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April 11, 2003 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-04-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

OTHER VIEWS

Voices From The Bombshelter

Tel

have to say that there is a cer- -
tain relaxing aspect to being in
Israel right now While everyone
back in the United State is in a
tizzy trying to figure out how to deal
With the war and possible terrorist
attacks, life here is amazingly calm.
For instance, I don't have to worry
about where my bomb shelter is. The
one at home is 30 yards from my
door. At the research institute near Tel
Aviv where I am working, there are a
number all over the place. And at my
Hebrew language school, it is just
three flights down and out the door.
Now if I were back in the U.S., I'd
have no clue. So there is a certain
sense of safety to living in Israel where
new buildings are required by law to
have a shelter.
A quick description of the shelter. It
is made up of two sections. Between
the outside and the outer section is an
airtight door.
Between the outer and inner sec-
tions is another airtight door. In this
outer room, there are showers. I don't
know about you, but the thought of
sending a bunch of Jews into an air-
tight room with showers to save their
life makes me queazy.
Actually, the showers are in case one
is caught outside during a chemical
attack. You can go into the shelter and
wash off. Not that there are any
clothes to put on after you shower.

LADIES

Daniel Wolf Savin is an atomic physi-
cist working on a yearlong research fel-
lowship in Israel. His e-mail address is
savin@post.harvard.edu

4i■

how to adjust.
But that shouldn't be a prob-
In frustration, I took the
lem. After all, there are no
mask back to where they were
drains for these showers.
being passed out and showed
The other nice thing where I
the folks there how difficult
work is that they have provid-
they are to use. -
ed the foreign workers with
I pointed out that it took a
both gas masks and a syringe -
total of 30 minutes to adjust
of atropine/TA, which pro-
DANIEL
the mask properly and that
vides a preliminary way to
WOLF
SAWN when the sirens go off we will
treat nerve agents. And if I
Special
have only three minutes to get
don't use either, I can keep
Commentary
to the shelter and get the
them as a souvenir and maybe
masks on. This clearly would
I'll end up using them when I
be a problem.
move back to the United
One person there said that every-
States.
one should try their masks on
We were also shown two instruc-
beforehand. But I mentioned that
tional videos. The first about how to
the box said "Do Not Open" (which
use the gas mask was in Hebrew and
I had obviously ignored) and that
subtitled in English and Russian. The
most people would probably wait _
second video was how to use the
until hearing the sirens before open-
syringe and was subtitled only in
ing the box.
Russian. It must - be that English
Someone else said that he had been
speakers, since so many of us are drug
in the army and, from his experience,
addicts, will just know instinctively
when your adrenaline gets going you
how to use a syringe.
can do anything quick. Boy, that was
reassuring.
Tribulations Apl enty
The bottom line is that I was asked
if I wild write up a detailed descrip-
I took the gas mask-back to my office
tion/of how to adjust the mask that
and, when I opened the box, the first
would be e-mailed to all the foreign •
thing I noticed was that the gas mask
workers. So there I was, an American
was German. More bad historical
who had only held a gas mask in his
memories.
hands for less than an hour and I was
Then I tried to put it on. This
suddenly the resident expert.
proved to be quite an ordeal. First, the
This was all too surreal. But I did as
five buckles had these short tabs that
asked, the e-mail went out to all, and I
had to be removed before you can
am now the Gas Mask Maven at the
adjust the strap to your head. That
institute where I work.
took 15 minutes.
So if you folks back in the United
Then when I tried to adjust the
States have any questions about your
straps, they still wouldn't move and
gas masks, just drop me a line.
took another 15 minutes to figure out



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Governments felt emboldened to
crack down on militant Islam;
Pakistani authorities, for instance,
closed hundreds of offices and arrest-
ed over 2,000 people.
I expect that Muslim anger will
likewise diminish after an allied victo-
ry in Iraq, and for reasons similar to
those in 2001:
• Iraqi gratitude: In northern Iraq, a
young girl yells in English "I love
you," to U.S. troops; in the south,
Najaf's mood is described as "like a
carnival." Watching the gratitude of
liberated Iraqis will undercut the
Muslim sense of outrage that this war
harmed the Iraqi population.

• Casualties: The relatively small
number of civilian casualties, plus the
excellent care they are getting from
the allies, will diminish the rage about
Iraqis paying too high a price for their
freedom.
• Islam: Respecting Iraqi ways,
especially their religion, will reduce
apprehensions about the war being a
crusade.
• Oil: A poll in Jordan finds 83 per-
cent of respondents believing
Washington is fighting for control
over Iraqi oil; but when a new Iraqi
government takes charge of its oil
resources, this canard will die.
• Imperialism: The alacrity with
which the allies remove themselves
from controlling Iraq will assuage

fears of it becoming part of a U.S.
empire.
• Strong horse: As bin Laden him-
self put it, "When people see a strong
horse and a weak horse, by nature
they will like the strong horse." An
allied victory will establish who the
strong horse is, diminishing the ardor
of its enemies to fight.
Just as the intense emotions of
October 2001 are now forgotten, so
will those of this moment probably be
fleeting. A U.S. victory in Iraq, this
means, will protect more than it
harms.
Today's furies can be ignored. Now
is a time not for fretting over future
bin Ladens but for finishing the job
against Saddam Hussein. ❑

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