Thursday, October 11, 2007

Showdown at the Supermarket

Or: Life in Israel, an Anecdote

Two days ago, as I entered the supermarket in the industrial area of Talpiyot, I saw a UN soldier in full uniform (gun, camouflage) standing at attention at the entrance, scanning each customer with a focused gaze. The patch on his sleeve said, "Military Observer."

I asked him what exactly he was 'observing.' He answered that he is a military observer sent by the UN to keep the peace between Israel and its neighbors. At which point we both chuckled simultaneously, and I said, "Peace, is that what they call it?"

And yet he stood there as a sentry, and alarmed, I inquired if there had been a terrorist threat for this particular area of Jerusalem. "No, I am here to do some shopping!"

Whereupon his friend arrived, also dressed in full uniform, and they walked into the store. (I am sure they will fit in very well in the produce section.)

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