Tel Avivians Unruffled by Rocket Scenario

Mary Feiner, better known as "Aunt Mary from the Good Fence," sat yesterday in a bustling restaurant on Tel Aviv's Nahalat Binyamin street. During the 18 years Israel was in southern Lebanon, there was hardly an Israeli soldier or officer who had not benefited from her good deeds. But when the fighting began last week, and being tired of the Katyushas she had experienced during her childhood in Kiryat Shmona and the rockets that followed her to Metula, Mary decided to take a break at the apartment of her daughter, Ya'arit, a student in Tel Aviv.

People are now saying that Tel Aviv might be hit. "Then we'll have to go to the Dead Sea," they joke. But they don't really believe that the city will be attacked.

They were not the only ones to think this way. Despite the Home Front Command's instructions to be on alert, most Tel Avivians yesterday declared that their gut feeling was that an attack would not happen.

"I don't believe they have such a long range," said Rotem Zadik, owner of a minimarket on Melchett Street. He added that he has no plans to leave the city, but if he is wrong about the missiles, he will suggest that his wife take their baby to Eilat.

On the other hand, Anat Inbar, an instructor at the Studio C fitness center, and mother of a 20-month-old toddler, said: "If they come here, we will leave. I don't consider it brave to have a rocket land on your head if you can avoid it." Inbar said her family would go to Jerusalem, which many people avoided for years because of the terror attacks there.

On trendy Sheinkin Street, Baruch and Dalia Cohen and their 10-year-old grandson Sahar, were leisurely strolling along yesterday. Their daughter, Sahar's mother, was hurt in a suicide bombing three years ago and they feel there is no way one can escape fate.

"Whatever happens," said Baruch, "we won't move from here."