A Dutch-Israeli family from Amsterdam, Hilla Dayan and PW Zuidhof with their three small children, are taking a “war vacation” in Tel Aviv. They write that as “Israeli and Dutch citizens who want to see an end to the occupation our politics combined with the fact that we don’t live in Israel makes us outsiders, if not outright ‘traitors.'”
Letter from Tel Aviv: It took us few rather disorienting days here to slowly come to the conclusion that the palpable collective fear is disproportionate to the actual threat.
Government propaganda, lies and deceptions to galvanize support for the war is relentless and the Iron Dome system, the system that intercepts Hamas rockets, is just part of it. An expert opinion according to which the Israeli population is almost 100% safe even without it because of the inferiority of Hamas’ weapons and the abundance of shelter infrastructure seemed credible. Deep inside, we believe, everyone knows that the chance something will happen to you here is statistically negligible. It can happen, like the chance of dying in a shocking aviation disaster as what happened this summer to hundreds of Dutch citizens, but it is very unlikely.
One commentator rightly said that Iron Dome functions as the Deus-ex-Machina of this war. Everyone but us is convinced it saves lives. We see it more as a psychological warfare device. Curiously, much of the explosion sound that gets people so worked up here is largely produced by the Iron Dome system itself. What is striking if not outright suspicious is that there is hardly any information in the aftermath of interceptions; we know nothing about it and nobody cares. [Continue reading…]