I am following with concern what is going on in the US right now and also thinking about where I am in the context of it all. As I look out my window I can see the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) which from this vantage point looks benign but inside things are moving in some pretty disturbing directions. I’ve been thinking that many of you on the north coast look out at the beautiful scenery and the ocean and all looks well though of course, we know it is not.
There are a lot of veterans in the classes I am teaching now and in classes of the past. Most are veterans of wars that took place in this part of the world and unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. It’s status quo in Jerusalem as I write but 6 people were wounded today in Petach Tikvah (a town in the center of Israel) and rockets were fired at Eilat. Israel has had quite its share of wars from its earliest time. There is a museum dedicated to a number of the previous wars that I’ve always been curious about but had never visited.
My curiosity was due in part to the fact that my father fought in Israel’s War of Independence and was a Canadian citizen and resident of the US at time which was illegal. It’s a bit of a long story but enough to say that because he was American the Israelis put him in charge of the Sherman tanks they had captured. My father was an intellectual with no military experience so it was a good thing he didn’t really see much action. I had a picture of him (which I’m unable to share here but will add to the blog post when I return home) in front of the Sherman tank and showed it to the soldiers on duty at the museum. They thought it was a marvelous thing and sure enough they have several Sherman tanks. My father fought a war worth fighting and then spent the rest of his life seeking peace.