One day during the Gaza War  
Though it's certainly kept me occupied, I haven't been keeping a journal during this war.

I've kept an open vein to numerous news sources, getting my daily fix of reports and analysis. And I've read much more than my fair share of op/ed pieces - and then many too many responses to these. More often than not these "responses" are in poorly phrased, poorly spelled, and limitedly thought out, English. My rather simplistic conclusion to all this reading has been that even though lots of people have some very legitimate reasons to be upset with Israel (and to not like me very much) the vast majority of those being critical probably can't find my country on a map, don't know what language we speak, what our population is, and more. Frankly, it's depressing.

But this page isn't being written in order to express my distress at being totally misunderstood, nor as an attempt to defend Israel. Others have done this better, and as I've made clear numerous times, there's lots of what we've done that's very difficult to defend. This is being written to give a short glimpse into our lives. Perhaps the basic premise of this page is - why should I expect to be different than anyone else?

On January 7, 2009, at about 7:15, I left for Tel Aviv where I teach each Wednesday. This time I took Tzippi and Hila with me - a day away from a war zone can't hurt, and their plan was to drop me off and then visit the zoo in Ramat Gan.

Tzippi has already written about her experience:
  I had decided to give you all a break and not write anything today. We got up really early today as we had decided that we would take advantage of the fact that Jay teaches in Tel Aviv Wednesdays and go away. Hela and I and a neighbour who studies close to where Jay teaches left the kibbutz at 7:15. Hela and I had decided we would go to the safari in Ramat Gan. We were warmly welcomed by Jay's co workers etc. and then left him to teach. As soon as we got into the car we got an SMS that a rocket had fallen in the persimmon grove. That's about 100m from our house and there are houses closer-including the neighbour who we had brought to T.A. who went straight home. SO much for a quiet day. Logic would say that we should have thought "lucky we weren't home-perhaps we should stay here longer" but in fact all we wanted was to come straight back and make sure that everything and everyone was o.k. The siren caught Nadav in bed-he hadnít gotten up to his alarm to work. He said he thought the rocket had come right through the window it was that loud. Eitan had been working in the fields Ė on the other side of the kibbutz and said they saw the smoke from the explosion. 3 Thai workers were taken to hospital to be treated for shock. Several more missiles fell around here but none on the kibbutz. The safari was bursting at the seams with people from the south taking advantage of the beautiful day and getting out despite the fear of being caught by a siren in transit. We also had a big discount on entry and food as part of the "war effort". A weird article on the radio today-the Sudanese refugees that Israel has given refuge to have signed a petition to let them be drafted so that they can contribute and help Israel in the war effort ... this country does wierd things to people!!!! Also it seems that perhaps the Hamas is even worse than we think as none of the Arab countries have really said anything against all that we are doing. As if they are glad we are doing their dirty work for them and can take all the blame ... after all Israel is always the bad guy so once more won't make a difference. In any case it seems to me a tragedy that in the 21st century when we can send people into space and almost cure cancer we can't find a better way to solve conflict but to prove who's stronger and see who flinches first ... too much testosterone in this part of the world.
  With that as my basic text, I'll try here to fill in some of the details. First, of course, should be getting a picture of just where we're talking about, or, more to the point, how far away the missile landed from our house. Google Earth, and the distance measuring tool it includes helped a great deal in working that out:

We got home at around 15:30. The boys were home, and more than willing to join me on the short walk to the persimmon grove to take a closer look. It was a walk of about three minutes to the spot where the missile landed:

  Three trees had been totally liquidated. We were told that the hole the missile had made was three meters deep, though it was quickly covered up by an effort by authorities who came to assess the damage (or to simply see what happened) to get things back as soon as possible to business as usual.

The boys occupied themselves with looking for pieces of shrapnel that had been in the missile. These searches were only in the immediate vicinity of where the missile hit ground. These projectiles, however, flew out upon the implosion with great velocity, and we saw the damage that they did numerous meters away. The boys searched well (Nadav has an eye for this), and we brought a small, but impressive collection home with us (and wonder - how much might these be worth on eBay).

When we got home I did some more photographing of what we brought back with us:

For I suppose a number of reasons, the larger piece was rather interesting. But among others, Eitan found what must be a catalog number on it. I have no idea how we might trace this, and I'm not sure why I would:

Standing on the precise spot where the missile landed, I photographed our house. The sun caused a bit of a problem, but the house was still quite readily visible:

In all, a rather eventful day. And again, there was no reason to assume that we should be any different from anyone else.
posted: January 7, 2009
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