Thursday, December 27, 2007

Goood News and Bad News

Well, according to Israel National News, the good news is that most Saudi Arabians want to improve relations with the US (this according to a recent poll).

The bad news for Israel...they want us dead.

So...there are times in life when you just have to smile quietly and just realize you can't accommodate all the folks, all the time. You win some, you lose some. And all of that.

I don't plan on letting that stop my plans and it isn't exactly like I didn't think that was the, for all's well that end's well - guess it's time for Israelis to accept the bitter truth. I don't think they like us too much.


According to Israel National News...

Slightly more than one half of Saudi Arabian citizens would like to see the state of Israel destroyed, according to a telephone poll. 51.3% of the people surveyed said that they "oppose any peace deal that would recognize Israel's existence and would prefer that all Arabs keep fighting until there is no Israel in the Middle East."

In addition, 89% had an unfavorable opinion of Jews.

The survey was conducted for Terror Free Tomorrow, among a random sample of 1,004 Saudi Arabian nationals. The organization, which has leading American politicians on its advisory board, emphasized that the survey found most Saudi Arabians favor improving relations with the U.S. and have "turned their back on Bin Laden."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Teach the Children?

There are things we teach our children, here in Israel, that they should not have to learn. No child should learn to look for suspicious people who they think might blow up the bus that they are on. No child should learn how to put on a gas mask. And no child should learn that a siren means run for your life, because you have only seconds before there will be an explosion.

But...if they have to live it, perhaps it is just that we have to see them run and feel their fear. Someone posted just such a countdown on YouTube.

First, picture it in your mind - children in kindergarten...suddenly, a siren, and the children run as they count...until the explosion.

"Tseva Adom" - Color Red...the children have learned a routine of counting down the 15 seconds they've got until the explosion of the rocket...

Once they get to '0', they start singing out load, so they won't hear the explosion of the rocket...

In the saddest sense of the word, this is Israel.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Cool Evening and Hot Alerts

It's another cool evening in Jerusalem as winter firms its grip on the capital city. People are preparing to go home for the evening; others are getting ready to go out. Those who live in the city and commute to other areas of the country will have trouble getting home because, once again, there is a security alert and once again, the army and police have set up roadblocks and checkpoints. Cars are being searched in a desperate attempt to beat the find a needle in a haystack.

It's a rather interesting analogy - a needle in a haystack. What happens if you don't find it? Someone might get pricked when they accidentally move the hay. What happens when you don't find a terrorist on his way to commit suicide? The answer is all too well known to Israelis.

And so, once again, we'll put up with the delays with stoic calm. What option do we have? We'll complain to our families about being late; we'll sit in the car and raise our hands in surrender to the person in the next car. But we'll accept it because the option is so much worse...if the bomber gets through...if the planned attack succeeds.

We may never know if the police find the person, or if it was a false-alarm. Sometimes, days later, the army announces they found a terrorist with explosives who had planned and attack and sometimes, we remember the night we were stuck in traffic or had to cancel plans. It's all very much part of Israel...and perhaps our willingness to accept it, in light of the possible consequences sends the wrong message around the world.

Others complain about how Palestinians are inconvenienced waiting at checkpoints; international organizations protest delays - and yet they seem so willing to ignore the obvious...even hundreds of Palestinians delayed going to work or school is not worth surrendering the life of a dozen people. Tomorrow, hopefully, the Palestinians will get to work or school on time...but the person murdered in the terrorist attack will never work again, never go to school again, never live again.

You cannot improve the quality of life for some people - when terrorists hide amongst those people with the hope of smuggling in and stealing the lives of others. The solution is, as it has always been, to stop the terrorists from acting from amongst the civilian population...and then the civilian population won't suffer.

In the meantime, the roads are jammed. People are sitting in traffic, canceling or postponing their evening plans, and praying that this time, like so many times in the past, the army and security forces are able to pull off a miracle, and catch the needle before it explodes the haystack.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Just when you think...

Israel is truly a country in the 21st century with the most modern medical advances being discovered, the greatest computer technological creations and so much more coming out of our hi-tech industry, we are reminded that we are still...well, a nation in the Middle East.

Today's Israel National News had a short item warning drivers of a donkey on the road near the villages of Neve Tzuf and Nachliel. As everyone knows, this can be a serious thing if a car and a donkey collide...not good for either party!

But it's just not something I remember happening in New Jersey...or, as they used to say, "You aren't in Kansas anymore, Dorothy!" I wonder if they have donkeys roaming the roads in Kansas....

From Israel National News:

A donkey is roaming about on the road between Neve Tzuf and Nachliel, in
the Wadi Zarka area in southwestern Samaria. Drivers are asked to beware.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rockets We Save Hearts

Despite rockets falling in Sderot, a major school strike that has all but crippled the junior and high school studies this year, and many other problems, Israelis continue to reach out to others that desperately need our help.

Although there are many organizations and people who are trying to help others both here in Israel and abroad, this group (Save a Child's Heart), has a focused goal and does an incredible job - and all without dealing with politics. The place where a child is born, the child's gender or religion mean nothing to this organization. It's an incredible goal - and almost more impressive is their quest to bring their knowledge and expertise to local doctors. There is a concept in Judaism that better than to give one a fish dinner, is to teach them to fish.

Fixing a child's heart is so important it transcends location and politics - this is the message of this incredible Israeli organization - and even more impressive is their willingness to bring doctors to Israel so that they can learn, so that they can save. During a week in which dozens of rockets and mortars were launched against Israel, we would have every right to turn to our own needs, to worry about our own population that is being terrorized daily by rocket attacks from Gaza, and yet this organization and these doctors cared enough to go to a far away country to save the lives of children who desperately needed them...this is Israel.

According to YNET News:

Save a Child's Heart" (SACH) organization sent a medical mission to Moldova's capital, Kishinev, to provide emergency medical care to a group of young cardiac patients. The mission headed by Dr. Lior Sasson Director of Cardiothoracic Department at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, operated on seven local children whose life were in danger – and saved them.

In addition, mission members examined 30 other young patients who due to complications, will be transferred to Israel for further treatment. The surgeries were performed jointly by the Israeli doctors and their Moldovian colleagues. Some of the local doctors were invited to Israel for training in pediatric cardiology. The local media referred to the Israeli doctors as "the Israeli angels."

SACH has been working in Moldova since 1996 and is responsible for saving the lives of some 50 children and for training local cardiac surgeons. The organization is a part of an international humanitarian project, based in Israel, dedicated to performing live-saving cardiac surgeries and providing medical treatment to children in developing countries.