A new record: Day 22 turns into a real slog. As of 17:00 today, the siren has gone off 14 times. That, along with today’s bombardment of 190 rockets in the north, are new records. Hey, I like breaking records, but this is one I could have done without. One of the strikes is on the hospital in Nahariya, a cowardly and inhumane target that seems to go unnoticed by the international media. (These pictures are compliments of Jeannette, another technical communicator in the north.)
I understand Jeannette’s frustration at the world’s bizarre double-standard and the media’s refusal to face the reality of fundamentalist rhetoric. I’m reminded of an old friend, Norman, who passed away several years ago. Norman made aliya to Kibbutz Hanaton (about 20 kilometers from here). When his brother, a successful businessman in Chicago, asked him why in the world he wanted to do such a crazy thing, Norman replied, “You are able to enjoy the life you have there because I am willing to live this life here.” Norman was neither religious nor political; he was a pragmatist who saw Israel as and island of democracy, freedom, and western values in the entire Middle East. “We go, you go next,” he used to tell his brother.
Today one rocket, probably one of the Fajr class, makes it all the way to Jenin (where residents have been seen cheering for Hizbullah to bomb Tel Aviv). I wonder how they now feel about their “brothers” who value Palestinian lives as little as they value Israeli lives. But a fanatical mind-set is not easily swayed by mere facts. If you have any doubts about what we are facing, I urge you to watch movie “Obsession: What the War on Terrorism Is Really About” (made available online by Honest Reporting). It is a long movie (1 hr 18 min) and the Google video player is a bit jumpy at points, but it is worth watching. Heavy, yes. Hard to watch, yes. But this just isn’t the day for singing chihuahuas.
Since the start of this war, over 1900 rockets have landed in northern Israel. Over 1700 people have been treated in hospitals. One of today’s casualties is a guy who was killed while innocently riding his bicycle on his kibbutz next to Nahariya. Even though we have succeeded in taking out a lot of Hizbullah’s short-range rockets, they still have thousands upon thousands.
Adi Aldar (our mayor) “calls” again last night and urges us to stay strong. The government will be able to help businesses hurt by the war; the city is doing its best to fix up all of the older bomb shelters; the city government is here, fully operational, and we’ll all get through this together.
Meanwhile, my poor little Nadine refuses to come out from under the bed. If this keeps up, I just might join her.