Escape from the Holy Land, Part 2

300px-Jerusalem_Old_City_By Bradford Winters

Continued from yesterday.

Soon after landing at JFK from Tel Aviv Friday afternoon, I’m greeted by my tearful mother who can take her first deep breath in nearly two weeks. I’m relieved to learn that my family is en route from Tel Aviv, an hour into their flight as scheduled. But when we reach the parking garage, a call from my father-in-law informs us that the flight has been turned back due to electrical problems.

What! Back to Tel Aviv? Back to the airport targeted by Hamas earlier that day? If there’s any consolation, I guess it’s that we’ll only have to wait an hour and a half before the flight takes off again.

My instincts as a screenwriter, so engaged during my five-week work stint on Dig in Israel, must be on hiatus for me not to know that this will probably get worse before it gets better. [Read more…]

Escape from the Holy Land, Part 1

Israel Bomb Shelter 300By Bradford Winters

On a Friday morning in mid July, I entered Ben Gurion Airport in quite a different manner than when I exited it upon my arrival six weeks previously: by running for a bomb shelter.

Back in early June I stepped outside the glass doors and into Israel for the first time, my first photo a snapshot of the airport control tower ablaze against the rising sun because…well…I don’t know—there was nothing else to shoot and I had to mark the epic moment!

Six weeks later outside those same doors, I didn’t understand at first why others were allowed to run for the entrance after I had been stopped for a random security check—until I understood that all the chaotic Hebrew amounted to the equivalent of an air siren. So in I ran and took shelter in a stairwell among other passengers, ticket agents, and janitors, this being my last act in Israel. [Read more…]

Jerusalem Risen and in Ruins

Israel surprised me.

It met me in Boston where I had traveled to attend a conference.

I hadn’t planned on its being there. Laurie was going to join me later in the week. I was looking forward to her visit, looking forward to her seeing her enjoy the rather luxurious conference hotel—tenth floor corner room, windows facing north and east, the east facing window delivering up a stunning view of the spires of Trinity Church—and the luxury of time to see the city while I attended conference sessions.

But a day before Laurie arrived, Israel showed up. [Read more…]