When the “red alert” sounds, people in my community have up to 15 seconds to make it to a shelter or safe room. I live in Kibbutz Beeri, 2.8 miles from the border with Gaza.
We are lucky. People in neighboring communities closer to Gaza have even less time.
For all of us, an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an existential imperative. Still, I am one of only a few women in the western Negev who has become active in the over ten thousand strong grassroots movement Women Wage Peace. Most residents in our area have sunk into despair, become cynical or tried to bury their heads in the sand.
Why is that?
Following the three wars with Gaza in the past eight years and coming on the heels of decades of continued bloodshed, too many Israelis have come to believe that we are destined to live by the sword and that there is no hope. They believe that we have no partner and that the Arabs won’t give up the struggle until Israel disappears. Many think that those who believe otherwise are naïve at best or traitors at worst.