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View of Netanaya Beach
photo by Rhonda Spivak

photo by Rhonda Spivak

View of Netanya beachfront
photo by Rhonda Spivak

Main bomb shelter on main floor. It was recently painted just in time for the war !)
photo by Orli Avior


Editor in Bomb Shelter


by Rhonda Spivak, July 13, 2014


[Editor's note: July 13, 2014 at 4:30 in the afternoon. Up until ten minutes ago Netanya where I am located was the ONLY city in Israel from Sedrot in the South to Nahariya in the North where there had not been a siren wailing to sound off an incoming rocket. I spoke to my husband last night to tell him it was rather miraculous that for five days I had not had to seek a bomb shelter since I was based in Netanya. I had not written about it, not wanting to jinx my luck. In the midst of writing this article, the siren went off in Netanya, and I and Rhonda Prepes proceeded to the bomb shelter right outside my door, waiting for ten minutes and then coming out .


This morning when my friends Orli and Ariel rang the buzzer to the apartment where I am, Rhonda Prepes thought that that was the siren. "That's just the doorbell!" Orli declared as she and I could not help supressing laughter. I do not mean to be flippant at all: it's just that laughter is a very good way of coping with this situation.  In fact, David Goldman in PJ Media titled his article "Sunny with Light missile Cover in Tel-Aviv this morning."


My neighbours left bottled water in the shelter but they also have some of their belongings stored in the shelter, including a hula hoop. It's been many years since I hula hooped (I am not sure if it is gramatically proper to use the word "hula hoop" as a verb. Possibly had my Joseph Wolinsky Collegiate education been better, I would know the answer to this). When the siren went off, I had beets cooking on the stove and thankfully I remembered to check on them so they will not be overcooked! Minutes after the siren, life on the beach appeared normal with people swimming, walking their dogs etc.  But I just heard a military helicopter whiz by, quite possibly to search the coast to see if a rocket has landed in the sea. According to a Hebrew FaceBook site 0404 which gives incredibly up to date information the rocket landed in an open area to the north of us. Below is my attempt to explain what I believe is the infrastructure being targeted by Hamas when rockets land near the Hadera/Ceasaria area. ]



On the first day of the war this past Tuesday, Israeli media reported that Hamas’s long range rockets had gotten as far North as  Hadera, and Zichron Yaacov.  Since then sirens have gone off also in Ceasaria, and today for the first time in Netanya.


No doubt that  Hamas would like to hit the Hadera Power plant  (called "Orot Rabin" or "Rabin's Lights" in Hebrew named after Yitzhak Rabin), a coal -fired power station which is situated right on the sea very close to the beach in Ceasaria.  It was a target for missiles from Lebanon in Israel's 2006 war with Hezbollah, and was thankfully missed when a rocket landed in the sea nearby.  From the living room view of my sea front apartment in Netanya, which has an expansive view down the coast, I can see in the distance the three stacks of the Hadera power plant, owned and operated by Israel Electric Corporation, which is lit up also at night. As of 2011 the plant is Israel's largest power station with its 2,590 MW representing 23% of the Israel Electric Corporation's total generation capacity. A direct missile hit on the plant would result in a large part of the country losing electricity.   



The "Orot Rabin" location is all the more strategic since it now contains the world's largest reverse osmosis desalination plant which was constructed within its grounds in 2010, with the hopes of alleviating the arid country's water shortage. The plant supplies 127 million cubic meters of desalinated water a year, or about 20 percent of the yearly household consumption in Israel. Over the past few years a number of desalination plants have been built as traditional water sources have dwindled given a rising in population and low winter rainfalls. There are bigger desalination plants that can be found in Saudi Arabia which use a thermal-based technology to desalinate sea water. IDE's reverse osmosis technologies requires less energy and is friendlier to the environment. Israel's main sources of natural fresh water are underground aquifers and the Sea of Galilee.



[Editor's note: I just got up while writing this to see another military helicopter whiz by my window and also to check the beets and turn off the stove as they appear to be cooked.]



It's significant to note that there is a power plant in Ashkelon in southern Israel, a city which has been bombarded by rockets. No doubt it would be a far easier target for Hamas to hit from Gaza, but as my friend Orli Avior, a resident of Ashkelon says, "Hamas won't hit the power plant in Ashkelon because it is the one that provides Gaza with its electricity."   



There are voices within Israel calling for the government to cut off electricity, as well as food and fuel to  Gaza, until the rocket fire ceases, but  I do not foresee this happening because of humanitarian concerns and  also concern over the response of  the international community. However, as Dr. Mordechai Kedar a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University,who has served in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years, recently wrote  


"There has never been a situation in which a country continues to provide supplies and services to an area from which it is being shot at."


I can't help but wonder if America would continue to supply electricity to a terrorist entity that was raining down rockets on all 50 of its states, resulting in its entire population having to seek shelter?

Postscript: After writing this article we went out for Kosher Chinese Food at the restaurant down the street. I said if a siren goes off while we're there: I am going to hide under the Egg Foo Yung!. But actually there was a shelter next door,and when we got our table I asked to be seated not near the windows ( That is becasue it's not a good idea to be near glass which will shatter if a rocket falls.)  




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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.