Monday, September 29, 2014

From this Flour, Bread Won't Come

I listen to the radio on my way into work. It improves my Hebrew which, even after 21 years here in Israel, still needs to be improved. Mostly, I understand everything or close to is; sometimes, I marvel at what an incredibly beautiful language Hebrew is. Other times, like this morning, I smile at the way some things are phrased.

A few years back, I laughed out loud when I heard one of the newscasters condemn both the Israelis and the Palestinians for the deadlock in the peace negotiations by saying, "there are no righteous men in Sodom."

Today, I had to smile again. Much of Israel is furious over the lies Abbas told yesterday at the United Nations. The newscaster outlined much of what Netanyahu is going to say - about the Iranian threat and Abbas' words.

The newscaster continued - Netanyahu will tell the world that the Israeli army is the most moral army in the world, "and they are." On and on, Netanyahu will speak.

And then the newscaster said, "from this flour, bread won't come." What he meant was that the world most likely won't listen; that peace won't come of the speeches made at the United Nations.

No, bread won't come from the flour, truth won't come from the lies, and peace won't come either.

But sometimes, truth is enough. Sometimes hearing words are needed. Israel needs to hear the words that Netanyahu will speak at the United Nations later today. The world may not listen; the world may not care but Israel does.

We have survived another war. I don't know how many we've had. It's hard to decide which to call a war and which were "only" operations. For me, the Cast Lead "operation" was a war; for the army, it was never classified as a war. Operation Protective Edge will likely be called a war - who knows? How can it not be?

There was 1948 when the Arabs attacked; 1956 when the Arabs attacked. There was 1967 when they closed the Straits of Tiran, mobilized their forces to the borders and screamed out that war was coming. Technically, we started the war with a pre-emptive attack but the result was likely a cleaner, faster war than anyone imagined - 6 days - because we took the first shot.

They attacked us in 1973, on Yom Kippur (and then whined this year when we didn't stop the war for one of their holy days). In 1982, they shelled us from the north and so that war began. But there was also the War of Attrition - an endless series of terror attacks and cross-border infiltrations that lasted for years...

There was 1991 when we were bombed from Iraq, but that was America's war. I'm probably missing something that Google could tell me for sure, but I know there was the 2006 Lebanon War - the Second one after they kidnapped our soldiers and again rained missiles on the north.

Then there was "Elie's War" - Cast Lead. And then Operation Amud Annan - Pillar of Defense, where Elie was called again.

Now we've had Protective Edge...

Somewhere in all those wars, we stopped believing there would be peace. Oh we still want it, still dream of it but we don't really talk about "driving to Damascus for lunch" like we once did. I can see the towers of Amman from my window, but I doubt I'll ever get there. I'll never see the pyramids of Egypt or the Sahara.

From this flour, bread won't come.

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