Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

The day after….what now?

This morning was the final blow. I arrive at our local MATNASS (community centre) to find that my Bonei Etzem…bone building class which is for those who have problems with their old bones, has been cancelled.

So, its been 10 years at least that I have been attending. Since I have my mothers’ genes some of which are enhancing and I am so proud of, unfortunately I also have her Osteoporosis. They used to call it “brittle bones”. Years ago no one paid much attention to it, but in the 80’s in Israel at least it became compulsory for tests to be done on bone density.Once aware of the problem which is permanent and not easy to digest, one just has to get on with it.So many things in life are not easy to accept.

My beautiful,wonderful Mother Rene who with my Stepfather,made Aliyah aged 75, sewed  goods for charities in Netanya, so they could raise funds, at local sales. The  money raised was used to give aid to old and needy people. When many families from the great Ethiopian aliyah known as Operation Solomon arrived in the town she personally decorated 300 kippot(skull caps) for their kids to wear.On the morning of her death due to a heart attack, I found her sewing machine piled high with ready cut pieces of material from which to make sale-able, objects. She made Aliyah at a ripe old age, but she will never be forgotten.

She was constantly breaking limbs, but in the event survived till the ripe old age of 89. From her I did inherit stamina,pragmatism, obstinacy and Osteoporosis.

So its obvious that I give thanks to the good Lord when I wake up in the morning,stretch my stiff limbs and say to myself “Get on with it girl”!

Last night despite protests from my children I attended a demonstration on the main highway near to my home in Hadar Yosef. I was happy and proud to be there. I was even more proud to see the younger generation and their kids.

What are we asking for, only justice,equality and freedom? We need leaders who are of us, and not against  us?

Unfortunately,I do not think that many of the demonstrators identify with those whom they have elected to power! We feel cheated. Everyone has a vote in this Democratic Parliamentary system under which we live. So how did we end up like this?

At a time when the medical and welfare services are stretched to the limit Doctors, Nurses and Policemen too, are working around the clock.While fat cats are on their roof ,drinking champagne and trying to forget their sorrows.

We are all finding ways to keep active to care for our families not to let stress and irritability get the better of us.The people of Israel have a “stiff upper lip” as the British call it.

However the demonstrations last night said”Enough is enough!”

When I got home I switched on the TV and  after midnight had to force myself to go to bed although in my heart, I wanted to be out there with them.

We dare not lose confidence in the administration and even if many of those elected to the Knesset(or at least shoved in there) seem to be pretty incompetent and are unknown players,that’s what we have.

The demonstrations indicated an Israel alive and well with so many young and old ambitious and caring people, who are just aching to get on with their lives.

The odd unpleasant attacks on the policemen are unfortunate.We owe them our gratitude. However, with problems and tension inside many homes, these attacks are due to frustration, rather than deliberate resentment of those who aim to keep law and order.

So today is the day after! What now?

About the Author
Zelda Harris first came to Israel 1949, aged 18. After living through the hardships of the nascent state, she returned to England in 1966. She was a founding member of the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry. In 1978, she returned with her family to Israel and has been active in various spheres of Israeli Society since. Together with the late Chaim Herzog, she founded CCC for Electoral Reform, was the Director of BIPAC in Israel, and a co-founder of Metuna, the Organisation for Road Safety, which received the Speaker of Knesset Quality of Life Award for saving lives on the roads and prevention of serious injury. She is now a peace activist, blogger for Times of Israel and is writing her life story.
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