# 16 – Haifa and Netanya by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 16 – Haifa and Netanya

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409

March 5, 2003

It is almost midnight, almost signalling the end of a strange day. Here in Israel, ‘strange’ can have some horrible connotations.

News, whatever format, will usually interrupt you when your mind is totally elsewhere. Today’s ‘breaking news’ of the bus bomb in Haifa interrupted me on a pleasant long distance call to a European customer. He understood my need to call him later.


The bus exploded on Moriah Street, only 2-300 meters from the home of my sister-in-law and her family. Her grandson takes that route every day….As I feared last week, it is getting closer.

Throughout the day, the news worsens: more dead, and many of the seriously injured in danger of following.


Cut to evening. A nephew is appearing in a show in Netanya. He arranges tickets. We check; no cancellation. The show must go on. It takes place at the cultural centre.

It is an evening of Nurit Hirsch’s music. She is one of Israel’s leading composers of popular songs, hits and folk and dance music alike. Our nephew is one of the senior dancers.


The mayor of Netanya is invited to say some words of welcome. She has been mayor for about 4 years. This relatively young lady has had to deal with strange days like this, for Netanya has been almost a centre of terrorist attacks. She knows the meaning of horror, and she understands the need to keep smiling….for the others.

The 100 or so dancers, singers and musicians who have been rehearsing so long. Their families and friends who have made sure that the film is ready in the camera. They have been waiting for this day. How can they be denied?


A wonderful evening, with a section of perhaps 30 minutes featuring the composer

at the piano, a screen with the words, and the large audience singing along. Their voices seemed louder than usual, their rhythmic clapping a little more enthusiastic.

They needed this uplifting end to such a strange day.


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