Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Mother the Assassin

Today, I drove my parents from J'lem to Hofit - which is a small, sleepy village between Netanya and Hedera. I've mentioned Hofit before, I think, as Michael (sister Sarah's husband) hails from there and I used to love to visit there - it's a beach village, which when I first found it, abutted K'far Vitkin, one of the oldest moshavim in the country and we'd spend our time visiting the cows that Michael knew, the avocado trees that he'd planted and then, swim at the beach. Now, it's a bit more upscale. That is, mixed in with the old styled bungalow houses are newer, swankier, Israel styled McMansions, that look rather silly but echo the worldwide need to have too many bathrooms to keep clean. Michael's mother, Lillian, who will be 90 in April, still lives in the same, simple house that he grew up in. At the time, it was quite spacious by Israeli standards - just to have a house was a big deal, as most people reared families large and small in apartments and very small apartments at that. Lillian and Moshe, first started out on Kibbutz Kfar Blum, but Lillian hated the Kibbutz and wanted to be near the city and live a different life. Again, keep in mind that they moved here in the late 40's and life in those days was one of deprivation and simplicity. As she always says, they were happy and content with what they had and 'everyone was a Zionist.' Meaning, when people came and made Aliya in the 50's there was no going back to the old country. This was where they wanted to make their lives as Jews and this was where they stayed. Lillian adds that she was 'not a Zionist,' but that she just came along with Moshe. While this is true, life here made a believer out of her, although she's the first to recognize the warts in Israeli life today.

The conversation went in many different directions - who would we vote for today if the US elections were being held. As expected, they don't trust Hillary, partially because she 'stood by her man,' and because she's perceived as being 'wishywashy' on things. Guiliani interests my Mother but she maintains that being Mayor of NY does not prepare you for the office of President. Lillian was curious to hear why I detest our present leadership and what I think could be different with a new leader. Then, we talked about current problems here. Lillian informed us that she had just recently written a letter to the editor of the Jerusalem Post to complain about coverage - you should be so good when you're 90, I thought to myself. Her beef? Too much talk about Anapolis and the usual diplomatic shenanigans when we're entering our 40th day or so of the teachers strike. She, along with my mother, detest Olmert (as do many) and feels the the current government is both corrupt and untrustworthy and absolutely cringes when she see Olmert in photo-ops with Abbas.

My mother reminds Lillian that she wanted to shoot Olmert a few months ago during another politcal discussion. She adds, my mother that is, the instigator, that one doesn't get such heavy sentencing in this country, look at Haim Ramon back in office already and in a few years, Katzav will find a way back in too. 'Lillian,' she adds, 'You're an older lady...if you assassinate him they won't put you in jail for a long time.' Lillian agrees with her. My mother says, 'I'll be your accomplice, we can get through security!' We all laugh at the thought of the Granny assassins but I tell them that they're terrible and misbehaving. My father naps in his chair in the lovely, warm sun that is so nice to us cold Jerusalemites, and when he wakes up will tell him the joke.

As we're leaving, Lillian tells my mother that she's on, but 'you get the gun!'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Message from the assassin
Only Lillian who has been in Israel from 1948 has the right to assassinate Olmert but I would get the gun and visit her in jail.
But thank you so much for taking us.
Love Mom