January 05, 2009

Raising high the Israeli flag

Israeli flag facing the highway
north of Tel Aviv, close to Ra-anana

Here is what Karen Alkalay-Gut entered in her Tel Aviv Diary today:

I've dusted off our flag and am getting ready to hang it up on the balcony. It is a strange impulse, born of much debate. The energy we expend debating on ethics is exhausting, but I've finally decided to let the flag speak for us.

The rest of her diary entry follows (I added the links):

A few words with a close friend from the USA last night on the phone got me thinking about it — he assumed the war is unnecessary, and I agree. So here are my criticisms and my conclusions.
  1. I would have been much happier if we had made more direct efforts to speak with Hamas.
  2. Hamas has been sending us antipersonnel rockets for years on civilian targets and trying to kidnap soldiers. Gilad Shalit was in Israel when he was kidnapped. That fact alone is Casus belli [the justification for acts of war]. But we did nothing — except accept their threats, attempts at humiliations, and propaganda.
  3. The world expected nothing from Hamas — no discussions, debates, proposals.
  4. The rockets are still falling on Israel.
  5. The attempt to minimize damage to citizens in Gaza is one of the causes of Israeli soldiers being wounded and killed right now.
  6. While we all seem to agree on the number of casualties in Gaza, Israel and the rest of the world don't quite agree on the percent of civilians lost. Israel says less than 100. Palestinians says most are women and children.
  7. In fact, most of the international news runs counter to what I know from people who are actually activating elements of the war. And as parents and partners and relatives and neighbors we are never ignorant of what's going on.
  8. Though I am constantly aware of the situation of the Arabs in Israel, I really believe they are in much better shape than they would be living in any Arab country, although we have no oil.
So I'm hanging out my flag.

If you're not afraid to, you might want to do it too. Members of my family, by the way, have been getting death threats on Facebook.


Madeline said...

Thank you Tamar for publishing some insights from those near the front lines. That picture is powerful.

Tamar Orvell said...

Madeline — Here is Karen's diary entry (excerpt) for January 11 that lists some crazy-making realities and selected associated insights and convictions from "those near the front lines" in Israel.

"As much as I count every one of the 8000 rockets that fell on Israel in the past years from Gaza, as much as I think the kidnapping and mortification of Gilad Shalit is unforgivable, as much as I think the Hamas is a bloodthirsty brainwashed terrorist group, I want to rush into Gaza with food and medicine."