August 11, 2006
[Amy]: Shabbat is coming, and the war goes on
A woman on the street is shouting into her cellphone a recipe for “pashtida”—a quiche, kugel.
The Mahane Yehuda market is bustling—people practically trample each other to buy fruit and vegetables in this Jerusalem open air market.
It’s a market that had been the site of many terror attacks in the past, but on this Friday, the war is somewhere else, up North.
As the world watches the UN resolutions—cease-fire/no cease-fire/yes cease-fire—security is raised in America from yellow to orange to red, and airports go crazy, barring even toothpaste from flights, here in Israel the attacks in the North go on, and the costs keep rising.
Fifteen soldiers were killed yesterday. “I don’t know if I would be upset if I lived in America and I heard 15 soldiers died in Iraq,” a friend of mine says. She’d be upset, but she wouldn’t be crying, like she is here, over the baby-faced 20-somethings who just lost their lives. “I mean, I wouldn’t *know* anyone or know anyone who knew anyone who was killed, and here, it’s 15 new families who have lost a father, a son, and dozens, if not hundreds more who are touched by this war.
In Yediot Aharonot, the main newspaper here, their faces are plastered across the front cover. One was on the beach Sunday, telling his girlfriend how to do his funeral. Another just came back from his “Big Trip” in Thailand, a custom after three years of service.
On the inside page, another article says soldiers are complaining that the cessation in adding ground troops is hurting the troops already there; another article next to it says that much of the Israeli public prefers more air strikes rather than ground troops.
No one knows what to think. Or, everyone has a different opinion: Israel can’t leave now till they finish Hezbullah; Israel already has a victory; Olmert should go; Olmert should stay; a cease-fire is good; a cease-fire is bad.
At 6:31 pm, Ha’aretz newspaper reports that Olmert and Peretz agree, after hours of deliberating, to approve expansion of the operation in Lebanon.
At 6:45 the Shabbat siren sounds.
Some of the country will take a rest from the news, the television, the radio, the war, but many—in Lebanon, in the army, in government—will continue.