Monday, June 30, 2014

I have never felt so sad, so helpless or so angry

Rule number one in public communications: do not speak when you are in a heightened emotional state. Rule number two: plan your words and speak carefully. Rule number three: do not attack your opponents; try to see the world from their perspective.

Rule number four: SCREW THE RULES

Rules are for civilized people dealing with other civilized people. What good are the rules when you are dealing with the lowest scum of the Earth?

You lefties have a problem with that? Bring it on. I am so, so ready for you.

The worst possible thing has just happened. The IDF has found the bodies of the three, young, innocent, sweet kidnapped, Israeli yeshiva boys on the outskirts of Hevron.

I heard the rumour first from my daughter and I ran to my computer. There was no news and I was hoping she was wrong. She's 14; what could she know? She, in the meantime, called my son in Eli and apparently he confirmed our worst nightmare.

This is all before one word hit the internet.

I just checked again – NOW that the boys are dead, the media has a story. NOW Newsweek, HuffPost, USA Today, and all the other media cretins will be coming out of the woodwork with their angle on this tragedy. NOW this is interesting.

The bottom line is that Jews are only interesting to the world when they are dead. No one likes a living Jew – at least not enough to take any interest in what is happening to some young, innocent boys who's biggest crime was ..... um, nothing. Three teenage boys trying to get home for Shabbat are kidnapped by an enemy that the world insists we let live in the only real safe place we Jews have. Nothing interesting there.

But now, take the Arabs – they are interesting all the time. The Arabs say something and the world takes notice. Those poor, poor Palestinians. Those poor, unfortunate Syrians. The Sunnis said this about the Alawites. The Shiites did such and such to the Sunnis. Did you ever stop to consider that all these Arabs are the authors of their own misery? Of course not, because that's not the story the world wants to hear. It only becomes a story  when it involves Israel because the world is comfortable believing that Israelis are the bad guys keeping the Arabs down. If it wasn't for Israel, according to the world, everything in the Middle East would be great. All the Arabs would live in peace and harmony. 

The fact is that the only ones keeping the Arabs down are the Arabs. They let madman, lunatics and scumbags run their lives and they get what they deserve. Unfortunately, we Israelis also get caught in the crossfire and we don't deserve to be part of their sub-human game.

So world, I really hope you are happy tonight. Years and years of enabling the Arabs, by joining their boycotts of Israel, by financing their made-up causes, by buying into their stories of victimization, and by justifying their barbaric behaviour, are finally paying a sweet, little dividend. May you all go to bed with the blood of these boys on your hands tonight. It belongs there. And in my heart of hearts, I hope the stain never leaves you.

It will never leave Israel and it will surely never leave the three families who have suffered this incomprehensible personal loss. Baruch Dayan Ha'Emet. May these families never know more sorrow.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bring Back Our Boys

Bring Back Our Boys

You must watch this and if it doesn't effect you then you can click on something else and get on with your day. But, if does have some effect then share it with everyone you know.

God Willing, if we all work together, we will have our prayers answered and Gil-ad, Eyal and Naftali will be home safely very, very soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

And life goes on ... sort of

Now I know what surreal means. I used to use the example of purple spaghetti when my kids asked me what it meant after an art gallery visit. That might have satisfied their little minds years ago but now I understand it on a deeper level and I think they should too.

Surreal is when life goes on -- we go to work, we walk our dogs, we eat, we go to synagogue, we meet friends for coffee, we exercise -- seemingly as always, but underneath the surface appearances, something has profoundly changed. Something is not as it should be.

This past week, I participated in the bar mitzvah celebrations of one of my 7th grade English students. At this stage, more often than not, when I am at a bar mitzvah, I am there because the parents are my friends and not because I know and like the bar mitzvah boy. This past weekend I was there because I am invested in this kid's life and I was proud of him. I really enjoyed throwing whatever candies I hadn't already eaten while I was waiting for the candy-throwing moment, at him, and I was really caught up in the festive atmosphere that typically follows when every little kid in the synagogue runs after those candies with wild abandon. I have seen my dog maintain more self-control when confronted with treats!!!!

Then, just like that, my head sent out a quick reminder that there are three innocent boys who could not have participated in a celebration like this even if they wanted to. 

Good-bye joy. I forced myself to sit a little longer but then I decided to leave. (full disclosure: I frequently leave early so I didn't make a huge departure from my routine.)

As I left I was trying to figure out if I was the only person thinking this way. The sun was out, the weather was beautiful, it was Shabbat and people were chatting on street corners. By the time I arrived at my friend's house a few minutes later, I had my answer: the fate of these boys was on all my religious friends' minds. No matter what we all talked about for the next hour, all conversation doubled back to the boys and every piece of news and speculation we have collectively read in the past nine days. "I heard ..."; "I read ..."; "So and so told me .....".

This morning, as I walked my dog, I started to wonder if perhaps it was only religious people who were worried about the boys. After all the boys are religious and in Israel, many issues divide along religious and secular lines. And I am sure that hitchhiking in the Territories is one of them. So, since I like to view this as a statistically valid blog, I ran an  ad hoc interview with the secular woman who irons my family's shirts. She was born and raised here. I am not sure that a survey of one is a valid sample size, but I do have a life to live so that's my sample size!

She explained to me in Hebrew (because she does not speak any English) that everyone is concerned and everyone runs to hear the news at the top of the hour to see if there has been any progress made finding the psychopaths who took the three innocent boys. But, she said, this is the cycle of life in Israel, and we cannot stop living just because there has been a tragedy. Then she said, if we did (stop living for tragedies) there would be years where nothing productive was done.

Of course, if I am being totally realistic, I have religious friends who are very left-wing and I am sure that right now they are seething inside -- dying to scream out: "It's their (the boys) own fault for being out there and they are getting what they deserve." I am sure that they are all letting out their true feelings when they meet up with other anti-Israel Israelis living in Israel (don't ever say we don't have all types in this democracy) for reasons that I don't really understand. However, they are demonstrating impressive survival skills -- keeping their thoughts to themselves for the time being.

So life goes on. Tonight I am going to a wedding. I am sure it will be fun and I love seeing young happy couples beginning their lives together. But at some point, I know I am going to step back and think that this is a real-time example of my surrealistic world.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

From laughter to anxiety in a split second

I had planned to write about my humourous trip home from New York on El Al with a middle-aged American dancer, a sheltered Haredi woman straight out of Muncie and moi, but thanks to the obstinate indifference to (Jewish) human life displayed by Hamas and Co., I am now forced to reconsider my original plan.

How the hell am I supposed to talk about the peculiarities of our ad hoc travelling trio under the circumstances? I had such a funny story planned. So now, I am more pissed at Hamas than I was when I heard that they had actually followed through on their long-standing promise to kidnap more Israelis.

Actually, I don't think that pissed off was what I felt at the moment I heard about the three teenage boys -- civilians -- captured while innocently hitch hiking home for Shabbat. I think it could be more accurately described as traumatized and worried sick about those boys and their families.

This incident has hit way too close to home. I also have a 16-year-old son and an 18-year-old son who .... hitchhikes from the Territories. He swears that he only gets rides from within the yeshuv (settlement) where he studies and then, once inside the Green Line, only from the official hitchhiking spot. Right now, I really don't see the difference. I want him to stop hitchhiking and he says it will take him hours to get home if he does not. Yes, I told him, it might take hours, but at least he would get here. I honestly thought he would agree with me but instead he said: "first of all, Ema (mom) things happen on buses too and second, how can we let "them" win? If we stop living our lives, then they automatically do."

The silence on my end was deafening.

In theory I agree with his points. The problem, particularly in the case of the second point, is that I agree ... IN THEORY.  IN PRACTICE, I am not feeling so bold and cavalier right now. I am not talking in abstract concepts. I am talking about my son. You know, one of the people in any of our lives for whom a parent would throw themself in front of a bus without an ounce of hesitation?

I do, however, have a question for Abbas and Mashal -- or whoever is in charge in that madhouse. If you want your own country and you want the world to take you seriously as a potential country, then why do you continue to let the inmates run the prison? Or should I say the clowns run the circus? Or the wild animals run the zoo? Why don't you focus on building up your people and your infrastructure instead of constantly looking over the border at us?

Sadly, the answer doesn't really matter because we all know that no matter what the so-called Palestinians (SCP) do, the world is going to line up behind them and suppport their demands. They are going to argue that Israel is responsible for the tragedy it is experiencing yet again.

Yes, a few countries will register a diplomatic slap on the hand, but that's about it.

By the way, where's the Pope who was busy praying at the security wall just a few weeks ago? Was he only praying for the SCP children?

For fuck's sake, they are only boys.

The fact is that the SCP never have to grow up and learn how to behave like civilized people because absolutey no one on Earth (but Israel) demands that of them. The more barbaric they behave, the more likely they are to have their demands met. The western world seems to think it is better to humour them than to challenge them to act like human beings.

It makes me shake my head in utter bewilderment at how entrenched anti-Israel sentiment/anti-Semetism are in the world. I honestly don't get it.

So maybe you do have to keep hitch hiking to defend your sovereignty.

Too bad, my plane story was really good.