Many readers have wondered why I haven’t written for a while. Simple, I reached my saturation point writing about the unrelenting lies and abuses of our government. Luckily, I visited my daughter in Israel for a few weeks and was able to recharge. Ironically, the tiny country was calm and peaceful, even after Arab terrorists murdered innocents including a young girl sleeping in her bed. The reason? They know who the enemy is, name it, and deal with it. Or, maybe, as my daughter told me when I asked her why she was moving there, it’s a G rated country
Even though modern Israel is only 68 years young, its accomplishments, beauty, and historical sites are world class and enviable; however,my daughter was specifically talking about the people and culture. Everywhere, except Tel Aviv (the New York City of Israel) around 3:00 on Fridays shops close up, mothers and grandmothers finish their shopping and start cooking for the Sabbath. Soldiers go home to their families, and if someone is a “lone soldier” he/she will be invited to someone’s home for the Sabbath. As I joked to my daughter after hearing so many young, masculune men talking to their “imas” or mothers on the phone, the most ferocious army in the world is a bunch of mommas’ boys!
I left Israel in 1980 when my home and business were taken as part of the Israel-Egypt Peace Accord. I had only gone back once in thirty years, and that was only for a wedding. The progress I have seen in the country is no less than miraculous. Thirty years ago it took months to get a landline telephone. Now Israel is branded as one of the top tech sectors in the world. Unlike the incessant negative propaganda, Arab-Israelis are part of the innovation and even created the world’s smallest computer. here Thirty years ago It was impossible to get a decent piece of red meat. Now, my daughter and I ate hamburgers that would put my local diner to shame.
My daughter has a Christian Arab friend and out of curiosity asked him how he was treated differently by the government. She was surprised by his answer. After thinking about it, he answered that he didn’t have to serve in the army or pay taxes. Interestingly, there has been a surge in Arab Israelis to enlist in the IDF. here That doesn’t sound like apartheid to me. Apartheid is a system of laws that keep the races separate. In Israel’s case it would mean keeping people of different religious faiths legally separated. Instead, all religions including Bahai and Druze live peacefully. The call to prayer from Muslim mosques can be heard in all parts of the country.
My biggest complaint is the confusing signage on the roads. Speaking of signage, one would think that in a country practicng apartheid, signs would only be written in Hebrew. Wrong; all signs are written in Hebrew, Arabic and English. If a country is practicing apartheid would the beaches be open to all? My family and I went swimming at the beach in Haifa, right next to Arab families with women covered from top to bottom in their body covering wetsuits.
All in all my trip was rejuvenating. Hiking and exploring the countryside is a national pastime. The variation in topography from the greenery of the northern hills to the stark Judean desert provides a sensory feast. The different species of plants and flowers found everywhere is astounding. So I guess my daughter is right. It’s a G rated country: G-d’s country.