Since motzei Shabbat, I, like everyone else, have been watching as Gaza, the news and – at least my – inbox have exploded.
And by inbox, I really mean all forms of electric communication. I’m getting messaged, emailed, SMS’d, tweeted: Help organize food and supplies to Israeli border towns! Host a family from the south! Support the soldiers being sent to Gaza!
Then there’s another kind of message I’m receiving as well: It’s the outside-of-Israel perspective on help and support. It’s rallies outside of the UN or protests at pro-Palestinian events. It’s the kind of action only an (American-minded) campus/non profit/lobbyist organization can provide. It’s political. It’s edgy. It’s intense in its own way.
I used to be a part of that world, about four years ago now. I helped organize. I attended. I prepared materials, talking points. Summoned students to rallies.
And now I’m here. Watching it from afar; watching from inside. Some things are the same, some are different. I can see how right wing and left wing people are on the outside. How political. How partisan.
It’s not as clear cut here I think; not to the average person, anyway… Sure we have our opinions on what should be done – some of us are right wing, some of us are left wing. Many of us are in the center, trying to think of what’s best for everyone.
But we also live in border towns or we watch our coworkers’ sons and husbands get ‘shipped’ out. We call up family members from the south and offer refuge in our homes. We drive to work a different way, to avoid passing through machsomim and Arab towns. We think twice when joking about the food and blankets we keep in the ma’amad.
We wonder how far it’ll reach and if it’ll reach us, all the way out here.
We know that whether we believe one thing or another, we’re here. We’re in it. So support has to be more tangible. We have to feel it in ourselves. We support our fellow citizens, our family down south, our friends in the army. But we also support ourselves.
Otherwise, how would we still live here?