Friday, November 28, 2003
forked tongues
May I just say that if only it was colder, we would have one awesome snow storm right now!! But unfortunately it isn't, so it's pouring buckets and buckets of rain, making the drive into work long, and tension filled. Tis a grey day which kinda sucks coz one of my bestest friends is celebrating her birthday today. I called her up and left a birthday song on her voicemail at work so she would have it when she went in this morning. Tonight we're all heading downtown for a big dinner with our gang of friends; I'm looking forward to it, it should be a blast. :-D

Last night I went over to hang out with a friend I haven't seen in a few weeks. Julia is a friend of mine who has moved here to Canada from Israel about 4 -5 months ago. A friendship was spawned when I was looking for someone to help me with my Hebrew, and she was looking for someone to help her with her English. We hit it off right away, and get together and talk for hours and hours on end. :-) Last night was pretty funny as I was explaining some stuff in English, and she in Hebrew, and by the end the two of us were just pretty much cursing each others languages. LOL.
All I know is I've got a lot to learn and I don't know if I have the time and patience. LOL

Also when I hang out with her we always end up talking about Israel. Lots and lots. Sometimes it depresses me, coz this is now my second friend in a year that I have met who has moved here from Israel, and when I talk to them about their reasons, it makes me worry about the country. Both friends (from last year and this year) tried their best to carve out a living for themselves in Israel (both Julia and her husband are *very* well educated) but the economy and political system is such a mess that they were finally forced to give up and go somewhere else in order to realize their dreams. In talking to these two separate friends I have had an opportunity to get interestingly different points of view, but the answers, sadly, have been the same.

The first friend ("Gnat", now living in England) was born and raised in Israel, calling it home for the first 30 years of her life. She finally left for Canada with her husband and son because the economics of Israel were preventing them from ever getting ahead, and thwarting their dreams of ever owning a home. So they came here. And while they loved Canada immensely, they found it was too far from family in Israel, so they moved to England. Gnat has said flat out "I will never move back to Israel". That, I think, says a LOT.

Julia was an immigrant to Israel and lived there for over ten years. She had to learn the language and adapt to the culture. Eventually she met and married her husband, and had a daughter. They too left largely due to the economy of Israel. She spoke to me of a political system that only pretends to serve the people, and an overall attitude of not caring (especially in terms of voting). Do I need to point out how many strikes go on in Israel on a regular basis bringing the country to a standstill, and crippling an already ailing economy? While the bond within the Israelis (to each other and to the country) is strong and wonderful, the system is crumbling. She says she now feels very comfortable in Canada, like she has been here a year already, and has made many friends. I for one, am thrilled she came here. :-)

All this worries me because I have people in Israel I care about and who are struggling to make a life for themselves there. What's to become of them and all the others? Israel and it's inhabitants are highly misunderstood which does nothing to help their situation. And with no end in sight in terms of the Palestinian conflict, I worry about the future of Israel.

Israel has survived this long, and I have faith that it will continue to do so. But getting by is not enough. I want it to grow, prosper and flourish. I want my friends there to be happy and do well for themselves, and build a long meaningful life there. I want the Palestinians to have a future too, they deserve it as much as anyone else (I know that will spark a hot debate, but I want people to remember that not every Palestinian out there wants war). And I find it incredibly unfortunate that a group of angry Palestinians have turned to terrorism to try and get what they want, making the rest of the Palestinians, who want peace, look bad.

If you are interested in learning more, please check out my links in the Israel section of my sidebar.
Recommended blogs: Gil, Rinat, Imshin, Allison, Smooth Stone, Israellycool, Lorien, Meryl, Solomonia, Israpundit and Havdala. (if you know of any others, please feel free to share)

Thanks for listening to me rant!