Tuesday, October 13, 2015


we all knew it would happen..
its the essential ingredient to this madness..
but last night it finally did..
in a fierce dispute while watching the news sanity left the house completely defeated and paranoia slept diagonally across the bed..

i used to require my kids to let me walk on the road side of the footpath to buffer their access - theyre only little..
now i do it out of concern that a terrorist might purposely run us over - this way (i delude myself) i can try to push them out of harms way if i have to..
i used to look both ways before crossing the road..
now im looking all around even while sitting..

dropping off the girls used to be a fun a happy event..
now its filtered by locked gates and security codes..
now its burdened by excessive precaution and concern..
now its a chore that torments me completely - is it really irresponsible to walk the 700m that we need to walk? does it really make sense to drive?

on my way home - i walked past a fence..
i imagined climbing up it quickly if any car chose to aim my way..
i used to love the noise and clamour of the markets in the morning..
now all i hear is the crickets - i didnt know we had any in yaffo.. since when do markets have crickets..

watching the hollow alleyways..
i try to convince myself that its just early..
noting the smile free faces drive past..
i tell myself those people are just tired..

why is everyone listening to the news so loudly..
back at home i can hear a radio outside even through my tripple glazed windows..
7 dead.. so and so wounded.. the stats begin to blur..
as paranoia makes itself comfortable..

its feels like this time sanity has left for good..

hebrew and arabic juxtaposed..

all we here these days is arabs yelling allahu akbar and jews screaming that a terrorist attack has occurred.. hebrew and arabic should really however sound more like this when the two languages are juxtaposed..

the cage..

WARNING: Graphic contentThis morning, a terrorist went on a violent rampage in Jerusalem with a vehicle and a butcher's knife. This is the danger we face. This is the result of Palestinian incitement.
Posted by Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday, 13 October 2015
i cant even begin to imagine the level of insanity that leads someone to run over innocent people.. and then for their leaders to have the audacity to say that theyre not against us - its just that they don't like the government.. like running over someone and stabbing someone else afterwards is going to change the government.. what a load of rubbish.. the palestinians will no doubt show this video as jewish terror of an innocent driver who simply lost control of his car and innocently repeatedly stabbed some guy who must have been the malicious jew who distracted him from focusing on the road.. or something like that..

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today i walked across the almost completely dormant flea markets to pick up our girls who go to kindy just over the other side of the markets with a metal bar that i conveniently tucked into the fold of the stroller's awning.. i appointed it to be our defender in case we were attacked by a terrorist.. feels odd even typing it..

while picking them up i saw all the cute kids that share the day with each of our daughters and their lovely parents.. most jewish but quite a few arabs too.. our daughters dont know what jew and arab means yet - they play with whoever is funniest that day.. yaffo is wonderfully mixed that way which is why we like living here.. a new immigrant who didn't speak Hebrew approached me as we were leaving to find out how to register her daughter at that daycare centre.. she looked around and lowered her voice and whispered: "do arabs send their kids here?"

i told her that some did but assured her that everyone was really nice.. i was offended by her question instinctively but i assumed she was simply ignorant of our tradition of co-existence.. i gave her all the info she needed and then i left..

as we walked home i held up the usual chit chat with the girls - you know - look at the cat look at the bird stop at the kerb look where youre going.. but my eyes were constantly looking around for suspicious people.. and my hand was ready to grab the bar in defence..

there was one suspicious person who walked past oddly i thought - as i mentally clung on to the stereotypical nuances that differentiate jews and arabs in Israel with my hand poised to clutch the bar and swing at what might be a knife if i had to.. but of course that scenario never matured into anything beyond my newfound torment..

and here is the most horrible part of terror - youre chances of dying constantly remain below that of a pedestrian being involved in an innocent car accident (note my choice of words) in a western country.. the potential of which any of us would discard on a daily basis without hesitation.. but something about the evil of terror makes it so absorbing that suddenly 100s of merchants in one of telaviv's finest retail villages are stranded without patrons and they will struggle to pay bills and wages this month and it doesn't matter that the risk is essentially low.. suddenly a whole community is brought to a stand still.. suddenly a whole country shuts down..

in Israel we have a long dry summer every year - and every first rain  people die on the roads like human sacrifices to the incoming winter.. death is a certainty on the roads on those days and it is unavoidable.. or so it seems.. and yet no one stops shopping or going out or driving..

but terror doesn't just cage you in physically - it cages you mentally with all rationalisation set aside..

it is really so sad.. people dying and people bleeding and people living in fear and next people will go hungry and there is always the risk that while in the cage of this insanity people get so caught up in the cycle that they dont even really know why its happening - theyre simply upholding their so called right to react to the injustice they perceive was inflicted upon them..

Thursday, July 23, 2015

the fortress dillusion..

many moons ago when i was a law student basking under the sun of far away lands - a dorm neighbour cast his opinion lightly about how Israelis suffer from a fortress mentality.. it was clearly a statement that carried negativity.. it was made of criticism and judgment.. even a bit of a mockery.. and it disturbed me..

and i insisted he was wrong.. describing us more like a kumbaya humming middle eastern Jamaica - island style.. what fortress..

but - now as an adult - with a family and two little girls - i couldn't agree more.. we are so heavily and tightly wrapped in the fabric of our walls and so strangled by our mental mote that nothing could be further from the truth..

we follow closely as town after syrian town is blown away.. we watch the jittery turks decide to help then not help and then yes help their terrorised neighbours.. we see egypt beg to persuade the west that 'normal' life is back on track.. digging a whole new canal because normal people dig canals.. who even cares about Iraq anymore when isis can slaughter people just about anywhere..

except for us..

here is Israel we are drunk from our false sense of security.. completely convinced that our unrivalled military edge keeps us leagues ahead of our psychotic neighbours almost organically.. the fact that our borders are shockingly porous and have flimsy fences that any private school would demand to reinforce doesn't shake us into seeing the truth..

saudi arabia has denounced the impending deal with iran (who is to terror what aviva is to tennis).. it tickles us that an arab country can openly push our agenda and even threaten to attack iran.. but not enough to move forward and lower our virtual walls and negotiate collective peace..

because we are a fortress nation.. and we like it that way..

all sarcasm aside.. i wish and hope that the violence that is sweeping our region end soon.. i wish and hope that no more people be murdered in the name of any ideology and that tonight the people of the middle east sleep safely..

good night..

Saturday, January 10, 2015

unveiling the veiled europe..

i don't mean to make it sound like this post is at all about the veil.. because it isn't.. i don't think this has anything to do with religious custom - at least not in its purest form ie without the influence of politics and radicalism.. because we know that when you mix faith with extremism you don't get religion but rather a cult effect and that's a different story..

in event you needn't be a genius to see that Europe has changed.. like someone who neglected their own democratic diet for decades without any check ups it has suddenly woken up to discover that its freedom of speech has been botched.. its values constrained and its future dimmed..

i remember a different Europe.. when was a kid it was a continent associated with optimism.. with progress.. it was the humble alternative to the American inyourface-ism..

i remember once making a list of dozens of European towns - quite random ones - that i hoped to one day visit - either by cycling across the continent or maybe even hiking..

however the terrorist attacks in paris this past week certainly blew away the veil.. people all over the world stunned like mullets have been left to wonder what remains of Europe.. Germany awash with intense protests harnessed by heavy right wingers to revive old and terrifying agenda as French protesters wave pens in squares to declare their undying loyalty to their liberties.. neither strategies seem to be a genuine strategic response to the new threats that al Qaida and gang have instigated..

france now understands the limits of its freedom of speech one cleric said.. what a chilling notion..

anyway - with this in mind - we went up north this weekend to try and catch some snow time with the kids.. nearing their midday feed we pulled into an arab owned shopping strip and the hostess who seated us was very nice..

i asked her (donning her hijab) whether there was still much snow in the area and she said we should try tzfat (~20 minutes further north).. she said she studied there and that the college was shut due to the storm.. i was quite sure it was a medical college so i asked her if she was studying to become a doctor and she corrected me - it was Hebrew literature she was studying..


yeah - she said she really liked it - turned out she really liked lea Goldberg..

i wished her good luck as we left.. how wonderful.. how natural.. i was almost pissed off that i was surprised..