Monday, January 29, 2007

Terror In Eilat

When I moved to Israel I became a news junkie. Every few hours I would check the news, always bracing myself for some form of an attack. Very often, there was. More recently I've been getting over this addiction, being as I am sick of reading every day about a new minister or government official indicted. Out of habit I click on the tabs and open the news homepages, but I rarely do more then scan the headline of the first article before switching to a different site. And then I see it, in big underlined letters. Suicide bomber kills three in Eilat bakery blast. I have that first frantic thought, I just spoke to a friend last night who was in Eilat! I already know he wasn't in the attack, since he wouldn't be in a bakery in the city in the morning, but the connection still has me shaken.
I have been doing some soul searching recently about my feelings towards settlements. I would like to see Israel in ontrol of all of Greater Israel, but the reality is that there are millions of Palestinians who either will need to be allowed to become part of our country or need a country of their own. This current situation can't continue to go on, where we own the land but don't treat the people as citizens. At some point we will have to pull in our people from the settlements (obviously not in the horrid way that was done to the people of Gush Katif). We will need to build cities beforehand for them to live in, immediately release the money they will be promised for relocating, and work out al the other problems that were faced by the people expelled from Gush Katif. We will also need to work with some form of Palestinian government to try and prevent the anarchy that is going on now in Gaza. Recently I have been leaning more and more towards this reality.
Then they send another suicide bomber, kill more of our innocent people, and all thoughts of wanting to make their lives better are erased.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Bird's Story

It was sometime Shabbat afternoon; maybe it was the morning, I'm not so good with time. I was flying through Jerusalem, on my way to circling the Kotel, when the sky starting getting overcast. Looking down, I saw a partially open door in the city. Thinking it may be a warm place to wait out the upcoming storm I let myself in. But then it happened; the moment that changed my life forever. When I flew in to that home, that warm little home, I clipped my wing. It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't reacted so strongly. I flew around the house, banging into walls, doors, closets, and whatever else I could hit. Next thing I knew I was on the floor in the kitchen, gasping for air. I tried to get up and couldn't. No, I said, no, it can't be! If I can't fly, then what am I worth? What? Again and again I tried to move, only to be rejected by nature. I passed in and out of consciousness as the day passed me by. Somewhere in the recesses of my pain numbed mind I heard a noise I hadn't heard before. Yet I knew it was the sound of a door opening. Voices approached me. I prayed that held was near, but trembled at the possible danger. I saw the human before it saw me. But only moments before. The voice that I had heard turned into a scream of shock! The woman left and I heard her talking to another human. But what about me, I wanted to ask them, what are you going to do for me? They murmured together, that man and that woman, and then they disappeared. Then the man reappeared, holding a broom. I lay there trembling, wishing to move but not being able, while the man waved a broom at me. I did a pathetic crawl/walk trying to get away, while the man and woman watched me. Somehow they managed to corner me next to a window, which they promptly opened. Knowing what would happen next, I tried to bury myself under some shopping bags. But I was no match for that man. He reached down, his hands wrapped around a shopping bag, and grabbed me from my place of refuge. I shook a mighty shake, as the fear overwhelmed me, and the man lost his grip. Again I tried to hide, and again he caught me. This time he lifted me high enough and threw me out the window. I managed to flap my wings enough to slow down my descent, and I landed gracefully on the cold wet sidewalk. Rain was mercilessly beating down on me as I quickly tried to find a warm, safe refuge. I saw the man watching me as I beat my wings, beat them to no avail, while hopping in circles. Then he turned around and left. From the corner of my eye, I saw the woman look at me. A look of horror filled her face, a look I thought was directed at me, at how pathetic I appeared. Chills passed through me as I realized what she knew but was as powerless as I was to stop. All I wished for was it to end quick. The black cat jumped out of the bush, and in one quick move, I was gone. The last thing I saw before those sharp teeth and that swishing tail was the woman's hand go up to her face in shock and disgust as she saw the darker side of nature take it's course.

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Cell Phone Regulations

I don't know how it works in America and the rest of the world, but in Israel for most plans you get charged a minute of calling even if you're on the phone for less then a second. This is especially annoying when you get a voice mail and immediately hang up; you still get charged for a minute. Until now. The government has passed a law (or a regulation. or something. whatever you call it,) not allowing the cell phone companies to charge people for a service they dont want. At the start of this year (now) when you call a cellphone, instead of going immediately to the voice mail, there is a recording, "you are now being transferred to a voice mail". this gives you those few seconds ot hang up and not be charged. Thank you regulators, for stopping the phone companies from charging us for unwanted services!