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Israelis live in high drama. Their kishkes are routinely turned inside out at least twice a week, if not more. The rescue of the hostages, and then the death of ten soldiers… It’s high drama, and it takes its toll.

So today I went shopping. I took the train to a big Tel Aviv mall and walked around. Hard to believe that in the midst of all that we are going through, people are still eating bad food at McDonalds; still sipping expensive iced coffees in Styrofoam cups (most of them young soldiers, as I recollect).

And as I wandered, the signs pointing to the “safe areas” caught my attention. All over the place, in a mall in the center of Tel Aviv, people are ready to get bombed. They will know what to do, where to go. They won’t panic. They’ll wait for the all clear and continue trying on clothes in H&M.

But what struck me most of all was the feeling that I, an older woman by herself, felt absolutely, completely safe. I always wear a large Star of David necklace, which I received as a birthday present long before it was fashionable. And here I was walking around with it. With or without the Star around my neck, I realized that I wasn’t worried about being pushed by feral teenagers, or having my purse snatched, or some random person saying something disgusting to me just because they can and want to.

In other words, I realized just how lucky I was not to be walking around Brooklyn, my birthplace, or Queens, where I grew up, or Manhattan where I went to school. The irony of feeling blessedly safe in the middle of a genocidal war was not lost on me. But this is the truth. I am safer here than in the United States, or Great Britain, or France, or Italy, and certainly Ireland, Sweden, and anywhere in South America or Africa. This is what our people have created: a haven for our people. I bless the young soldiers who are on the front lines making sure it stays that way.

I’ve been watching those videos of the plentiful food markets in Gaza for months. But now, finally, even the UN has to admit it. In the June 8 report on hunger in Gaza, published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, they state: “No evidence was found that there is a famine in Gaza and therefore it cannot be determined that there is a famine in Gaza.” The tortured language is UN-speak for: “Damn it! There is no famine in Gaza, and believe us, we did everything we could to prove the opposite.”

Israel’s government has basically written a blank check to military industries to come up with a solution to the serious problem of unmanned drones that have been causing such havoc in Northern Israel. Word is that some excellent solutions have been found that should change the situation significantly in a few months.

Joe Biden is sending yet another “envoy” to speak to the Israeli government. According to the The White House: “The American special envoy Amos Hochstein is expected to arrive in Israel today [Monday].” Ostensibly, Hochstein is here to “reduce the tensions between Israel and Hezbollah to further the goal of the Biden administration to reach a diplomatic agreement that will prevent war in the north.”

Since there alreday is a UN resolution that obligates Hezbollah to move north of the Litani River, why doesn’t the US send their “special envoy” to the Lebanese government? Or the UN? Why are they always showing up on our doorstep? Because the US has zero influence on the other side, and so any “progress” can only be achieved by pressuring Israel to give up and give in. I wish they would just butt out if they can’t help.

There is no question that all-out war with Lebanon is a matter of time. I have a vacation planned near Haifa and I was daydreaming about sirens going off while I’m in the pool.

The IDF Spokesman said the following to foreign media: “Because of Hezbollah’s refusal to comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1701, because of Hezbollah’s military infrastructure, the shooting and fire at Israel from the area south of the Litani River in southern Lebanon, and because of Lebanon’s failure to enforce UN Resolution 1701 on Hezbollah, Israel will take all necessary measures to protect its citizens until security is restored at the Lebanese border.” Israeli citizens are going to go back to their homes in the North, with or without the help of Joe Biden’s “special envoy.”

Meanwhile, we aren’t finished with Rafah.

According to Abu Ali Express, Palestinian channels have been reporting on the movement of Israeli tanks and heavy equipment from the Philadelphi axis area towards the center of Rafah city and the area of ​​Al-Awda Square where, according to these sources, the maneuvering forces are setting residents’ houses on fire.

But while Israel is fighting for its life, what are the haredi Knesset members busy with? Trying to convince their constituencies to join the army so that reserve soldiers, who have been in for months, and whose families are collapsing economically and domestically from the burden, can go home? Not on your life. Not only are they saying: “The army doesn’t really want us and doesn’t really need us” according to haredi MK Goldknop (United Torah Judaism), who in his inaugural address to the Knesset said: “I came here, as did all the other Members of Knesset, to carry out to the best of my ability what I believe is good for the people of Israel.”

As if! They are busy advancing the Rabbis Law that will add a thousand completely unnecessary new rabbinical posts. And each rabbi will have an office, and a car, and a secretary, and a salary, and a… You get the picture. It will cost millions.

And these won’t be, as in the past, rabbis chosen by their communities or their synagogues. Oh, no. What would be the point of that? These are jobs that will be given out by that low-life MK Aryeh Deri and other haredi gangsters who have done absolutely zilch to help the war effort, in order to shore up their parties’ political fortunes. To do this, they have bypassed the local councils, who in the past always had a say in such appointments.

This law, which was rightfully dead in the water when it was first proposed a few months ago, has been resuscitated for reasons I can’t fathom. If this government coalition is so weak and so corrupt they can pass such a law in the middle of this war, I am going to be out in the street protesting too.

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3 comments on “GAZA WAR DIARY: 17 JUNE 2024”

  1. Dalya Reply

    Thanks for this last diary entry. The irony of your visit to the Tel Aviv mall says everything. I agree with you. When I am in Israel I feel much safer than in the US. Please keep your diary entries coming – love your perspective on all things!

  2. Ronald Reply

    Talk is cheap until someone kicks in your front door …..Israeli’s must stand tall…anybody can give an opinion but there are no rules in war. I know this to be true having been in one. Let those who protest blather away….as the former heavy weight boxer Mike Tyson observed…”Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face”…..May the Almighty give strength to Israel !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Eliezer Reply

    IN the meantime outside my door in Jerusalem I can hear the anti government demonstrators who have been at it for over 5 hours- in the middle of a war to exterminate us!

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