Bye Bye Barcelona!

We are not a jet-seting family. Most of our family vacations are at local field schools or in a tent. But it seems like someone wants to keep it that way. Alitalia flight No. 815 on July 23, 2014 – Cancelled! Standing at the airport at 7:00 a.m. with packed suitcases and three disappointed kids, staring at the flight schedule angrily blinking “CANCELLED”, makes you sad. Not so much for the cancelled vacation, because, as we hurriedly promised the kids, we will definitely go later, once things are back to “normal”. But because our lives in Israel are so far from normal. I don’t blame the pilots and flight attendants who weren’t happy about dodging flying missiles.I don’t blame all the airlines for saying “No!” It’s just too dangerous!” Its’ too dangerous for us too.

Instead of going straight home we stopped in Tel-Aviv, where we sat on the beach, walked by a colorful waterfountain on Dizengoff Square and even heard some Spanish in the street. Just like Barcelona. Well, except for the siren that went off as my husband and the kids were splashing in the waves. After years of bitching about his triathalon obsession/addiction, I have to admit it does come in handy having a athlete in the family when racing from the ocean to the saferoom with a scared eight year old, within 90 seconds – Gold medal material, definitely!
And now we are safely back in the not-so-quiet south. But we are far from safe. We’re scared. Scard to turn on the news at eight, scared to read the news online every morning. Scared to get the newspaper and see the headlines blaring more soldiers killed. You walk around with a pain in your heart that won’t go away and so does everyone else. Nobody smiles anymore, even though its’ summer. Nobody says hi, and everybody’s eyes are red. All the time.

My daughter comes back from her army base for the weekend, but then has to leave early on Saturday. She’s on “funeral call” and has to be at two funerals for soldiers killed from her unit. She has to hand the wreaths to the commanders. She’s not allowed to wear sunglasses and she’s not allowed to cry. But I am. I’m crying behind my sunglasses. And praying. Praying for a ceasefire, praying for us to finally reach an agreement, which we will end up doing anyway, before more soldiers (ours) and innocent people (theirs) are killed. And to all the self-righteous people patting Israel on the back for being so moral, because Hammas “just doesn’t care about their own people” (I am getting off Facebook right now!) I just want to ask the only question that matters: Do we want a future for Israel? If we do, we are going to have to do something about it. Seriously.

About the Author
Orli is a Texan-born writer who moved to Israel at age 10, is now raising four kids in the Negev, loves swimming and pilates and is trying to get her zen back. She is also one of the leaders of the Southern Chapter of Women Wage Peace.