Israelis Living a Frog Tale

Tzvi and his niece

 Civilians in southern Israel  have been targets of Hamas’ rockets for the  past eight years. When asked about the situation, I have found the boiling frog tale as great parallel to illustrate the life conditions for citizens in southern Israel in recent years. According to the tale, a frog dropped into boiling water will immediately jump out, but a frog dropped in cold water slowly heating will be cooked to death. For those living in southern Israel, Hamas’ rockets are just like the cold water slowly boiling. Initially, the rockets falling on Sderot, a city in Southern Israel with a population of about 25,000, were a primitive piece of metal. Slowly but surely, however,  the rockets have become more sophisticated and capable of greater destruction. The citizens of southern Israel have slowly got used to life under Hamas’ rockets. The water, however,  only feels burning for Israeli citizens new to Hamas’ rockets.

A couple of years after Sderot became a target, my hometown of Ashqelon also came under fire. Every time I go to Ashqelon I see my friends and family living as frogs in the slowly heating cold water. For many Israelis the constant threat of Hamas rockets has made entering a safe room when sirens goes off an almost daily routine. This past week, for the first time, my two-week old niece world had to be shattered by her first shelter experience. While I have the ability to leap out of the boiling water at the end of my visits to Israel, my family and friends do not have the same luxury. They, instead, have to live day to day with the hope that one day they can freely walk the streets in Southern Israel without having to duck into the nearest bomb shelter.

For the sake of citizens on both sides of the Israel-Gaza border, it is time for Hamas to act like a peaceful neighbor and turn down the heat of the water.  Babies should be born into environments free of rocket fire and sirens. Children should be able to run to playgrounds and not to shelters.

(By Tzvi Raviv)