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The Iran war fear factor is starting to settle in

I’m not the bravest guy around.

During the first Gulf War I was a senior in high school. I remember the sirens waking us up in the middle of the night, running to our “sealed room” (yeah, right…) and fumbling with my gas mask straps. And then waiting in terror to hear the booms of the missiles falling around Haifa.

Most of my friends were “heroes.” The next day they would always tell me how they went to the roof to see how the Patriot missiles tried to intercept the Saddam’s Scuds. No sealed rooms for them.

But me? I was scared shitless.

I was scared every now and again during my military service, too. For example, when we sailed hundreds of meters from enemy shores in the dark. So stupid, so cocky.

And I’m pretty scared these days, too. Everybody says something different every other day. We’ll bomb Iran, no we won’t, yes we will. As if everybody is an expert. You’d probably have more chances guessing it right by plucking the petals of a flower: “We bomb them, we bomb them not. We bomb them, we bomb them not. We bomb them!”

My mind says we probably won’t attack. But my heart? That’s a different story… Because my heart tells me that deep down inside, Bibi’s a nut job. He could actually do it.

Yesterday, as the anti-war demo in front of Ehud Barak’s house was winding down, I spoke to an old friend. We agreed that what bothered us most was not the fact that most people don’t think there will be a war, or that some people do. Rather the fact that the people who do think there might be one don’t really care. They’re just not scared. A sort of “it won’t hit us anyway. What are the odds” kind of attitude.

But as a family man, my fear is so much different today. I’m constantly thinking of where my kids are. How close are they to a shelter? How fast will I be able to get to them if the sirens start? Will I be able to communicate with my wife who gets them if the phones are down? Will they be willing to wear a gas mask? I imagine their little faces in gas masks and choke up.

How would I even explain it to a 5-year-old and 3-year old? What are the words to even begin describing the situation to them?

Because kids shouldn’t wear gas masks. It’s ridiculous.

This place is fucked up.

Maybe “God” knows why.

God Is Kidding – English Subs from Boaz Balachsan on Vimeo.

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    1. Jack

      The scaremongering is a potent weapon, when citizens are in fear they dont any longer act rational, their leaders could then easily manipulate and carry out actions that the citizens wouldnt accept if it not the fact that they were exposed for the scaremongering.
      People need to see through this scaremongering and warmongering going on and not accept another war.

      Today I saw that a NATO general criticised Israel on Iran, when everything comes around there are like 2 politicians that really wants war and that is the PM and defense minister. Clearly framing to the world who really are a threat to this world.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Shelly

      This post – and clip – are very touching.
      This place, as you say, is truly f—— up.
      Because not only is there no way to explain gas masks to toddlers, there is also no way to explain to them that there are people who are willing to sacrifice them, to “nip their young lives in the bud” just for their own war-mongering satisfactions. After all, they or any one of us could be included in the 500 or 1,000 or more, potential casualties, killed in a war that they have initiated.
      Both Bibi and Barak should be placed in an eternally sealed room.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Prometheus

      What is interesting is that author is not feared by the possibility that his kids could be burned to ashes by the Iranian bomb.

      Reply to Comment
    4. @prometheus – actually, what’s interesting is I don’t know where you see I said that or didn’t say that. Did you make it up? Could you point me to where exactly I said that? If you can’t, feel free to take your comments to another channel on +972 or another site – as other, older readers will tell you I have no patience whatsoever for comments such as yours above.
      Good day.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Jack

      You are clearly a product of the scaremongering. A person that no longer act rational, have lost the ability to think for yourself and not being led by demagogic leaders, you’re proposing, insinuating and see things no one else can. “Bibi” would indeed be proud of you.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Must be terrible to bring up children in this situation. Whether Israel attacks or not, wins the battle or not, wins the war or not, there is no good scenario for the future of any child living there.
      It feels like a time that another Folke Bernadotte would again be killed instead of cherished.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Babakmirza

      Dear Ami Kaufman,

      I really liked the tone and the way you wrote your concerns; however, I am surprised that why no one is asking him/herself “What about the families in Iran?”, “Should their children wear masks too?”. The fear of mighty Israel and her allies are at least equal, if not more.

      Best wishes

      Reply to Comment
      • peter hindrup

        I too looked in vain for your concern for the Irains and their kids — after all they are not threatening to attack!

        In all I have seen they merely warn that they will retaliate if attacked.

        Reply to Comment
    8. Prometheus

      Comment deleted and user banned from channel

      Reply to Comment
    9. @babakmirza – of course children should not suffer in any country.
      @promotheus – as I suspected, you could not point out where I said those things. Because I didn’t.
      Now get off my channel 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    10. Jack

      And neither do you, after years of indoctrination and scaremongering, people think they are threatened, thats why I urged people to become more rational and to speak out against the scaremongering from israeli leaders.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Maybe you read it already, but this shows that this time it’s more serious than it ever has been, I guess.
      The french newspaper La Tribune reported this week that France will evacuate 200.000 people living in Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Kolumn9

      Of course you are scared shitless. This is rational. Barak and Bibi too are scared shitless, but they are scared shitless of two possibilities. The first is that Israel attacks Iran and Iran responds with a missile barrage. The second is that Israel doesn’t attack Iran and Iran eventually attacks with a nuclear bomb. Then they need to figure out of which of these possibilities they are more scared shitless and act accordingly. This too is rational and there is nothing about being a nutjob about it. That is what makes the place fucked up.

      Good luck and stay safe.

      Reply to Comment
    13. sh

      K9, Jumping from one doomsday scenario to the next is the nut-job bit. The best way to show you want to be accepted by others is to extend a hand. Israel’s leaders come to the table as though it was a boxing ring, with fists at the ready. It’s actually the antithesis of what Zionism claimed to want for the Jews. Instead of being a normal nation like any other, we are more defensive/aggressive than all but the world’s nut-jobs. Instead of our understandable chronic mistrust being palliated by renewed confidence in ourselves, we see mistrust of the other deepening. Now that for others it’s no longer PC, we build our own ghetto walls. Just because our side of the ghetto walls allows us more space to roam does not change the fact that by walling others out, we are walling ourselves in.
      Staying safe, as Barak airily confirmed by his estimations recently, is not up to the individual in Israel – or, by extension, its neighborhood.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Kolumn9

      Sh, there is a tendency in Israeli political rhetoric to turn every problem into an existential one. That in itself doesn’t translate to dismissing all issues as not being existential. It is hardly irrational to assign a nuclear Iran to the existential category of problems.

      As for the whole ‘extending a hand’ thing, we are not going to agree on whether the hand has been extended to our neighbors and slapped away, or never extended in the first place. The peace agreements, territorial concessions and negotiations to date would support the former interpretation. In either case, it doesn’t apply to The Islamic Republic of Iran, which despite having no territorial or historical dispute with Israel is ideologically committed to ensuring that there is no one to extend a peaceful hand in the first place.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Jack

      Peace with other generate peace with the next. The whole problem generating from the occupation, when this is solved and when palestinians voice is respected in the peace process the region and world will witness a beginning of calm and later on, permanent peace.

      Reply to Comment
    16. Mitchell Cohen

      Well, FWIW, our “shelter” is filled with old furniture, appliances, bicycles, etc. that belong to our downstairs neighbors, which virtually renders it useless. So, I don’t know where we would run with our 9 and 5 year old’s.

      Ami, our politics might be quite different, but our fears quite the same here.

      Reply to Comment