Wednesday, August 02, 2006

News on the Hour

In Tel Aviv, even in times of war, life ominously goes on as usual. We all still go to work, we all still go out to get a beer, boys look at the girls and girls look at the boys. But don't let this guise fool you – every Israeli is chained in a circle of fate to another more involved and affected Israeli. The Tel Avivian's mundane reality is intruded upon once an hour when the radio news reports drearily sounds its siren. A hush cloaks conversation as everyone stares silently into space, praying that the news will not be too bad.
"Three soliders were killed in Lebanon today" the news proclaims. I fill my lungs with air as they prepare to announce the names of the fallen. Israel is so small that it is inconceivable to be disconnected from the war. A family member, a lover, a friend, another Israeli. Everyone knows several people in the fighting.
The first name is announced and I sigh a breth of relief that I do not recognize the name. I then feel guilty the the alleviation of my apprehension is just the first blow upon another. As they continue reciting the names I think of my friends enlisted to reserve duty, my family huddled in bomb shelters in the north. The names of the three war casualties have been read, in a moments glance the lives of many more have been shattered and I can't help but feel that a weight has been lifted of of me. My loved ones have escaped the news broadcast unscathed… until the next hour.

by M. Hermon
translation Werner


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