Tuesday, December 30, 2008


For the last 8 years, several thousand regular Israelis were living in constant fear. Every few days they were shocked by a siren and had to run to the shelter. The other 6 million Israelis were angry and somewhat afraid, but mostly in the background of their lives. With the exception of the Lebanon war, which disrupted things for a while and hurt the national pride, life went on as usual.

But the fear and anger and hurt kept building up. Like a bag being slowly filled with acid. Slowly but surely. And in the past few months, when the Qassam attacks intensified, the building up of fear and anger intensified with them. Last week, the upcoming elections, like a needle, punctured the bag of acid.

And the anger and fear, built up over 8 years, exploded. Right into the faces of the residents of Gaza.

For the past few days, a million regular residents of Gaza have been living in absolute terror. The earth is literally shaking under their feet with constant explosions. Innocent people are afraid to go outside lest they be torn apart by a ton of dynamite. They are afraid to stay at home, because they don't know if the Israeli army thinks that their neighbors are Hamas activists. They can't buy food. They don't have electricity. The 8 years-worth of mounting fear and anger inside 6 million innocent Israelis is now being hurled at 1 million innocent Gazans.

Most Israelis don't realize this yet. We can't even begin to understand the amount of pain and terror that our army's attack is causing. We are too preoccupied with thoughts about Hamas rockets now reaching Ashdod and Ashqelon and Be'er Sheva, and the fear that if we do not destroy Hamas, then their rockets will reach the rest of Israel. And there's the restored pride in our army too. When you're afraid that a billion Muslims want to kill you, it's very comforting to know that you can count on your army. Especially if you know that "some of these lunatic Muslims" are working hard to get a nuclear bomb, and keep telling you that they want to kill you.

At some point in the future, some Israelis will realize the amount of terror inflicted by the IDF on the civilians in Gaza. We have created a very painful wound in the soul of every single resident of Gaza - and it will be decades, if not centuries, before this is forgotten. Some Israelis will regret it. Most won't care, because they are too concerned with the wounds in their own souls. They will blame only the people of Gaza. Just like the people of Gaza are going to blame only the people of Israel.