Israelis live it up in the promised land, while Gaza is destroyed
There is little sense of a looming crisis that will tear into Israeli's lives like the suicide blasts or major call-ups of army reserves. Outside a synagogue, the talk Saturday was all about new bank credit laws that just took effect. Along the Mediterranean coast, beaches and restaurants were full.For a nation that claims that this latest rampage is 'all about Gilad,' they sure are UNPHASED about their soldier's fate.
The hyper-competitive Israeli television channels have stuck with regular programs rather than the blanket coverage used for big events, including the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip last year. Even Army Radio, a barometer of the military, has had as much talk about the World Cup as the pressure tactics in Gaza.
A few campaigners have proposed displaying blue ribbons in a sign of public support for Cpl. Gilad Shalit. (Blue is one of the colors of the Israeli flag.) But the appeal has had little result; it is nearly impossible to find an Israeli home displaying a ribbon.
Meanwhile, across the border in Gaza . . .
Eissa Daher, the acting mayor of Jebaliya in northern Gaza, said there was enough gas to pump and treat water for between three and seven days.
"If we don't get a new supply, it will be an environmental disaster," he said.
Hospitals, which stocked up on fuel before the offensive, said they did not count on having to run on generator power for 18 hours a day.
Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the main hospital in the territory, has seven to 10 days of fuel left, said Dr. Jumaa al-Sakka, a hospital administrator.
"If the fuel runs out, people in intensive care units and babies in incubators will immediately die," he said.
Crisis? What crisis?
In the latest violence, Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants exchanged fire for several hours Saturday when Israeli tanks and bulldozers crossed the border with Gaza and began razing farmland.How is razing farmland going to help them locate Gilad?
A 25-year-old man walking his dog in a Jerusalem park said Israelis have been through too much in recent years to dwell on the skirmishes.I have a novel explanation. How about Israelis don't give a sh*t about anyone but themselves?
"I wouldn't call this a crisis," said Mier Ben Amin. "I guess we could call it a crisis in progress. My worry is that it could eventually spin out of control. Don't forget: The Trojan War started over one person."
Explanations for Israelis' muted reaction include a general weariness of conflict, the fading of the Jewish state's sense of common purpose and questions over whether there's too much firepower and not enough diplomatic imagination.
As long as it's not their farms being raised, their bridges being demolished, or their power plants being destroyed, then everything is honky-dory in the promised land.