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Monday, October 30, 2006

Wealthy Israelis building bunkers designed to survive nuclear attack

The Times of London reported yesterday that even if the rest of the world is not taking Ahmadinadinnerjacket seriously, wealthy Israelis are. They are building bunkers designed to survive a nuclear attack in their own backyards.
The shelters, which cost at least £60,000 for a bargain-basement version, are built to withstand radioactive fallout, have fortified walls and doors and generate their own electricity and decontaminated air. Defence experts estimate that hundreds of such bunkers, many fitted with all modern conveniences such as bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms, have already been built in private homes across the country and demand is soaring.

Zaki Rakib, a wealthy businessman, built a shelter for himself and his family under his large villa overlooking the Mediterranean in Herzliya, an exclusive garden suburb north of Tel Aviv.

“The shelter looks like a regular flat,” he said. “It is 2,000 square feet, with a living room, two bedrooms, kitchen, self-powered electricity.”

Rakib’s post-nuclear pad, which can accommodate more than 25 people for two weeks, cost about £250,000. “The difference between an atomic shelter and a regular one is in the technical components: the thickness of the walls and a special system to block radioactive fallout,” he said.

Leading the stampede to the nuclear bunker is Shari Arison, the country’s wealthiest woman, estimated to be worth about £2.7 billion. The Israeli media have reported that she has already made preparations for Armageddon by building two sophisticated underground structures. One is at her home in Tel Aviv, the other in the garden of her holiday villa in Bnei Zion village.
And here I am wondering how these people got building permits. Getting a building permit in this country is a nightmare, especially if you're going to do something that makes your house look permanently different than all the houses around you. You need all your neighbors to agree before you can even go before a planning commission (and you can imagine that some neighbors might want a little gift before they approve...).

And as usual, our government is talking out of both ends of its mouth:
Seeking to allay public fears, the government insists that the population has little to fear. “We are aware of all these panicky people building atomic shelters. They’re wasting their money,” said a security source.

“Israel will not allow Iran to build an atomic bomb, and even if it did, the Iranians know very well that we’ll bomb them back to the Stone Age before they’ve launched a single missile.”

However, the government is quietly updating its preparations for a possible nuclear strike. Ephraim Sneh, the deputy defence minister, confirmed that a £300m nuclear shelter is being constructed in the Jerusalem hills for the Israeli war cabinet. “This will be a command and control centre that will be able to run the state of Israel during a war, even after a nuclear strike,” he said.
You can bet that shelter will be large enough to hold every MK in the country. And maybe their families. But no one else. They can start the country all over again with the elites when it's over.
While the well-off are calling in the builders, nearly one third of the country’s population have no protection even against conventional weapons. “If Tel Aviv were attacked today, you can expect thousands of casualties,” predicted one security expert.
For those of you who are wondering, we have a 'sealed room,' as does every apartment built in Israel after the first Gulf War in 1991. Our sealed room is concrete reinforced, has a steel closure on its window, and an extra heavy door against the rest of the apartment. It would probably work well against chemical or biological weapons, but not against nukes. The other problem with it is that it is not the master bedroom (it's one of the kids' bedrooms) so it doesn't have the master bath, and it would be difficult to stay there for any length of time (not to mention that it would be awfully crowded even for the wife and I and the five kids who are living at home right now). Three and a half years ago, when the US invaded Iraq and they warned us to prepare sealed rooms, we prepared the master bedroom rather than the mamad, as the sealed room is called, because we wanted a bathroom available if we were going to be there for any length of time (we weren't there at all). By the way, at the time, the government also told us to take our gas masks out of their cases, which starts them on their way to becoming useless. Since then, the government has not replaced or updated the gas masks. I guess since it's been so peaceful here they figure we won't need them.



At 8:48 PM, Blogger Bob Miller said...

This is the opposite of a sukkah.


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