Monday, July 14, 2014

Israel: It's complicated

The Hebrew word for situation is Matzav, however when you talk about the Matzav in Israel you are referring to the situation on the ground and what is happening in the streets.  The matzav is code for the difficult situation Israelis and Palestinians find themselves in not just now but always.  Sometimes we have to hear how it feels to live there.  Our cousin lives in Beersheva,close to Gaza.  Below is Ronna's letter from July 14th.  It gives us just a quick glimpse into daily life in Israel.  I think Ronna has summed up my feelings as I run to watch the news and get updates from my chaverim and mishpacha in Israel.  Read what she has to say:
Gabay Family, home base BeerSheva, Israel

Hi Everyone,
It's the eighth day of fighting.  Thanks for the emails of concern - it feels good to have you asking how we are. I'm sorry to have taken so long to respond and let you all know what's happening. Somehow, I just never sit still long enough to write.   Well that's not exactly true.  I had reports to write for the end of the school year; it usually takes a few days but I had trouble concentrating so it took much longer.  Also there was the little matter of my car being stolen right at the beginning of the fighting……
To more important things, none of the kids are involved, at least not yet.  Omer has not received the emergency call-up.  Raanan is doing professional training (in the army) and less likely to be called (I hope).  Yogev is busy with rehearsals and getting ready for his August journey to studies in Boston.
We here in Beer Sheva seem to be getting fewer rockets than in the past……or maybe I'm just more used to it, so it makes less impression. 
Some glimpses of life with rocket fire: 
It means driving with the air conditioning on full blast because of the heat, but keeping the windows open part way to be sure to hear if there is a siren.
I was at a graduation ceremony at Ben Gurion University, before things got so heated up (now they don't allow events with more than 150 people). They began with a request by the security people that if there was a siren, everyone should lie on the ground and cover their heads with their hands.  This is the standard procedure if a person can't get to a safe building.
On the radio, no matter what program is on, they interrupt to announce whenever there is a siren and where it is.
I sometimes go out for walks in the morning and sometimes not.  When I do, I have all my safe (relatively) spots memorized from the last time, so I know where to go to have some minimal protection.  Why do I walk?  It gives me peace of mind and gets me outside, which I need.
How do I feel about all this?  Sometimes I am afraid, mostly I am overly attuned to the radio and with my ears always half-cocked, listening for a siren.  I am frustrated that our government doesn't do enough to try and make peace with, at least, those of the Palestinians who are interested.  Intractability, lack of real leadership keeps this situation dragging on and on.  There is no one to take a big step to make a change.  So all this will happen again and again and again….
Love to you all,