Friday, July 14, 2006
No ice cream in this Israeli town
Nahariyah is empty. The streets would normally be packed with tourists and residents dining in outdoor cafes or eating ice cream while out for a stroll.

But we've seen nary a soul since we arrived here several hours ago. Occasionally, a voice echoes down the deserted streets or man speaks through a loudspeaker telling people to seek the safety of bomb shelters.

After a little searching, we were able to find a spot from which we could broadcast tonight's show.

We're now driving toward an Israeli artillery battery. We didn't have time to get Israeli-issued ID cards, so we are not sure they will let us videotape anything when we get there, but we'll see.

Driving on these mountain roads is an eerie experience. It's pitch dark and the roads are very windy. A Katyusha rocket hit nearby about five minutes ago. It made a loud pop, but we didn't see where it landed. The driver of our SUV stopped on the side of the road, but we decided to just keep going forward.

We have flak vests with us, and I have a digital video camera in my lap, but I must admit the rocket's loud pop was startling. It definitely got our attention.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 4:46 PM ET
  54 Comments
Anderson:

You're doing a great job, great reporting as always, first hand, be safe to you and your crew. Have a safe journey...Peace

PS: You have the best job ever, risky -yes, but hey no risk no reward...still the best job...
Posted By Anonymous Alisha, New York, NY : 4:56 PM ET
If the USA responded with such force every time we had a soldier kidnapped...
Posted By Anonymous Sean, Torrington, CT : 4:58 PM ET
Glad to hear you made it safely. It's got to be incredibly eerie to not see anyone in a town that used to be so full of tourists and life. Please be safe - no story is worth taking your life. Wear the flak vest!
Posted By Anonymous JD, Madison, WI : 5:02 PM ET
Anderson: I'm glad you have a "vest" with you but shouldn't you be wearing it? You're blog entry is scaring the crap out of me...and it's not "smiling" like the Japanese Potty Training illustration you showed the other night....stay safe buddy!
Posted By Anonymous Jolene, St. Joseph, MI : 5:03 PM ET
Anderson
Again I see you grabbed a camera and "hit the road". Please be careful, you never know when one of those rockets will land too close. I look forward to your broadcast tonight. I'm sure it will be great. Good Luck and come home safe.
Posted By Anonymous Sandra, Dublin, Ga. : 5:06 PM ET
Anderson,
for the best Ice Cream in all of Israel, you should head south into the Arad desert, to Kibbutz Yotvata, best milk products ever!
How weird it is for me to be sitting in America when a little less then 2 years ago I was sitting in Israel, after the death of Arafat, with a possibility of peace, and now, Israel has to defend herself once again, not only against terrorist, but constant criticism from the UN and the EU. I hope that you can report more accurately what has been happeneing in Israel. That Israel targets buildings and areas believed to harbor terrorists, unlike terror organizations like Hezbollah, and Hamas, who will even kill other Arabs and muslims. Israel is often potrayed as barbaric, evil, war-mongrols, when this is not the truth.
Posted By Anonymous Lainna Cohen, Indianapolis, Indiana : 5:10 PM ET
What would it be like to live in a constant state of war??? I've heard you say many times that life goes on even during war. How is that possible? We in the US have no idea what it's like. I guess after awhile your body adjusts to the uncertainty. Then do you catch yourself asking what is normalcy?

Look forward to watching you tonight.
Posted By Anonymous Mina, Ashburn VA (outside of DC) : 5:12 PM ET
Thank you for honest, up to date, nonbiased reporting. Please be safe. Gods' speed.
Posted By Anonymous Denise, Birmingham, AL : 5:12 PM ET
Ghost towns are always the worst...at least in horror movies anyway. Basically that's what this has become, a horror movie. The only difference, BIG difference, is that the bombs aren't fake and people are actually dying.

It would be a shame not to get any actual footage of the destruction, but your firsthand account would be plenty even if you guys can't. Just stay safe so as to be able to relay what you see.

Be careful
Posted By Anonymous Ann, Millbury, Ma. : 5:15 PM ET
Since there is "nary a soul" there, please be extra careful. If you or one of the crew gets hurt, you may not be able to get medical care.

I hope you all have some firearms in addition to your protective gear.
Posted By Anonymous Genevieve M, El Paso, TX : 5:15 PM ET
Anderson,

Can you give us another angle on this one? Do all Israelis feel that the initial offense (captured soldiers) is worthy of such a response? Why isn't the national community requiring that Israel show more restraint, at least to avoid attacks on civilians?

Please be safe and thank you for bringing us the real stories!
Posted By Anonymous Rita Greene, Marietta, GA : 5:22 PM ET
I GUESS I AM AN IGNORAMUS: THE ISRAELIS CAN SEND A HELICOPTER TO DECIMATE THE HAMAS LEADERSHIP TIME AFTER TIME AND I T IS NOT TERRORISM... YET KIDNAPPING ISRAELI SOLDIERS IS. THERE HAS GOT TO BE MORE TO THIS THAN APPEARANCES
Posted By Anonymous L D LOSADA,MIAMI, FL : 5:22 PM ET
Dear Anderson,

Be careful. And please cover this war from all the angles and perspectives as you always promise.

Thanks,
Buthayna Taha
Posted By Anonymous BUTHAYNA TAHA, FARMINGTON HILLS, MICHIGAN : 5:25 PM ET
Sounds like an interesting new chapter in the book... we enjoyed you on Letterman... looking forward to seeing in tonight, we'll have to flip between Dave and Anderson Cooper 360.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin, Long Island NY : 5:25 PM ET
Anderson, it is good to hear from you. I was looking for the familiar face last night when john appeared. I appreciate the work you are doing. Hope, you were in Sierra Leone during the trouble times. I will get you there.
Posted By Anonymous Bernard, Atlanta, GA : 5:27 PM ET
Thanks for keeping us posted on your whereabouts, however, many of your fans are very worried for you and your crews safety. Looking forward to your program at 10:00. I am counting on you for objective and balanced reporting. Stay safe and hope you make it into Lebanon tomorrow to provide the Lebanese viewpoint.
Posted By Anonymous Robin, Montreal, Canada : 5:28 PM ET
Be safe Anderson (and your crew).
Posted By Anonymous A. Anderson, Sacramento, CA : 5:30 PM ET
Anderson...your doing a great n awesome job..
Looking forward to your report tonight..Keep safe n sound..

God Bless,

Wayne From Toronto, Canada
Posted By Anonymous Wayne, Toronto, Canada : 5:30 PM ET
This is so intriguing. My heart goes out to you for having the guts to go over there and report. Please be safe!
Posted By Anonymous Heather St. Louis, MO : 5:31 PM ET
Anderson, thanks for having the guts to bring this story. If you have the chance, ask one question for me: Where does this stop? It must be found, and soon. Violence is killing us all, one way or another.
Be safe. I'll be tuned in tonight.
Posted By Anonymous Jim, Houston, TX : 5:32 PM ET
The democratically elected government of Lebanon does not have the power to tow in Hizballah any more than the United Staes government has the power to tow in its spoiled pet Israel. The current Bush administration has no diplomatic skills whatsoever in its limited toolbox to restrain any of the parties involved (if only we could bomb them all to a peaceful resolution!). Thus one can expect this powder keg's explosion to escalate from lack of restraints.
Posted By Anonymous Darby, New Castle, PA : 5:32 PM ET
Anderson,
Looking forward to tonight's show. It's always better to be able to actually see what's going on, since I don't have the means (or nerve) to see myself. I know you're a pro at this by now, but be smart.
Posted By Anonymous Sara L, Minneapolis, MN : 5:35 PM ET
Look forward to your story as always. I can't believe you're in the midst of all the chaos and bombing. But how else could we all stay informed. Thanks for such great reporting and stay safe!! I'm tuned in........
Posted By Anonymous KD, Baton Rouge, LA : 5:36 PM ET
Your hunger to cover the story is inspiring and astounding. Of course you have to be there! I look forward to your coverage tonight also and would love to hear if most Israelis feel this is necessary for the kidnapping of the two men. But although you've been in some quite volatile places please be safe and peace be with you. Take care and get that flak vest on.
Posted By Anonymous Jill, Greensboro, NC : 5:38 PM ET
Be safe Anderson.

On the subject of G W Bush, I question whether he has any desire to slow down this war. This conflict falls into the fundamentalist's view of the world and their (supposedly) coming rapture.l
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Wentzville, Missouri : 5:41 PM ET
To Anderson & his fantastic crew,

Once again you are the only news anchor to be brave enough to go into the thick of things and bear witness to this traumatic time.

Stay safe and take care.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia Warren, MI : 5:41 PM ET
Be safe, Anderson.
Thank you for this brave reporting. Please continue to provide balanced news reports. I am particularly interested in hearing what Israeli's have to say about the Security Council actions.
Posted By Anonymous Marie, NY, NY : 5:43 PM ET
Being a
Fox news fan, I don't watch alot of CNN, but I wouldn't miss Anderson Cooper for anything. You're a brave guy, Anderson, and I rus your reporting.
Be careful and godspeed.
Posted By Anonymous Pat Riley, San Diego, CA : 5:44 PM ET
Ryerson University: School of Business Management and Commerce
Toronto, Canada

Anderson you've become a great encouragement for students here at Ryerson University...
Keep up the good work..your courage inspires us all...

DR.CHRISTOPHER GOLDBERG CPA, PHD
DR.GABRIEL STEINBERG MBA, PHD
Posted By Anonymous Dr. Christopher Goldberg, Toronto, Canada : 5:44 PM ET
Is there any dissent in Israel or Lebanon? Last night CNN showed a clip of a young woman getting gas, who seemed just like someone of her age here in the US--she was getting gas because everyone else was, and she thought she should too. It reminded me how much alike we all are except for our biases and inbred hatreds, which make us stupid, when it comes to global or humanitarian thinking. I hope you'll be able to cover some of the average people's feelings about this war.
Posted By Anonymous Jim Maurer, Lincolnville, Maine : 5:54 PM ET
Geez Anderson, We want to hear the report but don't put yourself in too much danger! We need you vivified. Stay secure and free from harm. Keep that flak jacket on! Scary!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann Nacogdoches, Texas : 5:59 PM ET
This is a ridiculous war taking place. A whole country (Lebanon) is being destroyed to retrieve 2 Israeli soldiers. More than 60 civilians have been killed as "collateral damage". Isn't this state-sponsored terrorism??
What if Hizbollah considers killing Israelis also as collateral damage?
Posted By Anonymous Taha, Chicago, IL : 5:59 PM ET
A prayer to be adapted to your own faith's believes:

A Jounalist's Prayer.

Almighty God, strengthen and direct, we pray, the will of all whose work it is to write what many read, and to speak where many listen. May we be bold to confront evil and injustice; understanding and compassionate of human weakness; rejecting alike the half-truth which deceives, and the slanted word which corrupts.

May the power which is ours, for good or ill, always be used with honesty and courage, with respect and integrity, so that, when all here has been written, said and done, we may, unashamed, meet Thee face to face, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

--From Saint Bride's Church, London
Posted By Anonymous Peter Trevino, New York, NY : 5:59 PM ET
Aloha Anderson! Keep up the great work. A BIG mahalo to you from the North Shore.
Posted By Anonymous Charlie, Honolulu, HI : 6:01 PM ET
I have to agree with the previous comment, but add that you are crazy. Get out of there and come home!
Posted By Anonymous Holly, Durham, NC : 6:05 PM ET
You're crazy for being out there.

Why don't we send Brangelina? They can do aaaaanything. ;)
Posted By Anonymous JSF, Houston, TX : 6:05 PM ET
Anderson,

I'm working here in sunny Boulder and out my window I see the mountains, a guy playing guitar for tips, some folks sitting outside at a table drinking coffee, laughing; a guy is throwing a frisbee for his dog; a woman rides by on her bike, pulling two kids in a trailer behind her. It's another gorgeous, peaceful day in Colorado..

Then I log into the 360 blog site, and I am transported to the other side of the world, where you are working, in a car on a dark road, shells exploding, destination unknown. Your courageous reporting and on-the-scene blogging is so electric, lets me experience world events like I never have before. Thanks for your authentic, immediate reporting.

Please, wear the jacket, a helmet, too, and try and stay safe. I want to see you on t.v. tonight, not sad news about you!

Can't wait for your show tonight. I've cancelled my plans to go out, and have invited my friends over to watch you, instead!

Linda
Boulder, Colorado
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Boulder, Colorado : 6:06 PM ET
Anderson it seems to me most of the news coverage I have seen from this current episode is given from the Isreal or American perspective. I realize it is difficult to separate yourself from America because you are an American, but I am hoping you can give us Isreali, Hezzbolah, and Palestinian perspectives while you are there. Thanks for your efforts.
Posted By Anonymous John Wright, Minneapolis, MN : 6:10 PM ET
I am so relieved that you made it safely. I'm looking forward to your broadcasts. Please be careful and come home safe.
Posted By Anonymous Brenda Phillipsburg, NJ : 6:13 PM ET
In the midst of everything you are dealing with, thank you for taking the time to keep us up to date! You are providing such an important service! Please be safe and Godspeed.
Posted By Anonymous Tish, Ames, IA : 6:21 PM ET
While admitting I'd be scared to death in your place, I really love how you're using this blog to fill us in on the backstory of getting to the news. The immediacy is compelling.
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 6:29 PM ET
I've just heard that people in southern lebanon and because of the continous attack by israel have no electricity, no water, and the list goes on and on,... so i guess they have no ice cream as well, or wish they can say we have no ice cream!
Posted By Anonymous George, Long Beach, Ca : 6:35 PM ET
Let Anderson handle his business! This is what he is good at doing best; reporting the news live from the frontlines. Anderson, I admire your passion for reporting the news and your courage to be at the hot spot where the news is happening live. Kudos to you!
Posted By Anonymous Felix, Atlanta, Ga. : 6:40 PM ET
Did it occur to you or your cres that Nahariyah is empty because it's the Jewish Sabbath? Businesses close at sundown on Friday evenings.
Posted By Anonymous Josh, Dallas, TX : 6:42 PM ET
Does everyone get that its not just about the kidnapping of a few Israeli soldiers ? A constant stream of rockets have been lobbed on the town of Sderot for some time. The town went on hunger strike. Then whole town closed down for some time to again try to get the Israeli government to stop the bombs that were falling daily ! This has been gong on for months ! As long as they didnt cross over out of Gaza they were aloud to bomb Sderot as often as they liked. But when they Stepped out of Gaza and began to ambush and kidnap Israeli soldiers on Israeli turf. I would say they crossed the line, and at that point its no holes barred.
Posted By Anonymous anna, Omer.Israel/KC.,MO. : 6:43 PM ET
Holy Cow Anderson!!!!!!!

Please make sure you and your team are careful out there and be as safe as possible! Much as we fans would love to see you, this particular fan would rather you came home safely. If missing tonight's broadcast (or fix depending on how you look at it) is the sacrifice I have to make for your safety, so be it.

;)

I remember hearing about problems in the Middle East all the time I was growing up, but I don't remember things being this violent. Is it me, or are things just getting worse and worse and worse?

Marisol
Posted By Anonymous Marisol, Aurora, Colorado : 6:48 PM ET
I have a Palestinian friend that has been communicating with me through email. He says that Isreal has been hitting Gaza with missles for years and years. Now when some rockets hit isreal, they act like they are going crazy. Now maybe isreal nows how the palestinains feel after years of bambardment from isreali missles.
Posted By Anonymous james Birmingham, al : 6:57 PM ET
It seems that the world can't find a day to be peaceful. With North Korea threatening with nuclear missiles, and now this new conflict in the Middle East. I wouldn't be surprised if the U.S. gets involved over in Israel and Lebanon, considering our dislike of Hezbollah and Iran's nuclear program. I fear that that will happen and then we will find ourselves trying to fight N. Korea, too, because Kim Jong Il is bound to do something stupid again soon because the Middle East just "stole the show." Hopefully the United States doesn't find itself in World War III. Thank you Anderson for your fearless reporting, but be careful.
Posted By Anonymous Anna Fudge, Moline, IL : 7:01 PM ET
Thank you for being brave enough to bring us up to date reports on this conflict in the Middle East. There are few people who would be willing to go to the places that you go to. Most people at this time are heading out of town, while you are heading it. It must be a strange feeling always heading to the danger, rather than moving away from it. Take care of yourself and continue reporting (safely) back to us!
Posted By Anonymous Jocelyn, Atlanta : 2:44 AM ET
I lived In Israel for 10 months of my life, Beginning in August of 2000. We arrived merely two weeks before the start of the second intifada. My relatives asked me what it was like to live in a war zone. I quibbed that it never felt like a war zone to me. Your first post from Tel Aviv echoes that sentiment. When you live in Israel, there is always strife and always hardship. Life goes on...it has to.
Posted By Anonymous Hal Ungar, New Orleans LA : 10:59 AM ET
A war with Iran and North Korea seems unavoidable. Iran and Syria are fomenting the strife in the middle east. For their own benifit, I might add. Tension in the region= spike in oil prices. Who sells the most oil in the Region. Iran, Saudi Arabia???
As far as North Korea, or should I say more appropriately,,, South China, That is what I would be more concerned about.. North Korea is just a puppet for China. To steal a qoute from the Matrix..
"It's inevitable, Mr. Anderson"
Unfortunately, it does not seem to be a matter or "If" but more like "when"
Posted By Anonymous Robert, Cotati, CA : 11:06 AM ET
So it seems that the exchange rate is about 200 Arabs per Israeli?
Posted By Anonymous Tehawz, LA, CA : 3:53 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

I urge you to be careful. I lived in Israel for 6 months, right on the Israeli/Lebanon border in Western Galilee on Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra, 6 miles closer to the border than Nahariyah. I also urge you to give some backgroud of the Prime Minister of Lebanon and how he was put into power right after the previous PM was assinated. Who put this new puppet PM into office after the assination? It was the two rival terrorist groups. How convenient when you're backed by Syria and Iran. This is war. Innocents are killed just like in the war we are immersed in with Iraq. Israel is surrounded...SURROUNDED by enemies. They are a tiny nation and they have to defend themselves. They must.
You're fairly safe in Israel, Anderson. If you're not let into Lebanon it's for your own protection. Be careful! You're reporting is wonderful.
Posted By Anonymous Trudy D'armond, Enumclaw, Washington : 7:18 PM ET
I hear about all the help the people in Lebanon are getting. Do the people in Israel fleeing their homes, because rockets are fired on them, get also international help?
Posted By Anonymous ineke, amsterdam, holland : 3:25 PM ET
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