Air Raid Sirens and Bombs: What It’s Like to Be a Freelance Writer in Israel Right Now – by Yocheved Golani

Air Raid Sirens and Bombs: What It’s Like to Be a Freelance Writer in Israel Right Now – by Yocheved Golani

As a Beer Sheva (Israel)-based freelance journalist who specializes in mental health content and feature stories which leave readers smiling, I was delighted to be assigned coverage of the 8th Annual Spring Festival in Acco*, Israel. The event was the culmination of multi-faceted year-long efforts to help Israel’s Galilee region tour industry proprietors. They needed to overcome financial devastation induced by COVID-19’s lockdowns.

An organization had invested millions of dollars to educate hoteliers, souvenir shop owners, artisans, and so on about cutting-edge marketing techniques, as well as technological skills for selling their services and products online. Excerpts of my article read: “Nothing short of a miracle, this festival was the culmination of many efforts paying pro-active financial and social benefits. Christians, Druze, Muslims, and Jews of the Galil have partnered together to earn incomes far larger than that of their previously scattered efforts and naïve business practices. Their joint efforts are filling their wallets, enriching the quality of life for residents, tourists, and Israel’s economy, too. Tourism is the backbone of the Western Galilee’s economy. Over 40% of the population depends on tourism as their source of employment. Once COVID-19 affected Israel in March, 2020, the tourist industry took a financial beating…”

The article would never be published.

On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, the happiness, hope, and optimism for that wide swath of Israel’s ethnic populations, working together in peace and prosperity, died. Militant Muslims with full Israeli citizenship and all its privileges, punished anyone cooperating with Jews. They burned down every shop while rioting in the area I’d written about. They murdered whomever they could, destroyed ancient architecture, and ended normative daily life for everyone in the region. Part of what’s now known to have been a wide-ranging pre-planned attack on Israel and her Jews, the devastation was preceded by (and followed up with) Gazan missile-fire across Israel. Down in Israel’s southern Negev desert region where I reside, I learned the news about northern Israel between sirens informing me to run for my life.

Air raid sirens raise adrenaline levels and blood pressures. Their sound chills the blood. Everyone in Israel became emotionally and physically exhausted by rocket fire during an 11-day hail of Gazan hostility from May 10-20, 2021. The Israel defense Forces responded to the onslaught with Operation Guardian of the Walls.

I coped with the violence by using my skills as a believer in a merciful GOD who favors all humanity, as a life coach loaded with techniques for calming distraught people, and as a teacher of meditation practices. Determined not to let anyone destroy Israel’s very existence, or the unity of our diverse members of society (we get along easily and pleasantly despite MSM’s misrepresentations of Israeli life), I proposed a follow-up story to the organization that had hired my freelance journalism services. My proposal was accepted. I supplied a feature story entitled “Rising to the Challenges with Joy and Creativity.”

The Akko shuk had filled with ash and despair resulting from arson and hand-to-hand combat upon defenseless civilians. The destruction of struggling businesses, the hopes and dreams of thousands of Muslims, Druze, Christians, and Jews, the riots sundered the Galil’s recovering tour industry and many lives. But, just as ash is used by gardeners and farmers to promote growth – despite the initial appearance of devastation – so too are the ashes of the Galil being used by the tour industry vendors rising above the challenge.

The spirit of Israeli society strengthens the willpower and dreams of the vendors mentioned above. The air and now-damaged stone walls within the ancient market of Acco once again vibrate with the sounds of social unity, and hard work rises above sad memories and recent setbacks. Arabic, French, Spanish, Hebrew, English, and other languages fill the mouths of those involved.

I look at the scene and know that I survived 11 days of pure hell, too. Blessed to write about the recovery of all concerned, I thrill to the emotional and spiritual victories together with the people involved. I look back at it all realizing that this was a case of “Déjà vu on the Job.”

*Acco is sometimes spelled Acre, Akko, and otherwise.

Editor’s note: Yocheved Golani sent this update to us yesterday –

Another terrorist attack happened in Jerusalem while I was phone-chatting with some of the people I’d met during my Akko visit. Horrific sounds of destruction, indescribable emotions, and too many thoughts to count filled the air, minds, and worsening ulcers. I was about to send you my WritersWeekly article when it happened. Now I need to update it.

Life in Israel is never taken for granted. Those of us who pursue equality and happiness for all are hammered by haters of everyone. They’re called militant Muslims. They terrorize co-religionists and whomever else they wish. I promise you, Israeli society is not like that. We have Muslims in our parliament, medical and business offices, neighborhoods, schools, universities, and grocery stores. They, Druze, and Christians live pleasant lives with the rest of us when unmolested by psychopaths.

Ride an Israeli bus or sit in a local park, business setting, or playground and you’ll hear many languages spoken at once. Israel is a genuine melting pot of many cultures, religions, and skin colors. Terrorists want to end that with lies and violence such as Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel. The psychological manipulation of the public, foisted by the deceptive mainstream media, is the frosting on their cake. Read the left-hand margin of scrolling updates at Israel’s military chiefs: The operation is over – not finished. An interim balance. Think about the life lessons in How will we know who won the war? and With Iranian Help, Hamas Builds ‘Made in Gaza’ Rockets.

A writer and editor for e-counseling.com, BookLocker author Yocheved Golani has been providing updates to all the worried folks at BookLocker. We are honored that she was able to share her recent experiences with our readers. Yocheved, the author of It’s MY Crisis! And I’ll Cry If I Need To: EMPOWER Yourself to Cope with a Medical Challenge, faced a nightmare in 2005. A Petroclival Tentorial Meningioma was crushing all her nerves where they entered her head from her spine. Surgery saved her. Yocheved’s journalistic byline has appeared in several publications.

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2 Responses to "Air Raid Sirens and Bombs: What It’s Like to Be a Freelance Writer in Israel Right Now – by Yocheved Golani"

  1. Elaine Abramson  May 31, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    I went to school in Jerusalem 60 years ago. It does not sound like things have changed much since then. We were always on alert for Arab raiding parties. Girls were told never to go anywhere alone. We always walked everywhere with a partner.

    That was the year that they were filming Exodus in Jerusalem. The cast stayed at the King David Hotel. After classes the girls walked to the hotel to see our heart throbs (Paul Newman and Sal Mineo) a go through the lobby after a day of filming,

    Everywhere we went, people carried Leon Uris’s book Exodus. Everyone talked about the book. If anyone knew you were an American, the first question they asked was, “Did you read the book?” and “Isn’t it wonderful.”

    Jerusalem was divided into 4 sections. We were instructed to stay in the American, British, or French section. Signs were printed in English, French, and Hebrew. And like today, Israeli soldiers patrolled those areas keeping us safe.

    • Brian Whiddon - Managing Editor  June 1, 2021 at 9:58 am

      It is sad that after all these years of being a sovereign nation, Israel must still battle for its very existence, and that other nations / peoples are not willing to “live and let live.” But, such as it was in Biblical times, so it is today. God has a purpose in it all.