16th October 2023
Well that was a little more excitement than I would have liked!!
Today was a good day. I met my friend Sue in the shopping mall coffee shop. She went to the supermarket and I decided that I had to replace the real plant that was in the shade t the entrance to our apartment with something fake, I was tired of seeing it wilt and wither from the lack of sunlight. I also went to buy some art equipment for my class tomorrow. I then came home and Naomi, my girlfriend from the estate, came to visit, we sat outside, although it was a little chilly and she admired my fruit and veggies, a productive veranda indeed.
Why was that exciting? I’m about to come to that bit. I sat down, ready to have a late lunch in front of the TV because Zvi had gone to see his grandchildren in Nes Ziona. Then it got exciting! There wasn’t a siren but my goodness there was a boom, a window shaking boom and siren or not I went to the safe room and asked, on the WhatsApp if anyone knew what had happened. We were told that it was in a nearby village but there’s no way it was that far, it was really close. Anyway, I stayed in here for a while, in the safe room, beside my computer and caught up with all the lovely messages from you.
The good thing is that all the Members of the Knesset went down to their shelter which meant they had to crowd together and maybe even look each other in the eye! Actually, the other good thing is that it stopped me from running around and I had already eaten my lunch so I wasn’t hungry! I know it sounds crazy but I was completely calm!
President Herzog spoke in the Knesset today. His words were so wise, so important so refreshing. He spoke of the anger and disunity when we entered this war and that we found that unity again in our hour of need. He said that when we come out the other side of the war we must fight to be unified, we the people, to make sure that our enemies don’t get the wrong message and think that our social disunity means we are weak. We are a strong people, but we tend to have strong opinions, and it ran away with us. Don’t get me wrong, I am still angry with the government, but there is a time and place. All I ask of the PM is the simple words, words that Golda found to calm the people. We the people want him to say “I made mistakes for which I am sorry, but now we must fight a common battle before casting judgment.”
One aspect of the situation is that the area of the Western Negev, known as Otef Aza, is the vegetable basket of Israel. Highly fertile land it produces incredible produce but the problem is two fold – there are no workers to harvest the crops and it’s too dangerous to pick and collect to distribute so the shelves of the supermarket are sparse. Indeed two days ago I bought carrots, a plastic wrapped pack of carrots, not of the usual crisp, beautiful standard, and they were from Turkey! We are so spoiled with our usual farm to table produce. One producer of small plants that are normally sold on to plant nurseries across the country found himself unable to deliver so he wrote a message to the people saying that if they are willing to collect then he will sell mixed packs of seedlings for half price. Of course, I ordered them, for me and for him.
Yesterday Rachel and Yosef came to visit which lifted my spirits as nothing else. We hugged each other until there was little breath left…. And it felt so good. I hadn’t seen her since our trip to Uzbekistan!
I have been trying to explain to you about the effect of the hate filled schoolbooks of the PA and this proves it like no other. Shoefat is right next to Jerusalem, half in Israel and half in the PA, guess who teaches these children, who wrote the school books? None other than UNWRA https://twitter.com/TSchwarzbard/status/1713115314156716268
One amazing member of our Board, they are all wonderful active people, but Susan wrote this
When I ask “How did this happen?” it is not about the Israeli security failure. When I ask, my question is, “How did thousands of innocent, beautiful Palestinian babies get turned into murderous monsters? I don’t know all the answers, but I am on the board of IMPACT-se, which has been analyzing texts in the Middle East based on UNESCO standards of peace and tolerance, and I firmly believe that a critical building block of how this happens is the daily indoctrination of these poor kids in their schools and curricula that glorifies death and hatred of Jews. And in an irony of ironies, out of the mouths of their students, below we hear of what over 100,000 students in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem – are being taught every day by the United Nations’ own organization – UNWRA. Please let me know if you would like to hear more about IMPACT-se and the work we are doing both with Abraham Accord countries and others.
The Red Cross has been asked to intervene, to visit the hostages as they would anywhere else in the world, but their excuse is that Hamas won’t let them. Yeah right. Sadly, the Red Cross will do exactly as they did in the Shoah – nothing. Zvi and I visited the Red Cross Museum in Switzerland and everything they have ever done was around the walls, like a map of the London Underground. Nothing about the Shoah, just “the War” and instead of a couple of words to say where and why on every other instance, they put 1948 as the time that Palestinians were displaced and Israel occupied. In fact, it is called the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum – nothing about Magen David Adom. Don’t expect anything from them
Tomorrow morning, I have my art studio just up the road with the most incredible teacher called Michael who encourages me to be bold in my artwork. He says I am bold in my life and it should be reflected on the page! In the early evening we have another Music Movement Class. We must continue as if nothing was happening while ensuring both safety and sanity.
Again, thank you. Thank you for your kindness, your beautiful messages and your support. We don’t take it lightly nor do we take it for granted. It really gives us the moral and emotional boost we need
With much love from all of us, all over Israel.