Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pillbox Fever

Though you wouldn't know it from the beaches of Tel Aviv, Israel is a nation besieged, in a state of perpetual, if often dormant war. Currently, those who pursue it lack the strategy, means or will to engage in hot conflict; thus, today, we have relative calm, punctuated by isolated acts of politically insignificant but tragic violence. Despite the lull, as has been necessary since the very first moshavim, persistent vigilance, in the form of security and observation posts, is a necessary fact of life.

Manning these posts, hundreds of them, sprinkled along Israel's borders and buttressing the security barrier that cuts through the Judea and Shomron to separate Israeli and Palestinian communities, and around Gaza, are thousands of young, conscripted Israeli soldiers. These are not special forces or counter-terrorism experts; they're kids with guns, a few weeks of basic training and, every so often, life and death responsibilities. Separated from their families, girlfriends, video games, they operate in shifts and teams, rotating in for a few days. It must be mind-numbing work - to sit still in a cramped, hot, sometimes remote outpost, for days, and watch... just watch. Just watch.

It gets better...

1 comment:

  1. Been there done that. Shesh - Shesh shmira.
    If you don't know what that means, you are lucky.
    Good stuff Victor.



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