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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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sin(ema) City


A few miles north of Tel Aviv on the Tel-Aviv Haifa highway, near a hush-hush installation, lies a huge entertainment complex called Cinema City with 21 screens, a food court with Pizza, McDonald's, Chinese food and ice-cream.

Irit and I are "on vacation" in Tel Aviv for a few days to get away from the air raid sirens and rocket attacks in Haifa. As part of this vacation in a "normal" part of the country we decided to go to the cinema last night to see a new Israeli film (Aviva, my beloved) and that's what brought us to Cinema City. We knew that life in the sin city of Tel Aviv (compared to the provinciality and respectability of Haifa) was normal but we didn't imagine that it could be this "normal". We stood in the foyer of the cinema complex after the movie and gaped at the attractive young folks in their microskirts, deep tans, spiky shoes and and streaked hair enjoying entertainment like on any summer evening in a prosperous Americanized society.

Someone from another planet coming to Cinema City could never guess that an hour north of here people hear air raid sirens several times a day and that 2 hours north of here soldiers are fighting a bloody war and civilians have spent over 2 weeks in air raid shelters. I have very mixed feelings about this "normalcy". On the one hand, I'm happy that over two thirds of Israel's population have no first-hand experience of the war (yet) and continue their working and partying lives as usual. On the other hand, I wonder if this isn't yet another symptom of disconnect in modern (Israeli) society. Irit's daughter, Yael, who works as a psychotherapist in Tel Aviv reports that all her patients/clients are just talking about their personal issues and not the war. As we watched the happy filmgoers last night, Irit and I wondered whether all of them know about the war. For some of them, maybe it's just another action movie and they're waiting for the bad guy to go down in flames and the good guy to go off with his girl. And then they'll move to another channel.

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