Thursday, January 16, 2003

Good News Day
This morning I took a bus to South Tel Aviv. I sat by the window and stared out of the window blankly, as one does, my eyes automatically searching for interesting things in store windows. And then suddenly it dawned on me. There was nothing interesting to see in the store windows, because so many of them were empty. Dirty windows with black nothingness behind.

On the way back, there was only standing room on the bus. This time I didn’t look out the window. I stood in the middle of the bus with my back to the driver, looking at the other passengers (except when it stopped to let on passengers, then I had a look at who was getting on). Just ordinary people on their way to work. Another bus came up next to our bus, covered with an enormous election banner with the slogan: “The Nation Wants Sharon”. These people just want to get to work, I thought.

Today is Good News Day. Yesterday the news was all about factories closing, children coming to school hungry, annual inflation data, suicide bombers being apprehended and Palestinian houses being demolished. Today the news is all about Ilan Ramon, first Israeli astronaut to be launched into space aboard NASA space shuttle Columbia, along with six American fellow astronauts. His father said on TV, that there was too much publicity, that maybe it would be better if the coverage was more modest. I don’t agree with him. We deserve a day with good news, don’t we?

Of course, Ilan Ramon isn’t joining this space mission to make us feel good. You can read here about some of the research he will be engaged in.

My girls are very interested and excited about this. It must have considerable educational value for Israeli children.

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