Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dispatches from the Northern Front

The rocket attacks are thankfully over today (for the time being), but the following pieces are well-written accounts of what it was like to be there on the front lines of lush Northern Israel.
Slate has a story from Rebecca Sinderbrand about dodging missiles in Tzfat:
About five minutes after I polished off the beer, as we drove down a quiet residential street, the warning blared again—louder now. Then, just moments after that—maybe 100 feet away from us, just on the other side of a row of crumbling old homes—we heard a roar like thunder on the ground. The windows of the car vibrated slightly; Keren went pale, and Yossi's hands jerked on the steering wheel. We sped down a side street and careened to a sudden stop. As we peeled out of the car and clambered into a darkened apartment stairwell for shelter, I caught a glimpse of the plumes of smoke and dust billowing behind us. Much later, I realized that I didn't remember hearing a whistle after all.
Lisa has a fantastic post on going up to the northernmost town of Metulla and encountering the various journalists, soldiers, and guesthouse owners.
And so I sat myself down at one of the tables in the shaded garden, placed my laptop on the mosaic tile surface and checked my email while Chaimke brought my coffee. It was a beautiful garden. Water tinkled quietly in a carved stone fountain, the birds twittered, the leaves rustled gently in the breeze, the sun shone, Etta James continued to sing about love and the artillery boomed every few seconds. Tweet tweet tweet, sang the birds. "At last...." sang Etta. Tinkle tinkle tinkle, chattered the water. BOOM! answered the artillery. Such a lovely, pastoral scene in wartime northern Israel.
She's also got pictures of Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in flames - something that tore me up since Kfar Giladi holds a special place in my heart, not only because it has one of the most beautiful pools in Israel.
And Michael J. Totten shares his experiences being up North in a matter-of-fact style:
NORTHERN ISRAEL – War does strange things to the mind. The first time you hear the loud BOOM, BANG, and CRASH of incoming and outgoing artillery, you will jump. You will twitch. You will want to take cover. You will want to hide. You will feel like you could die at any second, like the air around you is drenched with gasoline, like the universe is gearing up to smash you to pieces.

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