Margaliot / The View From the Country's Porch

I'm so lucky that my editors have not assigned me to reporting from the field. The editorial board of Haaretz is nothing if not responsible, and it is not so stupid as to employ people of my advanced age as reporters. It reserves the cogitative assignments for that lot.

Even if I were to report from here, from Margaliot, on the three Katyusha rockets that fell on our humble moshav, it probably would not be published. Three Katyushas more, three Katyushas less, it barely matters - so what else is new, the night editor could rightly ask, especially when the ground is burning and shaking under our feet, in Kiryat Shmona.

It matters a great deal, however, to Yaakov Mashiach: one of the Katyushas fell on his house. A man's home is supposed to be his castle, and Mashiach's castle was breached. The assessor was a nice guy who is gentle with Katyusha-shocked creatures, but even the best assessor cannot do much for the man whose private castle has just collapsed.

The rockets continued to fall yesterday, all around; from my room - the porch of the nation - I watched the fires that broke out in every direction, devouring the beautiful forests like a dragon back from extinction. This war, too, will leave behind scorched earth up to the horizon of the clear day-after.

The experts explain to those of whose who are still here that the rockets that fall on Margaliot are actually mean for larger, more important locales. This is very insulting, as if to say that your troubles were meant for someone else, and it's only by chance that they missed and fell on your head.

Yesterday, or maybe it was the day before, I heard that one of the evening-news-officers announced that Hezbollah's rockets are less accurate than they had been. Is that the official explanation for the ones that fell in Margaliot? To the residents, the rockets falling on their heads seem very accurate indeed, but what do they know anyway.

All those officers, to whom we look for enlightenment; another officer recommended that we not count up the dead every day, and I naively thought it would be better if he himself counted them up twice a day, civilians and soldiers both, in order to keep track, Sir.

Maybe the government should be sending its own representatives to the television news studios and let the officers focus on their work. Doesn't the military have something more important to do in this war than provide commentary and predictions? It would appear that television is not the strong suit of army guys; we can only hope that they have some suits that are several times stronger.

Joschka Fischer, Germany's former foreign minister, phoned me yesterday to check on me and the moshav. He once visited me in Margaliot and even introduced himself to my neighbor. He read yesterday's column on the Internet and had some questions for me, which I answered.

I recently saw him mentioned as a potential mediator in this war; in my opinion, no other candidate is more skilled or fair than he. I told him I was already waiting impatiently at the entrance to the bomb shelter for his arrival.