From the East, flights to
My alarm had been set for 02:30 but as it happened I was awake way before that. Working offshore without a back-to-back means one has to be ready to work when they need you. A couple of nights previously I had started my surveying at so my sleep patterns, having to switch on demand from day to night and back again, do get messed up.
The taxi was ready at 03:00hrs outside my hotel. The night receptionist had kindly made me a cup of hot instant coffee, which I carried into the leather-upholstered Mercedes cab. A good job it was, as I managed to spill some of it onto the front seat. Not a good start but many apologies and the use of a ‘wetwipe’ later, we were off.
I didn’t get the name of my driver but like all those on contract to the oil company, he is from
The radio was tuned into a late night phone-in show to which the driver was listening intently. Being in Hebrew, I had no idea as to content, so I asked him what the topic was.
“What are they saying?”
“It is messages of support. Prayers for the safety of our kids who are fighting and hope that the rocket attacks are stopped.”
“What do you think of the attack on
There was a silence for a while. I thought that he would not reply but then an answer came.
“I live in
I agreed with him that life has to continue but didn’t he think that it was heavy-handed for the IDF to be killing so many when Israeli casualties had been so low? At that point in time, four Israeli deaths had been reported. Of course, that was four deaths too many.
“Yes, but you have to understand we have been getting rockets every day, every day for the past six or seven years. Our argument is not with the Palestinian people but it is with Hamas. They hate us and it has been worse when they came to power. What else can we do?”
This fatalism by the Israeli people seems to be the attitude of pretty much every Jewish person I spoke to on the subject. The new bout of blood-letting seems to be accepted as part of the cycle of things. “What else can we do?” is the usual reply from pretty much every Israeli I have heard voice an opinion on the topic.
I have been wondering about this attitude of acceptance. On the Friday night before travelling I had met a couple of guys in the Bear Bar in
It seems to me that it is their time in military service of the state that unites the people of
The killing in
Meanwhile, in this morning’s Independent,
“And I write the following without the slightest doubt: we'll hear all these scandalous fabrications again. We'll have the Hamas-to-blame lie – heaven knows, there is enough to blame them for without adding this crime – and we may well have the bodies-from-the-cemetery lie and we'll almost certainly have the Hamas-was-in-the-UN-school lie and we will very definitely have the anti-Semitism lie. And our leaders will huff and puff and remind the world that Hamas originally broke the ceasefire. It didn't. Israel broke it, first on 4 November when its bombardment killed six Palestinians in Gaza and again on 17 November when another bombardment killed four more Palestinians.”
At least the BBC presenter on Today had the gumption to question the ambassador on who had really broken the cease-fire. But really even that is missing the point. The real question should have been “why was there a siege around
There is an election due soon in
There is nothing more cynical than politicians laying down the lives of people simply to win an election.