With the first phase of Operation Pillar of Defense underway, the inevitable next stage has begun.
With Friday’s announcement that the IDF’s Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz had decided to call up 16,000 reserve troops, the operation began to have repercussions throughout Israel.
It seemed like there wasn’t anyone who didn’t know somebody who received a phone call, SMS or email telling them to report to their unit on Sunday morning, as speculation of an impending ground incursion of Gaza grows.
A co-worker at the Post received one such phone call on Thursday, three days after his wife gave birth to their fourth child. A lone soldier female immigrant from the US who finished her army service last year and is now studying at Ben-Gurion University in the Negev received a similar notice.
And close to home, my daughter’s combat unit on the Egyptian border, about to start a week’s vacation at an IDF ‘nofesh’ resort on the coast, had their plans truncated and is headed back down to the border on Sunday.
Those scenes will be replayed frequently… well, about 16,000 times, over the next few days. It comes part and parcel with the notion of the ‘people’s army’ that we subscribe to here. And like they did with Operation Cast Lead, and the ones before - and alas, the ones that will come - these ordinary citizens will join the standing army with heavy hearts and firm resolve as Operation Pillar of Defense plays out.