The Sleep of the Innocent

Before, when I was just an American Citizen (rather than someone with dual citizenship), people would ask me what my thoughts were on Israeli politics, the legitimacy of the settlements, tensions between Palestinians, Arab-Israelis, and Jewish Israelis. My answer was always the same: “I don’t live there. How could I possibly make a statement about what’s right or wrong?” So now I’m here for a year and a half. And if you asked me the same question I’d give you the same answer, but with different reasons. Now that I’m here, I feel as if I understand even less about what goes on. Because I now know that I need to understand the history, the psychology, the culture—and mixtures of cultures. It will take some time until I feel that I know enough to even take a stab at answering that question.

But there’s one thing I am certain of. And that’s last week’s murder of Eden Atias, the 19-year-old soldier who was brutally stabbed as he dozed on the bus in the Afula bus station, is a tragedy beyond understanding.

Eden Atias, a 19-year-old soldier, was brutally stabbed by his seat-mate last week.

Eden Atias, a 19-year-old soldier, was brutally stabbed by his seat-mate last week.

Eden is (I suppose I must now say, “was”)  the same age as my daughter, who will be drafted for the army in a few months. And that, most unfortunately, makes this savagery even more personal. Look at this child’s face. He is so young. What was his crime? He was taking a nap on the bus, having succumbed to the exhaustion of the rigors of his first two weeks in basic training.  He was just at the beginning of everything.

There was an excellent editorial about this in today’s The Times of Israel. I recommend that you read what David Horovitz, the author, has to say. It’s not about knee-jerk reactions. It’s not about hyperbole. It’s about a global lack of understanding of tangential, yet oh-so-vital understandings of what fuels and fills the minds of youth in today’s Middle East.

I can’t get the face of Eden’s mother out of my mind. I don’t even know what she looks like, although I’ve seen photos of the grieving family. I can’t make out who is mother, grandmother, friend. Does it matter?

How could anyone think that you can drive home a positive, political point by murdering an innocent youth while he/she dozed in the next seat? What could it possible prove? What could it change, except the lives of scores of people on both sides of this travesty.

There have been many, many tragedies in this country. And I must pause to consider that this event went not just to the top of the News at 6, but was remarked upon by the country’s prime minister. I don’t see that happening in any other country. Forgive me for quoting Stalin, who said, When one man dies it is a tragedy, when thousands die it’s statistics.

I just don’t understand. And I hope I never will.

KG: Love is in the Air!!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on my Afulian antics. But that’s been because I’ve just been so doggone busy! And yes, I’ll come out with it— I’m in love! Eeyore Gershberg, I’m still in love with you as well, so don’t go howling at the moon or anything. It’s just that you’re so far away, and I’ve been pining for someone else to play with. So I’d like to introduce you to my new love, Snoopy.

"Ebony and Ivory." Don't we make beautiful music together???

“Ebony and Ivory.” Don’t we make beautiful music together???

Snoopy came to the Emunah Center as an abandoned mess, full of flees and underfed, yet full of the joie de vivre that makes him just so lovable. He’s got spunk and energy, and although when we first met he was too afraid of me to play (I must have seemed like a giant to him), he is now about 5 months old and big enough to give what he gets in terms of doggie play, and it’s just fabulous. We spend hours chase each others’ tails (as opposed to our own) and create little circular ditches as a result of our actions! But I must admit that sometime I get dizzy and need to paws a few seconds to catch my breath.

Every day when I come to the Center, I try to pull Ellin over toward the petting zoo where Snoopy lives. Sometime it’s really difficult for us, because if the door to the zoo is closed because a kid is having a therapy session, Snoopy and I can only nuzzle together in the one small spot where the bamboo gate is open a little. But nothing stops us from getting in some good sniffs and licks. Oh, what delight to finally be able to romp, bite, sniff, and roll after almost a year and a half of being tethered to Ellin via my now raggedy red leash. This is just heaven on earth for me (and Snoopy!).

That’s not to say that I haven’t been having fun with other friends here. I’m also in love with Lilly, the Russian music teacher here at Emunah. She’s a real looker and speaks to me with that incredible Russian accent that I’d do anything for her.

A "touching" moment between Lilly and me.

A “touching” moment between Lilly and me.

I’m also not beneath having fun with some of the girls here as well and occasionally get pretty silly with them.

Oh . . . . . the things I have to do for these kids!!!

Oh . . . . . the things I have to do for these kids!!!

But I must admit that after a full day of Snoopy, Lilly, Stav, and Hodaya, I’m a little bleary-eyed.

Think I should audition for a spot on the "Walking Dead" show?

Think I should audition for a spot on the “Walking Dead” show?

But it’s worth it. At the end of the day, I’m a happy pup. Lots of love, sniffs, and love bites. I feel like a new dog!!!

Now I’ve got to convince Ellin to get out there and have some fun. Maybe she should hang out with the rest of us animals at the petting zoo.  I saw Iggy the big green iguana giving her the look the other day. Who knows what could happen???

This is KG, signing off. Until next time,

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