A Dirty War

“War is about death—stupid, needless death.” Thanks, JW, (BTVS, SE7, EP 18) for words that sum up the absolutely terrifying stupidity we are living through right now—I couldn’t have put it better. I also can’t go to sleep until I write this, although my frightened daughter is waiting (asleep) in my bed.

Why should I have to tell my friends and family, “Don’t worry, it wasn’t me who got stabbed near our local supermarket today, I’m okay.”? Just because it wasn’t me, doesn’t mean it wasn’t someone else’s daughter, sister, wife or mother.  Why do we have to update our emergency contacts and our wills, decide that our children can’t get out at the highway gas station, call and text our loved ones and hold our breath until we hear the names of the injured or g-d forbid, dead? It could have been me; I shop there weekly. Maybe that’s why I’m joining the insomnia club tonight. [I just read that a friend and neighbor was right there and saw the whole thing happen, helped the woman and had her daughter taken to the hospital for trauma. And after all that, she is still blessing Hashem and staying right where she is, here.]

Last week, while shopping such a brief distance from today’s attack, I asked the workers I know at the Gush Rami Levy, which stands meters from the site of today’s literal knife in the back, what they thought about all these crazy attacks. One answered that he just wishes and prays for more people like himself and like me in the world. People who talk to each other, because we are human beings beneath any other label we give ourselves or the world gives us. The other worker shook his head and told me that he is just hoping for it all to stop, to go back to being quiet. Finally, I read in the eyes of a third worker, who laughingly tries to teach me Arabic, fear. Why? Again, why are they afraid? Because we are getting stretched to a breaking point, where even sane, reasonable people become a heartless mob and react in a horrible way to a person who was only trying to find his own safe place (bus station mob). Why else are they afraid? Because they depend on us. We employ them, we shop by them, and when this craziness goes on, we stop helping them have a livelihood. Not on purpose (mostly), not like BS BDS, but for our own self protection. Talk about a dirty war—our school stinks, because just like last year, we had to fire the Arab workers for fear of what they might do to us and our children. We don’t walk through the Arab shuk to the Kotel and therefore we don’t spend money there, because we aren’t trying to put ourselves in a potentially dangerous situation. I read that the mayor of Nazareth is screaming about how not one Jew had shopped there last week, yelling not at us but at the crazy attackers. And I read that the head honcho, “in charge” of not calming things down but from all aspects, heating things up, is asking for “protection” from Israel—WTH?? They need protection from us? Maybe if they stop attacking us, we can stop killing them in self-defense—and the world can shut up about us needing to make more effort to arrest the terrorist running at us with a weapon rather than do anything we have to to stop him or her. Has anyone noticed that we are the IDF—the Israeli Defense Force, which is what we are all about? (Thanks to Jessica Savitt for that bit of wisdom). I try to brush off the amazingly outrageous things the world thinks and says about us, but this is beyond belief, defies the outer limits of chutzpah- it is simply unmitigated gall!

I can only continue to live here, shop with them and walk the streets side by side because I insist on the belief that they don’t all want this; they don’t want death, ours or their own, chaos, and random acts of violence. I think if they did we might all have to do more than be on high alert and carry pepper spray (or guns if you own them).

What I wish and pray for is that they stop praising death, needless and stupid as war makes it, and start loving their children more than they hate us. (As eloquently put by former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.) Then this endless war can stop.

About the Author
Mori Sokal is a TWELVE year veteran of Aliyah, mother of three wonderful children (with her wonderful husband) and is an English teacher in both elementary and high school in the Gush Etzion-Jerusalem area. She has a Masters’ degree in teaching, and has published articles in Building Blocks, the Jewish Press magazine.
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