A Lost Novel Describes Arriving at the “Palestinian Ellis Island” in Pre-State Israel

Before setting off from New York City to the Land of Israel in 1926, the Yiddish novelist and essayist Miriam Karpilove dashed off a letter to the secretary of the I.L. Peretz Writers’ Union. Therein, she complained of the many things she had to do in preparation for leaving golus [diasporic exile], adding “I am my own   [lady messiah] and, as you know, I have no white horse and, as you also know, the subway is on strike to boot.” Her visit to Mandate Palestine would last for two years, and form the basis of an unfinished novel, parts of which will soon be published. Jessica Kirzane excerpts her translation of the opening chapter, which depicts the characters’ arrival at the “Palestinian Ellis Island.”

We had to show a group of British government officers all of our documents so they could see that our coming here to Eretz Yisrael was kosher and we’d followed all the legal requirements they set out for us. These government officials sat at a long table in the middle of a large room. We had to stand. Stand and wait in line until someone looked over our papers and gave them to another official, who gave them to a third official, and so forth.

More than anything, they noticed the stamp on our papers with the word “settler.” They were surprised that American citizens with money had come to settle in Palestine: is it so bad in America, or so good in Eretz Yisrael, that the Jews would want to settle here? Especially during the present crisis? One of the officials asked my brother why he wanted to settle in Palestine, isn’t it good to be an American citizen?

“Oh, very good!” Jacob said. “But I think Palestine has more for us.”

“Remarkable, . . . ” he shrugged his shoulders and asked me what compelled me to settle in Palestine. I looked him straight in his squinty eyes and replied, “historical connections, you know . . .”.

Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Mandate Palestine, Yiddish literature

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security