Only In Israel

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Pigua

Well, after I chilled a little from the tough three days my country was going through. I want to tell you first hand, what happens in Israel, everytime a suicide bomber strikes. I'm addicted to news, like many more Israelis. I get regular news updates at 9 AM, 1PM and 6PM through SMS messages to my cell phone. Any message arriving between those hours is an immideate cause of concern. You can find yourself in a crowded shop and everyone's cellphones are ringing at the same time (Israel has the more cellular phones per person in the world than any other country.. so almost everyone has one... or more). Then the phone begins ringing with various friends calling to check If you're allright. If you're in the area of a bombing, noone can reach you, since the phone lines collapse almost instantly, which causes the people to get worried sick.
Then comes the chatter of the news. Suddently it seems like every person in the street has his radio on on the same time. The moment you hear quick,excited talking for more than 3 minutes in a row, it's a BAD sign. The talking is replaced by sad music. There's a concept in Israeli radio, somehow all the radio station know the exact sogns to put on "sad" days, and the moment a bombing happens all the songs from the memorial days, and every other sad song ever written in hebrew find their way to the radio stations. There are hourly news broadcasts, and it's very unlikely you'll meet someone you know without him asking "shamaata al hapigua?"- Have you heard about the terrorist attack?
This has become so regular in our lives, that as hard as it is to admit it, it's just no as horrible as it used to be. If once, the moment I heard about a bombing I'd stick to the TV screen for hours. Today, just knowing the number of dead and woudned is enough. It has become blunt. And frankly, it scares me. I feel bad for not feeling terrible about the bombings. But how on earth can you feel bad when people blow up on daily basis, and you find yourself losing count of the bombings in a single week, sometimes even a single day. I feel like a rock. Like I lost all sensitivity for the deaths of my people. I hear about the bombing and I move on, I find myself shocked to admit that we've adjusted to this terrible reality where you never know if you'll return home after you leave. And you know, in a way, it might make coping with the reality a bit easier. I'm out of words right now. I planned to write about the terrorist attack which I saw with my own eyes, but I can't bring myself to that right now. Maybe another time.

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