Nu? Where is the Baby?

So my due date was on June 12, but I am still sitting here by myself. I’ve started getting those emails and comments from people along the lines of, ‘nu? why are you still around.’ Rest assured it is pretty normal to go past the due date by a week.

Besides I don’t think I will be by myself for long. My body has given indications and my doctor highly suspects that things will be underway very soon–how soon, I am not so sure, but that is the mystery of nature.

The fun and anxiety in waiting for a baby is that you don’t know when it is going to happen. You just let nature decide what that will be–and usually it is spot on. It makes you realize how miraculous this entire process is. Why labor actually starts is still a mystery to science, but it does for most of the time, otherwise we couldn’t have lasted this long on the planet.

In other news, I was following Netanyahu’s speech at my university on Sunday. To me his rhetoric wasn’t surprising, and nor was the response from the Arabs or rightwing MKs. He’s managed to piss off both groups, although knowing his positions, I don’t know how could not have.

The fact that Netanyahu has been insisting that Arabs recognize the Jewish nature of the state of Israel hearkens back to my blog entry about the 20% Arab minority here. Perhaps it is a stupid thing to ask because Netanyahu realizes Palestinians will never concede it, but I don’t know. In acknowledging that Israel is a Jewish state, Palestinians claim to endanger the situation of the 20% minority and the possibility of refugees returning to Israel. Which makes me wonder, will Palestinians ever recognize the current facts on the ground even when a two-state solution is reached or will they continue to root for a secular democracy–which is essentially a binational state?

Lastly, here is an article from the Wash Post that demystifies the Israeli arguments about the settlments. Everyone should read it!

I may not get to write for a while depending on whether I go to the hospital today. I’ll keep you posted.


The Chutzpah of Shas and Other Observations

Here’s one major reason why I don’t like Israeli coalition politics or why I really don’t like this coalition in particular: The Interior Minister and Chairman of Shas has told the Yesha Council of settlements that it will exploit its influence and resources to continue expanding settlements in the West Bank.

Haaretz has learned that Yishai has instructed officials at the Interior Ministry to come up with ways to help the settlers, by allowing continued construction within the major West Bank settlement blocs where building has stopped as a result of American pressure.”

Now Shas is one of the smaller parties to which Israel had to grant concessions like the Interior Ministry post in order for them to join. Now they are using their position to conduct a chutzpadik policy not to mention the fact that they find it perfectly all right to use my taxpayer money to fund the so-called “natural growth”¬† of these areas.

The Israeli government’s negative reaction to Obama’s pressure on stopping settlement growth also points to the chutzpah and cluelessness demonstrated by my fellow Israelis. The major complaint that gets me is that they claim they had an agreement with President Bush. And how could Obama not honor these promises? Um, well I hate to break it to you people, but when a new president comes in, he can enact a new policy so old promises really don’t chalk up to anything. Doesn’t everybody know this?

Still Here

Haven’t given birth yet. Not worried. The days are flying by quickly and I’ve been keeping busy. Today was very unexciting–I did some yoga, made lentil soup, wrote letters and ate a Belgian waffle with ice cream (that last one was more of an indulgent than a task on my list). Tonight and tomorrow I need to put together a baby announcement list–that is as long as I haven’t given birth yet.

I heard some of Obama’s speech and was impressed as well as cautiously optimistic. More on that later.

Preggers Update

So I am less than 2 weeks due now. It’s amazing how the first few months of pregnancy seemed to stretch out, but then things started to accelerate and now it’s coming so close!

I know my body is getting ready because I’ve had this mini-contractions/cramps called Braxton Hicks. What kind of name is that? It sounds like the name of a country swing band–The Braxton Hicks Band! Anyway, they’ve kept me up a couple of nights, partly because they aren’t so comfortable and partly because I’m wondering, is this it? is he coming?

I’m more excited than anxious these days. We have almost everything we need, although I am sure when the baby comes we’ll realize we still needed a few more things. I think I’ve made the last round of drugstore errands.

I’ve made some lasagna and meatloaf and stored that in the freezer so we have something to eat for a little while. Tomorrow I’m planning to make some soup to freeze. You could say that my nesting instincts are in full force.

If I could only keep more focused on my school readings! I’m trying to read up as much as I can now, but I am having trouble keeping myself disciplined right now. Perhaps it is my mind’s way of preparing me to switch my focus to other things–mainly to a cute and cuddly critter that cries, poops and pees and has marathon feedings.

Both Eric and I have had dreams of baby animals, although Eric’s dream was much cooler. He dreamed he was in a restaurant with a baby mammoth whom he said smelled like me and who asked him when the food is coming. I think the dreams are an indication of our getting psychologically ready for a huge shift in our lives.

I know that bonding with baby can take time, but I am pretty sure that I have difficulty refraining from cuddling and kissing him–which will be a good thing to counteract the new challenges of being a parent. I am lucky to have family and friends both in Israel and the U.S. who will be able to offer perspective about this process.

Loyalty Oath

I am still here with less than 2 weeks to go. Our wedding anniversary is this Thursday, and Eric asked me what I wanted. I jokingly told him I wanted a baby (although I wouldn’t mind going out to eat too). Who knows, he might decide to make an early appearance and be an anniversary present.

Besides obsessing about baby (which I think is a good thing), I wanted to breach a topics which has been in the Israeli and international news: the so-called Loyalty Oath espoused by Yisrael Beiteinu.

According to yesterday’s Haaretz

“The ministerial legislative committee rejected on Sunday a bill stating that those who wish to retain Israeli citizenship would have to declare their loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state.

The bill, put forth by Yisrael Beiteinu’s MK David Rotem, stated that oath would include a pledge of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish, Zionist, and democratic state, to its emblems and values, and serving Israel either through military service or through any equivalent alternatives.”

Thank G-d.  An initiative like this would have surely backfired. Of course I have no disillusions of Israeli Arabs ever accepting the Jewish, Zionist nature of this country. I think as far as they are concerned, they could accept Israel, but only as a secular State. And the anti-Israel declarations and demonstrations following the recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza are disturbing. Continue reading

Encounters with Israelis

The Obama Netanyahu confrontation has been on my mind, although I find it more appealing to write about the more mundane things. It’s hard for me to contribute new ideas to the political discourse when so much has been said before. It is also hard to wrap my brain around these scary, existential issues without feeling depressed and pessimistic.

The day-to-day personal experiences and encounters are easier to digest, take apart and relate to others. For me, it is easier to draw the extraordinary and profound from the ordinary and mundane than the reverse. Nevertheless¬† I will make some time to write about the socio-political situation here. Just not yet…

Continue reading

Grateful for the Little Things

As I was coming home from university today, I took the opportunity to look around my neighborhood and consider myself lucky. Although I am 10 minutes walk from the hustle and bustle of main street Kfar Saba (i.e. Weizman Street) my hood feels far removed from all of that balagan.

I live in one of several apartment buildings that encircle a small park/playground with some of the loveliest and tallest trees in Kfar Saba. During this time of year there is a certain tree that bursts into purple blossoms (I wish I knew what it was called!) so parts of the park are splashed with this vibrant color. In the mornings and afternoons you can hear clear, melodious bird calls. As afternoon becomes evening and on Saturdays, the park rings with voices of children and parents. One of the best parts about this apartment is that it affords a view of all of this local, quiet beauty so I never feel far from nature and community.

Whoever decided on the street where my apartment resides couldn’t have picked a better name. It’s Hashalom, and shalom, as you probably know, means peace.