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July 2, 2008 Weblog:

Explosive Lamenting

Walking among the smiling, excited crowds, it’s almost possible to forget that we’re at war. It's eerie and bewildering to be so far from it. During the first Gulf War we were sitting in bunkers in gas masks, and even though Haifa was only lightly bombed, it wasn't this removed. Then there's of course suicide bombings, but I refuse to think about that considering the constant carpet bombing Palestinians endure. But in this country, I find so easy to forget that I'm at war. That we're at war in my name. It's easy to forget, that is, until that first firework goes off. Nightfall amazement among half-open mouths, staring into an illuminated sky.

I force myself to keep my eyes open so my brain overrides my mind and reminds me that it is, indeed, just fireworks. Each one, large one, awe-inducing one, sends shivers through me. Each one, large one, forcing me into the foetal position, covering my head with my arms, trying as hard as I can to not twitch every time, fear someone sees. Fear someone sees I’m not enjoying this. Fear someone sees that some of us remember we are at war.

I look at the exploding sky and note the difference. The ground doesn’t shake. There are no fires. The screaming all around is that of joy and not of agony. No ambulances and black smoke in the distance. No anxious speeding of your heart as you hear that screech through the sky with one propelling flame- whisking, zipping up, louder, louder, louder- EXPLOSION.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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