Sunday, March 19, 2006

With the elections little more than a week ahead of us, our 'situation' was never any better, it seems. Warnings issued by the State Department to American diplomats residing in Israel appear to be related to mob violence and organized crime rather than to terrorism, and in the days since I returned home the headlines in all media deal more with bird flu than with Hamas. In two kibbutzim that I know personally ( I stayed for more than a year in Kissufim, I met my wife when she was a youth movement leader in neighboring Eyn HaShlosha ) and in some other places hundreds of thousands of chickens and turkeys are being poisoned to death ( 'culled' is the word used in most media ). As with all bad things that happened in Israel after last summer ( or like so many others who love to embrace the holy trinity of politics, religion and fanaticism ), immediately at least one religious quack stood up to claim that political-divine anger is what caused this plague. With some experience in the chicken coops of Kissufim ( and, sorry but I cannot help it, as an avowed meat-eter ) I suggest that if heavenly retribution has anything to do with this, it could be that someone wants to remind us that we cannot mess with nature with impunity, and that we should consider more humane and less unnatural ways of raising animals in order to eat them.

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