Monday, July 10, 2006

"Red Dawn" Rocket Alert System to Change it's Name

The "early warning" incoming Qassam rocket warning system in Southern Israel is supposed to blare out the words "Red Dawn...Red Dawn" (or in Hebrew, Shachar Adom...Shachar Adom) just prior to an incoming missile strike (and sometimes, only just after). Israel previously used an air-raid siren which would wail up and down, yet the IDF decided it was less traumatic to use a loudspeaker PA system with a person's monotonous voice drolling the phrase "Shachar Adom" over and over.

After all - Israel loves codes for everything from military operations, to elite units, to the call up of reservists over the radio. The top secret codes of the 91 Gulf war were "Nachash Tzefa" (Viper Snake) which indicated that Iraqi missiles were on their way over...while "Sharav Kaved" (Heavy Heatwave) was the all clear code.

However...many Israeli school kids are named "Shachar" and get teased every time the Sderot (and Ashkelon...and...) system publicly announces, "Shachar Adom...Shachar Adom...Red Dawn...Red Dawn" (you know how kids are).

The Homefront Command had gotten numerous requests from residents, mainly from Sderot and the surrounding area, that the phrase "Red Dawn" was causing panic, chiefly to children who happen to be named "Dawn" (in Hebrew "Shahar"). A few months ago, a girl named Dawn from a Kibbutz in the area wrote a letter to the army saying that her classmates made fun of her every time the alarm system sounded.

The girl asked the army to consider changing the name of the alert. Soon it became evident that this was a widespread phenomenon, when additional children from Sderot also contacted the army saying their friends mocked them every time the Red Dawn system was activated.

The mother of a boy named Dawn said: "When my son wore red pants or a red shirt, the school kids would all call out "Red Dawn!" he felt harassed and hurt. As if the rockets weren't enough, he has to deal with the insults too."

The Homefront Command was not indifferent to the children's pleas, and chose to find an alternate name. An official in the Homefront Command explained that they decided to keep the word "red" in the name, since it was familiar and recognized by all, but to replace the word "dawn" in consideration of the children's requests and in order to help them as much as possible. YNETnews

I think they should call the new system, "Red Hot Chilli Peppers"...I'm sure the kids will appreciate it too.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Shtender said...

The first time I heard the name I thought it should be immediately changed, just because of the horribly cheesy 80's movie that went by the same name.

Oleh Yahshan said...

They could play song by the RHCP - instead..

Actually - we can use it against the palestinians instead of Sonic Booms - Just play them on REally Big speakers all night - with good enough Base it might also work against the tunnels!!

kasamba said...

Am I the only one to say that the name Dawn is a girls name???

Ari Kinsberg said...

this story is just one more sad aspect of this whole situation. but following in the jewish tradition, i like how you have put a humorous twist on it.

their is a shahar on my floor and i would not dare call him a girl (as least not to his face).

Oleh Yahshan said...

kasamba - Shachar can be for either - although I know a lot of Guy Shacars than Girls.

The Jewish Freak said...

Only in Israel.

kasamba said...

Actually, I sorta skipped the hebrew bit for shachar and focused on the Dawn bit- I am a blonde ya know.

That's what happens when you speed read.

Gee, a Moron! said...

I think we should line up as many deep bass speakers as the army can muster, aim them at Gaza and boom out:
"Sum, sum, summer sale, superpharm -- sum, sum, summer sale - Superpharm" or some other equally idiotic jingle - until they go stark raving mad over there

FrumGirl said...

I think its funny if the army even considers changing it!

bec said...

the most reassuring thing about these kids being teased for their names is that in spite of the rockets and the warnings, kids can manage to still be kids. us adults sure could take a lesson from them.

Fern R said...

"The first time I heard the name I thought it should be immediately changed, just because of the horribly cheesy 80's movie that went by the same name."
When I read this post to my husband, he laughed and wanted to know why Israel used the name of a cheesy movie to warn people about incoming rockets.

yitz said...

For the record, they changed it to Tzeva Adom - Red color. Here's Arutz 7's take on it:

The city of Sderot's Red Dawn early warning system, which features a woman's voice announcing calmly but firmly "Shachar Adom - Red Dawn" throughout the city whenever a Kassam launch is detected, will be changed. Residents of the town with children named Shachar (Dawn) said that they were particularly frightened by the sudden announcement of their name on loudspeakers, and especially as it was followed by the eery whistle of a rocket and the anticipation of its landing in an unknown but close location. The army received the complaint with understanding, and the warning will thus become "Tzeva Adom - Red Color."

Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

That is wonderful! I'm glad they changed it--both for the kids and because the movie is the only thing I can think of when I hear that phrase.

But you know, I teach school. All the kids named Adam are still being teased, even as they repeat patiently, "NO, they're saying ADOM. ADOM!"

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