This article originally appeared two years ago on Step Up For Israel’s blog. Apparently, not much has changed since then. 

Israel’s bestselling app on iTunes is one that warns you that there is a missile coming your way. Number four on the list is a game you to make pretend you are the Iron Dome defense system that will shoot down one out of every three missiles launched at you. Number seven allows to locate the closest bomb shelter, for your convenience.

Behold the screenshot:

shalom shore, essential israel missile apps

In a different country these apps might translate into finding out the latest stock quotes, hurling virtual birds at virtual pigs, and locating the nearest available parking space.

Not in Israel. Here you need apps to save your life. Calling these apps “Bestsellers” is as ironic as calling a bread line “The #1 choice of thousands”.

I live in Israel and still have trouble internalizing what it means to have a missile land in your neighborhood. Let me try to help. play 4 seconds of this video:

Don’t worry though, if you hear a missile coming, just crouch down real low, and try to fit your entire body into the nearest sidewalk crack.

Right now, if you try listening to the radio anywhere in the country you cannot hear more than several seconds of the broadcast before the program is interrupted by a siren and a name of a city where the next rocket is headed. And the list is very, very long.

Take a moment to absorb this absurdity. How long would another country tolerate such a situation? Remember that missiles have been landing in Israel continuously for years, with little response from the Israeli military.

I see a silver lining in this mess of a situation. The resilience of Israelis is incredible. Other cultures would probably not have the resourcefulness to produce apps such as these in the first place, preferring  to curl over in a fetal position and suck their thumb.  Other countries might spend months recovering; in Israel, life will be back to normal within days of the conclusion of this round of struggle.

Israelis can handle anything thrown at them, due to their unyielding belief in in their national purpose and mission. That does not mean that they do not need help. Spread awareness; convey your support, pray. Respond with a vengeance to the anti-Israel bias in the media and academia.

And in two weeks’ time, why don’t you stop by for a cup of coffee?