Here is how my day starts off. I wake up in the morning to the clatter and banging of my three amazing children.
After dragging myself out of bed, getting my anxious little tykes their cereal I finally get to sit down and attempt to savor my first of many cups of coffee of the day.
After failing horribly to enjoy my coffee I make sure my older Kids, Odel (6) and Ariel (4) are dressed, have brushed their teeth and are officially ready to head off to Gan (preschool).
As most parents know, just achieving the ability to open our front door and actually leave the house can be as difficult as negotiating Middle-East peace, but I finally get there.
Out the door I go pushing Avigail (almost 16 months old) in her stroller with Odel and Ariel in tow.
After discussing the make and model of every car parked along the way with Ariel, listening to Odel comment about how rude it is that people do not pick up their dogs’ excrement and Avigail baby babble at me, we finally make it to Gan.
Big kisses and long hugs are freely given; I love my kids and miss them just about every second of the day, so leaving them is hard.
Before I leave them I do what I always do: meet and greet their friends who come running up to me. Ahhhh, yes this is when I really get to soak in how racist my country is, as I’m greeted by Ethiopian, Moroccan, Iraqi, Libyan, Turkish, Yemeni, Druze and European kids each day.
These are the countries and heritages that happily surround my children at school. Anyone who “knows” that Israel is a racist, apartheid state should definitely NOT come to my children’s Gan and risk having their delusions shattered!
After Avigail and I beat a hasty retreat back to the house (as always, it is hot -- even at eight o’clock in the morning), we then take our second journey of the day: picking up mommy from work.
This can be harder than getting my family out of the house in the morning. First I drive through a nearby field (I have four-wheel drive, a necessity at times), to avoid the nearby road clogged with morning rush. I notice that the Beduouin has his herd of goats and sheep out, and we wave at each other, as I carefully avoid several sheep.
Finally we hit the pavement and begin the slog toward Rishon Lezion. Driving Israeli roads is invigorating, to put it mildly. But invariably it makes one truly appreciate living! After dodging some crazies, I make it to my wife Lilach’s work.
Lilach works at a home for people who are mentally challenged. These people are our second family. Lilach does not make much but could never leave the job because of her attachment to the people she cares for. Today, Aurit an older woman, refused to get on the bus that takes all the residents to work. Something had angered her and Lilach decided it was best not to force her to go to work. Now that Aurit had cooled down, I was told we were going to take her to the job spot.
Fine; it’s on the way home, anyway … sort of!
After dropping Aurit off at work and dodging maniacal moped drivers, we finally make it home.
Now Avigail and I head out on journey number three: taking our three dogs for a walk.
Yael (Saluki), Duka (French Bulldog) and Lady (West Highland Terrier) guide us through the grand park of Rehovot Hollandit (our development). After watching them chase each other and partake in some serious horse play (and faithfully picking up their poo), Avigail and I finally head home.
By this time it is nine thirty in the morning. The temperature has already reached 95 degrees; all three dogs, Lilach, Avigail and I are burnt out. We still have a whole day of playing, paying bills, cleaning, doing laundry, preparing food, stressing on mortgage and debt.
All of the above is what you are not told about Israel.
This is what those news channels neglect to tell you. All the crazies out there who demonize, condemn and delegitimize my country don’t want you to know this.
All the sturm und drang against Israel is nothing more than an attempt to hide the dirty little secret that … blare of trumpets … we Israelis just want to be left to live our lives, to eke out our daily existence.
The majority of us want peace and are ready for compromise. Why? Because we want a better future for our children. I want a better future for Odel, Ariel and Avigail.
I want that better future; I just won’t accept it at the expense of their self-determination. I want a future where all the Odels, Ariels and Avigails can grow up in the democratic, Jewish State … at peace with the state of Palestine.