New Olim Welcomed with Missiles (3-Minute Inspirational Video)

New Olim Welcomed with Missiles (3-Minute Inspirational Video)

I loved this news report that appeared last night on the Channel 2 Evening News. It brought tears to my eyes to see the idealism and determination of these new immigrants who are choosing to live within Israel’s war zone. I got special nachas seeing Bentsion and Rakefet (at 2:13), 2 American olim who made aliya straight to Beersheva 3 months ago.


Report by Ido Solomon

Newscaster: In this country it’s never really quiet, but I don’t think these new immigrants thought that days like these were awaiting them.

Lecturer at Ashdod’s Absorption Center: So we left the northern part of the Gaza Strip, Gush Katif. And since then they have not stopped shooting rockets at us.

Narrator: In the Jewish Agency absorption center in Ashdod, new olim take advantage of the breaks between sirens to hear a lecture about the history of the conflict with Hamas.

Lecturer: Israel’s intention was that if we left there, there would be quiet. “Gaza is yours now, we don’t need Gaza.”

Narrator: But much of their time they spend here, in one of the small bomb shelters of the absorption center.

Merav Alia (Made aliya from France, lives in Ashdod) Every time there is a siren we go down to the bomb shelter and…OK. It’s a bit stressful for us.

Narrator: Merav isn’t taking off her bullet-proof vest, but like many of her friends here, she is not willing to leave, even though officials at the Jewish Agency are allowing the olim to transfer to absorption centers outside of the firing range from Gaza.

Merav Alia: We’re not going to leave here every time the people of Gaza, or in other words the Hamas, want to fire missiles! That’s not life.

Narrator: And she’s not the only one. 100 of the absorption center’s 250 residents have preferred to remain in Ashdod.

Aeera Shamas (made aliya 2 months ago from Uruguay) I have cousins who want me to come to Jerusalem, where they live, but I say “No.” We are staying here.

Esther (made aliya 4 months ago from Brazil) I knew that Hamas is shooting rockets at the South of Israel all the time. But I love it here.

Narrator: The families of the olim, however, many of whom have remained abroad, are much less calm.

Michael (Made aliya from Russia 3 months ago) They are very worried. They call all day long. Not once a day, twice, or even three times a day. Because they read all the news that they write on the internet. And they are very worried about me.

Narrator: They want you to come back to Russia?

Michael: They want, but I don’t want.

Merav Alia: When my mother calls me 200 or 300 times a day…I tell her, “I want you to watch me this evening on the Channel 2 news, and you’ll see that I’m OK and that I’m smiling and that I’m safe.”

Narrator: Bentsion and Rakefet made aliya from the United States 3 months ago directly to Beersheva.

Rakefet: When we met and got married, we always spoke about living in Israel.

Narrator: Of course they didn’t take into account that they would be landing straight into a war. But despite this, they are not sorry about their decision.

Rakefet: It’s a little scary, but this is the Jewish state. We need to be here, to give support and to do what we can to help.

Bentsion: This year in the US there was Hurricane Sandy, last year there was Hurricane Irene, and 2 years ago there was Katrina. So, in every country there is something.

Narrator: Did it occur to you to go back to the US?

Rakefet and Bentsion: No! We aren’t going back to the US, definitely not.

Narrator: Approximately 20,000 olim came to Israel over the past year. For many of them this is their first war. We can only hope that this will be their last.

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