Hitting Close to Home. Literally and Figuratively.

In the last few days things seem to be getting worse, but still okay. There is no cease-fire no matter what Hamas says – they are liars. Still planning to attack, still sending rockets, and now the locals seem to be getting restless. Being a ‘settler’ we are surrounded by Arab villages. While some find this scary, there was always a certain security that came with it, for me at least. See, I thought, well, no one is going to send a rocket so close to his cousin’s home, right? Until there was a rocket that landed in Bethlehem, then another in Hebron. When we ran to the bomb shelter, not 10 seconds after shutting the window, we felt it. We heard the boom and felt a tremor – okay maybe that was my heart pounding – but it sure felt like it hit close by. After when we checked the news and saw that it did – my reality took a right turn to hello-stupid-wakey-wakey. Hamas doesn’t care who they hit – I’ve listened to videos of women praising their suicide bomber sons. One Palestinian woman, whose baby was being treated in a hospital in Israel by Jewish doctors and nurses, fervently repeated that their people were not afraid of death. When the interviewer asked her then why bring her child to the hospital, why not just let him die? Her response was that she has had 2 other children die in her arms before, and that it is very painful and that she has no control over what happens, “it’s a natural thing, what can I do if he dies?…Allah gave us a gift – to forget…gave and Allah has taken away…don’t you believe in death?” The interviewer (and most people I know) answered, “No, we consider life valuable”. Her response? “Life is zero. Life is worthless”. Don’t believe me? Here is the interview: ( I do not know the person who posted this).

When your enemy has complete disregard for life, there is no brokering deals. There is no meeting of the minds. There is good vs evil.  And if the good doesn’t make every effort to destroy evil from the midst it becomes like a virus, spreading and there is no other way to make it stop.

The last few days there has been local rioting. In Bethlehem (12 minutes away), just 2 days ago, “violent incidents have been reported, including pipe bombs thrown at Jewish worshipers.” In Husan -(10 minutes away), “The rioters threw rocks, Molotov cocktails, and burning tires at security forces”. In another article I read, “Arabs near Gush Etzion (where I live), south of Jerusalem, set fire to a guard tower” and then there was this random act of violence not 5 minutes from my house:  Lastly, there was this just yesterday: Only a 10 minute drive away from my home, headed towards the town where my daughter is in horseback riding camp, border police stop a potential disaster: “Inside his car officers found pipe bombs, gas canisters, explosives and a detonator, according to a statement put out by the IDF after the incident. The officer who arrested the man said the back seats of the car had been removed and the entire area was full of gas canisters rigged with electric wires.”
 
Living in Israel is never easy, there are lots of sacrifices many of us make to live here. The rewards are great and mostly internal – not an external materialistic display of wealth, rather a bank of spiritual wealth. A belief that there is a unique holiness that surrounds us, protects us, lets the desert bloom and creative minds expand, explore and produce. I am not one to push my feelings and thoughts on others. However, if you think you are safe in a different country, like America, you are kidding yourselves. For every pro-Israel rally there is the enemy, right across the street, screaming in your face. So while Hamas militants in Gaza are building tunnels to terrorize ready to attack us in Israel, we know and are taking action to prevent the ongoing terror to our cities in the southern region. How will you protect yourselves? There is this evil spreading in your midst and in every city. The proof is out there, you’ve seen the articles, you may have witnessed it yourself. My Facebook feed is bombarded by videos and posts and articles and photos that back this up. This video is in Miami! ( I do not know the person who posted this)
I’m not saying you all should move to Israel, because each person needs to decide for themselves what works best. I just have a hard time people justifying living anywhere else. I feel most protected here, because I am aware that my enemy is close. I fear death just like the next person (well not my Arab neighbors it seems) and every month is a battle to ‘make it’ financially in the life we are accustomed to. 
We have been fortunate that no sirens have sounded in at least 2 weeks, but I know this creates a false sense of security. With smaller rioting matters at hand, the threat is still very much imminent.  We are all at risk, we must all take extra precautions but at the same time, we have to live our lives as regularly as possible. We continue to drive to work, to go to camp, to shop for food, to prepare for Shabbat. Most importantly we must continue to pray. We must continue to let our soldiers know how much we care.  Feel free to ask me how you can contribute – there are lots of ways, some not even asking for your money, just your time. 
I pray today is quieter than yesterday. I pray our boys come home soon. I pray that the next post I write is not about this.

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