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Monday, November 14, 2011

Protection Against Airborne Torpedoes* aka Qassams?

My father was in the United States Navy during World War Two.  He was very lucky, having been transferred off of the USS Indianapolis a very short time before it was torpedoed.  There were very few survivors, especially because  the Navy didn't have contact with the ship and didn't know about the attack. 

Writing about the frequent Arab terrorist qassam attacks on Israel has all sorts of linguistic difficulties.  I never quite know what to call the weapons.  I absolutely hate the Israeli media favorite "rackettot," little rockets, which sounds just too cute and harmless

Onomatopoeia is a very effective linguistic tool. By giving a dangerous, potentially fatal weapon a cute, fun-sounding, child-like name, one is decreasing associative fear and terror.  When I hear the word "rocket," I think "rocket to the moon," a great, thrilling adventure and challenge.

The Israeli Government, more exactly successive Israeli Governments have been wasting time and money trying to invent protective devices, like the Iron Dome, instead of sending the IDF against to terrorists to destroy them and their missiles/weapons. 

Some of the "protective gear" have been rather low-tech, like the sewer pipes placed in southern neighborhoods housing Disengagement Gush Katif "DP's."

And some of the newer ideas remind me more of coffins or old now banned refrigerators in which people especially children got locked into.

This coming February the Home Front Command will stage a test in the Negev a variety of technologies for protecting civilians under rocket attack.

Lt. Col. Tzachi Zarko, Head of the Engineering Branch of the Home Front Command told IMRA that besides testing equipment designed by the Home Front Command itself – including a 'protected bed' that looks like a regular bed though can be transformed into a 'protected hut' during emergencies and a special closet that can be used as a safe room, the Home Front Command will make available whole “test rooms” that companies can outfit with protection equipment and technologies.

The metal closet as designed by the Home Front Command would cost around 10,000 NIS and is prohibitively heavy. The bed, as now designed, would also cost around NIS 10,000,
Let's just send in the heavy artillery to destroy the Arab terrorists!

*Doesn't "airborne torpedo" sound much more dangerous than raining or falling rockets?


Hadassa said...

What's wrong with "missile"? It's shorter that "airbone torpedo". Dov Weissglass called them "me'ofefim", "flying things". To me that was the ultimate euphemism.

Batya said...

Yes, missile is also a good word, since they're always weapons.

Keli Ata said...

They've actually called them little rockets in the media there? Liittle rockets reminds me of the Fourth of July flares kids send into the sky.

Kassam missile sounds better.

Batya said...

That's for sure, Keli.