I have started and re-started writing this blog post every day since the current wave of terror started about 2 weeks ago. And, sadly, each post would have been incomplete without including the latest news, the newest angle or the most recent heroic story. I gave an hour-long tour at my job yesterday, only to come back and find that I missed two attacks in different areas of Israel. In one hour. So I will do my best to organize my frenzied, terrified and confusing thoughts into one (hopefully) readable post.
Wouldn't it be nice?
Wouldn't it be nice if I could board a bus, shop in a supermarket or walk to my friend's house without my heart beating out of my chest? Without my eyes darting, my neck craning, constantly trying to turn myself into a moving target instead of a stationary one? I try to be vigilant, to profile (luckily, I'm not a liberal, so I don't even feel bad) but the terrorists are as young as 13 and women have gotten in on the action, so it gets tougher. I clutch my pepper spray and turn off my headphones as I watch the list of terrorized areas grow- Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Petach Tikva, Maaleh Adumim. The Old City and the light rail stations, the main streets and the side streets. And now the buses. The buses, which for years I avoided because of their prominence for terror during the Second Intifada, suddenly again a target, a nightmare realized. X-Ray- vision would be nice.
Meet my new constant companion- pepper spray.
Wouldn't it be nice if a mainstream media outlet reported truthfully, without anti-Israel bias? If the headlines read "Palestinians terrorist stabs Jew" instead of "Israel shoots Palestinian"? Sure, the Palestinian was shot- that's pretty much the only way to win a knife fight! If you find another way, please tell me! I'm pretty defenseless over here with my little pepper spray. And the media volume is too much to bear, the rhetoric too high. I vacillate between wanting Israeli news reported worldwide and knowing that once it is, Israel will look like the aggressor and instead of the world ignoring us, they will demonize us. I wish I could find an article to share with my friends on Facebook that tells the truth and also isn't from an Israeli/Jewish publication. An unbiased Washington Post piece would be nice.
Wouldn't it be nice if rational people in the world rallied around us, vocally and unequivocally? Didn't refer to this as a "cycle of violence," as if shooting terrorists isn't warranted? Can't they just refrain from telling "both sides to settle down" as if we're two equally impertinent seven year olds in a fight? There is a Left-wing writer who, instead of using this time to advocate for Israelis and our unquestioned safety, is shaming Jews into placating Arabs. Her microphone is huge, mine is tiny. So any American Jews reading her words are going to be misled into thinking this conflict is about anything but what it is. It's not about bubbling frustration over the Temple Mount, or the "occupation." It's not about Duma or Gaza or the checkpoints or the security wall or the blockade. It is about murdering Jews; frequently, randomly and brutally. Not "settlers," policemen or soldiers. Sure, them too, But in reality, according to a large majority of Palestinian and Israeli Arabs, all Jews in Israel are guilty and all worthy of the same fate. A little more moral clarity would be nice.
Wouldn't it be nice if someone had a solution? Because as "radical" as my ideas might be, I can't think of that many that would work right now. If I thought house demolitions, kill- shots to terrorists and curfews would stop this, I'd be the biggest cheerleader. But our largest obstacle right now is incitement and indoctrination- and no checkpoints or metal detectors can stop that. And so we choose to blame the government for not doing more- and even I vent my frustration- but what is it they should be doing? What's the answer? It would be nice if someone came up with something good and soon.
And wouldn't it be so nice if Israel could just live in peace? Not the peace that comes from capitulating, or cutting off one arm to keep the other- but real peace? Who honestly believes that any right-winger wants war, wants this? Who doesn't realize that we all just want the right to live as Jews in the Jewish homeland, without apologizing? We all want a safe place to live, for our kids to grow up. We all want our biggest gripe to be the rising price of hummus or the spottiness of Egged buses. No one wants to live in constant fear, constant anger and constant dread. No one wants to choose between pepper spray and a taser, or sign up for a "stabbing self-defense class." No one wants to feel petrified to leave the house, to attend a wedding, to lay on the beach. No one, not the Left and not the Right wants war. It would be nice to live in safety.
It would be nice to live in peace.