Editor’s Note: The following is an op-ed piece from A Soldier’s Mother, republished by Women You Should Know with permission. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Women You Should Know.
By Paula R. Stern – I can’t formulate the words to write what I need to write. It’s a shock, in a way. It isn’t writer’s block – it isn’t that the thoughts are not in my head; it isn’t even that the words are lacking.
I’m almost afraid to begin to write. I’m sitting in my bedroom with no fan and no air conditioner because even though I am completely connected to the Internet and have an application on my phone to alert me to incoming warnings, I’m afraid I won’t hear the siren.
More rockets have been fired at Israel than I can count. There is no semblance of their attempting to target any specific places. They have shot at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Beersheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Rechovot, Rishon L’Zion, and everything in between, around and near – north and south and east and west.
And still they breathe.
In what world does a country allow another entity to bomb their capital, their main cities, people all over the country?
The government has authorized the call up of 40,000 reservists. I heard this on the way home and almost felt like I needed to pull to the side of the road. Over and over in my mind, my brain keeps thinking, “I don’t want to do this again,” and my heart is more honest, “I can’t do this again.”
I posted it on Facebook and someone asked, “Do what?” and it all poured out.
“I can’t have Elie go to fight in another war. He’s 27 years old and he’s gone twice. Enough.”
I can’t sit here and listen as missiles and rockets are fired into our country.
I can’t sit and listen to children cry in terror.
I can’t sit here and listen as I hear that yet another terrorist cell has infiltrated and people should stay in their homes as they hunt them down.
I can’t listen to Obama spout fake words of support immediately followed by a demand that we restrain ourselves.
I can’t stand that the world can’t understand a simple and clear chain of events…THEY fired at us..WE fired back.
And another – we fired a warning shot at a building in Gaza that housed a leading terrorist. A warning shot, to normal people, means get out of the way, move away. And in a normal world, the people move away from known danger. In this case, the wise people of Gaza, their wives and their children went INTO the building. Israel shot after giving a warning…and several were hurt or killed. It’s really quite simple – if you choose to help a murderer, you are an accomplice to the crimes he committed and therefore no longer an innocent bystander.
One could easily argue that any child that was injured was innocent – and I agree – but their parents were not and they hold the responsibility because they chose to put their child in harms way – for the greater hope that their Allah would bless their actions. Well, Allah didn’t bless them, did he?
And the world is urging Israel to scale things down…scale things down? Did we bomb a million people? Trust me, if we had, there would be a million dead people…okay, that’s an exaggeration – we probably would miss a few…like the Hamas leadership who are hiding in deep bunkers underground.
I can come up with many more – “I can’ts” – but in this case, I’ll get to the last thought I had…I will.
I will do whatever I have to do because this is my home, my country, my land. If I have to watch Elie go off to war again, I will. I’ll die a little inside; I’ll cry a lot like I did last time; I’ll pray a heck of a lot more than that. I’ll sit on my computer and hit refresh every 10 seconds…and I will do what I have to do. We all will because ultimately, as the song says, “I have no other land.”
We are not one of 20+ other states – we are the only Jewish State in the world. And Hamas and Gaza are finally, finally being honest with the world. Proudly, they will tell you they fired four rockets at Jerusalem – they do not love Jerusalem, who would bomb her streets, riot and set fire to her forests.
So I’ll try to sleep tonight, as I tried last night and I’ll hope that tomorrow will see sanity return; that the world will tell the Palestinians – one more rocket and you are on your own. One more missile and we will not support your cause.
One more indiscriminate action against civilians and we will throw you out of the United Nations because no nation or organization of leadership should do what you’ve done in the last 48 hours.
Tomorrow…for now, I’ll just pray for sleep and quiet.
About The Author
From the time our children are born, we accept that our lives and identities have changed. I have been a mother for more than 25 years, seeing my children through their baby years, their school years, into their teenage years and beyond.
When my oldest son entered the army of Israel, I became a soldier’s mother.
Lead image: Paula’s son Elie Stern