What did you do on your first day of school Rachel?

UPDATE 10 am Israel time, Tuesday, August 27 2013:

*Israeli concession talks (aka “peace negotiations”) with the Palestinians  have been temporarily suspended in the wake of events in the town of Qalandiya yesterday.

The facts are simply that two Border Patrol vehicles entered Qalandiya in pursuit of a terrorist responsible for numerous attacks on Israeli civilians in the last few months. Once in the town, the vehicles were set upon by hundreds of attackers–throwing everything from “rocks” to refrigerators to Molotov cocktails off the roofs of buildings at the border guards. They then opened fire on the border guards.

Warning shots fired by the border guards in response were to no avail. Shots were fired at the legs of the attackers were to no avail. Finally, when it became an issue of life and death, the border guards used live fire to extricate themselves from the town.  Two terrorists were killed (including one who had been released in the Gilad Shalit deal several years ago), and one “apparent” bystander (who “apparently” was an employee of UNRWA) was also killed. 

Today all the Palestinians can talk about is the “massacre” at Qalandiya. If and when “peace talks” will resume is anyone’s guess.


What do children in your country usually do on the first day of school?

Today is the first day of the new school year for 2,129,562 Israeli children.  What kinds of wonderful activities are the Israeli students and their teachers engaging in?

Israeli elementary school children being fitted for gas masks (photo: en.rian,ru).

Israeli elementary school children being fitted for gas masks (photo: en.rian,ru).

By all reports, it appears that a Western attack on Syria is imminent and Israelis are flocking to gas mask distribution centers. Both the Iranians and the Syrians said yesterday that when the first Western missile or bomb falls on Syria, the first Syrian missile will strike Israel.

According to most reports, only about 60% of Israelis are equipped to withstand a possible Syrian chemical weapons attack against the country. That is why Israeli schoolchildren are among those getting gas masks today.

Some of the overnight developments:

*U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has called Assad’s use of chemical weapons “undeniable. . . indiscriminate. . .[and of] staggering scale.”

*A Turkish official has said that the U.S. has given Assad a 48 hour ultimatum to get out of Syria.

*There are persistent reports that Russia has offered Assad refuge.

*Women and children of the Assad family have arrived in Abu Dhabi along with the families of 16 senior Syrian Army officials.

*A U.S. nuclear submarine has crossed the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean.

*A convoy of tanks and American forces has been sighted at the Syrian-Jordanian border.

*A British source reports that British naval vessels will fire cruise missiles at Syrian command and control positions.

*A Russian warship docked at Tartus has left port.

An IDF soldier shows a person how to use his new gas mask (picture: upi.com).

An IDF soldier shows a person how to use his new gas mask (picture: upi.com).

What Israelis actually receive is called an “ABC Kit” that contains gas masks and a nerve gas antidote. When your humble servant went down to the Ashdod distribution center yesterday, I was told that I must go to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem to get a mask.

All 215,000 thousand residents of Ashdod are supposed to go to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem to get a gas mask? Such is the efficiency of the Israeli civil defense system. 


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