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On Distance

It’s late. Kisufim.

It’s later in Kisufim.

I switch my phone to power-saving mode.

Kerem Shalom.

Tomorrow, I am going away.


A WhatsApp from my colleague.


I turn on my computer.

Nahal Oz.

My pocket buzzes again: Sderot.

(I have an app which tells me each time a siren sounds in Israel. Today, my pocket has buzzed without cease. According to the IDF & Shin Bet, more than 300 rockets and mortars have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, which is probably the largest number ever fired on a single day.)


This evening, I will drive home through London, music on the radio. This evening, she will sleep in the reinforced basement of her home. Her school will not be open tomorrow.

This evening, when I open the app, I will see the ‘chat’ feature, whose comments are full of fury. Fiery angels misquote Isaiah, forgetting what he said about swords and ploughshares.

This evening, the charcoal bus weeps on a dusty road. Its windows are replaced by silence.


And then the silence breaks, too.

Nahal Oz.



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