‘Going through the Wall’

 

What do you keep in your top draw for those ‘in case’ problems that may arise?

The Wall that divides Israeli and Palestinian land. Picture by Kristine Wolfe.

When I was growing up we always had candles and matches in case the ever threatening power blackout occurred. With the prospect of potentially having no electricity and in being in complete darkness for a few hours, this was important to us. To this day in my own house, I have the same thing; just in case!

On my recent ventures to Israel I learned what the Israeli’s keep in their top draw – just in case…Gas masks.

They have gas masks for every member of their family; these are even replaced on a regular basis. This is for sa

fety reasons because there is a very real chance they will have to be used.

Towards the end of last year, I contemplated whether I would be going to Israel because of the safety issues. The people of Israel were generally concerned for their own safety also; threats of missile launches, bombings and explosions are very real and is something that they face every day.

The Australian Smart Traveller website, suggested ‘reconsidering travel’ to the Westbank, however Bethlehem is located here and quite a few people in our group were keen to see this. We had some Jewish people on our trip who sadly did not come in fear of what would happen to them for crossing into Westbank. I, myself was not going to go out of fear or the unknown of what may happen. In the end, I did choose to go, when else would I have that opportunity? But imagine living with that type of fear every day of your life.

Author: Kristine Wolfe

One thing I have definitely walked away with from this incredible opportunity is that in Australia, we take our safety for granted; having not known this conflict and not living with fear. Although I felt safe almost every day I was in Israel – having to live with that ‘just in case’ gas mask makes my candles seem ridiculous.

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19 thoughts on “‘Going through the Wall’

  1. Reading your article makes me wonder how we take many things for granted in this country. It frightens me to see how volatile the living conditions in Israel are and yet how fortunate and (sometimes) ungrateful we are with all the resources and privilleges in this country – access to clean tap water, education, freedom of speech, the rights to vote etc. Just imagine the stresses and anxiety people have to go through in their everyday lives, we all should stop complaining and be appreciative of the opportunities that we have.

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  2. that is really creepy to have gas masks kept in your drawer i feel sorry for those people that have to face the fact that they could be blown up at any time.

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  3. Whiles reading this blog I started felling mixed emotions which were sad and glad because we as Australian live in a safe environment. I was also thinking that we should try and help them!!

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  4. After reading this blog it makes me feel very emotional that most countries in the world have to face this almost every day, while I’m sitting here and watching hopelessly. I just wish I new what to do to help, I’m sure that one person can’t make much of a difference but I know that it all counts.

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  5. Living in fear must be terrible thinking that everyday a bomb could drop on you would be terrifying, but they would also sadly get used to it. Imagine if Australia was like that the western half of australia would believe in one religion and the eastern side would believe in another. Imagine how terrifying it would be for the children, but i guess it’s better to grow up getting used to fear rather than moving there and wanting to leave strait away. In the end it really comes down to religion and what you believe in even growing up you don’t get a choice your either on one side or the other.

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  6. Wow. That sounds really upsetting. It would be quite scary living you life in fear that you could be bombed down on at any time when you least expect it. But perhaps their already used to this type of lifestyle and environment. it would be much more scarier for a tourist or someone from another country to do the same who has been living a peaceful lifestyle in safe and happy environment.

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  7. Gosh I feel so sorry for them. That would be so scary. Imagine if we were put into their shoes.
    What we have in our draw/cupboard compared to them.
    I would rather sit in a dark house and have candles than be bombed.
    All I can say is SCARY.

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  8. Whilst reading this blog, it just made me very upset, because I can now see how ungrateful people are with their lives not only in Australia but other safe countries as well. Instead of being thankful and happy that they don’t have to be scared that their house could blow up any minute, they ask for more. Yes, sometimes our government can make unfair laws that we disagree on but we still get to vote, have clean tap water, have good education, and have a right to have a say in anything we want. I still think it is better then having to live your life scared all the time that you could die any moment whilst going to the shops to get food, or just going for a walk.
    I am happy to say that I like our life here in Australia!!!

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    • I am glad you reacted to this so strongly Devleta. I think it is outrageous that one group of people should make another group of people so fearful that they feel they have to sleep with gasmasks nearby. How dare people do that to other people! It upsets me too Devleta! Good on you for not saying that this is just how the world is! The world should NOT be like this! It is unacceptable!

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  9. Tis sad that people do this eachother, yet we have to react in the same to combat it. I do like this but it still happens ( I keep torches and matches in my drawers)

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  10. having gas masks might be normal to them but if you are new there you wouldn’t really want to live in that country but i feel sorry for them

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  11. I feel sorry for the Israeli and Palestinian communtiy’s. I feel very lucky and special to live in a safe country woth no wars or battles.

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  12. Definitely the safety of these people is an issue, one which are so incredibly lucky not to have. I makes me really step back and look at what I complain about, then cringe with a sense of “Really?”. We definitely do need to start looking at the bigger picture and change our lives. I know I do, everyday, simply by acknowledging that somebody else might do whatever they could to have my stupid maths homework, because their current life problems are so amazingly worse than my main life problem; the algebra test. And that really does impact how I live my life.

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  13. after reading this I was quite suprised because Australians are really lucky not having to go through things like that and if only someone could help them I know I would.

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  14. After reading this blog I feel very lucky to be living in Australia. Having to have wear gas-masks and keeping them in a storage compartment in their homes. Makes me feel sorry for them, knowing an explosion could occur any day or time…

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  15. For countries to do this to each other, it’s kind of like they forget that we are all human and all want freedom in our lives, it’s very saddening to find that some people have to live in panic like this.

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  16. I think alot of people take for granted how lucky we are in Australia, some people have constant fear of going to sleep just in case they may not wake up. I’m greatful to be in Australia, and not have that constant fear that something may happen to me or my family while i’m sleeping.

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  17. i could not imagine what it would be like living in fear and having a gas mask where you live at all times incase of a gas attack or a bombing. i think that if you can live in this type of environment you can live anywhere in the world.

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  18. Its very sad to see people and even young children struggling for safety in their own country and comparing that to Australia we should appreciate what we take for granted.

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