We had an amazing Shabbat. So many conversations, so much I want to write about. My mind is full of topics we discussed and thoughts I want to share. Like a recent post “Conversations,” I want to do it again – in bits and pieces.
But first, as I always do, I check the news. What have I missed in the 25 hours that I withdrew into my family? What has happened in my world and around the world? I read of an explosion in a Russian mall, of problems in Tunisia, of Lebanon still on the brink of instability. And I read that a rocket and two mortars had been fired at Israel Friday night.
I passed over the note quickly. No one injured, thankfully. On to more news. The congresswoman is doing better, unemployment is down in Israel…no, wait. Stop. This is wrong. Just wrong. A ROCKET AND TWO MORTARS were fired at Israel. No one shot missiles at the United States over the weekend. No one in Germany or England or France thought twice about the possibility.
Why is the world not outraged. MORTARS…do you understand? ROCKETS. MISSILES. Explosives are being fired at my country. They slam into the ground, if we are lucky. They slam into buildings and people if we are not. And each time, we do the same stupid thing. We say thank you, God, that it didn’t kill someone…and then we move on to our week as if nothing happened.
This is not right. This is an outrage. I posted a short note about the mortars to my Facebook page. A simple note:”Last night – two mortars were fired at Israel…what words can describe the outrage we should be expressing?”
Someone posted a simple response, “Describe it.”
Okay, I will (and thanks for the challenge).
Imagine sitting at your dinner table with your family surrounding you. The Sabbath candles are burning in the corner of the room; the house smells of the wonderful dishes that have been cooked in honor of the day. You are surrounded by love, your wife or husband, your children. And then, in seconds, you hear “Color Red” or a siren. “Color Red” – run, run to a safe room. Hurry. Grab your child and run. You have 15 seconds before a missile might come slamming into your house. At the wrong angle, it could crash through your living room window and explode. RUN.
Imagine you have finished your dinner. You ate too much again. It happens on Friday nights. All week is about running, but tonight, you just sit and enjoy a relaxing meal. There was fish and soup and the chicken was amazing. Your wife made a new kind of rice, or your husband surprised you with a delicious chocolate cake from the bakery. What could you do? You ate and now you are stuffed. Your husband invites you for a walk…your wife says, “let’s go walk for a few minutes.”
You go outside. It’s so peaceful and quiet. You greet neighbors with the special Sabbath greeting, “Shabbat shalom” – a peaceful Sabbath. It’s winter, but it has been a bad winter with not enough rain and so it is amazingly pleasant. A light sweater, the air is clean. And then you hear it. “Color Red. Color Red” or a siren. And you look in panic. You have 15 seconds to find cover. Run. Grab your wife’s hand and run. Take your husband’s arm. Run!
And you get to somewhere and bend down low and you think. Where is my daughter? Where is my son? Oh God, where are they? Did they go out for a walk? Did they make it to the safe room? You hear an explosion in the distance. It was too far away to be your house, right? It didn’t hit something, did it?
So you rush home. People are looking out the window and talking. It’s okay. It didn’t hit the city. You see your house is fine. Your children were worried, but they are fine.
You can’t think about the outrage because all you can think about is that it didn’t hurt anyone – this time.
But the outrage comes in the panic that the parents will feel each time, every time, this happens. The outrage comes in the fact that this can happen one day, and the world will not even mention it as they call for rights for the poor Palestinians and demand Israel make more concessions for peace. Or condemn us for shooting at those who launch the rockets because while they missed, we did not.
And so, Palestinians launch rockets and mortars at Israel. The Israeli air force sights the rocket launchers and shoots at them. If we are lucky, we hit the terror cell and stop future rockets from that location or group. But the world hears only that four Palestinians were killed in an air strike and they condemn Israel. What does it mean, an air strike? What do you think we are shooting at?
When I describe the couple walking in the streets, suddenly looking for a place to run, it becomes real to you. You are outraged. Why does the outrage melt away when we answer back? Why are we wrong because we manage, thankfully, to hit our target? Must we wait until they hit theirs? Must we bury more people, have more orphans?
Where, God, WHERE is the outrage? Why is President Obama not screaming at the mortars and rockets? Does he even know? He is the first to demand Israel freeze, stop, negotiate, compromise. Where is his outrage? A rocket has been fired.
Never mind, Obama – he is no friend of Israel and his sense of outrage is limited to his own political agenda, but why are so many so silent? Why is the media not filled with this outrage? Two mortars were launched against our cities.
I have no answers. I can’t describe why the world isn’t outraged. I can only describe the reality of what happens each time, every time, the Palestinians decide they have the right to target almost 1 million people.
Imagine yourself sitting in front of your computer, reading this blog and suddenly, you hear a siren. You have 15 seconds to run. And not just you. You have 15 seconds to think of your loved ones and where they are, and if they are close enough to reach shelter. Imagine…