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Terror tractors and the intimacy of home

Written by Nico Black

Digital Strategist and early-stage investor, Nico is also an AdTech enthusiast. He has over a decade of digital marketing experience and has been investing in tech companies since 2006.

June 30, 2008

People find Israel claustrophobic after a while. Lots of friends have cited it being as being too Jewish, nationalistic, un-pluralistic, lacking decent Sushi, hot, small, intense and more… The main point is that Israel is a tiny country (same size as new Jersey or Wales) with a small tightly knit community. In fact, so tightly knit that a few days ago, strolling alongside the beautiful waterfront of old Jaffa’s port I met no more than 4 close friends who did know each other and come from different walks of life:
  • an American of Polish decent, not Jewish, who married an Israeli years ago and is a successful light specialist for architecture.
  • a buddy from university walking with his partner back home after strolling through the centuries old alleys of Jaffa
  • a Brazilian Diplomat showing his Catalan friend, leaving on Sunday, the local scenery,
  • and a friend from Los Angeles, surfing
In Israel, just walking down the street makes you feel at home with a familiar face at every corner. Which is why today when I stopped to buy some pizza in between meetings I did not mind when the teller asked me to hold while she made a few phone calls. All things can wait in Israel when there is a terror attack.

A few days ago someone decided to “contribute” to the Palestinian cause by driving a tractor into a bus and decapitating a mother in her car, barely missing her baby on the seat next to her. The tractor driver was eventually shot and stopped, ending his rampage through the streets of Jerusalem. The entire affair was captured in real time by a local BBC correspondent, including the drivers, justified, execution. Video embedded below:

What is so incredible is the fast pace of news in this country. There are immediate SMS alerts of an attack, breaking news via the radio (we broadcast news once every hour on all stations), mobile phone networks collapsing due to a call overload of worried relatives and an instant satellite link relay that brings the horrors of terrorism home to the BBC’s studios in White City, West London.

An Israeli Company, RRSAT, explains how they provide this technology which communicates live news instantly:

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