Thursday, January 08, 2009

A new day dawns
(in the current Gaza war)

I had literally just finished my last post(see below) when I received the following news flash by SMS on my mobile phone "This morning: Katyusha rockets fired in the north"

This, to remind you, was the central motif (for us civilians in northern Israel) of the 2nd Lebanon War in which several thousand missiles were fired by the Hezbollah in Lebanon at random (i.e. civilian) targets in Israel. In the course of that war about 150 Israeli civilians, 150 Israeli soldiers and over 1000 Lebanese were killed. The destruction to property in southern Lebanon by Israel Air Force bombings and Israeli army artillery was enormous,

During that war (now known as LW2 - Lebanon War 2) our lives in Haifa and northern Israel were completely disrupted. Sometimes the air raid sirens went off several times a day and we went scurrying to our air raid shelter (most Arabs in Israel and Lebanon don't have such a luxury). The way I found to handle it was by writing a blog which received a certain amount of international media attention (CNN and BBC) .

At the beginning of LW2 I was cool, treating it like a boy's adventure. As the war continued (seemingly interminably although it was only for a month) it got to me more and more, and, as soon as I heard the first few bars of the air-raid siren wail, I was gripped with fear and despair. Ever since then some part of me has been waiting in fear for that ominous wail to reappear.

And now maybe it might. It's bad enough for the residents of the far north of Israel who had years of Katyusha attacks, like the unfortunate residents of Sderot in the south who have suffered years of Qassam missile attacks from Gaza.

I told my significant other in laughing desperation about the SMS I received this morning and her immediate angry, afraid reaction was "I don't care what they (the international community) say. We should send bombs and kill them all. It's either them or us. There's no other way."
Now this is the reaction from an educated, loving, liberal person who works in one of the caring professions. I don't think that she seriously, rationally proposes that we annihilate the 10 million or so Arabs who live within bombing range of Israel but it shows how afraid she is and how desperate many of us Jewish Israelis feel.

Update 9 Jan
Irit admitted that she didn't seriously propose mass killing as a solution but that her outburst was an expression of the anger and frustration that israelis feel at the endless war and danger in which we find ourselves.

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