People raise a lot of questions if you tell them you injured your arm while throwing stones in the West Bank
by Ricky Mulvey
I have less than a week left in Israel. It sucks. It’s been a great ride.
One of the things I will miss most about this place is that Israelis can take a joke. I love saying wacky, off-color things, and I very rarely have to worry about any Israeli getting offended. It’s lovely.
A few days ago I was referring to the town of Yeruham, (a town in the middle of nowhere in Israel where I spent a weekend), as a place so unknown and terrible that not even Hamas would want to bomb it… maybe they would when it becomes more relevant than an open field. That’s not the exact joke, but you get the idea.
The Israelis I joked about this with were fine with it. They laughed. They joked about some more offensive things that need not be here, and then we moved on. The Americans that heard it? Well, I was reminded, they do face rocket attacks still. It’s very serious. I should look up the last time it happened.
[quote_left]I held one up to my junk and took a picture because that’s my small way of telling Hamas what it can do with itself.[/quote_left]Yes. That was what I was going for. I really believed that Yeruham is rarely attacked because their nightlife options are poor and Hamas thinks it’s crappy enough to live there already. This kind of attitude makes me feel a little held back in the U.S. Sometimes it’s not worth it to put yourself out there with people that look to be offended.
There is much less of that breed in Israel.
Another example was when I was in the town of Sderot. This place gets a TON of attacks since it’s right next to the border of Gaza. We visited this collection of rockets that fell on the city.
Touching these were strange. They were specifically designed to kill me and my people, but could not do anything now– like a former poison that was safe to drink. I held one up to my junk and took a picture because that’s my small way of telling Hamas what it can do with itself.
I was so hesitant to post it or do anything with it. Wouldn’t so many people take it offensively? What if that was a rocket that killed someone? I spoke to a friend about this hesitation and one of the residents from Sderot approached me.
“What?” He said. “You think that is offensive? Come on, I can promise you – soldiers do what you would consider way more offensive things with these rockets. This is nothing.”
Oh. So I was the uptight one. I cannot remember a time where that was the case in America.
And lastly, a few days ago I was filming a story in the West Bank. I went to a town called Yitzhar. It’s a literal stone’s throw away from some Palestinian territory and what a lot of people (including myself) would consider an extreme Jewish settlement. The area we went to to interview the settlement’s spokesman was this beautiful hilltop. No person was around our little crew, the air was fresh, and the day was clear enough that it was possible to see Israel’s rugged hills roll into the Mediterranean.
While the cameraman did some set-up shots with the spokesman, my co-producer Josh and I walked around the hilltops. (Sure I could call him a co-intern, but that does not sound nearly as fancy). We reached a ledge and I picked up a stone. No one was below us.
“No way. That’s way too heavy to hurl at someone.” He said.
“Are you saying I am not strong enough to throw this rock?” I said.
Little did he know, I have really been working on my figure lately and by golly I was strong enough to hurl that. Not at anyone. Just off the ledge. So I cocked back my arm and threw the stone into the grass beyond. It fell about 10 yards away and Josh shrugged.
“Yeah, but that was still weak. That wouldn’t hurt anyone. You should have used a smaller rock,” Josh said.
Then I rotated my arm and felt a sharp pain in my shoulder. But of course, I could not really complain about this to anyone.
People raise a lot of questions if you tell them you injured your arm while throwing stones in the West Bank: no matter how casual the situation actually was.
I hope that wasn’t offensive.
Former Loveland Magazine Sports Editor, Ricky Mulvey is in Tel Aviv for two months working for the newswire, NewsHound, and has allowed us to post his blog reports. This is Mulvey’s second trip to Israel, his first was two years ago while still in high school.
You can subscribe, and receive Mulvey’s personal dispatches when he publishes, them at Middle of East.