Monday, December 29, 2008


By now, you've all seen the news, filled with the Hamas massacre, or as Jeff calls it, the Hamassacre. Though the conflict is very real, I want to let you all know that we are well and safe and many, many miles away in Tel Aviv. It is quite unlikely that the conflict will even dramatically effect us, other than what we see on the news and read in the newspapers and on the internet. I think security will become even tighter here, and I am okay with that. I also think that the conflict will not be over quickly.

Israel is a pretty safe place, relatively speaking. At first, a visitor may probably be shocked to see guards at every building's entry. One might even bristle a little when their bag is searched each time they enter a mall. But I have found comfort in that invasion of privacy. If they are scrutinizing an obvious American tourist so much, imagine the once-over they give someone who looks like they pose a threat.

Military service here is pretty much mandatory. Think about it: everyone has spent at least two years (if you're a woman) or four (for guys) years in the military. When you realize that almost everyone that you meet or talk to knows how to use a weapon, you get to feeling pretty safe.

While we don't even live anywhere near the border region where Hamas has been firing missles, I should also let you know that the people who do live there are protected by a complex warning system. If a missle is launched aiming at their area, an alarm is sounded and families can retreat to "safe rooms" in their homes and schools. The Intel plant, which is quite far away from the bombings, also has many "safe rooms". There have been very few casualties on the Israeli side because of these warning systems.

So, yes, bombs are dropping. But we are safe. Indeed, Israel retaliated against Hamas to keep its people safe. I have to add that I think Israel must be allowed to defend itself. Barack Obama, when he visited Israel in July, said:

"If somebody was sending rockets into the house where my two daughters sleep at
night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that, and I would expect
Israelis to do the same thing."

1 comment:

Niki said...

The person in the photo is Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, one very tough and well-spoken woman.