Sunday, August 24, 2014

Just another balmy summer evening in Jerusalem

In Jerusalem, this summer is, as many call it, קצת משונה, just a teeny bit different. Living here, it is relatively easy to ignore the war and the horrors taking place just a few hours away from us--as long as you don't read or listen to the news, don't have the "red alert" app, don't talk to the neighbors, and don't go to the Old City (more about that another time). Unless, that is, the air raid alarm happens to go off. Since I am here, it has gone off only three times. Once early in the morning, in Gush Etzion (far away from me), once while I was soaped up under the shower (not so much fun), and once tonight, also far away. I immediately received a text from my husband in New York, who is glued to the news: "Siren in Jerusalem!"

On Friday, as we were on the beach when a siren came, I saw the Iron Dome for the first time with my own eyes. Here's a video:

Pretty surreal, eh?

The Iron Dome really introduces Disney into the whole equation. It is easy to dismiss the rockets as toys. Now, they aren't exactly inter-continental missiles, but if they fall until on you, it won't be good. But mostly, the Iron Dome makes us complacent. Israelis seem less willing to force Bibi to move towards a political solution, and the missiles and rockets raining on southern Israelis are ignored. Your problem if you chose to live in Nahal Oz (a community right by Gaza)! And so, a lot of people ignore the news, and ignore the horrors lived out in Gaza, and in the southern communities, and across Europe and elsewhere where anti-semitic attacks are seen as a legitimate reaction to the war. That is a pity because it also allows Bibi to avoid real negotiations, is good for the military and the industries supported by the military, but it is not good for Israelis and Palestinians who are living here. Apparently, we are all supposed to get used to the war.

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