Ein Gedi Botanic Garden

Ein Gedi Botanic Garden
Seek the serenity of a Judean Desert sky in Autumn at the Ein Gedi Botanic Garden

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Why Did the Goats Cross the Road?

Life in southern Israel can be quite unique. Take, for example, the issue of animal rights.

“Ima, there is a duck in the road.”

“Excuse me?”

“There’s a duck in the road.”  [In the middle of the Negev Desert, mind you.]

“Where are you?”

“On the road, Ima. Where do you think I am?”

Given the start of the conversation and the tin-can sound of the hands-free bluetooth set my daughter was using in the car, I wasn’t sure.

But it turns out she was driving home from her job in Be’er Sheva and was on the ubiquitous Highway 60, heading for the Shoqat Junction.

This Negev Bedouin herd of goats and sheep has finally crossed the road.
Photo: brewbooks / Wikimedia Commons
At the end, she drove around the duck, who apparently had no intention of disrupting his scheduled midday siesta. 

She checked in the rearview mirror, of course, to make sure she had not unduly ruffled his feathers. And reported back to me to set my fears at ease.

It was a similar conversation to the one I’d had with her just a few days earlier, only at that point, at least she wasn’t the driver.

“Ima?”  “Mmmm?”  “We’re stuck.” 

Stuck?  How could they be stuck? It was nearly all highway between Arad and Tel Aviv. No way could they be stuck.

“Where are you,” I asked with resignation, hoping I didn’t have to go get her.

“I don’t know. I think we’re still on Route 31 – or maybe we’re on Route 40.  We’re not on Highway 6 yet.”

The latter was a high-speed thruway that zoomed from one end of the country to the other. 

“Why are you stuck?"  (This time, I added silently.)

“There’s a herd of goats crossing and the shepherd is having trouble with them – a few of them don’t want to leave the other side.”

Why did the goat cross the highway?  Apparently not because she wanted to, if she had anything to do that day with Israeli Bedouin shepherds ...

Motorists were backed up nearly half a mile, my daughter told me – all of them waiting patiently for goats to cross to the other side. 

This is life in Israel. The world waits for the creations of G-d -- all of the creations, be they large or small -- and especially should they decide to impede motor vehicles.

And yet Israel is accused of being an apartheid state, by a United Nations Human Rights Council that dares accuse the sole democracy in the Middle East of committing "war crimes" and "violations of human rights" when it defends its citizens against terror attacks and targets the weapons fired from behind the safety of helpless civilians in Gaza. 

A nation where even a goat has more rights than a Jew with a PhD would have in the nation of Saudi Arabia -- and where every citizen gets a vote, regardless of color, ethnicity or creed. Even when they spew hatred of the Jewish State. 

Go find another place to match that in the Middle East.