The time difference between Israel and the East Coast of the United States is seven hours, which means that I woke up yesterday morning to learn that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by US forces at some point during the night. This being the age of new media, it’s probably not terribly surprising to anyone that I discovered this bit of news via my Facebook feed (with Lisa Goldman having the dubious distinction of being the bearer of such tidings, since her status update was the first one I read). The news websites confirmed the information that my Facebook friends (and indeed, my Twitter feed as well) were sharing – some rather giddily, and the images I saw on television shortly thereafter showed Americans in front of the White House celebrating and singing.
I didn’t cheer, nor did I jump for joy or break into spontaneous singing of a national anthem. I wasn’t sorry to hear the news, but I also found it distasteful to watch people joyously celebrating someone’s death, and in the same raucous manner that one might celebrate a major sports victory. I can’t share the view of some of my friends who believe his death was wrong, or that he should have been brought to justice instead. I think that sometimes, as disturbing as this type of retribution might be, it may be the most sensible response to a situation whose components defy the most basic elements of logic, reason and humanity that most people hold dear, regardless of nationality, religion or any other circumstances that define who we are as individuals and members of the human race. (more…)by Liza Rosenberg
Sometimes you hear a blast, but other times, the first thing you hear is a siren. You pause. You wait. Do you hear another siren, perhaps several? And then you sigh sadly and pick up the telephone to place a round of calls, because you know that more than one siren usually means a terror attack has taken place and you need to make sure that everyone is accounted for.
Sometime in either 2001 or 2002, during the height of the second Intifada, I upgraded my cell phone package so that I’d be able to make international calls. I was working in Netanya at the time – a preferred target of terrorists due to its relatively close proximity to the Green Line – and needed to be able to ring my parents in the US whenever an attack occurred somewhere close by; I wanted them to hear the news from me first. Those were frightening, stressful days, when lunchtime venues were selected based on whether there was a security guard at the door (and we were all quite happy to add an extra shekel or two to the bill to ensure that the guard remained) and people eyed each other warily in the streets, looking for signs that something might not be quite right – perhaps someone wearing a jacket or coat on a warm day or carrying what looked to be an unusually heavy bag.
Adding to my stress was the fact that bombs were also exploding around the area in which I lived (and still live). Not only was Hadera – another frequent target of attacks – only 10 minutes away, but buses and shared taxis were exploding on the main highway that passes near our home. And these weren’t even my closest brushes with terror. Once I missed a bombing at my train station by mere minutes, finding out what had happened from friends and relatives calling to find out where I was, knowing that I was often at the station at that time, waiting to be picked up. Another time, I waited for a bus at a bus stop in Tel Aviv, where 24 hours later, a suicide bomber blew himself up.by Liza Rosenberg
Israel mourns the deaths of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, and cries for the Goldwasser and Regev families. Regular citizens are slowly making their way to the homes of the families, gathering quietly and lighting memorial candles. I sit at my desk, unable to concentrate, feeling a mixture of sadness and relief. At least the waiting is over, waiting and not knowing for more than two years, up until the very last moment. At times, Israeli leaders may not be the most moral in the world, but the exquisite, perverse delight that Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah derive from making us suffer, from going to such lengths to make the families of the kidnapped soldiers suffer, is simply beyond any level of immorality that I can comprehend.
To bring these men home, Israel has paid a high price – the release of Samir Kuntar. In Lebanon, celebrations are planned, and Kuntar will return a hero. Children are shown, proudly holding his picture high, smiling, singing. Do they know? Do these children know that they are celebrating a man who murdered a child, a little girl whose father was shot right in front of her, so it would be the last thing she ever saw, and who was then killed when Kuntar used the butt of his rifle to smash her head against a rock? This is the “hero” they welcome with open arms, a man who brutally took the lives of a young father and his four year-old daughter. Violence under any circumstance is disturbing, but it takes a special kind of barbaric depravity to smash the head of a small child against a rock and show no remorse afterwards. This, my friends, is the man who will feted upon his return, and it speaks volumes about his supporters in Lebanon, and indeed, about the Lebanese government for allowing it to happen.
My sadness is for the Goldwassers, the Regevs, and the entire state of Israel, but I pity the regular Lebanese citizens, who are losing their country to an organization that thrives on torture and death and celebrates the “heroes” who murder little girls – all in the name of Islam.by Liza Rosenberg
- Not carefully or expertly made; “managed to make a crude splint”; “a crude cabin of logs with bark still on them”; “rough carpentry”
- Conspicuously and tastelessly indecent; “coarse language”; “a crude joke”; “crude behavior”; “an earthy sense of humor”; “a revoltingly gross expletive”; “a vulgar gesture”; “full of language so vulgar it should have been edited”
- Not refined or processed; “unrefined ore”; “crude oil” [syn: unrefined] [ant: processed]
- Belonging to an early stage of technical development; characterized by simplicity and (often) crudeness; “the crude weapons and rude agricultural implements of early man”; “primitive movies of the 1890s”; “primitive living conditions in the Appalachian mountains”
- Devoid of any qualifications or disguise or adornment; “the blunt truth”; “the crude facts”; “facing the stark reality of the deadline” [syn: blunt]
- Not processed or subjected to analysis; “raw data”; “the raw cost of production”; “only the crude vital statistics”
- Not producing an intended effect; “an ineffective teacher”; “ineffective legislation” [ant: effective]
- Lacking in power or forcefulness; “an ineffectual ruler”; “like an unable phoenix in hot ashes”
- Lacking the ability or skill to perform effectively; inadequate; “an ineffective administration”; “inefficient workers”
- Belonging to an early stage of technical development; characterized by simplicity and (often) crudeness; “the crude weapons and rude agricultural implements of early man”; “primitive movies of the 1890s”; “primitive living conditions in the Appalachian mountains” [syn: crude]
- Little evolved from or characteristic of an earlier ancestral type; “archaic forms of life”; “primitive mammals”; “the okapi is a short-necked primitive cousin of the giraffe” [syn: archaic]
- Used of preliterate or tribal or nonindustrial societies; “primitive societies”
- Of or created by one without formal training; simple or naive in style; “primitive art such as that by Grandma Moses is often colorful and striking”
I found these definitions online at Dictionary.com. I was hoping to find definitions that correlated with the description that’s been used ad nauseum whenever Qassams are mentioned (such as in this BBC article, or this News Blaze article) in order to justify either the casual dismissal of ongoing rocket attacks in Southern Israel or the usual banter about disproportionate responses, but I just couldn’t seem to find any definitions that said “crude, yet effective, and frequently with devastating results”. When up to 94% of children in Sderot are exhibiting symptoms of PTSD, when little boys are losing limbs, when a father of four loses his life, terms like “crude”, “ineffective”, and “primitive” seem rather trivial and irrelevant.
And yet, the world at large falls into the same trap time and time again. Hamas and other local terror groups fire rockets into Israel, and world leaders call for Israel to exercise restraint. More and more rockets are fired; damage is heavy and children are traumatized, but because the rockets are “crude” and “primitive”, they apparently don’t count. How many rockets must be fired before we are allowed to respond? And as long as we’re discussing this issue, just so that we’ll have a better idea, what exactly would be an appropriate response to the thousands of rockets that have been fired into our southern cities and towns during the past eight years, not to mention the occasional cross-border sniper attacks, hmmm? We acquiesce to global pressure and continue to “show restraint”, though not without the Prime Minister or one of his henchmen making some silly comment that “we will find the perpetrators of these attacks”, or that “no terrorist will be safe”, or “we reserve the right to respond to these attacks on our citizens, and will do so when the time is right” (which of course hasn’t really happened, given that Knesset members all seem far too busy squabbling over the diversion of funds to protect the inhabitants of Sderot without actually taking any action on the matter).
When the situation escalates to the point of being intolerable (though clearly, the definition of intolerable seems to differ whether one is based in Sderot or in the Knesset), Israel finally takes action. EU and UN personnel are roused out of the long slumber they were clearly enjoying while rockets rained down and Israel did nothing, and suddenly, 8000 rockets later, the world is incensed that Israel has the audacity to retaliate. With sad predictability, we are reviled and demonized for daring to try to protect ourselves, and Hamas scores extra credit points for managing to chip away at the remaining shreds of support among left-leaning Israelis who can no longer be bothered to summon up the energy to care. It’s just too difficult to feel sympathy for the other side’s losses anymore when the world can’t seem to summon up the energy to care about us when we sit back and allow ourselves to be relentlessly pounded.
I guess nothing says global unity like hanging Israel out to dry…by Liza Rosenberg
I realize that I haven’t been writing much lately, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve been neglecting my blog. Okay, maybe I have been neglecting my blog, but only a little. Just because I haven’t been sharing the usual amount of scintillating, witty prose, I have been keeping busy. To use the technical term, I’ve been tweaking. Adding a few bells and whistles, and polishing the old blogroll. If you take a look at the blogroll these days, you’ll not only see quite a few new blogs listed, but I’ve also added a new category – Writing about Writing, and expanded the Family & Childraising category.
Speaking of family and childraising, one of my new favorite daily reads these days is a blog called Motherhood: The Ultimate Survivor. Without a doubt, this happens to be one of the funniest blogs I’ve ever read. Every single entry has me in hysterics, and unless you’re the perfect mother (in which case, I hate you. Go away…), you’ll have no trouble identifying with Sharon’s trials and tribulations. Oh, and in addition to her fabulous blog, Sharon is also collecting “candid confessions and revelations about mothering experiences” for a project that she’s putting together. If you’ve got some interesting motherhood stories to share, click here to see what she’s looking for.
My other new favorite daily read is a blog called My Shrapnel. Gila was seriously injured in a terror attack six years ago, and recently started a blog to share her experiences. Don’t let the nature of the topic fool you. She writes with an exquisite sense of humor, and while it may be a turn-off for some to see humor injected into such a heartrending subject, as one whose sense of humor has gotten her through some of the darkest times in her life, I can only sit and laugh hysterically as Gila takes us through these otherwise horrific events.
Aside from the blogroll, I’ve added a number of little bells and whistles to make things just a bit more interesting around here. Subscribing to this blog is easier than ever, simply by clicking the links for subscribing in either an RSS reader or via email. Even more exciting is the banner on the right, enticing you to “accelerate your search”. Thanks to a company called Conduit, you can now download the brand new something something toolbar, which includes, among other things, a search option (using the Google search engine), a link to the new something something chat forum (allowing you to sign in and chat with other something something readers in real time), a configurable email notifier, a news ticker (using a selection of feeds that were handpicked by yours truly), a link to online radio, a configurable weather link (which defaults to the location where your computer’s IP address is based), and, most importantly, a link to this blog.
I’m still playing around with the configuration options, but the toolbar is up and running, as you can see if you click the image above. Download it, play with it, and be sure to keep clicking the button labeled “lizarosenberg.wordpress”, which takes you back to something something.by Liza Rosenberg