A Jacksonville Republican House member is in Israel this week, where he has a front-row seat for security realities in that Mideast democracy.
Rep. Jason Fischer, in the country for the week with other state legislators from around the country with the American Legislative Exchange Council, woke up in Tel Aviv to “alarms … sirens” and urgings to find a bomb shelter.
Incoming rockets were being intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, with attacks being the most perilous in years, according to the Times of Israel.
Hamas contends that it has enough ammo for six months of these attacks, almost guaranteeing a continued robust Israeli response.
The second-term legislator and his ALEC colleagues had previously visited an area called Sderot, which is where many of the rockets today are being fired at, offering another unique perspective.
Fischer, contacted via Whatsapp while preparing to leave for Jerusalem, noted that the group was “supposed to be in Jerusalem for another day,” but security concerns prompted the move inland.
Fischer and his group also saw Sderot, a town close to the West Bank, and ritually shelled by terror attacks. Knesset members met with the ALEC delegation.
Despite the parlous political scene in the country, with Israelis trying and failing for most of the year to elect a Prime Minister who can build a coalition, Fischer noted that his group got “good briefings” despite a “tense” Knesset.
However, the Representative added that attacks had ramped up in recent days, and to him, the narrative is straightforward.
“Terrorists in Gaza … terrorizing kibbutzes,” Fischer said, adding that Israel targets military targets while the nation’s enemies aim at “civilians … women and children.”
“It’s inhumane,” Fischer added.
2019 has seen several Florida delegations to Israel.
During the Enterprise Florida trade delegation in the spring, Department of Emergency Management head Jared Moskowitz spoke to us about Israeli security challenges … and potential avenues for collaboration.
“Here in Israel, where the state is almost in a constant state of emergency, evacuations and housing and logistics … best practices and lessons learned can be shared,” Moskowitz said.
The IDF homefront command took Moskowitz to the Gaza border, where houses all but abut the wall.
“The attacks they face and the responses to those attacks … in some cases, they only have seconds to get to shelters,” Moskowitz said.