Israeli humor during Gaza war

By Gideon

Jewish people turn to humor for comfort in difficult times. In light of the non-stop rocket attacks from Gaza on Israeli cities and the difficult times that the citizens of Israel are going through these days , I listed below Israeli humor associated with the conflict.

The anti-missile Iron Dome defense system is programmed to shoot down rockets if their calculated trajectory is impacting populated areas or strategic infrastructures. However, if the calculated trajectory shows that a rocket is impacting an unoccupied open area, the rocket is allowed to continue and hit the ground.

Tel Aviv is a dense city with hardly any open spaces and with parking problems similar to other major metropolitan areas such as NYC,  London, Paris, etc. Hamas launched many rockets at Tel Aviv, most of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome, however, some were allowed to explode in open fields. Finding humor in difficult situation inspired the following statement:

“Hamas succeeded in what we failed- to find open fields in Tel Aviv”

When a rocket is launched at Tel Aviv, an automatic warning system alerts the residents to seek shelter. People have a minute and a half to get to a nearby shelter. A shelter could be any kind of cover available in the immediate vicinity; an internal staircase in an apartment building, a designated concrete shelter, a roadside ditch, or just stopping the car in the middle of the road and lying down next to it. Then, waiting and praying that the rocket will be intercepted and no shrapnel from the disintegrated rocket will strike people. A minute and a half is the time it takes a rocket launched from Gaza to reach Tel Aviv. Mortar shells launched at Israeli town near Gaza arrive much faster. In these towns people have only 15 seconds to find shelters. The Iron Dome is not effective against short range mortar attacks. This unbearable situation inspired many jokes, most of them do not translate well from Hebrew to English. Below is one that does:

“Thank you Hamas for proving to all the men in Israel that women can get ready and leave the house in 1.5 minutes.”

During the war, one rocket exploded next to Israel’s only international airport, although it didn’t risk any civilian airplane, or any passenger, the FAA (the US Federal Aviation Agency) instruction commercial American airlines to stop flying to Israel. The same policy was adopted by most of the world’s airlines. As a result, there were cases where airplanes already in Israeli airspace turned around with their passengers and unloaded them in Europe. For several days many travelers were stranded in Israel and abroad, unable to reach their destinations. Although the situation hasn’t changed, the FAA lifted the restriction few days later and flights to Israel were resumed to their regular schedule. Following this strange chain of decisions, the FAA was criticized in Israel where its actions were viewed not as a safety but as politically driven; as an attempt by the US administration to force Israel to agree to a cease fire while giving in to Hamas’ demands. In retaliation, the Israeli air force bombed Hamas’ rocket launch sites in Gaza. It inspired the following joke in Israel:

“IDF’s spokesman said that despite the cancellation of flights to Israel, the Air Force announced that outgoing flights from Israel to Gaza will continue.”

Among many other things that Hamas promised martyrs in order to motivate them to attack Israel is a promise that when they die (almost a certain outcome in a confrontation with IDF forces) they will go to heaven where they will be welcomed by 70 virgins who will fulfill their pleasures. In Israel it inspired the following statement:

“To all the virgins in heaven, we wanted to warn you that you are going to have a very busy month.”

Sudan, an enemy of the State of Israel, which analysts say is used as an arms smuggling route to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip via neighboring Egypt, has blamed Israel for aerial strikes against such shipments in the past, but Israel has always either refused to comment or said it neither admitted nor denied involvement. There are many illegal immigrants who fled Sudan and are now live in Tel Aviv as refugees. When the rockets began falling on Tel Aviv it inspired the following joke:

“News Report: Sudan’s prime minister warns Hamas that he will respond harshly if rockets will continue to fall on Tel Aviv.”


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