As Rockets Fly, Israel's Grumpy Old Men Shrug

Playing Backgammon and Watching the Missiles in Jaffa

No Big Deal: Not all Israelis are living in fear. Some shrug off the latest round of rockets as a price of life in the Middle East.
getty images
No Big Deal: Not all Israelis are living in fear. Some shrug off the latest round of rockets as a price of life in the Middle East.

By Reuters

Published November 18, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Emanuel Hatzofe, 84, took his time getting to the shelter of the thick concrete sea wall in Jaffa on Sunday when Israeli air-raid sirens over Tel Aviv warned of incoming rockets from the Gaza Strip.

The retired sea captain, once a guerrilla with the pre-state Jewish underground, carried his wooden stool with him, as well as a little cushion, for comfort.

The siren allows 90 seconds maximum to take shelter. It had gone silent by the time Emanuel, easing the bad knee where the bullet went through in 1948, got down in a corner of the wall, the Mediterranean Sea glinting lazily in the sunlight on the other side.

There was a double detonation in the sky somewhere over Jaffa, inland from the shore.

“That was two bangs,” he corroborated. Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor had knocked out two long-range rockets fired by Palestinian militants for the fourth time in four days.

He screwed up his eyes and looked up at a lingering twist of white smoke and vapour trailing in the sky above the old Arab town of quiet lanes and little stone mosques, now a Tel Aviv district. It was the only trace of the war to the south.

BACKGAMMON

“There will never be a solution to this,” Emanuel says.

Sitting outside his cramped workshop in an ancient wooden freight wagon from Belgian railways, he casts his mind back a long way.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.