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Profiling Ain’t Equal

Today Yitzchak and I went on a tour of government offices.

Yitzchak held Shlomo’s hand. I pushed Tova’s stroller.

The security guard saw us, and let me through the stroller gate with both kids. I didn’t even pass through the metal detector. He told Yitzchak, who was holding the backpack, to wait in line.

Well, that’s curious, isn’t it? Is it because Yitzchak had the bag, and I had the stroller? Or because Yitzchak is a man, and I’m a woman?

I decided to ask. “Hey, excuse me? If it had been the opposite – he’d had the stroller and I had the bag, would you have done the same thing?”

He shook his head and chuckled a bit, slightly embarrassed. “No, it’s only you who can go through.”

“Okay, thanks.”

You think Yitzchak was insulted? Trust me, he wasn’t. He got it. We both got it.

And then it happened again.

This time, I had Shlomo and Yitzchak was pushing Tova in the stroller. The [female] security guard said, “Where to?”

I said, “Ministry X.” She said, “Okay,” basically took the stroller from Yitzchak and gave it to me. Then she pushed me and both kids through the door – no security check necessary. Yitzchak waited in the line.

But wait. Unlike the previous office, this time only I needed to go in.

Yitzchak couldn’t wait in line. He couldn’t go in at all. He had to wait outside. Why? Because he didn’t need an office, personally. He was just there to help.

As if I wanted to shlep both of them to the office on my own. Plus, Yitzchak needed the bathroom.

I was pissed because Yitzchak needed the bathroom, and we’d just walked through ten minutes of nearly constant secondhand smoke.

But yeah, okay. I get it. It IS smart and it DOES make sense.

(I just wish they’d ban smoking, fine the smokers 20,000 shekels per cigarette, and tell them to kill themselves where they’re not harming others. Smokers are selfish. Truly selfish. They care more about their own comfort than about the thousands of people they harm with their cigarettes. Did I say I hate smokers? Well, I do.)

And no, it’s not personal. Anyone can tell that Yitzchak is:

  • Jewish (i.e., not out to kill Jews for the sake of Allah and 70 virgins)
  • married (married men are, on the whole, less violent)
  • a dad (dads have more to lose)
  • Anglo
  • non of Middle Eastern descent
  • truly “chareidi” and not just pretending to be (chareidim are not known to be violent; they don’t want trouble)

There’s no *real* reason to hold him up. But those are the rules, and they are there for a reason.

I recognize the fact that most of the time, we get slack, because really and truly, we are not a threat.

I also recognize the fact that things have been “heating up” recently and therefore there is less slack to be given, across the board.

That’s life.

And I’m glad the rules are there, and that they are known and followed. Because it keeps us all safe.

I’m writing this because there’s a lot of noise about the “unfairness” of profiling.

Guys, I don’t care if it’s unfair. It works. Profiling is one of the best, if not *the* best, method of spotting terrorists and other threatening persons.

Get over it.

Use profiling.

And stop the kvetching about the unfairness.

Because, you know, life ain’t fair. Live with it.

Pessimism or Safe Thinking?

Sometimes I think I’m crazy. Absolutely bonkers. Paranoid and and a helicopter-mom and helicopter-wife.

For instance, Yitzchak would love to be an astronaut. I forbid it. He would like to be a head rabbi, and I forbid that, too. He thinks that maybe he could change something if he went into politics – and I forbid that, too.

This Pesach, I told Yitzchak that we are not going *anywhere*. Maybe we’ll go to Be’er Sheva. But unless we are visiting our “parents” in Jerusalem, we are staying put and not traveling, at all, the entire holiday. And even to visit our “parents” I am iffy, but okay, I *do* feel safer there than anywhere else in Jerusalem. So, fine.

The reason I am so stubborn about not going *anywhere* is simple:

The Muslim Arab dogs like to make every holiday into a heartache. They take great pride, and celebrate with great joy, every time they manage to murder (or maim for life) a Jew on a holiday. They take great joy in stealing a Jewish family’s holiday joy, and ruining their holiday forever. They believe that Allah is proud of them every time they turn a holiday into a period of mourning for a Jewish family.

Baruch Mizrachi was murdered on his way to the seder, while driving just before the holiday with his wife and children – two years ago.

On Rosh Hashana a grandfather was stoned to death.

On Sukkot, Aharon Banita and Nechemia Lavi were murdered; so were my friend Naama Henkin and her husband, Eitam.

On Chanuka, there was a double ramming-stabbing attack in Jerusalem, and another terrorist shot 23 bullets at a civilian car . . . and miraculously, no one was killed.

On Purim . . . I honestly have lost track. But I’m sure there was something. There always is.

And so, we are staying put for Pesach. I would love to use the holiday to go hiking, maybe in the north; I would love to use the holiday to visit friends and family. Maybe we will go to two gatherings. But most likely, we will just stay put.

Because it’s safer.

And I definitely do feel like I’m a paranoid helicopter spouse and mom.

But then, today, two things happened:

  1. The soldier who shot the terrorist who was reported to have a suicide belt was indicted.

    This is bad news. Bad because it kills the nation’s faith in the army. Bad because it kills the Arabs’ fear of our army – after all, it’s not okay to shoot those suspected of having bombs. So, it’s okay to have bombs – you won’t get hurt. And it hurts our standing internationally. Terrorists should be killed; and indicting a soldier for doing what was right – killing someone who acted as if he had a suicide belt, instead of waiting to “see” if it was true and risking tens of civilian lives – is just wrong.

    And, as always, when we give in to terror – we don’t get peace. We get more terror. It’s clear as day, and we knew it was coming.

  2. And . . . it came. This morning the soldier was indicted. And this afternoon, a terrorist put a bag of explosives under a bus, that passed beside another bus and exploded, causing a huge fire (that took 4 firefighting crews to get control of), and injuring 21 people, 2 of them critically. (It’s been reported that one of the critically injured people is the terrorist. He deserves it. I hope the other is his buddy and not a victim.)

So maybe I’m not a paranoid freak after all.

Maybe I’m one of the only sane people in this country.

That would be scary, because I’m not *that* sane.

 

 

Do You Have a Weapon?

Two days ago, we were standing in line to go into the central bus station in Be’er Sheva. I hate standing in that line, because there are always, always, people smoking right beside you. But that’s off topic.

At any rate, someone five people ahead of us went through the metal detector, then went back through it, and then went through it again.

He got wanded over and he got a pat-down – pockets, stomach, legs, arms. The security guard didn’t find anything, and in the end, the man got an apology, too.

I hadn’t been paying too much attention, so I just figured he’s beeped on the metal detector, and hey – he fit the profile, so why *not* check him?

As a sort-of apology for holding us up, the security guard then let five people through without even a blink: a man and a woman who looked like American tourists and turned out to be a couple, Yizchak, me, and this skinny Arab guy with slicked back, black hair, who was too busy talking on his phone to even notice his surroundings. He looked to be about 20 years old. And me? I think he should’ve been checked over. Talking on the phone doesn’t mean you’re not a terrorist.

Well, I’m not a security guard, and the guy had already gone through, so I kept my mouth shut. We found out that we’d missed a bus by three minutes, and found a place to sit and wait for the next one.

And then . . .

From the other entrance, we see three policemen escorting a handcuffed Arab guy of about 20 years old. Two policemen on each side, and one behind him, carrying an assault rifle at the ready.

And we realized that that over-done pat down and apology (we’ve never seen such a pat-down before, at least not in Israel – in America and Canada they do it all the time, to innocent, non-threatening people, because security there is stupid) were both given because the security guards were looking for someone.

They were looking for this guy, that they just arrested. And this other guy was mistaken, wrongly and undeservingly, for the guy they arrested. Was he a would-be terrorist? Or a wanted criminal? We’ll never know.

Because this story, like so many others, never made the news.

Valentine’s Day is Stupid

I wrote this post on Februart 15, 2016.

It really is.

Hearts, cookies, wine, cards to the entire class . . . and for what purpose?

If you love someone, you put effort into your relationship every day.

If you don’t love someone, Valentine’s day won’t help that.

If you are in a relationship, you should be putting in more effort than cookies and wine on February 14th.

If you’re not in a relationship, a day to make you feel single is just dumb.

 

Same goes for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and every other Hallmark holiday that was created for poochy-moochy.

In Israel, we have the 15th of Av, a historical holiday commemorating the massive matchmaking dances of ancient Israel (we’ve been here thousands of years, remember?). And today, it has become a kind of Israeli valentine’s day, except less drippingly-sweet (no hearts handed out to the entire class, no candies) and with a few traces more meaning.

The issue is that in recent years, Israel has started to adopt February 14 as Valentine’s day, too. So now we have 15 of Av, a historical holiday which is celebrated as a day of relationships and love. AND we have February 14, because, well, it’s another day to sell stuff.

It’s not just stupid. It’s consumer-ism at its best (or rather, worst).

We don’t need Valentine’s day. And really, neither does anyone else.

Fields of Poppies

I wrote this post on February 18, 2016.

I keep hearing about “Darom Adom,” or “A Red South.” It’s basically a weekend festival, for a few weekends in a row.

I don’t have time or energy to go to any festivals shmestivals, but some green fields or forests sounded nice.

I found Darom Adom’s site, and started checking which fields were closest to us.

And then Yitzchak says, “I don’t feel comfortable walking around in fields of poppies, especially given the security situation.”

“What? Seriously? Because they’re poppies?”

He doesn’t get it. So I say, “Among the fields the poppies blow between the crosses row on row . . .”

I’m off. I know I am. But that first stanza is printed on every Canadian $5(?) bill, and I read the bills, so I learned that little piece by heart.

He says, “You learned that somewhere?”

I say, “No, it’s on Canadian bills, I memorized it.” Then I look it up. Yep, I was off by quite a few words in that first line. The rest of the first stanza I knew pretty well, though.

And now I don’t want to go to poppy fields either. Thanks, Yitzchak.

You know, it’s been nine years since I’ve thought of anything related to poppies. Maybe we can make it like red, white, and green (and black and orange, and pumpkins with faces) and just let North American shtik lie in its grave?

The Mysterious Letter

Once every few months, we find that everyone in our building has received a letter from the municipality. The letter states that we have until day X to clear out and clean our bomb shelter, and otherwise we will be fined.

Now, in all honesty, people here use bomb shelters as storage rooms, and clean them out only when they are needed – which is usually *after* the first air-raid siren. So it makes sense to say, “Clean out your bomb shelter OR ELSE.” Yes, it does.

But the first time that we were told to clean out our miklat (bomb shelter), we didn’t get letters in the mail. Instead, we saw a handwritten note on the door of the shelter.

This was in the evening.

The next afternoon, we had our first air-raid siren of Tzuk Eitan (Operation Protective Edge).

It happened twice more during Tzuk Eitan that we found a note on our shelter door, and the next afternoon (or maximum, two days later) we had another siren, after we had thought that Hamas had forgotten about us already.

Now, a year and a half later, we’ve received three or four letters to empty the miklat. Two have been found in the mail; another one or two handwritten on the miklat door.

The latest letter was left in our mailbox a few days ago. We had to clean out the miklat by today. But as far as I know, no one has come to check that we did it. And still. It makes me wonder what’s going to happen next.

Every time we get one of these letters, I wonder if Pikud Ha’Oref (the Home Front Command) knows something we don’t. I mean, they obviously know a lot of things that we don’t – that’s their job. But it does make us wonder if we should be preparing for another war.

In all honesty, we should probably be preparing for another war, anyways.

Hamas has used the concrete and building materials so generously donated by the EU, UN, and other “concerned” nations, to rebuild its tunnel systems. Lately, many of those tunnels have been collapsing, but Hamas is apparently concentrating its efforts on a single, strong attack tunnel; 100 operatives are working on it, and the work is progressing at a rate of 50 meters a day(!!).

And on the northern front, it is almost certain that Hezbollah is working to build a similar set of tunnels, plus they are accumulating rockets and chemical weapons to use against us.

In other words, until now, we’ve been able to play nice.

But with the threat of a war with Hezbollah erupting on our northern border, we don’t have time to play pansy with Hamas. When – not if – we got to war with them, we will have to make it short and to the point. We will have to wipe them out, once and for all.

And I would prefer that *we* decide when to attack Hamas, instead of waiting for Hamas to attack us in what possibly could be a terror attack of catastrophic proportions.

And then you have . . . the PA. Oh my G-d. I don’t even want to go there.

So I won’t. I will just say this: I believe that we are about to fight a third “war”, which is more of an operation to clear weapons out of PA controlled areas, and possibly other areas, too. Something like a Chomat Magen (Operation Defensive Shield), version 2.

This is a war that we need to fight – now. Together with, or before, the war with Hamas.

But with such a pitiful government, are any of these wars going to happen?

I don’t know. But I sure would like to.

What do *you* think?

Here’s a “Duh” Eyeopener

I know I haven’t posted in a looong time. I know.

I’ll explain why later. But of course, it won’t really be a good excuse, right?

At any rate, I just came across this video (thanks, Janglo!) and it is too good not to share. Corey put people on both sides of the Israeli-Muslim conflict on the spot. And while the Israelis aren’t amazing, what the “Palestinians” say should be an eyeopener for anyone who *doesn’t* believe that Israelis aren’t the responsible party.

Yes, I know that the claim is that we stole their land. But at the end of the day – the UN gave us the land. And 60+ years later, people who have never lived anywhere else, people who have good lives, objectively, here in Israel, say . . . oh, I’ll let you see for yourself.

Leave me a note in the comments and tell me what you think.

The Hunger-Striking Terrorist

Remember the hunger-striking terrorist from Islamic Jihad, who was released from jail?

Well, I don’t know what happened since then, but I do know that he was supposed to be re-jailed for some reason, and tried to escape into the tachana merkazit (central bus station) in Be’er Sheva. Suddenly, there was a security lockdown. Everyone was confused and worried. Huh? What happened?

Oh, nothing happened . . . it’s just that there’s a dangerous fugitive on the loose, and he’s run in here.

Luckily, they found the terrorist after only a few minutes, and all was well. Thank G-d, no harm was caused.

This story didn’t make the news; I’ve checked. You know how *I* know it happened?

Because this morning, when Yitzchak was on his way to work, he happened to pass through the tachana merkazit in Be’er Sheva at the time this incident happened. I assume he was scared for himself. But instead, he channeled it into being scared for me.

Lesson: Don’t free terrorists, of any sort, and for any reason, ever.

On a different note, I hope that Uri Ariel succeeds in convincing the government to implement his suggestion. If there are harsh enough consequences, terror will stop. You murdered Jews on this road? No more Arabs can travel it anymore. Your son murdered Jews? All of you, *out*!

Safety In Numbers?

As a kid in America, I grew up hearing about safety in numbers.

If you have to go out at night, my mother said, go with a friend or two. The bigger the group, the better off you are. There’s safety in numbers.

My father never dropped me off at a bus stop unless there was another woman waiting there. Sometimes, that meant taking me almost all the way (or all the way) to school. It’s not safe to wait alone (or with a man). There’s safety in [female] numbers.

If you’re walking in an unfamiliar place, it’s better to be with a group. There’s safety in numbers.

If you get separated from me in the subway station, my mother told me, don’t panic. Find a worker, or a cop, and just sit tight. As long as you’re not alone, you’ll get back to where you started from. There’s safety in numbers.

Beaches during the day are safe, because there are plenty of people there. At night, when there’s no one, it’s dangerous. There’s safety in numbers.

I guess that worked, at least to some degree. Until terror came to America, and any large group of Jews was considered to be a target.

Until there were terror attacks on full buses. In 2001, there were lots of terror attacks involving suicide belts. Who wants to waste a suicide belt on an empty bus? There’s safety in *less* numbers.

I remember seeing posters asking for donations, to buy schoolchildren bulletproof vests. I always wondered what happened to their legs and heads, and why there couldn’t be bulletproof suits. I was in grade 7-8, I think.

Sbarro, the bombing in a pizzeria. A busy pizzeria. Maybe there *isn’t* safety in numbers. The less people you are, the less worth the explosives you are.

A tower with thousands of offices.

A concert.

A jam-packed restaurant.

A parade.

A school in Boston.

The streets of Paris on a Friday night.

A college in California.

Busy places.

There’s safety in numbers?

Only if the threat is mugging, robbery, or perhaps rape.

But there’s gang rape, don’t you know? And crowds of observers watch and do nothing.

There’s safety in numbers?

Somehow, I think not.

The quieter the place, the less people are around – the better.

There’s safety in *less* numbers.

Unless you’re on a road in Samaria. Then, being the only car is dangerous.

But so is being on a busy road when there are terrorists throwing burning tires, or waiting in ambush with rocks or guns.

Or walking in a mall, when there is an “innocent” Arab who’s just bought a kitchen knife.

There’s safety in numbers?

Perhaps not. The more crowded the place, the better a target it becomes for Arab terror.

There are no “innocent” Arabs anymore. They are *all* potential terrorists.

To be watched from afar, avoided, and possibly reported to the police.

Even an Arab nurse, even an Arab telephone technician, even the Arab kitchen worker in your school, who everyone likes and trusts.

Give them enough money, and they will turn on you . . . with a knife, a gun, a suicide belt, a tractor, a truck, or a car.

No Arabs can be trusted. Ever.

Except for those who turn on their comrades, and fight alongside us for peace.

But those who are quiet? They are terrorists in the making. Terrorists in waiting.

Preschoolers are terrorists in training.

“How will you kill the Jews?”

“With a knife.”

“Why do you want to kill them?”

“Because they stole our land.”

As Drizzt so eloquently writes, “Conditioned hatred is rarely a rational emotion.” [Long live Drizzt. But unless he is killed, he will live almost forever.]

There is no safety in this world. We can only pray that G-d watch over us,

and save us from the hands of our enemies, “friends”, and the international community.

Until we take out all the terrorists and their entire families.

And then we will all be safe.

Golda Meir, where are you?