Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Yo, Frank...did you hear about the rockets fired at Israel yesterday?

Two days ago, as I was driving home from a client, my phone made a strange's a tune I assigned and forgot about, one I don't use for any other reason. Color Red. Incoming missile.

I pulled to the side of the road and opened the phone - the front screen said there'd been a siren at Ben Gurion airport region. No way, I thought. Probably an error. It happens...too often.

I turned off the country music DVD that relaxes me when driving long distances and turned on the news. I listened. And listened. And listened. Nothing. No way, I thought. Must have been a mistake.

I got home and learned it was an IDF drill - no worries, back to this "relative calm" that for once has meant less than a handful of rockets over the past 10 months...10 months since the end of the war...enough time for God to have blessed me with a new grandson, not enough time to forget the trauma, never enough time to stop mourning the lives lost. I was amazingly grateful that the next round hadn't started...and amazingly aware that with that statement comes the inevitable...yet. Not yet.

Last night, I was standing near my daughter as she cradled her new son. We were in her apartment as part of a celebration held the night before the baby is circumcised. It is called "Brit Yitzchak" - translated as "The Covenant of Isaac" and begins the process of bringing this little boy into the people of Israel. My phone battery had died but one of my friends turned to me and showed me his least 4 alerts.

"It's a drill or a mistake," I told him. It happened yesterday too.

Only it wasn't. Islamic Jihad decided to make a point and the point they made was to fire at least 5 rockets at Israel. Over 300,000 people living in the south rushed to bomb shelters and the thought of most Israelis was, "Is it summer already?"

One rocket landed in a city...a small town populated with 22,000 people. The anger started right, just no. Not again. You stole the summer from children in the south and all over Israel last year; you can't be allowed to steal it again.

I didn't check the international media. I don't care if they report the missiles or not. Or rather, I do care, but have little expectations.

Frank - I don't know where you live but tell me, if you were sitting beside your children or grandchildren and suddenly heard an air raid siren...if you knew that another country had fired rockets into your city...what would you do?

Ah yes,  you aren't anti-Israel; you aren't an anti-Semite; and you don't favor or particularly like the, what would your reaction be if it was your home, your city, your family?

And let me save you one ridiculous response - don't use the absurd fallback that their rockets usually miss. That doesn't lessen the terror before the impact and it doesn't mitigate the few times when they do hit. Last summer, the home of a family with three small children was hit. In a well-practiced move, the mother grabbed the baby and the father grabbed the toddler and they ran to the bomb shelter. The four year old had been well trained and he was always the first one through the door...only that time, he didn't make it. That time the rocket didn't miss. Every rocket carries the same potential to kill.

I'm not an expert in math and statistics but the message of each missile is that there's a 1 in 10 chance that any particular missile might actually deliver a direct hit and a 100% chance of a direct hit with every missile. Meaning - no matter how often they miss, until the rocket hits the ground, it carries the potential for harm and the guarantee of terror.

So Frank, if you didn't hear about the rocket attack yesterday, I'd like you to call your local radio station and ask why it wasn't reported; I'd like you to call your local and national television stations and ask why it didn't make the news there.

The answer, most likely, will center around no one having died. Ignored is the terror, the fear. I have a friend who lives in the area who recently had a massive heart attack and is recovering. My first thoughts and fears were for her. She lives very close to the Gaza border...she lived through last year's war and all the others. She's experienced more rocket attacks than anyone can count.

She needs a quiet summer; she deserves one. If you didn't hear about yesterday's attack...stop for a moment and think how you would feel. The siren is one of the most terrifying things you can hear...when you know this rocket is hurling in your direction and you have seconds to react. If you are a child, you run but if you are a parent, you think. Where is my son, my daughter, my husband...where is everyone I love...seconds until you hear the explosion...and then more fear until the telephone calls begin and everyone is safe.

Even when the news reports that there were no injuries, it isn't enough because those only cover the impact site. They don't cover the terror, the fright, the car accidents, the heart attacks, the injuries of someone who ran in terror to a bomb shelter and tripped and fell...old people rushing, young children pulled along. You have 15 seconds, or 30 or 60 or 90...seconds.

And lest you use this argument to justify not visiting or living in Israel, as I have seen Frank and others do, let me say one thing. If a man assaults a woman but doesn't rape her, that doesn't mean a crime was not committed. If someone tries to murder you and doesn't succeed, it is still a criminal offense.

If Gaza fires rockets at Israel and misses, it doesn't mean that overall we are still safer here than anywhere else. It doesn't mean Gaza wasn't wrong and that the world should not demand they stop or levy sanctions.

And it does mean, Frank, that rather than condone violence, you should condemn it. Without excuses, without explanations. Pure and simple - will you condemn the rocket fire against Israel yesterday...and do so without the proverbial "but" you endlessly offer. Balls in your court, Frank - and this time, I'll publish your comment.


Netivotgirl said...

Brilliant as usual Paula! We in Netivot want a holiday this summer!! Our pupils deserve one after a challenging school year like pupils all over the globe. Thank you so much for getting the truth aired so consistently in such a clear and comprehensive manner. Bravo!

Frank said...

What is this Yo-rubbish supposed to mean?

I think you have the wrong impression of me.Just because I don't agree on some things with you that makes me not an AntiIsraeli
I condemn it without buts and ifs and I wouldn't criticize you if you do something to retaliate as long as it hits the bad guys
What would I do? I'd expect my government do deal with the threat properly and I wouldn't give a f..k what the internatial media says
To be honest I don't like the Palis much, they're constantly bitching, whining and playing the victim while at same time cashing in the money from the UN,UNHCR,US,EU and thousand other organisations, that goes on my nerves.I think that the heads of the PA don't really want an independent state.For them is good as it is
Nevertheless the mess in the West Bank is your fault and I don't have the impression that Israel knows what it does there
Btw-FIFA didn't kick you out

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