Industry veteran Harvey Mackler arrived in Tel Aviv on Thursday ahead of a scheduled dedication of an 1,100-year-old bible.

But he hasn’t left his floor at the Tel Aviv Hilton since early Saturday morning, when the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, in which more than 700 people were killed, CNN reported.

“We can hear the Iron Dome missiles intercepting the Palestinian missiles,” says Mackler, MAS, former owner of promotional products supplier GEMPIRE, which was acquired by Massachusetts-based supplier Pin Machine in July. “For the last two nights, we’ve experienced air raid sirens. We evacuate to the stairwell and wait for the ‘all clear.’ My Israeli friends who aren’t in the reserves won’t drive under the current conditions. The beach has been empty, as has the vehicular traffic.”

Hamas fighters are holding more than 100 Israeli hostages in Gaza, a spokesperson for the militant group said on Sunday, CNN reported. Mackler’s flight home is scheduled for Thursday, and Israel’s national airline El Al is still operating as of Monday morning.

“One of the objectives of terrorism is to influence one’s life,” Mackler says. “As the national airline of Israel, [El Al] has to keep flying.”

In spite of this weekend's Hamas attacks, Harvey Mackler, MAS, on Monday attended the dedication of a historic bible at Tel Aviv's ANU Museum of the Jewish People. The 1,100-year-old text is the world's oldest known nearly complete copy of the Hebrew Bible. Mackler says: "Our Bible tells a story, but what an extra story this one has!"

Asked what industry friends and colleagues could do to offer support on a humanitarian basis, Mackler asked for donations and prayers, but also to remind legislators of the atrocities committed by Hamas.

Hostile Situation

Anne Kleinman and Chaim Jaroslawicz of the nearly 40-year-old distributor Ad Infinitum moved to Israel a couple years ago. Their company continues to bill from New York.

Located about 20 minutes outside Jerusalem in a town surrounded mostly by Arab villages, they heard two sirens and saw the interceptions of a few missiles on the first morning of the war. Anne says they fear that the residents of the surrounding villages will get restless and try coming into all the surrounding Jewish areas to perpetrate their own terrorist incidents. 

“We want people to see the images and videos of the brutal treatment of civilians – none of whom were off-limits to kidnapping by these animals,” Kleinman says. “Everyone around the world needs to understand that this isn’t a war of armies, it’s the war of terrorists for whom no one and nothing is off limits and the Israeli army, who is trying to minimize civilian casualties on the other side.

“I hope in the coming weeks when this war is continuing people will remember who started this war and the brutality with which they started it, and that there won’t be calls for Israel to sign a cease-fire.”

With an office set up in their safe room, Kleinman and Jaroslawicz will remain working as long as they have power and an internet connection. Although they’re appreciative of colleagues’ concerns, they’re focused on operating as usual. Anne recalls the disruption to their business in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, in which Chaim was injured during the terrorist attacks.

“I would like to ask all our supplier partners to please treat our call as if we were sitting in Florida, Texas or Wyoming,” she says. “Help us process our orders and take care of our clients. We’ll tell you if we need something special or some special help.”

Fallout Of The War

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has ordered a “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip and the cutting off of food, fuel, electricity and water supplies, the BBC reported.

Nine U.S. citizens are confirmed dead as of Monday morning, according to a National Security Council spokesperson.

American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have all suspended flights in and out of Israel, as the U.S. State Department has issued travel advisories for the region, The Associated Press reported.