In Israel, between war and peace

With all this talk about the rising tension between Israel and Iran, and unrest raging all around them in the … Continued

With all this talk about the rising tension between Israel and Iran, and unrest raging all around them in the Middle East, you’d think Israeli life would be tenser, edgier these days. It’s not, really.


Daniela Deane writes from Israel.

They’re used to tense and edgy around here.

The fresh face of the Israeli diplomat’s wife who was wounded in the attack in New Delhi earlier this week was in the papers for a day, maybe two. But I was surprised to see there wasn’t a blow-by-blow account of her improving condition, or any eulogizing of her, as would happen if she were an injured American diplomat’s wife, I think.

“That’s what being an Israeli is all about,“ said one Israeli woman when I asked her about the muted reaction to the attack on the defense attache’s young wife in Delhi. “That’s normal for an Israeli. We‘re used to people hating us.”

The same day as the Delhi attack, a bomb attached to an Israeli embassy car in Tblisi, Georgia, was also discovered. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly blamed Iran.

That feeling of being on a war-footing is normal here. Young people in green army khakis hauling big guns over their shoulders is a normal sight, after all. Suppressed fear also seems normal.

“I try not to think about Iran too much. It makes me afraid if I think about it, so I don‘t,” said one young woman from Jerusalem.

And what about the violently-suppressed uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad in Syria? Or the continuing unrest in neighboring Egypt, one year after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak?

Try not to think about that too much either.

“I don‘t want to worry about Egypt,“ said a young man from Tel Aviv. “I just want to concentrate on my own life.“

“Egypt is far away, even though it’s really close,” said an American Jew from Philadelphia who’s lived in Jerusalem for 20 years and is married to a Yemeni Jew. “I’m much more worried about a third (Palestinian) intifada than I am about Egypt,” she said, referring to the waves of Palestinian uprisings against Israeli occupation that rocked this country for years.

Ah yes, the home-grown, hometown Palestinian problem.

Now that’s close to home. Just down the street, in fact.

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  • catneth

    A good overview of the tensions in Jerusalem, but this is lacking in a Palestinian voice.

  • xexon

    Another racist comment emerges.

    I am not Muslim. In fact, I have no religion at all. But I do take issue with those who hide behind their religion of choice to practice racism towards others.

    I enjoy all cultures. You should learn how.


  • macnietspingal1

    I just made a startling discovery in my own Jewish brain. I am angry with the Jewish State of Israel. I was a Washington DC Zionist when I was 12 YO in 1941 just before Pearl Harbor. Recruited at the South East Hebrew Congregation where I was in Hebrew School after public school. Just now I realize in a nutshell what makes me angry. The fact is that Maimonides could read the Quran and if Dr. Uri Rubin were persuaded by the Washington Post journalists to register his HaQuran with the USA Library of Congress, then I could be as accurate about the religion of the Middle East as Moses Ben Maimon was. From Moses to Moses there is none like Moses. That’s exactly because Moses could read the Quran. University of Maryland could then using Hebrew discuss the Quran to all of non-elite Jews and Christians that can translate the Hebrew Bible using our own lives to do it. Then we could get together and discuss the Quran just the way Moses could in his head since he could immediately translate the Quran into Hebrew and probably did.

    Actually the University of Maryland could start a new Hebrew Quran by importing some Jerusalem Muslim High School boys and girls.