Letters from the Gaza War - 2008-2009

  February 14, 2009 - after elections (excerpt)  
Since the ceasefire (not official yet) there was one day with 20 rockets fired on Israel-all further south than us and then one rocket that fell right between a group of kindergarten buildings on a southern kibbutz-at peak time-morning when everyone is on their way to school. Luckily it didn’t explode. I am always amazed at how little we know-even in Israel- of what is going on and how bad the rocket situation really is. Thursday afternoon. my music teacher’s class went to see our lecturer’s music room on Yad Mordechai. It is a kibbutz just south of Ashkelon about 20km. from here. The first thing we noticed was a Zeppelin in the sky…it is the sensor for the rockets which are fired and it gives the signal for alarm sirens to go off!! Kibbutz is known as a pastoral place. The people who come to live on kibbutz nowadays do not do so for communist or socialist reasons. They do so to get out of the city and out of the pressures of urban living. I was appalled to see that you can barely see the kibbutz…it is all bunkered down. We got off at the schoolbus parking lot and walked to the classrooms. Every 20ft. there is a cement cube-(safety spaces I wrote about during the war) to run to in their 10 seconds from siren to rocket falling. There were kids at the basketball court-which had a cement cube at one end. The classrooms which are each grade in separate one storey buildings have had cement roofs built over each building with pillars supporting them. The locals call them the Acropolis. I had already seen on the news what the schools look like in Shderot. They too have had missile proof roofs and extra outside walls built around each school. NO windows and the kids do not go outside for recess. All the way to school they also have cement cubes to run and hide in, in case of a missile attack. Of course the main launching time has always been 7-9a.m. when there is the most outdoor traffic. I am sure that it is hard for you to picture living like this especially as even here so close by we didn’t really know that this was what was happening!!  3 weeks of it was quite enough and I can’t imagine it as a way of life. We also saw a news report that claimed that 21% of people who are treated for “fright” not for “real” injury after rocket or terror attacks NEVER fully recover. Many can’t hold a job or study etc. So there must be MANY dysfunctional Israelis and Palestinians around to only make it harder to improve the world we live in. Hopefully this week there will be a signed ceasefire and perhaps even an agreement to free Gilad Shalit. I have parties again for “family day” and we are looking forward to a visit from Jay’s brother Mark and Debbie-his wife who will be in Jerusalem for rabbinical conferences soon. Hela has her first Badminton competition tomorrow and Eitan will try again for his driver’s licence this week. Nadav has grown tall and may soon pass Eitan! So we are keeping busy. Happy Valentines Day to all.

Bye for now Tzippi
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