|Walking through Tel Aviv in November 2015 a.k.a. Cheshvan-Kislev 5776|
Late night in Tel Aviv, the air heavy with jasmine and the grinding of crickets. Ahead of me Orthodox men in black suits and hats. Coming toward me a young man in a sage IDF uniform. On the bike path alongside are people of every age riding every kind of bike: from motorized to one-speeds. I’m following the blue dot on my GPS and heading toward Abraham Lincoln Street, searching for an open-all-night laptop-friendly café. I’ve only got its name written in Hebrew, so maybe I’ll find it and maybe I won’t.
Israel is under siege, but I'm still walking through the night as I often do. I'm alone and surrouded by dark and trying to figure out WTF is going on. I'm under the illusion that if iI walk and think long enough, I might understand. According to cbsnews.com, there were 620 terror attacks perpetuated by Arabs against mostly-Jewish Israelis in October. Want a breakdown? That's 483 firebombs, 57 IEDs (pipe bombs and grenades), 42 stabbings, 28 small arms shootings, five rockets, three car-ramming attacks, one attack using a gas canister and one attack using an anti-tank missile.
My fellow Americans, you have no idea. If you want the truth and you want it from a non-Israeli source, at least check out the French-Canadian Arab writer, Fred Moroun, and the Palestinian Human Rights Activist, Bassem Eid.
I go right and left, forwards and back, holding my phone before me like a beacon in that new, stumbling forward fashion we have. I reach my destination, the English name is Cafe Tachtit. The maitre d' good-naturedly touches my arm in welcome. A waitress asks how long I've been in Israel. I sit. I start streaming San Francisco Bay Area radio, KQED, and listen to Michael Krasny talking about good new books. I order a salad and a fig vodka. I sit with my back to the door. Got denial?
|This is what a "steak salad" looks like in Israel - mushrooms and roasted fennel, with sweet potato frizzle fries sprinkled on top.|
I finish my fabulous dinner.
I write for a while.
On my way home, I decide to wing it. I put my GPS away. Again I walk alone through the dark.
|Inside Cafe Tachlit, 9 Abraham Lincoln Street in Tel Aviv, Israel|