with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Seeing Israel’s Firsts: Pull Out From Gaza and Arafat Sick and Rain

We’ve got an entire living room crammed with boxes and are almost done with the packing up. Not as much to pack as I thought, but more than I really want. We finally found some movers who we hope are good. Not much you can do but trust and trust and wait. I keep telling myself it is just STUFF. While I’ve tried to cut back on paper, we still have a ton of it. Going to get a nice new (small) scanner when we get back to help cut back on even more of the stuff.

Two friends from the states decided at last minute to come spent two weeks with us to SEE Israel and we just took them to the airport to fly back this morning. It was fun to have a last fling around the country to see our favorite places and show it off. And how amazing that our friends were here for the incredible Kinneset vote to pull out of Gaza, and for the hospitalization and sensation that Arafat LOVES to promote, this time through illness. In addition to all the trouble and media attention he is generating, he wants a fight from the Palestinian people to rise up and invade Israel (or whatever it takes) to get his body buried in Jerusalem. He wants a holy shrine dedicated to him that has as much holy significance as Mecca or something. Israel has refused his request repeatedly, and continues to do so. The only shrine to Arafat that most people want is a big of indigestion they get from reading about him in the history books. While I was in Jerusalem yesterday (the Old City – full of Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs) I kept hearing from all of my Arab friends there that they couldn’t wait for the old bugger to die. Time for “young-her peoples” to take over, we were told over and over again. That’s nice to know.

Another first our friends got to experience was even more important to us on a personal scale than the pull out vote on Gaza or Arafat’s illness. On the way back from Jerusalem the last night, it started to rain. Tons of it. But only for about two minutes, but it was rain. Geshem. Real stuff. Not the fake-you-out misty stuff that comes with three drops and leaves immediately, never reaching the pavement. Real cover-the-cars-with-splatters-and-turn-on-the-windshield-wipers kinda rain. First one of the year since May. That was worth waiting for.

Tel Aviv, Israel

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