Log in Subscribe

Extraction: How we ended our two-week mini-mission

Dr. Phillip Jacobs
Posted 4/19/24

Dr. Phillip and Marjorie Jacobs ended their two-week Israel mini-mission Saturday night when they got the last plane out, while the country was under fire,   five minutes before the airport was …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Extraction: How we ended our two-week mini-mission


Dr. Phillip and Marjorie Jacobs ended their two-week Israel mini-mission Saturday night when they got the last plane out, while the country was under fire,  five minutes before the airport was closed/evacuated.

Dr. Jacobs has written a three-part story recounting their experiences which will appear today, April 23 and April 26:

TEL AVIV – Sunday morning 12:11 am, April 14 found me and my wife, Marjorie, both of us dual Israel/US citizens, sitting on the tarmac on flight LY 027 TLV – EWR.

One could hear a pin drop on the plane. The flight attendants and pilot were cool as cucumbers – icy, efficient professionalism, with not a hint of anything extraordinary happening.

But something extraordinary was happening!  For the first time in history, the Jewish state was under direct missile attack by the Ayatollahs in Iran. Nobody knew how this historic attack was going to end.  We did know that we had seven hours until the drones hit and 10 or 12 minutes until the ICBMs and other missiles began falling.

Everyone on the plane had one and only one thing in mind: get this bird in the air before they closed and evacuated the airport!  We knew that the Ministry of Defense announced the airport shutdown effective 12:30 am - minutes away!

The minutes ticked by, 12:21,  12:26, at exactly 12:28 we felt the roar of the engines blasting us skyward, westbound to America.

Only a few hours before we were with our friends in Ramat HaSharon, a Tel Aviv suburb, strolling at a holiday/Shabbat street fair, providing music, food and crafts activities for kids. Everybody there was intently focused on being totally present, absorbing every second, as if that would stave off the fear rattling around in their brains, dread of what everybody knew was coming. 

Fourteen days earlier we arrived in Israel on a mission of solidarity to stand with our friends at this time and volunteer in every way possible.

The week before we showed up at a warehouse in Tel Aviv where citizen volunteers had tens of thousands of packages that needed to be delivered to Jewish refugees fleeing Hezbollah in the North and Gaza War in the South. Our mission: lend support.  

We let them know where we were going, and they loaded up our car with  packages awaiting delivery since sorry, during this crisis, UPS and FedEx and the post office aren’t delivering packages with regularity. We were joining the citizens’ army. We felt privileged to be able to help out.

A few days before we attended the street fair, we met our friend - let’s call him “Ari” - in charge of security for a large swath of the “Gaza Envelope,” including Zikim Beach, exactly where Hamas terrorists waded ashore on October 7th, intent on murdering every Jew, indeed every person, they encountered.

As we walked with him along the beach by piles of rubble, he stopped at a white-washed bomb shelter, pockmarked with bullets. He explained to us how Hamas Terrorists who had SEAL training 

got to the shore in the predawn hours and swarmed the beach. Teenagers were on the beach following a beach party the night before. Panicked, they ran into the shelter pictured below, to no avail.  Fifteen of them were brutally murdered inside this shelter by the barbaric terrorists. 

Relating these events, “Ari”  turned to us and reflected sadly: “If only I had 10 minutes more, I could have saved them and hundreds more like them.”


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here