A couple of days ago I got a phone call from my dad at 7:30AM. He asked “Are you guys OK?” and immediately scenarios of terrorist acts or missile launches started running through my head. It scared me – this unnatural but immediate reaction to an innocent question.
The reality of living in Israel during the last 20 years has conditioned all of us to think in terms of surviving yesterday’s bombing or tomorrow’s war, and the periods of relative peace sometimes spanning months in a row aren’t enough to wipe away the instincts and fears.
Whenever I use public transportation, I “evaluate” all the passengers for terrorist threats and examine every new face boarding the car. Whenever I hear the siren of an ambulance I wonder if it’s someone having a heart attack or a bombing in the middle of a shopping center. I know from conversations with my friends and family that they are wired that way, too.
Ten years ago it was 3:45PM in Israel and I was watching a show on TV with a friend. A few minutes later, every news channel was broadcasting the unbelievable images of the burning twin towers, and my friend had difficulty believing that it wasn’t footage from a poorly-executed action flick.
We will never forget 9/11. But ten years later, today more than ever, with the very real threat of terror engrained deeply into our instincts, we should refuse to be terrorized.