If we’re being cynical, the propaganda machine is running in full force at my house. If we’re being honest, I’m just trying to protect my offspring. If we’re being optimistic, the hope is knowledge will lead to creative, original and practical solutions.
This Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, hit me hard. Harder than in years I can count on both hands. I think there are a few reasons for this:
I have a lot more responsibility, suddenly. I’m waking up from a very intense few years of having kids.
My boy is a bigger thinking, processing human and asks bigger questions.
Who were the good guys? Who were the bad? Why is there a shirt hanging on the stage? Why did they have to wear those clothes? If you’re grandma is that old why wasn’t she in the shoah? Oh did she fight in the war then? The Russians were good and then they were bad?
So there’s feature on twitter where it autoplays videos in your feed on mute.
I was scrolling through to pass time and one shows kids after a bombing in Hass. You see these kids urgently rushed to a van to be taken away. They’re crying, they’re calling out. It’s on mute for me.
Maybe that’s why I noticed this, of all things: missing teeth. The boy opens his mouth and I see he’s got that mark of childhood, the tooth gaps. maybe he’s in kindergarten like my daughter. Maybe the girl with the missing front tooth is in second grade, like my son.
Missing teeth is universal. every kid on earth loses their teeth.
I made it till 1:34pm today without hearing, reading, or talking about Syria, gas masks, or missiles.
The biggest news, since the US didn’t strike when everyone assumed (yesterday), is the fact that Israelis are waiting hours, sometimes whole days, in line at gas mask handout points. Only 60% of Israelis are equipped with up-to-date gas masks but Pikud HaOref hasn’t called everyone up to collect, no one has declared an emergency, and the government is showing calm.
Then again, no one wants to leave this up to fate. Or governments.
Parenting here feels exactly like this sometimes:
The quote by a father waiting in line yesterday, goes something like this…
“I have two kids and I can’t just trust this insane Syrian won’t do anything. If it means drying out here in the heat, then that’s what I have to do to protect my children – that’s what it will be.”
I’m the one who videoed the entire Q&A session that President Shimon Peres gave us bloggers at the Israel Presidents Conference today.
Below is the whole uncut video, but below that are quotes from the topics discussed. (I’ll try and update when I splice it by topic.)
I was a bit disappointed the questions all seemed kind of obvious. Why didn’t anyone ask him what his funniest moment in Knesset was?
Here’s a quick review of the topics he was asked about:
Iran: “The real problem is… not that we don’t like the Iranians. The problem is the Iranian menace to the world. If they wouldn’t do it, I don’t think anyone would say a word against Iran.”
Lack of women in hi tech and government: “Men have to learn a little bit… I want to tell you, if you don’t mind, every woman is born like a mother. And every man passes away like a baby; he never matures. So better have a mother in management than a father in management… Every woman is a civilization in her own right.”
What would you ask from God?
Rocket-fire from Gaza: “What do they want? To run Gaza, or to run terror? We don’t want to see Gazan people suffer. The only ones who can make them suffer are the ones throwing rockets against us.”
Change in the government system: “The basic change of the system is not government, it’s the electoral system.”
Receiving the civilian honor by President Obama: “I felt that the real recipient of the prize was the Israeli people… I think this was a salute to Israel for showing that democracy can withstand shortages, difficulties, and walls, and never have a day of war postpone a day of freedom.”
On America: “As a student of history I think what is unique about America, is that it’s the only power in history that got its strengths not by taking, but by giving. American history is a history of generosity, and not a history of occupation.”
Future of Jewish people: “The Hebrew language is very impatient… what we have is two times: past and future. Everything either happened, or will happen. There’s nothing on the waiting list.”
Two-state solution; is time running out?: “You need patience in life… There are things that take time, setbacks, don’t lose your life. There is no better solution… than to have two states living in peace.”
Jonathan Pollard: “One thing I have authority… to forgive… I’m not above the courts. My consideration is not what’s written in books of law… but what is written in book of your heart. There are cases which are heartbreaking… so my consideration are purely humane.”
Syria’s inability to revolutionize: “A man that kills his own babies… is one of the most shocking things I’ve experienced in my life… is to see a small coffin and there is a baby who was killed, brutally… how can you stand it? But there is a dilemma on how to handle it…”
Birthday wishlist: “That all other people will have happy birthdays.”
Best of all, I got to shake his (88-year-old papery) hands and tell him what an inspiration he was. Don’t change, man. Don’t change.
Take a look at yourselves, now back to me, now back at yourselves, now back to me. Sadly, you’re not me. But if your cities got bombarded by 220 rockets in just 3 days, maybe you could feel like me. Look down; back up, where are you? You’re in a bomb shelter, after the tenth siren alarm today, and school has been canceled once again. What’s in your hand, back to me. I have it. It’s a fabricated picture of a dead child whose sole purpose is to show how the IDF bombs kids. Look again. These kids were slaughtered in Syria by Assad’s regime. Everything is possible with the power of Photoshop, but what would you do if someone fired rockets at your citizens?