Blogging the war from Israel

Location: Israel

I am a father, a husband and a doctor of individuals and communities. I live and work in Israel.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

08/15/2006 - two days of cease fire - realistic version

Two days into the cease fire. Some good friends of mine were sent home for a vacation after three weeks of reserve duty and considerable time of fighting in Lebanon. They are now sleeping in their beds, hugging loved ones. Tomorrow one will wake up for a long work day raising parrots for export. The second friend, will go on planting olive trees from the point he stopped. New plants, growing, agriculture, commerce, work and creativity is the only answer to war. We will go on creating life.
Syrian leader Assad openly declares he supported and will go on supporting Hezbollah. He also sends a message to the people of Israel. If this generation will not be able to destroy Israel, the next one will. He says we will be defeated.
Hezbollah leader states that the UN cease fire resolution does not bind his organization, and that they will go on fighting us for ever.
Iranian president speaking on a daily basis for the destruction of Israel, describing the Holocaust as a myth, threatens with long distance missiles on Tel Aviv.
What a lovely summer day. I believe the ending of the war can create an opportunity for peace. I am also thinking we do not have any partner to make peace with. There are strong forces working for war and against people here and around the world.
How long can we all live on killing of the poor, destroying creation, and hate?
I am sad. So sad.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

08/14/2006 Dawn of a new day - optimistic scenario

In 10 hours or so, both sides will stop shooting. In 12 hours our kidnapped soldiers will be released and will war a small meal of freedom on route to the warm shower at home. In 24 hours the army of Lebanon will start moving forces to the south, shaking hands with IDF commanders leaving this land of horrors to its owners. International forces with shining uniforms and bright turquoise barrettes will join short ceremonies for people of both sides killed. In a week all our children will be back home, all reserve people will take the green uniforms, wear business suits, blue collars, or doctors coats and head for a first day of work. In two weeks an international summit with Israel and all Arab countries will be held in Paris. The war has created an opportunity for peace all will say. International powers will pressure local leaders for weeks of deliberation, economic incentives, night long talks. In three months the Palestinian parliament will declare the establishment of the democratic republic of Palestine. A country wishing peace and fertile relationship's with all neighbor's. In the same time large international UN forces will move from house to house collecting all firearms not owned by legitimate forces. Israel withdraws from 94% of the occupied territories, while Egypt gives territories from the Sinai desert, and Jordan from the eastern side of the dead sea as a present for the new country. 20 Billion dollars are donated by the G8 for industrial zones, high tech development areas, and trade centers on the border between both countries. Operating with no taxes hotels and Casinos will be built. The Gaza-Ashkelon university of peace will be established through a grant from the bill gates foundation, and both countries will be a part of a combined mutual monetary zone. Cheap labor will join with innovative ideas and create a booming economy of high and low tech.
In 20 years my son will invite all coworkers from his factory / all doctors from his clinic / all students from his class. Half will come directly from the Gaza stripe. In 30 years Jerusalem is one of the largest cities in the world. Stretching from Tel Aviv to Amman with the tourists fighting for hotel rooms months in advance.
Peace. Prosperity. Good will.
All started on the dawn of the 14th of august 2006. And Hezbollah? And El Qaida? All forgotten only marginally mentioned in history books.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Another day of turmoil. Computer at work open on news, clicking and watching the list of morning alarms with relatively small amount of damage in life. One Missile hit a house, two others landed on the ground. Only a few casualties. Headache patient, low back pain patient. The UN is drafting a cease fire resolution, our forces prepare for a massive assault. Baby with otitis media. Amoxycillin Hezbollah refuses to accept cease fire draft, our leaders are not happy with it. Something must be right. I have noticed that in war unlike business there is no win win situation. Win lose or lose win usually means defeat destruction and horror in one side. Lose lose is the optimal outcome of war. It means both parties will have to think hard before the next round. House call. Blue blue skies, morning sun, whistling a war tune. Back to the office for some paperwork. More missiles on Haifa. Another building was hit. I forget the papers just sit and stare at the screen. The nurse / slave driver enters and drives me back to work. Tachycardia, chest pain, Minot injury, sick leave. Driving back home. News on the radio. I can't stop listening.
Back home, drop the bag. Going to pick up the children. The cabinet authorizes an expansion of the war. What? Cease fire? More war? What? Confusion. I was drafted so I am looking for a replacement. Not easy. Afternoon, Shabat enters we light candles wishing for an end. Dinner in the dining room. The kibbutz is packet with refugees from up north. Talking to friends. Again news on TV confusion. I cannot study, read, love. Life as a know it stopped a month ago.
Good night.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Tonight is the 15th of Av. The 10th month in the Jewish calendar. Since we operate on a moon based calendar system the 15th of every month is the night of full moon. This night is the traditional love night (or day) our valentine's. During ancient times young men and women went out to the vineyards and orchids with white clothes. Things would happen under the silvery light of the full moon. Last night we set out to an ancient town located in the middle of the desert. We go there a few times a year for an evening picnic. The moon was almost full, so many stars. The city deserted more than 1000 years ago was preserved so beautiful since it was forgotten in the desert sands. No one came to take the stones of the buildings apart for newer buildings, everything was still for so many years. Some of the houses still stand and it is apparent that houses had two floors and a rooftop terrace overlooking the desert around. Agricultural remnants shows a large population supported by this arid land. Wine making factories were found and this finding was the incentive for current trials to grow grapes in the Negev. Grapes grow well here. Now a few farms grow good quality grapes and wine is again produced in the desert. Three Byzantine churches are the biggest structures in the city. We sat in the courtyard of the northern church. The moon rose bright, local wine was pouring. We celebrated a few moments of sanity in this insane period. We celebrated our love night. Suddenly artillery training in the region started blasting from somewhere in the darkness. The noises are so strong and the land rocks under the feet. My eldest asked whether this is the Hezbollah shooting at us? I told her it is our military. She asked why are they shooting here? And my smaller boy replied that here we have Qasams from Gaza, and the Hamas are the local Bad guys in the south. She agreed. Blasting went on and on... We packed and left. On the way back to the car we looked at the skies looking for the northern star. Suddenly we noticed a group of stars moving in the skies. My daughter said "falling stars" and wanted to make a wish. I noticed these are Aircrafts going up north to wreck havoc in Lebanon.
I hope next 15th of AV will be more romantic, I hope to be alive. I was called to reserve duty.
I hope I will be able to update this blog. I hope this war will end soon. I am afraid.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Yesterday I drove up north. It is a short drive from where life gos on, to where life was abruptly stopped so many days ago.
I drove through the highway stuck behind a long convoy of military trucks slowly advancing to the battlefields. I felt sick. Then two f-16 planes cruised low above me probably on route also. I felt I am driving through a scene from a movie. Traffic slowly disappeared as I drove, leaving beautiful roads empty and frighteningly quite.
I went up north to visit the kibbutz I lived in during my military service with a group of friends practicing communal living. It seems funny now but this was a part of my service. Most of it was spent in the infantry, but parts of the service were spent with a group of 40 people gathered during the last year of high school. We were building a community, friendship. Love and bitter arguments were common. Every member of our group was "adopted" by an older member of the Kibbutz. My adopting mother passed away and I went up north.
It was moving to meet some of my old friends. One shared the small tent with me in the first days of basic training. I hated the army. I hated military service. It was so hard physically and mentally. It was dirty and I was tired and angry all the time. Giving me a gun was not smart back then but who said armies are smart? The kibbutz up north was like a dream during the bad days.
While driving back in the middle of the night I stopped at a gas station. A bus filled with Israeli Arabs from Nazareth stopped there too. The bus left with one of the passengers forgotten in the gas station bathroom. I picked him up and we drove together for two hours. His small child was sleeping in the bus that was driving to Eilat and from there further south to the Sinai desert. They were all refugees. Running away to a forced vacation down south. If you want to live these days you need to go south. Nazareth was hit by rockets last week and two children killed. Muslims. It is funny that missiles or "smart" bombs kill people from every religion. My passenger is a jeweler. He also fixes watches but said that since the war started he is not able to create or work. He had to get away. In Beer-Sheva we found the bus. hand shake.
On the last section of the drive I listened to the audiobook the Kite runner. Afghanistan. War. Words in Pharsic. Muslims, occupation, devestation.
The desert is so quite, and so many stars are shining. The 48 hours cease-fire ended when the moon rose over the mountains. I heard the sound of fighter jets and helicopters in the air. Going north to destroy.
While working today I heard that the "war record" was broken. The new war record - 250 rockets and missiles landed in Israel. Two landed in the Palestinian Authority . Again, smart bombs, stupid people shooting.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


I am a family doctor from Israel, I usually write in Hebrew in a blog in Hebrew.
For a few days now I have been feeling I must do something. I must transfer my feelings about this war to people wanting to understand more about this hell breaking loose in this corner of the world. I created this blog for this purpose hoping this blog will lose its purpose soon.
We all want peace. I marched for it, voted for it, and need it so since I am raising my small children - the fourth generation born to this conflict. I don't want my children to go to the army, to fight wars for politicians and hatred. I want them to grow to a better world. I want them to learn and create, love and smile. I am sure my parents wanted the same for me, when I was small I talked about war with my parents. War seems glorious when you are a child feeding on TV dramas and computer games. I always heard them say that they hope I would not have to go to the army and to war. Years passed. I was drafted in another foolish age when boys want to be men. I became a paratrooper and fought. I understood war from the eyes of a simple infantry soldier. I know now that war is suffering. Suffering of the poor, of the powerless, of the ones dying for the benefit of the strong and the rich.
I decided to become a doctor. To bring healing to the world. To do good. I am writing here for people who think war is glorious. I am writing for my children and for our future in this world.
I am hugging them quietly every night hoping to keep them innocent, small, happy. My son begins to see war as a glorious thing. I will probably be called upon to this war if it will continue.
I am afraid.

Thoughts after 18 days of middle east war

I am finding a few minutes to sit down and relax in front of the computer, the past few weeks were so horrible.
two nations, two families of people so close to each other mentally, physically, and in so many other ways are fighting here as pawns in a greater chess game.
Lebanon is the only democracy in the middle east besides Israel, it is a small country with many minorities in it, Muslims Christians, Drusie, and once also a big Jewish community. These wounded and proud people only a year ago ended 30 years of Syrian occupation, and only 6 years ago an occupation of the south by Israel. They made the Syrian army go with civil protest and nationwide community action. We are so similar also in the fact that our peoples are pawns in the hands of stronger forces.
We are in a located in a bad neighborhood of the world. A place where if you are thought of as weak or sensitive you are crushed by one of the bullies around. Being strong is almost our only option. We tried negotiating for peace, withdrawal to international lines with no discussions, and perceived as weak. It seems we have to become a bigger bully to survive.
It is amazing that countries, members of the UN, like Syria and Iran can finance, train, and arm an army like this Hezbollah that is used for fighting and killing us, without accountability of this terrorist organization's actions. It is an international loop-hole that has to be closed now. We are nearing days not unlike the days when every colonizing power held many pirate ships to steal each other's treasures from the new world. No one was held accountable but the Portuguese stole from the Spanish that killed the English and so on. Pirates were awarded knighthood by kings, but then pirates became independent, endangering the world of commerce and economy. After a long time, only by mutual and intense action from every country piracy ended. We are facing the same phenomenon now, and we are the current victims.
Terrorist organizations sent by governments can do whatever they want. With no limits, no international or moral laws. While fighting them we as a nation have to work with one hand tied behind our back under the open eye of free press and international criticism that is stained with antisemitism. We are rightly held accountable for our actions. They can do whatever they want. They are terrorist organizations.
We are fighting the Americo-Iranian war, both our people are dying, our houses are destroyed for foreign interests. In the past two weeks we have 15 guests in my humble home. Family members refugees from the north. In my region of the desert the patient list was tripled. The amount of work is staggering. I cannot even begin to tell you how sad we all are (especially while waiting in line to the one bathroom in the house). The only comfort is that we are in a community where people help people, where people share the little they have with others. I am using clowning more and more in my practice nowadays. People need a helping hand, a hug, a smile.