Karen, “I hope they give them a state”.
Me, “why do you think they should have a state?”.
Her, “because then we won’t have to fight with them anymore.”
K started first grade and its been quite a ride by our third week in. The first week was wonderful. She was excited, wanted to do her homework immediately, and told me she had a great day each time I picked her up at 4 from her after school daycare (which is actually in the school and staffed with teachers). She has a full schedule of classes from 8 am until 1:30 pm. After that the school’s daycare takes over and serves the kids who stay a hot lunch and then sits them down to do their homework. Daycare gets me off the hook for lunch and most of the homework, although she never does everything assigned there, so we usually have a couple of rows of letters or numbers to write once we get home.
After a wonderful first week, Karen became less enthralled and has had several violent outbursts. She has hit, pushed and scratched several different children. Mostly boys, as opposed to Kindergarten where she seemed to only have problems with girls. We took the issue to K’s therapist who immediately suggested we move her to a different class because the teacher didn’t seem to be dealing with it as well as the psychologist thought she should. We declined that bit of advice and have decided to work with the teach and the psychologist. Both seem to feel that part of her acting out is just the difficulty of starting first grade. Unlike when I was a child in the US, Israel schools begin giving children daily homework assignments during the first week. The goal is to get the children accustomed to doing work at home on a daily basis. From personal experience, I know how hard it is to start to get homework only when your much older. Then it becomes more of a challenge. Our first graders are being taught to budget their time.
K has athletics 3 times a week, after I pick her up at 4pm. She has tennis twice a week and gymnastics once. I wanted to make sure she had a chance to work out her frustrations from sitting still all day in class. She really loves both and I’ve told her that we can continue with them so long as she stops the aggression at school. I mind less if she is difficult at home. I almost want her to be able to keep the lid on her anger at school, and then let it loose at home. At least then I can deal with it directly and not via a teacher, psychologist or school principal.
I’ve been following the Arab Spring since @Sandmonkey first posted about Khaled Said’s vicious death at the hands of a brutal Egyptian police force. Sa’id was simply picked at random and beaten to death in an act that may have sparked the Egyptian Spring. I’ve been studying the opinions of the Arab elite online. I define them as the elite because they are educated, plugged in and have excellent English communication skills. But in so many cases, I am disappointed when I see the elite engaging in hysterical anti-Israel conspiracy theories and maintaining a closed mind when parroting classic Arab propaganda talking points. One blog in that category is @Zeinobia blog.
Last year I blogged about the dearth of English language Palestinian blogs written by Palestinians living in West Bank and Gaza. There were plenty of Palestinian bloggers living elsewhere, but I was really interested in the opinions of people living the reality. Today there are many English language Palestinian bloggers and Tweeps. I follow some to try and better understand their view and why they hate us so much. I can’t help but take it personally when I see so much hate directed at me simply for being a citizen of Israel. They feel the same way when they read posts by extreme right wing Israelis and supporters.
Today, as the rift between Israeli and Palestinian seems wider than ever, our homegrown terror groups seem to be gaining strength and audacity. More than their aggression, I worry that like the Arabs, most Israelis find it hard to condemn their religious right against the “enemy”. This makes it impossible to view the situation from the POV of the Arabs. I use “Arabs” rather than Palestinians because it appears that the hatred towards Israel is held among Arabs, almost universally. Likewise, there are few Israelis, myself included, who can see the Palestinian side as clearly as leftist Israeli Tweep, @ibnezra.
The Ha’aretz article linked here just made me further aware of how much hate is being generated by each act. We can’t control what the other side does, but we should be able to control what we do. It’s scary to be an Israeli when the news reports that “a left-wing activist was apparently the latest “price tag” victim…The incident follows last week’s vandalism attack on an IDF base in the West Bank, in apparent revenge for the demolition of unauthorized Jewish construction in settlement outposts there.” If the extremists can target their own armed forces, there to protect them, then how can I not believe any other behavior attributed to them?
Needless to say, it’s embarrassing to be associated with Israelis who are reported to be responsible for “a marked rise in acts of violence against mosques and Palestinian property”. This behavior makes it impossible to believe denials and claims of self defense when the same settlers are suspected of unprovoked physical violence against Palestinians.