Faye Rapoport DesPres

Two days in Tel Aviv

Yesterday: On the television, news about anti-tank gunfire from Gaza hitting a school bus in Israel, injuring the driver and critically injuring a teenage boy on the bus. Hamas will later claim responsibility for the attack. Israel struck back by hitting nine terror-activity sites in the Gaza strip.

On the living room floor in the apartment where I’m staying, an 11-year-old Israeli girl laughed and wrestled with her dog while this news was  being broadcast in the background.

Today: Riding in a car in Tel Aviv, I notice a street that is blocked off by police cars. A green robot that looks a bit like a large Mars Rover with a long arm extending out of the front is the middle of the street. The 13-year-old Israeli boy I’m sitting next to in the car explains how the police are using the robot to examine a suspicious package, in case it is a bomb. He chats about this in a relaxed way, practicing his English.

Before dinner, in the yard of a house where a large lilac tree is dripping with fragrant flowers, I show the 13-year-old, along with his Israeli uncle and nine-year-old cousin, how to throw an American football. They are very interested in how the football is supposed to spin in the air.  After dinner, the mother of the nine-year-old (my first cousin once removed) who also has twin 7-year-old daughters, yells, “Yaish!” at something on the television. Literally meaning “there is,” Yaish used in this manner is a cry of victory. I ask her what happened.  She tells me that the Iron Dome, Israel’s new anti-rocket technology, has for the first time stopped three Grad rockets fired from Gaza toward the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Only one rocket got through. Ashkelon is 36 miles south of Tel Aviv.

Day three should be interesting.



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