July 17, 2014
ISRAEL - WAR
War. As much as you think you're mentally prepared, you're not. Even after the kidnappings went 'viral' and a simmering situation seemed ready to explode. Even after Hamas terrorists refused two Egyptian cease fire agreements, and settled in to launch rockets all over Israel, over Tel Aviv in such numbers that it began to seem weirdly normal to hear them and just assume the Iron Dome would catch them, even then, when war breaks out, it's a shock. It's all-encompassing. At 10pm on Thursday, July 17th, a happy day, my husband's birthday, it began. I was in a car with my daughter, frustrated by the two guys in front of us who just stopped in the middle of Dizengoff Street, to switch drivers we thought, and then just ran off. We didn't even hear a siren, that time. We also ditched our car and waited on the sidewalk, near a concrete wall, until we were sure that - once again - the Iron Dome had intercepted the big volley over the big city. We didn't actually know the ground war had started in concert with this bombing, though we should have been prepared, based on the quick phone conversation with our son that morning. But we are rookies, too naive to realize what he was saying as he tried to adhere to protocol. Still naive, we headed home, stopping for a bottle of tequila and a tank of gas. Prescient. Jacques caught us by phone in the gas station. The Americans announced first. The Arab media second. The Israeli media third.
Home, we are settled in to basically pray all night for the safety of Gazans and the IDF who has been defending us from the air, the sea and now on the ground. After ten days of closed-eye Gazan launches (they hit the West Bank, I am guessing by accident!), a failed sea breach and a thwarted tunnel run, this had no simple way to conclude, and we are praying this ground effort returns calm for the Israeli civilians and the IDF who are forced to defend them, and the Gazan civilians, who are trapped in their gangland area by violent thugs posing as a government. Gazans deserve better (as eloquently stated by Hillary Clinton when interviewed by Jon Stuart the other night) and frankly so do their neighbors, Israel and Egypt. Here's to peace, cooperation and prosperity in this neighborhood! Finally. Is that too much to ask?
We received the war opening not with a bang, just with booms, thanks to the interceptions from the Iron Dome. Boom. Boom. Boom. Praying for IDF as they defend us from these rocket attacks.