Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Independence Day
For those of you concerned about our safety here in Israel, here's something that was given to us, published in Control Risks Group Limited. If I've heard this once, I'd heard it a dozen times now:

There is a continuing risk of further suicide bomb attacks in Tel Aviv. Israel currently experiences an average of about one successful attack a month. Despite the high media profile that these attacks receive, they do not target foreign interests directly and pose only a limited incidental threat to foreign business personnel. This threat can be mitigated by following basic security procedures. There is no need for extensive security measures for visitors or expatriate staff, and no need for restrictions on travel. However, personnel should avoid locations that are likely to be targets for attacks. In particular, they are strongly advised to avoid public transport. They should also avoid or minimize time in popular shopping centers (malls) and markets, and easily-accessible cafes or fast-food outlets in crowded public areas. Most business-class hotels and restaurants have adequate security procedures and are not considered to be high-risk targets.

Tel Dan is defintely not a high-risk target. If you've been hearing in the news about recent shenanigans in Gaza, you've probably heard more than we have. Tel Dan is about as far from Gaza as you can get in Israel. We can actually see the Lebanese and Syrian borders from the dig site.

Today was definitely the most difficult morning to pry myself out of bed. I'm officially over the jet lag. It was a slow day on the site. Lots of picture-taking as we transition from one phase of the dig to the next. Tomorrow we'll begin the hard labor of moving several dozen huge rocks from the area and removing bucketfuls of dirt. In the evening we heard an informative lecture on epigraphy in the ancient near east from Dr. Nili Fox of Hebrew Union College.

This is the second time in my life I've spent the fourth of July overseas. The first was about 10 years ago in Estonia. This evening after dinner we Americans were given a special treat from some Arab children staying at the field school. They're here for summer camp. I bet you never went on an archaeological dig for summer camp as a kid. Anyway, they put on a party and danced for us. To me there was something slightly surreal about Arab children dancing for Americans on the Fourth of July.

But maybe that's just me.

posted by Peter at 2:46 PM
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