»Man dukker sig, venter på, at tingene ændrer sig, vender tilbage til normalen, indtil det igen er tid til at søge dækning og vente på, at tingene går over. Ingen er interesseret i en løsning og trækker tiden i langdrag,« siger min veninde i Tel Aviv.
“I am thinking of the mothers of Gaza and my heart is bleeding”
“You duck, wait for things to change, return to normal until it’s time again to seek cover and wait for things to go over. Nobody is interested in a solution and it takes a long time, “says my friend in Tel Aviv.
I have a girlfriend who lives in Tel Aviv. A few weeks ago I called when I saw on BBC World that there were street fights in Jerusalem. She had not heard of them and joked that it was a little funny that her Danish friend called and told her what was going on in her own country.
“Something is always going on here, you should not take it so seriously. The media is blowing things up. “
Since then, a lot has happened, the fighting has intensified and has now spread to several cities, including to Tel Aviv, where my friend lives. We have been writing back and forth in recent days. Her text messages are hectic and are written in between that she runs back and forth with her three children to her sister’s shelter or seeks cover under the stairs in the family apartment. Today we called together, the tone of a voice reveals a lot in a human being.
“We can hear the rockets and the bombardments, and we can feel that rolling sensation in the body after impact. The sirens sound like a giant hair dryer in the ears. “
She sounded almost like herself. I could see her in front of me, eagerly gesturing with her light hoarse, lively voice and playful eyes. But there was a seriousness and sorrow in her words that I have not heard before.
‘We have 30-40 seconds to get in cover when the sirens sound. The first night we went to my sister who has a shelter. But now we are hiding under the stairs in our apartment. “
Her children are confused. When online, they can see their idols speak negatively about Israel and support Palestine and ask their mother why the world hates them.
I asked her what she answers the children – the youngest is 8, the oldest 13.
“I explain to them that it is okay for their idols to feel sympathy, the Palestinians are suffering too. You are children, think of the children of Gaza: They are going through hell . “
We are only talking superficially about politics and the history of Israel, that is not what the conversation is about. And that’s not what this blog is about. But at one point she says, “We are not innocent, we share the blame, but everything is not Israel’s fault.” I think it must be hard to hold on to some kind of decency and principles of human equality when one is trapped between two outer poles with Hamas on one side and ultra-Orthodox Jews on the other. And when you are even a Jew living in Israel. She says most people in Israel feel the same way she does.
It’s so sad – and even more sad is that she does not believe in any solution. We’ve talked about it before, when I’m worried about what it’s like to live in Israel. Again, she says this is how the conditions are when living in Israel, and continues: “You duck, wait for things to change, return to normal, until it’s time again to seek cover and wait that things are going well. “
“No one is interested in a solution and drags time out,” she says. Both parties are too reluctant to compromise – “while we seek cover”.
“Israel’s army is bombing like crazy ,” she says. Hamas’ tactic is to hide in hospitals and schools and use their own population as a bomb shield, and therefore the Israeli army’s knocking on roofs strategy does not always succeed . She explains to me that Israel is handing out pamphlets telling the population the date, time and place of the next attack. She says that attacks cannot be carried out with surgical precision and that “children die there too, and that is terrible”. I think about how I would explain to my children about empathy and suffering if I myself were part of the situation.
“When you see a child with his face turned up on a stretcher, even though the child may have been hit by one of Hamas’ stray rockets, it does not matter who did it. It is a Palestinian child, and it will always make Israel look bad. Nobody I know is okay with killing a Palestinian child. “
My friend and I come from completely different areas of the world. I come from safe Denmark, where we have not experienced war in a lifetime; she grew up in a country where war is a part of everyday life. I grew up with a pride in being Danish. She is proud to be Israeli, but for fear of her own safety, she never shows off her origins when she travels.
As we end the conversation, she says, “I do not think I can justify what is happening, not even to myself. So how can people who do not live here on a daily basis feel? “
And she’s right. I do not know how she must feel when she seeks cover under the stairs with her children, and I do not know how the Palestinian mothers feel. I grew up in safe Denmark, where I have never really had my existential attitudes towards people challenged.
But I know what it’s like to be a mother and try to explain to her children how the world is connected – and it’s not always that straightforward.