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two hundred thousand civilians

I've just watched an interview involving commentators on the Gaza crisis.

Background: there are two factions in the Palestinian Authority: the more moderate Fatah faction, which runs things in the West Bank [kinda] and the terrorist faction Hamas, which wants to kill all Israelis and push them into the Mediterranean. Although the Israeli government has pulled out of Gaza completely as of three years ago, Hamas continually lobs rockets into the nearest Israeli towns beyond the Gaza border and kills civilians, sometimes kids. Hamas has been labeled a terrorist faction by both Israel and America.

Some 200,000 Israeli civilians live within range of Hamas rockets, which seem to be improving, because they were sneaked into Gaza when Hamas blew up the border with Egypt. So Israel's response atm is to go in with tanks and armed choppers and blow up suspected rocket positions in Gaza. Blowing up Palestinian kids as well.

Now comes news that things are heating up in the West Bank.

This personally affects me on two levels: I've met not only one of the most prominent Palestinian theatre tour directors, and some of his kids, when they came to Vermont to perform a couple of years ago --- he's invited me more than once to come teach in his school, which operates out of a political refugee camp in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, and which came under enough army fire that it was moved away from the Wall to protect the kids and put into a new building built jointly by the Europeans and Palestinians.

The other level is that many Israeli kids in that area are so traumatized that they can't even go to class on their side of the Wall but have to go see the psychiatrists instead. And one of my closest cyberfriends, an artist and student now in America in college, whom I have a great respect and love for, grew up very near the fighting and had to take bulletproof busses to go here and there to get to her high school and pdoc. Her family is still very there and very much within range of rockets if they start being fired toward Israeli settlements.

It's dissociative for me to think about going there to create theatre and appearing in a sniper's crosshairs at the same time. Many Westerners have died trying to protect kids in these war zones and it's certainly food for thought, moreso because last month --- at the same meeting at temple --- I met both an IDF veteran air force colonel and a Palestinian father whose younger daughter was shot and killed after taking her fifth-grade exam, while she was walking to a candy shop. I even met her older sister, apparently not targeted that day, who was then 12 or so.

Lots more youthful terrorists are being created by all this, under both flags. Does it matter anymore to you who is right when you are dead?

Well maybe I need to buy great amounts of Kevlar before I go. GAAAAH.

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kiota too late for the stars
silverplate88
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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