Saturday, May 08, 2004

Anyone who is old enough to remember Pac-Man, you must read this NYTimes article. I don't remember when I've laughed so hard.


1) Regarding the political situation, I'm feeling more "calmly confused" than in my last post. I still think that more should happen, in terms of reaction from the masses, when a terror attack happens, but as my cousin in Petach Tikva made me realize, if we rioted everytime there was an attack, people would be missing too many days of work. Hm. Maybe scratch that idea.

2) Where I am right now regarding the disengagement plan:

a) I think if we leave, we'll seemingly be rewarding terror. However I also feel that . . .

b) The idea of having so many soldiers in Gaza to protect 7,000 Jews from hundreds of thousands of Palestinians does not make sense to me, so I also think we should get the hell out of there.

Not that this makes too much of a difference to me (more in-depth explanation another time, if I get around to it), but Gaza isn't even part of biblical Israel. Petach Tikva cousin, who reads the Hebrew papers, says that army officials have said that they could screen/weed out/kill the terrorists from just outside Gaza, and don't need a military presence inside in order to do so.

So, I want the army to get out (and because I care about the Jews who live there, I want them to get out, because if they stay without military protection, they will be killed, and that would be bad -- by the way, is it just me or is the fact that they'd all be killed immediately a little hint that maybe our neighbors are not interested in being tolerant and neighborly?). But on the other hand, if we disengage, we're basically saying "see, the terrorism worked, eventually."

Bad choice to make here.

c) That Likud vote was, IMHO, another Sharon ploy toward looking strong while wimping out. Ever notice that Sharon is constantly saying things like "we'll dismantle Meron" or "we'll disengage" or "we won't include Ariel in the fence" and then 2 weeks later he reverses himself. As far as I can tell, it happens EVERY time. If any of you know of a pull-out type of promise that Sharon has actually kept, please post a comment about it, because I'd love to know.

Here we had Sharon saying "we'll disengage . . . yes, we really will! . . . but, wait a second, my party doesn't want to do that . . . yeah, most of the rest of the country likes the disengagement plan, but, you know, I gotta keep my party happy . . . so, we'll redo the plan. Get back to me in a couple of weeks."

Nice, going, Arik. You two-faced, slippery eel.

(Hey, I outright insulted an Israeli politician! Now I can run for Knesset!)

3) I am sick. On Thursday night I started feeling run down and having a cold. Still had a great time though in Petach Tikva with the cousins. They are such nice people. (Shout-out to Meir!) They took me to this incredible restaurant called El Gaucho. It was awesome. Glad I got to enjoy it before I got really ill.

Anyway, last night I had my first Shabbat-meal-alone since my aliyah, but by choice so it was OK. By the time Shabbat came in, I really just wanted to crawl into bed. My lungs were full of mucus (TMI?); thank God I didn't have a fever, because I was having company for lunch. I figured that if I drink a lot of hot tea and get to bed, I'll feel better by the time my guests arrived, and I was pretty much right. Around noon today I suddenly felt magically better and stopped coughing, almost. But after they all left, I got back into bed, and later I got a fever. So, I'm sick-y. :-(

4) FYI, my new, temporary job at an unnamed :-) newspaper in Israel is going really well. My editor and co-workers are both very nice and very talented- a rare combination. The only problem is, when I hang out with people who disagree with the political leanings of the paper, which is often, a silence falls over the crowd when I tell them where I work. There's always this moment when someone is trying to figure out whether they want to say "hey that's great" when really they hate this paper. Usually someone saves the day by saying "Oh, how interesting. So, how did you get that job?"

Fact: No one asked me at my interview what my political or religious leanings are.

Fact: No one has ever asked me to tip the leanings of an article to make it more compatible with the percieved leanings of the paper.

Fact: I try to report the facts into my newspaper writing without injecting my personal opinions. That's partially what this blog is for. Obviously, judgement calls often have to be made about what to include and what not to include, which anyone is free to agree or disagree with. But it would not be fair for anyone to assume that they know what my political or religious opinions are by reading my print-published work. In fact, I've often heard or read criticism by readers who assume that "this reporter obviously is biased against X, Y, or Z," when in fact, if anything, I'm biased toward XYZ. I'm just refraining from injecting my biases into my work. Imagine that. A reporter who tries hard not to inject her biases into her work! Surprise! Gasp!

An observation: People read things into what they read in the paper. Whatever you bring to the table, you'll see reflected in the news and either nod and say "yes, yes, this confirms what I've always thought" or "Uuuuuurgh, this paper is so biased!" Sometimes you'll be correct. Often, people are just being hypersensitive. They ask for "balanced and fair," but what they really want is "agreeing with me."

Eh, this all brings up questions about the role of newspapers, the role of reporters . . . and I need to go nurse my fever. I'm too obsessed with the idea of crawling back into bed to write any more. Please write comments!

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