According to a recent statement by Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi, IDF Military Intelligence Chief:
Some 170,000 rockets and missiles are threatening the State of Israel from all regions. Up until recently, the number was much greater and it has decreased, but it will go up again. They are much more precise and a lot more lethal. The most significant thing we would like to point out is the fact that the enemy has the capability to land mass amounts of arms on Israeli cities.
So, we have 170,000 rockets and missiles threatening us. About 100,000 from Hezbollah; the rest presumably from Hamas. Funny that Reuters asked for clarification and more information (it reminds me of the Indonesia “journalist” Faisal, who wrote to me during the Cast Lead war wanting information about my son, his unit, his job in the IDF).
My mind crashes at the image of a massive missile launch suddenly and without warning unleashed against Israel. Sure, the IDF jets will scramble and Iron Dome will take down a few, but I think we all know that if such a thing were to happen, the initial casualties would be …yeah, I’m a writer and I can’t get myself to write that next word, so I’ll leave it to you to fill in the blank.
So, knowing this, what should we do?
Protest to the UN? Seriously? Expect help from Obama? Yeah, not. Begin a war? No, that might set them back a few months, but the threat remains in the long term. If necessary, we may do that, as we did in Jenin and Cast Lead and Operation Pillar of Defense and so many other times.
So, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to live my life here in the country of my choice, though not the country of my birth. I’m going to put my trust in God and country, or perhaps God and military.
I’m going to believe that God will steer those missiles to the open fields that seem to be a constant landing ground. During the Iran-Iraq war, 40 SCUD missiles were fired at Iran with a death toll of upwards of 2,000 people. During the Desert Storm war, 39 rockets were fired into Israeli cities, with a death toll of 1…the man had a heart attack. Sure, we had massive damage – but to buildings. If you don’t believe in God, well, never mind…I believe in God and I believe He stands between us and our enemies every minute of every hour of every day.
So today, Thursday, I’m going to make my shopping list and go buy things I need to make sushi for 70 people, challah for my family, another family, and a bit for the rehabilitation center here in Maale Adumim. I hope I’ll do some of the cooking; I’ll definitely straighten the house, do laundry, finish off two projects for clients, and add more posts to a personal website that got smashed months ago and I’ve finally managed to bring back online.
I’ll see my granddaughter later today, and hopefully my grandson too. I’ll talk to or see each of my children, I hope, and I’ll change the sheets and manage to do that load of towels that keeps getting pushed aside because everyone needs THEIR laundry done now.
In short, I’ll live this moment and the next with total disregard to those 170,000 rockets because I may have 170,000 reasons to be afraid, but I have a million reasons to be grateful and proud.
It’s Thursday in Israel. Shabbat is coming. Each week, it is like a massive umbrella comes down, a cone of silence like from that ancient TV show. Go away, we tell the world…nicely, but go away. We can deal with you on Sunday through Friday because we don’t have to deal with you today.
And yes, we’ll tell those 170,000 rockets that we aren’t going to worry about you today. Today, we will live our lives to the fullest, make the most of who we are and what we are. And the greatest secret of all is that we will do the same thing tomorrow, and the day after that.
Oh, those rockets will have to be taken care of…and they will be. Perhaps a suspicious explosion. Perhaps a computer virus that reprograms their directional signals. Perhaps some other technical glitch, the marvel of our soldiers and the greatest of minds. Perhaps there will be a war…perhaps only an operation.
Whatever will be, as that old song goes, will be. The future and all that…
But as a citizen of Israel, all I can do is live my life today, marvel at the sun, hope the chicken will be on sale, and hope the avocados for the sushi will be ripe.
May the God of Israel watch over us, our sons and daughters who guard our borders, our military intelligence leaders who watch those 170,000 rockets.