Israel-Hezbollah War

A view of the July-August 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war from an Israeli living in Haifa (under Katyusha rocket attack)- send personal comments to david2@lisbona.com

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Fewer rocket attacks?

For regular readers of these reports, I apologise for dwelling on the rocket attacks on Haifa. But if you were here, you'd understand how these have suddenly become an important parameter in our lives. However both Irit and I are more concerned about the general situation (more of that in a separate report) than the specific threat to us from rockets on Haifa. Both Daphnie and some good friends of ours have offered us a deluxe option to stay with them in Tel Aviv or nearby but we still prefer to come home to Haifa. Today we were most of the day in Tel Aviv (Irit baybysat her 3rd grandchild) but in the evening we came back to Haifa. The nights so far have been quiet (no rocket attacks) - it is believed that the Hezbollah believe thair launch sites can be more easily detected at night.

Irit's older son, Ofer and his family have been in Tel Aviv with Irit's older daughter, Yael, since Friday. Good friends of ours are with their daughter in Ra'anana. Many people in central Israel have offered to take in complete strangers and the Russian-Israeli millionaire Arkady Gaydamak has financed the building of a tent city on the southern coast which is already accomodating 3000 temporary Israeli refugees from the north of the country. He is providing meals and entertainment for the children so, dor the meantime it's apparently a bearable temporary solution. A newspaper report today said that the tent city is being expanded to accomodate up to 3000 more people.

On our way back to Haifa today we heard a radio report about the difficulties faced by working mothers (why does the burden alway fall on the mothers?). On the one hand the Civil Defence authorities encourage people in the intermediate danger zone (between Haifa and Carmiel, say) to go to work if there is a bomb shelter in the workplace. On the other hand all the creches and public child-caring facilities and summer camps have been closed down since the start of the attacks have been closed down, so in any family with small children uusally one of of the parents has to stay home with the children. In better times one might rely on neighbours or grandparents, but parents are understandably worried about the children when rockets are falling from time to time. May people are not turning up for work and employers (who are losing lots of money eanyway because of the situation) are applying pressure on their employees to come to work and threatening them that, if they don't, they'll have to hire someone else. The brunt is being borne by the working mothers.

Altogether the economic impact of this war within Israel is going to be considerable. These months of July and August are the school summer holidays when most people take some vacation. Thousands of Israelis (and foreign tourists) spend time in the beautiful north of the country but right now there's not a single vacationer around. Hoteliers, bed and breakfast places, restaurants and shops have zero income while having to pay their fixed costs. All self-employed people in the north are suffering seriously from a loss of income. The plight of salaried employees, many of whom are unable to get to work, is still in the balance.

One of you has asked me whether there is a decline in the number of rocket attacks on Haifa. The answer is no although the numbers vary greatly from day to day. Last Thursday there were none, until a rather close one on Friday lunchtime. Yesterday there 14 rockets landed on Haifa, killing 2 people but most of the rockets fortunately either land in open spaces or just cause some damage to buildings. It is important to understand that the rockets are a weapon to terrorise us by frightening us and disrupting our daily lives and sense of security - far more than the actual damage and killing they do. As part of this psychological terrorising war by the Hezbollah on the Israeli public it makes perfect sense from their point of view for there to be some days with many attacks and others with none which might lull us into thinking that things are getting better. It's a bitter pill and we have seen the ability of terrorists around the world to disrupt the lives and strike fear into the hearts of ordinary people.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your blog in my research of Arkady Gaydamak on the web. Here in Los Angeles, California we heard about the tent city he has funded on our evening news, and I was curious to learn more about him. He sounds like a controversial man, but I applaud him for taking care of the Jews in Israel when they need it. It is a wonderful thing to see Jews coming to help fellow jews. We are doing our part from Los Angeles, raising money for Israeli causes and sending as many tourists to you as we can.

I just wanted to let you know that the Jews of Los Angeles are following what is happening in Israel and we send out support and prayers. I hope you and your frineds and family remain safe. I hope that Israel is sucessful in doing what the rest of the world needs them to do, even if they are too cowardly to admit it. Hezbollah needs to be stopped.

Am Ysrael Chai and Shabbat Shalom.
-Lisa

8:22 AM  
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8:57 PM  
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