The day the world changed
We were winding down after a week’s vacation in Berlin over Sukkot, returning on Friday, 6 October, starting to get back into the work frame of mind to tackle all the projects we had mostly ignored over the chaggim. The following day, the world as we know it changed for good.
Early Saturday morning, on 7 October, we heard there were sirens in the south – nothing we would normally get too worried about. After an hour, I turned on Channel 12 to see it was broadcasting from the news studio – a really bad sign for a Saturday morning!
People from the kibbutzim around the Gaza border were calling into the station saying they were trapped in their homes and there were terrorists outside shooting. They phoned the TV station because they were getting no response from the police or army. Later, we learned that the army was repelling terrorists at its base, and the police were dealing with an attack on the station in Sderot.
The news anchors were beside themselves, and tried their best to calm the callers, who were calling from safe rooms and whispering on the phone, all while trying to keep themselves together. No-one had any real idea of the devastation that was unfolding.
By 08:30, I woke my kids up. My son was home from the navy for the vacation. He checked his phone to find that he was called back to base immediately. My husband had to drive him back to Haifa from Jerusalem.
As the day progressed, absolute horror began to unfold. It took about two days to get a clearer picture, and the initial fog of shock began to wear off.
The horror was something we would never have believed imaginable. “Never again” had happened again!
I won’t go into all the details of the atrocities committed by the monstrous terrorist-jihadists. We’ve all seen and continue to see the nightmarish evidence.
I’ll tell you how it touched us personally. Israel is a small country, therefore everyone knows someone who was killed/harmed in the attack. Three boys from my daughter’s primary school class – they are now all in their early 20s – were murdered at the Supernova music festival. My daughter’s first funeral was a double funeral to bury two of her old classmates – how does she process that?
My friends and family all have children who are either in the army or are reservists, so we parents, wives, children wait in anxious limbo to see how this awful situation will progress.
Our children are on the frontline preparing for whatever comes next. This doesn’t mean that we just sit and wait at home. What’s amazing in times of war in Israel is how the country unites behind our soldiers and does absolutely everything it can in whatever way possible to help. From bringing food and toiletries to soldiers on the border, to doing their laundry; collecting everything needed for the residents evacuated from villages on the frontlines and moved into hotels and homes in the centre of the country.
Donating blood; volunteering in factories and farms to replace workers who have been called up. Entertaining kids and spending time with senior citizens. This amazing volunteer home-front army shows the true face of this special country.
What we’ve learned over this time is that there really is such a thing as good and evil in this world. Some people hate for no other reason than total indoctrination. Our job is to lead on the side of all good people.
Western countries have a hard time comprehending this because it’s hard to believe that there are people in this world who don’t think like us. There are people who want simply to kill Jews – note not only Israelis. This battle isn’t a battle over land, colonisation, or poverty, it’s a battle for extermination, to follow where the Nazis stopped.
Seeing the demonstrations across the globe of useful idiots chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” isn’t a call for the establishment of a Palestinian state but rather the destruction of the Jewish state.
The peace camp in Israel got a major wake-up call over the past two weeks. We found out that Arab workers who worked in the kibbutzim along the border for years and were treated as family had given the terrorists lists of families – adults and children.
The terrorists knew the residents of every house, and came looking for them by name. The damage this has done to Arab businesses in all the territories is huge. For our own safety, we cannot continue to employ or buy from people we have known for decades, the danger is just too great.
Israel must stand strong in the face of all the adversity we know we’ll face. We have no other choice, we’re fighting a demon! It will take time, but we’ll prevail.
Am Yisrael Chai!
- Georgia Daniel made aliya from South Africa in 1988, and lives in Jerusalem with her family.