So there's an article in today's Haaretz about how we deal with terror. I open it, thrilled at the acknowledgement that we're all in a unique kind of trauma. And within the first paragraph, the first man interviewed talks about how his friend goes to "Shesek" - the bar on Lillianblum Street - not only because its hot, but because it has no windows, one door, etc. etc. Since "Shesek" is my son's place, I am suddenly very proud. When he and Yuval first designed it, I was horrified by the fact of its thick, windowless walls, and now that's what makes it great. Or one of the things - every time i go there i see how warm and wonderful the atmosphere is and i'm surprised all over again.

what makes it good is everything that he did that i thought was absolutely wrong. This shows you how good my judgement is and now you can decide whether to listen to me about politics or not.

In the mean time Said Barakat has just told Dan Margalit on TV that the Israeli people deserve better eadership than Sharon. And Dan told him that that's what Dennis Ross told him about Arafat and the Palestinians. I wonder if the world - who sees only the manifestations of the animousity between the two nations - knows that Israeli reporters interview Palestinian officials and they absolutely tease each other. And laugh together about it. Where else in the world does this take place.

The Labor Party is now reorganizing - With respect and dialogue, Haim Ramon, Peres, and Fuad and even Ehud Barak are talking about making fences. Could this be the beginning...

So that is the secret of why people don't leave Israel - we grasp at every straw -

Today is erev-hag. Like most people i'll be cooking - but there is time for coffee at a cafe in between. i'm sure - on such a beautiful day - and in anticipation of the long holiday (a 2 1/2 day break from work) everyone will be out today. And looking around all the time to see what is a potential bomb.

The server says i'll be off-line for 2 days while they maintain things. So I'll keep this up off line and then see what happens.

The Eurovision Song Contest: two days ago i received an email asking me to sign a petition to keep Israel out of the Eurovision contest. It disturbed me - i've always thought the whole contest was political and artistic considerations barely enter into the voting. But to 'punish' Israel seemed crazy to me. I sent it to 3 friends to ask what they thought of it. I got back about 30 letters complaining - it seems it had been sent on to other people with my address as originator. There were probably 10 times as many people who read the instructions more carefully and wrote to the real originator of this idea. So e-mail is a pretty effective medium - for both sides.

Since this is the case, maybe we could just transfer the entire conflict to the internet. It certainly would save some lives and a great deal of money.

i once wrote a poem about it - at the beginning of the intifada - a bit too long but relevant


Or maybe the name should be

‘it all started when

he hit me back.’ I mean how

do you decide if an act

is an accident, an innocent mistake,

or a deliberate flaunting

of some unwritten agreement,

a social contract.

It is only the result – the murdered soldier,

the child shot in the head, the rabbi bled

to death – that makes you think of it.

What were you Doing

hiking out there off the approved roads

with armed soldiers as chaperones

when the people of this town

fear attack? And you, why

did you take your child to throw stones

when there were real bullets flying in the air?

Don’t you people know enough to run for cover?

Ah you had a right

to be where you were, to go

where your gods have gone,

a duty to protect your land,

your state, your way of life!

Fine. Let’s do it where it is safe.

Let’s play ‘provocation’ in cyberspace.

Here are some of the rules –

the stronger the reaction you provoke

with the more of your own who are killed

the higher your score.

Of course that is only the general idea.

The rules are more complex – age (at both extremes)

and gender count too. Ancient ladies and little girls

are premium, and there are far more points for provoking

reactions before a camera, or staging dramatic moments:

empty ambulances careening through a street, orphaned families

praying over a father’s fresh grave.

I imagine this as the kind of game that could take

an entire evening, a game whole families could play,

an educational entertainment.

At least, it would keep

the people

off the dangerous,

dangerous streets

How quaint - before the days of suicide bombers and assasinations, before the days when we invaded cities, before thousands of people were killed...

quaint and naive in it's irony

actually - i just realized its on the site - along with some other political poems from this period. how outdated - political collection

Boy, i hope this journal will be outdated - i mean it would be pretty simple to just do it - make a wall - make an agreement - start working on economic projects together - get back to celebrating our holidays, raising our kids, enjoying our lives...

May 17

Shevuot is almost over - in the streets today people were walking around as if it were a regular holiday - people at the beach, in the synagogues, in cafes. I didn't hear or see any news - but notice that TV has cartoons, happy programs. So no disasters.

On the other hand, there is still a wary atmosphere. The sandbags are still protecting the Habima Cafe, and Nona, is a kind of ironic acknowledgment of this, stacked bales of hay around the sidwalk. "When it's over," Oren said, "we'll invite the Mounted Police for lunch."

I'm glad to report there is nothing to report.

Still I wish I had a Ramallah Counterpart to get the personal news over there. (What is it - an hour away door to door?)