We went to see "no Man's Land," the prizewinning film about Bosnia, tonight. In the packed large hall at Kfar Shmariyahu there wasn't a single person who didn't make constant associations with the Arab-Israel conflict, not a single person who didn't cringe each time an explosion was heard in the film, not a single person who didn't try to get some current local political and military significance. Me, I've been shell-shocked for years, have seen most of the famous war and suspense films through the cracks in my fingers, cover my head with each loud noise, hear my heart beating with each moment of uncertainty.
On the way out we all turn on our phones, to make sure we didn't get some terrible message, and then turn on the radio as soon as we get into our cars - relieved to hear that the news opened with our apologies for accidentally destroying the entrance to an unused church in Ramallah. So relieved we don't even really hear about our operations in Balata and Tulkarem. Let's just make it through this night. More about terror in Bosnia and here later.
Because of the strike I haven't been able to get online - so i had to skip a day or fake it. My email is off most of the time when I'm awake. So I'm using this as an alternative account: click here.
Yes, the university is falling apart, for the same reasons that the country is falling apart - people refuse to talk to each other, refuse to give up their power even when they're responsible for disasters refuse to work together, cut off their noses to spite their faces, - etc. etc.
Yes, Israel is "operating" in Tulkarem, Kalkilya, and other towns. The language is interesting, considering the number of arrests that are being made. But they keep discovering bomb factories, chemical weapons, and people planning to blow me up. So I am a bit ambivalent. I want us out of there, but I don't want them to turn their towns into munitions factories...
Two months ago I began this - in part for Anna Frank reasons - so that the world if it's interested will know after i blow up what people like me thought of the situation. I'm still here - the immediate situation is a bit more stable - but only because the suicide bombers are more or less stopped at the source. That means the ultimate situation is far far more volatile and dangerous even than it was 2 months ago.
In Gaza there is incredible poverty. No hunger, but poverty. How can a people who are desperate make peace?
Nissim Zohar - whose play about his life in Alexandria i spoke of last week - talked about Gaza as he knew it as a child - a wild resort, he said. When I was there in 1972-3, I saw few signs of that. We used to visit at the home of Attila -it was a big house, pretty empty and grungy - now that i think of it, like they were squatters in what used to be a rich person's house. My daughter would take off her shoes and go out to play with the other kids.
For years I forgot those visits - and recently all the details began to come to me: the visit to the family orchard about a half an hour out of town, the educated ladies who came to meet me when I had lunch at their homes, my first mistake as a left-handed eater, the taste of the fish. I don't remember much about the bathrooms except that they were tiled floors...
But I ramble, like an old lady who needs to escape the present.
For Ezi's birthday the day after we're going to Yaffo.
I live in Ramat Aviv, next door to the university. From the university you can look down and see most of Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan and the road from Petach Tikva to Tel Aviv. Before 48, there was a town here of about 100 people called Sheikh Munis. It was a perfect spot to pick off Tel Aviv-Petach Tikva travellers and every once in a while I meet someone who lost a father, grandmother, uncle to the snipers at Sheikh Munis. Until very recently there were a number of Arab houses here, but right now the only one still standing in the house f the Sheikh, which has become the faculty club of the university.
I have been reassured that the university paid in full for the lands, although I am not sure to whom the payment was made.
When Oren was young, he would refer to them as 'our local territories' and we thought that was funny. A few years later I began to try to find out about the town, but haven't been very successful.
On no, another bombing. A bus at the Megiddo junction.
a few minutes ago
everyone's heart stops.
Megiddo means Armeggadon. It's right next to Jenin. Anyone who has been in Israel knows the amazing proximity of everything here - and the accessibility. People of Jenin still work in Israel.
This bombing has many victims. Most of the people in this country are glued to the television instead of going to work right now. Even if you're not immediately involved, someone you know is, and you have personally been attacked.
and now there is a strong warning of further attacks in that spot. ambulances coming to take the dead and dying are being checked to make sure they too will not blow up and destroy the people who have come to treat the wounded.
And there are a lot of wounded - a lot of dead.
the bus came from Tel Aviv at 5:15 in the morning. These are workers then. or were.
7 victims - as of this moment - 7 dead - 20 wounded in Afula, some dying. Not clear yet how many in other hospitals...
There are some other terrorists in the area waiting to blow up in the neighborhood, to increase the death toll.
they used to say about Sheikh Munis that the only industry in the town was killing Jews. Apparently this is also true of numerous towns on the West Bank. But after 100 years they're get better at it.
now the dead number 12...
now its 15 - soldiers, i guess. no names have been announced.
i am going up to Haifa in a few hours with Bennett. He likes to take alternate roads.
Now I'm go to get my hair cut - the trivial ceremonies are comforting.
I find the same mood at the hairdressers i was looking for. The blowers drown out the news - but you can still hear the talk of make-up and fashion shows. At the kiosk next door the high school kids on break join with the retired men to watch the Mondial on TV. Enough already, Sali says - we can't listen to any more news.
Laast night while we were waiting for Ezi's skin biopsy, we shared the waiting room with two Ethiopian girls getting their courage together to get their tribal tattoos removed. We kept talking about advancing our civilization. They were beautiful with or without their tattoos. Having a choice was the civilized part.
And now off to the battlefield. Over and out.