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Double Life – “We told you so”

fubiniBy Daniela Fubini*

A while ago, a very influential man (the Pope, no less) said in an interview that we are in the middle of World War Three, and we don’t recognize it only because it is fought in small battles rather than in one large campaign. At that time, I took the comment as an extreme though interesting interpretation of the present. But it was August 2014 and in Israel we had just had a hell of a summer, literally.

When you are a physical bridge between Countries, languages, cultures, when you have a “double life” like me, there are moments in which it’s hard to overcome the comfort zone, and accept that other places may be rocking right when you finally started feeling some quiet. You tend to assume that all of your different worlds are quiet or crazy at the same time. And they are not, most of the times.

That end of August 2014 feels centuries ago today. It may very well be that Papa Francesco was right, and he repeated the comment recently, after the recent horrendous attacks in Paris. A WW3 in pieces. It may even be that we all knew it, and long before him. For example, I remember to this day waking up the morning after the 9/11 Twin Towers attack, and producing the terrifying thought that if every single Muslim would be convinced to take a knife and kill one or two of the non-Muslim people he lived among, we would be all dead in a matter of a few days. Yes, an obvious post-trauma thought, I know. And yet, here we are, a few years later, facing a menace that has little shape and less of a face, and on top of that we Israelis are in the position to say to the whole world “We told you so”. As if the fact that we have been fighting Islamic terrorists for decades can be of any help to anyone on the other side of the pond.

I am afraid we only sound like bitter mother-in-laws.

* Daniela Fubini (Twitter @d_fubini) lives and writes in Tel Aviv, where she arrived in 2008 from Turin via New York.