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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Real Voices From Israel's Battered South

There's a photoshopped version of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's very effective visual aid from his recent  United Nations General Assembly speech which is traveling around the internet, with lots of stops in facebook land.

For Israelis in the Negev, especially the Sderot and Netivot area, this hits hard.  It's just too true that most Israelis don't care and don't have close friends and family there. 

This "not my neighborhood, so it doesn't matter" attitude is similar to what the typical Leftist Tel Aviv and suburbs and even some from the north and south were saying when Jews in Judea and Samaria (my part of Israel) were being attacked by Arab terrorists. 
"If you want to be safe, then don't live in the shtachim (territories.)"

Or their outrage when a terror attack happened in Petach Tikvah:
"This isn't the shtachim (territories.)"

As I've always said, if we're not safe, then nobody is.  And don't forget that the Arabs are asking for Jaffo (Tel Aviv), Haifa and Jerusalem, not for Shiloh.

It wasn't all that long ago when it was Israel's north that was being attacked by neighboring Arabs, and the people of Kiryat Shemoneh and environs complained, just like Israelis in the Negev today, that "nobody cares."

I see us all as Israelis, Jews living in the Land of Israel, whether the Golan, Jordan Valley, Sderot, Hebron or Tel Aviv as the same.  This is our Land and we must live in all of it.

Last week I met up with a group of women I communicate with on facebook.  We live all over the country, including the Negev.  These women and their families are the ones being woken up and kept up all night by the booms, exploding missiles, sirens etc.  They see the damage in their neighborhood and thank G-d for His protection.  One blogs here and recently reported what the "no damage" really means:
I abhor the media's cliche, 'Thank G-d, (my addition) no injuries were sustained in this attack.' How can anyone say that? My poor bride fund helped marry off two sisters this year. Their Mom, a mere 52, is hospitalized at the local geriatric hospital and will remain there for the rest of her life. Apparently this lady was a powerhouse when younger. However, she refused to change her eating habits when diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Sadly, this led to her becoming totally blind and severely depressed.

The straw that broke the camel's back occurred during the Cast Lead war. A grad missile landed not far from her home and the media joyfully announced that 'no injuries were reported!' However whatever hold on sanity this lady still retained disappeared as the smoke from the rocket evaporated. She is totally insane today, blind as a bat and in a wheelchair.

Another woman I know blogs from south.  Sometimes she writes ordinary "grandmother cooking" posts, but other times she lets us know what life is really like under attack.

As I write this piece, rockets have been falling for over five hours. Almost every town and city in the south has been hit. From Beer Sheva to Netivot, to Sedrot to Ashdod to Ashkelon and every little town in between has had a siren.
In Ashdod an apartment building was hit and a car is on fire. In Ashkelon a private home was hit. In Gan Yavneh a schoolyard was hit. A number of the rockets caused extensive damages to buildings.
And here are a few more recent reports quoted with permission from my fb friends:
"My 8 year old is still wandering the house. She is afraid to sleep. She just asked me why the Arabs have gone crazy again? Twice tonight she told me that she hears a siren & ambulances from Netivot. Poor baby! I just sent her downstairs to sleep. She feels safer there."
"When the media says no injuries it boils my blood. Many children and elderly like - are suffering emotionally. This is an injury."
"Been to busy today trying to calm down a bunch of scared kids.
They are "used" to sirens but this last one got to them...
- (8) is the only one that openly admits to being scared. Good for her. - (11.6) is also but will never admit to it. She just asks millions of questions about the grads, injured...and talks non stop.
Each kids reacts their own way."

"This abnormal situation robs our innocent children of a decent , normal childhood!"
"Esther, shavua tov. Are you ok? We were outside eating in the succah ( my hubbie hasn't taken it down yet and I love it...). The siren was soooo loud being outside. It scared the "bleep" out of the kids! The grad in Netivot fell next to you, right?
The other one fell here on Givolym. About a minutes walk from my house.
Hashem Yishmor!!!

"We are fine...do you know where the grads landed...I'm sure your apartment shook.... One was on a moshava 30 secs from Devorah and me the other near a Bnei Akiva snif where the widow of the Baba Sali lives.  Yes, right next to the Baba Baruch's house, a 3 minute walk from my home. Even closer than to HIS home it was right near a recently restored shul where my husband was a chazzan for the yomim Noraim."

  • What normal self-respecting country would allow this to continue?  
  • Why haven't we totally declared war on the Arab enemy? 
  • Why hasn't Israel destroyed the terrorist infrastructure?
The Israeli retaliations are just slaps on the wrist.

Let's have a better week and a better year.  I pray for wisdom for our politicians.  May they become leaders!!!


rutimizrachi said...


Nicely summed up, Batya. Thank you.

Devorah said...

Well written . Full of passion. My kids were scared to go to scho today but against their will, they all went. Two of them have tests today. How are they supossed to suceed when tbey are scared??

Netivotgirl said...

Very well done. Perfectly expresses what is happening and how we feel. I pray we have nothing today during school hours. Our school hasn't completed construction of its 'safe room.' All he*l will break loose if there's a siren at our Ulpana! HUGE campus, and hiding under a desk offers no true protection. For that we have Hashem, thank goodness!

Rachel said...

This is such an important post. I am sharing...and I am sharing it with my friends in the States, directly.

Miriam said...

Batya so well expressed. The Negev is a beautiful part of our country to live and raise a family. It is very unfortunate that Hamas has hi jacked the South and Negev with grad and kassam missiles and turned our lives into a nightmare and that our government has done nothing to stop it. Sending the IAF to kill a terrorist or two or bomb a tunnel is just a band aide and lip service and insulting to the residents of the south. Going to repost...

Batya said...

thanks for approving this
I appreciate the feedback from those who really know what's happening.