I'm sitting in my apartment listening to my itunes on party shuffle. Fifteen Israeli soldiers were killed fighting today in Lebanon. Fourteen Lebanese were killed yesterday at a funeral for 15 other people. In another Lebanese town a man lies moderately wounded - a professional term better understood to us layman as "just below life-threatening" - while his wife and son fight for their lives, unknowing of the rest of their family's deaths. Thousands of northern Israeli residents who have spent the last three weeks huddled in fear in shelters as rockets and missiles explode all around them are migrating southward, refugees of war. The majority of the recent IDF deaths have been reservists, people who were killed just a day after being notified that they must leave their families, work, freedom, lives to don uniforms, kill, and get ready to give their lives for the Israeli cause. The rest of the soldiers were kids whose first taste of life away from home as been combat.
Israel is exploding, and so is Lebanon. People are being killed every day, some for sitting at home, others as gun-yielding Israeli military cattle. None of them want death. None of them want innocent deaths, on either side. On both sides of the border, civilians want peace. In Israel these civilians sometimes wear uniforms, because they have too. Some of them wanted to be fighters, wanted to give their all to defend their country. Defense can mean offense, they reasoned, because if we don't actively defend ourselves, who will. A lot of the Hezbollah fighters are kids, too. They have a cause too. I don't understand it. I don't understand their form of resistance. They want us decimated. We want the same of them.
Lebanon, I wanted to meet you, I wanted to see you. I don't want to kill you. I want you to get rid of Hezbollah, the cancer within you that has destroyed you by attacking Israel when it knew full well that Israel would plow through Lebanon without mercy in order to wipe it out.
Israel, I want to love you. You are my home and I do love you. I want us to get rid of the cancer within is that pushes us toward war at every nudge from our neighbors. You shouldn't have done this. They picked a fight with us, those bastard Hezbollahniks, but we didn't have to respond like this. We didn't have to kill all these people. They are dead now, because of us. So many of our own are dead or refugees now because we haven't figured out yet to stop listening to the American war-mongers and use our words, not our arms. The Americans speak a language of war. Hebrew is a language of logic, zionism was supposed to be a language of defense. Why have you stained my flag with innocent blood? Why are you making my language so offensive?
The irony is that the person currently updating the Israeli dictionary is Amir Peretz, former man of peace, who is now the proponent of this war. I voted for him. He told me he wanted to eradicate poverty, and discrimination against Arabs. He told me he wanted a Palestinian state. He told me he didn't want to fight.
But now that he's sitting in the control room, he keeps pressing the red button. What exactly is the view from there? Is it one of desperation? Is it one of blood? It must be a very hazy control room, because the logic is lost in this war. Our leaders are seeing only red.
Life is exploding. My building shook last night, probably from the air traffic, and in my dream's eye I saw rockets exploding around me. The other day I ran to the door when I heard a loud sound, my keys poised to unlock my apartment and run downstairs to the storage room for safety. My very level-headed friend Mati told me he had a bag packed next to his bed just in case.
My boss told me today that I couldn't go to Europe next week as I planned because Mati is going to be called up for reserve duty. They need me on the site. I've been working there for 13 months, up to my ears in war stories every day - I just want to leave this crazy place, have some peace for a few weeks. But what can I do? I want a vacation, but I can't take it because my country has gone to war and is taking my friends with it. I want a vacation, but I need to be here. How could I even take a vacation now?
I don't know if my writing is reflecting the desperation with which I write this post. I don't give a shit about my vacation. I give a shit about the loneliness of my country, the destruction of my beautiful north and its people, the destruction of beautiful Lebanon and its people, the war-infused frenzy that has brought my country back to misguided patriotism and Lebanon into renewed hatred of Israel. I don't want war. I don't want destruction. I don't want death. I don't want hatred.
Israel, we are renewing the hatred around us. WAR DOES NOT WORK. Olmert. Peretz. Halutz. Don't you remember how much we are fucking up in Gaza? Did you really think this was the answer?
Stop fighting. Take negotiations into your own hands. Negotiate with Lebanese Prime Minister Siniora. Let the international force in. Let the Lebanese troops in. Stop aerial bombing. Decimate the Hezbollah, but through logic, not blind explosions. Let us live. Let us have a vacation, from war and from destruction. Let Lebanon continue to exist. Let Israel continue to exist. Let us live.