Posted on January 17th, 2008
While I am not usually a coffee drinker, there are times when I cannot resist a nice coffee a-fuch. While it does taste and appear much like a cappuccino, coffee a-fuch is actually a drink unique to Israel. Literally, it means “upside down coffee.” Think about it. Take coffee, the world most popular daily beverage (among people who can read) and turn that small representative of daily life upside down. I cannot think of a more appropriate place for such a thing than in Israel, a country that always seems to be doing things upside down.
Just look at the news today. Our nation is under attack. On a clear day, I can see Gaza from my window. We continue to be pummeled by rockets and mortars. Of course, the media don’t really make a big deal about this because not enough of us are dead. But let’s not just sit around and blame the reporters, our government also seems to think that rocket attacks are hardly exceptional. Consider that the Prime Minister has ruled out a large scale operation to actually stop the rockets. The State today argued in court against providing funds to fortify buildings in Sderot because it would set a dangerous precedent. If they did that then any Israeli city undergoing rocket attack would be eligible for funds to build defenses. Can’t have too many people demanding that their government protect them, right? Upside down logic.
Imagine – just imagine for a second – someone lobbing rockets into an American city. It wouldn’t matter if Hillary, Rudy, McCain, or even Obama was in charge. The “Breaking News” story announcing that the rocket shooters had been wiped out and the country that hosted them was now a parking lot would be on the air before anyone even heard about the attack. People wouldn’t even have to miss a football game to follow the story. They would just nod their heads and say “of course.”
How about this story? A group of teenage girls were arrested for the crime of trying to build a few shacks on land that the government is trying to give to the guys launching the rockets. (Read that sentence a few times, I’m not making this stuff up.) The teenage girls refused to give their names to the special attack squads that rounded them up. So now, they have been locked up in prison and according to many reports strip searched and harassed.
Strip searching teenage girls? Just what were the police afraid they had hidden on their bodies? Maybe textbooks? (Since the government decided that it was better for all high schoolers to miss about half a year of school rather than give the teachers decent wages.) What civilized country in the world would imprison teenage girls for weeks for refusing to give their names?
The State really imprisoned these girls because their actions might undermine the “peace process.” Hello? Maybe the guys launching rockets at us are undermining the “peace process.” Maybe the guys who still have young Gilad Shalit in chains for over a year are undermining the “peace process.” Maybe the guys shooting hikers half an hour from my house are “undermining the peace process.” Upside down logic. If we just use force against our own people and give in to every demand our enemy makes, maybe they will like us. Only in a country where people drink upside down coffees could anyone believe such upside down logic.
Yet, I have a confession to make. I also drink Coffee A-fuch. I also use upside down logic. I still think that despite all the nonsense, despite the latest threats by our enemies, despite the Monty Python-esque actions of our government, there is nowhere in the world that I would rather live. The land of Israel is truly spectacular and my greatest joy is riding a bicycle through the “occupied territory.” I still am an optimist that one day, we will have new leadership that will stand up to our enemies and take care of our people.
But until then, I’ll take a “gadol a-fuch.”
© 2008 Yarden Frankl, who lives in Neve Daniel. He appreciates being taken out for coffee a-fuch.
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