Israelis feel empowered by attacks against Hamas
By MATTI FRIEDMAN and ARON HELLERJERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s crushing aerial assault on Gaza has caused a significant shift in the country’s mood, replacing lingering helplessness and frustration over Hamas rocket attacks with a sense of might and vindication.
—–In Sderot, a working-class border town that has been bombarded by thousands of Hamas rockets in recent years, residents said they haven’t been this satisfied in a long time. On Wednesday, they cheered to each sound of distant explosions from Israeli airstrikes.“You see people walking with their heads up in the air again. Finally there is some hope,” said Itzik Biton, 38, who sells falafel at a fast-food stand.
The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living. Only when we are in the midst of conflict does the shallowness and vapidness of much of our lives become apparent. Trivia dominates our conversations and increasingly our airwaves. And war is an enticing elixir. It gives us resolve, a cause. It allows us to be noble. And those who have the least meaning in their lives, the impoverished refugees in Gaza, the disenfranchised North African immigrants in France, even the legions of young who live in the splendid indolence and safety of the industrialized world, are all susceptible to war’s appeal.