By: Phyllis Gerably, Director, ADL Israel Office
I’m writing these words as sirens are heard all around the country. The rockets that Hamas just sent fell very close to my apartment in Jerusalem.
For the last few weeks, as tensions have grown, it’s very hard not to look at the pictures of the five young people who were murdered out of fanatic hate. The common denominator, their youth, makes it all the more shocking. The country seems to have had a wake-up call of how fragile our life is here. Community leaders have called for restraint, but it seems that no one can embrace the dignity and compassion of Rachel Fraenkel, the mother of Naftali (of blessed memory), who said when speaking of the murdered Arab youth, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, “There is no difference between blood and blood.”
We’ve barely had a chance to mourn the loss of the young people and rockets are being fired at several cities in Israel. Pictures come to mind: the bride in Ashdod who wasn’t sure that her wedding would take place tomorrow; efforts to take the children from Sderot to the North for a respite; the call today from Carole, our colleague and friend who, on her way back from a conference, had to leave her car as the siren was heard; and scenes from “the safe center” of Tel Aviv whose residents today experienced what citizens of Sderot have been going through for years.
My grandson didn’t sleep last night. He keeps crying and asking his mother if the house will be strong enough if a bomb falls. He is only five years old.
Addressing a recent ADL mission to Israel, Udi Segal, a journalist and commentator for Israel Channel 2, shared what the Israelis really want: “Israelis just want quiet” he said, “with us here and the Palestinians there.” Just quiet.