Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stranger than Fiction

Last year around August time I went to hear Etgar Keret speak about his books. He commented that he liked to write about the beach in Israel because he feels that is where society seems to come together.
Something about that comment I couldn't digest.
When I reviewed my recent experiences at the beach in Israel in Herzliya: while I sat there getting a tan, Israeli fighter pilots were on their way to Lebanon. I pondered what they must have been thinking looking down at us...were they proud that they were going to protect us? Or did they think we were lazy?
I didn't feel a sense of unity.
I put it in the too hard box.
I have this virtual box of experiences in my head where storage of encounters that for some reason do not make sense get thrown.

That thought is in the company of the whole disengagement experience. We still discuss today whether it was right to disengage so we have fixed borders or wrong to forcible remove families from their homes. I had a conversation with someone just last week about how he would be happy to give up East Jerusalem if it meant a safe border...he didn't know how he would get to Mount Scopus when I questioned him about that...but the theoretical seemed to have much more power than the practical impact...

The last case of cognitive dissonance occured recently with the clashes in the Old City on the Temply Mount by Al Aqsa Mosque. I sat literally 10 mins down the road on Emek in a cafe with friends for breakfast, the street was buzzing with activity as per usual on a Friday morning pre-Shabbat. I came home and switched on the TV to my surprise I find a world event unfolding literally beneath my nose. Except I wasn't actually there. I was not in the thick of things. I was 10 minutes away. Which means that although I could hear shooting if I stood by Yemin Moshe at the windmill and looked over towards the walls of ancient stone it did not really matter because, it was also something happening on the news and not in front of my eyes. It looked violent on TV. It looked like the country was in a state of war - not like everyone else was carrying on trying to be normal despite political disturbances. Does that make me safe? Does that make it ok? Does that mean I am doing enough?


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