Thursday, November 05, 2015

Brief view from Israel

Tel Aviv beach yesterday: pleasant but quiet
Veiled Muslim women in central Tel Aviv supermarket
I spend a lot time in Israel and, having arrived Tuesday after last being here just before the current round of anti-semitic attacks started 4 weeks ago, the change of mood is even more dramatic than expected. The streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are, as expected much quieter than usual (even allowing for it being November) but people who were previously most determined to embrace their Arab Muslim neighbours and co-workers have had a really rude awakening and admit to being genuinely nervous in their presence.

And, for the first time ever, even the most left-wing and laid back Tel Avivians now recognise the scale of bias and lies being propagated by Western media - whenever I have spoken with them about that before they refuse to believe there is such bias. For example, yesterday morning a Canadian 'tourist' came into our local mobile phone shop (whose genial owner we know well). He wanted a sim card and started asking why Israeli soldiers were deliberately killing Palestinian children. The owner (who in the past would have laughed off something like that) told the guy he was not going to sell him a sim card and that he should f*ck off. Good job too.

One piece of good news is that the kid who was critically injured during the Pisgat Za'ev stabbing (he is in my nephew's class at school)  is recovering at home. However, he is in a traumatized state - scared and screaming when anybody -even friends -  comes near him.

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