Here We Go Again

Posted on July 2nd, 2008


Bus on its side in midtown Jerusalem.

It always happens like this.

Someone sends me an instant message to check the news.

I read the few details and then surf around to learn more. Bulldozer attack? That’s new. Hmm, how much damage can you do with a bulldozer?

But within a few moments, I stop being analytical and a wave of sadness passes through me. I anxiously wait to see if I know any of the dead or injured.

Yaffo street. A bright sunny day. Like yesterday when I stopped for falafel around there and felt so great that I lived in such a place as this. Now that corner is filled with blood and destruction. Tomorrow a few more people will be saying Kaddish, and we add a couple of names to the statistics on our war on terror. And then we will turn around and continue our lives.

The BBC report I just heard described a man going on a rampage and killing and hurting “children, mothers and babies.” Yes, the brave warrior behind the steering wheel of a giant bulldozer was able to crush babies. How proud the Palestinians must be. I am sure by this evening we will see news reports of the terrorist’s family rejoicing over their son’s accomplishment. He was from Jerusalem so once again, our government must meet and carefully think about how large a mourning tent to allow the terrorist’s family to set up to receive well-wishers.

The attack shows how far our enemies will go. They will use whatever is at their disposal to hurt us without regard for their own lives. Meanwhile, our leaders dither about and wave the piece of paper with the words “cease-fire” written on it, as if that’s some sort of accomplishment. We send trucks full of food, and oil, and medicine to the crossings of the Gaza Strip and hope that Hamas won’t bomb them until after we have given them their supplies.

Life in Israel is beautiful most of the time. I have ridden on a bike through the Jerusalem mountains and trekked through the desert in the middle of the night countless times. There is not one single day when I wake up and wonder if I made the right decision to move here three years ago. Yet life is not perfect here. The shadow of terror is always around the corner, lurking just out of sight.

I can remind myself that the current situation is nothing compared to a few years ago. Back then, buses full of men, women, and children were blown up every week. So many people were shot on the roads that husbands and wives would often travel to Jerusalem separately, just in case. No, today things are very different.

Yet, not that different. When an attack happens, we do not rationalize it. We do not tell ourselves that far more people are injured in car accidents or die from cancer. No, the thought of someone whose hatred for us is so great that they are willing to give up their own lives just to kill a few Jews, even babies, is a terrifying thought that can’t be ignored.

We shed our tears and move on. Summer continues. Camp, bike-rides, and barbeques – at least for us. We will feel glad once again and soak in the Jerusalem sunshine in our holy, blessed land.

Until the next time….

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