Thursday, December 29, 2011

Who Slept in Israel Last Night?

I push myself too hard, too often. That's the bottom line...and I pretty much always have. This week was no different - two nights I worked until after 3:00 a.m - only to be up and about around 6:30 a.m. Last night, after driving to pick up Elie and Lauren, I knew I was running on empty. I didn't even have time to really enjoy the chocolate (CHOCOLATE!!!!) and the new Nook they bought me (yeah!).

I went to bed around 7:30 p.m. hoping to get up and do some work around 9:00 p.m. It didn't happen. It's now 6:45 a.m. and I feel...rested.

While I slept...
8:40 p.m.: 2 rockets landed in southern Israel, open areas; no injuries

11:04 p.m.: Color Red sirens in many places in the south
11:05 p.m.: Explosion or explosions heard in or near one of the smaller villages
11:09 p.m.: Two rocket attacks confirmed - open damage except for the fear inflicted on small children as their parents wake them from sleep and carry them to protected areas. Hopefully to fall asleep again...and dream only good things.

11:12 p.m. Color Red warnings again
11:13 p.m  Missile firings confirmed (at least 3) - Nahal Oz and Eshkol regions
11:15 p.m. One impact site found - open areas; no info on the second location.
11:15 p.m. Two more landings: Shaar HaNegeg and Shderot HaNegev - no injuries
1:35 a.m. Warning of incoming missile to Be'er Tuvia
2:59 a.m. Reports of the air force attacking two sites in Gaza - probably teams about to launch more rockets, but this is my thought and not confirmed.
5:20 a.m The air force confirms it has hit another target - again, likely the rocket launchers in another attempt to hit Israel.

So, while I slept, Israel was hit with at least four rockets and there were, it seems, at least two more attempts to fire against our citizens. What happened while you slept? That, my friends, is the difference - and that is why another Gaza War may well be around the corner. I slept...but hundreds of thousands of people in the south had a long night. At some point, they probably decided just to try to sleep in safe rooms - rooms that are protected by thickened walls and smaller windows with a metal door that shields the glass from impact. They are lucky - it is winter and so closing the window blocks out the cold rather than causing them to sleep in hot, unbearable conditions.

Last night, Lauren slept in Aliza's room. I had thought to take Aliza out because she has to get up early and got to school and this way Lauren could sleep longer. They went straight from the plane to a friend's party celebrating the wedding that Lauren and Elie missed because they were in the States. They got home late and will likely have been exhausted.

I asked Aliza if she would sleep in her old room - the secured room next to my bedroom that has become more of an office than a bedroom. "No," she answered and I could hear in her voice that this was not an option, "no way. It's too scary."

She slept in her room. That room was the room she slept in when the Fogel family was attacked and murdered, leaving two little boys and Tamar Fogel, who was 12 years old. These are the fears our children live with long after the "explosions."

"We haven't had a war in a long time," Aliza said to me a few days ago as I was driving with her. A long time? We were at war three years ago, I thought to myself. What a concept that a child thinks not having a war in three years is a long time. She has heard the rocket attack reporting on the news as we drive to school or to other places. She is smart enough to know that a nation cannot withstand these rocket attacks and do nothing. I can only wonder why the Palestinians themselves are not nearly as smart.

Why, I want to ask them. How can you possibly think you can launch four rockets at Israeli cities and not expect us to respond. How could you be so stupid to think that we won't? Today our children return to school after a week's vacation. Many of the schools are not protected from incoming rocket fire - why should they be? Are your schools protected from missiles?

Last night I slept...and woke to the knowledge that it would have been so much smarter for the Palestinians if their sons had slept as well.

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