Friday, June 29, 2018

The end of every balloon - by Jerome Marcus

...The event’s name is taken from a popular children’s book published in 1974, written in Hebrew, called A Tale of Five Balloons. It teaches, among other things, about loss. The story ends with the balloon popping, and the child learning that this is what happens to every balloon. Halevai. If only.

Jerome Marcus..
27 June '18..

A peculiarly Israeli approach to national defense was on display recently at a high school in Shaar HaNegev, “Gate of the Desert.” There, as described in an article in the Hebrew-language online daily Globus, 350 Israelis showed up for a Hackathon dubbed “What Happens to Every Balloon.”

The event announcement called for volunteers to try to develop solutions for
the latest “war” effort emanating from the Gaza Strip. Balloons, filled with helium stolen from Gaza hospitals, are equipped with bombs, grenades and other flammable materials, and then sent flying into the air, which the Arabs hope will carry the kites north and east to the Jewish communities nearby, to the fields where many in these communities farm. Focused entirely on civilian targets—and so a clear violation of the law of war—the tactic hasn’t yet caused any Jewish deaths. But it has destroyed many thousands of acres of Israeli farmland and a nature reserve, as well as caused the deaths of many animals.

More volunteers signed up than the site could accommodate, and registration for the event had to be closed. The Israelis who came—kippah-decked and bare-headed, men and women, and mostly young—were divided into groups with three different goals: identifying the threat; destroying the threat; and minimizing the damage. Among these three groups, a total of 20 teams were created. Each had a mentor, chosen from among experts in lasers, radar, optics, photography, fire-fighting and other fields.

(Continue to Full Article)

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