Last night, at 2 a.m., another rocket was fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip. (In Hebrew, this form of attack is insensitively called “tiftufim” or “light showers”, as if the threat were nothing more than the falling of water from the sky.) Still, sirens screamed again jolting hundreds of residents of southern Israel from their sleep; sending them running to safe-rooms (if they have them) or to the nearest stairwell (for those with no other option).
This time, I was spared that early-morning exercise. I live on a kibbutz on the border, but further south of yesterday’s rocket attack. I learned about this latest event in the morning when I was shaken awake by the reverberations of the IDF retaliation bombing. That was around dawn.
Last night’s rocket landed in an open field, north of the Gaza Strip, and landed somewhere between the kibbutzim in that area and the industrial area of southern Ashkelon. All the residents from those areas were unceremoniously jolted from their sleep.
The troubling part of this is that the Morning News announcement following such an event always states: “A rocket was fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip. No injuries were sustained; no damage to property incurred”. OK – no damage to property, granted. But “no injury”? Do you have ANY idea what it’s like when your heart is sent from 0 – 200 mph in a nano-second as you are suddenly and loudly thrown from your sleep by an incoming rocket warning? Do you KNOW how long it can take to calm down after experiencing that, and get back to sleep? Have you ANY idea how children who lived through last summer’s war are affected by such instances?
I’ll tell you how: regression to bed-wetting, nightmares, fear of going to sleep, difficulties concentrating in school… the list goes on and on. Those of us who live here are all PTSD to one extent or another, and the sound of an alarm, or the “Red Alert” (for those of us who are closer to the border) heave us all back to our flight instincts to take immediate cover.
Of course, the only solution is getting back to the table and reaching a political solution. The same old they-bomb-us-we-bomb-them doesn’t work. Never did. Been there, done that, got the t-shirts.
Rather than just sitting by and feeling helpless, there is a multi-partisan lobby that is being founded officially in the Knesset next week: MKs Yifat Shasha-Biton (Kulanu), Haim Yellin (Yesh Atid) and Omer Bar-Lev (Labor) are leading it. The opening meeting of the new Lobby for Israel Borders (Western Negev and Northern Israel) will take place next Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 12:30 in the “Jerusalem Hall” in the Knesset. Please join us. Because every time a rocket is, fired regardless of whether it hits a building or just sets off alarms, there IS damage done, and we REALLY have NO time to waste.
(If you wish to participate, please sign up with an email to email@example.com including your name and ID number.)