People sometimes write to me to thank me for posting regularly about recent rocket attacks. They tell me that they do not hear about them in the international media. CNN all but ignores the missiles unless there are casualties; BBC will report on the missiles only in a slight and buried reference to why our air force bombed a target in Gaza.
If you follow my Twitter account (@asoldiersmother), you’ll see that I regularly post almost all rocket attacks. I miss some – but during waking hours…I try to take a moment and post – like the one a short time ago. I do this so that the next time Israel goes into Gaza in a full scale war, at least there will be people who know the obvious – when you shoot 25 rockets at a country in a single day, you can’t expect anything but a military response.
Most rocket attacks fall in open fields. Other than the time during the war when Elie was positioned in an open field, this is a thing of relief, a thing of gratitude. Few people outside Israel realize how often these attacks occur and how disruptive they are. If the Color Red siren sounds, people in Sderot have 15 seconds to find cover. There isn’t time to get to a bomb shelter – at most, children can dive for cover under their desks…and pray. People in Beersheva have a bit over 45 seconds, not much more.
Yesterday, Elie did a day of reserve duty. I dropped him off at a base where most of the unit’s equipment is stored and picked him up on my way back from a client in the north. This gave me a driver as I am still trying to rest my ankle, and gave me a chance to hear about what he did. Mostly, he was filling in a day because he was minus one and with the day he did, he is pushed into another category of Reserve Duty – one that gives him a “bonus” of about 2,000 NIS that will be paid to him next year.
What’s the connection between rockets and reserve duty? They come more often than you realize and interrupt life. At some point, because it happens often enough, you forget that this isn’t normal, that people outside of Israel don’t really live with this regularly.
Both are realities of our lives. Perhaps when there are less rockets – a euphemism of the ongoing war we have with the Palestinians and the violence they regularly direct our way instead of heading our repeated requests for negotiation – perhaps then, there will be less reserve duty as well.