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Why Haifa?
Last uploaded : Friday 7th Mar 2003 at 03:00
Contributed by : Sheila Raviv



Why? Why Haifa?

Haifa is a city which has never known troubles between the various communities. Jews, Arabs, Moslems, Christians, Druze, Bahai, Bedouin all
live together in symbiotic harmony. Yesterday they died together too. Another lunatic blew himself to pieces on the number 37 bus, laden with students, so his family could receive a princely sum from Saddam Hussein and
he could reach his 72 virgins. The television interviewers tried to find a crack in the rapport between the communities, but were disappointed. Arab and Jewish doctors alike tended to the injured. Arab and Jewish injured alike, cared for each other. Haifa Arabs are Israelis in every way and that is what our enemies cannot comprehend or forgive. Pray for those who are still in danger for their lives and for the families of those sweet young souls who did not survive the inferno.

I am proud to tell you that in addition to writing prayers, as an Israeli Jewess, for the Jerusalem Prayer team of Pastor Mike Evans, I am helping a delightful man, with a big heart whose name is Earl Cox. Earl Cox is setting up a radio station which will transmit news directly from Jerusalem to the United States. Mr Cox is already known for the television commercials he presented and paid for to promote good feeling for Israel. We went together to talk to Danny Seaman, the director of the Israeli Government Press Office. The interview was fascinating and covered many aspects of our situation, from gas masks to Iraq, from bus bombs to IDF responses. If you
go to the Front Page Jerusalem site


you can find out the transmission times. The station is still in its infancy but catching on fast.

Yesterday Zvi and I were invited to the home of the Armenian Patriarch, Torkom Manoogian. A wonderful man, erudite, gentle, pious and amusing, Patriarch Manoogian is a fine poet and also studies the works of Gomidas, the recorder of Armenian music who brought back pride to the Armenian peoples. Gomidas was among those first Armenians who were taken by the Moslem fundamentalists of Turkey, taken to the desert where he saw 300 of his close friends slaughtered. Gomidas never regained his sanity as the slaughter continued. One and a half million Armenians were murdered.
Genocide. Holocaust in the name of racial purity. This holocaust took place during the time of the First World War and has shamefully been relegated to an incident. Patriarch Manoogian is a poet who expresses his peoples' tragedies through his gorgeous works. The palace, in the Armenian Quarter of the Old City, has reminders of its former splendour, great chandeliers and
Tapestries, Ming vases, ancient tomes and jade statuettes dwarf this representative of Armenia in Jerusalem. His words measured, we talked of the need for finding the median, the moderate, the tolerant path; his people suffered, as ours has, from extremism; our paths have crossed and follow a parallel course.

This terrible period in our history has brought us all together. The support that we get from other faiths, other countries, from "ordinary" people who are so much wiser than their leaders, has warmed the people of Israel and helps us through a time when it feels as if everyone hates us. If you feel a report is unfair, demand an explanation. By writing, calling, faxing and
emailing your TV stations you make a difference, they cannot function without viewers, can they?.

So tell me, what are your plans for the next few weeks? I have been a good girl and bought some plastic sheeting, tinned food and bottled water, but very much doubt we will need it. It just seemed the responsible thing to do!!! We have planned several outings, theatre, cinema, dinner and have invited some friends over next week. I will continue to enjoy the colours and bustle of the fruit market and walk in the streets of MY city. In a conversation with a friend from the USA I tried to explain that we carry on with our daily lives, because we have to. The purpose of terror is to scare people into a frozen, catatonic state... it will not happen here! As the Israeli Arab who was interviewed by Israel television said "There was no hatred toward me before and there will be no hatred toward me now. Everyone knows I am an Israeli first last and always.."

I wish you a Shabbat shalom, be positive, be proud and don't be afraid to argue your side.you never know, you may convince someone!!!!


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