I woke up to snow this morning, the 12th of November, and seriously considered opting to work from home. I did not want to deal with scraping the ice off of my windshield since I did not park in my garage the night before.
Then I saw the news coming in from Israel, dozens of rockets sent from Gaza in response to the assassination of Bahaa Abu al-Ata, the former head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group. It has been relatively quiet in terms of rocket attacks for some time, but the old familiar feeling of helplessness kicked in, because there is so little I can do from far away. My mind went back to all of the times when Israel was pulled into defensive operations that escalated into war. They often started with situations like what prompted today’s barrage of missiles from Gaza.
My first reaction was to check with the many pieces of my heart who live in Israel, to make sure they were ok.
Throughout the morning, I received responses, my Whatsapp notifications pinging with each dear one who let me know they were ok. The universal tone to my concern was one of nonchalance, a universal shrug since rockets like this are so normal.
Me: “You ok with all the rockets?”
Friend 1: “Yes, thank you for checking in dear, made it a work-from-home day, otherwise, we’re doing fine.”
Friend 2: “We were woken up by the siren this morning at 8, then it was all clear, got a text to stay at home from work, so it ended up being a fun day. I told my mom it is our version of a snow day.”
Friend 3: “Pffft. Not even close to being bad.”
Friend 4: “Hey dear. Thank you for your concern. We are all good. Not a big deal, we keep on going. Like always.”
Friend 5: “A rocket that wasn’t intercepted landed in my neighborhood. Again.”
Friend 6: “Yeah all good in the meanwhile, we’re training soldiers and reserves for the worst case scenario, I don’t reckon something will happen.”
And so on, and so forth. Over and over again, I was thanked for my concern, but it was no big deal. School being canceled, people having to stay away from work, shops closing. Soldiers being called up and transported to the Gaza border in case of escalation. Rockets being fired and intercepted.
All shrugged off as normal. As merely a reason to work from home.
My friends were more interested in how things are going in my life, and when I would next be in Israel for a visit.
I look out the window in my office at the snow falling with more gusto. Snow and ice should be reasons someone needs to work from home. Not rockets from terrorists.