Sherwin Pomerantz

Israel’s 101st Day of War

Yesterday, on the 100th day of the war, with 136 hostages still held in a hell we cannot begin to imagine, there were ceremonies around Israel to remember the children, women and men, to read out their names, one by one, and to support their families, who are living a reality none of us can even imagine.  All around this nation, a battered people are slowly realizing that we’re unlikely to fully meet either of the goals we set for this war — destroying Hamas and getting all the captives back alive. So, we took a collective day to pause, to remember, to embrace and to pray.

Today, Monday, the IDF continued to focus on the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip as Israel’s war against the terrorist group entered its 101st day.  Israeli aircraft killed two terrorists loading weapons onto a truck, also destroying the vehicle and the weapons. Troops also entered a Hamas command center and seized AK-47 rifles, handguns, grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and diving gear belonging to Hamas’s naval forces.

 Two weapons storage facilities and Hamas operational infrastructure were struck in a combined ground and aerial attack, according to the IDF. Soldiers also located weapons, explosive devices and ammunition inside a cabinet in a child’s room at the residence of a Hamas terrorist.  In the northern Gaza Strip, Israeli forces killed five terrorists who were attempting to locate weapons in an area where troops were active.

“We do not intend to back down from Khan Yunis or any other place. The military operation takes time. It requires us to be precise, and we tailor it to the threats and the captives in the area. There are no shortcuts here; it takes time and, above all, resilience,” IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in a press briefing on Sunday evening.

 An Israeli woman in her 70s was killed and at least 17 other people were wounded on Monday in a combined car-ramming and stabbing attack in Ra’anana.  Israeli forces arrested two suspects following a manhunt. Police said the terrorists were residents of Bani Naim near Hebron in Judea. It was unclear how they reached Ra’anana and whether they had permits to work in Israel. According to police, one of the terrorists changed vehicles three times during the course of the attack, with two incidents reported at 1:34 p.m. and 1:44 p.m. according to the Magen David Adom emergency response organization.  The attacks took place near the end of the school day, and Ra’anana Mayor Chaim Broyde requested that residents and schoolchildren stay inside during the hour-long search for the suspects.

Hamas on Sunday night published videos of Gaza hostages Noa Argamani, 26, Yossi Sharabi, 53, and Itai Svirsky, 38, showing the first signs of life of all three hostages.  The video shows them introducing themselves and asking the Israeli government to return them home.  Hamas said the fate of the three would be revealed on Monday.

The saga continues without letup but with the hope that we will see positive resolution sooner rather than later.

Seeking Future Leadership

Oded Rose, the CEO of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Tel Aviv, is another seasoned professional who has national leadership potential.

Prior to joining the AMCHAM in 2016, Oded served as CEO of Flow Industries for eight years. Previously he served as VP Marketing and Sales of Atlantium Ltd., a leader in industrial and municipal water disinfection equipment market and before that as Managing Director of Aurum, a venture capital fund focused on the life sciences. In his professional life he has served on the boards of directors of over twenty companies including medical equipment and biotech as well as telecom and software start-up companies.

A former consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton (today Booz & Co.) at their New York office, he holds an MS in Medical Research from Tel Aviv University’s School of Medicine, an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as well as an MA in International Studies from the same university.

He is perhaps most proud of his service as CEO of the Eastern Mediterranean International School Foundation, a not-for-profit whose mission is to make education a force for peace and sustainability in the Middle East. Its main activity was to found the EMIS international boarding school in Israel bringing together high school students from around the globe for a two-year International Baccalaureate (IB) program (11th-12th grades). 20% of the students are Israeli, 20% are non-Israeli Arab and Muslim students and 60% hail from over 40 countries.

Israel is blessed with many capable professionals who, after the war, will need to consider giving of their time and expertise to the challenges that will face us as we craft a new model of democracy and economic growth for the Middle East.  Hopefully they will accept that challenge.

About the Author
Sherwin Pomerantz is a native New Yorker, who lived and worked in Chicago for 20 years before coming to Israel in 1984. An industrial engineer with advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and business, he is President of Atid EDI Ltd., a 32 year old Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm which, among other things, represents the regional trade and investment interests of a number of US states, regional entities and Invest Hong Kong. A past national president of the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel, he is also Former Chairperson of the Board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and a Board Member of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. His articles have appeared in various publications in Israel and the US.