The siren sounded throughout the country, and people immediately rushed to their shelters. It was an air-raid practice, and I was at my Hebrew conversation class. So the 8 of us trooped downstairs to the designated room and joined all the others from the educational centre. Fortunately it only lasted a few minutes, as the room was full of junk – the thought of spending any length of time there something not to dwell on.
The following morning, quite early, I heard the boom of thunder from the Golan Heights, but it wasn’t thunder: rather the army testing their big guns! Rumours of possible war were suddenly rife in my Hebrew group!
Then to cap it all, there was the incident of the flotilla of ships bringing aid to Gaza, which resulted in several deaths and the almost universal condemnation of Israel. At the Hotel there is a policy (official/ unofficial?) not to talk about politics, and the Arab staff members were reluctant to talk about the incident, apart from in private, whilst the reaction of the Jewish members of staff varied considerably. ‘Why does everyone in the world hate us?’, one of the younger members asked me.