So today everyone's talking about the possibility of 'megabombs' - simultaneous bombings - multibombings. The dimensions of the bombs, however, are not significant to the individual. I know, if the bomb today under the gas truck in Glillot had really worked i would have lost my home at the very least - and a few thousand people would have gone up in flames. The dimensions of the potential catastrophe does not alter the fear of the individual for his own life and the lives of those he loves.
Thank goodness, for the moment, this speculation is theoretical.
What worries me is Tomorrow - when I have to do a radio program in Jerusalem. In an area that is perfect for an attack. I noticed that even my entry has today's date and a future - So now it is clear - i keep a journal because it may help me somehow survive. But why am I taking Ezi with me? So that he will protact me?
Seven-thirty a.m. in the Russian Compound in Jerusalem. They won't blow it up, Ezi says. Barguti is here.
What scare me, however, are the faces of the people of Jerusalem. Determined, focussed, suspicious almost inhuman. (Maybe it's like this in Tel Aviv too - after all there was an explosion last night near a local night club - the guard spotted the bomber and shot him - but part of the bomb exploded - not far enough away to escape hurting a few people - Maybe it's just that I am a tourist in Jerusalem and so look at the people from without).
On the way we pass through Mea Sha'arim where the suspicion extends to every one. The people are all busy with Sabbath preparations but have time to examine our car out of the corners of their eyes -
Otherwise nothing much has changed since the last time I was in this neighborhood a few months ago - or the first time I was here thirty five years ago. Suddenly, walking down Heleni Hamalkah Street, I remember the fear I felt as a teenager here. What if a sniper pops out of an alley, I said then. The girl with me laughed nervously - then. This terror is not new.
A friend calls to ask how the trip went, how the radio program came off, etc. I read about it in your journal, he said. It's not a bad journal, he said, but there's no continuity, and the style is not your best. And you make spelling errors. So I review my little rules for him. I can write. But I can't read what I wrote. I can't edit, can't fix. It has to be direct. Once I start fiddling, I'll start warping the truth. There's plenty of time for that in a more peaceful era.
So you see this as an experiment - a wartime journal - he says. It keeps me honest, I answer. You're my witness. If I lie I get found out.
He wishes me a good weekend, hangs up. I drink a glass of wine, and then go to write it down.
the truth - it was pointed out to me that my kids have missed being blown up a number of times by less than a mile and/ or a few minutes. i guess i need to warp that truth in order to continue to function.
Around midnight last night i began to put it together. Orit was in Netanya on Sunday when 3 people were killed. Oren was in Barbi the night before the terrorist was shot. I was sitting in my kitchen when the gas tanker explosion disaster was barely averted in Glilot. That's 3 near misses in one week. And we know that lightning has a better chance of striking twice in the same place.
And my mother came to me in a dream and said - "For this I had to escape the Holocaust, survive the Blitz, give birth to you at the age of 40 in the middle of a war?"
She has a very distinctive voice.
I had spent the evening with my neice who was complaining about her advanced-age pregnancy and how her body wasn't suited for it any more, and the stories of my mother's Blitz-time birth outside the Hackney hospital came back to me.
Think of a sixteen year old bleached blonde Arab boy walking up to a square where people are playing chess and blowing himself up. As much as I understand the years of anger, of anger-education, the generations of people kept in the pressure cookers of refugee camps, not allowed by Jordan and Egypt to leave, I can't imagine bringing a young boy to a place and asking him to blow himself up - and take an old man and a boy his age with him. Today an even younger boy was caught with a suicide belt - in a car full of older men who were obviously taking him to his target. No matter how deeply we feel for these people, we have to do everything in our power to stop them from killing us.
Tonight is the Eurovision contest - and one of my favorite singers, Sarit Hadad, is our representative. She's going to get creamed. We all know it. She's hated because she is Israeli, and Israeli is bad. Even though Israel has won the contest - what- 4 times - in the past, and was often a beloved favorite in the contest. This time little Sarit is going to get the brunt of European hatred.
And so she did - Belgian and other local commentators urged their voters to boycott Israel. And they did. Even though her message was one of peace.
But at the same time we were pulling out of Tulkarem and planning another entry into Kalkilya. So the hypocrisy was apparent. But it isn't really hypocrisy - after all the kinds of bombs they keep finding in these towns, meant to injure and maim as many citizens as possible, do seem to justify the invasions.
Yes, for every senior officer of Hamas or Fatach we will, they go into high gear and attack massively. But the officers we're killing are the ones planning the attacks. How can only one side be blamed for this escalation?
And all I can think about are the vegetables we used to buy in Tulkarem. Smaller than Israeli vegetables, but much tastier, and intense, and cheaper. The taste of those vegetables is in my mouth. And the conversations we had with the grocers. Wouldn't we all be happier if we could go back to those simple interactions?
There is nothing in western civilization in general and in Israeli society in particular that escapes reevaluation now. The way we transport gas, the way we walk to work, the way we bank, study, build, the way we sing, eat, drink, take care of ourselves and others -- everything is in need of reevaluation in the wake of the threat of terrorism. This evaluation is good for us. The threat that causes this evaluation is bad.