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05/07/2004 Archived Entry: "A wanderer's report from Israel"
MY TRAVELING FRIEND REPORTS FROM ISRAEL:
I'm hanging out in what some would call the Mouth of Hell. I'd have to tell you that, for one, Israel is nothing like what American Media has made it out to be. And, for two, it's probably a freedom-lover's nightmare come to life.
Although this rambling man has been blogging reports from various spots in the world -- including many places we don't consider havens of freedom -- Israel is the only country so far where he's said that he'll post no public information until he's safely out of the country. No specific reason, he says -- just an itchy, instinctive feeling that sharing honest observations about Israel while actually in Israel might not be good for a person's health.
The rest of his brief letter to me is behind the more link.
A Roamer's Report from Israel
I have to tell you that it's been right interesting to date. I've been movin' and groovin' right along and now I'm hanging out
in what some would call the Mouth of Hell. I'd have to tell you that, for one, Israel is nothing like what American Media has made it out to be. And, for two, it's probably a freedom-lover's nightmare come to life. In looking around, so far -- and remember, I've only been here a few days, now -- I'm shocked and amazed at what the Israeli people have had to give up to ensure the safety of their little piece of the world. What's more, they take it for granted that these things are necessary.
For example: The day I got here, I was walking along the beach into Tel Aviv proper and decided I'd stop at what I thought was a bar and have a beer while I talked with the bartender. Bartenders, as you know are veritable fountains of information if handled properly. ;-) Anyway, I go to walk in, and there's a security guard outside who points at my backpack. Huh? He points again and says in broken English, "I need check bag." Now, I had to do a bit of mental calculating: This is, after all, the place where loonies take bags into restaurants and blow other people to smithereens. So, I let him look in my bag. That's when I found out that I'd entered a restaurant rather than a bar.
Now, on the one hand, I can understand the caution. The Israelis are, damn near literally, fighting to preserve their little piece of the world for future generations. But... And, that's with a huge B... I have to wonder just what they'll have left after they've secured it. One can hardly blame them for such measures, but it seems to me that there just has to be a balance... Somewhere... Somehow. I don't know. It's all very confusing.
I'm here for another three weeks. ... Hopefully, I'll see some glimmers of hope, but I am beginning to think that they have been fighting for so long here that they have forgotten how to live. And, that ... is terribly tragic thing to see in such a passionate bunch of folks.
Posted by Claire @ 08:38 AM CST