Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Feelin' the Love

As the trouble continues to brew not far from us, I have just learned that I am a "Zionist settler" (ha!). According to Hamas' website, that's not a compliment.

...the armed wing of Hamas Movement, has threatened that its rockets will reach the Zionist settlers in the 1948-occupied coastal city of Asqlan [Ashkelon] and areas beyond...
And we have been hearing the "love" everyday. Fortunately, the "gifts" have been falling short of the residential parts of the city, although the sounds remind us that we "Zionist settlers" are being thought of.

(Rockets from Gaza)

In light of this, we decided to celebrate our newly designated status by taking a family picnic. And since the kids are out of school for Shavu'ot, we set out for a couple of uncharted picnic sites. We soon discovered that all were memorial sites from Israel's War of Independence back in 1948. Grim reminders they were, but then again why not? Everything here is a reminder of some battle of some sort at some time, so we decided war memorial it is! The first place overlooked Ashkelon but we didn't stay because a) there was no shade, and b) apparently this is the place where all of the flies in Israel have come to spawn this spring. It did have a good view of the city, though.

(Ashkelon on the horizon)

Where we ended up was called "Hill 69" near Ashdod.

(View of Ashdod)

According to the memorial, we were there two days exactly after the 59th anniversary of the big battle (according to the Jewish calendar), which explains the fresh flower wreaths.

Here's the sign in English describing the battle (click to enlarge for those interested in what happened):

In the end, Hill 69 is a good place to have a picnic. It is quiet, out of the way, good view, lots of shade, and plenty of big ants for the kids to stomp. What more could a family possibly ask for?

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