It's been quite a day around here. Residents of the Gaza Strip blew up holes in the wall separating them from Egypt and scores of them rushed into the northern Sinai to buy food. Egypt let them in, Israel and the U.S. protested. Of course some of them will return with guns, but that doesn't change the basic fact: a million and a half human beings are starving, while we're keeping them under siege, waiting for them to die, and hurrying up the process by bombing them from the air.
2008, 1.5 million human beings corralled by a wall in an area smaller that that of Queens, with no support and no hope. Anyone who criticizes them for getting weapons, has to prove to me that he or she too is corralled by a wall, is starved and being shot at. I will not take criticism or condemnation towards the Gazans from anyone who is not in a similar situation, since empathy seldom come naturally.
Of course I don't empathize with violence or fundamentalism, but the way Israel treats the strip there makes it looks like we are being payed by the Hammas to empower it. There's too much suffering going on one hour down the coast from where I am and it turns into violence and fundamentalism. How should we solve this? should we cut off their electricity? already tried that. Should we deny them access to food and fuel in the middle of winter? hmmm. tried that. Should we kill them at a rate of 19 a day? been there, done that. So how come Gaza isn't flowering into a kind, moderate, pro Israeli and affluent community?
Could it be that we are just dumber than pickled carrot?
Now to another war-front. I went to a second doctor yesterday, since things aren't getting any better. He gave me another diagnosis (some mystery virus) and sent me to a lab in Bat-Yam, south of the city, to give a blood sample.
I got there this morning at 9:00. The nurse was extremely hostile because the lab is open precisely till 9:00. She didn't use the needle to hurt me, bless her heart, but later called and told me that she can't find the name of the doctor who sent me on the computer, so she's "getting rid of the blood".
"What?!" I started, "Don't get rid of the blood! I'm ill! I can hardly make it out of home, I don't want to go to Bat-Yam again at nine in the morning, or I mean before nine."
"Stop lying!" she blurted.
"When did I ever lie to you?"
"Your doctor is not on the computer, I need to go home, I've wasted an hour on this already."
Following continued pleas, she ended up agreeing to keep the blood sample at the Bat-Yam clinic, "If you get results, good. If you don't, you don't." She said and hung up(!)
Don't blame Israeli chutzpa, she's Russian. Don't blame lack of experience, she's unflatteringly middle aged. I called again to ask her her name, at which point she claimed she already threw away the blood. I then called the manager of the clinic to place a complaint.
At least I have someone to complain to when I'm met with a lack of empathy. Sure, the nurse deserved empathy too. She wanted to go home, maybe her kid is ill, maybe she has an appointment for getting her nails done. Maybe I should have spared her and not placed a complaint, like the Hammas should refrain from shooting at Sderot, but the fact is, when you get unnecessarily provoked, are left at the mercy of an unemphatic stranger and your blood gets pointlessly spilt, you look for a way to retaliate. That's the way of the world.