Since 4:30 this morning there is a ceasefire.
It’s 8 AM and I just dropped Lia off at school. The gate is still locked and kids are waiting outside. I kiss my eleven-year old daughter goodbye, wave as she turns to her friends and then I sit alone in the car enjoying a few moments of peaceful quiet.
I slowly drive home and sit for another minute or two checking my phone messages before carelessly strolling through the front door. I set up my computer, make myself another cup of coffee and am relieved that once again, I can concentrate on work.
I feel as if an enormous weight was lifted from my shoulders…. I am experiencing an incredible, very bearable lightness of being but…
My feelings are not shared by the families of the dead and injured.
For the past two days, we’ve been at war… again. Forty-eight hours, 700 rockets, 4 dead Israelis, 23 dead Palestinians, many more injured on both sides and tens of families whose lives will never be the same again.
Since Saturday, southern Israel was at a standstill. We spent our days waiting for the sirens, running to bomb shelters and cringing after each “boom”. I have two sons in the army – one in basic combat training and the other who was called down to the border. My third son is in eleventh grade. He is a lower leg amputee who preferred to spend most of this mini war at friends’ homes where the “safe room” was more accessible than our 1980’s basement bomb shelter.
There is NO military solution to a political problem…. at least not this one….how many times has the government tried the same strategy?
To all of those whose social media feeds are filled with disappointment that this round of fighting is over, I answer that I want my soldier boys back home. I don’t want my teen lying on the street covering his head but trying to make the “best of it” while the siren blasts and I don’t want to joke around with my 11 year old in a bomb shelter so she won’t “feel the trauma”.
So, how did I spend these past 48 hours? Worrying about my children and volunteer grant writing for Women Wage Peace – “a grassroots movement with tens of thousands of members from the right, center and left of the political spectrum, Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, united in the demand for a mutually binding non-violent accord between Israelis and Palestinians”.
Tomorrow night marks the beginning of Yom Hazikaron – Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism that segues into Independence Day on Wednesday evening. So, as we enter this season of Israeli “National Days”and the beginning of Ramadan, all that I have left to say is:
Happy 71st Independence Day to Israel.
Happy Ramadan to my Muslim friends.
…and may we all see Peace in our lifetimes.