What’s on your radio?

I assume that Israeli radio is very similar to broadcasts in other countries. Songs, traffic, discussions about the topics of the day…

I’m pretty sure our radio differs in the amount of news it conveys. Even the mostly music channels have news updates every half hour.

I’m sure there is one thing people never hear in other countries: instructions on what to do if you find yourself outside, driving during a missile bombardment.

Yes, Israel does have the Iron Dome missile defense system. It works very well (aprox 90% success rate) however some missiles do get through. The Iron Dome works by sending another missile to hit and blow up the one aimed at Israeli civilians. This means that even when the system works, the pieces of the exploded missile are in the sky and they have to land someplace. Boiling hot chunks of metal cause damage when they land – they can damage buildings, maim and even kill.

On the radio, the same calm, cheerful voice that announces the “Top of the Pops” and hosts silly contests to give away movie tickets and other small prizes, talks about the traffic. Then the voice smoothly moves in to the explanation:

“and if you hear the air raid siren while you are driving, please stop your car on the side of the road. Stay calm and get out of the car. If you see a building near-by that you can reach in a few seconds, try to get to the building and take cover inside. If you can’t get to a building try to find a wall. If there is no wall, just move away from your car and lie down on the ground with your face down and your hands covering your head. Remember to move away from traffic because someone else might not have heard the siren and they could keep on driving and accidently hit you. Please be careful. Remember to wait 10 minutes before you get up and move on. It is important to wait the full 10 minutes.”

Israelis caught too far from the bomb shelter
Caught on the highway during an air raid siren warning of in-coming missiles, Israeli drivers get out, duck and hope missiles or shrapnel won’t land anywhere close to them

Then the voice moves on, to announce the next song or the next topic to be discussed.

These calm instructions have helped protect countless Israelis. Instructions on how to take cover and what to do when there is no cover have saved lives and prevented injuries. Having these repeated over and over again on the radio is a public service of supreme importance.

(We know what happened to people who didn’t follow the safety instructions…)

It is very good to have these safety instructions on the radio. The fact that they are repeated calmly numerous times helps people remember what to do when they are scared and stressed because their lives are in danger.

The fact that we need these at all is completely insane.
The fact that people think it is ok for Israelis to live like this is insane.
It is not ok.

The threat of these missiles is not “laughable” as many (left-wing) media commentators have claimed.

The fact that Israelis protect themselves does not mean there is no threat to us.

The fact that many Israelis have managed to escape with their lives intact (although their homes were ruined or they were wounded) does not mean that we are living in safety and that it is ok to continue this way.

Why is this so hard for people around the world to understand?

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