1. Day 2 on the way to Gaza. Since the elections are today, there are no schools or government buildings open. We are currently in Moshav on Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip. ( For the history buffs, Gaza was given to Israel by Egypt when Israel with drew from Sinai.)
‘What does it mean to live 1/2 mile from Gaza? The meeting house now has 2 shelters to protect the Israeli’s from missile attack. THEY FEEL INTENSE TRAUMA.
The feeling in the Israeli village is to listen and understand the GAZANS point of view. The Israeli’s feel They need to agree to coexist under a two state solution. Otherwise, the citizens of this TOWN are living in shelters and experiencing the impact of the missiles colliding with the iron dome.
The entire village is protected by an electrified fence which is closed at 11PM every night. The areas residents have help from Trauma specialists on a full time basis. THEY BELIEVE LIVING WITH BUNKERS IS NORMAL. ,THE KIDS RELY ON THE BUNKERS, EVEN WHEN TRAVELING AWAY FROM GAZA TO JERUSALEM.
2. 10 miles from Gaza the kibbutz we visited had been under attack from Gaza. There was no warning , you can still hear the terror in a woman’s voice. The death of one member of the Kibbutz , on Independence day , has traumatized the entire community. The adults and children required therapy.
Why is Israel retaliating? THEY will tell you: 55 bombs, 60 bombs, 100 bombs, 1500 bombs. Over a month to 6 wk period from Oct to Nov. of 2012. When there is a Red alert , a person has 10-15 sec to run for cover. There are not enough bunkers or time to secure your safety. They have not recovered.
3. The difference between the two areas we visited was; Communication with the GAZANS . The first village we visited had a history of commerce and communication with the Gazans. So , even when the villagers #feel trauma they have empathy and compassion for each other; Both the GAZANS and the Israeli’s feel a bond. This is not happening in the kibbutz. They are isolated and rely on extensive Trauma Services.
4. Gaza is right over the hill and the Palestinians are their neighbors. The mother we met wants her children “to not hate the Palestinians”. They want peace and mutual respect.
5. The people feel they can get used to Trauma, but they recognize that peace is the only solution for the region.