No Place Like Home: Moshav Margaliot

On Sunday at twilight everything was calm and peaceful here at Moshav Margaliot and I decided to return to Tel Aviv. I had quite a few commitments in the city. And judging by the strange announcements of the Home Front Command, I felt as though I was leaving one front - the northern border - and moving to another - Tel Aviv.

Yesterday morning I was told that Margaliot was being evacuated. I was agitated: What had suddenly happened there that I didn't know about, didn't imagine could happen? Who is evacuating it and why? Immediately I began checking and found out that things were not what they seemed. The Neveh Hadassah youth village near Netanya invited residents of the far north to come and stay, and the Hermon Regional Council and moshav committee decided to start with Margaliot.

Early in the morning many families packed their bags and headed south in full buses. A handful remained - you can't abandon a farming community just like that. The chickens cannot look after themselves, the eggs cannot collect themselves and the ripened pears and peaches cannot wait for better days.

The term "evacuation" is incorrect, I think. The fruit-picking summer has only just begun. Also, the situation was not intolerable. The term "annual vacation" is more suitable. Perhaps an unplanned vacation, but still.

After all, Knesset members are also taking a too-long recess next week despite the war, so border communities may take theirs. If elected officials permit themselves to abandon their parliamentary post in these frenzied times, the residents of the north are certainly entitled to relax beside the swimming pool.

Israel has matured. Today we know that there is hardly any place that has not been struck in turn. Today we understand that there is no heroism in living dangerously just for the sake of it. In any case, even without taking unnecessary risks, too many lives are destroyed for nothing.

I don't know for sure if the name of the operation-war is still "Just Reward." Did they take this name from the folklore of the Histadrut, from where our defense minister hails? That's what it sounds like. I wanted to suggest "Minimum Wage" instead. I'm sure the defense minister would agree.

"More is less" is a good rule of thumb and applies to all the wars in this region. It is better to make do with a little, before even that turns sour.

Although partly empty, Margaliot has not closed down. Yesterday its gates remained wide open and waiting for visitors. Some even say it is now the safest place in Israel. Let it be.

I returned to Margaliot yesterday to write the ballad of those who stayed behind. Meanwhile, it appears that quite a few of those who had left are returning already. Didn't they like Neveh Hadassah? Are some of Margaliot's residents too spoiled? I know them, and they're not like that at all. They are hard-working, simple folk. I think that when they reached Netanya, they became homesick, and felt there was no place like home.