Letter from Tel Aviv as cease fire comes into effect

Living in an area which was not spared bombing on 3 nights, as well as working on-site with clients which were constantly bombarded, made the last 11 days into a rough patch, to use some British understatement. The British understatement comes from my maternal British grandparents. All in all, I ran to bomb shelters over 50 times.

Yes, the body came back to my thoughts again. I had put it aside for years. In 1973, on the way to the Syrian front on the Golan Heights, we saw the body of a recently killed Syrian soldier. On the way back from the Syrian front the next day, the body was still there. However it stank something awful and there were flies all over it. It was bloated,  about to explode. The sites of that body never really haunted me; but I did think about it as I lay in bed with the sounds of rockets whizzing overheard, now, in 2021.

Last Wednesday, as  I left my client’s site this week (in Ashkelon) and travelled home, there was a huge rocket barrage. On the radio, I heard the warning to “take cover” for the very area I was travelling thru.  Most drivers stopped their cars and took cover. I heard my late Dad’s voice telling me “floor it and get the fuck out of there”. That’s what I did, as I closed the radio and returned to my audiobook Hidden Valley Road, a book about a family heavily impacted by severe mental illness.

Did I think about Gaza? In my military days, during one of the courses, I was stationed there for a few months. Not on the border of Gaza, but in Gaza City. I used to buy myself Seven Up and Hershy Bars, which were unavailable in Israel at the time.

To get back to my question! I did, but not the way that many of my readers probably did. I thought about what happens with the people there who have no say whatsoever about how their government operates. I thought about the devastating impact of religious beliefs on the Gazans. I thought how lucky I am to be secular. How lucky I am to have been born on the winning side, although I am aware that the world press is most sympathetic when the Jews lose. 

And I remembered all the time what my fate would be if we were not strong. No dhimi for me, thank you very much.

My daughter called me every day urging me not work. She rarely calls me once a week! My son called me often as well. I reminded each of them where the will is and told them that at 71+, I prefer death by bombing more than other health atrocities which await me.

Am I critical of my own government? It’s hard to expect too much from the thugs who run our show, influenced as they are by their right wing, fascist religious base.

Both sides have their lunatic fringe, yet if you take the most open minded and liberal people on both sides, they are still light years apart. This is a blood/religious/territorial  feud of the worst kind; no end is in site. Would a left wing government acted differently? Well I have a strange answer for that. My guess is that a left wing government would have have bombed Gaza much earlier due to the incendiary balloons  lobbed at us for years. Only a right wing government such as the one we have could have waited so long.

So now it’s back to “normal” for a while, until the next break down of the “hudna” , a must know Arabic word for people who want to know how violence ends in this neck of the words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Letter from Tel Aviv as cease fire comes into effect

  1. Man, O man, Allon. . . I can’t even imagine what you describe. Of course, because of the clear way you lay it out, I AM able to imagine it, which takes my sentence to mean something like, ‘While your description makes it not only imaginable but vividly and painfully clear, it is an awful thing to see it, even in my mind.’
    After our many interactions this week, I am starting to believe that, like a few other ‘hot spots’ on the earth, yours is a microcosm of what we humans MUST figure out pretty soon. . . Along with climate care.
    Wish I had a radio show I could return to right now, maybe Garrison Keilor’s Prairie Home Companion. . .

  2. Dear Allon, Thank you for sharing your experience allowing us to humanize the “news” about the ongoing pain and brutality in this conflict. Your letter is a source of challenge and support for me to re-invest in doing what I can to address our inhumanity with each other. The humanity in your letter itself is a powerful source of hope in the midst of tragedy. Thank you.

  3. Hi Allon,

    I’m glad that you’re safe. I’m guessing that much thought is going into making the emergency shelters stronger than they are now.

    I’m also glad that the IDF demonstration of how well the Iron Dome anti-missile defenses work was so convincing. I had not realized how effective anti-missile missiles could be.

    Stay as safe as you can.

    Chuck

    Chuck

  4. First of all, I’m glad you’re OK. Let’s hope this time that it’s a real cease fire, not the historic version in which they fire 10-20 rockets/day instead of 800-1000.

    • What they do after a cease fire is lob a few balloons with fire bombs to burn field. “Small provocations”.
      The mistake we made was not punishing each and every provocation seriously.

  5. Allon,
    Just wondering out loud… how much LESS likely would this recent violence have been, if Netanyahu had been able to form his government?

    Keep the faith!

    cb

    • Hi Charley
      Very very hard to know.
      Gaza is a chronic problem and Netanyahu is a fucking snake who could have chosen to ignore provocations.
      Very hard call to make.
      Allon

  6. For some reason I particularly like this post Allon. Perhaps because as some one said, it is “human” and free of political hype. I hope no bomb has found you since.

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