Monday, February 23, 2004

Ambulance sirens make me nervous. When I hear one I instinctively stop and listen to make sure that it is just the one. More than one in Jerusalem generally means a bombing. My office backs onto Derech Aza where the bombing was three weeks ago. Aza is also one of the main routes between Shaarei Tzedek hospital and town. I used to live around the corner and have become "used" to sirens heralding more evil tidings.

Yesterday morning I heard a siren. It was quickly joined by many others. The phone started ringing almost immediately as friends and colleagues called to check that I was where I was supposed to be. On a Sunday morning, family in the UK were still asleep. I decided not to wake them. Mum eventually texted just to be sure.

Another bus bomb, 8 dead this time and scores injured. A little further afield - but then I suppose they couldn't get much closer than the last one. I found myself replying, a little too glibly, that this one was "at least a 7 minute walk away". On a major route, which I drive by several times a week. Many of my friends live in the area and I still haven't relaxed completley although I figure that had someone been involved I would have heard by now. What are the odds? A bus coming from the German Colony should statistically have someone I know on it. How many times can it happen before there is someone I know amongst the dead or wounded?

And still the international community condemns Israel for building a fence to protect her citizens. What other country would be so restrained in taking measures to stop children from being blown up on their way to school? We are truly living in Chelm.

I hate being so desensitized to it all. I should sit, crying for each and every one of the dead and wounded. But there have been so many. And there will be many more before the sirens stop causing me to jump out of my chair. Just to check......

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