Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I was almost in Tel Aviv when...

After debating whether Hevron was a safe place to go during Chol HaMoed Pesach or not, my friend and I decided that despite increased security, Hevron may not be the safest place given the political climate here in Isarel. Instead, we boarded a bus to Tel Aviv around 1pm. While on the bus, my friend and I were dozing until we heard the frantic voice of a woman on the radio. We didn't catch every word, but we heard the words "danger", "bombing" and "Tel Aviv central bus station" in Hebrew. Not long after, friends who knew our plans to go to Tel Aviv started calling to make sure we were okay. Baruch Hashem, we were not there and none of our friends in the Tel Aviv area were there. It wasn't until we started chatting with some ladies at a suburban bus stop that we heard what had happened. A young boy had blown himself up around the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station - at the time we were talking to these ladies, they told us 6 people were dead and 30 were wounded. Today, the Jerusalem Post counted 9 people dead and 70 wounded. There is a dispute whether the boy was 16 or 21.

I am still trying to put into words not only how I felt about the possibility of having arrived at 1:30 instead of close to 3:00 (we had intended to leave much earlier in the day) or my anger at the suicide bombers, but also in general my feelings towards the Israeli government who has made countless vows that this time, things will be different. Well, so far nothing is different. Nothing has been different for the past 30 years. The Israeli goverment is constantly spouting that they will not give land to the Arabs until there is peace. And yet Israel no longer controls the Sinai or the Gaza Strip. Now there are rumors of evacuating settlements in the West Bank too. For what? To give the Arabs an even greater opportunity to unite and try to annihilate us? Yes these views are harsh, but I could have been there! Israelis are fighting for our existance here, and can't always watch out for whose toes they are stepping on. In America, it is easy to sit in your apartment (or tent in the redwoods if you're in Santa Cruz) and talk about peace talks and two state solutions and ask yourself, "Why can't they just get along?" But when you're here in Israel and you're friends with the people who are fighting for your life, and you're friends with the people who have lost loved ones in war and acts of terror, you can't afford to sit back and relax.

So what's the solution? I don't know. What can Americans do? Go to Israel, buy Israeli products, learn about the History and hold the U.S. government accountable when it is dealing with Israel. What can Israelis do? Take a stand. The Israeli journalists are great writers, but they never ask politicians the tough questions, and Israelis never force the journalists to ask. Israelis need to hold their government accountable as well. In addition to our hard work, we must all daven to HaKodesh Baruch Hu that He will continue keep His covenant to Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov. We must do mitzvos to show Hashem we still love Him and we haven't turned our backs. And at the right time, Eretz Yisrael and Am Yisrael will be redeemed.

2 Comments:

Blogger G-D SQUAD said...

Sarah- thank G-d you and your friends are ok, this time. Thank you for the inspirational words.

In the midst of this tragedy, there are stories of hope; click here to read about a man who was at the blast site and was miraculously saved by a book of Psalms in his pocket.

Tue Apr 18, 11:54:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous dl said...

Wow sarah you are so right-great to hear from you,I wish you would post more often!

Sat Apr 22, 11:23:00 PM 2006  

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