Under the drones and missiles


April 19, 2024

A map of the targeted areas in Southern Negev, Central Negev, Samaria, Judea, Western Negev and the Dead Sea.

It's rare, if ever, that one sits at home watching news of an impending attack that's already been launched at your country. But that's exactly what I did last night. First the IDF issued instructions to keep Israelis safe, including closing all schools, banning gatherings of more than 1000 people, and what to do in case of an air raid siren. An hour or so later it was announced that Iran had already launched dozens (up to 150-200) armed drones at Israel that would take as long as 9 hours to get here, and a little while later, hundreds of cruise missiles. 

At 1:46 a.m., my youngest daughter announced on the family WhatsApp that there were sirens in Ariel, the university town in the center of Samaria where she and my son and daughter-in-law are all studying. I had heard "booms" overhead in the few minutes before that, but then at the same moment, we had a siren in our hometown, waking up my wife, and our daughter and son-in-law and three grandchildren. My two daughters already had been sent to the bomb shelter in Jerusalem. 

Ten minutes later, the chat ended as the sirens ended and most tried to get back to sleep. I stayed up until 4 a.m. 

This afternoon I dropped off something for my son-in-law and my three-year-old grandson told me that they had sirens last night and he cried, and then went back to reading his book, as if that was all normal. 

As all this was happening, I received dozens of text messages and emails from friends all over the world, praying for us and asking if we were OK. I provided real time updates, so people would know that this Iranian attack was real, and serious. 

Thank God, except for one Bedouin Arab girl, there were no reports of major injuries. Israel was shaken badly but largely unharmed. Physically at least. The trauma, as my grandson exhibited, is everywhere. 

It's unclear where this is going to go and if and when it will escalate further, but the sense is that it will. Soon. 

Just as we did on Oct. 8, in launching the Israel Emergency Campaign, we didn't know 100 percent what the needs would be, but we have done an extraordinary job making the biggest impact with the greatest integrity. 

Now, we're 6 months seasoned and know more about what the needs are and will be. Minus a full-scale military operation against Iran and Hezbollah, we do have our hand on the pulse and here's what we are planning: 

• At risk youth – Since Oct. 7, at risk youth along the Gaza border have been on edge, coming from homes that are unsafe and living in a society that's unsafe, without parents who can really help them. Now there are many more. We will continue to support our partners there doing such incredible work as the number of such children grows and the immediate needs multiply. 

• Civilian security – There are dozens of communities, like mine, which are side by side with Palestinian Arabs. When things get worse, there's a real danger that they will exploit that to attack communities like ours. Lots of equipment is needed to ensure that this never happens, in many communities. 

• Emergency Response – All war and terror attacks bring greater need for first responders and emergency medicine. If (or when) there is an escalation with Iran and Hezbollah, the needs will grow immediately. We need to have the funds to jump in and make a difference at once so we can help save lives. 

• Trauma counseling – Few Israelis are not suffering trauma to one degree or another, some very severe. Counseling is needed for soldiers, families of victims and hostages, and people who witnessed and survived October 7, as well as other traumas. We are ready to be ready for them. 

• Widows and orphans – There are more than 100 widows as a result of the war and hundreds of orphans. More than most, their needs are not just long term but for life. We have done and will continue to do what's needed to bring them comfort. And, sadly, the reality is that there will be more who we need to help as well. 

As we assess additional areas we can make the biggest impact, we will pivot and invest there. But to do so, we need your help today. The nature of an EMERGENCY Campaign is that we need to be ready to do what's needed, as soon as it is needed. Please join us today.

Jonathan Feldstein is the president of Genesis 123 Foundation. The Genesis 123 Foundation is dedicated to building bridges between Jews and Christians and Christians with Israel in ways that are new, unique, and meaningful. Inspiration from Zion is one of the ways in which we achieve that, along with Run for Zion, and a program to connect children with Israel in an age appropriate and biblical way through Verses for Zion. You can also subscribe to our new podcast at the Charisma Podcast Network, or on Apple, Spotify, etc. Please be in touch at Genesis123.co to join us in these and other ways to build meaningful relationships, together, or at Gen123Fdn@gmail.com.


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