I used to read everything Caroline Glick wrote. I used to wait impatiently for Friday afternoon so I could read the weekend edition of the Jerusalem Post, savouring the ''op-ed'' for a quiet moment in the late afternoon when the kids were out playing and the house was quiet. I wanted to understand everything about the political situation in Israel; I wanted to be well informed.  Like many Jews around the world, my political position tended towards the left with a sharp right orientation when it came to Israel - perhaps it had something to do with survival.

I fell pregnant with our youngest during the second intifada.  I read the Jerusalem Post''s online edition every day, and we watched the news closely from our distant home in Australia, shocked at the daily reports that came across our screen. We were so passionate about the burning issues at hand that when our daughter was born we named her ''Emunah Yerushalayim'', to stake our psychic claim in the city under threat.  It was the beginning of public debate around the issues of ''right of return'' and the splitting of Jerusalem, and it was all we could do from so far away. Even though I had never been to Israel, our growing family was at the peak of our journey towards re-embracing the spiritual traditions of our religion, so Israel was never far from our hearts.

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Living in Israel had always been my husband''s dream. For my fortieth birthday, just weeks before the Gaza evacuation we came to explore the possibility of moving our family of seven to the Holy land. The country was alive with protests and debate. Yellow flags streamed across the land from north to south, and everyone talked about the pending evacuation. We spent one Shabbat  high in the magnificent hills of Tzvat amongst religious families who''s conversations spoke of disbelief, holy petition and an almost crazed anticipation that the Messiah would suddenly appear just days before the evacuation and make it all OK.  He didn’t.

Two years later we made Aliya. Today I don’t read the paper and I don’t listen to the news, not the Israeli news anyway. When I do happen upon a headline or when an article finds its way into my email or facebook, I am shocked to find out how close we still are to the Iranian threat, how world leadership is still falling for a PR job older than the state itself, and how the Palestinian government still refuses to acknowledge our right to exist as a nation on this land, and by extension their own. Yet at the same time, nothing surprises me because nothing has actually changed since we arrived three years ago. The Iranian threat remains, world leaders continue treading water in their attempts to solve the Middle Eastern (read: Jewish) problem, and Palestinian leaders continue to self sabotage.  Like the Thai say: same same; but different.

This is a tough country in every possible way. The people are tough, the political situation is extraordinarily complicated, the overhaul of the legal system is twenty years overdue, education is at an all time low, beaurocratic infrastructure is stuck in a socialist framework reminiscent of Orwells'' ''1984'', the mafia has corroded authority and faith in almost every city, taxes are unbearably high and the gap between the wealthy and the poor is growing at a frightening rate, yet  the news doesn’t seem to concern anyone on a day to day basis.

Roads and suburbs and villages continue to expand at great speed and classrooms fill daily with Ritolen pumped children. Thai workers fill the fields and Arab workers fill building sites and the country continues to function, albeit in a somewhat ludicrously dysfunctional way, despite the shocking, yet usual daily news. 

I sit in a small Moshav on the enclosed timber porch of the portable caravilla of my friend Hadas, whose family was resettled after the Gaza evacuation. We drink coffee while she tells me how her husband battled with depression after the trauma of being relocated, and how he struggled to find work in their new home. One night he left home and has not been seen of or heard from since. Now a single mother, Hadas is chained to her marriage by an ancient law, with no government support, no money, no community and no closure. It is stories like this that interest me these days, today I am interested in the fallout, more than I am interested in the news. 

If Iran sends a nuclear bomb over our way, please would someone let me know.  



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