A Day at the Beach

1 Aug

I started my day optimistic. When Aharon and I woke up to the news of a 72-hour ceasefire, we were elated. It was as if the war were over.

As we planned the day ahead, it took us a few minutes to realize that we can actually go to the beach. We haven’t since this war started because our preferred seaside is in Rishon Lezion, a city south of Tel Aviv and the target of many rockets. I thought of how excited my kids would be to play in the sand and wade in the shallow water as the cool waves crashed.

beachsept2013

A day at the beach in happier times

I was even happier to see a photo on Facebook of children and fishermen in Gaza enjoying the beach there this morning.

Yes, I thought, the beach will end this war. All anyone wants in this shared, unbearable heat is to sit in the cool Mediterranean waters and eat a good watermelon. We want it. They want it. I thought of all the Gazan children who must be ecstatic to run around freely and of the parents who can exhale without having to think of finding shelter – and the Israeli ones too.

Throughout the morning, I was giddy thinking of our beach plans. Then, I came home to the most horrible news: not only had the ceasefire been broken but Hamas captured a soldier.  Israel considers abduction a fate worse than death. Kidnapping forces us to pay a very high price – many more Palestinian prisoners who sometimes return to terrorism –  for that soldier’s release in addition to the potential for torture as well as leaked intelligence. In most cases the soldiers are already dead, unbeknownst to Israel. (Read my post on Gilad Schalit’s release for more on this ultra-sensitive topic.)

According to the Israeli media, Hamas started. Good job, Hamas. We know all the horrors you inflict on your people, but here you had a chance to end this cursed war.

I am losing patience. Who isn’t?  That’s an understatement, I know; I just don’t know how to write it in stronger terms. The more the world condemns Israel, the more Israel perseveres and thinks it’s right to use excessive force on mixed civilian and terrorist areas. And you’d think the other side would want the cease-fire more, to save some of its people, but they blew it again.

I’m also losing patience because I feel powerless to do anything about this endless bloodshed and tragedy. Read my last post about an anti-war demonstration I attended for more on that.

I’m sad for all of us, who are being held prisoner by our violent leaders, bent on the path of destruction.

All we want is a day at the beach.

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One Response to “A Day at the Beach”

  1. Joyce Takefman August 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Just a suggestion…the title should be modified to read “day in the beach in Israel”….if you put it on FB, then has more of a chance to be noticed… xxxMom

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