Israeli Women Blog the War, in Russian

Global Voices Online
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Israeli blogosphere has a Russian-language corner: quite vocal, it is populated mainly by those who emigrated from the former Soviet states in the past few decades.

Below is a selection of posts about the war, written by Israeli women, in Russian.

LJ user gollitely (Lena Lagutina, Jerusalem) - July 14, 2006:


A dear childhood friend [LJ user] dzogaba, who specializes in making reality shows for television, has sent me an SMS, asking: "Are you having a war over there? For real?" So I'm sitting here and thinking how to respond. Meanwhile, my friends, shabat shalom from Jerusalem to all! For real.

LJ user pepel (Yelena Pepel) - July 19, 2006:

On girls and bombs

Very moving discussions are taking place in LJ regarding the photos of the girls signing missiles with "To Nasrullah from Israel with Love." Incredible discussions, cave mentality, along the lines of "and you drink the blood of Christian infants [...]." Seemingly normal people are fighting each other on both sides of the barricade.

But do you know that in Israel there is such an army profession as a military clown? It's a person who entertains children in bomb shelters. And there's also such a branch of child psychology as the psychology of stress. And a child on whose house fall Katyushas, who hears sirens ten times a day and has a class on "how to hide from missiles" at school, is taken to paint missiles, by psychologists. The missiles, which, by the way, aren't going to be used to bomb a specific Nasrullah - because these are artillery missiles. But children don't care. This is therapy. It'll just help them stutter less and sleep better at night - yes, until the first siren, but still - and not to hide under the table for 20 hours each day as the children of Sderot do.

By the way, they changed the missile alert code in Israel ("the scarlet dawn" - "shachar adom"), because of a request from a 4-year-old girl called Shachar (Dawn). The army has changed the missile alert code because a 4-year-old Shachar gets teased at the kindergarten - they call her name "a bad sign."

Everyone has, of course, forgotten about bombs with flowers and words written in chalk: "On to Berlin!" Even though it's our - our common - history textbooks.

God willing, you won't find out what a war in your house is - the house that you have nowhere to go from. Nowhere to go because you don't have thousands of kilometers for retreat. And, God willing, YOUR army will listen to little girls' requests. And there'll be a profession of a military clown in your army. [...]

LJ user sestra-milo (A Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Nahariya and Haifa, originally from Ismail, Odesa region, Ukraine) - July 17, 2006:

A police car drove by, I went to the window to listen in. With crackles and coughs, in two languages (Russian is already like a state language!), they've allowed everyone to leave the shelters. And right at that very moment, there was an explosion.

LJ user sestra-milo - July 19, 2006:

We're being bombed, send me a repairman!

Yesterday after the bombing, my satellite TV switched off. I called the tech support department.

- Hi, my TV's not working.
- How did it happen?
- We were being bombed, a missile hit a building next door, and now the TV picture is gone.

The girl on the other end of the line begins to stutter. Together, we try to push on various buttons, but the TV is not reacting, the screen is still static.

- Could you send a repairman? - I ask tenderly.

The girl falls silent.


In yesterday's attack on Nahariya, by the entrance to a shelter, a Russian guy was killed, my acquaintances' friend, I've read an interview with them. His face seems familiar. I should call them, but I can no longer look at the phone - over ten phone calls since morning.


Three families left the building next door yesterday. I was watching them pack their suitcases from the balcony. The father was carrying the luggage, in no hurry, the mother was running very fast, covering herself with a bag. Then they led the kids out - an infant, a girl of 7 or so and a boy of about 13. Behind them ran an old mama. It looked especially wild with some man walking his dog in the background.

Only two families are left in the neighboring building - one of them is the family of Lebanese refugees with four children. These ones definitely have no place to go.


Ira and Andrey came for a visit yesterday, and I was drinking vodka with them, for the first time in many years, and I felt good. If I had known that vodka helps to relax so well, I would've been drunk every evening.

But I still didn't manage to get enough sleep: I woke from an explosion at 4 am.

When I was showing them the apartment, we heard a siren and headed for the shelter. Only later did I realize that I'm no longer in Haifa, that we don't have sirens, and the sound was coming out of the stupid TV.

Today at work, there was a siren without explosions and explosions without a siren.


LJ user nitsa - July 18, 2006:

I'm sitting on the balcony, looking gloomily in the direction of the Lebanese border. Danya takes a seat next to me.


The Gadyukins (a [...] nickname [referring to a poisonous snake] of the neighbors downstairs, with whom we've had a rich history of [bad] relationship) are listening to the damn music again.

- Well, what can we do? They are fighting stress with music. These are difficult times.
- But they're difficult for us, too, and you have a headache!
- You have a headache? - asks a worried voice from the balkony below us.
- Yes, - Danya and I reply in unison, [startled].
- I'll turn it off now... You should have told me... It's just that I'm off to milium tomorrow... So I've relaxed.
- Oh, then leave the music on! - I tell him, leaning forward over the balcony rail. - You do have to relax! You're going ... to Gaza, aren't you?
- To Gaza. It's time to pack for me anyways...

A multitude of useless thoughts rush through my head...

- I'm sorry for your dog... We lost our cat in December, - I say (it's hard to find something more idiotic to say).
- I know, - he says softly. - We have the same vet doctor.

- So! - He's looking at [Danya]. - You haven't been hitting the ball for so long, we are feeling somewhat uneasy!

[Danya] is embarrassed.

- Do play your ball, - [the neighbor] says. - But not too much. They found my mama has Hepatitis C, she needs to rest a lot, and she works hard...
- Let her get well, - I say, with the most genuine feeling.

Let his mother get well. Let him be all right. Even if we fight over idiotic trifles.

LJ user mishkofefer (Shushka, originally from Tver and Moscow) - July 18, 2006:

At last, my sister has moved in with us. She didn't want to leave but when a missile fell just one house away from her, I managed to talk her into [moving]. It turned out to be not so easy to leave Haifa - no trains or buses, the price for cabs has gone up three times. [...] My mother keeps watching the news in all accessible languages, and yesterday I happened to watch the [Russian state-run channel] ORT news, too. Reminded me of my [Soviet] pioneer childhood, around 1980, "the Israeli aggression in Lebanon." They are showing Beirut in ruins, are talking about evacuation of the Russian citizens. Not a word on the shelling of Israel, nothing on the fact that there are hundreds times more of the Russian citizens here. [...]

LJ user pilka (Lena, Haifa) - July 17, 2006:

This is Lena-Pilka speaking, from the frontline Haifa.

And you thought I wouldn't write anymore?

Dream on!

Everyone here is migrating south, following the birds. On my way to work in the morning I saw some guys walking furtively with suitcases. I thought, damn, they've robbed someone! Wanted to call my husband, but looked closer and recognized our neighbors [...].

The sirens wailed 4-5 times today. We didn't hear the first time, though, and went to the dining hall. And were surprised by how few people there were at the hospital.

And my husband was at home and kept running to the shelter with the little one periodically. [...]

He says: He's running with the stroller during yet another siren alert, and suddenly - an explosion, a "boom" real close, the windows begin to shake. He thinks: "Well, the little one probably has poops up to her ears in the diaper." But looks and sees that the kid is sitting and clapping her hands and laughing, like: "Bravo! [...]" She liked it, you know.


Anyway, all's okay. Thank you to all for your support, and don't worry!

I'm off to watch the third Terminator with my husband. Life continues.


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