Watchman on the Wall: The playground

Loraine Joy | Community Columnist

Life in America is good. On holidays I’ve gone on church picnics with 100 plus people at a barbecue. We played softball, talked, laughed and watched the children play. Life can be carefree, but not every place in the world is as safe.

Last weekend Israel had 700 plus rocket attacks by Palestinians in Gaza in a 48-hour period. That’s nothing new; that is the way of life for an Israeli. When I was in Israel, there were 150 Katusha rockets per day fired upon us. My bus would be detoured only to discover on the evening news that we had avoided bombings and rockets at our intended destination. Israel wants peace, but 23 Arab nations surrounding Israel do not want peace.

That could make people bitter and angry, but life is so precious to the Israeli people they take a different stance.

What we don’t hear on the news is the amount of humanitarian aid given by the Israelis to Gaza residents almost monthly since 2010. Anywhere from 850 to 6,000 truckloads of food, construction materials, cooking gas and medical supplies enter Gaza. At the same time Israel allows up to 100 truckloads per month of strawberries, bell peppers and flowers to be exported from Gaza to Israel to help the Gaza economy. 250 – 1500 Gaza residents are allowed into Israel for medical help or to accompany a patient. A program of 500 Israeli Volunteers meet the Gaza patients and their family member at the Erez Crossing to escort them safely to the hospitals. This provides a measure of protection and assurance to the Palestinians.

The United States has given $6 Million per year to the Palestinian Relief and Hamas has used it for weapons to attack Israel instead of helping their own people. The PLO hide their weapons, hand grenades and land mines in the Playgrounds of their children. Though these weapons are detected by the IDF, the PLO knows the Israelis won’t attack children.

How different are the playgrounds of Israel. How different is the attitude toward the precious lives of their children. One morning upon entering my Tour Bus for the day, my guide, Hillel told us of taking his young son to the Playground the night before. The young lad had awakened during the night and asked for a glass of water. When Hillel brought it to him, the child asked if they could go to the park. It was about 2 am. Hillel got them both dressed and went to the park. I was flabbergasted. “Why on earth would you take him to the park in the middle of the night? Yes, the parks are well lit, but why didn’t you just say you will take him in a few days?” Hillel’s answer was sobering, “I took my son to the Playground because he asked me to, and I don’t know if we will have a tomorrow to take him.”.■

— Loraine Joy is a small business owner and Arbuckle resident. Contact Loraine at musicandmore@mac.com.

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