by Nadene Goldfoot
Five minutes or less later they brought up Israel again with the same subject of presidential interjections saying that Isael slaughtered the Gazans, and was told to stop by the American president. All this was in reference to Obama’s lack of wanting to interfere with Iran’s political situation right now.
I about fell out of my chair, and me home from the hospital after only six days after having open heart surgery. I could not believe what CNN was telling the world; twice relating how we slaughtered people!
I was in Israel starting in 1980, living in Safed from 1981 to the end of 1985, and remember the Lebanon War very well. Safed is in the Northern Galilee and was very close to the Lebanon border. In fact, my favorite department store was in Kiriat Shimona, which was north of us and they drove to many times. I had been to the "Good Neighbor Fence."
That’s not what happened at all, of course. We do not go around slaughtering people. What happened was that Lebanon was made up of a minority of Christians and a majority of Muslims. The Christians were led by a Major Hadad who patrolled the border of Israel and Lebanon, and he was considered our very good friend. In fact, Major Hadad would come to our hospital for R and R, and we had an agreement with him to take his family into Israel if G-d forbid anything happened to him.
Evidently the Palestinian Muslims had gone in and slaughtered the Christians at some point. Sharon was Defense Minister who apparently did not know that the Christian Falange had gone into Sabra and Shatilla camps to exact revenge on the detestable Palestinian Arab PLO slaughterers of the Lebanese Christians. Sharon was blamed for the attack and was fired by Menachem Begin. It was an eye for an eye attack of Lebanese against Lebanese.
Eventually Sharon was exonerated. It was the Christian militia who did the killings and not the Israelis. That didn’t seem to enter into CNN’s reporter’s verbage, though. To me it shows that CNN never did report the facts correctly in the first place or their reporters wouldn’t have said such things in the first place.
I was there living through the whole experience. When it started I was on a bus going down the hill from Safed headed for Haifa to go to the hospital, and was alone. I had fallen in Haifa while at the school where I lived (Ulpan) and had crushed my right elbow which also had broken the lower bone and was scheduled for a talk with the doctors about when they could take the six screws out of my arm that was holding me together. What I saw was Israeli tanks coming up the hill as we went down. Upon arriving at the hospital, I was told to go back home as fast as possible, that a war was starting and the doctors would be too busy to deal with me. They expected lots of wounded soldiers coming to their hospital. Here I was, a West Coast American, in the midst of my first Israeli war.
After arriving back in Safed, I checked out the bomb shelter in our apartment building. Almost everyone lived in apartments. Homes such as I left in Portland were unheard of. The bomb shelter couldn't take in dogs, and we had brought our German shepherd with us. She was my baby and I was not about to leave her in the apartment alone, so knew I wouldn't be in any bomb shelter. Luckily, we lived on the bottom floor anyway. I thought we might be safe.
My job became baking cakes for the soldiers to eat. All these eighteen year olds had to get to their posts, and did a lot of walking to them. Coffee and cake booths were set up so they could eat something. All these teenagers must have been experiencing sugar-highs. It was good, though. It gave me something to do so that I couldn't shake with fear. I was helping.
Being a teacher, I somehow knew instinctively that the school would need me. I reported to school the next school day (my day off) and found all the men teachers in the army, and that I truly was needed. I taught in the city's junior high, which was across the street from my building. The children were hysterical when they heard a helicopter landing at the hospital up the block from our building. All their family; uncles, brothers, fathers, and many women were in the army, and of course they feared for their lives. They'd huddle in corners while I taught English. One time I remember just stopping my lecture and looking at them. They looked back and said, "Keep talking, Nechama." I did. They needed to hear something familiar. So that's what I did during the Lebanon War. It's something that can't be forgotten.
What my 9th graders did was something amazing. They were needed in the hospital to speak English to the Lebanese or Arabic. They were translators. They told me that they saw things they shouldn't have at their age. They did see the need for English, though, as it was a language they used to speak to the Lebanese. After all, we took in anyone who was injured. Our students studied languages a lot. What was amazing to me was seeing the Arab kids helping the Jewish kids with Arabic studies and vice versa with their Hebrew studies. They all helped each other with English.
I saw units of men with white beards patrolling our streets. They were men left behind to protect us. Women stepped in and took over their husband's jobs. Of course we also had many women teachers in our building, and the Vice Principal was a woman who took over for the principal who had to report into the army. You just didn't see hardly any men on the streets. We were a city of women and children.
As for the Gazan war, CNN never remarked that Israel had been under attack for eight years and it was its citizens who were under missle attack. They never reported that finally Israel said, "Enough", and told the world many times that they wouldn’t take the attacks anymore, no matter what Condoleeza kept saying, and that the Gazans would have to stop or suffer the consequences. The Gazans were warned and did not stop. Israel did everything they could to lessen the harm to the Palestinian citizens, even putting their own lives in harm’s way many times. Nothing was mentioned of this-only that Israel slaughtered them. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
I’m saddened to see such an international TV station play such a heavy role in discriminating against Israel, and that its reporters have done such a sloppy job. They seem to have no idea of the terrible consequences that can happen when so many people hear these horrid lies about Israel. After all, it takes very little for so many people to turn against Jews; even today. As for CNN-I now have more reason to watch Fox News, and have lost a lot of respect for CNN's reporting skills.