Tag Archives: Hamas

An open letter to Andy Kershaw (and other useful idiots)

Dear Mr. Kershaw,

My attention was recently drawn to your 12 July posting to your Facebook page [click here or search FB for “Andy Kershaw Todmorden”]. And I must admit to having been somewhat taken aback that a former Radio 1 DJ whose show I very much enjoyed in my student days – you see, you never knew you had “Zionist” listeners! – would want to label my home of 18 years “a backward, infantile, thuggish, thieving, racist, terrorist state.” Don’t hold back now, Andy.

As with most others who have had the temerity to crash the Kershaw Self-Promotional Circus, and to dare challenge its strutting ringmaster, you quickly barred me from further entry. But, having borrowed a friend’s Facebook identity, it soon became very apparent that said posting was no mere one-off, a response to the latest flare-up in Gaza. I spent Monday evening wading through your postings since 2012, and – aside from a couple of mentions of Vladimir Putin, a single one of Syria (though none of the 170,000 civilians killed there in the past three years), and another of South Sudan – it became very clear that you are obsessed with Israel to the exclusion of all else.

I am not, I promise, a member of any of “the organised Zionist Facebook squadrons”, as you imagine and call them (without any mention, conveniently, of the scores of mindless drones who “Follow” your every Facebook word). I am also, you may be surprised to hear, in favour of a Palestinian state, existing peacefully, side by side, with ours.

Andy KershawYou are clearly well-educated and highly intelligent, which makes your willful ignorance of the history and realities of this painful conflict all the more puzzling. I emigrated to Israel in January 1996, a mere two years after the high hopes of Oslo and that memorable handshake on the White House lawn, amid a spate of Hamas “suicide” – they were more homicide – attacks which blew up scores of Israelis on buses and in cafés and were aimed solely at torpedoing any hopes of peace (here is a list of them). So for you to keep trotting out the same shite about sieges and settlements is an insult both to your intelligence and to ours (if not to that of your Facebook-following fuckwits). Hamas is not interested in a two-state solution. Only in a Final one.

Today you posted: “Israel – You are an offence to civilization, a violation of humanity, and a moral disgrace.” Apart from sounding like you never really left the University of Leeds Student Union, where, for instance, is your outrage at the treatment by Hamas (and by all Islamofascist regimes) of women and gays? Oh . . . but I forgot, “[Hamas] do not rule by fear” (another one of your gems, from Monday).

Your obsession with this country is often disturbing. On 24 November 2013, you labelled Benjamin Netanyahu “a cheap thug” and “an ungracious fat wanker”. And why? Because he didn’t attend the Nelson Mandela memorial service! To your expertise on World Music must surely now be added Studies in the Overseas Visiting Habits of World Leaders. And, on 11 January this year, with real class, you headlined the passing of Ariel Sharon with “Fat Thug Dies”, later once again adding the adjective “cheap”. Interesting.

Your complete detachment from Middle East reality, however, is most amusingly highlighted by an 18 November 2012 posting in which you preface a link to Gerald Kaufman by describing the odious tosser as someone “considered to be a friend of Israel.” Perhaps like Jimmy Savile was of young girls.

You must be sorely missing the limelight since your ignoble fall from grace, being sent to prison for harassing your former partner. But how ironic that a drunken bully and cheat, who has never taken one ounce of true responsibility for terrorizing his own family, repeatedly accuses others of “playing the victim card” (here is your side of the story . . . though the subsequent comments of “Laura” and “Family friend”, I suspect, paint a rather truer picture).

Now I really do want to believe your repeated protests that you are not an anti-Semite. But your “Lik[ing]” of comments such as the following – from an Ian Dixon, on Sunday, regarding Facebook’s (alleged) removal of a Jon Snow piece on Gaza – do not exactly enhance your claims:

“And of course it being removed all the time has nothing to do with the owner of FB being Jewish! . . . I have never seen a religion or people hold so much power over free speech as I have this country, its people and religion.”

I can just see Mark Zuckerberg fretting over his Honey Nut Cheerios because of some anti-Semite (with zero credibility) on Channel 4 News. Then, yesterday, you actually “agreed” with a delightful-sounding character named Harry Reed, who wrote (amongst other assorted bilge and filth):

“The people of Palestine will recover their land and cleanse it of the stench of thieves, robbers, rapists and child-killers. They will recover their stolen books and art, throwing the parasites into the streets. The Palestinians will have their day. Already, over 100 racist thugs from your SS have been eliminated . . . fuck off back to Brooklyn with your racist philosophy, your race-myths and the rest of your pseudo-Nazi yarn about your supposed homeland . . . The resistance should refuse – you can’t sit at a table with Nazis. The Palestinians have eliminated over 100 members of Israel’s SS so far and they should finish the job.”

Nice.

So what are we supposed to believe about Andy Kershaw the man (not, I am sure, that you care)? To my annoyance, I actually found myself quite drawn to other aspects of your page – we both have schnauzers (though Stuey is rather more bastardized than Buster) and are passionate about lots of the same things (Dylan, Neil Young, even Wasdale) – but your postings on the situation here smack of unbelievable crassness and ignorance (though I still hope nothing more).

I am continually fascinated by people like you . . . about whether their Israel-only bashing is derived from: parents (or, in your case, I understand, grandparents), an unpleasant experience at school or university, or merely bad character. History shows us that scarred types – and you don’t deny being that – are more likely to develop an obsession with all things Jewish (and you would be in the ‘good’ company of lots of other rubbish, the latest scrap being footballer Joey Barton).

At a time of the worst anti-Semitism that many of us have known, you have a responsibility as a celebrity (however faded) not to continue in this vein. Otherwise, you will go down (no jail pun intended) as little more than someone who encouraged and facilitated, through willful disinformation, the hatred of Israel and, thereby, the large majority of Jews.

I invite anyone with the time and inclination to visit your sewer of hate – I haven’t covered even one percent of it – and also invite you to respond below if you feel that anything I have written is unfair or misrepresents you (though spare us, please, the vacuous cut-and-paste Facebook soundbites).

Yours sincerely,

melchett mike

[I trust that more than one of my readers will post a link to this blog on Mr. Kershaw’s Facebook page.]

Update (1 August): Andy Kershaw, brave man and champion of free speech that he is, is deleting all comments linking to this post, and blocking the poster, from his Facebook page. He clearly hasn’t yet discovered that, due to the huge number of “hits” on this post (4,000 in a day and a half), melchett mike is coming up first on most related searches of him! So, if you haven’t yet done so, please take a minute to cut-and-paste this URL after as many of his hateful postings as you can.

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As Good As It Gets?

Welcome to Jewish reality, 2014.

I am not sure who has irritated me more this past week: the English oleh showing off to friends back in Blighty with continual “Look at me! Look at me! I am living under missile fire!” Facebook updates (perhaps the silly sod will now spare a thought for the poor, all year round, buggers in Sderot); the one who, two days ago, posted “Siren in Ra’anana”, as if Hamas had finally gone too far; or the booked summer holidayers asking “Should I come?”

“What about the missiles?” enquired one such, yesterday, to which I could only reply “What about them?” For me, their most chilling effect is forcing me into a confined space with my new south Tel Aviv neighbours (they are working class, you know).

Another messaged me “How’s it going out there?? Do I need to cancel my trip?” This seemed somewhat akin to concluding a comfort telephone call to an ailing friend by announcing that you are too shit-scared to visit them. What the bloody hell ever happened to solidarity?

As for the endless PR efforts on blogs and Facebook, I can’t help but think that they are preaching to the converted. The thing must be to get accurate reporting and analysis into the international press. And, even then, those who don’t like Jews – usually hiding behind the ‘respectable’ veneer of ‘mere’ anti-Zionism – are almost certainly irredeemable. It is in their blood.

Operation Protective Edge is the third such that I have blogged about since December 2008 (see my War in Gaza category). And this is now our reality: every couple of years or so, we will have to give the naughty . . . rather, wicked schoolboy – who, in spite of every inducement, won’t change his ways – a smacked bottom (if I may be forgiven for quoting my own Facebook update of last week: “Can’t help thinking of the Palestinian as the incorrigible class halfwit, who gets beating after justified beating . . . but still comes back for more.”) Thankfully unlike the pond life we are up against, we are both too moral to kill civilians living above (demonically positioned) enemy weapons’ stores and too life-valuing to risk our boys in a ground operation.

During these very months exactly seventy years ago, 430,000 Hungarian Jews were deported, mainly to Auschwitz, and the majority gassed on arrival. I think, too, of the unspeakable horrors my antecedents must have suffered at the turn of the last century, in Lithuania and Poland, to force them to gamble on the entirely unknown (even we Litvaks didn’t yet have the Internet).

It has always been thus for us. So, while concerned about the current situation, I am trying to see the (relative) positives in the bigger Jewish picture (who said a degree in Philosophy was a waste of time?)

And now with our own state, IDF, and even “second strike” nuclear submarines – no one can f*ck with the Jews like they used to – this may well be as good as it gets.

Unfriending the Cousins

I “unfriend[ed]” my Arab Facebook friends, this week.

I had met all half-dozen of them on my half-Jewish, half-Arab tour guides course (which I could not complete). But despite sitting with “the lads” – all Arab, more fun than the nerdy new immigrants – at the back of the coach on every field trip, we have not, other than on Facebook, stayed in touch. And I have become increasingly self-conscious that some of my more un-PC “status updates” might, perhaps, offend their sensibilities. Following the abduction of the three Jewish teenagers in Gush Etzion, a fortnight ago, I felt that being able to be myself, even in a medium as ‘trivial’ as Facebook, was more important than perpetuating these ostensibly futile ‘friendships’.

And the “unfriend[ing]” was also, I think, a gesture. A statement. To myself even. A result, after a decade and a half of life here, of having become totally disillusioned with our Biblical cousins.

No one should have been surprised, however, by the news from the Gush. Following the ‘success’ of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping, it was clear that Hamas would attempt others (see Why Gilad must not be freed “at any price”). Our (continuing) mistake is to judge the Arabs by our own western values (which tell us, in this case, that abducting teenagers is just plain wrong). And we should not be surprised, either, at images of ordinary Palestinians delighting in their ‘victory’. Because to them, that is what it is. And this is a war.

I don’t believe I am a racist. I take as I find. I still go out of my way to find work for Kamel and Rayed, the East Jerusalem Arabs who renovated my apartment, because I like and appreciate them (certainly a great deal more than their dodgy Persian then boss, who, I found out much later, had diddled almost all of my suppliers). And I am in favour, in principle at least, of a “two-state solution”.

But make no mistake: none but an inconsequential number of Palestinians recognise any Jewish claim to this land. They want us out of here. And they won’t rest until we are. The sooner we accept that reality, the safer we will be. And I feel sure that Bibi, oft criticised for political inertia, merely realises that the current state of affairs – total impasse, but (with the Security Wall) without the terror we once knew – is, with neighbours like ours, the best that we can hope for.

On a shiva visit last week, I struck up a conversation with Itamar Marcus, the Director of Palestinian Media Watch, a non-partisan organisation which studies Palestinian society through the monitoring of its media and schoolbooks. Having this piece already in mind, I enquired as to whether there might nonetheless be some potential “partners for peace” on the other side. Marcus’s knowing smile said it all. “Put it this way,” he said, “that is the shortest chapter in our book.”

And joking with a Jewish contractor in my Tel Aviv apartment, last week, that we should lock his Arab worker inside until the teenagers are freed, he replied “The problem is no one there would even care!” And that about summed up the difference between our peoples. The individual is paramount to Jews. The Arabs, on the other hand, use their own children as weapons and shields. We are in a seemingly permanent state of war against a cruel and primitive enemy, a fact now recognised and admitted by increasing numbers on the Israeli Left (aside, of course, from the Anshel Pfeffers of this world – see his latest sell-out here – a conceited so and so no less opportunist or extreme than those he decries on the Right, and yet another reason why I will never resubscribe to Haaretz).

Not many aspects of the Bible “talk” to me, but references to “Good” peoples and “Evil” peoples – which, as a schoolboy, always struck me as Osher Baddiel nonsense – have, in recent years, at least in the collective sense, taken on a certain resonance.

As for my former Facebook friends, I was sorry to hear (I am still on the course e-mail list) that some of them were said to have behaved inappropriately during a recent visit to Yad Vashem . . . though, again, if true, it didn’t really surprise me: even the concept of mutual respect, never mind peace, now seems a pipe dream. There is, perhaps, just too much history.

Shabbat shalom in the meantime . . . and God bless our boys.

Abducted Teenagers

You see what happens, Hamas . . .

“Don’t be silly,” I reassure Itzik, as we sip on our sachlabs on Rothschild, early last Thursday evening. “Nothing will happen in Tel Aviv.”

It might as well be the cue for the siren.

There are a surreal couple of seconds, during which the occupants of adjacent tables exchange puzzled, yet pregnant, glances: “Is it . . . ? What now . . . ?”

I jump up, as if stabbed with a shot of adrenaline. The dogs bark. We dart inside the café, my spanking new Galaxy S II abandoned alongside the sachlab. Clive Dunn has only been gone a week, and I have already forgotten his famous advice (though discovering that it is true, no one “like[s] it up ’em”). It is the first time I have experienced a siren not marking the commencement of Shabbat or a Holocaust/Remembrance Day.

We all huddle together at the rear of the café. A 60-something female hears my accent and, as if encouraging a boy to consummate his transition to manhood, asks me if it is my “first time”. I nod sheepishly. She imparts advice that I am in no state to listen to.

A distant boom. Perhaps two. And, within half an hour, I am home, packed, and on Highway 1 . . . on my way to the capital. I am ‘caught’ by my neighbours in the act of attempting to wheel my bag quietly out of the building. “I am not escaping,” I protest. “I have a fortieth birthday party in Jerusalem!” And it is true. But I don’t expect them to believe me. And I don’t think they do.

I tease Itzik – a Tel Aviv real estate agent who has continually belittled my second home in Jerusalem – from the car, telling him that he won’t be getting a key (‘forcing’ the coward into having to stay, instead, with his father in Petach Tikva).

And Itzik is the first to call me, gloating, the following early evening, within seconds of the siren sounding in the capital. I have darted into the stairwell, where the neighbours are quickly gathering, before shooting back in for my flatmates. My Orthodox neighbour overcomes her fear of Stuey and Dexxy, whom, until now, she has refused to even pass on the stairs. “Shit,” I exclaim, in an attempt to lighten the tension, “I left the back window open.” But the attempt at humour is lost.

I meet an American woman on Saturday who is considering taking refuge in London. Who am I to judge? I still do. And I delete an old law school friend from Facebook after he publishes this photo (right) with the caption: “Address this, Mark Regev . . .”

In fact, the next time I hear a Palestinian talk about ‘his’ olive tree, I will make it my job to find said plant, uproot it, and stick it up his . . . well, in a place that it will get no light. These people attach no value to human life, never mind olive trees.

Make no mistake, when Hamas talks about an “end to the Occupation” (which, in principle, I am also in favour of ending), it is talking about an end to Israel. And, if it was up to me, I would bring those fuckers [complaints, please, to John Fisher – he doesn’t approve of the asterisk] to their knees before even agreeing to listen to talk about a ceasefire.

There is a wonderful feeling of togetherness here at present. I had been putting the finishing touches to a blog critical of Israelis. But I can’t publish it now. These are special people. And they are giving their all for our People . . . and – if the world would only open its eyes – for the values that civilised people everywhere hold dear.

To the residents of the south, we should have empathised more fully with your sacrifice and suffering, and with the intolerable circumstances under which you have had to live this past decade. To former Defence Minister Amir Peretz, respect for promoting – when few believed in it (or you) – Iron Dome. And to the soldiers awaiting your orders on the edge of Gaza, though it looks unlikely now that you will receive them, chazak ve’ematz.

Once again, however, I leave the last words to the great – though oft misunderstood – Walter Sobchak . . .

CLICK HERE

Hamas would have done well to heed the lesson of Mr. Sobchak – as, from now on, would Iran and even Egypt (which, respectively, have supplied and allowed unhindered passage of the missiles used to attack us) – though I sincerely hope that the IDF has been picking its targets rather more calmly and prudently!

[See also Airstrike on Gaza: Israel’s Right of Self-DefenceF*ck you, too and Days of Awe, Heroes and Whores . . . sadly, all still as relevant today as they were nearly four years ago.]

Whose catastrophe is it anyway?

Driving past the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on Sunday evening, I witnessed the kind of scene which, though no longer new to me, never fails to sicken me anew: on this occasion, a demonstration by around a hundred keffiyeh-wearing Israelis to mark Yawm al-Nakba, or Day of the Catastrophe, on which Palestinians mourn the birth of Israel, in 1948.

Last week, meanwhile, on Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Day), this country remembered its 22,867 fallen soldiers and 3,971 victims of Palestinian terror. And immediately following the thought that most of the crusty-leftie protesters looked like they could do with a good bath . . . alright, and the fleeting one, too, of plowing my Focus into the shameless bastards, I couldn’t help but ask myself: “Allah, whose Nakba?!”

I have no inclination to regurgitate here the details of our two Peoples’ claims to this Land. We are, however, two Peoples. And with two claims. And they both have their merits.

But the Palestinian “catastrophe” as I see it, and it predates 1948, is that neither the Palestinians nor their leaders have – conversely to the attitude of the large majority of Israelis towards them – never truly accepted any aspect of the Zionist narrative, or that there is even another party with a legitimate claim to, at least a share of, this Land.

This explains how the ‘moderate’ Palestinian leadership in the West Bank could sign an agreement, two weeks ago, with the Islamofascists in Gaza, the leader of whom had, a mere two days earlier, condemned the killing of Osama “the holy warrior.” And it is why even Israelis (like me) who favour a two-state solution do not believe that the 1967 borders represent the true extent of the vast majority of Palestinians’ claims and aspirations.

The reason that there will never be peace in this Land, therefore, is not our minority of nutters . . . but their majority of them.

Indeed, we Israelis, if we were so inclined, could commemorate our own “catastrophe”: that, in addition to our almost 27,000 fallen soldiers and murdered civilians, we have been cursed with neighbours – Palestinian and Arab – who are, at worst, capable of slaughtering babies in cold blood and, at best, completely backward-looking and incapable of moving on . . . as evidenced by their endlessly self-pitying, all-consuming, fixation with the Nakba and the past.

Israel’s present government has certainly not covered itself in glory: Bibi’s ‘leadership’ has been characterised only by mind-boggling inaction, making the country – at a time when its international image was already at an all-time low – appear completely uninterested in even attempting to resolve this horrible, tragic mess. Indeed, over the last two years, it has almost been as if Israel hasn’t even had a government.

But, even ignoring its appalling crime figures, one only has to roam the streets of Jaffa to witness the Arab aversion to progress: decrepit buildings without communal electricity (cut-off for failure to pay bills) and surrounded by garbage (usually discarded by residents’ children). Then, for contrast, walk a matter of minutes to the beautiful tayelet (beachfront promenade) recently developed by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality through Ajami, one of Jaffa’s most crime-ridden areas.

Of course, the same folk who have always criticised Israel’s supposed neglect of Arab neighbourhoods are now claiming that the tayelet is part of a strategic Judaization, even ethnic cleansing, of them. Though there is no pleasing the Jew/self-hater.

“The Arabs,” Abba Eban famously once said, “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” And, whilst some may currently be enjoying a Spring, others – including the Palestinians and their leadership (now, officially, semi-Islamofascist at least) – are still stuck in deepest, darkest Winter.

"Murderers in Uniform," reads the sign at Sunday's demonstration

Itamar infanticide: The difference between us and them

As news filtered through, yesterday morning, of the slaughter by Palestinians of five members of the same family – two parents and their children, aged 11, 4 and 3 months – an Israeli friend, Itzik, remarked merely “chayot” (animals). Benny Gantz, the new IDF Chief of Staff, used the term “chayot adam” (beasts).

The knife attack, late on Friday evening, was perpetrated in the home of Udi and Ruth Fogel, in the West Bank settlement of Itamar (near Nablus). Their three other children survived: two were asleep in the house at the time, while the third returned home to discover the bloodbath. (Full story)

I am not religious or a Settler. And I support Palestinian statehood. Still. Yet I cannot help but feel that Palestinian Muslims – even Muslim Arabs generally (perhaps all Muslims?) – are just not like us: if it is not stating the bleeding bloody obvious (it is not, I am sure, to the Israel-only bashers), they just don’t have the same moral code, or attach the same value to human life.

I arrived at this uncomfortable conclusion a year before 9/11, as I witnessed – ‘live’ on television, from my office in Tel Aviv – the brutal public lynching in Ramallah. There was something so viscerally shocking about that event – this Israel Channel 2 footage requires no translation – that it left an even greater mark than the spate of suicide bombings that ‘greeted’ my Aliyah, in January 1996.

Before all the knee jerks start screaming “What about Baruch Goldstein?”, his massacre – however appalling – was qualitatively and circumstantially very different from the one on Friday evening. Moreover, the Israeli government of the day – unlike the Palestinian Authority, yesterday – was swift and unqualified in its condemnation of it, as were all but the most extreme of Settlers. And it was certainly never celebrated on the Israeli street . . .

Party time in Gaza: sweets for Hamas policemen in Rafah, yesterday

On the streets of Gaza, however, yesterday, sweets were handed out to rejoice the slaughter of the infants. And stopping at a petrol station (on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway) manned by Israeli Arabs, yesterday afternoon, Itzik and I each wondered the very same thing: what exactly were their feelings about the events of the previous evening?

Call me a racist, but no sane Jew, or other human being, could even force himself to stab a baby – or any child for that matter (the expression “cold blood” is entirely superfluous in such circumstances) – to death (never mind while he or she was asleep) however much he believed in his cause. There is, however, a long history of Palestinian acts of premeditated – cf. collaterally-caused (the distinction, morally, is an extremely significant one) – infanticide (even in Itamar).

Prime Minister Netanyahu has blamed this latest atrocity on Palestinian Authority incitement against Settlements and their inhabitants, and also on the international delegitimization of this country (we are in the middle of the seventh annual Israeli Apartheid Week . . . though some folk must look forward to and enjoy it so much that it has been extended to a fortnight).

To my mind, however, the horror of Friday evening has a far simpler explanation: the essential difference between us and them. That is something which most Israelis – including even PC Brigade members (though they would never admit to it) – instinctively know. And it is the reason why, whatever concessions Israel makes to the Palestinians, there may never be peace in this Land.

Fogel home after the attack. Inset: Hadas (3 months), Elad (4), Yoav (11), Udi (36), Ruth (35).

Blowin’ in the Washington Wind

So, the peace talks are under way. But don’t hold your breath . . .

No one in Israel – not even his inner cabinet, by all accounts – has a clue what Benjamin Netanyahu will offer the Palestinians. Nor about his red lines.

Mahmoud Abbas, on the other hand, has a mandate from his family and herd of goats (there is, it is alleged, some overlap). One thing is for sure, however: nothing he agrees with “Bibi” will be accepted by his delightful Islamofascist brethren in Gaza.

And under the ground rest four more innocents . . . though, such is the demonization of the settler, these days, that Israel’s supposed “cultural elite” probably don’t even regard them as such.

On Monday, the day before the drive-by shooting, 150 left-wing academics, artists and writers – including A.B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, and David Grossman – signed a petition in support of actors who are refusing to appear in a new cultural centre in the West Bank settlement of Ariel (Haaretz article).

Now, I am not a supporter of the settlements and believe that all but the largest (of which Ariel is one) of them should – and, eventually, will – be evacuated (following, unlike in Gaza, a formal agreement). And I understand the reluctance, on ideological grounds, of left-wing artists to appear in them.

What unites the signatories to this petition, however, is the familiar arrogance of Israel’s left-wing intelligentsia, who consider their opinions of supreme importance in and to the Israeli body politic. This “cultural elite” – the large majority of which populates the swankiest suburbs of north Tel Aviv and believes, no less than the most fanatic of settlers, that it defines what makes a good and moral Zionist/Israeli – thoroughly repulses me. Most of its members, it seems to me, would sell this country and even their own mothers in the name of their perverse, potentially suicidal notions of liberalism. Indeed, for an honest, intuitive and untainted sense of right and wrong, I would sooner turn to the stallholders in the Carmel Market.

Moreover, I cannot help but wonder whether this self-righteous collection of luvvies, professors and general ponces is not responsible for, or has not at least contributed to, making the settler – through said constant demonization – a legitimate target in the eyes of our enemies.

Driving to the settlement of Efrat (in the Etzion bloc, 15 minutes from the scene of Tuesday’s murders) last Friday – on winding, hilly, unlit roads, past Palestinian villages whose donkeys would emerge, without warning, from out of the night – was a most unnerving experience. Indeed, my heart seemed to be racing as fast as the occasional vehicle, with green-on-white (Palestinian) plates, that sped past.

“There have been no drive-by shootings here for years,” my friend’s son attempted to reassure me upon my arrival, as I tried to regain my cool.

A mere four days later, however, that period of quiet was over.

And, regrettably, I hold out little hope for Washington.

http://www.justgiving.com/melchettmike/