|Written by Porter Versfelt, III|
Never having lived in the midst of actual combat or been on the receiving end of rocket and missile attacks (though I have been shot at during my work as a journalist), I have only to gauge the devastation as having lived in a war zone during a state of unofficially declared war. That war zone was in southwestern Iran when my parents, siblings and I lived in the towns of Masjid-i-Suleiman (M.I.S.) and later Ahwaz over five years.
My father worked for the National Iranian Oil Company (N.I.O.C.) as a petroleum geologist and was one of thousands of Americans, Canadians and Europeans lending their oil hunting and petroleum drilling expertise to the Shah and the Iranian people. I was a teenager then and we kids joked about being only six minutes from the border with Iraq by Mig (Russian) fighter jet, where the dictator Sadaam Hussein had waged war on Iran, off and on, for years. Things really got bad after we left in 1977. In 1980, during what is now called the “Iran-Iraq War”, possibly millions died overall. No one really knows how many were lost during that eight-year conflict.
Between the threat of annihilation from the sky and frequent earthquakes, we lived a kind of nervous status quo. So I can sympathize with the residents of Israel - Jews, Christians, Muslims, Arabs and many other demographic groups live in this historic metropolitan with rockets and missiles coming in singly and often by the dozen at one time, day and night.
When the sirens go off there, depending upon where you live in Israel, you have between 15 and 60 seconds to stop what you are doing, get out of your car, public bus, train, house, office or school and get into a bomb-proof shelter. The many videos shared on social media and You Tube showing the rush and panic are chilling. The residents of London and southeastern Great Britain in the late 1930’s had long hours, sometimes days, between German Nazi “buzz bomb” attacks to recuperate.
In Israel, the attacks come from the sky every few minutes around the clock. Every day. To be continued....
By Porter Versfelt III - Member, Board of Directors, Higher Ground Films