Another post that I wrote on Sunday (July 20).
I feel bad for the Bedouins that were hurt yesterday (Shabbat, July 19). Really, I do. They didn’t deserve it and for the first time, my heart hurts for a Muslim. But when I hear complaints, I get annoyed.
First of all, if you are building illegally – and these people are not in a legal settlement, nor do they want to be* – then you have no right to complain that the country is not helping you out. The government would help, and has offered to help, you relocate to a legal location. The offer was angrily rejected.
Second of all, not every place has a shelter. There are neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and here, and everywhere, that do not have shelters. Sometimes there is a communal shelter, sometimes there is a single neighborhood shelter that is not easily accessible to everyone. And sometimes there is nothing, and you do the best you can, according to the instructions of the Home Front Command.
Yitzchak and I happen to be safety freaks. One of our criteria for choosing an apartment, with the exception of the first one we lived in, before we had Shlomo, was that it have easy access to a shelter. We would prefer a safe room in the house, but that is not a reality yet. However, we do have a shelter, shared by our neighbors, that opens with a key that we have a copy of, within the amount of time allotted.
Another of our criteria was no less than a minute of time to run, preferable a minute and a half. These are our criteria, and we are nuts and admit it, and if these were also the criteria of the Bedouin family that was hurt, they would not have been hurt – because they would have chosen to live in a different place. Yes, we are crazy. (Example: I plan furniture arrangements and picture hanging around what would happen if there was an earthquake.) But we are also blessing our craziness every single day. So while I do feel for them, and hurt for them, and do not believe they deserved to be hurt – I also do not think that the anger at the government is justified. There are people who are spending most of their day in sewage pipes that serve as movable shelters. They are constantly barraged with rockets, and yet the government can only offer sewage pipes. And we’re not talking about ten minutes once a day. We’re talking about ten minutes twenty times a day. And these people are in legal settlements, and they are Jews. In addition, I have friends who live in areas with only fifteen seconds and without a proper bomb shelter, or even a sewage pipe, nearby – they just go to the innermost room in their home. In Be’er Sheva, there are 50,000 people without access to a bomb shelter. So don’t tell me about illegal Bedouin settlements and how the government doesn’t care about them, specifically. The government isn’t helping a lot of people. JNF, though, is thankfully picking up some of the slack – not just for Bedouins, but for legal, Jewish cities as well.
The only good thing about the rocket having hit Bedouins is that maybe Hamas will think twice after they found out that they hit their own brothers. Maybe. But knowing Hamas – who has no issue using children as human shields – maybe not. It’s still a possibility, though.
*I get mad about destroying Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria because the vast majority of homes that get destroyed were legally built, with all the proper paperwork, and then someone decided to make trouble. This is different – these homes were never legal in the first place.