Monday, February 28, 2005

Prayers needed.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Baghdadi Tortilla
After my Spinning class every Sunday morning, I spoil myself with some posh sandwiches for my lunch from the CafeNeto coffee shop near the underground car park. Today I noticed they had nicely wrapped tortillas. I’d never had a tortilla before that I could remember, so I thought I’d try that. There were different kinds and I opted for the Baghdadi Tortilla, which looked good and was the least expensive.

Well, it was absolutely scrumptious, but I was amused that they’d called it a tortilla. This was none other than an Iraqi pita (also called a Laffa). It was a yuppie, gourmet, snobby, Ashkenazi version of an Iraqi pita, but an Iraqi pita nevertheless.

Ah, but would I have bought it if the snazzy little wrapping had had Iraqi Pita written on it, rather than the more exotic Baghdadi Tortilla? I think not. An Iraqi pita is popular, down-to-earth street food, not something for which you pay a lot of money in a snooty coffee place that doesn’t even serve an ordinary ‘Ness’ (that’s instant coffee, short for Nestle, although the cheapish Elite powdered instant coffee in a can is still unbelievably popular here).

You should have seen the pitiful looks they gave a young man who came in asking for a ‘Ness’ at this place, while I was there last week. Poor guy, he was completely mystified. Even more so when he discovered that they didn’t serve ‘Botz’ either. (‘Botz’ - literally ‘mud’ - is Turkish coffee that hasn’t been boiled in a finjan but just mixed with boiling water, sugar added for the froth, and then allowed to settle).

(Cross-posted on Israelity)

Saturday, February 26, 2005

It was a meeting of the hevr’e from the reserve unit. Do you remember I told you about these meetings? One of the hevr’e had a birthday. They’d come from all over the country.

They’d been together for years. What hadn’t they been through together? Two Intifadas of combat reserve duty for a start.

But it was a birthday party in a Tel Aviv nightclub that got them.

One of them had brought the invitations to his wedding next month. He was going to give them out to his hevr’e that evening.

He was badly wounded. His lovely bride was killed.

I saw on TV that Zaka, those religious guys who pick up the body parts, came tonight instead of last night because of Shabbat. I don’t know why, I’ve never done this before, but I just got on my bike and went to see.

I took some photos.

zaka

the mess

across the road

zaka on balcony

fox news

Our Sis just rang to say my nephew was just next to that nightclub last night, when the terrorist attack occured. She got a call from him at 11:20pm and he said, "Mum, I'm alright." She didn't know what he was talking about, because it hadn't been picked up by the media yet but she could hear the ambulances in the background as they spoke. I told her I hadn't even thought of him. I'd thought he was safely in the army!

Oy, Israelity is making me nervous. I’m trying to think of something wise and witty and interesting to write there about the wonders of life in Israel, but nothing is coming to mind.

Some commenters find the idea of Israelity boring, but I suppose these are the sort of people who would think Not a Fish boring, so that’s just tough as far as I’m concerned. People who think life should be all excitements and noise and balagan (sorry Rinat, I don’t mean you) are probably of the mental age of the kids in my youngest daughter’s scout troop.

I hate that these people seem to think that if something is boring to them it has no right to exist. Well, the first time I heard a record of the popular Israeli comedy threesome "HaGashash HaHiver" (The Pale Tracker), at the ripe old age of nine with limited knowledge of Hebrew and even less understanding of Israeli humor, I didn’t get it and I was bored out of my mind. I actually remember saying to myself "So this is what they mean when they say 'being bored'". These days I split my sides listening to "HaGashash HaHiver". Boring is definitely relative.

Just got back from a parent-kids meet at scouts. I am in shock. In short: the louder you shout the better. They call it morale. I call it noise. I can’t believe I was once a madricha (leader) in scouts of kids that age and got them to shout just as loud.

Was I mad? No, I was twenty five years younger. Makes you realize how much the way you see the world changes with age.

Sunny day
Allison did a good job of describing the strange morning after feeling.

Lying in bed looking at the bright morning sun reflected on the half closed shutters, I wondered if Youngest and her friend sleeping over at our apartment were awake yet. Just before the sound of their chatter answered my question, I remembered last night’s terrorist attack and realized that everything was so quiet.

You somehow expect the ambulance sirens to just go on and on. But we didn’t even hear them last night. I was watching a sweet Australian romantic comedy with that Welsh guy who stole the show in Notting Hill. He flies off on a deckchair with helium balloons tied to it and comes down in some little town in Eck Velt where he falls head over heels with the only traffic cop in town.

Bish heard about the terrorist attack when the film was over and I was in the shower. My first thought when he came to tell me was, "Oh my God, what if Eldest and her friends had got bored in their sleep-over party and had decided to go out instead?"

Now the likelihood of this happening was less than slim, not even slightly realistic, but it was late, I was tired, and I’d been feeling uneasy about Eldest as it was. She had forgotten her sleeping bag and we’d been trying to contact her all evening. Needless to say she wasn’t answering her cell phone (duh!) and, bad parents that we are, we’d neglected to get the phone number and exact address of the friend throwing the party. We knew the building, but not the last name or the floor number.

Apparently she had been trying to call us as well at one point, but there was something wrong with Bish’s cell phone. It never rains.

Lesson: Just because a child happens to be a very dependable and reliable teenager (tfu tfu tfu) AND she has her cell phone with her (and you’ve checked the battery is charged), doesn’t mean you don’t need to know the telephone number at the place she’s staying.

Honestly, you’d think we’ve been parents for about three days.

And this is when I knew (nearly exactly) where she was and what she was doing. How is it going to be when she’s a bit older and really out on the town?

I know it’s selfish of me to be thinking about my own kids when other people’s kids were actually killed and injured last night. I guess it’s instinctive.

Update: More and more.

Nothing to say 2
Did you notice the mad scramble to point the finger at Hizbullah? ("It's not us. It's them")

Yeah, whatever.

Nothing to say
A nightclub near the beach in Tel Aviv: 4 murdered, nearly 50 wounded.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Like a bad penny.
You remember Jihad Ja’ara, don’t you? He was one of the main ‘heroes’ of the Bethlehem Church of the Nativity siege in 2002. Not greatly loved by local Christians at the time according to an article that appeared in the Washington Times in May 2002:


BETHLEHEM, West Bank — Residents of this biblical city are expressing relief at the exile to Cyprus last week of 13 hard-core Palestinian militants, who they said had imposed a two-year reign of terror that included rape, extortion and executions.

[…]

Palestinians who live near the church described the group as a criminal gang that preyed especially on Palestinian Christians, demanding "protection money" from the main businesses, which make and sell religious artifacts.

According to Bethlehem residents, one of the group's top leaders, Jihad Ja'ara, 29, traveled around town with an M-16 rifle, terrorizing the community.

[…]

Residents also said that Mr. Ja'ara and another top leader, Ibrahim Abayat, took nine Muslims whom they suspected of collaborating with Israel into an apartment near Manger Square and fatally shot them.

Ja’ara ended up living the life of Reilly near Dublin with Rami Kamel. They managed to grumble about this.

The exiles live an hour outside Dublin in an isolated village cut off from Ireland's tiny Arab community. They spend their days practicing conversational English, watching television and cooking meals.

"We are in exile, an isolated exile," Jaara said. They rarely go out. This has been a cold and miserable summer, even by Irish standards. They would like to buy warm clothes, but they say the 118 euros they get each week from the government are barely enough to live on.

Jaara said the only luxuries they allow themselves are occasional telephone calls to their families in the West Bank - and to the other exiles. He said the government promised to grant his wife and four children temporary visas, but he can't afford the expense of a visit.

So sad.

We next heard of Rami Kamel last year, when he found love in exile. Naturally, we were touched.

Not wanting to spoil their marital bliss Ja’ara left the love birds' nest to wander the streets, unchecked and unmonitored by Irish authorities. I remember commenting on this at the time, but I can’t find it now.

It was round about this time that Ja’ara’s nephew attained the exulted state of after-life martyrdom by blowing himself up on an Israeli bus, killing 10 people and injuring 50 others. Ja’ara wasn’t allowed to attend his nephew’s funeral. Heartbreaking.

And now he’s back to his old tricks, even though there are negotiations to bring the ‘Church of the Nativity exiles’ back, seeing as how peace has broken out.

Yesterday a Tanzim activist from Tulkarem by the name of Salam Buakana (Abu al-Id) from Tul Karem was indicted for planning to carry out terrorist attacks. According to the indictment, Abu al-Id contacted Jihad Ja’ara in Ireland, requesting his assistance in planning and funding the attacks.

Ja’ara promised to help and contacted Kais Ubaid, who you’ll remember as the former Arab Israeli who is Hizbullah’s coordinator for the territories and the man behind the abduction of Elhanan Tenenbaum. According to Maariv

They decided that Ubaid would fund the terrorist cell and Ja’ara would be operations officer, deciding on the targets and timetable for carrying out the terrorist attacks.

Ubaid sent money from Lebanon, with which the cell bought a car and booby trapped it. On 8th September 2004, at lunchtime, the car bomb was detonated next to a military patrol near Baqa al-Sharqia in Samaria. It only caused light injuries to the people in the patrol, but the armored jeep was badly damaged. Immediately after the event al-Id called Ja’ara and Ubaid, reporting that the mission had been accomplished, and asking for permission to take responsibility in the name of the al-Aqza Martyrs Brigade, in revenge for the death of one of their activists. Soon afterwards, Ubaid sent another $2500 for further terrorist actions.

The indictment … details a further long list of (similar) terrorist attacks perpetrated by the cell under the instruction of Ja’ara and Ubaid ...

[…]

A short while before the arrest the cell was planning, instructed by Ja’ara and Ubaid, to perpetrate an attack on a synagogue full of worshippers, in a way reminiscent of Baruch Goldstein’s massacre in the Cave of Machpela (in Hebron, 1994, if I am not mistaken - IJ). The indictment says that the explosive charge that Ubaid supplied was intended “for the perpetration of a terrorist attack in a synagogue … with the help of an Israeli Arab”. Ja’ara instructed the members of the cell to find a synagogue that would be hard to approach for rescue forces. The arrest of the eleven members of the cell prevented the massacre.

(My humble translation)

I couldn’t find a link to this story so I’ve scanned the article that was in yesterday’s Maariv. It’s in Hebrew. If that’s no problem for you, you can read it here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The real world
I spent the evening shift at work filing. Papers. You know, that’s the stuff they knock down trees to make. The stuff that has been rendered unnecessary by… erm… computers.

Not at my place of employment. Oh yes, we still have paper in the public sector in this corner of the Middle East, and plenty of it. Maybe I should say even in this corner of the Middle East, seeing as how we're regarded as this amazing hi-tech empire. Of course, that's in the private sector. The public sector is chronically understaffed and under funded, so sadly we're probably the last ones in the world to enjoy Israel's technological advancement.

There is something so Sisyphean about filing. It never ends. And it bores me so much, I put it off and put it off until it gets so out of hand, I'm like that little girl in that fairy tale who forgot how to tell the little pot to stop making porridge. It takes over. It gets scary. It pours out into the corridor and out into the street. And the more I put it off, the harder it is to do it when I finally get round to it.

To ease my procrastination I have deviously developed a simple but ingenious system of filing in two stages. This creates a situation whereby every piece of paper is easily located if needed, even if it is yet un-filed (properly filed that is), and the real filing (I have to do it in the end) is far less tedious. I'm quite proud of my little system.

What a pity I'm going to be replaced by a computer in the foreseeable future.

Dan Halutz: Centerfold.
Israeli newspapers traditionally supply their readers with a shiny photo of new presidents, prime ministers, chiefs of staff, etc. A lot of people still stick these up on the wall. You often see them decorating small businesses.

When I was little I used to love them, and I confess that on the morning after PM Yitzhak Rabin was murdered I put his commemorative photograph on the wall of my office, where it stayed for a few years, till I moved office and didn’t take it with me.

Someone must like Dan Halutz in Yediot Aharonot, new appointment for IDF chief of staff. He didn’t just get a shiny photo in this morning’s edition. He got a whole centerfold.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Adrian’s Cathy officially became a Brit. This is very strange for me. I’m happy for her, of course. It is a very exciting thing to happen. But it’s been making me think.

I was born a Brit, you see, and I still have the passport to show for it. I even occasionally trot off to the British consular place to renew my passport and the girl’s passports. I politely wait there for hours and hours while they process what seems like thousands of would-be immigrants or foreign workers or something from the far east or somewhere who are probably being thrown out of Israel and would rather go somewhere better than back home (at least, that was what happened last time I was there).

I always have a funny feeling at the British consular place because they have this big picture of the Queen, which seems strangely out of place on the (can’t remember which) floor of the Migdalor Building on 1 Ben-Yehuda Street.

When I find myself actually in England it’s all very familiar. The smells and the sights seem like home. But then again they’re not.

I can hardly understand the accent spoken in the city of my birth and I find it very difficult to handle things like the strangeness of the money, trying to work out which way to look when I’m crossing the road, etc, although these are things I feel I should be able to manage, and that don’t bother me at all, when I’m in other places that aren’t Israel. Do you know what I mean?

What happens when I go to England, I think, is that I feel disoriented. I should feel at home, and I don’t. And I do, sort of. Like it was a place I dreamt this very vivid dream about. It’s too loaded and weird to be a holiday.

That’s probably why I haven’t been for a while. In case anyone was wondering.

All this has nothing to do with Adrian’s Cathy, of course. I’m happy for her, only I'm finding it difficult to identify.

I think I’ll just send Our Sis as my emissary to England, for now (I’m not paying, though). Have a good time, Our Sis.

Afterthought: Maybe I should just go and stop l'balbel bamoa'ch.

I can't believe I didn't see this before. It's Gil. Yes, our Gil.

Scroll right down for the photo of Elysa, who is incredibly beautiful. Or just click here.

New blog and I'm on it!
Israel21c has started a blog. It's a group blog. I've just posted my first post there. I've never been on a group blog before. This is fun.

Hmmm. I wonder if it's too long.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Help!
I’m in hysterics. Youngest has her bi-annual piano recital this evening. She’s quite happy, reading her Einayim quarterly (this is a wonderful magazine for children, published in cahoots with the Israel museum, highly recommended). Why do I always have to be the one who has the butterflies? (Butterflies?! Now isn’t that an understatement? A minor heart attack would probably be more accurate).

I am silly. It’s quite a friendly event. First of all it usually takes place, as it is this evening, in my in-laws’ apartment. Their daughter, Youngest’s cousin, is this amazingly talented pianist of twelve and a half. So Youngest feels quite at home there, and so do we, naturally.

There are usually about six other little girls (there used to be a boy once, we’re told, before Youngest started playing, but he grew up and went into the army). The girls are of varying ages, all lovingly instructed by teacher Tanya. Talented, dedicated, and a really nice person, albeit completely incapable of ever arriving on time, Tanya is a good example of the immense contribution the immigration from the former Soviet Union countries has made to Israel (besides the influx of piano teachers bringing the prices of private piano lessons way down to something reasonably affordable).

Youngest isn’t a bad little pianist for her age, so after I’ve got over my (?!) stage fright it is an opportunity to kvell. Our Sis and I always have tears in our eyes, thinking how Mum would have loved it. Our Sis says it’s alright. She’s sitting up there with her parents, looking down, nudging everyone and saying “Look, that’s my granddaughter”.

I haven’t forgotten a gift for Tanya. I’ve been known to do that. We’ve noticed that Russian students (who arrive dressed in beautiful little dresses with white ribbons in their hair, while our kids are in blue jeans and T-shirts) always bring flowers for the teacher, so I did that for the last few recitals. This time I got her something that won’t die after a few days (unless she drops it).

Update: There were far more than seven this time. And a far larger audience than usual, what with grandparents, uncles, aunts, distant cousins from Ashdod, the guy from the grocery store across the road. You get the picture. Anyway, that would all have been okay if some nasty little girls and their parents couldn't extend to Youngest the same courtesy everyone else had extended to them when they played. It was their horrid parents fault, of course. All things considered, Youngest played beautifully. Knowing her fiery temperament, I was actually surprised she didn't turn round and wallop them.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Ynet in English, at last.

Hat tip, Allison.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I have met quite a few youngish Syrian-born Israelis in recent years. One is a friend at work. They all tell fascinating stories about how they managed to get out, which I will not repeat here, so as not to spoil it for others. All except one, who completely refuses to say anything at all about his past. He was twenty when he left Syria, so it's not that he's forgotten. The others all say that their families had been wealthy and well-connected in Syria.

My friend at work, who left as a teenager and is now in his twenties, has been rubbing his hands in glee at the rising tension between Lebanon and Syria following the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. No love lost there.

Swinging left again, slightly.
Talking about how the wheel turns, I can hardly read Naomi Ragen’s newsletters any more. She and I no longer have as much in common.

Now that it’s going to happen in the foreseeable future I have no real doubts about disengagement. No, I don’t think the Palestinians are suddenly different, that true peace is around the corner, that they don’t still plan to get Haifa and Jaffa and Tal al-Rabih (yes, I hadn’t heard of this place* either till last week, but apparently it’s where I’ve been living since 1985). However, I do think we have to give them a ladder to get out of this mess. Arafat wasn’t interested in such a ladder. Perhaps Abu Mazen really is.
_________________________

*Hammas map of Palestine

Friday, February 18, 2005

Some local history
I have often said here that I regard the Arab uprising in British mandate Palestine between the years of 1936 and 1939 as the real first Intifada. Here is a photograph of houses of Jewish residents on the outskirts of Tel Aviv destroyed by Arabs from Jaffa during the outbreak of disturbances in 1936.
Tel Aviv 1936

Before 1948, a lot of Jews lived in Jaffa. During the fighting that followed the UN decision of November 1947 to divide British mandate Palestine between its Jewish and Arab inhabitants, the Jews of Jaffa had to flee to neighboring Tel Aviv, which was also under Arab attack. Here is a photograph of a tent camp that was erected to house the Jewish refugees.
Tel Aviv 1948

Both photographs are from the Israeli National Photo Collection

All very useful stuff.
The weather has been hot and dry for a few days. We’re back in short sleeves.

This morning Bish and I joined my friends from art class in the Friday market in Dizengoff Circle. I guess you could call it a chachke market. It apparently started off a few years ago as a market for people to come and sell their old bits and bobs, but this morning a lot of the vendors looked pretty much like pros to me. It was great fun, looking at all the wonderful old stuff for sale, a stroll down memory lane.

Among other things, there were rows and rows of little porcelain figurines; many, many children’s books we read when we were young; antique-y looking jewelry; heavy old silver cutlery; ugly tea sets; some really cool old handguns; loads of wristwatches (Bish bought one); flea-bitten old clothes (I can’t believe I used to wear nearly only stuff like that at one time); and, of course, more Soviet army medals and insignia than you ever thought existed, never mind being sold on the street in Tel Aviv. We even came across a signed copy of Menahem Begin’s "The Revolt" (in Hebrew).

I think some of the shoppers were just as colorful as the wares on sale.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Shai looks at some things now that it's twelve years snce he came back. Interesting.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ooh the results of the Jibbies.
Mazal Tov to the winners.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Oh shucks, and I was just about to badmouth my boss. Trust CNN to spoil my fun.

Losing
On the 29th November 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted a plan to divide British mandate Palestine between its two main groups of inhabitants at the time – Arabs and Jews. Although both groups felt that the details of the plan were unjust, each group reacted very differently. The Jews reacted by celebrating, believing that less than what they thought they deserved was better than nothing at all; the Arabs reacted by attacking the Jews, refusing to even consider compromise.

A terrible, bloody war ensued. Its result was that the Jews got their state. They also got part of the land that the UN had destined for the Arab inhabitants, many of whom had fled, if not involved in the fighting. The rest of the part of the country destined for the Arabs was conquered by their brethren, neighboring Arab states that had marched in ostensibly to get rid of the Jews for them, and had stayed on - Jordan in the east; Egypt in the south west. The Arab inhabitants of British mandate Palestine were left with nothing at all.

We tend to get angry at the repetitive Palestinian victim narrative, but we shouldn’t really. It’s just sad. They’re stuck in this self-destructive blame game. It leads them nowhere. No, it does lead them somewhere. It leads them spiraling further and further downwards.

The reason Zionism survived 1921 and 1929 and 1936 and 1939 and 1948 and 1967 and 1973 and 1987 and 2000 etc etc etc, was that Zionism was about the future, about building, about creativity, about putting the past behind us, about doing something new and better while making the best of some very bad situations, about forgiving, about moving on, about not looking back in anger.

Because anger paralyzes you. Then it kills you.

With all the cynicism of this day and age, I believe Zionism is still going strong, un-cool as this may sound, and what’s more, it’s still about all those things. It’s not about the Babylonians, and it’s not about the Greeks, and it’s not about the Romans, and it’s not about the Spanish Inquisition, or Martin Luther or the Cossacks or the Nazis or the fedayeen or terrorism (this list goes on and on). It’s about us and doing our best for today and for tomorrow.

Yes, you’re right. We do tend to wallow in the Holocaust, among other things. But we mustn’t forget that back in the nineteen fifties, just a few years after the fact, our leaders bravely decided that now there was a new Germany, and they publicly created a new dialogue and a new relationship with this Germany and quite a warm one at that. There was a great deal of angry public debate on the Israeli street about this issue at the time, but they did not back down, those tough leaders who made this country a reality, and now we take it for granted.
I’m so grateful we didn’t get stuck in the Holocaust. I’m so grateful we took the horror and devastation and built ourselves a brave new world out of the ruins. And there were quite a few other things we didn’t get stuck in, as well.


The minute the Palestinians, as a people, can put their anger and their indignation and their victimization behind them, and start building, the sky’s the limit. They’re every bit as capable as we were, are. And they’re lucky enough to have the whole world rooting for them. That’s a damn sight more than we ever had.

And do you know what? I bet you any money, the minute it happens, when it really happens, even with all our past disappointment in them, even with all our pain and all our dead, seventy percent of Israelis, if not more, if not far more, will be there at the sidelines, cheering them on, ready to lend a helping hand if asked, and if I know my fellow countrymen and women, if not asked, as well. (Maybe that’s part of the problem. We tend to rub their noses in it, even when we really don’t mean to.)

We’re not perfect, far from it, but at least we’re trying.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Some politicians and ministers from the Likud have been complaining of threats to their lives and the lives of their children. Bibi Netanyahu had a car tire punctured at a wedding last week. This is all very worrying.

These threats are coming from the extreme right wing opposition to disengagement. However, Tzvi Hendel, Knesset member from the National Unity party, told Yediot Aharonot that he thinks it is a conspiracy to de-legitimize the far right. Bish chuckled at this and said he remembered Arik Sharon saying exactly the same thing before Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. How the wheel turns.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Remember Zakaria Zbeidi? Tali Fahima’s ...erm... friend from Jenin, and, by the way, also charismatic commander of the Al-Aqtza Martyrs Brigade in the north of Samaria? Well, since peace has broken out the Israeli media is all over him, much to the frustration of the families of his victims.

Here is an amusing excerpt from an interview in Maariv’s weekend magazine:


Do you know "Eretz Nehederet" ("A Wonderful Country" – a popular Israeli TV satire)?

"Yes. I laughed when I saw what they did with Suha Arafat and the money, and that they laughed about Arafat that he was dead, not dead, dead, not dead. I heard that they want to do a character of me on the program. If they do something like that I’m stopping the hudna."

Reading this, Eldest said that now they have to do him. I said you never know. They’re probably all lefties on Eretz Nehederet. They mightn’t want to have it on their conscience. It’s on tomorrow night. Not to be missed now.

Sharon or Peres?

"Arik Sharon is a gever (a real man). When there was war in the Jenin (refugee) camp he came here to the headquarters himself. With a weapon, a helmet, everything. He was up front, like me. He killed us, yes, but I see him as a military commander. He’s not a liar. He puts everything on the table, like Abu Mazen (PA chairman Mahmud Abbas). Shimon Peres is weak. He’s like a critically ill patient in hospital with an oxygen mask."

Oh dear, oh dear. What will the Europeans say?

I love the "like me" bit.

Friday, February 11, 2005

It’s silly I know, I don’t know anything about the new Shabak (Shin Bet) head Yuval Diskin, but there was something about how he seemed slightly embarrassed by the media interest in him on the item on channel one’s newsreel, last night; about how he mouthed ‘Ma ha’inyanim?’ (‘How are things?’) to an unseen journalist he obviously recognized standing next to the cameraman, that made me feel reassured that this guy got the job, that people like him are still looking after our safety.

Yuval Diskin

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Mother's Day is BACK!
This morning Eldest wished me Happy Mother's Day and gave me a big hug. It took me a while to understand what she was talking about.

Mother's Day? What Mother's Day? Didn't she know they cancelled Mother's day years ago? Now we have Family Day. Political Correctness gone haywire.

Instead of my dear daughters - whom I schlepped around inside me for nine long months; breastfed for about the same; over whom I lost sleep, night after night for years; with whom I rushed to the doctor and to the hospital and to this clinic and that clinic; about whom I will probably worry myself silly till my dying day - bringing me home nice little hand made cards from kindergarten or school on Mother's Day, I had to go in early to said kindergartens and schools on my only free day of the week, with homebaked cakes I had had hysterics over baking because I am such a pathetic baker, to give talks about my work which I had lost sleep over because I am so shy of an audience (even of six-year-olds). Then I would have to grab for food for my daughters from the communal Family Day meal, before it had all gone. Family Day! Bah!

And now Mother's Day is making a comeback. I want my little hand made cards! Waaaaaaaa!

I'm so spoilt. I have the best girls in the world. They always make me little hand made cards for my birthdays. I even still have a few from previous Family Days.

Waaaaaaa!

Update: The girls sent me the most gorgeous bouquet of flowers to work, with Bish's help. Absolutely lovely, all greens and oranges. It brightened up my whole day. Could I possibly be more fortunate? (tfu tfu tfu)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

An end to hostilities
Is it over? Can we sigh in relief? I hesitate to say I’m hopeful. We’ve been down that road before. But all of a sudden, there is this tiny little warm spot that I can feel in my heart. Is this hope, after all?

Killian from Cafe Diverso called me today. He’s so nice and so sincere. Worries and upset are in the past.

Update: I'm such a softie. Watching the summaries of the Sharm el-Sheikh speeches on TV I couldn't help feeling a bit choked up. I couldn't.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Jibbies

And finally: The finals!

So it’s the finals of the Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards and guess what? I’m made it to the finals in both categories I was nominated in: Best Overall and Best ‘Life in Israel’. You can go and vote for...erm... whoever you like (looks up at the ceiling and whistles)

JIBA

Please forgive me for disappearing like that. (Thank you for worrying, David).

I have been worried and upset about a certain aspect of the Cafe Diverso thing. I think it would be disloyal to write about it here. This is difficult because this is a place I should be able to let off steam. On the other hand, I don’t let off steam about work here, and I have quite a lot of steam to let off about work.

Hmmm. Now I realize why I haven’t been writing much lately. I need to get more neutral things to let off steam about.

What I plan to do is post some of the stories I write that are not suitable for Cafe Diverso.

My sample stories were accepted, by the way, and will appear there some time in March. Of course, it’s been so long since I wrote them that by now I’ve decided I don’t like them. By March I will absolutely hate them.

Of course, I did write them in a hurry for my application…

Blogging is so much better. You write something. You let everyone see it immediately, then you forget all about it until two years later you get hate-mail about it from some nutcase, and you have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.

I’ve just found this very interesting and informative site with loads of information about terrorism.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

All this running around at night is obviously a shock to my system. Spent today in bed.

I wonder where Rinat is. I don’t know, these media people will do anything for rating.

Update: I think I've guessed.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I was awake at half past four this morning, my mind chattering away, planning my post about our lovely evening with the Bogner's last night. But it's half past six in the evening now, the post isn't written yet, and in any minute my friends are going to pick me up for our art class. We're having an early lesson this week, because we plan to go out on the town afterwards.

Bish and I are going out tomorrow night as well, and the only reason I'm not going out on Thursday is ... no time, I'll tell you later.

And we told the Bogner's we never go out. Oy, the embarrassment. They'll never believe us again in our lives. A week like this hasn't happened since... actually I don't think I've ever had a crazy week like this. And I haven't told you about my weekend yet.

So excuse the non-blogging. I'll be back!

Update: David beat me to it, and did a far better job than I could have. Hilarious.

You'll never guess who Bish and I just had dinner with in a fancy restaurant in Tel Aviv. I'm tired now, I'll tell you tomorrow.

I hope they got home alright.