We listened to the radio as we drove in - the newscaster was constantly being interrupted by warnings to various cities that missiles were being fired in their area. We talked and listened and at one point, Elie asked, Is this what it was like from the other side?"
The other side is the fighter's side of the war, I think. Elie was focused, as was correct, on what he was doing with his soldiers in Gaza. He was stationed outside of Gaza - and was told each time there was a rocket attack. He knew which city would be hit and it the missile was headed his way.
"It was my job to tell everyone," he told me.
"Did you call out, Color Red," I asked.
"No," he answered....
A few telephones back, Elie downloaded a ring tone that said, "Incominggggggggg..........he he he he...." it doesn't sound funny, but the laughter was that of a little child and it was cute...you sort of heard the sound of an incoming rocket, the stretched out call, "Incommmiiiinnnggggg.....and just when you'd expect there to be a boom, there was that little child's laugh.
Somehow I guessed, "Did you call out 'incommmiiinnnngggggg?'" - Elie laughed...that was exactly what he called out.
We heard more missiles come in and then Elie said quietly, "is this what it was like from the other side?"
The constant feeling of helplessness, listening to rockets hitting as you go through your day is nearly impossible. A politician who lives in the area is being interviewed and in the middle of a sentence, we hear the siren and he says, "wait, I have to go."
And the newscaster tells him to hurry...and he explains, as he is walking, that there might be reception and takes us along. The newscaster hears and encourages him.
What it was like, on the other side, is the hell we are experiencing now. It isn't like what the residents of our south are enduring - they are in real danger. Three people were killed today, 45 injured including a four year old boy and an infant. We've been hit by 245 rockets in the last 24 hours. Homes, factories and businesses have been damaged.
There's no question it's easier to be out of missile range; easier not to be on the front lines. Easier...but not easy because we hear and feel the terror of each missile, the worry over where it has landed and who has been hurt.