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Monday, August 13, 2012


A friend recently posted on facebook that he has been stocking up on batteries and canned food because of what he perceives as impending war.  Westbank Mama also posted about getting ready for war.

We've been in Israel for forty-two years and the most serious, dangerous war, the Yom Kippur War in 1973, was a total surprise.  We didn't have any preparation.  It began on Yom Kippur when stores are closed.  We were living in Jerusalem at the time and that was the safest place in the entire country.  Besides learning how to cook and bake with powdered eggs, I don't remember anything else (besides fresh eggs) missing from the shelves.

If I'm not mistaken, it was before the Gulf War, we were told to stock up on batteries etc, so we did.  We bought lots of batteries which were never used.  They were a waste of money and were finally thrown out after leaking all over the freezer.  Considering that the only appliances we have that are dependent on easily replaceable batteries are my digital camera, a wall clock and the tv remotes, I'm not spending/wasting money on extra batteries.

Nu, you're wondering, do I think there's going to be a war?  That's a good question, sort of.  On one hand, I have no doubt that there will be a war at some time.  When and how it will affect us ordinary Israelis, particularly those of us in Judea and Samaria?  Ahh that's a harder question.  During the Gulf War, a strange one-sided war when Israel was attacked and ran for cover for a month, life went on here very much as usual.  The biggest change was that many people hosted friends and family from the coastal plain where the Iraqis aimed the missiles.  By the time it was over, I had stopped paying attention to the alerts and didn't go into our "safe room" at all.  Living among the enemy was safety enough for us.

Don't get me wrong.  It's not that I'm not nervous.  Why else would I stop in my tracks to shoot this picture, wondering if it's benign or a sign of danger.

I saw the black smoke and my internal alarm went off, even though it could be no more than the burning of weeds and garbage.

We in Israel must remember that we're surrounded by enemies and have no true allies.

Dry Bones

Yes, I don't consider even the United States to be a true ally of Israel.  And I agree with Caroline Glick that Menachem Begin's treaty with Egypt isn't a true peace treaty.  It's no longer news when the Arabs bombard Israel's south, and things are tense in the north.  When will it explode?  Honestly, I don't know.


Jennifer in MamaLand said...

I very much appreciate the way you haven't succumbed to hysteria while at the same time embracing the reality that seems to be Ordinary Life in Israel. It's a helpful perspective - thank you.

aparatchik said...

Freudian typo: "Iranians" > "Iraqis"

Hadassa said...

Anyone who doesn't have a reasonable stock of non-perishable food in the house is naive, but panicking is neither healthy nor productive. As far as "living among the enemy" is concerned, in the words of my sister who was not reassured when I told her that I was leaving Area A (most likely to be hit) for Area C during the Gulf War, "They can't aim those things!" She wasn't entirely correct, and the terrorists have greatly improved their aim over the past 20 years, but you never know when they'll err in their calculations.

Batya said...

Jennifer, hysteria never helps. We were here in 1973 when the country was truly in danger.
Hadassa, very true.
aparatchik, you're right. I was very tired when I wrote it. I'll have to edit it. Thanks

sheldan said...

It's difficult to hear, but I understand you when you say that the USA may not really be Israel's ally. I suppose it is as much as any nation can be, but your point is well taken that we really can't rely on anyone but Hashem.

And, sad but true, I won't be surprised if there is a war (G-d forbid) in the next few years. I was young enough to remenber '67 as a junior high student and '73 as a freshman in college. I was very optimistic at the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty in '79 and was hopeful in the early '90s. but my dashed hopes have left me bitter.

To borrow an expression coined by a friend of my wife's, peace may have to wait "until Moshiach comes." In the meantime, it may be better to keep the status quo (regarding the "peace process") since there is really no chance of a true peace given the Palestinians' recalcitrance regarding even talking about what the Israelis need.

Batya said...

Sheldan,G-d has told us very clearly how to get peace and it's not via "peace process," which is forbidden.

Anonymous said...

Honestly,the Yom Kipur war wasn't much of a surprise, I know, that Golda Meir and Moshe Dayan are for some Israelis iconic figures, but in 1973 they badly miscalculated, and Israel has Richard Nixon to thank for it's existence

Batya said...

a, who do you think told Israel to relax? Nixon and Kissenger kept waiting for Israel to come begging. They wanted a balance of power between Israel and Egypt, so they would hold the true power.
G-d enabled the victory, not Nixon.