Forty years ago today, on July 29th 1974, my family and I made aliyah and came home to Israel.
On the 32nd anniversary of our homecoming, on July 29th 2006, I started this blog. Then, as now, my country was at war. In fact, looking back over eight years of blogging, I see how little things have changed.
When we made our aliyah, forty years ago, it was in the wake of the Yom Kippur War – a war in which, as in previous wars, Israel stood on the brink of annihilation. Since then, I have lived through the 1st Lebanon War, the 2nd Lebanon War, the 1st and 2nd Gulf Wars (remember the Scud missiles, anyone, and the sealed rooms which were supposed to protect us from the effects of chemical and biological warheads which Saddam Hussein had threatened to rain down on us?).
I have lived here through Operation Litani, which came in the wake of the Coastal Road Massacre, the First and Second Intifadas, the “Palestinian” suicide bombing campaign in Israel which reached its peak in the years 2000-2002, Operation Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Defence and now, Operation Protective Edge. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve missed a few on this list.
War, terror, attrition, boycotts.
They are still trying to break us. Ten more soldiers – young boys in their teens and twenties, gave their lives last night in defence of our children, our homes, our lives. Each morning, the radio announces more deaths and the next item is always the announcements of the times and places of the funerals to be held today.
I want to cry out, in the words of Ari Ben-Canaan, hero of the Leon Uris best-seller “Exodus” –
“Why must we fight for the right to live, over and over, each time the sun rises? …..God! God! Why don’t they let us alone! Why don’t they let us live!“