This Is Not A Test: Motherhood in Israel

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It was one of those evenings when the biggest problems you face with your kids is whether there should be seconds on strawberry ice cream (there were), whether we had time to play one more round of Go Fish before bed (we did) and whether we would read King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub or Where the Wild Things Are (we went with both.)

Their hair was still wet from the shower, their eyes starting to droop when the siren wailed.

No. This is not a test. This is not a test. This is not a test.

We live in Israel, and our country is at war with a terrorist organization just an hour’s drive away; a terrorist organization committed to destroying Israel, a terrorist organization hurdling rockets at us for the last 10 years. And anyone living in this country – Muslim, Christian, or Jew – is a target.

And you know what’s crazy? Just like I learned STOP DROP AND ROLL as a kid growing up in LA smack dab in earthquake country, my kids knew exactly what to do when the sirens screech through the night. They ran to their flip flops lined up by the door – thank GOD for cheap slip-on shoe. My daughter struggled with hers, so I swooped her up in my arms while my son and I fled our home, past the purple scarecrow my children built “to keep the rockets away, Mama, so they don’t hurt us when we sleep,” over rough and rocky ground to a public bomb shelter.

Um, can I get a WTF? We have a public bomb shelter.

Like everyone else in Israel. Bomb shelters are all over this country.

Air raid sirens, Iron Dome – a system to take down rockets mid-air before they land on families like us – bomb shelters and safe rooms, they’re part of the rhythm of this place. And thank God for them, because just before we reached the shelter, the ground moved. Like literally moved.

STOP. DROP. AND ROLL.

No, keep running until we’re safe inside.

“Red Alert, Red Alert” my children sang. “Hurry hurry hurry because now it’s dangerous. Hurry hurry hurry, to a safe area.”

So basically, while I grew up on “The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round,” my kids know a song about what to do during a rocket attack.

“Breathe deep, it’s ok to laugh!” they sang as we reached the inside of the shelter with several other families.


 

We shook with the blast and my daughter screamed – the kind of horror movie scream you hear when the monster slithers out from under the bed, or a deranged clown crawls through the sewer – because these are our monsters, these rockets hurdling towards us, seeking to make a direct hit.

Inside the shelter, what can we do?

We ate Pringles and chocolate milk. We played Go Fish with our neighbors, and prayed.

In Judaism, we have an expression: When shit gets real, first you cry. Then you get angry. And finally you laugh. With your mouth wide open and all teeth showing, you laugh as your body reels.

And as the news broke on Whatsapp that the rocket landed less than a five minute walk from where we were eating strawberry ice cream only minutes before, we skipped the tears, hopped past the anger and went straight to laughing.

Really, there is no other choice.

Comments

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  1. 1

    Lola says

    There are always two sides to the story.I always feel for both:Israelis AND the palastinians.The situation is horrible all around and after so many years BOTH sides are to blame.A mother in Gaza would probably write the same…

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    • 3

      Canadian mom in Israel says

      Please seperate the differance between the people in Gaza, and Hamas. Yes, it is very sad what is happening to the poeople in Gaza also, but they support Hamas, who are terrorists.

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    • 4

      Sarcastic bastard says

      Yes I know what you mean. Recently one of my close friends revealed to me that she had been raped as a teenager, I hugged her, and we both cried, but then she got all upset and indignant when I pointed out to her that there are two sides to every story!

      I mean just because her rapist knocked out half her teeth and destroyed her life completely, is that any reason to ignore HIS pain and suffering? She has to accept her part in driving this poor man to doing such extreme action. After all, no one told her to move into that neighborhood, for that matter she could have locked herself up in her room all day and that would have also made it less likely that he would have torn her life apart. For that matter, if she had been wearing a burka it would not have excited him so much, Also, we have to consider the obvious, that if she would have been more willing to put out, there would have been no need for him to get violent in the first place.

      Yet I didn’t have the time to say all this. The ungrateful insensitive girl kneed me in the balls and then punched me in the face! She even chipped a tooth! Then she told me she’d kill me if I ever came near her again and walked off without saying goodbye!

      I pray for them both, that they should both get over their own insecurities and learn to love one another from a more beautiful compassionate space!

      Peace to you all! ;D

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        • 6

          troll squish says

          No hes trolling, unless hes a gun toting extremist like that guy who shot up a school cause he hates girls o.O I wonder which

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          • 7

            Sarcastic Bastard Interpreter says

            He was making the comparison between Israel and the friend that was raped. The rapist is Hamas in this case or possibly the surrounding Arab nations and Israel is the girl that was raped.

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    • 8

      Katherine says

      YES to your comment – I would absolutely agree. Both sides to this story. I am aghast that the US official voted NO to a UN investigation of war crimes. EVERY OTHER COUNTRY VOTED YES.

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  2. 12

    izzy says

    While I certainly appreciate your view and agree no one should have to live under a bomb threat. You are flat out lucky you have a bomb shelter to go to. What about all the children dying in Gaza everyday? I’m married to a Palestinian from the west bank and we go visit every summer. I have never been treated so horrible in my life until I started crossing borders and was harassed and humiliated by the IDF for no reason other than being in the west bank visiting family. I was strip searched at the tel Aviv airport for being in the west bank and violated by a female IDF when she shoved her hand up my vagina looking for “bombs”. So while I respect your point of view please tell me if you were my in laws who were just served demolition papers for there apartment that they have been living in for 30 years and have the deed to and are now being told by the Israeli government they have to get out so they cab knock down their house to make room for more illegal settlements what would you do? You can only back a starving dog into a corner so much before it attacks. I’m not saying hamas is right but they are the only people fighting for the people in gaza to have a right to live. You can leave Israeli tomorrow but the gazans cant leave because of the blockade. They are in an outdoor prison waiting to die one way or the other. I honestly feel bad for all people involved no one should have to live like that but in Israel you have an iron dome funded by the US protecting you, in Gaza they have nothing. The children have no bomb shelter to go to. They have a water crisis, electricity crisis, medical crisis, that’s what they get in Gaza. Do consider yourself lucky you have a bomb shelter and your not on the other side of the seperation wall. Even in the west bank we only had access to 3 dats of running water, while you drive through mountain and see the Israeli settlement have swimming pools? What is that? You get a swimming pool and I can’t even give my kids a shower?Or how about the first day we arrived in the west bank, IDF threw gas bombs down on the street because there was a boy no older than 5 throwing a rock at them, so they throw bombs and I have to run my own lids in the house because their puking and crying from the gas? How would you like to live like that? Once I again I dont agree with Hamas and definitely not Islamic jehad but if I lived in the west bank full time and that was my daily life I might just do the same thing. I’ve never seen people treated like dogs like they are worth nothing until I stepped foot on the Arab side on Israel. It’s a genocide and the world needs to wake up

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    • 13

      Jessica says

      I feel for the innocent children and people of Gaza. But please tell me why Gaza does not have bomb shelters or better infrastructure when Hamas has over $10M, also provided by the US, to pay for tunnels built for terror? What is happening in Gaza is a nightmare. It’s a nightmare in Israel too. The people of Gaza deserve better than Hamas.

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      • 14

        s. says

        The whole situation is heartbreaking – but basically, Jessica answered it: The Palestinians are being held hostage by Hamas. Hamas receives millions – if not billions – in aid: That money goes to building rockets and tunnels to attack Israel.

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        • 15

          izzy says

          Billions in aid would be awesome but unfortunately that goes to Israel. If you have never actually been to israel or Palestine you don’t actually know what’s happening unless your looking to outside of the US media sources. It’s spun in our media to appear as if Israel is actually being damaged or something like that when actually 99% of rockets are detonated by the iron dome before they touch down. And once again no one should have to live under that threat period. But what would you do if you were literally living in an outdoor prison that you could not leave? I’m not saying hamas is right but political talks have done absolutely nothing for the Palestinian people so they only see one way out thats war. What would you do if it were you or your child? Would you sit back and take it and die in a shit hole anyway or would you die trying in hopes that your death could change the game? Until the world demands freedom for the Palestinian people unfortunately this probably not the last we will see from this situation.

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          • 16

            s. says

            really? the US media favors Israel? Oh come onnnn… Ever read the NY times? Or even CNN? When our boys #eyalgiladnaftali were kidnapped, CNN led with a screen shot of soldiers in Hebron – nothing about WHY they were there in the first place.

            i agree that there needs to be a solution where justice and security is part of the equation for both sides.

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        • 17

          Marcy says

          Exactly right, Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization whose charter states death to Israel. They are the ones that will not cease to stop bombing and they describe Jews as pigs. They are being funded by Iran. The people of Palestine voted in Hamas to their Gov’t. I feel for all innocents being harmed, but there is only one side to take, just one is righteous and the other wrong.

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      • 19

        izzy says

        I totally agree they need a better governing body. However no matter the amount of money given the blockade from israel and Egypt only allows medical staff and people in severe medical need out or in . They have no access to resources to rebuild homes let alone bomb shelter. That’s why thereare tunnels to smuggle in concrete steel building materials, but that’s not to say they are not using them for terrorists purposes either. And really 10M is nothing when your talking about the most densely populated area on earth. Idk if you read it heard today but IDF bombed the main electricity site so now only 10% of gaza is receiving power which in normal circumstances is only 6-8 hours per day less for other areas in Gaza. That’s where the money is going to constantly rebuild homes water and power plants roads. Bomb shelter is almost laughable when you talk about Gaza. If the blockade was not in place rockets would not be flying. My husband has an aunt in Gaza who he has never met because she is not allowed out nor her children or husband. Anyhow that’s why Hamas and the PA joined together to make the unity government to try and come up with a technocrat governing body for one United Palestine. However a month later were now in this situation so bringing governing bodies together is put on hold while the people of gaza are waiting and running for their lives.

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    • 20

      Jason Pearlman says

      I agree, it is tragic that the Palestinians in Gaza do not have bomb shelters. But please do not think this is Israel’s fault. It is Hamas, the terrorist group, who has used the concrete to build tunnels into Israel to cause more destruction…. it is Hamas who is stopping the Palestinians in Gaza leave the areas where Israel has announced it will bomb to stop the rockets which are being fired at Israelis… it is Hamas that call on the Palestinians, children included, to go to the rooftops to protect the weapons they have stored in hospitals, schools and mosques. The UN has now twice in two days found Hamas missiles hidden in Palestinian schools.

      We are also getting horrific reports from soldiers injured in hospitals that when they are being attacked by Hamas, there have been cases where the Hamas gunmen are holding a baby in one arm and a machine gun in the other. How horrific!!

      Sarah is lucky she has a bomb shelter to go to, and a siren to warn her of rocket attacks. She has these things because Israel does everything to protect its citizens. In Gaza they do not have these things, because Hamas does everything to endanger theirs.

      Please understand, this is not Israel against the Palestinians, it is Israel against Hamas.

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    • 23

      Shoshanna says

      #1.) Every death these past few weeks is on Hamas. They fire at our kids from behind their own. You don’t want to believe this because you have a western mind and do not understand the Jihad mentality. If you do some fairly simple research you will see this all around.
      #2.) Israel warns civilians to leave multiple times and ways and then waits. Rocket fire continues from there. Hamas does not let civilians leave and moreover, it places the kids in the line of fire. From storing rockets in schools, to firing from next to residences, to their own backfiring missiles that kill their own people, to sending kids with explosives at our soldiers, we have reports from the field of men holding a baby in one arm and shooting from the other. #3.) They rejected 3 ceasefires #4.) they dug tunnels with the money they were supposed to build Gaza with. They lined them with weapons and fake IDF uniforms and they exit by our civilian towns. They are meant to be used to massacre Israelis. #5.) If Israel wanted to kill civilans, there would be no Gaza for you to speak of right now. #6.) assuming you are a fairly intelligent person and a humane one, you should be going out of your way to call out Hamas– the real reason people are dying in Gaza. oh and I don’t believe for one second your vagina story, dear.

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      • 24

        izzy says

        Go ahead and don’t believe I can send you the email that I sent to the director of the airport and his response if you would like. You wake up. Go to Palestine live behind the seperation wall I dare you. Keep fooling yourself with your Israeli media brainwash but the day the world declares Israel an apartheid state I’m coming back for the bitch who did it

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    • 29

      nikki says

      Hamas is fighting by hiding behind these dying children. They are fighting by storing missiles in schools and among civilians. Hamas is fighting with the help of parents who are bringing up their children to believe that the only good jew is a dead one, by teaching them that it is glorious to die young as long as you take a jew out with you.

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    • 30

      Ed Codish says

      This is not genocide. Israel is not trying to exterminate Palestine or Palestinians. Language matters. As to the rest, I rather agree with you and Israel’s behavior can be criticised. But Hamas does favor genocide and all steps to fight it are valid.

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    • 31

      Ocean says

      Newsflash: Jews and Americans can also be strip searched in airports in Israel. That probably has to do with the terrorist threat that it is constantly under. In addition, perhaps the blockade from BOTH Israel and Egypt has something to do with safety. If you do not recall I can remind you of the many many terrorist bombings that occurred when Palestinians were allowed to freely cross borders. Those sure have decreased since the borders have tightened. Why on Earth would Israel allow people who want to kill Israelis freely into the country???? Are they suicidal? No, not them, the Palestinians are and have ALWAYS been willing to kill themselves just to that they can kill a few Jews. This goes back for as long as I can remember. I am not saying that all Palestinians are suicide bombers, but how do you know who is?? There were completely innocent looking women and children suicide bombers. What do you do?? Unlike Hamas, Israel actually values the lives of their people and is doing everything they can to protect their lives. That includes the current operation of destroying tunnels and rocket launching sites, the strip searching, and tight border control, etc.

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    • 32

      dallas says

      Izzy and everyone else who is pro-hamas:
      Please take a good look at West Bank to understand the importance of negotiations and agreements. West bank is thriving! The unemployment rate is low and it’s mostly quiet.
      You want to tell me that negotiations and agreements don’t work?

      If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.– Netanyahu

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      • 33

        izzy says

        The west bank is thriving? I lived there I know the reality perhaps you should take a look. Thriving what a world to describe the west bank, unemployment is low.. please tell me which village you live in to be such an expert.. settlements don’t count. If the Arabs put down there weapons there would be no more Palestine. Not sure where pro Hamas came from because I clearly stated in many threads that Hamas is wrong and no one should have to live under threat of rockets point blank. Also no one should have to live under occupation. Negotiations haven’t done shit for the Palestinian people. 20 years after oslo and they continue to lose homes and land for more illegal settlement to be built… Yeah the west bank is doing awesome

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        • 34

          Stacey says

          Izzy–if the Arabs put down their weapons there would be no more Palestine?? Why would u say something so stupid. U know Israel did not fire back during these last few ceasefires & Hamas continued the whole time. U know it’s Hamas killing everyone. Israel hurts when innocent Palestinians are killed but they give warning & they must stop where the rockets are being shot from.

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    • 35

      Sirena says

      Yes! Finally some intelligent, thoughtful commenters who are in touch with their humanity. Good for you! I feel the same way. You have a bomb shelter. You lived another day. The infants murdered in gaza who do not support the terrorism of hamas, and whose parents are too dirt poor to flee to anywhere but a bomb shelter? These are the ones who are losing it all, for nothing, for the mayhem wreaked by a state that has everything and yet wants them to have nothing. Shame, shame, shame. From this mother’s heart to yours, shame. My one year old sleeps upstairs, peaceful. If he were a palestinian you would celebrate his end. My mother’s heart cries for all the children, the jewish, the muslim, the christian, from every nation; your mother’s heart has shed its tears and turns its back. Thank you God for the heart of the mothers who love all the children and cry at the senseless deaths of all the children. Please help us find a way to peace that will not cost the lives of one more child! Not one more child!

      Not one more child. No other mother’s child. Please God.

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      • 36

        izzy says

        No excuse for the senseless killing. No excuse. I cannot sit back and be quiet . I have seen with my eyes how the IDF operates in the west bank , even though it’s not as tragic as what’s happening in Gaza it is still inhumane. Hide behind the iron dome and bomb shelters and cry out for sympathy all you want but finally the world is waking up to this tragedy. Now today Iraqi Christians are fleeing there homes from another relgious extremist group, it’s sickening. Iraqi Christian are the oldest Christian population in the world. Israel is another extremist group. It’s not about muslims needing Palestine it’s about Palestinian people needing Palestine, Iraqi Christians need there homes in Iraq. Any group can use any religious doctrine to justify their actions, just so happens to be if their Muslim there terrorists but if their Jewish it’s ok? Well it’s not ok from any group of people. Everyone deserves to stay in there homes and feel safe. The world cannot sit back and continue to buy all the bullshit happening every where. If we do not wake up and take a stand Soon don’t fool yourselves into thinking it will stay in the middle east, it will spread across the world like wild fire, slowly bit surely we’re seeing it now one nation at a time.

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    • 37

      Jonathan Reston says

      @Izzy
      While you may get away with fooling the uninformed, your shameless tactics of using takkia/taqqia- the Islamic tactic that permits lying in order to gain advantage for “the cause” won’t work on the educated who are familiar with this tactic.

      You and your kind post pictures of dead children from Syria killed years ago and claim they are dead Palestinian Arab children. Then when you get caught, you insist it’s the Zionist controlled media that is lying.
      Whatever you are doing, you claim Israel is the one doing.

      Simply put, you’re a liar- and a bad one.

      May I make a helpful suggestion? If you’re going to lie, you might consider toning it down a bit and at least tell lies that are within the realm of believability. Anyone even remotely familiar with Israeli airport security knows that they do not conduct body cavity searches at the airport. Your other stories are equally ridiculous.

      The reason why there is a war is because you and your people blindly hate Jews and refuse to live in peace among them. Your continued rejection of peace offers and the horrible propaganda education that teaches Arab children from a young age, irrational hatred towards Jews, teaches them that the Jews stole their land, and that every imaginable problem that exists in Arab society is the Jews’ fault.

      It’s probably a waste of breath posting this message in so far as you are concerned because typically you and your kind are brainwashed beyond reason. But perhaps some other more rational person who doesn’t know any better may see this and realize what you are doing.

      You’re a horrible human being and I hope for the rest of the world’s sake you someday realize this and change your ways.

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      • 38

        izzy says

        Actually I’m not Muslim.. not sure about these tactics your talking about. My husband is from Palestine I’m from the US and he is not a practicing Muslim along with the majority of his family. I dont hate Jews or anyone based upon religion as a sole reason. Being anti-Zionist is not the same as anti-Semitic. As I told another troller in a thread I can send you the email between myself and the tel Aviv airport director. What else? Oh yeah I dont use social media of any form actually scary mommy is literally it, so I’m not posting pictures of children dying from any where with claims to it.
        I am not a liar and I am not a horrible person. I am a person who cares about humanity and peace for all not because of religion because we are people. Of course I wouldnt expect you to understand that since I’m postive your trolling from a Israeli media room looking for negative comments online that don’t support Israel and trying to shame or intimidate people into being quiet. Shame on you , your a horrible person. God forbid someone tell the story of the other side of the wall with her children then your whole cover would be blown. Why dont you bomb another UN shelter and claim the rocket fell short, but how can that be when your so technologically adavnced?

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  3. 39

    Marie says

    Oh please! Israelis all have a safe room, I care a lot more about PALESTINIAN mothers who have to bury their whole family. Over 600 deads so far! All terrorists I suppose?? Babies, toddlers? I’m glad the world finally sees the cruelty of the israelian regime. They are literally commiting a second holocaust. This is not a war this is a genocide. Palestinians lost their land, the land generations of Palestinians inhabited before them, now their hospitals, schools, mosques, homes are bombed by Israel. They are humiliated daily by tyranic israeli soldiers. They cannot leave Gaza and they are being mercilessly bombed. They have nowhere to go. Luckily in 2014, people are much more informed thanks to internet. Israel can’t play its dirty little tricks in secret anymore. Real Jews know that Palestine doesn’t belong to Israel. As far as terrorism go: do you expect that a people can live through more than 60 years of oppression and not get angry? Their families are killed, men imprisonned, women raped, houses destroyed, crops destroyed. Wouldn’t you get mad? Peace? What peace? The only peace Israel will be happy with is when all the Palestinians will be gone. Genocide accomplished. What a shame that zionists can’t learn from the horrors of the holocaust! I’m a christian palestinian and your article is insulting to all my fellow palestinians!

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    • 40

      s. says

      i am only sharing my reality here.

      but do not blame me or israel for the fact that hamas does not build bomb shelters for their citizens. the palestinians of gaza have been taken hostage by hamas – and while i know there are legitimate concerns that the palestinians face as a result of occupation (an occupation that i hope will one day end, for the record) hamas receives millions if not billions in aid from around the world — and they chose to build weapons and tunnels to attack israel instead of developing an infrastructure AND building safe rooms for their people.

      this is not my fault nor is it israel’s fault.

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      • 41

        izzy says

        There would be no need for rockets or bomb shelters if there was no blockade so actually yeah I’m blaming Israel and Egypt and other Arab nations who have turned there back on there Arab brother all in the name of a fictitious country which was created and land given by people who have nothing to do with Palestine. Your religion can promise whatever it wants but that does not make it true or reality

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        • 42

          JD says

          Real, serious question for you izzy: Hamas is against the blockade. They say they are firing missiles at Israel because of the blockade. Why is Hamas not firing missiles at Egypt? If it’s about the blockade, then Hamas should be retaliating against all blockaders.

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          • 43

            Izzy says

            @JD- I wish I could answer that question honestly for you. Blockade restrictions were lifted on the Egypt side when Morsi was in office but completely shut down when sisi came in. I think the main anger from gaza comes from when Israel pulled out and said fine govern yourself but in governing yourself they were blockaded in. I’ve said in many threads that I don’t agree with Hamas. I don’t agree with having to live with threat of rockets or bombs, however the blog written as it is the writer is looking for sympathy for herself and the rest of her country. I have first hand experienced what it is like to live in the occupied territories and the fact that she is writing she can feed her kids gold fish makes me sick. Where I was staying in the West Bank we only had acess to running water for 3 days since the water is controlled by Israel, but you can feed your kid goldfish and I can’t even give mine a shower. It’s a sad situation for both sides but there is only one country occupying land. The small amount of Arabs that actually live in Israel proper are not treated like every other Israeli citizen they are second class citizens. I do have something personal in this conflict but so does the writer I understand there are always 2 sides to every story. No matter how the Israeli propaganda wants to paint the stories and the human shields and this and that, if they would have actually opened borders for the civilians to leave the number of casualties would not be so high. You can text,call, drop leaflets but where are these people to go? You tell them to leave but they have no choice but to stay. Hamas is not right, you can’t fire indiscriminately at a civilian area, Hamas is running their own agenda, and no matter if all moneys were spent on infrastructure and civilians, or tunnels Israel would still find a way to go to war with them. In my opinion war should never be the answer but political talks have not worked for the palestianian people of gaza or the West Bank, so what’s left for them to do?

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        • 44

          Ben Waxman says

          we learned the hard way in 2006 that even a country which has absolutely no territorial issues with israel, no blockade, no nothing, can find justification to send us all to the bomb shelters. the rest of your screed simply shows that everything else you wrote has nothing to do with this or that israeli policy, but 1948.

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    • 45

      izzy says

      Long live Palestine! That’s the problem no one wants to hear the truth! When I came back last summer and told friends and family what happened to me alone from the IDF they didn’t want to believe me! A holocaust is a holocaust. You cannot create Israel in 1948 and expect the native inhabitants of Palestine to what just leave? To make up for wrong doings by the rest of the world during the holocaust the world powers made israel. I don’t care if your religious or not the excuse that god promised you land doesn’t work. Well my god promised me a million dollars can I go take it from the bank no problem? It is a genocide and I will never stop fighting and expressing the truth for my childrens and my husbands right of return to his homeland and family. You wanna come throw me outta my house, well you can bet your ass I’m not going quietly.

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      • 46

        Jason Pearlman says

        Do you understand what happened in the Holocaust. Perhaps there are things that need discussing about Israel and the Palestinians… but calling Holocaust every time you have a problem is like shouting cancer every time some one sneezes… and to people who have survived cancer… it is pretty damn offensive.

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      • 47

        Dana says

        Izzy,

        You need to buy a history book. In 1948 Israel accepted the UN partition of Palestine but the Arabs didn’t, they attacked Israel and left their homes. Israel didn’t push them out. I think you also need to understand the difference between war and genocide. Arabs, Muslims and Christians live freely in Israel. There is no genocide.

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        • 48

          Ultimate Mom says

          Dana, could you recommend what you consider one or more credible and unbiased history books?
          Because I’ve read quite a few on the history of the region and none of them say that Israel accepted the partition as it was drawn (Zionist lobbbyists planned for a much larger area for a Jewish homeland). And, of course Arabs left their homes, inspired by terrorist attacks by Zionist paramilitary groups on civilian towns. These attacks were meant to cause Palestinians to flee out of fear for their families safety and they had every the intent to return when things settled down but were prevented from doing so. The aim of the Zionists was to rid the area known as Palestine of the ‘Arab problem’. You certainly can’t have a legitimate claim to a Jewish homeland that consists of 90% Arabs (pre-1948).

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    • 50

      Shoshanna says

      #1.) Every death these past few weeks is on Hamas. They fire at our kids from behind their own. You don’t want to believe this because you have a western mind and do not understand the Jihad mentality. If you do some fairly simple research you will see this all around.
      #2.) Israel warns civilians to leave multiple times and ways and then waits. Rocket fire continues from there. Hamas does not let civilians leave and moreover, it places the kids in the line of fire. From storing rockets in schools, to firing from next to residences, to their own backfiring missiles that kill their own people, to sending kids with explosives at our soldiers, we have reports from the field of men holding a baby in one arm and shooting from the other. #3.) They rejected 3 ceasefires #4.) they dug tunnels with the money they were supposed to build Gaza with. They lined them with weapons and fake IDF uniforms and they exit by our civilian towns. They are meant to be used to massacre Israelis. #5.) If Israel wanted to kill civilans, there would be no Gaza for you to speak of right now. #6.) assuming you are a fairly intelligent person and a humane one, you should be going out of your way to call out Hamas– the real reason people are dying in Gaza.

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    • 51

      Jason Pearlman says

      I am afraid your post makes me very sad. Please let me explain why.

      You said that Israel is a cruel regime. Well Israel is the regime that provides bomb shelters for its people – Jews, Christians and Muslims. It is Hamas in Gaza that have invested millions in rockets and terror tunnels that deny the Palestinians safety from Israeli repercussions for attacks Hamas carries out. It is Hamas that calls on, and according to some reports, forces the Palestinians to be human shields. We are even getting reports that they are holding babies when firing at Israeli troops.

      Then you said this is a Holocaust and genocide. Really? 200,000 people have been killed in Syria… is that a holocaust? Since Israeli independence, the Palestinian population has grown… we have Arab members of the Israeli parliament… Supreme Court Judges, Hi-Tech entrepreneurs… so either this is the most inefficient Holocaust or you don’t really mean that. It’s just a useful, and horrifically offensive thing to say to Jews… who did actually go through a Holocaust, when 6 million of out people were killed… by the allies of the people who are attacking us now… so thanks for that. In fact.. Hamas’ charter calls for the wiping out of the Jews… that, I think you will find IS genocide.

      Then you say Palestinians lost their land. I agree there are Palestinian refugees from the wars with Israel. But there are also Jewish refugees from Arab lands. In fact in 1948 there was about the same number. They however were accepted and welcomed into Israel, while the Arab nations have kept the Palestinians as refugees… not allowing them rights to own property amongst other things. I remind you – when Palestinians left the West Bank in 1967 and went to Jordan… they were only moving within what was Jordan… it was not Palestine, there never has been a Palestinian state…. yet Jordan kept them as refugees. The only authority that has ever granted Palestinians sovereignty is actually Israel when it recognised the PLO and then in 2005 disengaged from Gaza entirely.

      Then you say the people of Gaza are humiliated by Israeli soldiers…. where? There are no Israeli soldiers in Gaza usually… not since 2005, well except for Gilad Shalit who was kept hostage without access to even the Red Cross for five years.

      Then… and this bit is my favourite… you say “Real Jews know that Palestine doesn’t belong to Israel”. The majority of world Jewry (and by the way Christians) acknowledge that the Land of Israel is the homeland of the Jews. Moreover, we in the mass majority support a two state solution and peaceful coexistence, which we have offered to the Palestinians countless times, only to be turned down.

      Then you 60 years of oppression… so what… all of Israel… Haifa, Tel Aviv and Be’er Sheva? If you were to say since 1967 I think we could discuss but I am 60 years suggests that all Israel should be wiped out.

      As for your being a Palestinian Christian, I would ask you to look very carefully at the situation. In Syria, there were more than two million of your people…. now there are 250,000. In Iraq, 4 million, now maybe 500,000… in Gaza there are less than 1000. In Israel, the Christian community is growing, and more and more are even joining the IDF…. over 200 have enlisted this year alone. Religious freedom is a given in Israel… if you think it would be under a Palestinian State run by Hamas… then I think you have a very big shock coming.

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    • 53

      yael says

      there are valid points on both sides of the arguments. I cannot see a clear winner, except to say that Hamas is hopelessly destroying any progress a Palestinian state could have. HOWEVER STOP using the word GENOCIDE. it’s an insult to the people of the world who are actually experiencing one. A GENOCIDE is calculated murder of race, with the intent to wipe it out. That would be the charter under Hamas whether or not it’s being successfully carried out. The numbers are disproportionate, yes. but a genocide is what’s happening all over Africa at any given time, what’s going on in Iraq, Syria, all over parts of Asia. No Israeli is killing Palestinians just to kill them. Rwandans were massacred in the streets with machetes because they were who they were, Cambodians were wiped out, etc etc. If someone bombs Manhattan the death toll will be far greater than a missile landing in the middle of Oklahoma. It’s not a genocide. And lastly– get mad at BRITAIN!! I never for the life of me, could understand how the human race has such a goldfish memory. It was Britain who promised the same land to two different people! They rounded up Jews from post WWII and put them on boats to go to Israel. It was Britain who had America stage a coup and take Iran away from it’s democratically elected leader. BRITAIN- the reason all the post-colonies are f*cked up beyond repair. THey have always pitted two sides against each other and left.

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    • 54

      Ed Codish says

      No. If Israel were determined to kill all the Palestinians it would have. If Hamas stopped firing rockets today and announced it would fire no more in the future, life could become, suddenly, much better for Palestinians. If Hamas or Palestinians in general insist on their right to fire rockets, more people – yours and mine but mostly yours – will die.
      You have an argument; you can argue for human rights. You cannot fire rockets.

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    • 55

      Corinne says

      How are they “literally committing a second Holocaust”? Are they being systematically rounded up and slaughtered? No?
      If Israel is committing genocide they are doing a really crappy job of it. From 1.4 million in 1948, there are now 3.8 million Palestinians. How exactly is that genocide??
      This is not Apartheid, or the holocaust, or genocide – although Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Turkey all have a better knowledge of genocide than Israel does. Syria and Lebanon even have more experience with massacring Palestinians. Why don’t you ask some of them about it?

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  4. 56

    sara says

    I really don’t think this article was written to spark a debate on which side is right or wrong. I think the point is really about a mother fearing for her children, and the differences in growing up to stop drop and roll and rocket precautions. Not everything needs to be a heated debate. Some things can just be what they are. In this case, its a mother, her children, the different realities we ALL grow up in, and finding laughter in a terrifying situation.

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      • 58

        Sarah Campbell says

        Actually, I have really enjoyed reading the comments. I am a 36 year old Australian mother of 3 and needless to say am extremely lucky to never have been exposed to any trauma like this, be it war or natural disaster.
        Trying to understand the conflict has been very difficult because each article or blog seems to be very one sided, to read these comments from (what seem to be) quite educated people has been good.
        Still fairly confused, though am still reading and keeping my mind open.
        Thank you for the article and thank you to all who have contributed comments.

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        • 59

          Erika says

          Agreed–I don’t think it was intended to spark a debate. But some of these comments are so grounded in sheer error that they beg for corrective responses.

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      • 61

        C'dar Pinder-Sommerville says

        Seriously I thought it was beautifully written, it was saying that no woman should have to fear for her children like that because we as a people should stop demanding that sides be chosen and instead choose to keep all our children safe and make sure that when they lay down to sleep at night they don’t have the fear of a violent and terrifying death hanging over them.

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  5. 63

    Dianne says

    Sick of hearing about peace. THERE WILL NEVER BE PEACE and it’s time to admit that. There will never be anymore peace anywhere because we are at the end. Choose heaven or hell now because it’s coming. There can never be peace again when terrorists are around and THEY “ARE” AROUND. Everywhere. So Christians, be prepared to lose your heads. Choose life eternal or the fire. Trust the only Man who can save your soul.

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    • 64

      Briana says

      Good grief.

      How about putting on your big girl panties and making a difference in the world rather than spewing “Repent…the end is nigh!” like a lunatic.

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      • 68

        Izzy says

        Accept cease fire? For what? “Talks” of negotiations later on down the road never produce anything fruitful for the Palestinian people? So the tel aviv airport will reopen and Israeli tourism business can continue on? Israel wants to offer nothing in exchange for a cease fire just the hopes that further down the road there may be discussions, I wouldn’t accept it either. The door has already been open, lives have already been lost, an accepting a cease fire for nothing in exchange is not good enough. Their demanding the blockade be lifted so they can have some what of a normal life and should not accept any less. If Israel wants a cease fire then lift the blockade.

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        • 69

          Lea says

          I have read through most of the thread. I am understanding everything that you are saying. I have a few questions for you though. If Israel were to lift the blockade, would those in palestinian be willing to live in israel peacefully or would they just want to take over the country? Are majority of Palestine’s brainwashed by hamas and want to wipeout the entire Jewish/Israeli population? I understand that you feel that your people have been pushed onto a piece of land and they can’t come out of it. I can understand from one human being to another how that would anger a person and that person would want nothing but freedom, but do you realize how tragic it could be to Israelis? Israelis can live peacefully side by side with arabs…there is proof of that currently existing in Israel. Do you think its possible for that to happen if palestinian are let out of gaza? Palestinians are gaza because quite frankly they want to destroy Israel.

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          • 70

            izzy says

            @ lea- actually was just talking with my husband about this last night. I believe in my heart it’s possible. I mean Hamas is in Gaza but fatah is in the west bank and their trying to come together to bring all the Palestinian people together as one. I hope it’d possible. I hope the occupation ends all together the border opens and israel and Palestine becomes one democracy, who votes, everyone is equal, no question about it. I believe the Israeli have a Right to live too, it should not be st the expense of stifling the livelihoods of another people though. I have never been into Gaza but the general feeling I get from the few contacts we have is these people just wanna live too and raise their kids in safety too. For my husband from the west bank it’s heartbreaking that he can not visit the village where one is from bc it lies in Israel proper, my children and him cannot go through the tel Aviv airport which is much easier than crossing in Jordan and qulandia. If they could come together we could live a normal life over there. I would say the Palestinian people as a whole recognize and believe Israel has a right to exists but not at there own expense, something had to give for everyone’s sake.

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    • 71

      says

      Actually, the first comment wasn’t a debate – just a statement that human beings on the other side are suffering greatly as well.

      A fact that too many people are forgetting. Not everyone is a terrorist. If everyone took a moment to visualize what life must truly be like there, to have had your family living there for centuries, and then contained into an ever-shrinking area, your olive trees burned to ashes, your home demolished, your children harassed… Take a minute to think about the average person’s life there day-to-day, and maybe you’d not be so filled with hate towards the indigenous Palestinian people.

      We’ve got tons of crazy people in this country, many armed and anti-government. Imagine our country being bombed – they’d be calling for war and many people might join them, thinking they’re the only hope for survival. Now think about this scenario occurring in Palestine where their alloted land is smaller than Manhattan. If you lived there, what options would YOU have? Sit and be bombed or maybe see the vigilantes as your only hope for survival?

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      • 72

        Mike says

        When have the Palestinian lands been bombed by Israelis unprovoked – Never – only in response to being bombed by Hamas or other terror groups based in Palestinian land.

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    • 74

      says

      Christian moms in Iraq and Egypt; moms of the ~200 kidnapped schoolgirls; moms of soldiers off defending their country…. Every heartbreaking, agonizing story cuts deep when you put yourself in a mother’s shoes.

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    • 75

      says

      Extremism in any form or religion is a very scary thing. 95% of people involved in this nightmare we call the Middle East are not terrorists…but some are and they need to be stopped

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