,” the organization announced, “effectively barring all British publications from referring to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital.” CEO Joe Hyams added the following practical ramification:
“Fatuous claims over the status of Tel Aviv as a means to delegitimize Jerusalem as Israel’s rightful capital will no longer be acceptable.”
The decision has already made its mark. Just in the past few days alone, two other British papers – the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail – issued apologies for having referred to Tel Aviv as Israel’s capital. The Mail even went so far as to say it had “mistakenly suggested that Israel’s government was in Tel Aviv when it is, of course, in Jerusalem.”
Several countries had embassies in Jerusalem for decades after Israel declared its independence; unfortunately, not one now remains. Thus, the battle for international recognition of Yerushalayim as unequivocally and eternally Israel’s is far from over. But since the pen is often mightier than the sword, and the keyboard even more so, let us take hope from this media victory, and continue to work toward the day that the nations will realize, as the Prophet Isaiah foretold, that their “house of prayer for all peoples” is in truth the “house of the God of Israel.”
The Palestinian Authority, for its part, is doing all it can to promote the opposite of the above truth. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reported that the PA continues to deny both Jerusalem’s Jewish history and the Holy Temple’s existence. The PA consistently refers to the Beit HaMikdash as the “alleged Temple,” as if it never existed – thus denying the very Bible that more than 2 billion Jews and Christians (and many Muslims, at least in principle) swear by.
PMW notes that usage of the term “alleged Temple” to deny Jewish history has been PA policy under Mahmoud Abbas – known for his “moderation” – for many years. PMW issued a list of five recent instances, out of more than 100 since the beginning of 2011, of the PA libel that Israel plans to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and replace it with the “alleged Temple.”
For instance, PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Adnan Al-Husseini called last month for an “aggressive Arab, Islamic, and international stand to protect the holy places of Islam and Christianity in Jerusalem, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” He added that for a long time Al-Aqsa has been subject to premeditated Israeli steps aimed at dividing it, “thus facilitating the process of building the alleged Temple on its ruins.”
Similarly, the PA’s Islamic-Christian Council for Jerusalem and the Holy Places declared last month that Israel’s recent excavations beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque foundations are “a final warning [before] the mosque’s destruction.” The council also declared that “Israeli occupation forces plan to damage and weaken the blessed mosque’s foundations, so that they will easily collapse at the first opportunity.”
In addition, council Secretary-General Dr. Hanna Issa called the digging under the Al-Aqsa foundations a “clear statement of the occupation’s intentions [regarding] the mosque, and its decision to cause its collapse and build the alleged Temple on its ruins.”
Many Jews who have dedicated their lives toward the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash hope the above warnings are both justified and correct, but fear strongly that they are not.
Shimon looked up at me with a serious look in his bright green eyes as he earnestly told me, “I’m going to measure which one is heavier, my mitzvos or my avayros.”
I couldn’t help but smile at his five year old virtues and watched as he took down the toy scale and took little teddy bears, moving them from side to side, looking for the correct balance.
Maybe I should’ve shared my snack? A teddy bear goes to the other side. I davened so nicely with Morah. Another teddy bear on the other side. I watched as Shimon moved teddy bears from side to side, wondering whether he even remembered his original statement. He seemed to be mesmerized, barely noticing anything around him. Just moving teddy bears from side to side.
I didn’t play with Eli even when he asked me to. Teddy bear on the other side. I helped Morah clean up before running to go swimming. Teddy bear. I didn’t forget any clothes by the pool. Teddy bear. I listened to Morah nicely when she told us that story. Teddy bear. I answered questions about the parsha. Teddy bear.
Fifteen minutes later Shimon looked up again, his smile shining from ear to ear, his face radiating pure innocence.
“Yay! My mitzvos are heavier!” he exclaimed happily as he put away the scale. His smile was contagious and I couldn’t help but beam in response.
Since we were young children we have been told by our teachers and parents what Rosh Hashanah means. It means Hashem has a big scale on which He measure your right and wrong. Do you think about what that means? Have you ever stopped and weighed your actions? Do you ever step out of your comfortable box, and take a pause while you think about the impact you make on the people around you?
Children often can teach us lessons that are more powerful than any teacher or speaker. A young child’s innocent simplicity can often shed be a ray of light on a matter that seems so dark and gray. Adults are clouded with biases while children see things in black and white. When a child looks you in the eye and sincerely and naively asks a brutally honest question, it almost knocks you off your feet, reminding you what you really should see clearly.
Wipe off your stained lens, and take another look at the world. Hashem has a scale sitting up in Shamayim, and teddy bear after teddy bear are piling up. How humbling it is to watch a five year old sit and weigh his own mitzvos and avioros. How often has your sixth grade teacher suggested a cheshbon hanefesh to you? Yet now, caught up in our jobs and lives we never stop to think how many teddy bears are on each side.
The seat you gave up on the city bus. A teddy bear on the right side. The penny you dropped in the tzeddakah box in shul. Teddy bear. The phone call from your mother that you carelessly ignored. A teddy bear on the left. The coffee you never made a bracha acharona on. Teddy bear on the left. The smile you offered the passing old lady. Teddy bear. The mincha you missed sitting in the office. Teddy bear on the left. Teddy bear. Teddy bear.
When you look back up, counting teddy bears, moving them from end to end, which side is heavier? When you take a bear off the left side, did you smile happily, knowing the right side was so much heavier?
Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps there would be so many teddy bears you’ve neglected to notice? So many teddy bears you just disregard, dismissing them with some weak rationalization.
If you stopped and started moving teddy after teddy, would you look back up, your eyes a twinkling green, and smile, happily, as you announce, “Yay my mitzvos are heavier?”
This is not your father’s Egypt, under the evolving rule of Mohammed Morsi. This is a Sinai-militarizing, Jerusalem-coveting, trash-talking Egypt. (Wait – maybe that is your father’s Egypt.) And Egyptian officials have quickly turned their trash-talking skills on their one-time partner, the United States.
Sadly, the statements of Suez Canal Authority chairman Mohab Mamish sounded just credible enough to get legs in the U.S. media. According to Mamish, when Iranian frigate Alvand approached the Suez Canal in February 2012, headed for Syria, the U.S. asked Egypt to prohibit Alvand’s transit through the Canal. In a 26 August interview, Mamish also refers to a “U.S. request to strike” the Iranian ship at the time.
The latter assertion is just silly, and tips off the unbelievable nature of the whole tale. No one in the U.S. military chain of command, up to and including President Obama, would think it was a good idea to “strike” the Iranian frigate. But even if someone did, doing so at the Suez Canal, with the full knowledge of Egypt, is as wrong as it gets, approach- and venue-wise. If the U.S. were going to “strike” another nation’s warship under the circumstances of the Alvand’s transit, we’d just do it wherever we wanted to during the ship’s transit, without asking another nation for permission to do it in her territorial waters.
Similarly, the statement about the U.S. asking to have the Alvand turned back at the Suez Canal fails to hold up under scrutiny. It would be a very big deal to ask Egypt to prohibit the transit of a sovereign nation’s warship, and frankly, the U.S. would have to know such a request would be turned down. Egypt has cooperated, since the inauguration of the War on Terror, in the interdiction of merchant ships carrying arms for terrorists (e.g., Hezbollah). But a warship is the representative of her nation, and stopping an Iranian frigate would be, in effect, a declaration of failing relations between Egypt and Iran.
Of course that’s Egypt’s call to make. Moreover, there are literally dozens of U.S. professionals in the State Department, Defense Department, and on the National Security Council staff who know that asking Egypt to do this would be a foolish and inappropriate request. You don’t ask Egypt to just stick her neck out. The goal of preventing Iranian arms from getting to Syria is a sound one, but deputizing Egypt to take the risk of the showdown with Iran – especially when the U.S. is being passive and following from behind – is an unsound approach.
The ideologues on Obama’s national-security team may not know that, but their career staffers do. If this issue got to Obama’s level, I imagine there was someone conveying the sensible point of view. That said, I’m not convinced the U.S. ever entertained this course of action at all. It sounds like a fabrication to me, or at the very least, a wild exaggeration.
If I had to guess the purpose of these statements, I would say it’s to establish the theme of Egypt standing up to and confounding the United States. The following paragraph appears in the Breitbart and original World Tribune stories:
Mamish says the Egyptian military has “tight control” of the canal at this time, intimating that they are the ones making decisions about which nations will and won’t be allowed to pass through it. The U.S. has no say in the matter.
Well, of course we have no say in the matter. We never have. Egypt runs the Canal. This is not a point that needs to be reaffirmed – complete with tales about how Egypt stood up to the U.S. – unless Egypt perceives a need to score political points. And that appears to be what’s going on.
Defense without, er, defense
Meanwhile, as recently as Wednesday, Stars & Stripes had a story on the new, deployable tactical operations center the U.S. 10th Army (based in Germany) will take to Israel for Exercise Austere Challenge 2012. The deployable TOC supports air and missile defense, and is to be a central feature of the high-priority ballistic-missile defense (BMD) facet of Austere Challenge. Using Austere Challenge to exercise missile defense is in line with President Obama’s emphasis on missile defense for Israel as a security response to the Iranian threat.
Tuesday afternoon, 1:30 p.m.
Pinny is a fourth grader in Mrs. Spitzer’s classroom. The class is doing a math lesson – its long division. Pinny loves math, so he’s giving Mrs. Spitzer his full attention.
“Now class,” Mrs. Spitzer intones, “what do we do after we subtract 7 from 9?” “Bring down the 4,” answers the entire class in unison.
O.K. I know subtract and bring down, but haw does it start again? Oy, I’m never gonna be able to do this. We have a social studies test on Thursday on 40 pages in the book. 40 pages!!! How am I gonna study 4O pages?
“On to more examples. 653 divided by 9.”
Pinny glances down at his math workbook, and is surprised to discover that he has written nothing in the spaces for the answers to numbers 1,2,3, and 4. As he glances around the classroom, he sees that everyone’s workbook is filled except his. As he quickly glances at Chaim’s workbook, which is on the desk next to his and fills in the answers, he feels so frustrated.
“What s wrong with me,” he wonders.
Test Taking Anxiety
Thursday Afternoon, 2:30 p.m.
Pinny feels nervous. He studied the material a few times with his mother the night before, but he is not sure he knows it well. He couldn’t eat breakfast or lunch properly so his stomach is rumbling and his mouth feels dry.
“Keep your eyes on your own paper” says Mrs. Spitzer firmly. “Turn your papers over and you may begin.”
Pinny turns his paper over and looks at it again and again. None of it, nothing seems familiar. “Maybe I got the wrong test, “Pinny thinks to himself. “Let me take a look at Chaim’s paper. I hope Mrs. Spitzer doesn’t notice. Nope. It’s the exact same test. I don’t get it I studied hard last night? What happened?”
And as he watches everybody else busily filling in answers on their test paper, he frantically tries to recall something, ANYTHING, from last night’s study session. Pinny sits there feeling truly helpless and wondering “what’s wrong with me?”
Friday Morning, 11:45 a.m.
Pinny is exhausted. He barely slept the night before worrying about taking the bus to go to his grandmother’s house for Shabbos. This would be the first time he would be going there straight from school.
The Rebbe is speaking to the boys, something about bus changes.
“O.K. boys, listen up. We have new drivers on the buses, and the routes have changed slightly. I’m going to read your name and bus number. After that, I want you to pack up, and wait on line until I dismiss you.
“Berkowitz, Benoliel, Cahan, and Davis, bus number 41. Ettinger, Friedman, Ganzweig, and Gewirtz, bus number 42.”
I hope Bobby prepared my favorite chocolate cake. I hope she remembered that the cover that she usually keeps on the bed is very scratchy and itchy. I hope she changed it to the green and blue one.
Mommy thinks I’m big enough to take the bus all by myself. I hope she’s right and I don’t get…
“Pinny,” a deep voice interrupts “Everyone else is packed up, on line, and ready to go.”
“Right Rebbe, I’ll be really quick .Which bus am I going on again?” Pinny hears the rebbe audibly sigh, as he repeats the instructions for the bus.
Friday afternoon 12:10 p.m.
Pinny gets on the bus headed to Flatbush. He feels a bit queasy, but he has reviewed the route so many times with his mother that he’s pretty sure he’ll know where to go. After frantically searching through his knapsack, he realizes that he has misplaced the address.
O.K., so I’ve been to Bobby’s house before, I’ll just wing the address from memory. Is it 1427 East 37th street, or 1437 East 27th street. Which one is it? I can’t remember. Which one is it? Let me think…Let me think…. O.K. I know my friend Simcha lives around the corner from Bobby, and he lives on East 28th street, so its gotta be…Whewl Here’s the paper with the address stuck in the pocket of my folder. East 27th street here we come!