Israel Stories

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lesson Well Learned

The fact is that giving up land is a lazy and easy way out. Every other nation on the face of the Earth would fight tooth and nail to keep its borders secure and its territory safe. There is no such thing as painful concessions; they lead to death and destruction. Use history as your lesson. And what applies in the larger scheme of things applies here and now.

My daughter looked down, somewhat despondent, somewhat confused and somewhat lost for words. I on the other hand had taught her the most important lesson of all, protect what’s rightfully yours and remember that appeasement usually returns to bite you on the arse (or ass, not the animal.). And so our family was able to relax around the swimming pool, with plenty of space, sun loungers for all and even a coveted small plastic table that wasn’t covered in ketchup or cigarette ash.

To say the pool cafe was packed would be an understatement. We sat with the family somewhat squashed into our little corner. Move the table kids, I ordered and we all stood and lifted the table to make more space for our little family. The very English tourist (we love tourists etc etc etc) on the table nearest to us carried on regardless, and as I did my brash Israeli thing, (still a bit of English in me so I didn’t ask him to move his table) his upper lip got stiffer.

“Look here”, he suddenly blurted out, “this isn’t some bloody land grab, move back to where you were”. My wife looked at me and shook her head, my kids looked at me and shook their heads, but I couldn’t resist. “What do you mean, land grab?”
“Well its what you Israelis seem to do best and while I’m at it I might also say that it really embarrasses the rest of us, it costs a fortune to come to Israel, we try and support you and in return you bombard villages and steal land for ‘security’ purposes, I could go on but I’ll stop”.

The now more diplomatic people would have backed away, let him have his five minutes, but not me, I had a nation to defend, so after a few words about how he was an uneducated, self hating BBC Jew, I threw his Crocs into the swimming pool thinking it would be a harmless yet effective message of don’t mess with the natives. I hadn’t accounted for the fact that concealed in the end of his Croc was his wallet.

“Oh dear”, he commented, actually it was a bit more brazen and a bit less stiff upper lipped. Bugger, I thought, as the scenario of having to explain to my wife where all our cash and more had gone in reparations for this, as he would desribe it, unprovoked and disproportionate attack.

I jumped into the pool to retrieve his Crocs and now very soggy wallet. Nothing inside was ruined or missing so a heavy sigh of relief from my side but eyes still blazing on the other.

“Wait a minute, I know you. My goodness it must be twenty years, don’t you recognize me? We were in school together, don’t you remember?”

I did and we spent the rest of the holiday reminiscing, kids playing together and wives chatting like long lost friends. The latest Israeli war long forgotten.

The moral of the story? Well I can only think of one. We need to remember who we are where we came from and where we’re going.

Confused? So are they.

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