Last week, Israel reeled from the news of the knifings, the rammings, the terrorist attacks that had been popping up around the country, like mushrooms in the wake of yesterday’s rain. People were mainlining the news reports, bracing themselves for the next announcement of another “lone wolf attack”, which could take place anytime, ANYPLACE in the country. Such is the face of terror.
The past few days, the government has started “handling” the situation. As a result, the attacks have become fewer and farther between, since walls and barriers have been put up between “us” and “them”. The attacks now are more or less limited to the areas in East Jerusalem and on the West Bank. People from other parts of the country seem to have let out a collective sigh of relief. *Whew* ….Back to our lives, back to shopping without looking over our shoulders, back to the cinema, back to “status quo”.
In the Western Negev, this is what has become “status quo”, a few times a week, with barely a mention on the news. I share with you an excerpt from last night’s dinner-time conversation between friends who live in different communities around the border with Gaza:
Adele: Did you guys just have a Red Alert?
I’m not on Kibbutz.
But my wife said that she heard an explosion.
Avi: (Angry Emoticons)
Adi: (Quoting an online source) “Red Alert: Explosion north-west of the kibbutz”. Let’s hope that the rest of tonight is quiet.
Alona: We also heard an explosion in XXX.
Ora: Ggrrrr…. We’ve been hearing planes overhead all day! So they responded?
Neither of the situations can be “handled” for a prolonged period. Everyone knows that a pressure cooker left on too long is destined to explode. Serious steps need to be taken by both our governments. Quickly. It’s not enough to let the steam out. We need to finish cooking this “meal” properly, once and for all. For the good of ALL of the children who live in this region, be it in the Western Negev, the West Bank, Jerusalem or Gaza. Our kids should not be growing up afraid of a 13 year-old terrorist knifing them while riding their bikes, or having 8 seconds to run for shelter when they hear the calm female voice announcing “Red alert, Red alert”.
We should not be having “dinner-time conversations” like these.