Vignettes from life under conflict

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#1

In a seminar about the impact of military service on Israeli society, deeply debating whether the IDF is an Israeli army or a Jewish one, and whether it or its government are to blame for its mistakes.

The first incoming rocket siren sounds. We sit in the basement shelter a little sheepishly as 9-year-old ballerinas cry in confusion around us.

#2

Going to bed prepared to head to the shelter in the middle of the night: sandals by the door, only one latch locked, wearing clothes, and leaving the window open to hear the siren better.

Wondering what preparations Gaza families make before going to sleep.

#3

In Jerusalem when the second siren sounds. My office laughs nervously as we rush into the safe room.

A catch: there’s a big window in the room. The seconds are ticking away as two scrawny people try to pull the blast shield closed. Someone suggests giving up but others protest, the window is Gaza-facing. The biggest, burliest person reaches over and yanks it closed. A distant boom is heard — it impacted a kilometer away in Bethlehem. We go back to work, giggling nervously and incredibly thankful knowing we get 90 seconds of warning. Residents in the south and children in the Strip get no warning, they just die suddenly.

#4

Walking in the shopping areas of Tel Aviv while showing some unfortunately-timed tourists around our neighborhood. Always keeping an eye on which building looks the best to find cover if the siren goes off.

#5

Watching Twitter reports from Jerusalem about a bus bombing in Tel Aviv. Tweet appears: bus was five minutes walk from my apartment.

#6

Texts and emails from friends around the world checking on me. Having to tell them oddly that actually we don’t think about it much and life feels pretty safe. Oddly.

Another great use of web videos for Gaza

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For whatever reason, there are several great animated shorts produced for Gaza education. Just today another came out: Yoni Goodman, the animator behind Waltz with Bashir, produced the latest one for UNWRA. His previous was “Closed Zone” for Gisha. See it and other notables below.

Great Gaza Global Bounce, by Yoni Goodman, for UNWRA

Closed Zone, by Yoni Goodman, for Gisha

Lift the seige on Gaza, by Alex Simone, for B’Tselem