woensdag 7 januari 2009

The images they show...

There are images that break your heart. The news is filled with them today and they can easily sway you to think that all of the situation in the Middle East comes down to a picture. How horrible, truly tragic, unacceptable and wrong it is to have a child die.

It is so horrible, sometimes you forget to look behind the picture. It's so simple, really. A child should be able to go to school and be safe. I last spoke to my son days ago and in the background I could hear the sound of explosions. Through the phone, dozens of kilometers away from me, and quite a distance from Elie, I could hear another unit firing. Can you imagine how loud that would be up close?

Yesterday, mortars were fired FROM the school In Jebalya. This was a direct and intentional attack on Israel, on Israel's soldiers and population. Mortars are explosions. They are loud. You can't pretend you didn't hear them. Many months ago, I went to a ceremony on a base where Elie had completed his basic training. Part of the ceremony included Elie's group showing their parents what they had learned. After the awards and the talking, some of the soldiers ran to the armored personnel vehicles, while others, including Elie sat on the ground and watched. An officer came near me, as I stood watching with my youngest daughter. He told me to sit down with the girl "on your lap." So, we sat down, as the soldiers were doing. As another officer was explaining to the crowd about the types of explosives that would be fired, where they would be targeting (the hill a few kilometers in the distance), etc. I saw the soldiers stick their fingers in their ears.

Read the rest at A Soldier's Mother