The other night I went to babysit for a German-Israeli family in Tel Aviv.
At 8 pm the father came and switched on the television in order to watch the news. As usual I was amused by the format and appearance of the news, although it wasn’t even Channel 10. The reporters looked like movie stars with high-fashion outfits and I tried to imagine how many layers of make-up had probably been applied to their highly-symmetrical faces. Bright colors and visual effects swirled through my brain when pictures of an attack in Syria and of Benjamin Netanyahu presenting his ticking bomb model symbolizing the “Iranian threat” started to make me feel sad and helpless.
Then came the woman of the house and switched to the German news, which started at the same time. What we saw there made both of us laugh: a neat and very serious reporter was standing behind his desk. He was hardly moving. Holding the news in his hands, he talked about the diminishing bio-diversity of potatoes. Due to genetic manipulation and weather conditions, the German farmers were experiencing a drastic decrease in potato crops.
“These are serious problems”, I thought and smiled to myself. Who in Germany would have imagined 60 years ago that these would be the headlines of our daily news? I wish Israel’s news would be filled with discussions about how to decrease the price of cottage cheese again. Why do we need to occupy our minds with obsolete topics like war and conflict? Did we not experience enough of it by now? Are we human beings not becoming any wiser by learning from our mistakes?
After I finished my shift I stepped out of the door, took a deep breath and looked at Tel Aviv’s skyline including the Azrieli towers, which host a great variety of shops and a high-class hotel. They were surrounded by darkness and twinkling stars. Is this country really defined by conflict as it is showed in the newspapers and on television? Sometimes when I tell people in Germany that I live in Israel, they gaze at me with amazement and probably wonder how I can live in a war zone which is inhabited mainly by camels and where I don’t have access to regular supermarkets.
Here is the answer: I truly hope that one day they will hear about Israel’s wonderful artists, beautiful beaches and delicious wine. Yes, I hope that one day the Israeli news will be filled with discussions about how to solve the problem of decreasing grape crops.
Lea Ledwon, Germany
YaLa Young Leaders