Submitted by Adria on July 23, 2006 - 1:00pm
An email from a colleague and friend, Avital Sharon, posted on the Blogora with her permission and unnecessary apologies:
Thank you for all your emails and support. It means a lot to me and solidifies my feeling that I have a second home and a second family across the ocean.
Josh suggested that I will let you all know how I am doing. If you don't have the time or patience to read it all, the bottom line is that the situation is not good but personally I am fine. A necessary apology for my English—I don't have anyone to proofread this mail.
Things here are indeed crazy. I wish I could say that the media exaggerates (as they usually do) but this is a real war. It is still nameless but don't be confused by the location—we call it the first Israel-Iran war or the first
chapter in the war between Iran to the West.
Israel had had a few great years lately especially with the optimism that accompanied the withdrawal from the Gaza strip, but I landed just in time for the show…
In my first days here I was a bit stressed out, as if two years in the US have dissolved my walls of defense. There is something very protective about America (or is it Texas?) – it is so big and clean and spacious. Even the sky is amazingly high and open (and blue). I find that Americans (Texans?) do not like to argue or talk about politics so if one wants to, it is easy to forget about
the crazy world out there. Luckily I had a buffer zone of a few days in Paris—people walking down the street, pushing each other in the metro, waiters do not give a damm in my direction and 5 people die while celebrating with half a million others the victory over Portugal in the Champs Elysees — "La folie collective."
So I landed in Israel half prepared. The human being though is an adaptive creature and I must admit that although I am concerned I sleep well at night.
Perhaps we have just become skilled at repressing things. It is difficult to deal with the brew of emotions a war like that (or simply living here) evokes.
Of course, I am lucky. My family lives in the center of Israel that so far was not hit by the missiles from Gaza or the ones from Lebanon. My friends in the north (the distance is less than 70 miles—tiny country) must sleep in shelters at a sweltering heat of 100 deg. They saw their houses collapse and friends get injured (or die). One refugee friend is now staying with me at my parents'
house. Last week he woke up in the morning and realized that all the birds had left his home town. It was his signal to come down here. After 11 days of fighting and after the neighboring building was directly hit his family has also decided to leave. Now they are trying to find a home for their 20 cats.
Another friend who grew up in that area has just shared with me his feeling of being swamped by painful memories from his childhood in shelters (the cause for the first war in Lebanon). Others were called in the middle of life (recruited forces) to the army and don't know when they will be back at work or with their families.
Here, in the Tel- Aviv area, we live normally just a bit more slowly. More alarmed. Sometimes suicide bombers penetrate this area therefore streets are closed and we have traffic jams until the terrorists are caught. On general though, I doubt that a stranger passing by in Tel-Aviv would notice the difference. People are working, sitting in cafes, meeting friends, children are playing in the streets. Life. Last night I watched the sunset on the beach—a beautiful red sun setting into the turquoise blue sea. Choppers loaded with ammunition were flying in the sky. The holy land. I don't even know sometimes
why I love it so much but even now there is something very strong and invigorating about it.
The atmosphere in the streets is sad but is surprisingly ok. Wars and calamities have a strange (and dangerous?) way of making people feel closer to each other. Of course, some companies are taking advantage of the situation to advertise their support in the north and offer their special deals—free internet installation and cheaper calls on the cells—just join us to this happy
communicative war…. On general though, people open their houses, hearts and pockets to support each other. Some new websites even channel the transformation of goods and people from the north to their new houses in the rest of the country. What can I say; we are good at handling crises.
Morally the intifada was more difficult to bear. In this case, although my heart breaks to think about the innocent victims in Lebanon, we feel that we had absolutely no choice. Ever since Israel left Lebanon 6 years ago we were consistently provoked and attacked by the Hezbollah but did not react. The results are detrimental. Because no one stopped them, the Hezbollah gained power and have become a real threat to our existence. With Iran (which controls the Hezbollah) going to have a nuclear weapon in a couple of years things look
I would like to send Nasrallaha (and Assad and Rafsangani) to the Dalai Lama or to take Zigi Marley's advice and offer them weed but I do not think that they would be too enthusiastic. So a war.
Of course, I do not forget that most wars begin with consensus and I hope that this (left) government will be able to end the war soon with a good agreement and minimal casualties to both Israel and Lebanon.
It is comforting to know that in case Tel- Aviv will be bombed I would be able to come back earlier to my second home in Austin. At the moment though, as crazy as it might seem to you, I am still happy to be here.
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