We didn’t go to Caesarea yesterday. We didn’t really go anywhere. Some of the students had a tour of the Akko Baha’i Temple and Gardens, but mostly we were just here. They didn’t want us to leave the city. So we didn’t. Some caught up on homework, some slept, some read, some strolled around the old city.
What is it like in Israel right now? I can’t speak for anywhere but here, I only know first hand about Akko. Yesterday I walked to a falafel stand owned by Arabs who were probably fasting for Ramadan. I ordered a falafel and had my Hebrew corrected by a young man with a smile. We ate on the patio, outside. Arab citizens of Akko are observing Ramadan and breaking their fasts at sundown at Iftar. Yesterday was Shabbat, the sabbath and families were strolling around town. Their biggest concern was finding water because it was very warm.
Akkoans go to the market, they go to the beach, they go to work. Not much is different here, but of course it is.
We had an air raid drill. It reminded me of the drills we had in school in the 50s, “duck and cover” in the halls. But this drill sent us to reinforced rooms specially set up as air raid shelters.
We also have an area at the tel where we will go if the sirens start. But we haven’t heard sirens. We know that rockets have been coming from Gaza and targeting cities in the south and as far north as Haifa. Also, a few rockets were lobbed over the Lebanese border.
But this isa city of Arab and Jew, Christian and Baha’i. People go on with their lives, interacting as always. They worry about the roads and the parks and the youth centers. They are concerned for public safety and the school system. These are the everyday worries of the people of Akko.
The rest, they don’t ignore it. They are very much aware of it. But it is just there and there really isn’t much that they can do about it.