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July 12, 2014 Day Five of War with Hamas

Day Five has come to and end ... My normal Saturday morning routine of bicycling to the beach and walking along the shore was interrupted. Since there are no secure structures along the beach, I decided to stay home. Though by noon it seemed I had made the wrong decision. The morning and most of the day remained quiet. It was only late in the afternoon that Hamas resumed firing on the center of the country – first by firing on the areas around Rechovot and Ashdod, followed by a round of missiles fired at Jerusalem. The Jerusalem salvo caused sirens to go off in the city. However, those rockets all missed, with the exception of one missile hitting an Arab home in Hebron.

At 8 o'clock in the evening Hamas announced it was going to launch new powerful missiles at Tel Aviv. I have to admit that I did take the threat at least somewhat seriously. We made sure when we went to pick up our pizza, (part of our standard Saturday night routine), that we got back before 9 pm. A few minutes after 9 o'clock Hamas kept its promise, and sure enough the sirens went off. This time we actually went down to the shelter, just in case there was a more substantial attack. After we returned to our apartment the sirens went off again. Back to the shelter we went. Thankfully, as in the first case, the Iron Dome system successfully intercepted the missiles. So, Hamas had made a big deal threatening Tel Aviv and the end result was forcing us to spend ten minutes in our shelter. That's not to imply the situation is not effecting our lives. Tonight we were supposed to go out with some friends, each of us have 13-14 year olds at home. Instead, their family came over and we rented a movie on iTunes .

Hamas has managed to disrupt our lives, to a degree – but only to a small degree. The cafes are still busy. We continue to work, and our lives go on. This is a strange war. We watch TV and watch for messages on the screen announcing where the missiles are headed. Then we watch on TV as they are shot down. When not watching our large screen, my ever-present iPhone app goes off every time a missile is shot. After quickly checking that it's not heading here, I go back to work. Iron Dome keeps working fabulously. Only three people have been wounded on our side during this war. Of course, on the Palestinian side, the death toll has exceeded 100. The war is extremely asymmetrical. A terrorist government that possesses Word War II technology is facing off against a 21st century nation, with the most advanced military technology on the planet. It's clear at this point the only goal Hamas seems to have is getting us to kill their people, something we are reluctantly doing. We have a choice – we can keep killing Palestinians in Gaza (including innocent civilians) and gain some publicity photos for Hamas, or we can send in our soldiers (some of whom will no doubt be wounded or killed.) It's a terribly "Hobbesian" choice. Most other countries would not think twice. We keep rethinking the question...

In two or three years we might reach the point where our defensive systems are impenetrable. We are advancing much faster than our adversaries. However, can we allow our lives to be disrupted every time it suits our enemies? Of course some people say – just make peace with them. I certainly would be willing to do so, (even if it meant giving up all of the lands we captured in 1967), but clearly that would not satisfy Hamas. They still seek our utter destruction, and that is something we will not give them. In the next few days we will see what choices the government makes. There are already rumors of attempts to reach a ceasefire. Though I would be surprised if they bear fruit in the next few days, a ground assault is more likely.



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