Friday, November 25, 2011


Last Sat night we went to our subscription concert of the Herzliya Chamber Orchestra conducted by Harvey Bordowitz at the Concert Hall in Herzliya. The title of the concert was "Pastoral Dreams" and it featured a very pleasant program, including Mendelsohn's Hebrides Overture "Fingal's Cave", Schubert "The Shepherd on the Rock", Canteloube's "Songs of the Auvergne" and ended with Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony (No. 6). The singer for the two vocal pieces (the Schubert and Canteloube) was Enas Masalha, an Israeli Arab soprano, who wore a slinky black lace dress and sang beautifully and was greatly appreciated by the audience. She was also accompanied by the Israeli clarinettist Shira Eliassaf of the Beersheva Chamber Orchestra. Masalha was trained at the Jerusalem Center for Music and Drama.

Yesterday we went to our Maccabi Kupat Holim (Health Fund) Pharmacy to pick up our monthly set of meds with the prescriptions from our doc. We also had several other items to pick up, and since there are two of us and we each had to show our Maccabi cards and then charge it to our account, its all a bit tricky. We were served by a young man, who was very helpful and who spoke some English. as wellas Hebrew. His name was Mohammed, and three of the four pharmacists serving at that time were Arabs (the women wear tight head scarves, but the men are difficult to distinguish, usually only by their accents). After receiving the meds I thanked him for his help, nothing special about that. There were many Arabs learning Pharmacy (about 50% of the class) when I was at the School of Pharmacy in Hebrew University.

In neither of these cases was anything said or noted about the fact that the person involved was Arab. In fact, to an uninformed observer it would have been impossible to distinguish the difference. Incidentally, one of the Judges on the Supreme Court who heard the appeal for the case of former Israeli President Katsav is an Arab. So much for the absurd charge of apartheid in Israel. By the way, after the pharmacy, we sat at a cafe in the nice weather and had a drink, next to an Arab couple with their kid. Just another ordinary day in the extraordinary Jewish State.


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