Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 21

Monday

Haifa

Day 5 of the war

Monday blues
Good moooorning Tel Aviv! Every day starts with sirens. Luckily not too early. By afternoon Sara's friends were in-gathering so when the doorbell rang I thought it was them. There stood three 14-year olds holding big plastic bags. I asked for English but got slow Hebrew instead. They were collecting supplies for Golani soldiers at the front. (Which is one whole hour away by car.) I donated.

The next time the bell rang, it was a breathless friend. She saw the flashes of bombs in the sky and rushed inside to safety. We all heard the booms as the bombs were intercepted, over Rishon. (Hey, we have friends in Rishon!)

Sara's in-gathered friends put on dress uniforms for a trip to Haifa's military cemetery for Sean's funeral at 11pm. Lone soldiers from throughout the country attended. Maccabi Haifa attended. 20,000 Israelis and Americans attended. I attended. A dark event, in the dark. They made 2 housekeeping announcements. No cell phones (naturally) and, in the case of a siren please crouch low. As if there was room. The Aron took 30 minutes to get through the crowd.

We all donate. From the US, I give online via FIDF (Friends of the IDF), they reach Israeli soldiers in Gaza. Tonight we mourned an ultimate sacrifice in Gaza. Crying with all the mourners, I know we had no choice. Tunnels were dug under a family's living room in a farm community. We need Tzur Eitan, Operation Protective Edge. In the midst of which, as it did for Haitians across the world after their earthquake, Israel provided an emergency field hospital for Gazan Arabs - who haven't accepted a tiny Jewish country in the Middle East. They should. Seeing Sara and her friends, and all the soldiers, I see our future. As a high-tech, modern, prosperous democracy, Israel gives many gifts to the world. As a Western country in the Middle East (see The Green a Prince, opens Sept 12) this is the front line of a fight for our continued western way of life and liberty - made possible by support from the United States, and by the Israeli Defense Force.