Showing posts with label terror. Show all posts
Showing posts with label terror. Show all posts

Friday, January 8, 2016

Melancholy Beautiful Tel Aviv Sunset

Vivid moody colors cover Tel Aviv's evening skyline - Are we seeing what the mood wants?

Sometimes we feel melancholy yet not sure why. But most times, melancholy comes clearly with real life experience. The last week in Tel Aviv, this is how we felt. A violent terrorism attack opened out week. Then a terrifying three day fruitless manhunt. Parent too fearful to send kids to school (some N. Tel Aviv neighborhood with 50% attendance). Security officials, searching aimlessly close to the incident, are as lost for words as long time residents. Tel Aviv, a city with pride in it's tolerance and modern ways, has turned into a hiding terrorist haven. Israel, a state with fluid transportation arteries, built to move millions easily, has turned into a security manhunt nightmare. So we take comfort in the beautiful colors of a sunset. And at least for this week, hope for quiet, peace and maybe a little understanding. Even if it comes from a place we have not expected (France & India, more on this at later posts).

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Je Suis Paris ~ Je Suis Tel Aviv

Je Suis Paris / Je Suis Tel Aviv - a cardboard sign hung by French tourists at the site of two deaths, Dizengoff, Tel Aviv
A simple cardboard sign, written hastily and hung with tape says: Je Suis Paris, Je Suis Tel Aviv (I am Paris, I am Tel Aviv). A sign of solidarity for the two deaths earlier this week. Candles and flowers in sympathy of Israeli dead are common. This type of notices are not seen much. The Parisian tourists actually feel like they understand. The Paris terrorist attacks, from Chalie Hebdo to the recent Bataclan theater, are sadly bringing Parisians and Tel Avivians together. Strangely, I have not heard much from American friends and relatives. Some think the international media is playing down this incident. To some this may be "good news". Israelis are touchy about foreign criticism. They are even touchy about slight mistakes in reporting (the word spin is used often here) of terrorist attacks. Yet most Tel Avivians are just fine with international reporting of terrorist attacks. As terror spreads around the world, I am afraid there is not much to guide citizens in target cities. Here it comes to going back to normal life and remembering the places and people.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Gawkers, Ignorers & Mourners

Memorial candles and photo of terror victim on Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv, January 5th, 2016

I don't like writing or even discussing the painful events in Israel. There are Israelis which literally flaunt deaths and terrorism. As if it's a justification for something we are doing. But if you have gone through a painful event, or even been close enough to one, you change somehow. Israelis who lost children, parents, brothers or even cousins, tend not to flaunt the death of their dear ones. Deaths are public events just when they first happen. Yet quickly they become private affairs. No mother, brother or husband can share or bring into their life an outsider. No matter how close or how relevant their situation. Few endure the pain and make new relationships based on their loss. For the most part, once you lost a loved one, you want quiet after the first shock has faded. Three days after the deaths, the street slowly starts coming to life. A French couple, looks like tourists, hanged a small sign in solidarity to Tel Aviv residents. Seems appropriate in light of the events in Paris a few weeks ago.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

3 days, 2 dead, 1 killer

Memorial candles and funeral notices at 130 Dizengoff, site of the two killings, January 2nd, 2016
I do not write about politics and security in Israel. This comes by choice, made over eight years ago. There are so many stories about politics, Palestinians, terrorism and fear to occupy anyone full time. In the social media (I follow Twitter & Facebook) there are more stories than anyone can follow. This is more so on days, like earlier this week, when there is a big terrorist event. But at the cost of telling the great story of Tel Aviv and modern Israel, I do realize how some of my "mundane" everyday writing get's lost in the noise. Terrorism and the fear for dear life is a real aspect in our lives here. The last three days, many parents in N. Tel Aviv (some in the most luxurious neighborhoods) have kept their kids at home, away from school. The fear of an attack by the terrorist hiding somewhere in the city has gripped us. The search for the killer is reported constantly, to the point where some don't want to hear any more. If anyone ever wonders how fragile the feeling of security here, this event is a sure way to explain our deep dark fears. Simply read the news stories from the last three days. Dizengoff street, one of Tel Aviv's busiest commercial strips, is practically deserted. I have seen more people on the street on Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath) than this morning. This fear and avoidance of an area after a terror event is common. Where a memorable terror event took place, we usually say "near such and such place, where the 199# event took place". Seems like a crazy way to live. But somehow people get used to it and eventually ignore the craziness of it all.