Packing boxes and boxes of much needed undershirts, socks and underwear (only black, please), shampoo, soap, snacks and sweet  letters from children thanking our brave soldiers for their service, gives you a good feeling. You feel like you’re doing something. After all, our soldiers are our children, brothers and friends. They are willing to give their lives for us. And when all your neighbors are packing together, you even start to smile a little. But then you go home, to the terrible heartbreaking news of so many beloved soldiers, killed yesterday. So many. And for what?? We need to get out of Gaza.We will anyway, so what are we waiting for? For more and more casualties? The Hammas will always be able to dig more tunnels, to get more ammunition, to shoot more rockets. We need a cease fire, and we just have to reach some kind of agreement that will lead to more than just a year or two of quiet. An agreement that will let us live here, normal and uneventful lives.

We need to be able to get the ultrasound results that say we’re having a boy, and feel nothing but joy. And then sob in the delivery room because labor hurts, not because we’re fast-forwarding eighteen years ahead and can’t help but dread what awaits our babies, our future soldiers.  

When I got back from the neighbors, I told my husband how all the neighbors made sure to put the exact same number of pairs of underwear and shampoo bottles in each of the boxes. They’ll be sent to different units, I said, so each unit has to get the same amount of soap as they do socks. My husband smiled sadly. The soldiers don’t need socks, he said. They need life. 

I’ll keep packing socks. But I also want to shout, in case our government is listening: GET OUT OF GAZA! NOW!