Good News Friday

This week’s Good News Friday post very nearly didn’t get written at all due to the current situation. As the news starts to get worse and we are hearing of our first casualties I wasn’t sure whether to post anything at all.  But once again I decided that we need something good to take us into Shabbat. However this post is going to center around Operation Protective Edge.

We start with a great video of Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who is proving to be a wonderful spokesman for Israel, in an interview with Al Jazeera:

Kol hakavod to Bennett who didn’t allow himself to be fazed by the hard questioning and firmly put Israel’s case forward.

As you may have noticed from the several times that I have complained about the stupid name of this military operation, I really don’t approve of “Protective Edge”. I won’t tell you what kind of advert it sounds like because this is a family blog, but rescue is at hand! We can now generate our own Gaza operation name:

While native English speakers are scratching their heads specifically at the IDF’s translation of “Tzuk Eitan” in to the impenetrable “Protective Edge,” Hebrew speakers are spoofing the presumed process by which operation names are chosen.

Case in point: The Gaza Operations Generator. Just go to its site and keep clicking on an arrow in the middle of the screen. You will get another and yet another two-word phrase (Hebrew only). The words are obviously pulled from a database of intentionally bombastic language.

The generator reflects the widely held assumption that an IDF computer spits out the names of Israel’s military actions. However, the IDF Spokesman’s office, refusing to discuss with The Times of Israel how the current operation got its moniker, would not confirm this.

If The Gaza Operations Generator had been used to name the current operation, it could have been dubbed “Mashav Kasuf” (Silver Gust), “Geshem Helem” (Pounding Rain), “Shemesh Nafitz” (Volatile Sun), or any other silly-sounding random combination of pre-programmed adjectives and nouns.

The generator is hosted on the website of Feelternet, a Tel Aviv-based digital creative agency.

Here’s my contribution: “Burning cardboard”  🙂

Operation Burning Cardboard

Operation Burning Cardboard

On a more serious note, Israeli technology comes to the rescue once again in time of war. Falling rockets? There’s an app for that:

As Israelis deal with Operation Protective Edge in Gaza and hundreds of rockets reaching the south and central regions, the country has turned to technology to try to ease some of the difficulties.

1. Red Alert smartphone app

Download for iPhone

Download for Android

Screenshot of the Red Alert phone app system

Screenshot of the Red Alert phone app system

This simple platform alerts users when there is a Red Alert for a specific area and can work in tandem with the “Yo!” joke messaging app. The app, whose developers spoke to The Times of Israel on Tuesday, is meant to be a backup and not a substitute for paying heed to the Code Red Siren. Sometimes the alerts can be delayed by up to 30 seconds, and some users have reported that the app is crashing under heavy usage. An English version is now available.

2. United Hatzalah’s SOS NowForce app

Sign up at sos.nowforce.com

I mentioned the United Hatzala SOS app in last week’s post.

5. Secure Space app

Before you hear the siren, you should always know where the closest protected area is to you. In many apartment buildings the stairs are protected areas, though it’s also a good idea to know where the closest bomb shelter is for longer periods of time. For iPhone users, an app called “Secure Space” can help you locate the nearest bomb shelter. Currently, the app is only in Hebrew and covers the cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Beersheba, and is not available for Android users. Android users in Tel Aviv can use the “Shelter” app to locate their nearest bomb shelter based on their GPS location, or the Tel Aviv municipality app for Android or iPhone which lists bomb shelters in addition to other services. For people in Jerusalem, the municipality website has a PDF to help you locate your closest bomb shelter, or you can call the Municipality hotline at 106 to ask.

Thank G-d Israelis are so inventive and full of initiative, but wouldn’t it be nice if all those energies could be invested in more positive directions.

My next item is a beautiful video (h/t Reality) of children who have learned how to sing a special song when the sirens go off in order to lessen their tension and be able to relax.  The song was written 4 years ago! And yet the terrible rocket fire has only continued and intensified, and the song is more necessary than ever. Watch the Code Red Song:

I have to say that I found the video both cute but really bitter-sweet. Which other country has to teach its children how to relax during air-raids? The thought almost brought tears to my eyes.

Kol hakavod to the teacher who was clever enough to come up with this song and teach it to those cute children. May Hashem grant that all our children will only learn to sing regular nursery rhymes in future.

My last item to conclude this week’s post is a wonderful story via facebook of an amazing manager at Beer Sheva shuk who donated supplies to soldiers:

Here’s my translation:

Yesterday I received an Emergency Call-up like many others and like everybody else, I didn’t hesitate and came.

This morning we made a collection in the unit to buy Bamba, pita bread, hummus, Cola. We arrived at the shuk warehouses in Be’er Sheva. We did our shopping and we left.  On the way out we were stopped by Shlomi Avni, probably one of the managers and he simply began to load other products on our cart.  For ten minutes he never stopped.  He went back again and again. Putting million ice pops, watermelons, bits and pieces and even a fan! And all for free now! Can you get that?

So to Shlomo Avni the King, on behalf of myself and Unit 923, who are currently serving in the reserves, you made our day! It’s great to know that there are people like you in this country! And to all of you out there, this is the living proof: with all the stuff that’s going on, at the moment of truth we are a fantastic country. Thank you so much!!

-Sarit Nagar

Kol hakavod to Shlomo Avni and all the other wonderful store owners and suppliers who have been donating goods and supplies to the soldiers who have dropped their civilian life and rushed to their posts to defend the country.

מי כעמך ישראל! – Who is like unto Your people Israel! We are indeed blessed.

May Hashem protect all of Israel from the enemy’s missiles, rockets and terror attacks. May He protect all of our security forces, on the ground, in the air and at sea, and bring them home safely.  May He crush our enemies underfoot.

And may He grant us all a Shabbat Shalom, a peaceful and quiet Shabbat.

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9 Responses to Good News Friday

  1. cba says:

    What a lovely way to go into this rather stressful Shabbat! May there be only good news when you reconnect to the Internet.

  2. Reality says:

    only in Israel can there be a blog with apps about sirens ,safe rooms childrens nursery rhymes all to make sure we stay alive ,sane & well!
    A great blog as usual. Lets hope for a safe quiet Shabbat & may Hashem grant us peace , look after our soldiers & all Am Yisrael.

  3. Fay says:

    Shabbat Shalom Anne, stay safe. Your updates are much appreciated.

  4. Irene Matthews says:

    My heart is always with Israel in time like this. My prayers are with you too. Israel is our only ally in the middle-east, and with the help of God, we will in 2016-17 have an administration in the US that understands and acknowledges that wholeheartedly.

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