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Day 192 Of The War: Another Week

My photo of the demonstration in Kaplan on April 13th, 2024
My photo of the demonstration in Kaplan on April 13th, 2024

Like every week, I was going to write about the latest protest against the government and the demand to bring back the hostages last Saturday night. But as we left Kaplan to go home, we heard about Iran’s missile attack. In 1991, when Israel was under a similar attack from Iraq, we were not in Israel; at that time, we lived in Grapevine, a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas. It was before the internet was widespread and long before digital newspapers and cellular phones. Thus, all the information we received in Texas about the Gulf War came from American radio and TV, and those sources hardly mentioned Israel. From afar, with limited access to information and my parents in Israel refusing to worry me, I knew almost nothing.

In contrast, last Saturday night, my daughters abroad were extremely worried. They wrote to me and called to express their concerns and to make sure I was all right. They knew that the attack had started. Having real-time accessibility to information about everything that happens here makes them very anxious, and being away adds to the stress over the situation in Israel right now. In 1991, it was easier for me to carry on with my life. The technological developments in recent years make it quite impossible.

The morning after the missile attack from Iran, the roads in Tel Aviv were empty, and at my rowing club, most of the boats remained in the boathouse. People stayed away. Later that morning, when I got to the dining room at the headquarters of the Hostage Families where I volunteer, I heard from some of the volunteers that they didn’t sleep the whole night; others told me that they went to bed with their clothes on to be ready to go to the staircases of their buildings in case of a siren alert. Unfortunately, many buildings in Tel Aviv, especially old ones, don’t have a safe room or shelter in the basement. These are mainly old buildings. In my home in Ramat Gan, I don’t have a safe room either. It is a relatively old house from the 1950s, and at that time nobody thought that a shelter was needed. When my husband and I returned to Israel with our young family after being away for 14 years, it never occurred to me that there was so much that I missed in the Israeli experience. Up until this day, I am still learning, for example, about modes of behavior that Israelis had to adopt at wars that happened while I was away.

Still, a few words about the demonstration in Kaplan on Saturday night. In spite of the warnings about an imminent attack from Iran, thousands of people gathered in Kaplan to demand the immediate return of the hostages and elections now. The speeches were full of frustration and anger. We are tired of being associated with this shameful government. It doesn’t represent me and most of my country.

About the Author
I hold a PhD in English Literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, specializing in writing about issues related to women, literature, culture, and society. Having lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994), I bring a diverse perspective to my work. As a widow, in March 2016, I initiated a support and growth-oriented Facebook group for widows named "Widows Move On." The group has now grown to over 2000 members, providing a valuable space for mutual support and understanding.
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