Sunday, October 3, 2010

To Campus We Go: Day Two

First things first, I am unveiling the motto of this year in Israel:

It's not you, it's just Israel.

I will use it for dramatic purposes. A lot.

Here we are in the monit serut (shared taxi), going to the train station.

And here we are at the train station on our way to campus. Please note the elegant your lady in the background of the first picture. She has inspired me to pare down my style. More about that later.

Upon arriving at campus, having taken three forms of transportation, we proceeded to get in line to harass the financial aid coordinator.

We have yet to meet anyone that has not had immense trouble with financial aid at this school. Now, we understand that this is Israel and that incompetence is rampant, but this is unacceptable. YGirl even lost her temper. Indeed, YGirl (who loves blogging in the third person, apparently) raised her gentle, sweet voice and accused the woman of incompetence and general rudeness.

And then she shouted at YGirl. A lot.

And then she announced that financial aid might not emerge until December.

And then YGirl decided to get her fired.

It's not incompetence, it's just Israel

The highlights of the day were the people. E. and I (back to the first person we go!) made friends and bonded with our peers over shared fury at the ways of Israeli bureaucracy. We bought some snacks at the cafe at school and found people to sit with in the courtyard. It was lovely!

We also had a brief seminar with the Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon. Let me tell you, Israel has big problems when this guy is the deputy to this guy...:

...and they are representing the interests of Israel to the world. We are in big trouble, yo!
They have a complete disregard for facts, for the historical record, for truth, for justice, for humanitarianism, for intellectual thought.
Here are some juicy tidbits:

"We believe in our narrative, our justice."
Actually, I believe in the historical record and independent justice that treats all people with respect and decency. Just sayin'.

"We do not see ourselves as occupiers."
Uh, yeah we do. Like, a lot of Israelis see the occupation of the Western Bank ("Judea and Samaria") as a problem. Some still feel that we should be there, but no one thinks that everything is a-okay.

It's not insanity, it's just Israel.

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