Missives from Israel, Part 4

Dear Leslie,

As you’ve probably heard or read, it’s calm again in Israel. Tuesday I was sure it was going to end, and then when it didn’t I was sure it was going to become awful. Wednesday, someone bombed a bus in Tel Aviv. I read about it while I was on the train to Tel Aviv myself, and I can’t tell you how much my heart sank. Once the news broke, too, the entire train car erupted in cellphone calls for a few minutes, although it took me a moment to notice, since I was lost in my own thoughts. At the same time, they were announcing a problem with the cease-fire talks, as well as that the Lebanese had found some rockets in the south aimed at northern Israel (i.e. me). Then, that evening, when I thought it was clear that it was going to get really, really, really, bad, a truce was announced. I haven’t read any of the reports of ‘behind the scenes’ in the conflict, but I imagine having Hillary Clinton and Ban Ki-Moon here helped, and may even have been decisive.

Things here have returned to normal, which, in Haifa, mainly means that people have stopped wondering what’s going to happen next in Gaza, and some of the reserve soldiers who were called up are slowly being sent home. Apparently, though, they plan to keep a significant presence gathered near Gaza for a while, which I imagine was the reason for an urgent call I saw for volunteers at an IDF food packaging plant for this upcoming week. At least, that’s all I hope it was for.

I’m incredibly glad it’s over. In Haifa, we only saw the rockets on TV, but living here was starting to feel like being trapped in a surreal sports bar where everyone keeps asking you which side you’re on and doesn’t understand you when you tell them that, actually, you don’t really like the game.

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