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August 7, 2015 7:24 am

Mr. President, Rockets Have Already Fallen on Tel Aviv

avatar by Benyamin Korn

Email a copy of "Mr. President, Rockets Have Already Fallen on Tel Aviv" to a friend
 Tel Aviv. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Tel Aviv. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

“Rockets will fall on Tel Aviv,” President Obama warned on August 4, claiming that if his Iran deal is rejected, military conflict will inevitably ensue.

Mr. Obama seems to be betting that the rest of us have forgotten that Iranian rockets already fell on Tel Aviv last year.

If rockets fell when there was no agreement in 2014, why should Israelis be frightened by warnings that rockets will fall if there is no agreement in 2015?

There was a time, not so long ago, when Tel Aviv seemed immune from the dangers brewing in Gaza. Sure, border towns such as Sderot, and even Ashdod, might be menaced. But Tel Aviv is 44 miles from Gaza. Who could imagine that Hamas would have rockets capable of reaching such distances?

Then along came the summer of 2014, and with it came the shocking revelation that the latest Iranian-supplied Chinese missiles in Hamas’s arsenal could indeed reach Israel’s largest city.

On July 8, Israel’s missile defense system intercepted two rockets over Tel Aviv. Keep in mind that “intercepted” is a relative term. It doesn’t always mean that there are no consequences. When a Hamas rocket was blown up by Israel’s anti-missile batteries, it meant that shrapnel from the explosion hit whatever happened to be underneath–that could mean a highway packed with traffic, a kindergarten, or someone’s back yard.

Later that day, Hamas rockets hit the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon. The next day, two rockets aimed at nearby Ben-Gurion Airport were intercepted near Tel Aviv.

By July 10, a Jewish Telegraphic Agency news report was headlined “In Tel Aviv, Sunny with a Chance of Rockets.” Correspondent Ben Sales described how as his flight from the U.S. approached the Israeli airport: “our plane swooped in a semicircle north of Tel Aviv rather than flying directly over the city, a flight path altered to avoid potential rockets. When we entered the airport, just after the sign bidding us ‘Welcome to Israel,’ another one pointed us to a bomb shelter.”

That same day, two more rockets were fired at Tel Aviv. One was intercepted, but shrapnel from that explosion damaged cars and a gas station in the southern part of the city. The next day, ten more rockets were fired at Tel Aviv; only six of them were intercepted.

Tel Aviv prides itself on being a city of international culture, and enthusiastically welcomes performers from abroad. But with rockets falling daily, the city was suddenly regarded as a war zone. Concerts by Neil Young, Paul Anka, and the 1960s folk-rock band America all had to be canceled. The cast and crew of the television drama “Tyrant,” which had been filming in Tel Aviv, announced that they were relocating to Istanbul. (Ouch! Turkey, which supports Hamas, thus benefited from Hamas’s terror.) New York Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire canceled the basketball camp he was going to hold for Israeli youngsters in Tel Aviv.

By July 22, rockets were hitting Tel Aviv so frequently – including direct hits on a number of homes – that the city’s famous beaches had to be shut down, at the peak of the summer season, because of all the falling shrapnel. Then came the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority’s declaration that because of all the rockets in and near Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion Airport was no longer deemed safe. Most major American and European airlines canceled all flights to Israel.

The rest of the story is of course well known. With Israel’s citizens under massive direct attack, and its economy about to be ravaged by the cut-off of international commerce and tourism, Israel was compelled to send its military into Gaza.

That was the reason the rockets stopped falling on Tel Aviv. It wasn’t because of anything the Obama Administration did. It wasn’t because of the negotiations with Iran. It was because Israel acted on its own, in defiance of a hypocritical and indifferent international community.

So please, President Obama: don’t tell us that the Iran nuclear deal is the only way to prevent rockets from falling on Tel Aviv. We’ve seen rockets fall on Tel Aviv. We know that pieces of paper signed by terror regimes such as the one in Tehran will never prevent it.

Mr. Korn, former executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent and the Miami Jewish Tribune, is chairman of the Philadelphia Religious Zionists.

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  • Tim

    I agree, is Obama a prophet making claims of something that he knows will happen? Just like French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Secretary of State John Kerry at the US State Department making the following statement: “The world has “500 days to avoid climate chaos.” When they made the comment, were they making statements of something factual that would happen in 500 days. The world leaders are making lots of dogmatic remarks lately and that is a scary thing. They have my attention when they make such dogmatic remarks like “climate chaos in 500 days” or “rockets will fall on Tel Aviv.”

  • Lauren Goldman

    “Rockets will fall on Tel Aviv.” Warning, or promise? With islam’s butt-boy in the White House, my bet is on the latter. For someone whose smile never reaches his eyes whenever Israel or Jews are the subject, the ‘nuclear deal’ with iran is probably a late birthday present.

  • Good letter. Let the media put it out too! Like FOX

  • Robert Davis

    Like all racketeers obanana racks his “brains” if one can call so the banana squash he calls his brain, to find out new words to threaten and blackmail Israel!!! This shows how DESPERATE he is not to be able to racket Israel.

  • Mike Schwarzer

    Good that it’s an election issue. Those that are anti-war will know clearly who voted for war and we can route hem out.

    A ‘No’ vote on Iran’s NPT is a vote for another Iraqi/Afghanistan war. ‘Yes’ gives us a chance to see if peace will work, there is still lots of time for war. Benny is not going to be too successful is selling another Bush WMD’s story. We’ve had enough liars misleading us. This has nothing to do with Israel’s security, this has to do with suppressing a geopolitical competitor. The US is not a puppet of Israel.

    A VOTE FOR NO IS A VOTE FOR ANOTHER IRAQI / AFGHANISTAN STYLE WAR. Do we want that? Can we afford that?

    The question is really that simple. Forget all those people trying to tell you what your opinion should be, the celebs bought and paid for, the massive media propaganda, the warmongering without fact or foundation. They want to turn this in Pro verses Anti Israel argument. They don’t want to tell facts, just leak bits and pieces of misinformation. There is no such thing as a perfect deal in negotiation that is a fantasy, the deal is excellent and quite an accomplishment.

    And in case you don’t get it a non proliferation agreement is NO NUKES, NO NUKES, NOT ONE FRIGGING NUKE PERIOD FOREVER. In case some are asleep Iran already has an existing stockpile to manufacture a dozen bombs. All of which they are giving up. If they wanted Nukes they would already have them. Not every government lies, spies, assassinates and does dirty tricks like Israel and their horrible leadership. With success, there will be futile ground to progress on other issues. Unfortunately Israel only knows how to use a club to negotiate peace. There leadership has to go as it represents the single most dangerous threat to Israeli security.

    Remember who voted ‘No’ so we can remove the warmongering puppets of Israel next election. Any presidential hopeful who votes ‘No’ will be a marked man. There will be no blaming on the intelligence services. They are either in the Israeli lobbyist pockets, or have confusion as to which government they serve, or lack the intelligence to understand the deal, (stupid). Not presidential or congressional material. There will be a backlash for this betrayal of the US public interest.

    Hezbollah could disappear over night if Benny was doing his job instead of trying to club everyone into submission. Without a club Benny is clueless. Iranians are all smiles these days. Israel is doing far more damage to it’s interests then Iran could ever do. I expect they will be a model treaty participant just to rub salt in Israel’s self inflicted wounds and they haven’t spent a penny to do it. Iran wants to improve life for their people, help Iraq fight ISIS and protect the religious sites. This is their priority, Isreal inflates it’s importance to Iran. They are laughing at Benny, soon they will be laughing at the Republicans, revealed for who they are.

    • Mirror

      “We’ve had enough liars misleading us.”

      We have a liar leading us now. If you had been paying attention, you would know that this deal doesn’t accomplish the goals Obama claimed were his objectives only four or so months ago. What he is now selling as a “good deal” was what he described as a “bad deal” earlier this year. Was he worng then or is he wrong now? Or does he even know the difference?

      The deal you tout will enable Iran to attack and possibly destroy the US as early as late next year. I hope you will be satisfied if they do.