Friday, August 18, 2006

The Stages

Originally posted Novemeber 14, 2000

It's gone from occassional rock throwing to daily road closures.

It's gone from throwing rocks at passing cars to sniping at them with automatic weapons.

It's gone from sniping at cars with automatic weapons to standing at the side of the road and firing on passing cars and busses.

It's gone from standing at the side of the road and firing at passing cars and busses to drving alongside a car or bus and opening fire.

It's gone from having your car hit by rocks to having your car hit by bullets.

My neighbor is in the hospital, a victim of Arab terror with 5 bullets removed from his belly.

And this morning I had to tell my children that they wouldn't have gym today because yesterday, along with an 18 and a 19 year old soldier, their gym teacher, a 42 year old mother of 5, were shot and killed in a drive-by.

But somehow, it's all still Israel's fault.

It's weird. They say that most of the victims (and I use this term loosely) have been Palestinians. Mostly between the ages of 16-21 and generally termed "young Palestinan". Of course they'd be the majority. They're rioting. When you see a tank roll up your street and a voice demanding you disperse and go home, there's no heroism in throwing a rock at it.

But the Israeli victims...the majority who are between the ages of 18-25...they aren't classified as "young Israelis". Why not? Because most of them are soldiers. It seems one loses one's humanity in the media when one is a dead soldier.

Four Alarm Cease-fire

Originally posted November 2, 2000

I left work at 2:45 p.m. I had errands to run and wanted to start heading home as early as possible.

I reached the shopping center and people are clustered around radios, all turned to the news station. I go outside to go to the bank and people are sitting in parked cars, doors open, listening to the radio.

One of two things goes through my head. Either Israel has offically declared war, or something in the fighting has escalated. The notion of peace never even occurs to me.

I hear the news. Two explosions at the shuk in Jerusalem. Oh God, terrorist bombs. Not again.

The first emotion is a kind of selfish relief that I wasn't there. And then an icy wave of worry and fear comes over me and settles in the pit of my stomach. I wasn't there true, but was someone I know there???

Since I wasn't home, I couldn't make any phonecalls, I finish what I need to do and manage to hitchhike home. The road is littered with rocks and stones. They had closed the road for two hours earlier because of shooting and stone-throwing. They reopened it half an hour before the bombs went off.

I get home and there's a message from my father DEMANDING I call my mother where she works. They had heard the news of course.

I then called my aunt. Whatever problems notwithstanding, she IS family. there are certain times when personal headbutting has to be put aside and we have to come together because like it or not, we're all we have here.

We talk, it's nice. We catch up on family news. As we hang up, she says keep in touch. I'd like that. I really would.

But I'm still angry.At all the crap that's going on. It's my feeling that Israel will declare war, or at least really start kicking ass after the elections in the States next week.

None of my family members were at the shuk. I doubt any friends were there either. It's not a pleasant feeling having to make a mental accounting of people you know when you hear news like this.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Because it didn't start with Reuters, AP and Hizballah 4 weeks ago...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Last One! I Promise... for today...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Where's Waldo?

Another one

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Where's the death and destruction? Damn, my agent sent me to the wrong shoot!

Gee Ma, I wanna work for Reuters!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Apparently GHG has had a long career of photo ops during wars...

And the reason he wasn't included in the memorial was because of course... a Zionist plot.

Yeah I know, fooling around on Photoshop when I SHOULD be cooking for Shabbat...

Although this whole thing does lead to an interesting question...

How long will it be before photographs from a digital camera will be inadmissable in court, and PIs and CSIs will have to revert to old fashioned film cameras and submit the negatives as proof that the images weren't altered?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tripping themselves up

With the whole Reuters photo scandal, and now another, similar scandal from the New York Times, many people, from paid journalists and politicians to the average Joe Blogger are writing opinions and tracking the photos.

Thanks to so many in the public, editors are having to account for themselves and retract the photos.

I wonder though, have there been any public apologies? The same columnspace that was used to paint Israel as a cold-blooded, indiscriminate killer now used to apologize to Israel and the IDF?

Jules Crittenden
has an interesting piece about this whole photo scandal. He places the blame basically on the photographers, and calls the various editors 'Rubes'... unsuspecting suckers.

The problem is, I don't believe that's entirely the issue. It's an editor's job to confirm authenticity, but it seems that in the media haste to vilify Israel, they just don't care all that much. Israel, for whatever reason is, and always has been, the bad guy of the Middle East.

Why are these editors failing time and again to verify the photos when rank amateurs are spotting the fakes left and right? And why aren't they being held accountable?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Two Mornings

Originally posted October 25, 2000

First Morning

Yesterday while being driven in to work, I saw a rainbow.

We had just gotten into the outskirts of Jerusalem and we saw a bit of it. Clouds passed on front of it, making it look like something out of a movie or painting. It didn't look real.

The rainbow followed us as we drove further into the city and then..the clouds moved just so, we arrived at *the* spot and I saw the rainbow...end to end. From one part of Jerusalem to the other. Breathtaking.

God sent the first rainbow to Noah after the flood as a sign of good faith that He would never totally destroy the Earth again. In Judaism, seeing a rainbow is generally coinsidered to be a sign of ill-omen. That God REALLY REALLY wants to destroy the Earth again, but because of His covenant with Noah, He won't. As if we needed another reminder, what with all that's going on here lately.

Second Morning

Winter has come with a vengeance. No easing from Summer heat to cold, wet and windy with a few weeks of what passes here for Autumn.

And so the rain falls...right into my house it seems. The roofs here are red tiles and mine is missing one. And so, it's been raining in my house. And leaking into my bathrooms (my toilet and tub are in seperate rooms). I called the settlement office today. We'll see...

Since getting most of the jungle that was my yard cleared away last month, the ensuing water from the heavens have turned my jungle...into a swamp.

And I no longer have a dog. I have a LARGE mudhen. So she's going to have to stay indoors while I'm gone instead of having the run of the yard on her chain. Which means walking her...

It's 5 a.m., I'm dressed and we're out walking. She's sniffing at everything, but of course the rain has washed away all scents. I'm beggin' her to take a pee. We make a circle of the block and as she's sniffing the hell out of some weeds, my attention is caught by a flash of lightning. No thunder though.

I look up and it feels like I'm straddling three worlds at once.

To the northwest, it's black, the distant lights of Tel Aviv sparkle orange. The sky is different gradations of black and every so often, lightning lights up the distance.

I turn slightly and face south. Less lights. The sky, a clear black, the stars, god, the stars like scattered diamonds on black velvet. The moon...Luna's cheshire cat-like grin of a crescent. The sky is so crisp, you can see the entire white outline of the moon and Luna's 'face' a darker black against the darkness of Earth's shadow.

And finally, face east. The sky there not so black, getting lighter by the minute. Soon it will be tinged pink and the greys, blues, oranges and reds announce that at least for a brief time,the sun WILL shine today.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Werewolf feelings

Originally posted October 17, 2000

I'm not really a werewolf, but I play one online. And boy, there are times in life I'd SO like to be able to...

I caught a schoolbus back to the settlement today from Jerusalem. It was full of kids and their parents, apparently the settlement had planned some sort of trip and just as I got to the the hitchhiking station, the bus pulled up. It was packed, but I got on and went to the back of the bus and sat on the top step of the rear stairs. The door was covered with a carpet-covered steel plate. How reassuring.

The door was just in front of the very last seat and sitting there were two VERY annoying boys. I'd guess their ages to be 8 and 10. They kicked me, they threw things and when I told them to stop, they said they were aiming for the garbage pail just in front of me. I could see one had his shoelasce untied and I wanted to knot his shoe to the metal rail. But I wanted to do it secretly and he was moving around too much. I asked them to stop countless times. I gave them LOOKS and nothing worked. But hey, the ride was free.

Then one of them asked me if I was a student at the all-girls school on the settlement. I said no, I was Daughter1 and Daughter2's mother. Well...that changed everything. Once we got my bona fides straightened out, they gave me respect. Now they knew I was a Parent and not just some Older Sibling-type. The abuse stopped. Of course this was half an hour into the ride and we only had about 15 more minutes left.

But for that half hour...I so wanted to get into their face and growl just low enough for them to hear and shift my facial features enough so they would KNOW what I was but no one else would see. And for the rest of the trip, they'd sit like good little boys because they were too scared of me to move and they were too embarrassed because they'd wet their pants.

I am a Werewolf, boys and I know ways to make you HOWL.

And then...something happens...that makes being kicked at for 30 minutes seem so damn trivial.

We were 15 minutes away from home when there's this loud bang. The bus had been hit by a stone. We saw the Arabs running for cover, since they never know for sure when someone is armed on a schoolbus and will open fire on them. No one was hurt. And when I looked at the side of the bus, there were too many possible dents already there to figure out exactly which spot was hit.

The kids on the bus for the most part were...incredibly blasZ about it, one of my two tormentors even exclaimed "We've been hit? Yeah! Cool!" Some of the parents said that once we got back to the settlement they should get a group together and head to the road and throw stones at Arab cars.

Of course, last week some settlers did that, an Arab driver was hit, lost control of his car and ran into and killed one of the settlers (that was a Darwin Award winner, btw). At least one settler was arrested and the driver, last I heard was in critcal condition at a hospital because the car struck a barrier and flipped.

Anyway, after getting hit, the glee was taken out of wanting to terrorize a couple of little boys. Dammit.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

It must be nice in Olmertland...

Article from Arutz7 in English.

In a move that sparked anger and sharp criticism, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday announced his intentions to advance his realignment plan.

The plan in essence is another disengagement, the planned destruction of most of the remaining Jewish communities located throughout Judea and Samaria.

In an interview with the Associated Press, speaking in English, Prime Minister Olmert explained he plans to move ahead with his plan; a plan that he insists will create stability in the region by defining new borders. Such a move he explained will be testimony to the defeat of terrorism, and create the atmosphere required to permit Israel to disengage from the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Oh yeah... because Gaza has worked SO well thus far.

Olmert insisted that the war with Hizbullah has nothing to do with his plan, stating his planned ‘realignment’ must move forward as he promised it would prior to being elected.

The plan calls for dismantling most of the communities throughout Judea and Samaria, to be replaced by a number of settlement blocs.

Read: ghettos... of Jews.... in Israel.

Olmert admits “it will not be easy,” adding he was elected as prime minister to act, not to sit idle. He added the implementation of the plan is also essential “towards assisting the Palestinians to achieve their aspirations for a state” living side-by-side with Israel.

Among the critics of Olmert’s plan is MK Dr. Yossi Beilin, who heads the left-wing Meretz-Yahad opposition party. Beilin stated there can be no additional unilateral Israeli policies, only withdrawals resulting from negotiations and agreements. His remarks were echoed by Arab MK Mohammad Barakeh.

So let me get this right... because Olmert is doing this without a million meetings and treaties, the left AND the Arabs are pissed. And Olmert expects it to WORK????

Likud MK Gidon Sa’ar stated that the so-called realignment plan would bring the rockets to the entire country, and not the just the north and south as is the case today.

YA THINK? It amazes me how so many people in the country have no idea that the Green Line is only minutes away from so many of them. They live in the incorrect safe assumption that The West Bank is far removed from them when in fact, if it weren't for the settlements acting as a buffer zone, the Arabs would be screaming for Tel Aviv, Netanya and the other cities.

MK (Labor) Dr. Ephraim Sneh, a former deputy defense minister, stated that it is obvious from the prime minister’s remarks that he has learned nothing from the unilateral withdrawals from Gaza and southern Lebanon.

Well that's because it's so nice in Olmertland....

The prime minister currently enjoys widespread support for his ongoing effort to destroy Hizbullah. Some critics are accusing the prime minister of taking advantage of his popularity to advance his political agenda, explaining he has made an error since he is splitting the nation at this critical time.


MK Effie Eitam (Religious Zionist Renewal Party, Hit’chabrut), a retired IDF brigadier-general and former commander of forces in southern Lebanon, has been advising the prime minister and Defense Minister Amir Peretz frequently since the war broke out over three weeks ago. Eitam was quick to comment on Olmert’s AP interview at this time, stating he made a tactical error, splitting the nation at this critical time. Quoted by ynet, Eitam stated that the prime minister understood he made a mistake that harmed national unity.

More like... "well, the cat's out of the bag... how can we spin this? Oh yeah, get a RELIGIOUS guy as our spokesman on this!"

Eitam told the media that following the prime minister’s interview, he was contacted by many rabbis, deans of IDF preparatory yeshiva programs, all expressing concerns regarding the timing of the prime minister’s remarks as the nation is in a state of war.

Concern?? There should be outrage and demonstrations regarding this.

Realizing Eitam was the unofficial liaison to the Orthodox community that supports Olmert during the ongoing Hizbullah war, the Prime Minister’s Office was quick contact him, seeking to implement damage control. Aides to the prime minister quickly issued a clarification, stating the realignment was not intended to have been the main focus of the AP interview.

Asking Eitam to convey a message to the Torah-observant public, the prime minister announced that at present, he is only dealing with efforts to halt rocket attacks, nothing else.

coughbullshitcough He got caught with a good dose of verbal diarrhea.

The prime minister’s interview broke the current momentum, with rabbis and other right-wing community leaders calling to reevaluate the war in the north, explaining it is unconscionable that soldiers living in Judea and Samaria fight for the country and then be evicted from their homes by the same army.

Funny... little mention was made of soldiers having to evict their own families from Gush Katif....

Eitam was called upon by Olmert to act as a go-between, seeking to allay fears and repair the damage resulting from his interview.

Eitam told the media that following a conversation with the prime minister, it is clear to him that the realignment/expulsion would not be dealt with at present. Eitam admits that the plan will be problematic at some time in the future, after the war, but for now, the nation must remain united behind the government while efforts continue to eliminate the Hizbullah threat.

Ah, he's donned the rosey glasses and whored himself out for politics at the expense of Halacha (Jewish Law).

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

On the one hand.. and on the other...

I can't read the news without tripping over articles about people flying in from all over the world to volunteer somewhere up north. There is a daily blurb in the Jerusalem Post of contact info from people willing to put up evacuees.

Money. Supplies. Support.

All for the poor people in the north of Israel who suddenly find themselves on the front line.

Well, not so suddenly... HOW long did the first war with Lebanon last? The relative quiet on the border is only six year old, so people who moved there, who have been living there for years, should have had a clue that perhaps they would, at one time or another be shelled.

Where was all the support for the Gush Katif refugees? Where is the money for the familes, who a year later are still out of work and are still paying mortgages on houses that don't exist any more??

What's changed in the past year that people are so willing to rush to the north, open their houses, their checkbooks to strangers... who will, after all is said and done, will have a home to return to?

My own Yishuv is just as guilty. We have a boarding school here and it remained empty after the Gush Katif expulsion. Yet three days after the north started getting shelled, 50 people from the north moved in and there have been children's activities during the day and all sorts of other things going on.

So... for those who want to know what they can do to support Israel?

The evacuees from the north are well taken care of.

The refugees from Gush Katif however, still need your help.