Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sometimes I Hate Being Right

As expected, yesterday was a difficult day. Over 200 rockets were fired on northern Israel (210-230 according to different counts - it's difficult to know for sure as some land in open areas). One person died, one in critical condition and over a 100 people were wounded. There was massive damage to houses, buildings and commercial areas. And more fires.

My cousin, two years younger than me and a father of two, was drafted for reserves. Another cousin who volunteered for relief in shelters in Tzfat (Safed) had a close encounter. A rocket fell 20 metres (yards) from her. Luckily, she's fine, "only" with anxiety attack. I think they had time to dodge. It's crazy.

We get more and more information of how Hezbollah is firing the rockets from inside houses and villages, pictures from the IDF and Lebanese bloggers are only some of those claiming it (and by the way, a leaflet from the IDF saying 'leave or die' is really just marginally better IMHO).

So I'm thinking, depressed, there is no way to beat this kind of fighting which is what most world leaders seem to want (even if they say something else, their actions, or lack there of, speak volumes). They want Israel to beat Hezbolla for them, but at what cost? Israelis and Lebanese are the ones paying the price daily.

Besides, do I want to be responsible for killing a man's baby even if the man is of Hezbolla? Even if he just used the rocket launcher near his baby's crib to fire Katyusha rockets on me?

How do we handle that? Do I want another Qana? Are human life algebra? Do I want another rocket launched on me? How much is one Israeli life worth? How much is my life worth? How much are the 100 Iraqi civilians dead a day worth? How much is one American soldier worth? Or an Arab-Israeli child? A Lebanese grandma? A Palestinian baby? A Palestinian suicide-bomber? A French girl? An African family?

How much would you pay to continue living in the comfort you're used to? $10,000?
How much would you pay to continue living? One person's life?
How much would you pay for your kids to continue living? One person's kids?

Sorry, I'm a bit depressed because I had high hopes from the security council yesterday. I was really hoping they would call for a ceasefire. Then I heard they're not planning to convene again before Monday or Tuesday. To what end I ask?

Sirens, explosions, booms... You know my routine by now... Shaking hands, racing heart, sick to my stomach... Five dead just from today's latest round (not confirmed)...

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So_Far said...

Mel, this world is crazy and unfair. You are totally right. This war seems to be a game which will light a great fire. As it seems for the moment although people around the world wish it to stop, the leaders of them want it to be continued.
I still believe that there is hope for the people of the middle east to live in peace respecting each other. But who cares about simple people and their beliefs? We are just numbers when some others decide to play a game so simply as if they opened their PC..
Keep safe... keep faith on

Marewheeee said...

My husbands cousin's daughter married an Israeli and they live there with their three small children. They were here in Massachusetts for the first two weeks in July after which they returned home. I often wonder how people who live in perpetual war zones manage.
I find your first hand account of life there frightening and courageous at the same time.
I'm very down these days, on the world as it is. Seems like everywhere there is horrible news. I feel so lucky.
My prayers are with all who suffer.

Trée said...

Melly, just want you to know I'm reading everything you're writing. My comments are few simply because I don't know what to say other than to offer thoughts and prayers for all. I do appreciate you giving us a look inside the human element of this horrible situation. Your blog makes it real, not just another news item.

charlotte said...

I've never lived in a war zone, so I can't imagine how it is for you. However, reading what you write is so much more real to me than seeing the images on TV.I think everyone in the West is so inured to violence on television that we don't actually believe what we're seeing is true. Either that, or we don't want to believe it. You're very brave. I hope you and your family remain safe.

jmk said...

Im here, sending support and prayers. I wish you some comfort today, and rest from all this horror... And hugs from another who suffers in the heart for you.... jmk

Terry Crane said...

Two comments. One, cease-fire would mean 20,000 missiles launched an Israel when the cease-fire ends. Don't wish for it, fear it. Second, the answer to your question - yes, open fire, protect your kids, protect people on your side. The fact they lost humanity and give birth to their babies only to use them as human shields does not mean you _must_ sacrifice yours. They made the choice to use their children as spending money, that is their choice. You still have the choice to nurture and educate and care for yours, and to protect them with all the firepower you have.

Look at it like that. They killed their children when they open fire from their vicinity. Israel does not, never, not in a single situation, directly targets children. Any dead child is on Hezbollah.

doug said...

Besides, do I want to be responsible for killing a man's baby even if the man is of Hezbolla? Even if he just used the rocket launcher near his baby's crib to fire Katyusha rockets on me?

Do I want to live or do I not. And even if I do not particularly, do I want some fascist thug to make the decision for me?

Same question. Different phrasing. How you shape the battlefield determines how the battle win tend to go.

I think, brutal as it sounds, that I somehow feel 'safer' with my 'shaping' than with yours. You can't fight existential enemies and yourself at the same time. Inevitably you have to lose.

I deeply sympathise with your horrible position, but perhaps I don't have to possess a great imagination, to be able to envision a position that would be many many times worse.

One of those positions would be your fate in the hands of that hypothetical Hezbollah 'family man'. Do you think he would be consumed by angst? Do you really ?

Marie said...

Thank you for the links, the connection, your humanity in the face of fear. Numbers now have names and faces. When I hear a count I think of you, not 'them'. What you're enduring, by the standard of my life, is immeasurable, and so is the gift you offer as you share with me.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

"Do I want to...?"

Of course not. A high school friend hit and killed a drunk who had stumbled in front of his car. Not his fault, yet he felt guilty.

Remember that abstract questions often deceive. The practical questions in a fallen world are what we actually face.

Edie said...

"Sorry, I'm a bit depressed..."
Thank you for your writings Melly. I often think how draining it must be for you to continue this blog with all that's going on around you...with all that's on your mind, heavy in your heart but still you continue. You’re entitled to all of your thoughts and feeling and your most certainly entitled to express them freely on your own apologies please. Everything you said is right…it actually made me feel sick when I heard a certain Western leader say, “I will defend our way of life at all costs.” It’s gross! I know people have attitudes about the western world but the attitudes have been earned. Many people I know, self included, are embarrassed for the gluttony of a reputation we have…

be well, be safe

redchurch said...


When do you get to go back to Canada? I know your parents don't want to leave. But what if the fighting lasts a year? Two years? Five?

Although that length of fighting is unpleasant to think about, it is something that has to be considered.

Melly said...

so-far, marewheeee, trée, charlotte, jmk - Thanks for the words of encouragement. I don't feel so brave myself, especially when I look at the kids and babies who endure it.

Terry, Doug, thanks for your comments and your opinion, even if I don't fully agree with them.

Marie, thank you. It's people like you who give me support to continue.

Assistan, these aren't abstract questions for me. They're as real as can be.

Edie, you've been so supportive always. I've come to feel like I have many like-minded friends all over the world.

Eric, I hope this will not be the case. I really do. I can't think much beyond that right now. The security council will vote early next week. Hope for me, for all of us.