As of Today

life in Israel w/bombsby Efrat Bron-Harlev
July 31, 2014

As of today, we have 59 of our sons killed in this war.

As of today, we all hear sirens and look to the sky to see the magic of the Iron Dome protecting us.

As of today, ten minutes later, we simply continue with our everyday life as if it was almost normal.

As of today, in my pediatric hospital, when the alarm signals, parents with their ill children walk into the protected area quietly, as if it was the normal thing to do.

As of today, physicians and nurses in the hospital help carry out babies and children to protected areas during alarms and then simply continue regularly until the next alarm.

As of today, while fighting continues, we continue to receive and treat in our hospital some Palestinian children who come directly from Gaza and the West Bank.

As of today, I have a friend whose nephew was killed this last weekend, and I think that there is no one in this country, who does not know somebody, whose son or grandson or nephew or neighbor was killed. This is how Israel is.

As of today, it is unbearable to see how poor, how hopeless the Palestinian people in Gaza are.

As of today, Israelis are so united that about 80 percent of the population believes that this is an inevitable war, but also that it will be inevitable to speak with the Palestinian leaders in order to live here together.

As of today, I think that we have the only army in the world that opens a special field hospital for the population of the “other side.”

As of today, the love for this country is our energy for endless endurance.

As of today, IKEA in Rishon Le Zion is more crowded than ever.

As of today, our TV is on continuously, and we are completely addicted to the broadcast and to the online developments at all times.

As of today we are making sarcastic jokes and cartoons and we virally spread them around and laugh a lot.

As of today, watching the mothers talking about their killed sons, hearing the names, seeing their faces, listening to the stories… hurts as nothing else can.

As of today, I have two sons who are soldiers, and two younger sons who are trying to enjoy their summer as if it was just another regular summer. So as of today, all my four sons are fine and alive.

As of today, July 31st, 2014, this is what things are like here. At least from my point of view. You will read, but will not quite understand.

It is just today. Tomorrow… might be completely different, in any one of the above statements.

Efrat Bron-Harlev, a Wexner Israel Fellowship alumna (Class 18) is a Senior Pediatric Intensive Care Physician and presently serves as the Deputy Director of Schneider Children’s Medical Center. Efrat can be reached at

cross-posted on the Wexner Foundation Blog