Paula R. Stern
A Soldier's Mother
28 December 09
It's been a year since the
Gaza War. A year since I knew the taste of fear to a depth and reality beyond any I had experienced. There was no comfort, no sleep until I drove down and saw Elie for myself, when the war had ended. To mark this day in my own quiet way, I turned back...back a year and read the words I'd written then. Last year, on December 27th, as Israel knew it would go to war, I wrote (Going to War):
No nation can allow its citizens to be bombed regularly. No nation can withstand what we have taken on a daily basis. Whether
Israel's leaders can withstand the storm of international protests is yet to be seen; whether it will finally act to defend its own citizens is unknown.
What is known is that Israel's soldiers are ready and want to see this done correctly. They are not celebrating this offensive, as Palestinians have celebrated successful terror attacks in the past. Rather, they are glad that finally, the government has given them the right to do what they have been trained to do. Tonight, Elie sleeps at the base where he has been for the last few months. I do not know where he will be tomorrow or the next day. It could be south to
Gaza; it could be north in anticipation of Hizbollah causing trouble on the northern border; or it could be staying where he is while other troops are moved around.
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