I’m trying to be very careful about what I write – not something I’ve particularly had to worry about for a while now. I won’t say where Elie is or what is happening, but I can, after the fact, write that yesterday as he traveled to his current location in an armored personnel carrier (Nagmash, in Hebrew), apparently the vehicle drove too close to an orange grove (or perhaps the path was too narrow and they had no choice).
As the huge vehicle passed – some ripening oranges were knocked off the tree – only to be squished by the next nagmash that drove behind Elie’s. Elie told Lauren; and Lauren wrote the story to me, starting with the opening sentence that Elie had made orange juice on the way to Gaza yesterday.
I didn’t handle the news that Elie was being called up as well as I would have expected and his telling me that he was going to be driving from point A to point B was a bit of a shock as well. I had expected them to drive them down in buses; bring in the military equipment separately. Instead, they drove the armored vehicles themselves into the area. I guess it makes sense but I was worried about the drive and was glad to hear they’d arrived and were preparing.
No one really knows what the next few days will bring – we are on the brink of war or cease-fire. We walk a thin line – retreat from the operation – and perhaps we save lives…perhaps we cause more deaths. There is pressure to move forward, having mobilized so many, disrupted so many lives. There is pressure to stop before even more harm comes to civilian populations.
Hamas is desperate for a cease-fire. We know that this desperation is not based on worry for its own people – this is a “leadership” that hides its weapons behind its wives and children; encourages its youth to go on suicide missions, and rivals Syria for its brutality and suppression of human rights. And so it is likely that they are feeling the need to re-arm, to smuggle in more missiles to replace nearly 1,000 fired at Israel and many others destroyed by our air strikes.
Four years ago, we retreated, knowing we would be back. Today, we are on the edge of going back in. You could go crazy if you spent too much time considering all the angles, all the possibilities. So maybe, for now, I’ll focus on the image of huge APCs making orange juice to the amusement of its soldiers.