I could gladly do without any war. I would plan my travels and family parties, see my friends, and go shopping, why not?

About me: I live in Haifa. I immigrated from Russia in March, 2023. I work as an English teacher and I write stories, fairy tales and articles.  I am a widow, and I have an adult daughter.

The morning of October 7, 2023, seemed perfectly normal. We had plans; it was Saturday, after all. Sipping my coffee, I was listening to the news. And my first reaction was to reject what was happening, as it can’t have happened, for such things can never happen nowadays.

But it occurred. Later analysts and politicians will present us their versions of the tragedy, but now, today, this minute we are living here in Israel, and we must be heard, and the situations, taking place in my country, must be known. The truth must be known while all what has happened is completely fresh in the memory, while we are waiting for all our hostages back, while our soldiers are fighting and perishing for our right to live, and while the volunteers are doing their best all over the country.

My friend, M., immigrated from Russia with her husband and they lived in a kibbutz in the south for more than 35 years. He didn’t love Israel and always felt he wanted to leave.

On the morning of October 7, they saw terrorists in their yard and then hid in their safe room.  A neighboring house was burned down, and her house was badly damaged. She felt sticky, sweaty fear, and inability to take in her experience. The terrorists didn’t kill everyone there; they left, leaving the kibbutz half destroyed, half of its residents dead, half scared to death. No electricity, no internet. Late at night her brother managed to pick them up. They left in their pajamas, leaving behind all their belongings and their peaceful life. They arrived at a small town, later also attacked, to stay with their relatives, who honestly weren’t happy to have them. A week later they moved to a boarding house in the city of Netanya north of Tel Aviv.

Strange as it is, now her husband feels Israeli, like he was born here and belongs here.

Physically they are now safe and alive. Mentally they are still in a very heavy state. They can’t recover, they are still in their destroyed house, remembering the whistle of bullets, and the terror, seizing them …  

Some will say that everything ended well for them. Yes. But no. They are victims, with no hope.

And someone says that if terrorists didn’t destroy their kibbutz,  they aren’t such an evil as we want to depict them. But they are. Later they came back, killed the rest of survivors and burned the kibbutz down. Good fellas, did their job properly, didn’t they?

Any big war is not only about big politics: it is about so-called “little people”, living their lives, having their past and planning their future. War deprives them of it. These people’s fault is to find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Some will say, “They lived near Gaza, they had to understand the danger.” No, they didn’t have to. For this land belongs to Israel, and Hamas breaking its frontiers may be their worst crime for now. Be that as it may, Hamas has surpassed Hitler.

My friend, E., immigrated from the U.S.A., but has lived in Israel for 33 years, so she is more from Israel than from any other place. A writer, a psychologist, a beautiful and courageous woman. From the first days she has been spending most of her time in the south, volunteering. After the attack, she washed kibbutzim, she spoke with victims and their relatives, and she helped soldiers get back their inner balance to be able to go on. Once she made one thousand sandwiches for soldiers, later she loaned soldiers her flat for having a rest, a break. And she always wants to do more. With a wounded hand, taking antibiotics, she goes on writing and publishing what she saw, felt, took part in. And she is going to foster a child who lost his family. And she is never satisfied…

And I know why: for our country we all are ready to do much more than is possible,  and I want it to be known. Everywhere. Never in the world have I met such unity of emotions and actions. Nobody in Israel is motivated by destroying or revenge.

My friend, L. came from Russia and lives with her family in Ashdod. As soon as the rockets began, I begged them to stay with me in Haifa. They refused and remained in Ashdod, undergoing severe rocket attacks. She was so very strong under them, her publications on Facebook were so funny and optimistic, that we all laughed and cried at one and the same time. She helped us get through the time we were living in. Then one day a friend of theirs disappeared, and later her body was found in the ruins of a destroyed house. She was about 30, and she had been a happy fiancée.

L.’s children are afraid to leave their house even for a short while; they think they won’t find their parents alive. And she became unable to speak even with her close friends, running out of her strengh.

Speaking about the children:

They, who were taken hostage and returned, are still afraid to speak at the top of their voices.

They, who saw the terrors are unable to communicate.

They who were murdered, will never come back.

Can the world see that and pretend that Hamas is not the absolute evil? Seeing pictures of the victims, can the world say again that Hamas is not the absolute evil? Knowing what they did and what they want to do, can the world say that Hamas is not the absolute evil? For it is.

What will the world win if all the Jews are annihilated? Nothing at all. What will the world gain if Israel as a country ceases to existent? Nothing at all. The Islam organizations will go on threatening the whole world. What is the profit? None. Then why do so many people, organizations, governments support the evil of our epoch?

Please come to your senses, before it is too late. Not only for Israel, but for the world.

I know that Israel wants a peaceful world.

The country, never leaving its soldiers on the battlefields, the country, knowing every name of its warriors who perished for its freedom, I am so very proud to be your tiniest part, and let my small voice become deafening to be heard everywhere.

Amen

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