Just as the British open a conversation by talking about the weather, so here in Israel the opening question is “Nu, ma hamatzav?” in other words, what is the status of the present “situation”, another word for the war with Hamas. These days are not normal days for majority of the population. Even here in the North of the country (we have had only a single “red alert”, and that at 3:30 am!!) everyone is affected in some way or another.
|Attendees at funeral of Sean Carmeli|
At the beginning of the week the airwaves were humming asking everyone to pay their last respects to an American who went into the army as a lone soldier and was killed. The funeral was planned for 11:00 pm and the usual short 10-12 minute drive turned out to be 50 minutes. Cars blocked the roads as everyone tried to get to the cemetery and find somewhere to park. Estimates suggest that 20,000 people turned up, it was such an emotional feeling of national unity. I don’t know what the parents, who flew in from the States, thought.
Today, another outpouring of national emotion was evident as another lone soldier from the USA was buried in Jerusalem. Estimates suggest that 30,000 people attended.
Today, we received a text message informing us of a seriously injured soldier who is the grandson of a good friend in our neighbourhood and as we filled up with petrol after returning from Jerusalem, the attendant was telling me how worried he was because a grandson was in Gaza with the Israeli army.
|Presenting goods for the soldiers|
Another sign of the general public’s support for the soldiers in Gaza was the activity outside the supermarkets asking customers to buy “supplies for the boys”. See attached picture of my wife presenting todays contribution. Yesterday our neighbourhood also arranged a collection which was well supported.
It is hard to imagine the “hell” they are in, fighting a gang of terrorist who know absolutely no rules and break all with impunity and yet the world seems more focused on the legal actions of a well-trained and humane army.
A final reflection is that of one of our 17 year granddaughters with friends, taking time from their smart phones to go and visit injured soldiers and their families in a nearby hospital.
Thus we approach the 17th day of the operation to clear out all the tunnels which are there for one purpose and one purpose only – to kill the maximum number of Jews!