This evening, after several attempts, we finally managed to speak with Mrs G's younger brother who is currently serving his compulsory service in a commando unit. He couldn’t really tell us much other than that he’s about 500 meters from the Lebanese border and that after a week and a half of battle rations, he had finally got his hands on a hamburger donated by the local kosher McDonalds today.
Mrs G’s twin brother, who was released from a different commando unit after 3 years of service in March, only to be called back with a Tzav 8 emergency call up, is spending the night in Jenin, where his unit will most probably be putting themselves in harms way, rounding up Hamas operatives.
Meanwhile, Mrs G and I spent this evening at a restaurant on
Last week, D and A, received call up notices. Monday nights usually see them playing soccer with us in
On Sunday, whilst Mrs G and I wandered around the
Living in Israel can frequently be a somewhat surreal experience; in the decade since I made Aliyah from England, there really hasn’t ever been a prolonged period of complete quiet but this last month has been the most difficult to deal with for me; whilst a good proportion of our population is hunkering down in their bunkers, tourists in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem could easily be forgiven for thinking that nothing unusual was going on; we may dig deep to send packages to our soldiers and the residents of the North, listen to the news with a greater frequency and our phone bills may record a few more calls to family and friends with an 04 area code than usual, but otherwise anyone to the south of an imaginary line is getting up to go to work, doing brunch and sitting on the beach in the same way as they have always done.
Last time around it was far easier for me – Friday March 29th 2002, the day after the Park Hotel in Netanya was bombed, I was amongst the thousands who received an emergency call up. I was amongst those who went into the Arab West Bank towns, spending most of April in and around
My feeling of impotence is only emphasized by the fact that in a week and a half I’ll be leaving to take up my new post as Aliyah Shaliach in the States, leaving behind my responsibility for defending the country; every year since I completed my army service in 1998 I’ve been called up for at least one period of Miluim – Reserve Duty. Every time, I’ve faithfully answered the call yet here I find myself leaving the country at a time where I’m needed the most and feeling incredibly torn in doing so. Make no mistake – I, along with all of the others who have been called up, do not wish to have to serve, but when the need arises I certainly wish to take responsibility and fulfill my duty.
I comfort myself in the knowledge that I’m leaving to fulfill a mission of national importance. As an Aliyah Shaliach, I shall be promoting and assisting people in making Aliyah; I was recently privileged to represent the Jewish Agency for Israel on a flight arranged by Nefesh B’Nefesh which brought 230 North American Olim to Israel in the middle of the current conflict and am convinced that the resolution of these and the thousands of other Olim who are making the move this summer in spite of the fighting sends a very clear message to our enemies.
We have been targeted simply for being Jews for Millennia; the subject of pogroms, blood libels, expulsions and the Holocaust. Now, living in an era where we have our own State, we are able to defend ourselves against those who would destroy us.
Our complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last summer has not produced the results that we had hoped for but rather those that the doom-sayers warned of, with Shderot and
The abrogation of responsibility on behalf of the Lebanese Government in letting a terrorist regime, armed by
As a Shaliach I have a mission to strengthen Israel, whether through sending people on programs or helping them prepare for Aliyah, standing up and speaking our on the campuses and helping others to do likewise, it is clear to me that I will be doing my duty – but in a different arena and without a uniform. Living in