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The Normalcy of War

We're at war ??? again. No kidding. It seems that life in Israel is the stuff that happens between battles and bombings. Only what's so strange about the Lebanon war, at least for this Jerusalem-based journalist, is how normal it...

We're at war ??? again. No kidding. It seems that life in Israel is the stuff that happens between battles and bombings. Only what's so strange about the Lebanon war, at least for this Jerusalem-based journalist, is how normal it all seems. When terrorist bombings rocked Israel seven years ago many of those attacks occurred in places just 10 minutes away from where our family lives. My wife had been on the very spot 30 minutes before a terrorist had exploded himself to bits. A friend of mine was in the restaurant where a terrorist blew himself up. These attacks were personal and graphic.

But not this war. I watch the Katyushas and Kassams rain down on Israel on CNN. I read about the tragedies in the local papers. I hear the sterilized news reports of the lightly wounded, maimed and killed. And then go back to work in my Jerusalem office, writing about technology in the US as if nothing's occurred.

That's strange. The missile attacks struck two hours away. Lebanon is three hours. To put that in perspective, that's like someone in Manhattan ignoring a major battle between the US Army and Al-Qaeda on the Jersey-Delaware border, or someone in San Jose ignoring a similar battle in Sacramento. Closer, actually, as the crow flies.

I could wax poetically about the endurance of man or something philosophical about our ability to cope in stressful times. Nonsense. I'll let the folk running NetVision, the local ISP in Haifa, and the rest of the high tech startups in the North spin those yarns of machismo I continue working because the conflict doesn't pose an existential threat to my life.

Not because I'm "used" to missile attacks. Does anybody really get used to six foot canisters of metal and propellant streaking down on them from the clouds? No. I work because on some level, I remain certain that Israel will prevail.

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