War   Leave a comment

I had no intention of writing about the war in Gaza in my blog. However, I've learned that most of the (over a hundered) foreign orienteers who registered for the Israeli championship in 5 weeks time have cancelled their visit, because of the war, and I decided to give our version of the situation, mostly from an orienteering point of view.
Israel has been at war constantly since 1948. However, most of the country is at peace, nearly all of the time, subject to occasional terrorist attacks (similar to those which have occurred in Europe as well).
Since the year 2000, the Israeli towns near Gaza have been subjected to rocket fire at will – especially since we withdrew from the Gaza strip in 2005. This has had no effect at all on orienteering, mainly because there are very few maps or events in that area. 17 days ago, after a renewed barrage of rockets on our towns and repeated warnings, Israel decided to retaliate with overwhelming force, like any other sovereign country would probably do in a similar situation – with the aim of deterring the Palestinians from continuing these attacks.
Currently, there is still fighting going on in Gaza, because there are still rockets being fired at Israel (though less than before). This has had absolutely no effect on the rest of the country, or on the orienteering scene – outside the area surrounding Gaza life goes on normally, and is even safer than usual because the police are on high alert.
I understand that some orienteers are afraid for their safety, but that fear is unfounded and we can assure you that you will be as safe here as at any other time. Others may have cancelled in protest at our attack, and I'm not going to start a political discussion here, so that's their loss. The Israeli Championships and the MTBO WOC in August are not affected by the current situation and are going ahead as planned, together with all our other orienteering events, and in any case we hope this war will be over soon and the south of Israel will be even safer.

Posted 13/01/2009 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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