Israel has the most amazing newscasters - at least on the radio. They present the news in a professional, clear, and quick way that helps you understand what is happening as you rush from point to point in your lives.
They also slip in comments that are at times insightful, at times hysterically funny. My first introduction to this phenomenon was on a very hot day in the summer. I'd been in Israel only a few years in Israel and my Hebrew had finally reached a high enough level that I was able to listen and comprehend almost in real-time, versus having to rethink what they had just said and translate it into English. The delay factor from ears to English to brain took a few seconds and so I would often miss key words or events.
But that summer, I had "graduated" to being able to really listen and appreciate not only the news, but those side comments. They were, they are, a slice of Israeli life. That time, it was during the weather report.
"It's very hot," explained the weatherman as he told us all something that was already quite obvious in the early morning hours, "40 degrees [about 104 Fahrenheit] in the shade!"
To which, the newscaster quickly commented, "Okay, folks. You heard him. Stay OUT of the shade."
More and more, I listen to the quiet comments slipped into the news. It may not be professional journalism at its height, but it is both entertaining and refreshing. Sometimes, it is simply the voice of the nation or a thought we all have, delivered to us before we can even understand it is our brain being expressed.
Two days ago, the newscaster introduced the sportscaster by saying something like, "even though we have more important things on our minds,"...and he was right. We are all thinking of the three kidnapped boys. Even the greatest sports fans among us are preoccupied - they love sports, but they love their children more. They hurt for the families and pray for the boys more than the outcome of any gave, ever.
The sportscaster agreed with the newscaster and then moved on to tell us of the latest scores in this sport or another. But it was fine on his part and on ours because the stage had been set. Go ahead, tell us the scores - it's your job, but we all know what we want is 3 - 0...three boys home; no soldiers or hostages lost. That's the only score we care about now.
Beyond the odd comments here and there, one seemingly authorized commentary takes place in the early hours of the morning. A veteran newscaster is given perhaps 60 seconds to make a comment on something happening in the news.
This morning he began - it's a well known phrase (remind me to google it and figure out where it comes from)..."when you sleep with a dog, you wake up with fleas." He then excused the analogy because dog lovers love their animals and he had no intention of insulting dogs...but then he explained and the comparison was brilliant.
Abu Mazen has chosen to sleep with Hamas - when you sleep with a dog, you wake up with fleas. He cannot now claim innocence of what Hamas is doing. Hamas is responsible for the kidnapping of our sons. I believe it. Netanyahu waited to announce it; even John Kerry has admitted that it is most likely. The evidence is there even if the government has made it public and Hamas itself has regularly called on its citizens to do exactly this - kidnap soldiers and/or citizens.
Obviously, the brave Palestinian terrorists realized it was easier to kidnap two 16 year old boys and a 19 year old young man than bravely face an armed soldier (even an unarmed one, apparently). So once again, children have been their target.
This morning, Abu Mazen woke up infested with fleas. His statement that the unity government is voided if Hamas is found responsible for the kidnappings is too little and too late. What does he mean "if" - how does he not know what his bed-mate has been doing?
Years ago, an Israeli ambassador to the UN heard complaints about Israel's response to the northern part of Israel being bombarded by hundreds of Hezbollah rockets. No, the person wasn't worried about Israelis being injured or worse, the person was worried about Lebanese villagers who were housing Hezbollah and/or remaining in their homes after Hezbollah members set up rocket launching sites on their roofs.
Dan Gillerman's response was classic, "If you sleep with a missile, sometimes you don't wake up." It was brilliant and true - if you know someone is hiding behind you and making you a target, leave. Take your family (and your dog); forget your possessions and things...and get away. If you stay, it is your fault.
The same is true of Abu Mazen - when you sleep with a dog, you'll wake up with fleas. That was your choice. What you do now, is your choice as well. If you stay, it is your fault and we should hold you responsible for the safe return of our boys. And no, you can't blame the dog.
Update: Googled it - it's from the Latin: qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent and/or from Benjamin Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanak)