confirmed without doubt
heartbreak just as real
a nation mourns
three kidnapped boys
Wednesday night, November 14, was the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.
Today is Thursday, November 22nd, the first day after the Ceasefire pronounced yesterday evening at 9:00 PM our time.
A week of being directed to our Safe Rooms if we had them, or within 15 seconds distance of any possible Safe Room. A week of being alerted to every little nuance of daily life. No work. No school. Yes work. Yes kibbutz breakfast. No kibbutz dinner. Store hours. Store closed suddenly. And so it went.
A facebook group kept English Speakers in constant touch. We fed one another’s anxieties and applauded our acts of heroism. Going out for a regular walk was cheered, or admonished (mostly admonished with incredulity). Walking dogs within proximity of a shelter became a deed of courage that needed a motivational talk beforehand and a debriefing afterwards.
Interesting times we live in.
Some lived without.
Many residents left the area and still haven’t returned.
Eventually, things will come back to normal.
Normal awareness that we carry with us at all times will sit in our back pockets instead of fully planted in our frontal lobe.
Soon. My safe room will go back to being a safe haven of choice rather than necessity.
before five thirty a.m.
we received a message to stay close to our fortified safe rooms.
I rolled out of bed, acquired some coffee and headed to check out the sounds outside and then the newsfeed. Sure enough, rockets had been aimed at cities and towns close by. Momentary updates show that the Iron Dome intercepted a few missiles, but that at least one man has been injured from shrapnel.
I realized that there’s something to share here: a news report featuring my friend Adele, who lives on a neighbouring kibbutz. She was interviewed the other day and I’ll let you listen to what she has to say.
Remember JR, the winner of the TED Prize for ‘movers and shakers’ in 2011? Well, I do. And I showed that TED talk to a number of students hoping to inspire them to proclaim themselves through art.
He was in Israel last week to support the March for Millions held last Saturday, Sept 3.
Read the article!
Get on the bandwagon. Yallah!
A million protesters for social justice?
Police forces prepare for Saturday night’s mass social rallies across Israel, as organizers hope 1,000,000 protesters will show up
Ynet Reporters click the link for the story as preparation is being made for the protest at Kikar haMedina this evening, Saturday September 3, 2011.
Read Bradley Burston’s observations about the revolution for Social Justice. Saturday evening Sept 3 – 1,000,000 man march!
In Israel, the future can come down to just one night
The burdens of everyday life have for so long persuaded people that they could do nothing about them. No more. It either ends here, or Israel does. Saturday night. Be there.
Have you heard about the tent cities in Israel? Since July 2011, young people, students, married couples, families with children, older citizens, all have come to live in the tent cities found around Israel.
The media dropped away, but the fight for social justice is very much alive. I had an opportunity to speak to someone active in the movement. Here’s the interview conducted Thursday September 1, 2011.
Conversation with Ayelet Shturman
Since July 2011, citizens of Israel have banded together to protest the rising cost of living. The simple fact is that even working multiple jobs is hardly able to cover monthly expenses, even the most modest basic needs. Young couples can’t afford housing, and students are desperate for affordable accommodation. The government has done nothing concrete to answer the needs of the people.
To rally together and make sufficient noise to be heard, tent cities around the country have been erected. The largest is in Tel Aviv on Rothschild Boulevard.
Ayelet Shturman, a former pupil of mine (back in the 7th grade) came to the first day of school at Nofei Habsor Comprehensive School and suddenly appeared in the Teachers’ Room, holding posters and a rolled up tent.
After warm greetings, we sat down and spoke. She told me that she’s been living in a tent on Rothschild Bld for the past two months. And I asked her if she still drew (thinking what a wonderful thing to publish – her drawings of the goings on in the tent city.)
She replied that she didn’t really have much time to draw since she’s been busy teaching kids in the tent city. I asked her to explain.
Judih: How do you teach the kids?
Ayelet: I’ve been doing children’s games. Card games like Quartets for the revolution and Memory games for the revolution, everything designed with many terms and expressions, about the economy, and so on.
Judih: For the kids staying in the tents?
Ayelet: For the kids in the tents and for the kids who come to visit the tent city. Parents want their children to experience it as something good, but more than that, they want their children to understand. They need someone to simplify the concepts so that even their seven-year olds can grasp them and so they’ve asked us to find ways to educate the children.
J: That’s great. You’ve found a way to help them interact with the concept.
A: Yes, and it’s called a School for the Revolution and it’s taking place all over the country. Today, (Thursday, Sept 1) we have a huge tent in front of the Ministry of Education in Jerusalem. Right at this moment they’re starting.
I hope we can do something on Sunday as well. It’s very important that we make a big impression. Today in Nofei Habsor, we’re setting up a tent and inviting students and their teachers from grades 11 and 12, especially Civics classes, to come out and ask questions. We have thousands of people working on this.
J: Are you working through Facebook or do you have some other network to get out your message?
A: I’m just helping. If they need money, I work to raise it. If they need somebody to set up, I help. If they’re short of water, I help. The entire thing is run by the efforts of many people.
J: Who’s in charge? Who’s the head of the School for Revolution?
A: There’s a professor at the Seminar haKibbutzim, who teachers Sociology and Gender Studies and she’s the one who organized us, recruited people, and motivated us to act. But various people are in charge of various responsibilities.
J: So it is a movement run by the people.
A: Yes. For example there is someone in charge of all the social activities and communication. He will organize TV, internet time and radio spots.
J: A total media network.
A: Yes, and he’s in charge of that aspect. I’m responsible for education. All round Israel there will be tents and I’m responsible for them and for organizing the tent in Jerusalem. I hope to continue doing it all over the country.
J: It’s a lot of work.
A: Yes, but the media is very tired of it
J: Well, hurricanes upstage you. But people aren’t tired of not having enough money. The people are behind you.
A: Yes, but the problem is that if you don’t live in Tel Aviv, and you don’t have the opportunity to come to Rothschild, the tent city, and see what’s going on for yourself, if you live in the Kibbutzim like Tze’elim and Gvulot,
J: But there is a tent city in Be’er Sheva
A: Yes, and there is a tent city in Kiryat Shmona or Shlomi but if you’re not right there, you live by the media. You trust it to tell you what’s going on. If the media doesn’t air it, it doesn’t exist.
But the media has become really immune to what we’re doing, right now. Three months ago there were 20,000 people going around Tel Aviv, on Rothschild, maybe 30, 000 people. Then there lots of reporters and a lot of media exposure. But now?
J: I was in America visiting with my family. And I was speaking with my Uncle, who’s a Judge and 90 years old and he said:”I wish that the American people would learn from the Israeli people and do what the Israeli people are doing.” And he’s someone with a lot of influence and there are people who think of us overseas. So don’t give up. There may not be a lot of noise right now, but the noise will come back. I’ll do what I can.
A. Einshalla (by the grace of God in Arabic)
J: I’ve got a blog.
J: and I’ll do what I can. I’ll try.
A. Fabulous. Come out to Tel Aviv on Saturday. Please spread the word. I hope it will be a one million man march.
One million will make a difference. Because that’s their language. That’s what attracts media. They don’t understand anything but numbers. Half a million. They speak by numbers. Everything else doesn’t make an impression.
J: I hope you get your number.
A: I hope so. Come join us!
So, what’s new?
After having completed another course sponsored by Yad Vashem on Holocaust Studies, I took off for the green land known as Canada. I was refreshed and delighted by sweet weather and my dear family and then it was time to come home to Kibbutz Nir-Oz.
Good to be back? Well, of course to hug my beloved children.
But in other news, as has been shown by ynet.com, it’s been a few days of constant listening. I carry out conversations in person, on the phone and in my head while I periodically note booms and more booms. I await the call of the Red Alert from the regional system or from our Kibbutz located factory, and I carry on.
Newspaper reports don’t always acknowledge the rocketfire that goes on during the day. There are bigger rockets or more noteworthy landings near the big cities of Ashkelon and Be’er Sheva or even Ofakim. But those reports also engage my attention. There’s a kind of dual perception that sneaks into one’s life – the immediate engagements of the moment and the secondary reality of sporadic and possible danger.
Those with ADHD are the winners – those lucky folks gifted with multiple attention spans – no problem – they’re well rehearsed for these times.
Those who are more linear – who like their days piled neatly – are more shaken.
How do you categorize yourself? Could you keep the zen during these times?
Oh, and if you have facebook, perhaps you’d like to join my friend Adele’s new group: Life on the Border with Gaza, Things People May not Know (but should)
& may it be a peaceful weekend
-judih, August 26, 2011
Update (p.s. we’re safe)