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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Be prepared: US Navy sending ships 'in case' US citizens need to be evacuated

Thanks guys, but I think it's a lot more likely that you'll need to evacuate US citizens from Gaza.

CNN is reporting that the United States has sent three warships to the Eastern Mediterranean 'in case' they need to evacuate US citizens from Israel.
CNN reported on Monday that the US Navy is returning warships to the eastern Mediterranean in the event that US citizens in Israel will need to be evacuated if the Gaza conflict intensifies.
Two US officials said that an evacuation is a remote possibility and that US citizens interested in leaving Israel now can do so via commercial flights.
"This is due diligence. It is better to be prepared should there be a need," CNN quoted a US official as saying.
The USS Iwo Jima, the USS New York and the USS Gunston Hall had been en route from the eastern Mediterranean to the US for the Thanksgiving holiday before they were given the order to turn back around, according to the report.
Maybe it's just me. I look at this and think that it's an overreaction, but yesterday I had a cup of coffee with someone who told me about a yeshiva here (and there are many) in which the foreign students are in lockdown mode (okay, that yeshiva is close enough to Gaza to be in the line of fire).

And then there's this, which I consider way over the top: NYU has shipped all its students out of Tel Aviv University for the rest of the semester
New York University's Tel Aviv program was suspended for the rest of the semester, and its students and faculty were evacuated to London.

The university is considering whether to reopen for the spring semester, according to NYULocal, a student news blog. The northern Tel Aviv campus was evacuated due to the current violence between Israel and Gaza terrorists firing rockets into Israel.

The 11 students may transfer to NYU overseas campuses in  London, Prague or Florence, or return to New York, according to the blog.

The NYU administration said it did not think the students were in any immediate danger.
And for those of you with children here, perhaps this is the time to tell a story that my rabbi told when I was in yeshiva  34 years ago (when there was no war on).

In 1967, when my rabbi was studying in the Ponevich yeshiva, all of the foreign students fled in the lead-up to the war. When they returned after the war, many of the Israelis did not want to speak to them  because they felt their fleeing showed a lack of faith in the Almighty. It took the intervention of Rabbi Elazar Menachem Shach zt"l (the memory of the righteous is a blessing), who argued that not going home would have been a lack of honor to their parents, to allow the foreigners to be accepted back into the yeshiva social life.

If you're a kid studying here and your parents demand that you come home, ask your rabbi, but you may not have much of a choice. If you're a parent with children studying here, ask your rabbi, but puling your kids home now may be showing a lack of faith.

Just my humble opinion.... I live here and have no intention of fleeing.

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