Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The big picture and life

Note: Some links of sites and interviews that refer to this blog have been added in a new links area on the right.

It's been almost 3 months since the war in Gaza ended.

My friend Peaceman is still in Gaza.

Once every couple of weeks the Rafah border into Egypt opens for a day or two and some people are let through.

Peaceman has not been able so far to get permission to leave since Israel will not allow any Palestinians out and Egypt is making it extremely difficult.

The people of Gaza are still stranded in this unbearable situation.

During the first month after the war, rockets continued hitting Sderot and the region. For almost 2 months we are having a relative quiet. Only occasional rockets are fired from Gaza, and Israel seems to be holding it's fire and not operating in Gaza .

Many Israelis hoped that the war would bring quiet. Now that the war has ended, no one believe the quiet will hold. It is just a matter of time before the next escalation.

We are at a similar point we were before the war, only with thousands more killed injured and hopeless.

Our life has settled back to a rather calm and normal life. We are however always in alert that the quiet may end at any time.

As before Israel and the Palestinians are not working together on a real long lasting solution for the situation. It is not clear if and what the new Israeli government plans to do regarding the situation in Gaza, however from the public statements made both by Netaniahu (The prime minister) and Lieberman (the foriegn affairs minister) the policy of the new government will be even less hopeful than the previous one...

So what can we hope for? Well, maybe for human compassion, person to person connections, civil initiatives, people on both sides that keep on the ties of humanity even in these despperate times. Looking at the big picture brings much sorrow and despair. Looking at day to day life with all the small and amazingly beatiful humanity it contains gives me hope and allows me to move on.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

new truce will begin

I apologized for not writing since long time as I am constantly trying to get out of gaza to continue studies abroad .
To exit from Gaza is very difficult, its as prison, where the crossing is closed, especially the Rafah crossing
The news says that the new seas fire will begin soon and for long time between the parties ,
and this is good news, where the parties are given an opportunity to rethink and not to use again the idea of war.
and give an opportunity for dialogue, peace
where the idea of violence led to the growing hatred between the two parties, therefore, we want to repair what was destroyed by violence.

That we have a lot of work to build what was destroyed by the violence, build trust between the parties .

Monday, January 19, 2009


At the beginning I would like to thank everyone for their follow-up,and ,also' I would also like to thank my friend, hope man for continued support during the war.
Yesterday was the first day of the cease-fire after 23 days of war and destruction and killing, killed more than 1300 and 6000 injured, and destroyed thousands of houses and places and lands
I hope that the cease-fire will be the beginning of a new future and hope of ending the long suffering.

and give the opportunity for peace between the parties,
they have tried and experienced the war, and I wish they give peace and dialogue a chance for once .

we have much to do because this war increased the pain and the hate between the two parties.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2 weeks and still going

I wish to thank all those who have commented and supported our effort in sending out our message. It is impossible for us during this time to answer any specific questions; however we read everything and thank you for your contribution.

An additional note: We post 95% of the comments and try not to censor comments.
Some comments that use abusive language or that we feel will cause more misunderstanding than understanding are not posted. The purpose of the blog is to further understanding of our reality and not be a platform for debate and blame.

We are now 2 weeks into the war.
1 week since the ground incursion and Peace man and I have been in very little contact since the. He is out of electricity 99% of the time and cannot charge his cell phone. Added to that is the fact that reception of cell phones from Gaza is almost nil, he has to be in a high and exposed place to talk. This endangers him so we have had very little contact.

It is a horrifying reality. Clearly the situation in Gaza is much worse than what we are experiencing, however I will share what we are going through so the complexity and absurdity can be understood.
On the Israeli side 1 million people are in the range of the rockets from Gaza. Many people have fled to safer areas in Israel. Most rockets are hitting in open areas, however some have injured civilians and lot's of damage has been caused to homes and buildings. People are in constant fear and alert.
The war has created chaos in most of the southern part of Israel. No school or university studies, people are not allowed to crowd which means no weddings and other gatherings are not allowed, many businesses are closed and people have not been to work for 2 weeks.
I have personally spent most of the time in Sderot however my wife and kids have been out of the area for the whole time. Today we are all together again at home. The rockets are still hitting, however it feels good to be back home even in face of danger. We have been in this reality for 8 years so for us it seems amazingly normal.
Today has been a rather quiet day in Sderot, Only rocket alerts, no one hurt and no damage.

It feels rather normal however as I type, I can clearly hear the sounds of war. Blasts and planes, shooting and helicopters. A horrible war so close across the border.
I am horrified by the number of civilian casualties in Gaza. The civilians are to suffer once again from the brutality and incompetence of their leaders and this time the result is worse than ever.

For 4.5 months from June to November 2008 we had a cease fire. Only a very small amount of hostile actions from both sides were occurring. Our life was back to a very quiet and normal reality. The main problem was that for the Gazen civilians, the cease fire did not create any hope since there was an ongoing siege on Gaza.
Both sides were blaming each other. Israel claming that the Hamas is not abiding to the ceasefire since there were occasional rockets and the arms smuggling continued, and Hamas claiming that Israel is not fulfilling its part since the siege continued.
This war has broken out for the simple reason that neither side was willing to make a serious effort to avoid it. Both sides were sharpening their swords waiting for the next horrible round.
Was there no other option? Of course there was!
Both sides state that on the other side there is no partner to talk to. However the initial cease fire was achieved by talks. Indirect talks but that is only a technicality.
We all know that sometime (hopefully very soon) there will be some kind of agreement and both sides will talk. We all know that this agreement will not disarm either side and remove the treat of future hostilities. However it will be reached. Why then did so many civilians have to pay such an appalling price for the stupidity and incompetence of our leaders? I am both furious, heartbroken to see how our region has fallen so deep into this tragedy which could have been avoided in the first place.

More bombings are heard from my home across the border, deepening the pain, suffering and hatred.

Once this is over there will be so much work to be done to build any kind of hopeful future. We keep this dialog going to make it just a bit easier when it ends.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

war in Gaza

More than ten days since Israel has started the military operation.
in Gaza, more than 700 hundred has been killed in Gaza ,80% of them civilians.
Israeli announced when they started the operation they want to stop the rockets from Gaza they can't do this by targeting the civilians.
What is going in Gaza is real and big crime, against all the laws in the world, they are killing everything moving, especially the civilians .
When the operation started in Gaza, they destroyed all the government centers, and in the same time killed many civilians, Israel said they don’t mean to kill civilians .
But when the ground operation started, most people die is civilians and children.
It is hard to describe what is going on in Gaza, a terrible disaster, where the aircraft do not distinguish between civilians and military and children, no water ,electricity and difficult to get your needs .
We didn't have electricity since 6 days, and today was the first day to have it, that’s why I have chance to write this quickly.

We have said from the beginning that violence will bring more violence.
I hope the world will understand that’s there people want to live safe with dignity and peace .
I hope I will have the chance to write you again.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The day after the war

The war has been going on for 6 days.

On Saturday December 27th at 12:08 I received an SMS message from a friend in Sderot that a large scale attack has started by the Israeli air force in Gaza and that blasts are being heard very strongly in Sderot. I was in the north of Israel with my family visiting our family.

That evening I returned home. My wife and kids remained in the north and are there until this very moment.

The past 6 days have been extremely troubling. Israel has been continuously bombing Gaza. The sounds of the attacks can be clearly heard in Sderot. For the first 2 days only very few rockets were launched from Gaza towards Israel and then the counter attack came. The whole southern part of Israel covering areas with several large cities (Ashkelon, Beer Sheva, Ashdod) have been targeted. Between 60 and 100 rockets a day have been fired from Gaza. In these attacks 4 people have been killed dozens wounded and thousands of people that previously had not been regarded in the range of the rockets are in shock.In Gaza over 400 people have been killed and thousands wounded. The air force and navy have been targeting hundreds of targets.

The public opinion in Israel is largely supporting the war. A poll taken shortly after the attack said that over 81% of the population in Isreal supports the action. I am not sure the poll is accurate and what more recent polls will show, but I expect that this percentage will decrease only slightly.

Sderot has been attcked as all other cities and towns in the range of the rockets (40-50 km around Gaza) but due to the fact that so many other palces have been targetted, strangely we have actually been hit less that in some previous escalations...
Many people have left Sderot and I estimate less than 50% of the people remain. Very few people are walking in the streets and no children are seen anywhere.

The war was a great mistake, however it is no wonder that so many people in Israel support it.
The ongoing reality of rockets falling in Sderot and other places for 8 years is a terrible reality. Many people of our region have left it for good over the years. Bringing up children in such a reality seems almost abusive and certainly irresponsible.
There is a feeling in most of the Israeli society, that there was no choice but to attack Gaza and stop the rockets once and for all. This is an expected human reaction to the on going situation.

With that said, I personally think it is a terrible mistake that could have been avoided. For 5 months there was an almost complete cease fire. Instead of taking advantage of this long period of quiet to reach a long term agreement, both sides spent their time preparing for this war by planning and arming. No serious efforts were made to start a dialog. The siege by Isreal continued and the smuggling of arms by the Hamas continued. It was a cease fire but only to prepare for the next terrible round which we are experiencing this very moment.

I am very pessimistic at the moment. My fear is that a ground attack is coming and that much more pain is still ahead. Eventually some kind of agreement will be achieved. I hope it will happen soon, I fear it will not.

Peace Man and I talk every day. We support each other and worry for each others well being. I am in contact with others in Gaza and share my situation while hearing of theirs. Much fear and pain on both sides.

What me and others are doing is continuing the dialog with friends in Gaza. We are working to widen and deepen this dialog with more people on both sides. The day after the war we want to start finding ways to work together and create a normality. We are only several kilometers apart and that will never change. It is extremely important to widen our dialog and create trust between those that are willing to talk. To share our stories, fears and hopes.
The day after the war we need a new beginning. Let's start planting seeds of humanity and trust now.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gaza situation

Since the operation started in Gaza Strip, more than 300 people killed in two days and two hundred missing and about 160 were in critical condition .
Israel destroyed all the police station and all the Government centers .
police and civilians and children who killed in this operation.

It is hard to describe what is going on in Gaza , a terrible disaster, where the aircraft do not distinguish between civilians and military and children.
At this moment there are tanks in the around Gaza in preparation for the invasion of the Gaza Strip

I am asking the international community to stop what is going on in Gaza I hope to return to ceasefire and move away from violence
Because violence will bring more violence
I will update you with the situation