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My daughter Celeste sitting on top of an old Syrian bunker, with the Hula Valley in the background. As she sat there, the fighting had just begun. I heard booms in the distance, but I thought it was tank target practice. Within a few days the Hula Valley was hit by rocketfire. July 12, 2006. (Photo: Lori Lowenthal Marcus)

Special Dossier: War on Hezbollah.

Live From Israel
Life goes on largely unaltered

-- Lori Lowenthal Marcus

We came to Israel and brought our four children (ages 10 - 16) for their first time. We arrived on Tuesday, July 11, and immediately went up to the north of the country. We visited Safed, Qiryat Shemona, Rosh Pinna, Tiberias, Akko, Caesaria and Haifa, each place just hours before rockets landed.

We saw what looked like wildfires from a few miles away on Wednesday morning - they weren't wildfires, they were the smoldering wreckages of Katyushas from Hezbollah. Wednesday late afternoon our guide strongly suggested we start moving south and after several rounds he finally convinced us. Had we not left, that would have been our first night in a bomb shelter. 

Eid Gedi - The tourist areas were still crowded with youth groups, although tours of adults such as Federation missions, began canceling or leaving early. July 16, 2006 (Photo: Lori Lowenthal Marcus)
But it is important to know that life here is largely unaltered except for the precise areas in which rockets have landed. In fact, when we learned about the attacks from the north and saw Israel's military helicopters buzzing overhead, we saw Israelis calmly walking to the pool at the kibbutz at which we were staying just miles from the border with Lebanon. And the same is true here in Jerusalem where a terrorist was found with a bomb on Jaffa Street. We were actually on our way there at the time, so we were told to wait a few hours before going. And the streets and cafes here continue to be crowded.

So, despite the hysteria induced by the horrors shown on the television news, the Israeli people and their current guests refuse to be cowed by Hezbollah's Iranian rockets. 

Let's hope the Israeli leadership can remain as steadfast as it begins to be barraged with the rockets of criticism from the United Nations of Israel-hating countries and the Arabist US State Department. 

-- Lori Lowenthal Marcus is president of the Philadelphia region of the Zionist Organization of America and co-host of the Middle East Report on WNWR 

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