As I have written before, westbankpapa is one of the official spokespmen for our yishuv, and the only one who is a native English speaker. This past Friday we hosted someone from the American Embassy who wanted to visit our yishuv and hear what is being said “on the street” in Yesha (my expression, not his). (Another advertisement for making aliyah – and moving to a yishuv. Where else but here would an American diplomat want to know the opinion of a suburban mother of three…..)
He was a very polite and attentive guest, and explained that his colleagues hear the Arab side of the story and his job is to hear ours. He showed a bit of sensitivity to our point of view when he said that he describes our yishuvim as communities – and not settlements.
We described the stone throwing incidents lately and how this affects our daily life. (I drove by the same corner just the other day to take my kid to the dentist – there is an army jeep there now). We also expressed our frustration at the fact that where the politicians at Annapolis are just going through the motions in order to boost their own ratings, what happens on our level is that the terrorism just increases.
Another example of what is happening on the “street” (literally!) happened to me yesterday. I went into Petach Tikva after work to buy some books (there is a good used book store there), and on my way back to my car I was stopped by a security man. “Noone can walk up this block now, there is a suspicious object”, he said. I noticed a crowd down the street being held back also. This being Israel, some people began to argue with him. One Charedi man pushed his way through anyway and went down the street (maybe he thought his peyos would protect him, I don’t know..). Others started to make jokes. One said that his car was parked right where they were checking out the object, and he hoped it would blow up his car. “It’s a piece of junk – maybe the insurance money will get me a better one.” A few others kvetched good naturedly about being tired after a day of work and just wanted to get home.
Finally the police “chablan” – the guy who blows up suspicious objects – came with his robot. One conscientious parent took the opportunity to explain to his daughter what was happening. Two minutes later we were let through. The little girl was disappointed that there was no explosion (either it was obvious that the object was not dangerous or the explosion happens in a closed container so that the noise is muted – I’m not an expert on how this works).
I’ll be happy when the politicians finish having their pictures taken and come home. Then maybe things will settle down.