View from the shelter

This is a piece written a couple of days ago by someone who is on an email list in Israel. Although I don’t normally post other people’s articles, her personal experience is something I wanted to share with you. I am most grateful for her permission to use this.
I’ve kinda lost track of days and such, but since I work at a hospital in Safed, I decided to stay here for a couple of nights. I have everything I need and the miklat [shelter] is much nicer than the one in the neighborhood. Sunday nite the hospital had a near-hit. A katyusha fell at the periphery of the main building. There was no structural damage to speak of, but tons of broken glass. 14 staff were treated for shock. I was either under my dining room table or in my local miklat in Karmiel at the time, but not everyone was so “lucky.”

The miracle is that the attack took place at about 10-11 p.m., so the public areas were empty, and the heads of departments had already taken the precaution of moving patients from the north to the south side of the building, and mommies and babies had been relocated to the day surgery center in the bowels of the main building. All but one window in the Pediatrics dept were blown out by the force of the blast as were most of those in the surgical ward, the waiting rooms, and others.

A 13 year old boy recovering from surgery for a ruptured spleen and internal bleeding was watching t.v. in the dining room when the blast took place and was hit in the head by flying glass, suffering a nasty, deep gash. No brain injuries, but lots of stitches. A patient in the orthopedics dept, recovering from shrapnel wounds and the subsequent surgeries, was thrown out of his bed. He said he could feel the whole building move.

Sunday and yesterday (Tuesday) I heard loud booms and saw the aftermath of rockets which had fallen across the wadi, some hundreds of meters away, but scarey enough to see out of your office window…

I met with 4 groups of reporters yesterday (they’ve discovered us!) Most of them were really professional—-but when the chickie from CBS called to make an appointment for 8 PM and asked if there was any chance that they could interview a patient who had been hurt by this attack (yes), and wanted to know whether — by chance he might be from New York (nooooo — Safed by way of Morocco), she decided to come but not to interview. “I really wanted to talk to someone from NY, or at least an American,” she said. I told her that I was sorry that I hadn’t received more notice so that I could have arranged to have an American wounded for her… It went right over her head.

BTW, they showed up at 10:30.

Anyhow, I’m tired and testy. Slept in the cardiology ‘benoni’ room [step-down unit] with 4 other women, one of whom sounded just like a diesel truck warming up on a cold winter’s day. I don’t do well on hospital mattresses (and who does?), so I was up at 3:30 again. But it was nice to have other people around whom I know. And since I have a vacation in the US scheduled for a few weeks, perhaps I will catch up on sleep there.

Something I didn’t anticipate was that my grandkids are watching the news on t.v. in America. They are 12 and 7. I had no idea they watched the news or that they had any understanding. Apparently they are very upset and the 7 year old just wants to hold his Bugs Bunny. And that’s from yo-many thousands of miles away. The kids here are really suffering, as most of you parents must know. I know of two families among my acquaintances who had to go as far south as they could just so the children would stop having panic attacks.

This is really (fill in your expletive), this massive, indiscriminate bombardment of innocents.

Stay safe,

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  1. Susan Nolan says

    Dear Rona,

    I, for one, wish your friend Sylvia HAD found a New Yorker for the CBS reporter, or had found for that reporter, whoever or whatever she wanted to see.

    I am tired of seeing the Lebanese children and adults who have been hit by the Israelis….As horrible as it sounds, I wish I could see suffering Israelis in the print media photos or on the TV…not that I am happy about their suffering, but because it sometimes appears that it is the Lebanese who are the victims of this crime, when in fact we both know it’s the Israelis who have been attacked. (Do not misunderstand. I am sympathetic with Lebanese children, but it is Hezbollah that is responsible for their harm.)

    I pray that when a journalist comes into your midst (as annoying as it may be) that you can find ways to get them to do their job — to show us the real victims of this crime against civilization…Israel.

    As for the New York connection, or any other in the USA, I pray that you encourage your friends in Israel who came from the US to call their former hometown papers in the United States and tell them about your plight. You will be amazed how happy local community newspapers in the US are to print such stories, and to have you send them photos on the Internet. The large city newspapers are not so interested in such stories, but newspapers in smaller cities and towns, and especially weeklies in the US love those stories.

    So, if you have a close relative or friend in east podunk, USA, write to your friend/sister/brother and tell them to call the editor at their weekly newspaper and tell them how worried they are about you….and ask them to tell the editor that you will be glad to talk with them. Then, give them graphic details…i.e. the missle landed at the edge of my flower garden…let me send you a photo of it….

    In the news business, editors look for news “hooks”…somthing that will hook them in …that they can’t resist…Keep it fresh…If something terrible happens very close to you… soon as you are safe…think….call my sister Helen in the USA and tell her to call her local weekly newspaper editor…..News needs to be as new as possible…

    You will be amazed at how responsive they will be.

    This very scenario played itself out in my area last week…An Israeli husband, who is here in the US, told his story of concern for his wife….The next day the newspaper contacted the wife in Israel, and she told her story….and sent photos.

    Please, please consider doing this.

    The onus should NOT be on you who are in Israel, Rona, and we both know that. Unfortunately, the sad fact of life is that it does.

    So please bombard our media with your personal stories. Call “home” ET.

    I believe that it is through such personal vignettes, told one by one, that people come to understand. I do not think the most important stories are in the Washington Post or the New York Times….I believe all the little newspapers across the USA actually have just as much power….Please bypass the big papers and bring your story to the people here, if you can.

    Please pass this on.