Israel Stories

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Once again violence was aimed at Jewish Israelis going about their ordinary lives. The news reported that stones and bottles were hurled at Israeli cars, oil was spilled onto the road, graffiti sprayed and trees ripped up. The perpetrators, known as a radical branch of an otherwise peaceful group, took full responsibility, proud of their actions and apparent blatant regard for human life and property.

These terrorists were not attacking Jews because of the ‘occupation’ or because of the ‘right of return’; these terrorists were attacking Jews because certain signs, erected illegally on traffic lights, were removed from their neighborhood. The natural response of course is rioting.

As it was with the famous cartoons so it is with signs but these radicals were not Palestinian or Arab, they were Haredi Jews who felt the need to disregard every word they spend their time learning in order to cause wanton destruction and violence on innocent parties. Its like kicking up a communal tantrum ever time something doesn’t go their way.

As one resident of Bet Shemesh put it, “They preach like angels and act like the devil”. Strong stuff and probably unnecessary but when you get a rock thrown at your head, that point of view suddenly seems more understandable.

Still there’s good and bad as I am constantly being told. Black sheep and rotten apples.

Tantrums are as much a part of parenting as being woken up at 3am or schepping nachas at a ballet performance.

I have always had a love hate relationship with the beach. I love to swim in the sea, hat the way sand manages to penetrate everything from your picnic to your er, ears. (Tamed that down a bit!). So when we last visited Netanya of course the cry went up to go to the beach, heaven forbid we could sit round the pool. No the kids wanted the sand and the sunburn, they wanted me to run around after them, never taking my eye off our youngest, in short they wanted me to have really bad time just so they could realize I was right about the sand and the sunburn. (By the way we are very careful about sun cream but there is always one little spot that get missed).

I decided to put my foot down, but it was a bad decision for two reasons, firstly because it started world war three and secondly because I was driving and we sailed forward very suddenly narrowly missing a truck, we will remember 36 807 18 for a very long time to come.

The kids started with the shoulder shrugging and the oofs’ as only Israeli kids know how. “Oof its not fair, oof our friends all go, oof you never do anything for us, oof why cant we go, oof, oof, oof!”

Then came the negotiation, “we’ll only be good if you let us go”. Then the tears came, the welling up of emotions, the shouting, the kicking the back of my seat and the fighting.

“No,” I said sternly, trying to keep my cool. This time there was no giving in. I was going to stand my ground. They couldn’t behave like that, I had certain standards and they were expected to meet them. No negotiation under tantrums. I was taking the hard line.

“Ok kids”, my wife said, “we’ll go to the beach”.

Suddenly there was silence, I was fuming. “Well look at it this way,” she said. The only reason why you don’t want to go to the beach is the sand. You’ll enjoy it when your there, so its us against you. We are more than you so we win.”

As I looked at the deep blue sea I thought to myself ‘no where to run to no where to hide’. Some battles just aren’t worth the fight.


  • I have a glimmer of a solution for your beach problem. You can start using (abusing) the fact that the shiny blue Med is the most polluted pool of water in the world (true, appeared somewhere not long ago), using as many and as disgusting visual aids as possible.

    After a while the message should get there.


    By Blogger SnoopyTheGoon, At 10:24 PM  

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