There is another war on and I write in the full knowledge that there is always a war on.
The most recent to impact on my emotional life was the Taliban raging into Kabul. I did not know anyone involved in the conflict, but I have friends who had family in Afghanistan, and some of them are already no longer.
And now there is the Putin invasion of Ukraine and I have taken it very personal. I have friends in Kyiv, in Poland, Georgia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and, of course, the rest of Europe.
It has reminded me of another war, one I returned to, to help keep a community alive and safe.
Here are some excerpts from a book I wrote. I do not want you to go out and buy a copy. I want you to save the money, you might have spent, then add to it, and send it to to an organisation in Ukraine, when this is all over, to help reconstruct the devastation. Mariupol, for example, is no longer a city. It is a pile after pile of dead.
“Nobody understood. For most people, the war was a paper
war, it was on television and radio. For Muir it was a place where
he had lived and loved, a place that inhabited his inner, noisy
self, and his imaginings were full of destroyed towns, villages,
kibbutzim, and fields full of bomb craters, and dead people.
“Jack Muir had no money, smoked dope, and clouds of despair
were smothering him under a thick veil of depression. He tried
not to read newspapers, refused to watch television but could
not avoid the radio news. He knew the war in Israel was not
going well and every night when he closed his eyes he could see
“You know this war, it makes some people change. After the
Six-Day War we thought we were invincible, that we could
defeat any enemy, but now we are not sure and it has made
much hatred. I can hear people on my kibbutz talking about
forcing all Arabs, even Arab Israelis, to leave Israel, and going
to the village close by and putting them in trucks or even killing
them. It makes me disgusted.