This one falls somewhere in the zone of “not sure what I should be writing” and “more than a mother needs to know.” There was much talk in Israel about the Palestinian woman who was killed at a recent demonstration, apparently by tear gas. First the rumors said she might have been stabbed and pregnant; then other rumors came out that the hospital records didn’t jive with what the hospital and this woman’s family were claiming. All that was certain was that the family was quick to take center stage and claim her martyrdom.
Of course, it now comes out – the woman wasn’t even AT the demonstration and she didn’t die of inhaling tear gas – she died of cancer. More lies and propaganda.
But from this story, came one from Elie I had never heard before. It seems part of his training included his being exposed to tear gas. They want the soldier to know what it feels like, what it smells like. And so they purposefully expose themselves to it on a limited basis.
Besides, Elie explained. If there is a need to enter an area and they have to use tear gas before going in, the soldiers are then further exposed to the gas as they move through the area.
Elie doubted the story from the moment he heard it. The conversation was a hard one for me – more information than I needed, I guess. But more – yet another experience that is born of the reality in which we live, the violence thrust upon us.
Elie never fired tear gas without justification. He took no pride in using this. It is used, at all times, as a measure intended to save lives, to quell unrest by bothering the senses, rather than inflicting bodily harm. It would be much easier to shoot, but they try to avoid that.
If you’ve read this far – please come back to this post in a few days. I need to add something here, but can’t yet. Sorry to be mysterious, but I don’t want to cross that line of things I cannot tell and I’ve already come closer than I wanted to. Come back…honestly, I’ve never done this on the blog, but this time, for the first time I will.
For now, I’ll wish you a Shabbat shalom – tomorrow will be a hectic one here and I might not have time to write.