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september journey

  • September journey part 22: Future tense

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian territories through a month of trial. And today: a special farewell double-feature with lots and lots of photos from a really cool town! Jerusalem is eerie this morning. The two days of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, are to be followed immediately by shabbos. I arrive into town on Friday, at the exact middle point of this three days slumber. Since driving is prohibited on holidays, I can walk directly in the middle of King George Street, normally one of the city's busiest. But the peace of Jerusalem can also…

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  • September journey part 21: Biblical hummus

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian territories through a month of trial. And today: heading north, "for terror from the north will boil out on the people of this land." (Jeremiah,1:14) There's a town in northern Israel \ with dreams, comfort, memory to spare \ and in my mind I still need a place to dwell \ all my changes were there. Well, not all my changes, however much I would love for my paraphrasing of Neil Young to be seamless, but at least one change that effects me did occur in the town of Rosh Pina:…

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  • September journey part 20: To walk away from Omelas

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian territories through a month of trial. And today: almost arrested again, this time for reporting to the police station as told. Morning has broken. turning on the computer I find that the incredible Charlotte Gremmen translated another portion of this travelogue into Dutch. She does this fully pro bono, without having ever met me. I'm dying to go through her work and discern familiar lines, but have no time. This is the morning of my police interrogation. At Tel Aviv's rainy central bus station I board a sherut to Jerusalem. From…

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  • September journey part 19: Travels in disharmony

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian territories through a month of trial. And today: from the family home to Hamas valley. Saturday begins with a visit to my folks. They live in an outlaying eastern suburb of Tel Aviv named Ganei Tikva. From their 13th floor window a huge chunk of central Israel can be viewed: from Tel Aviv's rich-only towers to the troubled region of Bil'in across the Green Line. In the middle of the tableau is the airport, our way to escape from all this, and also our gate of return. And we do return,…

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  • September journey part 18: The drinking game

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian territories (and beyond) through a month of trial. And today: Spanish sojourn ends. Autumn begins. Take a bunch of secular Israelis on a trip to a land exploding with pork products, and you're going to witness some excitement. Here is Maoz showing off the chorizo rojo he bought in Jerez to Ben-Dror and Lea who are waiting outside the hotel. We are setting off back towards Madrid and the airport. Traveling through mysterious rocky landscape, and stopping at the city of Segovia to catch a glimpse of its Roman aqueduct. rising…

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  • September journey part 17: Deja vu

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian territories (and beyond) through a month of trial. And today: the Spanish excursion becomes trying for the heart. A short walk from Atocha station to the hotel, upon returning from Cordoba to Madrid, serves to show just how close to home this place is. On the Paseo Del Prado, righ in front of Spain's temple of the arts, hangs the flag of Syria and a group of expatriates holds a constant vigil for the dead at home. One block up the street i find myself walking against a sweeping current of…

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  • Second September journey interlude: A serious prayer

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian territories (and beyond) through a month of trial. And today: wishing for peace. Today is September 20th: the famous date on which the Palestinian statehood bid was supposed to move into full gear, stirring violence in its wake. In action, very little happened. The Palestinians are still trying to work a diplomatic miracle with the US to prevent a veto. The Israelis are trying to work their own miracle with the global community. Months may pass until things get off the ground. Still, September 20th has become a symbol, a keyword…

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  • September journey part 16: Hierosolyma est perdita

    Staying on the road in Israel and the Palestinian territories (and beyond) through a month of trial. And today: Mi casa, su casa I came to Spain to look for my country, and am beginning the trip by looking for my suitcase, lost at the airport. The lost luggage personnel frown at the mention of El Al. They are expressing simple criticism of the company's handling of luggage, but the deeply ingrained Israeli instinct retorts: antisemites! No, no, no. This is an opportunity to break out of these paradigms if there ever was one. Lea Netzer's Sepharadic-history initiative has a…

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  • September journey part 15: A confidence problem

    Staying on the road in Israel and the Palestinian territories through a month of trial. And today from the Moshav's green glens to arid Castillia la Mancha. Two interesting invitations arrived over the past few days. One is to the police station in Hebron, where I am to be interrogated about the events described in chapters 9-11 of this travelogue. The phone call came as a bit of a shock, since I had thought we were through with the ordeal. Hebron police seem to think otherwise. Our date is set for the morning of Sunday, September 25th. I'll be sure…

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  • September journey part 14: Who runs the show?

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian territories through a month of trial. And today: reflections on a troubling billboard. Friday is Ruthie's birthday. We're having a picnic with friends at Jaffa's "crest" park. The view of Tel-Aviv and the sea from here is spectacular, and the guilt factor limited. While it's true that the park was planted where Palestinian houses stood before 1948, it's also true that most of them were demolished earlier by British authorities in order to enhance their control of the old city during the Arab revolt. For several decades after the war, the…

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  • September journey part 13: Where the heart is

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian territories through a month of trial. And today: trying to relax. The arrivals hall at Ben-Gurion airport is overwhelmingly spacious. Stone columns rise over 20 meters to support its ceiling, a ceiling that is beautifully littered with helium balloons that were released by people awating their loved ones when time came to hug those loved ones. In most airports one walks out of the baggage claim into a prosaic corridor with car rental offices. There is a simple railing along which people are crowded, awaiting relatives or holding up signs with names…

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  • September journey part 12: The wasteland

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian Territories through a month of trial. And today: both tents and prejudice come in different shapes and sizes. When Tine and I got arrested by the Palestinian Police, we were trying to find a way to leave the West Bank and reach the city of Beer Sheva. Today I head for that southern city on my own. Hopefully, it will be a rich day. Ruthie will be returning from the States tomorrow and Friday is her birthday. While I am plotting documenting the birthday as a portion of the month's adventure,…

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  • September journey part 11: Day of arrest ends

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian Territories through a month of trial. Well, trying to, but being held in custody. Start here if you wish to see how the trouble began. Sitting in the back of the Palestinian police's pick up van as we rattled up hill on the gravel path, sandwiched between Tine and a huge, armed, officer, I think about this story by O Henry. You know it, the one with the petty thief who decides to leave the world of crime and then gets arrested for loitering. This is what happened to Tine and…

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