That Could Have Been My Living Room

Last night a Fajr 5 Iranian war rocket slammed into a relatively new appartment building in Rishon LeZion.

Rishon is basically a suburb of Tel Aviv to the south and on the coast. There’s a fantastic new IMAX and  cinema complex there that I honestly believe to be the best cinema I’ve ever been to in the world. I saw the new Bond movie, Skyfall, there just a couple of weeks ago.

I was also in Rishon LeZion on Monday visiting the Renault service centre to pick something up.

Last night a Fajr 5 penetrated Iron Dome and scored a direct hit on an apartment building that looks to be about the same age as the one I live in. Somewhere between 4 or 8 years old would be my guess. It has 6 stories whereas I live on the 7th floor of 9.

All new buildings in Israel are built with what is called a “Mamad” or safe room. These rooms are located in the centre of the building, usually near the lift shafts. They have four walls all of concrete. No plaster walls, of course and they have a strong, heavy steel door. The window (if the room has one as they often don’t) has a steel shutter that can be pulled to cover it. There are also facilities for sealing the room to protect from poison gas but fortunately, this time round, we’re not taking those precautions.

Apartments are expensive in Israel so most people use these rooms for a home office, maybe a child’s bedroom or any other use. They can be a bit oppresive if they have no windows. Even my safe room, which has a window, is fairly dingy as the window looks out to other parts of our building. You can see a small patch of sky but the view is obstructed. Right now, of course, its permanently sealed with the steel shutter.

This is just another example of why any talk of comparing casualty counts is so obscene. Building these rooms into EVERY NEW HOME is staggeringly expensive. We just do it. Imagine if London, Paris, New York or Damascus , all of which lack any kind of missile defence system like Iron Dome,and none of whose residents have a bomb shelter, had had over 1000 missiles shot at them in a week. If every missile landed there would be scores of wounded and a few dead from each one. We could have seen 2000 dead and 10,000 injured by now. Oh wait, Damascus has been under fire and, what a shock, dead people.

I have an admission to make. When the alarms sounded in Tel Aviv for the very first time, I was at home, alone. My wife and kids were eating pizza nearby, and I didn’t run to our room. I hung around near the door to my balcony which has a view to the south of most of Tel Aviv and Ramat Gan. I thought maybe I’d see something. When the alarm went silent and I still hadn’t seen anything I thought for a second, false alarm. Then my home shook with an impact and I realised how stupid I had been.

And exactly while I’m writing this I see another tweet like the following:

So when the alarm sounds, if you have a safe room, you run for it no matter how remote you think the chances of something hitting you are. Which is why I personally find it hard to understand why anyone would hang around outside to film the following.

About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News

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Facebook Comments

  • cba

    So when the alarm sounds, if you have a safe room, you run for it no matter how remote you think the chances of something hitting you are. Which is why I personally find it hard to understand why anyone would hang around outside to film the following.

    That’s EXACTLY what my reaction is when I see the videos.

  • Victor Mc

    Sorry to say it but when I read articles like this it makes me so angry that I wish that Israel would ‘takes the gloves off’ and stop being to ‘precise’ about their bombing raids.
    Yes, I know all the arguments about us being civilised and them being lower than pigs but somehow it is not working out- I wonder why?

    • ziontruth

      Ditto. All this un-Jewish humanism is and will be the death of us… of too many of us. What part of “No mercy to the cruel” does the Israeli Jewish leadership not understand?

  • juvanya

    This is just another example of why any talk of comparing casualty counts is so obscene. Building these rooms into EVERY NEW HOME is staggeringly expensive. We just do it. Imagine if London, Paris, New York or Damascus , all of which lack any kind of missile defence system like Iron Dome,and none of whose residents have a bomb shelter, had had over 1000 missiles shot at them in a week. If every missile landed there would be scores of wounded and a few dead from each one. We could have seen 2000 dead and 10,000 injured by now. Oh wait, Damascus has been under fire and, what a shock, dead people.

  • juvanya

    tbh, its a young male thing. I would totally try to film a rocket.

    • http://www.israellycool.com/author/brianoflondon/ Brian of London

      Yup. Have kids. Everything changes.

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    If a thousand rockets fell on Paris or London I’m afraid they would do little or nothing at all. Oh they’d run around with a new lapel pin and have heartfelt soundbytes about how someone’s Christmas is disturbed but mostly it would be a long series of interviews of local Muslims and how they’re scared that people won’t like them because as we’ve all been told by the BBC and others, all white people are blood drinking racist mutants. There would be calls to pass new laws against Islamophobia and as a concession the UK and French governments would be open to the creation of Islamic Autonomous Regions where there is no law but Koran.

    The only thing stopping Dead Man Walking Europe from imploding into a Medieval Caliphate is the logistics of how to terrorize enough people in a short enough time to do that. Everyone recognizes that. But, it’s happening anyway, fast or slow. Take your pick.

  • mzk1

    Well, we’re in the North, and we have an old-fashioned shelter in the basement which everyone uses for storage. I’ve already picked out the safest area of the apartment in case it’s not usable; basically we’ll need to take down the mirror, sit with our backs to the air conditioner, and pray.

    And an alarm went off in Dave’s town; must have been a long time since that’s happened.

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