Warless, crimeless, murderless… trip highlights!

Since a shit-ton of wrong went down this summer – in Israel and across the world – I’m going to dedicate this post to the happy, quirky, tiny moments of the trip I took with the kids to visit family in New York this month.

On my first day in Ameeeerica, I have now seen EVERYTHING. Liz OUT. 

One of my favorite things to visit. Couldn’t keep my hands off.

Ok, sorry, I lied. But I couldn’t help it. I, on the one hand, hate the sensationalist news in New York, and on the other hand, can’t be there without breathing it like a true native.

A pride and a privilege to see this happen for the first time. My brothers and I ate slept breathed the New York Public Library growing up (thanks mom).

Found an old friend. Put on the big cushy headphones and hit play for kicks… and it played… played and played some obscure teenage song… from my old mix tape collection. For the, um, record, I made some pretty good ripped-off-the-radio mixed tapes.

WRONG.

The kids met their cousin. Bebe was quite taken.

We broke the rules a few times.

The city.

It’s not New York without a visit from the FDNY.

‘And did you hear the Rosenbergs are down in Fort Lauderdale this month? Oh can you just imagine?’

Bebe was taken with a lot of new things… and a particular uncle…

We wrote to ‘our’ congressman to try and save the elephants… the 96 Elephants Project at the NY Aquarium.

That guy.

You know you’re getting older when…

The mother ship.

The Big Green Lady.

So when we arrived at Newark, Koala kept asking me who the green man holding a book was. Lucky the border control takes so long because I could not figure out what the eff he was talking about. Then I looked up at one of the monitors and saw the Statue of Liberty imprinted… then I did that dramatic movie turnaround and saw she was everywhere… so I taught him about the Statue of Liberty. Sure enough, as we got to the elevators, there she was, a real statue, and Koala – who happened to be in his, yes, green jumpsuit, stood proudly imitating her.

So we went. She was kind of a theme of the trip.

Including upskirt.

More city.

When you have a Grandpa from Florida.

Gay peeps can get married, Gilad Shalit can’t.

I’m trying to enjoy the excitement I feel over New York State’s legalizing gay marriage, giving some of my friends a chance at an alternative-alternative lifestyle, while simultaneously trying to work out the torment I feel over the fact it’s now been a way-too-long five years since 18-year-old beginner soldier Gilad Shalit was taken captive during non-’war’time, and denied Red Cross visits.

 

Fanning hatred on the 9th of Av.

Can someone explain to me how publishing an article about which Israeli demographic hates which other Israeli demographic is supposed to be appropriate for Tisha B’Av?

Why so negative, Ynet? Why stir the pot of hatred and conflict and darkness?

As a Jew who studied for years and years about Jewish history, as a student who spent the last few years studying conflict management, and as a mother for just over one year… I take offense at Ynet’s skewed survey and the publishing of its superficial results – so incredibly anti what the next 25 hours are about.

And if they want to make it sound like it’s something only observantly religious folks care about, their own survey proves them wrong.

The fact is, a day that is set aside in Judaism for mourning our own destruction, due to our own hatred of own people, is something the entire Jewish world – secular, religious, purple or green – should acknowledge.

This is the easiest day in the Jewish calendar to secular-ify. Teachings of tolerance, peace, treating others the way we would want to be treated…

Really? Does that not speak to you, Ynet?

It’s a shame there isn’t more outreach, programming and news related to the positive effects that are possible from the core causes for our mourning on Tisha B’Av.

Facing the streets.

I like this. Especially since reading the Israeli news lately has been painful (then again, when is it not?). Look at Barkat being all cultural and whatnot:

Jerusalem streets to put a face to name

Capital’s municipality to replace all street signs named after famous people with new signs featuring personality’s image, story

You’re driving through the city and you pass by all kinds of streets – Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, Henrietta Szold, Golda Meir, Yigal Alon. How many of you actually know who these people are and what they look like?

Well, a new Jerusalem initiative will enable passersby to get better acquainted with the personality behind the street name.

Israel’s cities are full of boulevards and streets named after various personalities, both Israeli and foreign. Sometimes you know exactly who the name behind the street is and what they looked like, in other cases you may just have a general idea, and there are times when you have no idea whatsoever who the street is referring to. 

This is why the Jerusalem Municipality has decided to embark on an operation, the first of its kind in Israel, that will allow residents to enrich their general knowledge on significant personalities. (ynet)

The article makes an interesting point at the end: How will the charedi community feel about seeing women’s faces on the streets of Jerusalem? Not like they don’t already with advertisements, but they often get ripped down or spray-painted over. Then again, Golda Meir’s mug is not exactly… womanly.

Israeli election coverage from YouTube and Channel 2.

Here’s something new and different: Israeli television channel ערוץ 2 and YouTube seem to have teamed up to bring us (Hebrew) coverage of the 2009 Knesset elections campaigns.

The campaigns have begun, although they’re obviously not as exciting or inspiring as the American ones this past year. Fair enough. But it is interesting that the major parties and news outlets are trying to take pages right out of the elections handbooks of the American elections culture:

  • Shas is using Twitter (and from what I’ve heard, annoyingly so) and has adopted Barack Obama’s “Yes we can” slogan.
  • Ehud Barak of the (dying) Labor party accepted an invitation to participate in an Eretz Nehederet skit last night.
  • Bibi of Likud apparently carbon copied Obama’s website style for his own website.
  • I’ve repeatedly seen plays on the phrase “Yes we can,” in headlines, blog posts and websites.
  • Eretz Nehederet is, of course, having fun with all the jokes.

Not sure where Kadima is in all this. Maybe they’re feeling the heat and thinking of a controversial right-hand (wo)man pick.

Back to the new YouTube-Channel 2 page: It’s kinda cool to see all the comments and users involved this way, via the internet. Of course, everything comes to Israel after it goes through the States first, but maybe we can hope that some of the more stupid elections aspects will not follow.

However, poor candidate choice apparently always will.

Tonight's rally for the release of Gilad Shalit.

Amidst the cries for Olmert to quit, be embarrassed and work harder towards the release of the kidnapped soldiers, there was plenty of emotion to go round.

Of course, the major focal point of sentiment came from Noam Shalit’s short but necessary speech to open the rally outside the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem.

It’s an absolute shame when fathers have to become politicians. It’s everything wrong.

You know you're an Anglo-Israeli working in hi-tech when…

I just received a tweet from a friend:

“just heard terrible news…reeling from the shock. baruch dayan ha-emet”

And I immediately went to check my favorite news services to find out what happened. First I thought Ariel Sharon, then I thought Gilad Shalit. I scoured the Israeli news sources and then spread out wider to my international news sources, like a ripple effect.

It’s that mentality that the news is always alive, always happening and at any moment, anything can happen here in Israel… Mixed with the immediacy of the way we hi-tech geeks communicate and share… Mixed with my own morbidity, I suppose.

In the end, it turned out to be a personal thing. But those few minutes before I knew that… Those are the moments when I remember where and in what age I live in…