Why the south is livid

A few words explaining MY take on why residents of the south are so incensed about about last night and this morning:

Facts:
1) Residents from Sderot protested last night in a few places, objecting to the cease fire.

2) Students from the Shar Hanegev (the school that led the march to Jerusalem last week in the norther Gaza Envelope area) have declared that they are NOT going back to school – that they are striking.

3) The Eshkol Region parents committee (mid-southern Gaza Envelope area) have called upon parents not to send their high school children to school.

4) Tens of people are again at the Kerem Shalom crossing preventing trucks from getting to the crossing to Gaza.

It may be difficult for those who do not live here to understand why residents here, on different parts of the political rainbow, object to this cease fire. I’ll try to explain.

When you are threatened, you go into “fight or flight mode”. Your senses are sharpened, the adrenaline rushes through your body, and you try to prepare yourself – and your family, to make the “right” decisions for what will keep you all safe. You pack bags and are ready to move.

Personally, the last time there were rockets, I climbed up to my attic (and it is scary going up the metal steps to my unprotected attic when a Red Alert could catch you at any moment) to bring down my suitcase and dog carrier, so that they would be close at hand in case we were evacuated. I left them downstairs after that… that is my “readiness”.

When the rockets are exploding around me, I can’t concentrate on anything but “survival”. For me, for my family. Concern for my community — and yes – concern for my friends on the other side of the border, as well. The only thing that I can really concentrate on is bearing witness to what is happening, and trying to pass that on to the world outside of this region (including by writing or vlogging on Facebook, granting interviews…. whatever I can do to try to make others understand what is really going on here.) Your life is in a turmoil, despite the fascade of calm that we try to put on our faces, to keep our kids calm, to keep each other calm. Fear is catching. So is calm.

Going to sleep in the saferoom, instead of your bedroom sounds like a trivial thing, but for me, it is a confession, a recognition that my home – the place that is supposed to be my “safe and happy place”, is not safe.

I am only responsible for myself. I have no young children to worry about. I have no elderly or infirm parents for whose safety I am responsible. Take my concerns and multiply them by 100 when you are responsible for the lives of your loved ones. When you have to decide whether to gather up your brood and flee to someplace where they are not confined to 3 * 3 meters in order to be safe, the stress is even more acute. When you know that it is not safe right now to let your 3 year old go to the bathroom, your heart gets crushed with the pressure for the safety of your precious ones.

We live in an area that is uncontested Israel. We have the same right to safety and security as anyone who lives anyplace else in this country. And yet, our lives are periodically disrupted by violence that is led by a relatively small gang of criminals, terrorists, who hold us as well as the citizens of Gaza, hostage. Hamas decide when we are going to have a cease fire, Hamas are the ones who decide when we can walk around safely outside. Hamas are the ones who make decisions for us here, not our government. I want my government to take the reins. So do others who live here. This is the reason why people are hitting the streets. This is why there is such dissatisfaction with this sudden ceasefire. How many times can you turn your life and the lives of your family, upside down, and then go back to “business as usual” as if nothing had happened? I don’t want a war, but I want my government to lead me, not Hamas. I want my government to be pro-active in reaching a long term solution, whatever it takes.

We have been living on an out-of-control roller coaster ride for the past 18 years. We never know when we will be thrown on it, nor do we know when it will suddenly stop, what damage will have been done by the time it’s over, and when the next ride is about to begin. All we want is for this violent roller coaster ride to be put out of commission. For good.

That’s why.

(Please note: the above is MY personal take on the issue)

If you want to learn more about what it is really like living on the border, you are invited to come join our Facebook group: Life on the Border.

About the Author
Born in the USA, Adele has lived in a Kibbutz on the border with the Gaza Strip since 1975. She is a mother and a grandmother living and raising her family on the usually paradisaical, sometimes hellishly volatile border. She is affiliated with "The Movement for the Future of the Western Negev", for sanity's sake. She also moderates a FB group named "Life on the Border". Adele is a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, as well as a teacher trainer and counselor for the Israeli MoE for EFL and Digital Pedagogy. She blogs here about both Life on the Border, as well as about digital pedagogy, in "Digitally yours, @dele". She has recently become a devoted YouTuber, churning out about a YouTube a week on the topic of digital stuff. (https://goo.gl/iBVMEG) Her personal channel covers other issues close to her heart (medical clowning, Life on the Border, etc.) (https://goo.gl/uLP6D3) In addition, she is a trained medical clown and, as any southern clown would do, clowns as often as she can in the pediatric ward in the hospital in Ashkelon. Adele has 4 children, 6 grandchildren (and counting) and two dogs. She has yet to acquire a partridge in a pear tree.
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