The family's story is similar to many others I've already heard: "We are a tough family; we have never needed help and certainly have never asked for help. But this time, the situation is different; we simply can't take any more!”
The anxiety, the sadness of the people of Sderot doesn't photograph well. It isn't photogenic, it doesn't always arouse empathy and mainly there is no blood.
On the other hand, the anxiety is able to penetrate one's skin and once it does, it grabs your soul and doesn't let go.
"To live in this neighborhood is like Russian roulette," says the mother and lights
her third cigarette.
The "color red" broke into our conversation with unusually good timing before the mother had finishing her sentence or lighting her cigarette. Everyone looks up hysterically, everything is dropped and three adults, and me after them, run as quickly as possible down the stairs towards the reinforced room on the ground floor. The shock wave of the explosion shakes the walls.
I am facing the three adults, who are out of breath and shaking, and trying, without great success, to recover and return to routine. A few minutes later, two of them climb up again to their apartments while the third remains behind, shaking, withdrawn, in a corner of the reinforced room.
"It's OK," they tell me. "She'll get over it. It's part of the routine here."
A few minutes later, and after I make sure that the girl has indeed recovered and returned to her "safe abode", I found myself facing an apartment building two streets from the building in which we had been in. Decorating the roof was a new and large black hole. "Its OK," one of the neighbors said to me. "No one was hurt this time."
At the end of the day, while leaving the city of Russian roulette, I wondered if one could really say that no one had been hurt. And furthermore, I simply do not understand how they can kept repeating "It's OK", because in my humble opinion, it's not all OK.
I'm not looking for someone to blame and certainly not to propose solutions to this complex and intolerable situation, but now, more than ever, I know how to appreciate the determination of these "survivors" who don't even remember when this awful reality began and certainly can't see when it will end.
I know that personally I would vote for them.
The Emergency Fund for the Gaza Perimeter