Double Life – Back to “Not-War”

fubini1By Daniela Fubini*

And so it is, the war has come to end. I don’t know a single person in Israel that thinks that this absence of war is in any way peace; indeed it’s called “cease-fire”, and not peace. However we want to see it, though, we are not currently at war, and on top of that September sneaked into our calendars and also work went back to normal: no Red Alarm disturbing our concentration, interrupting our phone conversations, sending us to share the dusty stairwell with neighbors of other floors in our tall building quite too close to the Kiryia, the not-so-secret HQ of the military during wartime. The school year eventually opened with only one day of shift, Tel Aviv traffic jams are back into the usual irrationality, and on weekends the beach is back to a typical less tourist gear and it is quite enjoyable. The water is beautiful, this time of the year.

Yet, traces of post trauma can be seen everywhere among simple citizens. People still jump at the sound of an ambulance, identical at the beginning to the start of a Red Alarm. On the beach I watched a father playing with his three or four years old child, burying him in the sand until only the head stuck out: besides the silliness of the game itself, potentially dangerous in any beach and any time, I caught myself thinking how long it would take to free the child in case of a siren. Then I realized there are no sirens any more, probably for a while at least.
It’s going to take some time, until our brains switch back to “not-war”. And I wonder if it’s clear enough to people not living in Israel that despite all, we live, work, and do everything as usual here. If nothing else, the ISIS larger crisis helps taking the spotlights out of our backyard. And Israel is again, against or beyond any logic, the most stable spot of the Middle-East.

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