Israel and Syria: Scare in the Air– One Israeli’s Reaction

A Note on This Entry

My computer has crashed and I have no confidence that I will be able to write this simple entry from this ancient machine, but I will try anyway. No frills. Little editing. The links are readily available from all main news sources, especially Israeli. Please look to my sidebar for guidance.

Scare in the Air 

Yesterday’s air scare between the Syrian and Israeli military sent points of fear throughout the Israeli population.

We listen with half an ear to the peace talks (through the generations), but with two ears to the security situation, which has much more potential to impact our lives.

When the news came that there had been some kind of an altercation, my first throughts were for my friends, especially the men, who would certainly be called for active military reserve duty within hours– as they were last summer.

Next, selfishly, I thought about myself. How could I bear sending my loved ones to war yet again? Last year was hard enough, but so soon? And the bomb shelters. Sitting in the bomb shelters. Attacks by aircraft are different than airborne missiles. While supposedly targeted, who knows what intent our opposing military regimes might have in mind.

It appears that both sides have decided to deemphasize whatever did happen yesterday– which is excellent news. At least our militaries and the governments that run them can agree on that, something of serious consequence. But it doesn’t lessen the feeling of unbalance that the population has upon hearing such news.

As a young person, I think of my friends; parents think of their children; teenagers think of themselves and their upcoming service; children (if they are privvy to the news) think of their parents; and the older generation thinks of their children and grandchildren (as well as their own past).

Ever since the truce last year, the question on our minds is not “if” but “when.” It is no secret that Hezbollah has rearmed to pre-war levels and that all armies in region have been strengthened. Gaza is a mess and its constant air raids on Sderot make daily (if not hourly) news. Roads are blocked in the area. Hamas is a nightmare. And everyone knows that Iran has the potential for cataclysimic consequences in the region and the world.

I think of my audience as primarily American– which I believe it is– and I caution you not to conceive of the situation in Israel as you would of the US. Syria is not Al Quaeda. Gaza is not Afghanistan. Iran is not Iraq. While every battlefield has quagmires of our own creation, I urge you to look at Israeli security through an independent lens. If the idea of age old politics, ancient arguments, and political controversy get you down or are too confusing, think of the people.

The daily lives of average citizens are the basis of humanity. Don’t wring your hands about the state of the world, but when violence does come, think of us on the ground and– please– do what you can to improve peoples’ daily lives. Israeli recovery this year was hugely supported by the millions that came in through the Jewish Federations and friends throughout the world. Volunteers poured to the North for aid and recovery missions. And Israelis made special efforts to patronize Northern businesses, as they are now doing in Sderot. Most appreciated of all was the significance of the gestures that showed all Israelis and especially Israeli Jews that we are not alone. We embody the spirit of giving and that yes, Am Israel Chai.

NOTE:

Today marks one month’s authorship of The New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy. I am so glad to be here and am really excited for what is to come. Please bear with me as I figure out these computer problems. There are many posts waiting to be written that will be posted as soon as technical problems are resolved.

Thank you for reading and Shabbat Shalom.

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