A veteran U.S. radio producer who is in Tel Aviv this week told WND that rockets have been raining down on Israel for years, but the current conflict with Hamas in Gaza has caught the world’s attention because Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have been hit.
“Rockets have been landing daily, from Gaza, on Israeli towns like Sderot for years,” Franklin Raff of Raff Radio writes. “Every day, or almost every day, for years. Now they are landing on Tel Aviv, so the news is more difficult for the mainstream media to ignore. But the facts, however you choose to interpret them, are the same. Israel has been under attack from the moment of its inception.”
Raff says there are few places where the full news of the conflict is available. But he noted the work of WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein, who reported Hamas had been promising more suicide-bomber attacks should a cease-fire settlement be unsuccessful.
“I know this because I was with my friend Aaron Klein when his source confirmed it. If you want the best news on the situation here, I strongly advise you to add his reports and updates (ABC radio, WND, kleinonline.com) to your media diet. He is totally plugged in – so much so it is almost shocking.”
Raff notes the surge of violence shortly before today’s cease-fire was announced. In Tel Aviv, a bus was bombed, injuring dozens.
“I was quite near there at the time, and everyone sort of detoured their way around that area while emergency personnel rushed in. One has to be extremely careful after a blast as it is common terrorist practice to plant secondary bombs in order to take out people rushing in to help the wounded,” he writes.
Many details, however, weren’t included.
“There is a general code of communication here whereby it is taboo to discuss, disseminate, or broadcast specific information regarding missile landings, bomb effects, etc.,” he said.
“This is of course due to the fact that this information can be used to aid enemy targeting and ranging, to say nothing of propaganda efforts.”
He continued: “The intentional graying of specifics for one reason or another may be one reason why mainstream media reports are dodgy on the situation here. The other reason, of course, is that many mainstream media reporters are flocking to Gaza where they can be fed information by those with whom many – not all – seem to sympathize.”
He says going to Gaza could be dangerous.
“Israel explicitly and incessantly warns journalists in Gaza to stay away, physically, from Hamas operatives. We hear it all the time locally. This advice, tragically, has not been heeded: a fact largely ignored in recent, absurdly irresponsible comments in the press about ‘Israel targeting journalists.’ I want to beg (at least) two recipients of this note: THIS IS WAR. STAY AWAY, PHYSICALLY, FROM HAMAS OPERATIVES. Stay away from them. Report what you want but do your talking on the phone,” he says.
But he notes that for Israelis, life goes on. He cites a recent sailboat race held despite sirens blaring.
And families reach out to each other, he notes.
“Israel is an intensely family focused culture, and the high regard and affection for children here transcends all imaginable cultural and ethnic divisions. One notices this regularly in restaurants, for instance, where kids are treated like royalty. .. In the time after today’s blast, I noticed parents of all stripes – Orthodox, secular, Arab Israelis, Ethiopians, European types, the new Sudanese refugees – discussing the situation, the locations of bomb shelters, offering each other transportation, playing with the children, etc. And – everyone is pitching in to help older folks do just about everything.”
Officials did announce a cease-fire today, and leaders in Israel expressed hope that it would last.