Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Snippets from the Holy Land

Excerpts from emails* from a cousin of mine who lives in a Tel Aviv suburb relating the recent upheaval in the MidEast.

From July 17th:

"...We are going about our normal lives, all of us, just listening to the news a bit more obsessively. For the best news on Israel, make this portal a favorite, www.kolisrael.com . You can then easily check on Haaretz or Jerusalem Post for the most up to the minute local news. I've been reading the US news and it is frantic and not as accurate. At least, thought, it seems to be more evenhanded than news about Israel has been in the past.

By law here, all homes must have a bomb shelter, built to very strict regulations. Everyone ignores them most of the time, and ours was a glorified pantry/storage room. But now we have cleaned it out and made it possible to use in case we need to in an emergency. I hope we don't have to use it, but it is good to know its there."

From July 24th:

"... the greater Tel Aviv area where we live and there has been no impact on daily life here. I am sure that is hard to believe given the news, but it is honestly true. If we didn't listen to the news, we wouldn't know that stuff is going on.

The hard part is that we are losing people, both in the katyusha attacks, (2 the other day) and soldiers. One of the soldiers who died last week was from [name of suburb], of British origin, who had just been married 3 weeks earlier. Many of our friends knew him. That part is very hard. There is almost unanimous support for this war, despite the risk. People see it as a war of no choice, a war for survival. It is not expansionist, colonialist; it is defensive. The feeling of unity here right now is very special. And it feels good to have more world support despite the pictures of destruction in Lebanon (it would help it Hezbollah didn't hide in the homes of civilians.) But it is terrible to wait every day for the rockets to start raining down on the north thinking about those people whose lives have virtually stopped while they wait in bomb shelters, or knowing that soldiers are fighting in dark tunnels and bunkers. That part is very hard."

* The views expressed here are not my own. However, I believe that it is important to think outside my little American box and try to understand what it's like to be in someone else's shoes.

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