Monday, October 19, 2015

No Other Words: a Lynching

   Last night a foreign worker was mistaken for a terrorist and was basically lynched .  I remember how in a previous terrorist attack a sephardic Jew was also killed when mistaken for a terrorist.

   And here comes the rub: quick reaction to terror is needed to prevent further casualties. Yet caution is needed to avoid mistakes.

   HOWEVER, the foreign worker who died yesterday was killed not just because of being shot, but due to the subsequent lynching.  ONCE A TERRORIST has been unarmed, there can be no excuse for a lynching. We are allowed to defend ourselves, but we should never descend to the level of our enemies.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Simple Truth

   There is a lot of accusations flying around about the video showing the Arab youth bleeding while passer-by curse him.  First, let it be clear that the youth is alive.
   I saw the video, and yes it appears at first glance to be shocking. HOWEVER let us look at the simple truth:

Every culture has people who get excited and curse during conflict.Yes, there is someone cursing him. That someone is being kept away from the youth by the police.

  But the way our societies view these hotheads is VERY different:

    I would add that if a Jewish extremist were actively involved in a terror attack, and would not stop, he would also be shot by responding police or soldiers.

   And yes, the ambulance passed the Arab in the video. Does he really deserve to be treated BEFORE his victims?!???!???!  Eventually he was taken to the hospital, where he receives the same care as any Jewish patient. (Although he IS handcuffed, so that he can not carry out any further attempts to hurt others.)  [And he is in better condition than his victim..........]

Monday, October 12, 2015


   I saw a post on the NBC news site today. While I am used to a lot of slanted reporting, I must say that NBC outdid themselves.

Some samples:

NBC:  "So far, 23 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed. Around 20 Israelis and more than 500 Palestinians have been injured."

NO mention that the Israelis killed and injured were all hurt /killed as victims of terror attacks. Many were innocent civilians just minding their own business,  NO mentiion that almost all the Arabs killed and injured were hurt/killed while they were either committing a terror attack or engaged in VIOLENT demonstrations, doing acts which can be lethal to others.. 

NBC: "On Thursday night a right-wing mob marched toward the Old City in East Jerusalem, many of them chanting "Death to Arabs" and with the stated intention of looking for Arabs to attack.
"They chant 'Death to Arabs' and nothing happens to them," says a Palestinian man from East Jerusalem who asked not to be named. "If I said 'Death to Jews' I would be killed."

REALLY?  The Arab clerics and media are full of incitement, urging arabs to kill Jews.  In the few cases were Jews attacked Arabs, they were stopped by other Israelis, and these acts were roundly condemned by Netanyahu, and the IDF. (Israeli army). 

3) The piece is full about Arabs being afraid to walk the streets. I guess we Jews are not afraid; we are used to to getting stabbed outside of the local shopping mall.

Note: since I wrote this, the article has been changed a bit.and is a bit more balanced. RE the  stabbing attack in Pisgat Zeevthe  13 year old victim is  barely hanging on to life. He was BIKING home, and on the way stabbed 25 times!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

On Terror, Life, and Prudence

 Yesterday (Wednesday)  a terrorist stabbed a man at the bus stop (in Petach Tikva)next to a mall that I occasionally go to. Also buses in Jaffa got stoned (I travel by bus on that street to go to Rina's grave, and often I walk in Jaffa).  (And as I write this, I hear of another attack, noontime today (Thursday). A yeshiva student is stabbed in Jerusalem. I pray that it is not my grandson. Or a friend of his.  Or the son of a friend of mine.)
   While I always know in theory that terror can happen anywhere, and that no one is guaranteed immunity, the sheer number of attacks yesterday (and this week), along with the proximity of the attack in Petach Tikva, drove home the gut-wrenching realization of “There, but for the grace of G-d, goes I”.  Just two days before I had called my “ultra-Orthodox” son and daughter-in-law in Jerusalem, who do not listen to radio news, to be sure that they aware of the escalating violence and atmosphere.  Luckily, the word-of-mouth-news  network works quite well in their neighborhood, and they knew of the need to be extra vigilant when outside.
   Later on Wednesday, my husband informed me that I need to be more careful when out “walking”.  Knowing that any belittling of the danger would only increase his anxiety, I agreed with him. But, realistically, I thought to myself, I am much more likely to be hit by a SMS-messaging car driver than to be killed by a terrorist.
   Yet, despite the clear calculation just mentioned, I was much more alert on my walk to and from the swimming pool last night.  It was not a disabling fear, but an extra awareness of my surroundings.  “Why,” I wondered to myself, “am I apparently more afraid of the miniscule risk of terror, than the possibility of a car accident, or of having a heart attack in the pool, both of which are statistically much more likely to occur?”
   The answer, I believe, is that with accidents and health concerns, we feel that at least to a certain extent, that we can take precautions.  If we eat healthy, exercise regularly, don’t text-and-drive, and cross the street carefully, we have a fairly decent chance of reaching 80 or 90. With terror (whether in Israel or elsewhere) we are much less in control. Yes, there are things we can do as a country perhaps to decrease these incidents, but when a fanatical or deranged individual goes on the rampage,  only chance, or by G-d’s grace, are we not among  the victims. Realizing that vulnerability can be quite unsettling.
      Then today, a friend sent me this link:  This is a Ted-Talk about a dance group of “senior citizens” the “Hip Op-eration Crew”( and the philosophy behind it). The organizer was asked (seriously!) “What if one of them dies (ie. dancing, or on the plane)?”   And the response of the organizer (“Well, what if they did?”)was correct. After all, if we let fear of dying stop us from living, what worth is living then?
    Yes, as countries we need to work on security, mental health, and combat terrorism.
    But as individuals, in our private lives, the reaction can only be one:
MAKE TODAY COUNT. We don’t know-ever- how long we have to remain on this globe.   

[As religious believers, we can try and “curry favor” with G-d, by doing good deeds. These activities may perhaps affect things in a spiritual sphere. But we should not kid ourselves that those deeds will guarantee our safety. Sometimes G-d feels the best thing   for us is to experience suffering.]

Friday, October 2, 2015

The un-News

    Just out of curiosity, I went to NBC’s news page to see what they would write about the incident. Seeing nothing at all, I went to the “world” page. There it mentioned the Palestinian flag having flown at the UN, but the story I was looking for had not been mentioned.
    You can be SURE that if an Israeli soldier had killed two Palestinians at point-blank range, with no provocation, the news would have been explosive.
   But the fact that a young Jewish couple were gunned down and murdered in front of their 4 under-age ten children last night is not news.

   May their families be comforted. 
 Photo: The murdered couple, Eitam and Neama Henkin

Note and Update:
    I rechecked the NBC news page Saturday night (Israeli time). The video about the Palestinian flag at the UN is still up. The Henkins still don't matter it seems. And the  murder today of two Israelis (and the critical wounding of another, and the attack on a baby) are apparently not news either. Now I know some will say "Not every murder gets told on NBC." But as I said before, you can be SURE that if Israelis were randomly killing Arabs, it would definitely "make the grade".....
Further update: Is now on NBC site, and the headline is actually OK

Thursday, October 1, 2015

G-d Save us From the Idiots

   Today I saw a lovely video on facebook (see HERE), of an Israeli hula-hoop artist, Tal Fransky . She is very extremely  talented.
    What got me riled up (enough to sit down at 10 AM to type this up) were the numerous people who felt it absolutely imperative to note in the comments that the performer was on the plus-size side.

   Tell me, do these idiots really believe that the other viewers could not see this? Did they imagine for a moment that the performer herself is not aware that she is overweight?!??? And of course, what the (*&^%^$#& does her weight have to do with her wonderfully talented performance?

    Do people who make comments like this REALLY think that by making these comments that they will increase the chances of ANYONE losing weight?

   Shaming people does not lead to weight loss. NO ONE who has lost a considerable amount of weight has done so due to self-hate.  Weight –loss comes when you love yourself enough to stop overeating. It comes when you can figure out what is causing you to over- eat (when you KNOW that it is not good for you, but you do it anyway…), and finding other ways to deal with those “triggers”.

       I was extremely overweight for most of my life. I knew I was, I wanted to change, but it took me MANY long years to figure out HOW to do it! But all those years, my mother, while letting me know that my weight was not healthy, did NOT bring it up constantly. (Although I confess to giving my overweight kids a nudge every once in a blue moon, I bite my tongue 95% of the time.) And she would certainly not have done this publically, for example in a store while buying clothing. [Thanks, Mom!]
    Just yesterday I saw a man who was our guest shaming his wife for her weight. I felt so terrible for the lady, and wondered if he really thought that this was the way to effect a change in her.  (I finally told him point blank why he was doing things wrongly. But I doubt that it will help.)

    And another point: As this video shows quite aptly, weight need not be an impediment to exercise. I weighed MUCH more than Ms. Fransky  when I started my weight-loss journey. I started with walks of 20-30 minutes. From there I gradually built up to an hour or more daily. When hiking in the Rocky mountains, I took TONS of photos, using those moments to catch my breath, and  hoping that  my mother would not notice HOW out of breath I was! (On that first trip, nearly EVERYONE on the trail said “Good for you!” as they passed me. I felt a bit like a circus elephant clambering up the trail.) SO if you are overweight, try and find some exercise that you enjoy, whether it is walking, swimming, hula hooping, biking, dancing......because you will be healthier and feel better for it (even if you don’t lose a gram!).

   And by the way, hula-hooping is great exercise. It is excellent to do when watching a movie, or inside on a broiling HOT or RAINY day.  All you need is a few meters of open space, and an adult-sized hoop. (It should reach to about your waist).  For example: