Love and peace in the Middle East!
After a two-year hiatus, the World Surf League has returned to Israel, that brave middle eastern democracy with Syria right there on its eastern flank, for the Seat Pro Netanya.
I’m not a believer in cultural relativism and, therefore, throw my lot in with the brave Jew, in with the country that has produced six Nobel Prize-winning scientists since 2002, with its world-leading solar energy and space programs, cutting-edge stem-cell research, three of the most prestigious universities in the world, a country for whom equal rights between men and women is a no-brainer, where homosexuals don’t live in fear of murder or imprisonment.
Last time I was there, on the very day I arrived, a woman was stabbed to death in her home and in front of her six kids by a Palestinian terrorist. Shortly afterwards, a pregnant woman was stabbed, her life spared by a civilian with a gun.
And in the preceding six months, there had been 120 stabbings, 46 shootings, 30 car attacks and 78 fire-bombs. Twenty eight dead, nearly 300 wounded.
The Jews, so brave, so misunderstood.
Israel, Jews, the great Jewish diaspora, oh I love it all.
Read “Israel is the raddest surf trip on Earth!”, “What the Gudauskas Brothers got wrong about Israel”, “Let’s go schlepping, surfing gets into the 2021 Jewish Olympics!”, “Ozzie Wright sings King of the Jews!”, Movie: “The Hebrew Hammer!”.
Anyway, the Seat Pro Netanya has just started and Netanya, oowee, she’s a peach, a pretty beach town with soaring cliffs and eight miles of white sand beaches, just twenty miles north of Tel Aviv.
Been bombed to hell over the years, of course.
In 2002, suicide bombers from Hamas hit the Park Hotel during Passover, thirty dead, and a few months later, the local market, killing three, maiming sixty.
Interestingly, following innumerable anti-Semitic attacks by Muslims in France, its Jewry has chosen Netanya as an escape from the hate. Stroll past French synagogues, patisseries, even hairdressers who offer “Parisian coiffure.”
Who said Jews weren’t alert to biz opportunities!
Alexia Marciano, a twenty six year old who came to Netanya from Sarcelles, a mostly Muslim Paris suburb, told Jewish News, “It’s very bad. Scary. Next year we hope that the rest of the family is coming.”
Sign of the times, as they say.
Watch the Seat Pro Netanya teaser here!
SEAT Pro Netanya: Comp Gets Underway in Israel. Source: World Surf League
And swing back to when your ol pal DR took Ozzie Wright and Otis Carey to Seat Pro Netanya.