Sunday, July 22, 2012

Life During Wartime

Great article by Janine di Giavanni, Life During Wartime, about how you know when a war is starting in your country - in this case, Syria. Scary to read from Israel, where all the fighting in Syria seems increasingly closer. In an article in Haaretz, Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defense Minister, talks about standing on the Golan Heights close to the Syrian border and seeing and hearing the shooting and bombing. I've been where he was standing, near the ruined city of Quneitra, and you can easily see into Syria and see fields and nearby towns, and normal life proceeding. Not any longer. I love going to the Golan, but now I don't think it would be such a smart idea.

One thing that bothered me about this article and others I've read about Syria is shown in this excerpt:
In a government office near the Mezze Highway, a Christian official with a Muslim name says he grew up in a country that, like Bosnia, was a melting pot for ethnic groups, for refugees from Armenia, for Christians, Shias, Sunnis and Greek Orthodox. He says the uprising will change all of this. “Everyone who believed in the Syrian model is betrayed,” he said.
The one ethnic group that he and others always omit to mention are the Jews of Syria, of whom very few (if any) are left now. There was a strong community in Syria before 1948. Now the Syrian Jews are in Israel, the US (there's a big community in NYC) and other places. Why does no one remember their place in the Syrian melting pot? They were brutally oppressed when Israel became a state, and most left, with the remainder living fearful lives.

I don't want that chaos and death to engulf Israel too, with all my friends and relatives who live here. This is not a safe world.

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