Monday, January 5, 2009
The Violence in Israel hits close to Home
Despite the consistent stream of news and headlines about the escalation of violence and fear in Israel, it's easy to separate ourselves from the impact of what's happening there and see the terror and loss of life as "far way" and not affecting us. No matter where we are in the world or how near or far to such events, keeping war, terror, and its horrific effects at a "distance" is a natural response to coping with it. Knowing someone in the midst of such awful, unimaginable experiences, however, can make the destruction, devastation, and fear very real, very salient, and very close-to-home.
One of our very own team members, Michele of mvegan5, founder of EFA, resides part of the year in California and part in Be'er Sheva, Israel, where she is living right now with her fiance Eyal and coping daily with what she describes as a great deal of "sadness and anxiety." Be'er Sheva is frighteningly close (only 25 miles or 40 km) to Gaza where the bulk of violence is taking place, and two days last week the city was struck by four Palestinian-militant rockets, one of which hit an empty school there. Though no injuries were reported, the danger was enough to send Michele and Eyal to seek safety with his parents at the center of Israel (they go there every other weekend to visit, as well), and Be'er Sheva banned public gatherings and shut down schools and universities (haaretz.com).
Michele and Eyal are back home now in Be'er Sheva, very glad to be home with her kitties, Mosie and Tala, though another rocket hit open space there just today. Schools are still shut down, including the university where Eyal studies. Be'er Sheva continues to face threats by violence in Gaza and the very real fear of rockets and potential devastation. Michele explains that her fiance is a "very strong, good support" and that her "kitties help," and she stays in daily touch with her parents back in California by email or phone. She expresses that "it is very hard," and continues, "We have to stay strong for ourselves and our country, too." Lastly, she requests, "... cross your paws for quiet and peace for us and all beings."
Sending our wishes for peace to Michele, her family there, and all of Israel...