Cloudy with a chance of missiles

For the past year or two, missiles have come raining down on southern Israel every few months. Somehow, as the pundits endlessly talked it out on different evening news programs, this became an acceptable situation, as unavoidable as bad weather.

sraeli residents take shelter against incoming rockets after a warning siren in Nitzan. Photo by Flash90.

sraeli residents take shelter against incoming rockets after a warning siren in Nitzan. Photo by Flash90.

For the past year or two, missiles have come raining down on southern Israel every few months. Somehow, as the pundits endlessly talked it out on different evening news programs, this became an acceptable situation, as unavoidable as bad weather. The Israeli government was trying to avoid “escalation” in Gaza and confrontation with Egypt and the “oref” — the citizens at the front line — would have to tough it out — or not.

Resilience was the key to maintaining the status quo.

We, the residents of southern Israel who live within a 40 kilometer radius of Gaza, were encouraged to build safe rooms in our house, seek support if we were feeling nervous and otherwise learn to adjust to a situation where we were in ultimate waiting mode — waiting for the next alarm, the next school closure, the next “episode” when an occasional missile or two might fall nearby.

And oddly enough, like good lab rats, we did just that. We learned to drive with our car windows open so that we could hear sirens while on the open road. We taught our children how to fall asleep again once they were moved into the safe room in the middle of the night. We developed a whole slew of coping mechanisms that range from “dressing for missiles” – no heels or straight skirts allowed – to black humor, acknowledging the absurdity of living in this kind of situation. A child wakes up from a crash of thunder last winter screaming, “missiles,” and we get to make jokes about how children of the Negev are more familiar with the sound of falling Grad missiles than actual rain. We became old war heroes, exchanging stories of close calls from the missiles of 2009 versus those of 2010 and 11.

But as time has gone on, our resistance has worn away.

Our kids are showing signs of severe stress. Our spouses have stopped eating when there is news about an attack in Gaza. Our blood pressure goes up as we count off the locations where missiles have fallen – sometimes when we were only a few hundred meters away. The sound of a distant car alarm sets off a crying jag that simply has no real justification other than that burning feeling of not being able to take it anymore.

The unified, resilient front is still there, but it is being propped up by a million people living under threat of missile fire, each of us forced to confront our own individual fears. My own response has already become physical – clearly a manifestation of PTSD. And I am not alone. All my rational understanding of the futility of war has simply become raw, unpolished fear that comes over me when I hear that piercing sound of the siren.

Forget politics. This is Chinese torture. Adrenalin in overdrive. Kids crying. Powerlessness to the logical extreme. All I want is for someone to make it stop, but for that to happen there would have to be an acknowledgement that something was wrong. There would have to be international pressure on the Palestinians to stop these missile attacks.

But when I look at the international press coverage, beyond the scope of my circle of friends and family on Facebook, I find the world is indifferent, or even hostile to my situation. Israel is blamed no matter what it does. And this only strengthens the resolve of the extremists in Gaza to keep the missiles coming.

So as I sit here at home, listening to the booms of the endless barrage of missiles falling over Beersheba, I want to make myself heard. This is an unacceptable situation! War is not like the weather.

Missiles are not something that we have to learn to live with like the seasons of the year. This is not the blizzard of 2012. And telling me and my neighbors otherwise is only turning this forecast into one of despair.

Faye Bittker lives outside Beersheba.

Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post, with permission from Faye Bittker.

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  • THOMAS W ADAMS

    Statement of the
    Zionist Organization Regarding Palestine

    Presented to the Paris Peace Conference (with
    proposed map of Zionist borders)

    Israel’s “claim” to Palestine
    is based entirely on War Crimes and GENOCIDE.

    It is UNFAIR and WRONG to
    compare Israel to the Nazis.

    The CORRECT comparison is of
    Nazis to Israelis:

    The Nazis copied the Jewish
    “Manual” point by point

    KILL THE SICK and CRIPPLED

    Numbers c.5 v.2-4

    KILL HOMOSEXUALS

    Leviticus c.20 v.13 well,
    really the whole chapter

    KILL ALL DISSIDENTS:

    Exodus c.32 v.27

    Numbers c.11 v.1-2

    Numbers c.16 all

    Numbers c.21 v.5-6

    Numbers c.26 v.10

    KILL anyone who engages in
    “DIVERSITY” or “INTEGRATION”

    Numbers v25 v.4-8

    Deuteronomy c.14 v.2

    DEHUMANIZE and then
    EXTERMINATE ALL NON-MEMBERS:

    Numbers c.21 v.03 Canaanites

    Numbers c.21 v.24 Amorites

    Numbers c.21 v.33-35 Bashan

    Numbers c.31 all Midianites

    Numbers c.32 v. more Amorites

    Deuteronomy c.2 v.34 People of
    Heshbon

    Deuteronomy c.3 v.6 really the
    whole chapter. threescore cities

    Joshua c.12 A list of victims
    of Israeli GENOCIDE

    Where are THEIR “holocaust”
    Memorials!

    OCCUPY YOUR VICTIM’S
    DWELLINGS/LAND

    Numbers c.21 v.25

    Numbers c.32 v.39

    Numbers c.33 v.53

    (just to name a FEW)

    GENOCIDE CODIFIED IN THEIR
    RELIGION

    Numbers c.33 v.31-34

    Deuteronomy c.7 v.2

    Deuteronomy c.12 v.28-30

    Deuteronomy c.20 v.11-16

    TERRORISM CODIFIED IN THEIR
    RELIGION

    Deuteronomy c.2 v.2

    Deuteronomy c.7 v.1

    Jews SELF-anointed “The CHOSEN
    People of GOD”

    Nazis SELF-anointed “The
    GENETICALLY CHOSEN People of God”.

    FEB
    3RD 1919
    CONCLUSION.
    In every part of the world
    on the Day of Atonement the Jews pray that “all nations may be
    united by a common bond, so that the will of God may reign supreme
    throughout the world”. In the fulfilment of this prayer, the Jews
    hope that they will be able to take an honorable place in the new
    community of Nations. It is their purpose to establish in
    Palestine a government dedicated to social and national justice; a
    government, that shall be guided like the community of old by that
    justice and equality which is expressed in the great precept of
    our Lawgiver: “There shall be but one law for you and the stranger
    in the land”.

    ALL OF WHICH IS RESPECTFULLY
    SUBMITTED.

    Rothschild (Lord Walter Rothschild).

    ON BEHALF OF THE ZIONIST
    ORGANIZATION.

    Nahum Sokolow. Chaim Weizmann.

    ON BEHALF OF ZIONIST
    ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA.

    Julian W. Mack.

    Stephen S. Wise.

    Harry Friedenwald.

    Jacob de Haas.

    Mary Fels.

    Louis Robison.

    Bernard Flexner.

    ON BEHALF OF THE RUSSIAN
    ZIONIST ORGANIZATION.

    Israel Rosoff.

    ON BEHALF OF THE JEWISH
    POPULATION OF PALESTINE IN ACCORDANCE WITH MANDATE RECEIVED.

    Nahum Sokolow.

    Chaim Weizmann.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Traffa-Cognomen/100000457970505 Traffa Cognomen

    You bought this on yourselves by acting aggressively towards everyone that lives in the region.