I Must Be Crazy - I Visited Metula

If I had to hear in order to write, this would not have been written. Right now Katyushas are landing around us, and the booms of launches and landings are deafening me. We are scouring the area from up here for rocket landings, and the entire Hula Valley is steaming.

Fortunately, we managed to return in one piece from neighboring Metula, where we went after the radio reported that it was being evacuated. Eitan Davidi, our residents' committee chairman, risked his life and drove me to Metula and back.

"You're crazy," he told me, and I hastily agreed, although I could not see anything new about his diagnosis.

How did the report that Metula was ordered to evacuate get started? It's one of those mysteries of magical Metula, which still has the good old air of a small provincial community. Someone said something that someone else didn't hear so well, and nobody knows how it started anymore.

Some Home Front Command officers visited yesterday. Since Metula is exposed to high trajectile fire and is right on the border, obviously anyone in fear of his life would keep away. However, this was not obvious to Metula's residents.

The rumor of evacuation infuriated Metula veterans like Ayana Belasky, owner of the Arazim Hotel. Nobody tells them what to do and they stayed put.

CNN called me. They wanted to come to Margaliot to interview me. I told them I was on my way to Metula. "Great," they said, "so are we." Thus I found myself facing Christiane Amanpour, CNN's chief international correspondent. CNN knows how to honor has-beens, and I'll tell you what I told her: Israel's problem this time lies not in being right, but in being wise. We don't have the knack of stopping at the right moment; we move beyond it and spoil everything.

Israelis should judge what is good for us and focus on that, not on our heart's desires.

On my return to Margaliot, Eli Moyal, the mayor of Sderot, was waiting for me. "It's ironic," he said, showing me an ad of the Canada Center in Metula, inviting the children of Sderot for a week's recreation and fun. The fun week was supposed to have started on Sunday. Now Moyal is thinking of inviting Metula's children to his town. I suggested he spend the night with us, for safety's sake. He could always find out how many Qassam rockets land in Sderot from here.

Earlier I couldn't hear well because of the noise. Now, at twilight, I cannot see well because of the smoke climbing up the mountain and enveloping our houses.