Peace Now Under Fire

by Michael J. Totten

SHOMRAT, ISRAEL -- I drove up to Kibbutz Shomrat, just north of Akko (Acre) near the border with Lebanon, and met two middle-aged members of Peace Now who stayed in the line of Katyusha fire throughout the war. I expected to meet two marginalized members of the old left who were stuck on the sidelines as history roared past. Instead, they insisted the rest of Israeli society is coming around to their point of view.

Amichai Geva warmly welcomed me into his home and fed me pitas, hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelon. Yehuda Beinin joined us in the living room.

Both men and their families stayed on the kibbutz during Hezbollah’s attack.

“Lots of rockets hit near the kibbutz,” Amichai said. “One fell right here in the orchard next to the houses. But none of the houses were hit. Most people without children in the house stayed. It’s hard to keep children in a bomb shelter for almost five weeks.”

“How much time did you have after you heard the siren before the rockets actually hit?” I said.

“Thirty seconds sometimes,” Yehuda said. “Sometimes five seconds. Sometimes minus five seconds…the sirens didn’t always come on until after the rockets exploded. We’re right near the border here.”

I didn’t want to meet these guys to talk about rockets, though. I wanted to get an idea of how the peace movement is faring after Israel was attacked from a country they pushed to withdraw from.

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