Today is the third day of the war, and it’s fair to say that we are still in shock. The streets are empty, and in my neighborhood in Ramat Gan, there are almost no cars on the road. Strangely, it reminds me of the early days of the Corona lockdown in March 2020. At that time too, we were very much in shock, and had no idea what the future would bring. We haven’t heard many sirens since Saturday night, but schools are closed, so many parents have to stay home, and grandparents have to chip in.
In many places around Israel, there are huge help centers. Activists from various factions of the Protest Movement (against the judicial overhaul) have utilized their logistical capabilities and infrastructure created for the protest to aid the army and the evacuees from the south. There’s a significant need, as the state of Israel, including the army, was caught totally off guard by such a horrible attack. It is heartwarming to see the civil society in action, yet very disappointing that the government, especially those in charge, have neglected all their responsibilities.
Yesterday, I wrote in my blog that since Saturday before noon, I haven’t heard back from my friend in the southern kibbutz. Sadly, we found out yesterday that she was taken hostage by Hamas. My friend is an admired peace activist and one of the prominent members of several peace organizations. Her kibbutz has regularly hosted outdoor meetings with Israelis and Palestinians, and my friend was one of the leaders. In those meetings, they often held discussions via Zoom with peace activists in Gaza.
We have no idea about the fate of the hostages in Gaza, but I implore the government to bring the hostages back, and I expect each member of Netanyahu’s government not to rest until they are safely home. This is one responsibility that the government cannot ignore. Many of the hostages are innocent civilians, including women and children.