One day in the life of Northern Israel
Karmiel, July 24, 2006


There was only one air siren today. Not because there was only one volley of Katyusha "Grad" ("Hail") rockets fired at the city of Karmiel, Northern Israel, - today was one of the heaviest days for us because of these Soviet-inspired disgusting things, outfitted with shrapnel to better murder. As we were just told on TV by a Russian-speaking home front Army official, who did not sound very convincing, it had been decided that it would be better for the populace not to be warned of the incoming rocket by the siren, so that people do not go to the miklat, the shelter, to avoid a possibility to be hit while getting there. This is what happened yesterday in Nahariya to a young father on his way back to the miklat – he went to get milk for his daughter. For a while, I thought it would be a reprieve – not to hear the horrific sound, only by somebody’s cruel irony called the “siren.” So we were not warned when a volley of rockets - I think, four of them - exploded nearby. One rocket from a next volley hit my aunt's building, destroying an apartment next door.

Fortunately, she was with us, at her son's apartment, otherwise she would have experienced a greater shock than that we all had when another Katyusha exploded in 20 meters from us in the middle of the street in front of her building last Monday. The last time she had heard anything like that had been under Nazi bombs, in 1941. Galina, my wife who, like the rest of us, had not lived through that, asked – with no particular emotion yet - what it was. The answer became clear when we looked out the apartment’s window and saw a hole in the street ground. The acrid smell of the explosive immediately spread, confirming that it was a near miss. Soon came the police who dug the remains of the ugly weapon from the asphalt. In several hours, the street was swept clean and a patch of fresh asphalt covered the place, promising to push it into oblivion fast – another one of the countless scars covering our Promised Land.  

It is instructive to see how Hans Selye’s observations regarding stress development work in real life. The morning after the first close encounter we spent on a sand beach near Nahariya and enjoyed the perfect weather and water. We were going shopping for the next couple of days – mostly out of curiosity rather than any real need. As rockets continue pounding, sending us to the miklat almost non-stop day after day, fatigue sets on. We have learned to listen to outside sounds and evaluate the distance to explosions, ignoring the “distant” ones (how distant can it be if we hear it?). We have no way to know whether those are “our” or “their” explosions if they are not really close – we just hope that at least some of them are from the Israeli bombardment of Hizballah positions and Katyusha trucks, because we constantly hear our helicopters and fighter planes above us, heading to and from the North. We cannot see them, but a reconnaissance plane flew right in front of our northern windows (one of them, on the bottom left, with a Katyusha explosion, is the kitchen window), circling the area, perhaps looking for explosion or Katyusha fall sites. We have learned to enjoy the wall-shaking sound of heavy planes and choppers, hopefully protecting us from the constant threat. It is no fun to hear the hissing sound of the incoming Katyusha rocket just before it explodes nearby. One consolation is that if you hear the explosion, you are alive. Hizballah is wrongly translated as “the Party of God” – it is the party of Allah the sadistic murderer, who has nothing in common with Judaic (or Christian) God. 

We have become accomplished Pollyannas. We are happy that in Karmiel we can choose between going to the shelter or staying in a “secure” room in the apartment, a privilege that the residents of Nahariya do not have. They sit in shelters all hot day long, leave them by the Army’s permission, and wait until brave municipal workers bring them their meals. Katyusha rockets that bombard us do not cause massive destruction like the missiles that have hit Haifa. We can sleep in “peace” and quiet because the Islamic-paradise-seeking terrorists, afraid of being quickly discovered and destroyed, have not launched rockets at night.  

It is strange albeit not surprising that the “world community” speaks of Lebanon’s being “unjustly” attacked by Israel. One current oft-repeated incantation is that there can be no military solution to the Hizballah (or terrorism in general) problem. That democracies cannot accept civilian losses that would inevitably occur on the enemy side if such a solution is implemented. However – how about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the cities of no military significance for the US during WWII? Have the civilians killed during the last Iraq war by the US Army been even counted? What about the destruction of Dresden by the Allies, a city of no military value? Is the difference in Nazis’ being a state? What is Hizballah, however? Does it consist of “foreign fighters” like some of the Iraqi insurgents or Usama’s troops in Afghanistan under Taliban? The Taliban government, bombed out of power by the US, did not participate in Usama’s terror acts. Hizballah, in contrast, has almost 20% (23 of the 128) seats in Lebanon's parliament and two ministers in its government. It has a recognized “state within state” in Beirut, Lebanon’s capital and seat of its government, having taken over even the municipal services there. Hizballah are Lebanese citizens who kidnap Israelis and attack Israel with rockets and missiles from the Lebanon territory. If the Lebanese government has nothing to do with Hizballah’s actions, it should have disavowed, arrested and tried these individuals when Hizballah attacked Israel, and immediately disband and disarm the terrorists. It should have done that a long time ago in accordance with UNSCR 1559. Instead, the Lebanese government has declared that it would fight alongside Hizballah if Israel tries to do this work. Any sovereign state, not only a country supporting the almost forgotten “Bush doctrine,” would consider that a declaration of war by the Lebanese, erasing all divisions between Lebanon and Hizballah, if there had been any, for the Israel Defense Forces. The Lebanese state therefore has joined Palestinian Arabs, Hizballah, Syria and Iran in the genocide they have been conspiring and committing against Israelis, which includes, according to the definition of Article 2, Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (9 December 1948), the following acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” These clearly fit Arabs’ intent and deeds towards Israelis – from 1948 to now.

It has been customary for Arab terrorists to whine about “humanitarian crises” and Israel’s attacks on civilians (“massacres” is the favorite word), whom they place between themselves and Israel’s response to terror as human shields, thus committing a crime against humanity. The crime for which they are never held responsible – why bother, when Israel is still there, to be blamed for everything. As for the Bush doctrine – if there has ever been a terror-supporting regime, Lebanon’s is one. No, Lebanon does not support Hizballah’s terror – it is Lebanese terror. This war is the Lebanese-Syrian-Iranian War, as the three countries have become one insofar as their joint attack on Israel, unrecognized by the world, is concerned. The only reason that Hizballah rather than these countries is named in any political discussions is that the world, including the US, does not want to face the reality and deal with the real war, which is thus left for Israel to wage – with “restraint” and under the malicious accompaniment of the European “friends” who seem to regret that they did not finish their genocidal work of 1940’s. But no country that is not suicidal – I still hope Israel is not - would allow a possibility of a repetition of such aggression from the territory of a neighbor state. Israel must finish her work, if she - and the rest of the civilized world - are to survive the onslaught of terrorist Islam.


… The sirens were back the next day.


Michael Vanyukov
Karmiel, Israel


©Michael Vanyukov, 2006

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