Missiles over Jerusalem experienced by Rabbi Abraham Cooper

24 hours ago, almost everyone in Cairo, Jerusalem and Ramallah thought they had a deal for a long-time truce in Gaza. Just before midnight on Aug. 20, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, experienced up close and personal what a promise from Hamas means. He, along with his wife and Ehud Yaari – Israel TV’s leading expert on Arab affairs – had just pulled up to an apartment house in Jerusalem where the Coopers are staying. Suddenly the alarm rang out across the city. Rabbi Cooper joined the others in jumping out of the car and hugged a low wall for about four minutes. Just as the sirens went silent a massive boom could be heard, the Iron Dome intercepted a rocket headed towards a neighborhood somewhere in Jerusalem or adjacent Beit Shemesh.

“Nine years Israelis have had to put up with this? No country can survive when an entire section of its population center has its daily routines upended. While they don’t want to do it, it appears only IDF action, not empty words of a terror group, can definitively knockout Hamas’ military/terror capabilities. Then maybe the people of Gaza can rebuild their civilian infrastructure under complete transparency and outside control and Israelis in the south can get back their lives.

This is very personal as my niece is in the Beit Shemesh area with her three day old infant girl and my daughter – just a few blocks from here is in her ninth month – expecting her sixth child.”

– Rabbi Abraham Cooper

Rabbi Abraham Cooper is the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.