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Adele Raemer
Life on the Border with the Gaza Strip

Winning the War on Terror… in Baby Steps

Good morning everyone. I trust you all slept safely.

I know that those of you who live just south of me got incoming rocket attack warnings. I hope you and your families were not too traumatized. It is always frightening when you hear that alarm (which I haven’t heard, personally, since last year’s war) but even more terrifying when it invades your sleep, ejecting you from your bed to hit the ground running. Even more profoundly so when you have to grab your child on the way to the safe room – or help your elderly mother, or handicapped teen, with less than 10 seconds till impact.

Alarm Oct 10

The odds that the rocket will actually hit your house are not really that high. But after last summer, after the deaths of my friends and neighbors who were killed by a mortar on the last day of the war while fixing the electricity tower, I don’t like playing the odds game.

My children were all born and raised here. My youngest daughter is especially fearful about living in this region – fearful about rocket attacks and infiltration. That fear was present even before the tunnels. Ever since she was about nine-years-old. When she announced her impending marriage, I was thrilled, yet sceptical that they would settle here. Even though her husband was born and raised here, on Nirim, as well.

This brave child of mine has actually decided to make Nirim her home. She is now the mother of a gorgeous 5-month-old. Together with giving birth, bringing into this world a precious new soul that needs to be kept safe from the rockets, she gave birth to an ever more acute need to keep her world and those around her, safe. She’s doing great — baby steps get you there in the end.

Lilach

Early yesterday evening, she sent me a WhatsApp message, asking me to close my saferoom iron window and sleep in there last night.

But I didn’t.

I wanted my bed.

I wanted my two open windows, with the newly-fresh cool air (after the long, stifling hot summer) streaming through.

I wanted to refuse to give in to the fear.

It’s a little victory, but I won last night’s war on terror. Baby steps.

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 moderates a FB group named "Life on the Border". https://goo.gl/xcwZT1 Adele recently retired after 38 years as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, as well as a teacher trainer and counselor for the Israeli MoE for EFL and a Tech Integration Coach. She blogs here about both Life on the Border, as well as about digital pedagogy, in "Digitally yours, @dele". She is a YouTuber, mostly 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, although on COVID hiatus, until allowed back into hospitals, she clowns as often as she can in the pediatric ward in the hospital in Ashkelon. As a result of her activity as an advocate for her region, she was included among the Ha'aretz "Ten Jewish Faces who made Waves in 2018" https://goo.gl/UrjCNB. In November 2018 she was invited to Geneva by an independent investigative committee for the UN to bear witness to the border situation, and in December 2019 addressed the UN Security Council at the request of the US ambassador to the UN.
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