Yeah. There’s been a war going on here.
Contrary to other parties involved, we had it pretty easy, as far as wars go. The kids were at home because daycare was closed part of the time. There was the discomfort of having to head to the bomb shelter when the sirens went off. There was the stress of knowing that the sirens were not necessarily going to go off before missiles fall. There were the occasional missiles falling quite close to home. But all in all, we had it pretty easy.
The ceasefire was announced on Saturday. Saturday night, I heard a series of booms, and several minutes later it turned out that several missiles fell nearby without any warning. Still, it’s been quiet since. Quite a few missiles were fired yesterday to other areas, until the Hamas decided that they agree to cease fire as well.
Everybody has been quick to declare themselves the winners. Quite frankly though, I think you don’t have to be particularly bright to realize that we are all losers. What we did to the civilians living in Gaza is just a tragedy. Granted, this tragedy could have probably been averted if the Hamas government was not using its constituents as human shields for terrorist activity against civilian targets in Israel, but it is a tragedy, nonetheless.
Another stark reality is that this ceasefire is quite evidently temporary. It will last several weeks, several months, maybe even several years. But it will be tense and fragile, and it will end and we will go back to being ducks at a firing range, and feel very justified in inflicting further horrors on the unfortunate innocents living in the Gaza Strip, because terrorists have chosen to live among them.
On the news last night, they interviewed a Palestinian refugee living in Jordan. When asked how this was going to all be resolved, he said that for the time being we are going to make peace and live side by side, but that eventually they were going to kill all of us Jews. That’s it. This was not any terrorist or political activist talking. Just your average Joe (well, Ahmed). For many people, at least on the other side, that is the only visible solution. And it doesn’t mean that they hate us as individuals. It’s just that in their eyes we do not belong here, and that will eventually have to be corrected, at any cost.
And isn’t that really what it all boils down to? Do we belong anywhere? The future of the State of Israel is not obvious to me. I love this place and cannot see myself living anywhere else, but what chance to we have at any kind of sustainable existence if we are surrounded by people who are willing to wait patiently but believe eradicating us is the only way to go? And if that is the case, what future do the Jewish people as a whole have? Either being ethnically cleansed or being completely assimilated into other cultures?
I do so terribly want a peaceful existence. Peace with other nations, peace with the environment, peace with myself. The only thing I really seem to have any kind of control over is the “myself” part, and that is quite limited. But it seems that any choice I make, even simply being alive, is causing irreparable damage and disruption. And if that is the case, how can I even be at peace with myself?
Oy, I’m getting myself into a corner here. Though I guess that is just keeping with how we’ve all been feeling here these past few weeks. Cornered.