From home, office, park, playground, university to hostel, shopping mall, bar and beaches — there is one thing common that one can find everywhere in the most advanced metropolises of Middle East — Tel Aviv. ‘Bunkers‘, also known as a shelter used during conflicts and wars by soldiers have become a foremost part of everyday life of Israeli people.
There is nice Chinese proverb, “As water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it, a wise man adapts himself to circumstances.” This proverb can exactly be applied on Israeli society’s approach towards conflict.
Israeli people have conditioned themselves as they are living in eternal conflict zone. They have made themselves as acquainted to war as they are warrior of ever-going conflict, and that a slightest laxity can cost them Nation.
Most Guarded City in the Middle East
I was even astounded to see that how bustling City of Tel Aviv, the commercial capital of Jewish state, has been turned into a landscape of bunkers, security sirens, barriers, check points and CCTV cameras, without disturbing its beauty and ethos.
One can never imagine the dreadful sleepless nights people of Israel have spent since last 70 years to save the Nation-State, that Never Sleeps.
Since its very inception in 1948 to till to the date it has been in constant conflict, fighting several direct or indirect wars against neighbouring nations including Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordon and Iraq, and facing terrorism inflicted by them persistently.
Here, nobody knows when a rocket or missile is going to struck in the heart of the City, no one known which second they are going to breath their last. In every 3-4 years there has had been minor or major war. Underground bunkers are the only last resort to protect themselves from heavy bomb strikes from terror groups as soon as security siren alerts them up.
I met a few people who exclaimed that, they lived for almost a month in underground bunkers of their home during Lebanon war in 2006 to save their lives. The terrorist groups Hezbollah launched rocket attack on major Israeli cities like Haifa, Hadera, Nazareth, Tiberias, Nahariya, Safed, killings hundreds of people.
To save their very existence, to save their one and only Jewish Nation on the planet, they have transformed whole city, even whole Country, into military cantonment, with every corner, every building captivated with bomb proof bunkers, and advanced security system.
The Country Surrounded by Craziest Enemies
Locals or foreigners, everyone’s foremost duty here is to let people know how to save their lives during emergencies, where the shelters (Bunkers) are, what the security alarms meant for, and what precautions to be followed.
Although, it’s been my first experience of living amidst conflict zone, I never felt being threatened, interrogated or potential suspect, even Israelis cares as much for foreigners as for their citizens. During recent terrorist attack in Tel Aviv city this January, as soon as the news of attack broke out, I received a precautionary call from my office administration, Tel Aviv University, advising to remain inside home and follow security norms.
From mountains of Golan Heights to Deserts of Negev, from ultra-modern city of Tel Aviv to ancient city of Jerusalem, land of three religions is surrounded by as hostile enemies as no country is the World, equipped with missiles set to attack anytime.
Persistently bearing brunt of terror, Israel has learned how to save its precious citizens form enemy’s strike, and make them fight back to save their mother land.
Terrorist group Hamas in Gaza (South-East) and Hezbollah in Northern front, have left no stone upturned to eliminate the existence of people who wandered all over the World over last two thousand years in the search of refuge.
Since last one decade, as soon as Israel handed over Gaza Strip to Palestinian Authority in 2005, Hamas terrorist organisation occupied it and started its perpetual missile firing on Israeli territory. Moreover, terror group Hezbollah has incessantly kept firing rockets on major Israeli cities since decades, which forced Israel to transform cities into Cantonment.
Due to having surrounded by craziest people in the world, and only 8 million populations, in Israel, every citizen is compiled to serve in the army no matter what career they pursue. Women are supposed to serve minimum 2 years while the same is 3 years for men.
Many nations that have taken their very existence for granted must have to learn lessons from Brave-Hearts. Here people’s first and foremost Dharma and Karma is Army. Their one and only love is nation. Where the contest of ‘Survival’ never seems to end.