Mihal Eliav lives in Beersheba. Previously, she wrote about her visits to Sderot where she plans to live. Now she has written several impressions of Beersheba under attack. Her first Beersheba war diary entry was published here. This is the second. 1/1/09
I'm striving for something I call 'unabashedly subjective observations from a comrade on-the-spot'.
Here are some more, from yesterday:
- Haim Ramon says that the main objective of this military operation is to change the day-to-day reality in the south. Nothing less will do.
- Eli Yishai (from Be'er Sheva) tells us that one million people are now in range.
- I go to the shuk and get a healthy dose of ignorant, inarticulate and even shameful behavior on the part of unidentifiable (which means Bedouins? or Palestinians? -more likely) "cousins:" rocks on metal doors (sounds just like a small bomb) and certain car-alarms (sound like the sirens, if you're jumpy anyway). Not funny and I wonder why the shuk
(market) puts up with it. I chat with a worker from Dahariya who says he's 'in a different country' out there near Hebron. Maybe so. And with another Palestinian, whose dismal ignorance was matched only by his elevated self confidence.
- The high school across from me was hit, on the morning of the day school was called off in Be'er Sheva, Omer and kibbutz Hatzerim. Post- Hannuka miracles.
- Almost 60 missiles have fallen in Israel today. Two Israelis wounded by a gunman in Denmark. About 7 people killed and 5 times that many wounded on the roads in the last two days.
- As I walked to the shuk, I noticed how much safer I'd've been in Sderot. Be'er Sheva is so spread-out - how did I never really notice this before? (-not really.) Sderot is full of little shelterettes, as I have mentioned. Not here... Be'er Sheva suddenly looks naked and low. The shuk must have a shelter, but lord only knows where it is. One building I passed had some lime-green signs at the door. Mostly, I could make it to some form to east-facing semi-shelter in the 60-second warning given (from the moment the sirens go off). But I can see people around me who wouldn't have a chance to. The older in particular.
- The siren system is not working properly in Be'er Sheva. One hears about the falls on the radio, after the fact. More comfortable, but at the same time disconcerting. On the bus, I view the city as it will look if struck by bombs. The familiar landscapes go gray; I know I'm not imagining it with enough, for instance, dust.
- The dust will be more yellow. I know I'm not imagining it yellow enough. Meanwhile we had a bit of longawaited rain. So not everything falling out of the sky is lethal... the rain might keep down the dust.
- Things have started getting chewed-up here already. People calling in to the radio want to talk of their trauma and their fear. It may well be therapeutic for them but I suspect it's not so great for the listening public.
- People are speaking on cellphones 'No, I'm not afraid, there are worse things to be afraid of' and 'Everything is written up above' and 'Tell the kids to keep a stiff upper lip, I'll call them when I get home' and 'The kids said psalms - they know it is all in the hands of the Almightyí.
- I arrived home Saturday evening, exactly when it started. Radio reports in the taxi driving down to Be'er Sheva were all of the 'Cast Lead Operation,' which only started to feel like a war when I heard the booms from the high school next to the hospital across the way. But which was bad enough as was... after some days in the Disney environment and weeks in Antigua de Guatemala, one gets quite used to smiling at the human beings around one. It IS a shock to come into this after that. "Surreal" is a pretty good word.
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