April 4, 2007
Nancy Pelosi shakes hands with Assad and the Arab League rekindles the Saudi peace plan. Arab League? What have they achieved? Democracy? Not even their version. Unity? Their internal borders are as impervious as ever. Economic Union? Hardly one joint venture. No 2 countries have even thought of combining their currencies. Sudan’s leader criticises Israel’s ongoing policy….no mention of Sudan’s internal strife.
The 8 British are released after 2 weeks of intense publicity – on both sides – and now they may sell their stories to the World as a means to combat the Iranian propaganda machine.
The public support for BBC’s Allan Johnson reaches an international crescendo; the relevant Palestinian faction has made a grave mistake this time – BBC is no great friend of Israel.
Yet Israel’s captured soldiers – captured BEFORE the war started – captured across the border ON ISRAELI TERRITORY – other Israeli soldiers killed in the same actions – we hear nothing from them, nothing of them. No news, no photos, nothing to prove they are still alive. They were the spark that caused the war with Hezbollah (not with Lebanon), and they are still out there somewhere – nothing heard since July 2006.
The only quiver of hope is the list Israel received from the Palestinians; the list of those they want released for the ‘prisoner exchange’. 1 name? 10 names? 100 names? Think again. Try 1,400 names. And – yes, in Israeli eyes and according to Isralei law, many of them have blood on their hands.
An e-mail is being circulated comparing the sizes of Israel and it’s Arab neighbours. It’s silly when you look at it: the geography and the populations.
We are the fishbone in their throats.
So let’s go in the other direction and see the Park the Tel Avivians visit during Passover. Park Hayarkon (Yarkon is the main local river) has got to be one of the leading parks in the World. I’m attaching a few photos, and here is my list of what’s available, what’s to see, what’s to do….
Flora – Great variety, as would be expected from a park in our part of the World.
Grass – Don’t smile…it may not equal some of Ireland’s green, but grass ain’t the easiest to sustain in the Middle East. So we are proud of the quality and the condition in which it is kept.
Trees – Have a look at the just the palms, among which picnics, barbecues, abound.
On certain days during Passover, the religious have a couple of free days, and the park becomes inundated with large, modestly-clad families on bikes, paddle- and electric-carts, sitting on colourful sheets, laden with kosher food.
And today is Mimouna, not a day for some of us to visit the park. For it is the Moroccan Jews’ feast day. I quote: “The Mimouna is a beautiful and fitting gift from North African Jewry. This is a festival of unity, of brotherhood and hospitality. The people of Israel are blessed to have the Mimouna which unites them and brings them closer together. This is what is special about the Mimouna.”
It is celebrated across the country in over 60 towns and cities, with by far the largest gathering being in Jerusalem, where politicians are forced to visit and shake the hands of the ¼ million gathered there around their grills. In Park Hayarkon, the smell is more overwhelming than the fun.
In Park Hayarkon, there is a meadow where over 200,000 have attended free concerts. All are secutirty-checked.
And there is the Wohl Amphitheatre, which hosts more intimate shows.
The pond/lake has pleasure boats, with paddles, oars and pedals.
The Zapari Bird Park has a good collection, and of course puts on shows to involve and educate the kids. Look at the swan and sucks among the fish.
There is a wonderful tropical plant enclosure, and a rockery.
Israeli company www.greenfields.com installed a ‘park gym’. People of every age and background can now try their hand at the machines, built to last. Why spend a fortune at Holme’s Place, when you can be in the park, with your favourite music in your ears.
Humans on wheels have their own paths, of course. The park is ‘green’. Bikes, trikes, blades and skates.
Plenty of room for sport: abseiling, mini-golf, multiple football pitches and basketball courts. 2 tennis clubs border the Hayarkon. One of them’s mine – all I need to do is lose 30 kilos and ignore my surgeon’s warnings, and I’ll be playing again.
On the Hayarkon River, there are rowing and sailing clubs.
And at the mouth of the river, the end of the park, there is the old Tel Aviv port area, now redeveloped and full of up-market boutiques, restaurants, coffee houses and clubs. A new boardwalk has been installed, All we need now is a new song…♪♪♫