by Paula R. Stern
Shevat 22, 5770, 2/6/2010
Palestinians shot a rocket at Israel yesterday. For all intents and purposes, they again missed their target...whatever that might have been this time. Palestinians also launched explosive barrels against Israel's shore lines. For all intents and purposes, they again missed their target...whatever that might have been. The devices - three so far and counting, were all found and neutralized. A miss. Again.
Because this new water warfare is a bit unique, it garners a bit of international attention but for all intents and purposes, the explosives were oh-so-boringly disarmed. No spectacular explosions; no blood; no deaths and so, sadly, no real news as far as much of the world is concerned.
The world is blasé about the rockets that keep raining down on us. Yesterday, another rocket - the 20th rocket in a period of 34 days. The rocket crashed down near a city of 25,000 people. Certainly, Hamas cannot control the rockets - proof in the fact that they keep missing. But...because they cannot be controlled, because they are launched indiscriminately, they bring with them terror.
There is no miss when it comes to terror - and that is the point that must be made.
A miss doesn't make the news but that doesn't mean anything on the scale of what is really important. Twenty times in the last month, close to one million people have been terrorized by rockets.
In the last few days, all of Israel has been warned - avoid the seashore and if you go, beware. If you see a suspicious object...it could be a bomb. Can you relate this idiocy to your life - you who live far from such a concept?
When I was young and wanted a day of freedom, it was to the beach I went. I have always felt so close to the water, so touched by the majesty and power of that place where water meets land. Two years ago, I asked my youngest daughter what she wanted to do on her last day of vacation. Elie was in the army, her older sister in her first year of marriage. My youngest child picked the sea and so we went (A Candle and a Wave). I watched her dance among the waves, enthralled as I have always been. Today, in fear, there are many who are not going to the beaches; the army has told us to stay away while they comb the waters of our shoreline. Boats have been warned as well. This too they would take from us, if we let them.
What amazes me is how the shades of terrorism never seem to include terror. Attacks are measured only in bodies and blood - but what of the terror itself? What of the family who avoids the beach, the mall, the buses today because they are afraid? What of the child who walks and is afraid on his way to school because he knows that a Color Red might sound and he has to run and hide and only has 15 seconds?
What of the mother who plays in the park with two of her children and wonders if she can, within 15 seconds, get to both and safety as well? All these are facets of terrorism too easily ignored.
That the Palestinians missed murdering innocents in Sderot yesterday and the day before and eighteen other times this past month, is a blessing, a miracle, a gift. The fact that alert Israelis are finding these water bombs before innocents find them is a blessing, a miracle, a gift. It is wrong to ignore the horror, the terror, the indignity, the murderous intent...simply because, by the grace of God and our security forces, the Palestinians have, once again, missed their targets.