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Sharon Sbarsky

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My mother's war story [Feb. 13th, 2008|03:53 pm]
Sharon Sbarsky
[Current Mood |sadsad]

Bruce Schneier posts about female suicide bomber warnings. This reminded me of a story my mother told me about the first time she was living in Israel.

She and my father were Zionists and they intended to emigrate to Israel to live on a Kibbutz. The year was 1946, and it wasn't exactly easy to get there at the time. My mother took a ship to Athens and got off when it reached Haifa. She gave up her passport to help someone else get in.

My father worked as crew on a ship that went via France to pickup refugees, but then got stopped by the British and was in a camp on Cyprus for several months (as in the movie Exodus.)

They released him and he finally got to Palestine. Skip ahead a year or so, it was early 1948, my mother was pregnant, but my father was having blackouts, so they decided to come back the the US. My mother needed to get a replacement passport. She took a bus to Jerusalem, which was expected to be uneventful. However, the bus was stopped by British military to be searched. She had noticed a woman at the back of the bus with a lapful of knitting; the woman went up to my mother and revealed that under her knitting were gun/bomb parts. She asked my mother to place them above her pregnant belly. The British soldiers were gentlemen, and as the woman predicted, did not search my mother.

Neither my mother, nor the woman were suicide bombers or terrorists, but they cared deeply for what they believed in: The State of Israel.

60 years later a lot has changed. I really hate what the world has become, but I also wonder whether there would be an Israel at all if the security measures in the world today were in effect 60 years ago,

Please no rants in the comments. My mother died five years ago, and this posting is a partial memorial for her. She would have been 87 on February 24.

[User Picture]From: joelrosenberg
2008-02-13 10:28 pm (UTC)
I hope you won't think this is a rant; if so, feel free to delete it: people who don't understand that what your mother was doing was ethically exactly the opposite of what female suicide bombers are doing are moral cretins. I do hope you're proud of her, and remember her fondly for that story, as well as, I trust, much else.
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[User Picture]From: sfrose
2008-02-13 11:00 pm (UTC)
Yes, I am proud of her. She always wanted to go back to Israel, and finally retired there in 1982. She missed seeing my niece grow up, but she was living where she wanted, even with all the problem and scares in and around Jerusalem.

The rants I was worried about were from those who would equate my parents with terrorists simply because they believed strongly in their values.
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[User Picture]From: joelrosenberg
2008-02-14 01:21 am (UTC)
That's what I was thinking, and -- not knowing your feelings about such; this is your LJ, after all -- will omit my heartfelt if not entirely gentle characterization of such people.
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[User Picture]From: mabfan
2008-02-13 10:58 pm (UTC)
May your mother's memory be for a blessing.
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[User Picture]From: sfrose
2008-02-13 11:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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