Sunday, November 27, 2016

Israel Is Burning

Not as dramatic as a photo of raging wildfires but rather the tragic aftermath.
This is what almost 1,000 families all over Israel are facing this week.
Since last Tuesday Israel has been burning, Wildfires all over the country have destroyed almost 1,000 homes. Hundreds of thousands of residents have been evacuated at different times over the past six days - some for several days.

Friends in Zichron Ya'akov lost their home completely. The house, along with ten other homes, has completely gone. Another friend showed similar pictures of his mother's house in Haifa where over 600 homes have been damaged and 400 completely destroyed. At my college today one of the lecturers told us that her daughter's house had been destroyed. Outside Jerusalem some of my students were evacuated. Other friends have posted photos of raging wildfires taken from their windows.

It has got to the stage where everyone in this small country knows someone directly affected.

And they have proof now that much of it it is arson (some of the original fires may not have been but at least 1/3 of the subsequent fires definitely are). A new form of terrorism for when the winds are strong and we have only had one short rain since the summer. As it's the end of November and we are in the Middle East, everything is extremely dry,

Being Israel, everyone is collecting and donating warm clothes and blankets, furniture and other household goods for the homeless families. Lists of phone numbers and locations are circulating where families are offering to take in another family or have empty accommodation to offer, The fire stations are drowning under mountains of home baked goods to keep them going over long shifts,

We have received help in the form of fire-fighting aircraft and crews from Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Turkey, France, Spain, Canada, and Sweden and Italy (and offers from others). The Palestinian Authority have sent fire-fighters to help extinguish the blazes on the ground.

They say rain expected on Wednesday. Meanwhile Israel is still burning,


  1. It's something I would find absolutely terrifying - the only positive thing is the way that people have pulled together and the help offered from other nations xx

    1. One of theings we do best is puling together. But I think most civilized countries pull together in times of crisis. The help from other nations was invaluable and great to know that it' there when we need it - sometimes we're not sure how much support we actually have in the big wide world.