amvans's Blog

Musings from a confirmed "Technical Difficulty"


Originally Posted by: Marie Vans on Monday, August 7, 2006 at 2:33am

Fear is THE original emotion. It is the basis for everything that is going on in this hole-ly land. How you deal with fear makes the difference between life and death.

Never in my life have I thought I’d be in this situation. Making potentially life-threatening decisions every day, sometimes 2 or 3. Last night is an example. My daughter has had a raging ear infection now for a week. The doctor had put her on 2 different antibiotics and yet it was getting worse. The pain-killer, which can only be administered every 6 hours, quits working after 2 hours. The child literally screams until she can get more painkiller.

There is nothing more frightening than having to make a decision to take your young child outside under fire, but that is what I had to do. I could not bear the pain of my child. Something was very wrong and I would brave the falling rockets if I could get some relief for her. As I was driving, the sirens could be clearly heard from the next town over. I continued, driving as fast as I could (which was possible because there was NOBODY on the road) and when we got to the doctor’s office, we ran to the door. The sirens were still screaming. We tried the door, but it was locked. Fortunately, the doctor lives above his office, so we tried the doorbell. While waiting for an answer, I heard 5 or 6 very loud explosions. I cowered in the doorway of the office, shielding my daughter with my body and all the time praying for the door to open and the rockets to pass over. I am sure none of this escaped my daughter.

Finally after ringing the bell frantically a few times, a woman, the wife, answered the door. I told her I had made an appointment with the Doctor. He was not yet home, but she would let us wait in the waiting room. When he finally arrived, he gave the prognosis. She must go to the hospital now. Over the heart-wrenching cries of objections and “I want my Mama”, I had to let her go with my husband while I sat at home with the other 2 children. For 3 hours I sat, unable to do anything but listen for sirens and pray they would stop long enough for my husband to get to the hospital and back. For something that would normally be routine in normal times, I am so grateful that they arrived home safely and today my daughter has all but forgotten the pain.

I found out later that the bombs we heard fell in Haifa. In an Arab neighborhood. About 2 houses away from the house my niece and her husband lived in before coming here to stay with her parents. My nephew knew the people who were killed. I think now, if you count the number of civilian deaths, more than half would be Arab, even though they comprise 20% of the population. I am so torn between the grief I feel for the lost lives (on both sides) and the relief and gratefulness I feel that my family is still intact and relatively well.

Back to my original thought. Fear. It breeds hatred and I can surely understand that now. The hatred is palatable here now. Try reading the so-called left-leaning internet paper, Haaretz. Whenever an Arab disagrees with the political situation or complains about the rampant discrimination, they are called traitors and calls for deportation of all Israeli Arabs are voiced. They think that people like myself and my family should be deported to Southern Lebanon. And not just from people inside Israel. Many come from all over the world. I think to myself, hey, that’s my family you are talking about. If we supposedly live in a Democracy, why is that only Arabs are not allowed to voice opposition to this war? I pay taxes (and lots more than the average Israeli too) and those taxes pay for health care, defense, and lots of other social services. But these people who would have us “transferred” think we don’t deserve them. They think these services are “hand-outs”. They think that if we get these services (which I pay for) we should fall into line and support everything the government does. While Israeli Arabs are bullied into silence, Israel’s savior, Bush is slapping China around for not allowing free speech. An Arab MK was stabbed last week for saying something against the war and I would be willing to bet, that they won’t be able to find the people who did it.

Sometimes I get so angry reading the incredibly racist things these people say that I have to respond. But it doesn’t make ME feel any better. My rose-colored glasses have been shattered beyond repair. I have to fight not to become racist myself because there is so much of it out there directed at me and my family. I understand what it feels like to be hated because I’m not in the right club. I understand what it feels like to be treated like an animal. My life and my children’s lives are not worth more than a dog’s. (Apologies to all animal-lovers.) If it weren’t for the fact that most Arabs here are so tied to their homes and land, I’d say, for the sake of their children to leave. That is what I’m trying to do. But I’m not tied to the land like my husband and his family. They have no where else to go, I can come home, but they are already home. And I want to get my children out before they too become grounded and tied to this crazy place.


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