In Tel Aviv fighting is distant

Lisa Zehner

People walk a busy street in Tel Aviv, Israel late Tuesday.

TEL AVIV, Israel – Despite Israel’s air attacks on the Hamas in Gaza, the fighting seems distant in Israel’s cultural center, Tel Aviv. However, the actual distance of the fighting isn’t far for a country that is geographically small. Yet the city’s cafes went on bustling with patrons late Tuesday and the youth filled the streets to enjoy the vibrant night life.

Part of it has to do with an underlying idea of a state that is constantly seeking normality in the midst of abnormality, Yossi Shain, a professor of political science at Tel Aviv University and a professor at Georgetown University, says. Shain, an expert in Israeli politics, didn’t downplay the current fighting. “People are in shelters [in Gaza]. People are in full alert. It’s a very difficult time right now,” Shain said. But the fact that a city like Tel Aviv remains mostly unaffected could be because of the Israeli people’s condition of living among such conflicts and yet being completely satisfied with their life in Israel. If one asked them about the state of Israel’s condition, they would tell you a whole different story, Shain says. That isn’t to say that the citizens of Tel Aviv are ignoring or uninformed of what is going on. They, in fact, have been following it quite closely. But some students from Tel Aviv University also seem to be somewhat unaffacted by the conlict, aside from some reserves being called into active duty, Roy Mendelovitzs, a film student, said. Mendelovitzs himself served in the Israeli army and has been doing some training, but said that for most people life goes on as usual. It seems to be that way for a country that is accustomed to this type of conflict along its borders. Other students have been very passionate about the current situation. A group of student journalists at Tel Aviv told me that they support their government and the air attacks in Gaza. Some even organized demonstrations to show their support. As far as a solution to the current conflict, Shain didn’t know the answer, but knew the problems. “Right now it’s chaotic without a power or central authority.” Many developments are sure to take place in the coming days, but a resolution seems as distant as the fighting from Tel Aviv. -Vadim Lavrusik is the Editor in Chief of the Daily and is in Israel as part of an educational seminar with five other college editors.