Alice in Wonderland and the Treasure Box

“When I speak with you,” Alicia said with her big smile, “it is a bit like falling into a legendary world, with all these unbelievable stories that just can’t happen in real life.”

As if to stress her point, there was this new unbelievable event just as she came to visit us for the first time this June.

When we bought the house 22 years ago, the old lady that went to live with her daughter told us that there is a treasure buried in the small patch of land behind the house. She didn’t know exactly where it was and felt too old and too tired to dig for it.

This stayed the most neglected part of our small garden, with wild thorny roses and even wilder, all-scratching, Lantana competing for space under the mighty Olive tree that expanded over the roof of the house.

But this year we finally cleared the impenetrable bush and planted some vegetables. They grew to be an unprecedented success. They even were so kind as to supply us with fresh micro-tomatoes and an odd cucumber every now and then – so we had a good reason to visit this neglected piece of land almost every day.The pit in the garden

One morning, one of the first mornings after Alicia came, just as I went to see whether there is anything to pick in the back garden, I saw something strange.

Someone dug a hole in the back of the yard. The hole was some 40 centimeter deep – but there was not much mud around the hole. And the inner shape of the hole was suspiciously square. It couldn’t be anything else. 22 years later the old owners came and dug their treasure box. The crime tool was still there – an old iron pole that used to be part of the fence but was for a long time thrown useless in the garden. The fresh earth was still glued to it.

They didn’t mess around in the garden. Apparently some heir found the treasure map and came for it, digging exactly in one place, about one meter to the left of the garden’s end, near the rear wall.

I call Alicia to show her the unexpected scene.

“I told you so”, she concluded.

The pit and the crime tool

Advertisements

Security Affair… in the Kindergarten

The following – completely true – short story is dedicated to all those people that are longing for the “democratic past” of Israel under “Mapai”.

In the middle Seventies, I was active in “The Workers’ League”, a small organization of the radical left that split from the famous “Matzpen”.

Two of our comrades were a couple of new immigrants from France. They came as Zionists but soon were disillusioned and became active in the Anti-Zionist organization. At the time that our story begins, the wife was working in a kindergarten that provided special care for children with Autism.

At the time there were not many institutions caring for these children. The kindergarten, in West Jerusalem, was affiliated to a local hospital. Our comrade was a specialist in her profession and did her best to help the children. She was loved by the management, the children and their parents.

Then, for some bureaucratic reason, the responsibility for the kindergarten was transferred from the ministry of health to the ministry of education.

As every Arab teacher knew very well at the time, in the ministry of education the last word about all appointments was given to the almighty Shin Bet – the Israeli secretive “internal security services”.

It came out that the Shin Bet’s authority didn’t spare Jewish teachers also, even not a kindergarten teacher that cared for autistic children. As soon as the ministry of education took control of the institution they informed the management that the leftist teacher should be immediately fired from her job.Dangerous_teacher

Finding a new qualified teacher for the hard task was not easy or fast, but the security authorities in the ministry refused even a temporary stay of execution until a replacement could be found. The parents faced a real problem also, as they couldn’t send their kids to the kindergarten without a teacher. Many of them had to skip work and stay at home. They organized a protest of their own, but, of course, their selfishness will not deter those responsible for the state’s security from fulfilling their sacred task.

All this was regular “no news” in the “Jewish democracy” under the “leftist” Labor Party. I wouldn’t waste your time with it unless there was a strange twist in the plot.

The teacher’s husband’s father happened to be one of the leaders of the Jewish community in France. When he heard the story he thought it is too foolish to be true. He didn’t support his son’s and daughter in law’s political activity in any way. But he thought that there is no reason that the teacher will be removed from work in a kindergarten where she obviously couldn’t have any subversive influence on the kids…

He remembered that he has a good friend. They went together to the same school and were active together in the Zionist movement. His friend made “Aliya” long time ago. By the time of our story his friend was already a pretty important minister in the Israeli government.

So he called his friend and told him of the extraordinary senseless persecution of his daughter in law. The minister quickly agreed that this doesn’t make sense and promised to speak with the responsible people and solve the problem.

The old French Jewish leader waited for a few days to hear from his minister-friend. There was no news. He tried to call him, but his good friend, untypically, was not answering his calls. He left messages in his office and home – but couldn’t get any response.

It was only a long time later when the two old leaders met by chance… The question of returning the daughter in law to her job was not relevant any more. The Israeli minister came to his old French friend and apologized: “I really tried. I did my best. But, you know, it was a security issue. I couldn’t do anything about it!”

 

The Dream

I was in prison. It was a lousy prison. The guards were nasty. I was there only for a few days, as the police wanted to prevent me from taking part in the demonstration that was planned for the next day. My cell mates were two young guys whom I didn’t know and I had little to talk about with.

But then night came and I fell asleep…

I was dreaming that I’m out of prison and that I was in the town of Tamra, not far from the place where the demonstration had to take place. It was daylight and the sun was hot and I was walking into the town…

I was fully aware that it is only a dream and that I soon will wake up in my prison cell with the nasty guards shouting at me.

I approached a house where there lived some people I knew. I talked with them and touched them and they seemed very real. I went to the toilet. Then I continued walking toward the entrance of the town near the main street.

The streets were full of dust and people walking around me. It was a long walk and I was wondering why the guards are so late to wake me up.

As I was near the main street, some guy suggested giving me a lift. I thought that if he takes me home I will have time to take a shower before going to the demonstration. I also thought that if we make it home then probably I was not in prison and the dream comes true.

Then the telephone rang noisily. I stretched my hand to take it.

I thought: If even the phone is ringing than it might be that I’m not in prison after all.

I was in bed.

The phone waked me up.

Don-t-Dream-Your-Life