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Will You Marry Me?

You can’t really hear too well, but here, a police officer who is on duty in the Old City proposes to his [officer] girlfriend. He called her to the Kotel (Western Wall) for a few minutes and then, surrounded by his buddies, pulled out a ring.

The best part is how the buddies celebrate afterwards. You can hear them singing – typical Israeli wedding songs.

The video gives you 59 seconds of normalcy. They’ve forgotten – sort of – where they are, why they’re there, and what they’re doing. Sort of. Not entirely.

And hey, they’re just cute.

You can tell they’re a couple from the beginning of the video. When they meet up by the Kotel, they hug. Um. PDA.

Do You Like Being Scared?

Over on another blog (a few days ago), there was a post about Halloween scary. Do you like being scared?

Do you like scary movies?

I’m not going to link, because I really have nothing against the blog owner – I actually kind of admire her, even if I disagree about many things (like gay rights, and the post that she published that showed how “Palestinians” are being mistreated).

But I got mad at the subject. Okay, it’s not her fault. Why should she think to herself that “scary” means something serious to someone who lives so far away? On the other hand, maybe she should – she’s a mother, and has had her share of life difficulties. But okay, she’s never lived in the shadow of anti-Semitism. Fine. Let it go.

I did write a comment (after which the post was no longer displayed on the site, but still accessible through the link – weird). And I think that my comment deserves its own post. So here it is.

I admit. I was pissed. The post got me annoyed. The subject got me annoyed. The absolute lack of any real understanding of what he word “scary” means, got me annoyed. And it shows in my comment. A comment that I think says a lot.

Because before I post, I think. I check. I research. I rephrase. I wonder. I rethink. I don’t always post raw emotion. In fact, I hardly ever post raw emotion – most of those posts are sitting as drafts in my WordPress dashboard.

So here, take it or leave it: What I think of “scary” Halloween:

No, I don’t like being scared.

And I don’t think that scary movies are truly scary. You allow yourself to be pulled in and forget that it’s just a movie, and at the end of the night you will go home to see your family – and NOTHING will happen to you or anyone else in the theater.

Being scared means being afraid to go to the mall because yesterday a Muslim lunged at civilians with a knife.

Being scared means being scared to go to the Old City in Jerusalem, because almost every day, someone is stabbed over there.

Being scared means being afraid to go visit the mourning family of your murdered friend, because who knows, maybe there are more terrorists waiting to shoot innocent civilians on that same road.

It means being scared that because the government decided to open the safe Israeli roads to PA Arabs, those roads are no longer safe – but you have no choice, they are the only roads you can take (and it is because those roads were open to help PA Arabs that this shooting incident occurred).

It means knowing that no one in the entire world cares about you – all that matters is that the “Poor Palestinians” should be able to kill people and run away with their lives and freedom. And BBC is a good example. Poor “Palestinian” – shot after he stabbed someone. Poor “Palestinian” – killed after he killed two civilians. Oh, poor guy.

It means knowing that jail is a farce. In jail these terrorists will receive visitors and see their families, they will get a degree – free, paid for by our taxes – and a salary; their families will live well and will also get nice sums of money. And when these terrorists are freed – in the next US-forced deal – they will be received with the highest honors and go back to killing Israeli citizens.

Sorry. but “Halloween scary” is a farce.

Pictures And Terror Attacks

Someone asked to see my degree paper. I took it out, photographed it, and uploaded the photo to my email. I was about to take the SD card out of the computer, like I usually do. And then I thought to myself, “Hmm, maybe I should just upload these pictures to my computer? I’m not rushing to do anything at the moment.”

So I did. And I realized that the last time I transferred pictures from my camera to my computer was in the very beginning of April. I know this, because the last folder created was March 2015. Wow.

It makes sense. We’ve been busy. There were a few months in there that I didn’t want to look at pictures (although I continued taking them), because I was too worried. But now, thank G-d, everything is back to normal, and everyone is healthy. The pictures from April through July will still hurt a bit, but we are over it. I think. I hope. I pray. Thank G-d.

Thank G-d.

And I’m kicking myself. I still don’t have an American passport for Tova. I don’t have one, because I didn’t really think we’d need one. We’re not planning on traveling, and an emergency passport is easy enough to get, right?

I took passport pictures of Tova. But I never got the passport. We didn’t need it, it’s a pain to go to Jerusalem, and I’m always paranoid. But now I wish I’d done this before.

Because now it’s not my paranoia. It’s facts on the ground. Jerusalem is becoming a scarier place every day. And I need a vacation. If someone offered me enough money (besides for regular salaries), I would seriously pick up and take a two-month vacation, on condition that our income wouldn’t suffer, and we’d have everything ready and waiting when we came back.

A few months ago, terror attacks were limited to the Old City and neighborhoods that border East Jerusalem (which, by the way, the consulate does, probably on purpose). Today terror has spread to Givat Shaul, Meah Shearim, Malchei Yisrael, Ein Karem, and who knows where else. Today, there was a bus attack.

It’s not safe to be in Jerusalem. Period.

On the other hand, we chose our city because it hardly ever makes the news – and when it does, it’s usually about a benign topic that our city is famous for. To date, we’ve made the news about unemployment, strikes, our nice benign famousness, our educational excellence and . . . one incident that was caused by a Jewish psycho. An incident that we hope will be forgotten, by everyone.

So now I have finally finished copying all the pictures taken from April-September 2015 onto our computer. I have to sort through them.

And maybe I have to pick myself up, go to the library, print out the necessary documents, and make an appointment with the consulate. It doesn’t look like the situation will get better within the next week.

Should we buy a lottery ticket, and hope that G-d will pick us to be the winners . . . and then use the money to take a vacation from this crazy security situation?

On the other hand, where would we go? And how would we manage to keep up a steady income while we’re gone?

Is Antarctica looking for people? Are there anti-Semites down there?

I wouldn’t want to visit my family in Canada. I don’t think it’s too safe over there, either, right now – it’s made the news several times, and the number of Arabs who live there . . . you may as well be in Lod. On the other hand, Yitzchak’s family lives in a quiet part of the U.S. They, too, are famous for benign things. But maybe it’s not a good idea to go there, either. There’s been a wave of Arab immigration recently.  Most of them are refugees, but still . . .

Maybe it’s just better to stay where we are. We can take a vacation to the Golan. Or we can take a vacation to our bomb shelter.

What do you think?

If I close my eyes, will this awful situation disappear?

Please tell me that within a month, the Arabs will be too scared to breathe, and definitely won’t be even *thinking* of attempting to pull off any terror attacks.

Right?

Today’s Terror And Things I’ve Overlooked

Two days ago, a rock was thrown at a mother and daughter who were driving. The 16 month old baby and 32 year old mother were lightly injured and fully conscious, but still needed to be taken to the hospital. The terrorist was apprehended.

An Arab couple in Gaza named their baby after the stabber who killed Nechemia Lavi and Aharon Banita, HY”D, and injured Banita’s wife and a toddler in the Old City. Lavi was not initially at the site of the attack; he went down with his gun to help the victims, and was killed in the attempt. If naming your baby after such a murderer isn’t sick, I don’t know what is. Obviously, the baby isn’t at fault – but maybe the parents should be arrested for planning and perpetuating terror, and the baby given to a more moderate, childless, Arab couple.

Later that same night, after Lavi and Banita, HY”D, were murdered, there was another stabbing attack in the vicinity. The 15-year-old Jewish victim was just released from the hospital’ the stabber was an Arab teen terrorist.

As if the Baga”tz will do it if we don’t force them to: Bibi told the High Court (Baga”tz) to close the shops of all those who laughed at and mocked terror victim Adelle Banita, instead of helping her when she ran from the terrorist who had killed her husband, with her children in tow and a knife still stuck in her shoulder.

At least this is good news: MK Slomiansky is demanding that the security forces have a free hand to do what they need to do, and full support from the government. Of course, this demand isn’t new – but at least someone has the guts to speak up.

This hits too close to home for comfort: A PA Arab tried to enter Be’er Sheva’s Tax Authortiy building, but was arrested after a knife was found on his body. Suspicions were initially raised when he efused to identify himself to the security guard. He wasn’t a Bedouin, that’s true. But what does that help us if PA Arabs can get to Be’er Sheva?

Abbas – oh, Abbas. Apparently, Islamic Jihad and Hamas aren’t doing enough to achieve “Palestinian independence”; he calls on them to join the PLO – and asks the U.N. to apply the Fourth Geneva Conventions to Israel. I find it interesting that these “Palestinians” are not bound by Oslo or the Geneva Conventions, but that they expect us to be. Indeed, we do follow the Geneva Conventions with regards to POW’s, but that does not mean that we need to give terrorists control of all of Judea and Samaria.

The city of Jerusalem has apparently had enough; one of the newest measures is to put metal detectors in and around the Old City.

Proof that the “Palestinians” are no more than animals: Not only did they deface Naama Henkin’s, HY”D, website (which was later fixed by Israeli cyber workers), but they are posting photos of the murdered couple next to smiling Arab faces on social media. They are celebrating this “heroic” murder that left four orphans as a “joyous event”. And between you and me, it’s not really heroic to trap a car and shoot the occupants point-blank. It’s just murder. If they wanted to be heroic, they should’ve at least allowed the Henkins to put up a fight.

And while we’re on the subject of the Henkins: Their eldest, 9 years old, told the paramedic who brought them to Itamar from the scene of the attack, “They murdered my parents.” You can only guess what he saw and what trauma he will forever have from this horrific experience.

The Henkins’ four year old was reading a book with his grandmother about a baby kangaroo that was sad and jumped into its mother’s pouch. He asked his grandmother, “What happens to the baby kangaroo if its mother is killed?” And remember how I was wondering why the terrorists had left after “only” killing the parents? It turns out that they didn’t have a choice: One terrorist accidentally shot his buddy in the hand, and since they didn’t want to be caught, they had to drop their guns (literally) and run. Security forces have now found both guns – a good thing, I suppose.

But enough of this. It’s now 6pm on Thursday, October 8. Would you like a list of *today’s* terror attacks?

Here goes:

  1. Terrorists threw rocks at a bus near Haifa. No one was hurt, but the bus was damaged.
  2. Terrorists threw rocks at cars in the Hevron Hills. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.
  3. Masked terrorists set tires on fire near Beit El. The IDF fought to take control over the situation.
  4. Terrorists threw rocks at vehicles near Carmei Tzur; the IDF used riot dispersion techniques to take control of the situation.
  5. Terrorists threw rocks at a car near Afula, on Road 60. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.
  6. Two Jews, a soldier and a student, were injured in a stabbing attack near Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem. The student was seriously injured; the soldier was lightly injured.
  7. A 15-year-old Arab youth threw rocks at a police officer in Jerusalem.
  8. Arab terrorists threw rocks at a civil administration car near Hevron.
  9. An Arab terrorist hurled a glass bottle at a pedestrian in Jerusalem.
  10. Four Jews were injured in a stabbing attack in Tel Aviv; the Arab terrorist who attacked them was killed. The terrorist who perpetrated the attack worked at a construction site in Tel Aviv.
  11. A 25-year-old Jewish man was injured when an Arab terrorist stabbed him in Kiryat Arba.
  12. A soldier was lightly injured in a rock attack, perpetrated by an Arab terrorist, near the town of Neve Tzuf.
  13. Arab rioters attacked Jewish worshipers near Rachel’s Tomb; soldiers used riot dispersion techniques to deal with the rioters. By miracle, no one was hurt and no damage was caused.
  14. Terrorists threw rocks at a bus in the Hevron Hills; no one was hurt, but the bus was damaged. G-d save us all.

Hopefully, there will be *no more* to follow. But the day is still young, so who knows.

Update at 11pm:

15. An Arab terrorist fired an air rifle at Kiryat Arba residents; one of whom fired back a warning shot.
16. A Molotov cocktail was thrown by an Arab terrorist at a civilian vehicle near Beit El.
17. Two people were wounded by an Arab terrorist in a stabbing attack in Afula.

And it’s really no wonder that things are escalating, since Abbas and the PLO are shamelessly, publicly, announcing that killing Jews is a national duty. Antisemitism, genocide, anyone?

A Record? 22 Terror Attacks In One Day

Yesterday was a busy day. Busy for the terrorists, busy for the hospitals, and busy for the defense forces. Here is a list of Arab terror attacks from yesterday. All of them are from yesterday. I think we broke a record, and I hope that we never again come close to this number, or surpass it.

Before we start, I want to make one thing clear: These “rocks” are more like “boulders.” They are not pebbles. Remember David and Goliath? David killed Goliath with a rock the size of a marble. The rocks in these situations are much bigger, ranging from softball sized to the size of a cantaloupe.

These are not little rocks, and they are weapons like any other.

Okay, now for the list. Ready? I am going in chronological order, from morning to night.

1. Two Molotov cocktails were thrown at vehicles on Route 6. By miracle, no one was hurt and no damage was caused.

2. Rocks were thrown at a Jewish woman as she travled in her car. After throwing the rocks, the Arab mob opened the car doors, kicked her, and tried to wrest her from the car. Thankfully, they didn’t manage. The woman was lightly injured, but still required hospitalization.

3. A female terrorist stabbed two people near Lion’s Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. Thankfully, she was shot and seriously wounded before she could cause any further harm.

3a. During this same incident, another driver tells how he was almost killed by the same Arabs hurling cinder blocks at him. Remember, when rocks are thrown at moving vehicles, more than one vehicle is in danger.

4. An Arab stabbed a soldier in Kiryat Gat and attempted to steal the soldier’s gun. Luckily the soldier was quick-thinking and fast-moving, and although he himself was lightly injured, he managed to kill the terrorist.

4a. Actually, that’s not what happened – it’s what we thought had happened at first. What really happened is that the terrorist grabbed the gun and ran into a residential building. A kid saw an armed Arab, saw said Arab run into their building, locked their door, and told his father. At first his father didn’t believe him, but he came to the door just in time to see the Arab pass by their peephole. They immediately barricaded the door and alerted the police, who arrived at the spot and managed to kill the terrorist before any further harm had been done. Kudos to the kid, and to the police.

However, a neighbor of theirs was accosted by this terrorist just outside her front door, as the terrorist tried to force his way into her apartment. She took the conflict into the stairwell, and one of the other residents kept her and her mother safe until the border police came. As it turns out, the gun didn’t have a magazine.

5. A riot near Beit El turned dangerous, and the soldiers, who were there to keep security and calm, found themselves being attacked with rocks. They managed to shoot two of the Arabs who had turned violent, and calm was restored.

6. Arab terrorist hurled rocks at a car near Moshav Carmel, and threw flaming tires into the road, in a double attempt to injure civilians. By miracle, no one was hurt, but the car’s windshield was shattered.

7. Arab terrorists threw rocks at cars near Beit Omer. Again, by miracle, no one was hurt in the attack.

8. An Arab terrorist attacked a security officer at my favorite hospital – Hadassah Ein Karem in Jerusalem. The terrorist was apprehended. (Okay, I’m not a fan of hospitals. But I sure would like to have every future baby at Ein Karem, where I had Shlomo.)

9. An Arab terrorist threw rocks at the security team near Shavei Shomron. The IDF chased down the terrorist and arrested him; during a search of his body, they found that the terrorist had also been carrying a knife.

10. Arab terrorists threw rocks at security forces in Jerusalem (near the Old City . . . I wonder why there were security forces there – perhaps because there have been almost daily stabbings in the area?), wounding an officer in his head. The security forces chased down the terrorists and arrested two of them.

11. Arab terrorists threw rocks at border guards near an IDF base in the Binyamin region, wounding an officer in his face. The officer required medical treatment, and the IDF had to work to disperse the rioters.

12. Rocks were thrown at a bus near Beit Omer. No one was hurt and no damage was caused.

13. A fire in a Jerusalem store was apparently caused by arson. The flames were quickly extinguished and police are investigating the incident.

14. An Arab terrorist from Hevron stabbed a civilian in a Petach Tikva mall. Other shoppers got control of the terrorist and disarmed him. The victim suffered wounds to his chest and it is a miracle that he is still alive.

15. Unknown (and therefore – still free) Arab terrorists threw rocks at vehicles driving near Chavat Gilad. No one was hurt and no damage was caused, thanks be to G-d who protects us.

16. Arab terrorists threw firebombs in an arson attempt near Haifa. They were arrested. This was an arson attempt, for some weird reason, at an Arab city, but remember please that the firefighters would have been Jewish, and therefore in danger – and in addition, it is that many firefighting forces and security forces that would have been tied up an unable to respond elsewhere. In addition, fires spread – remember the Carmel forest fire in 2010?

17. An Arab driver attempted to run over Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near Maale Adumum. Soldiers shot and neutralized the terrorist driver. No Israeli civilians were hurt,but two soldiers were lightly injured and were taken to Shaarei Tzedek Hospital for treatment.

18. Two terrorists threw rocks at a bus in the city of Yaffo. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but the bus was damaged. The terrorists were arrested, hopefully NOT to be released in the next U.S.-forced deal.

19. Arab terrorists threw Molotov cocktails at a house in Beitar Illit. Nobody was hurt, but the bars on the window of the children’s room were damaged.

20. Arab terrorists threw rocks at a bus near the Hizme checkpoint. By the grace of G-d, nobody was hurt and no damage was caused.

21. Arab terrorists threw rocks at a bus in Natzrat Ilit. Thank G-d, nobody was hurt, but the bus was damaged.

22. Arab terrorists threw rocks at a vehicle near Neve Tzuf. Thank G-d, nobody was hurt and no damage was caused.

When I started this post, I thought there had been ten attacks only. As it turns out, the true number is more than double that I had thought – and I had also thought that ten made sense, but I might have accidentally counted one of the attacks twice.

Truth to tell, this is probably one of the most boring posts I’ve had to write. I mean, how many times can you write, “Terrorists threw rocks at a car,” or “Terrorists threw rocks at security forces,” before it gets boring? All that changes is the location, damage, and number of injured.

If you notice, a good number of these attacks are against security forces. Given that security forces of any country, are, in a sense, more “legitimate” targets (they are soldiers or policemen, not regular civilians), I’d like to divide this list into two sections: Attacks against security forces, and attacks against civilians. (This, by the way, is reason number one why I don’t want Yitzchak in uniform.)

Attacks against security forces: 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 17

Attacks against civlians: 1, 2, 3, 3a, 4a, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

So let’s see: 7 attacks against security forces. And 17 attacks against civilians. In one day.

There were also some attacks that were thwarted:

– An Arab youth pulled out a knife in an attempt to harm border police, but the officers overwhelmed him and took away the knife.

– The family of a terrorist who is being treated in an Israeli hospital started to fight with the police. The police quickly took control of the situation. Sigh. If they’re not interested in respecting hospital regulations, then maybe we shouldn’t be treating terrorists anymore?

On the flip side, a Jewish youth threw rocks at an Arab vehicle. He was, of course, arrested. But can you honestly blame him? It’s not our way to hurt civilians. We are not that kind of nation. But after so many terror attacks – 22 in one day, and countless others within the past month – I think maybe we can cut this Jewish kid some slack. He’s mad, yes. He crossed a red line, definitely. But I totally get why. His friends and family are being killed – right, left, and center.

And the worst part? The international community will take this *one* Jewish rock thrower and concentrate *only* on him, while ignoring the other *22* attacks that were perpetrated yesterday – all of them by Arab terrorists.

Which, of course, is Reason Number Two that Jews should not attack Arab civilians – the international community chooses to pick on us instead of concentrating on the real problem of Islamic terrorists. (Reason Number One, of course, is that it is not our way – we are not low murderers and we do not attack civilians.)

The State Department Makes Me Puke

Here’s what they have to say about last night’s murder – which, by the way, left four orphans.

“We extend our condolences to the victims’ family. We urge all sides to maintain calm, avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this tragedy, and work together to bring the perpetrators to justice,”

Yeah. Seriously.

The murder is *because* of the escalation. There were *four* terror attacks yesterday.

“You hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.” Maybe, but you also see no reason for us to step up our tactics to prevent future attacks. All that’s important to you is the plight of these poor “Palestinian” murderers.

Oh, and by the way? The cliche, standard, automatic response is REALLY not appropriate here.

My friend and her husband were killed. There are now four orphans – orphans who watched their parents’ murder.

And all you can say is, “Please don’t hurt the poor ‘Palestinians’ who teach, encourage, incite, and perpetuate this kind of cold-blooded murder, this kind of violence, this kind of genocide, this kind of cruelty.

Please. It’s not their fault that they are murderers and teach their children to be murderers. Please, be nice to them . . . even if it means allowing them to kill parents in front of their children, even if it means killing innocent children in cold blood.”

Shut up and go to Azazel.

May G-d avenge the blood of all those murdered in terror attacks. And may all the terrorists be blinded and misled, and start killing each other until there are none of their kind left.

Amen, selah.

How Many Murders Are Enough?

Today there have been four – four – terror attacks.

Stones were thrown this morning. A mother and baby were lightly injured. Thankfully, they didn’t need to be hospitalized.

A terrorist tried to run into a bus, and when the bus stopped, to shoot the passengers. It didn’t work, so he attacked an army tank as second-best.

Then there was a shooting attack. A young couple in their thirties was murdered, while their four kids – aged 9, 7, 4, and 10.5 months – watched from the back seat. As it happens, I am acquainted with the mother.

And then there were more stones thrown, near Shiloh, causing a car to overturn.

On the first day of Sukkot, we were with my cousins in Jerusalem. My cousin’s husband suggested that we all walk down to the Kotel (the Western Wall), about a 40 minute walk (although, with nine kids between us, it probably would have taken double that time). Yitzchak politely declined. Because we’re chicken. But apparently, we’re chicken for good reason – a father and his children were harassed that morning. Because there were video cameras, the Muslims didn’t actually harm the Jews. Luckily.

Remember Chaya Zissel Braun and Shalhevet Pass? The trend is back. Muslims have no qualms about kicking babies in strollers. Of course, if the parents were to defend their babies, and hurt the offenders, then the parents would be in jail and the Muslim terrorist would get millions of dollars in damages.

And then there were the Gush Etzion fires. Arsons.

I feel like every day, there are multiple attacks. And yet, the world is silent.

Dang the world! Damn the world! To Azazel with the entire world!

Why can’t OUR GOVERNMENT get the guts to defend us?

Terrorists need to be shot on the spot. Their families need to be stripped of their citizenship and deported with two hours’ warning.

And any leftists who are gung-ho to help them out can hop on a flight to Iraq and join the deportees.

No, I’m not Muslim. So I won’t say “Death to the Muslims!” like they say “Death to the Jews!”

But if they hate it here so much – let them leave.

If they can’t let us live in peace and security – they don’t belong here.

Neither do the infiltrators, by the way. (And these infiltrators also claim “refugee” status, even when it is blatantly unjustified.)

It is surreal, unjust, irresponsible, to have places in Israel that are Judenrein, and terror, harrassment, and murder in so many other places – in Israel.

If you do not believe that Israel should exist as a Jewish state. Leave. Like, now.

אשרי שישלם לך את גמולך שגמלת לנו. אשרי שיאחז וניפץ את עוללייך על הסלע.

וה’, שפוך חמתך על הגויים אשר לא ידעוך ועל הממלכות אשר בשמך לא קראו, כי אכל את יעקב ואת נוהו השמו.

די, נו, באמת. מספיק כבר.

Enough With the Awful Weather!

I blinked.

I opened my eyes.

Suddenly, it’s September.

The awful weather we had in June turned milder, but still hot, in July.

We’ve had three heat waves, where the weather reached 40 degrees in some places. I feel like our average was 38, throughout the summer. (But I may be wrong.) One of those heat waves lasted a week. A WEEK.

Now there’s a dust storm, and I can’t even open the windows. I hate not being able to open the windows. It cuts out light and air. Even hot air is air. But to have no air, except what’s already in here? Ugh.

It’s a dust storm and a fourth heat wave. It started on Tuesday morning, and hasn’t let up yet. With the windows closed, there is still light, but much less. They’re thick, and translucent, instead of transparent.

How am I supposed to get work done when I can’t see the sun and sky, when there’s no breeze? I don’t have a choice. I have to work, even if I can’t work as well as usual.

Sheesh. I’ve spent the whole summer waiting for nicer weather. And now, the summer’s over – over – the school year has started, and there is no nice weather in sight.

Sunday night is Rosh Hashana. On Monday, we’re eating with friends who live fifteen minutes away from the shul. If this doesn’t let up, we may have to cancel – Tova can’t go out in this, and even though Shlomo has been going to gan, it’s not good for him to breathe this polluted Syrian-Iraqi dust, either.

In gan, they have an air conditioner, and he takes the bus. Yesterday, it looked like the dust was clearing, and the ganenet let the kids play in the yard. I think that was a mistake, and hope they weren’t allowed out, today.

In the meantime, this apartment is getting more and more stuffy and humid. I have a layer of grease over my entire body, and pimples that make me look sixteen. It’s gross. I want to open the windows, and I want an air conditioner. I want sun and I want air, and I want my laundry to dry in five hours instead of 30.

But as of last night, 600 people had been hospitalized for inhaling this polluted dust, and I just can’t take the chance. The health ministry has warned that the elderly, babies, young children, and pregnant women, shouldn’t be exposed to this stuff – and neither should anyone with asthma or pulmonary heart issues. They’ve warned everyone to stay inside and not to strenuous physical activity.

Yitzchak isn’t doing a good job of listening to that instruction, but he’s an adult, and he has things to do – he can’t stay home all day. I feel like we should be splitting the outings between us, but the fact is, it doesn’t make sense for him to come home and then for me to leave and make a separate trip. It’s easier for him to just run the errands that are on the way to wherever he’s going.

This dust is choking. It makes you cough and it makes your eyes burn. I don’t know if we were smart or stupid to send Shlomo to gan. But I do know that Tova has no business breathing in any of this stuff, and even though she’s going stir crazy wanting to get out of the house, we just can’t risk it.

I hope this polluted sandbox weather clears up soon. I’m not sure how much longer I can stay inside with the doors closed. Thankfully, it’s not winter. If we had gas or a heater on, there would be a serious carbon monoxide risk. Sheesh, even in the winter I air out the nearly every day. Sure, it takes more time for it to warm up again. But I can’t stand having no fresh air.

Dust, you’ve got twelve hours to get out of here. If you’re intent on causing harm, go to Iran. They need you a LOT more.

Arabs = Kidnappers

Yeah, you bet.

Israel is – if you take away terrorism – an incredibly safe country.

Kidnappings are done by insane family members, left in charge by stupidly trusting parents, or perhaps during a messy divorce.

Violent crime – except by infiltrators in Tel Aviv – is practically nonexistent (excepting terror, of course; but terror is not “regular violent crime”).

Thefts – usually not. Unless, of course, you live in South Tel Aviv, where infiltrators rule.

Murders – Again, maybe once a year. Half of those are crazy nutcase family members, and a quarter are money-related, and the other quarter are just crazy nutcases.

.

Apparently, Muslims don’t know, or don’t care, that we value peace and quiet. And apparently, not hitchhiking isn’t good enough anymore. Since people don’t trust these animals anymore, they have to actively find other ways to prey.

This incident, in which a child is nearly abducted while the mother puts the stroller into her car, sets a scary precedent.

Let me explain. In many, if not most, cities in Israel, you can let a seven-year-old walk freely, without worrying. If you’re not American born, you might even let a five-year-old go to the store by himself. And it’s not abuse or neglect. It’s simply that every child is everyone’s child.

I know that the bus driver cares about my son. I know that the lady in the store will worry about my baby if she cries. It’s a given. And that’s what makes this country so special.  Since I grew up in the U.S. and Canada, I can’t stomach leaving my kids to navigate by themselves; even when they are teens, I will probably insist on a buddy or two.  But that’s because kidnappings were ingrained into my being.

I’m not a native Israeli, so I have psychological issues with things that aren’t problematic here.  When I was growing up, children weren’t safe, anywhere, ever, unless they were in the presence of a known, trusted adult. Israel is different. Here, we are all brothers.

Well, all of us except the Muslim animals, who apparently don’t care about any morals or values.

It scares me to think that I will have to watch my kids constantly, more than I already do, petrified that some Arab maniac will try to snatch them.

It scares me more to think that if I had the guts, strength, or whatever, to break that Arab’s neck, I would land in jail, and he would walk free, to continue terrorizing Jewish families. And Yitzchak would be left to manage both kids by himself, because G-d forbid a Jew should stand up for himself or protect his family.

G-d save us all.

G-d give Israel strength to defend itself, to stand up for itself, to ignore the world’s pressure and do to the Arabs what Shaul should have done to Amalek.

G-d give Israel the strength to finish the job, to learn from Shaul’s mistake, and to not let any more animals run free and wild.

G-d protect Israel, and all her sons and daughters, from enemies within and without.

G-d grant the politicians half a brain, to do what it right and true, despite the fact that it is not easy and it is unpopular.

Amen.

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As a side note, I want to add that once, while I was walking back on Friday night with my aunt and uncle, in Jerusalem, I felt someone watching me. I looked around, and saw a Muslim man following me from the other side of the street. When I turned, he turned. When I stopped, he stopped. When I sped up, so did he.

I mentioned his existence to my uncle, who spotted the man and asked what he was up to. Of course, the guy denied anything, but when he was told to go – he went. Probably, because I wasn’t alone, and therefore wasn’t worth it.

This was scary, because Jerusalem is – or at least was, back then – an incredibly safe place to walk, even alone, even at night, even on a weekend night. To think that it might not be safe anymore is a scary thought.

But, in reality, Jerusalem hasn’t been safe for at least a year and a half. And it’s only getting worse.

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About the title.

Maybe you’ll say I’m generalizing, and I probably am. But the fact is, these people-animals live around us. There are cities in Israel where no Jew can go, because it’s not safe. There are no cities in Israel where no Arab can go, because it’s not safe for him.

Hitchhiking is dangerous because the person you give a ride to, or take a ride from, might be a Muslim out to kidnap and kill you. There are countless examples. Google it.

Fighting a Muslim is dangerous, because he might kidnap or kill you.

And apparently, putting the stroller into the car is dangerous, because a Muslim might kidnap your kid.

Giving birth to a boy in Soroka is dangerous, because a Muslim mother might try to switch your boy for her girl. I kid you not. There is a reason the doctors and nurses in Soroka check the bracelets and diapers of every single baby, every five minutes. These things have happened, and still do.

When I say Muslims, Arabs, are kidnappers, I kid you not.

ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas – all of these kidnap children to use as child soldiers. Yes, sometimes they brainwash the children first. But at the end of the day, there are more than enough kidnappings.

I will end here, because I have work to do today, and if I keep on writing, I will be too worked up to do anything at all.

May G-d save us all.

Tel Aviv in Pictures

Tel Aviv was never my favorite city.  It’s big – huge, by Israeli standards.

It’s grey.

It’s polluted.

It has lots of people.

It’s full of cigarettes, and therefore, it stinks to high heaven.

It’s full of high-rise, modern buildings.

In short, it’s a modern metropolis.  If I liked modern, metropolitan cities, I would live in New York, Los Angeles, or Toronto.  I happen to dislike big, grey, modern cities.

I also happen to think that even though Tel Aviv has a character all its own, a unique stripe of Israeli society, it doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the country’s unique style.

Sometimes, I think that Tel Aviv is a New York-wannabe. Or maybe a London-wannabe.  And in my opinion, that’s a shame.

Israel is unique in so many ways, and there is no reason to copy another country’s culture.  I like Israel, for all its identity issues,; anything that is SomethingElse-Wannabe, is not something that I’m going to fall in love with.

Navigating Tel Aviv isn’t easy, either.  Even native Israelis get lost in that metropolitan maze (except, of course, those born and bred in Tel Aviv and its environs).

There is one Tel Aviv train station (I don’t remember which one) that, if you leave it to the left, you end up in one city, and if you leave it to the right, you end up in another.

Another train station, Tel Aviv HaHagana, has a similar issue.  If you leave one way, you end up on a busy street near government offices.  If you leave the other way, you end up in a mall.  And if you mess up, you’re stuck.  Unless, of course, you want to pay for a cab.

While we were in Tel Aviv, I took out my camera and started taking pictures.  It slowed us down somewhat, but Yitzchak managed to put up with it.

One thing you can definitely say is that the Tel Aviv municipality has worked hard to make this area pleasant for pedestrians and pleasing to the eye.

There are enough benches here for a class picnic,

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but no shade.  It looks like the municipality is trying to change that, though, since in this kikar, there are

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lots of trees, each with a bench underneath.  They’re young trees right now, but it makes you wonder what will be in ten years.

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Following what I said about modern cities, this unique building gives you the feeling that if you could only climb up onto that bottom step, you’d be able to take the stairs to the top.

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Just outside the courthouse is a long row of motorbikes.

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Every time I passed by, I wondered if this was a general parking lot, or if these motorbikes belonged to all the courthouse workers.

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The city did make sure to gives us some shade, after all.  A long block of sidewalk was lined with trees in a small dirt “garden”, so that we wouldn’t forget what nature looks like.

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Cutting down on traffic, exercising, and keeping the air clean seem to be values to be encouraged.  The city has created a bike rental stand.  Pay, take a bike, and return it later.

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Of course, there is the ever-present line of bus stops, a must-have for all large cities in Israel.

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And to end off the post, we can’t forget a picture of the skyline – any skyline.

Since taking these photos, I have learned how to compensate for over- and under-exposure.  There are more Tel Aviv photos, though, so check back soon.

What do you think?  Does Tel Aviv sound like – and look like – a place you’d want to visit or live in?  Or are you like me, and prefer smaller, quieter, cities and towns?