Part 22 1/2
Azzam Azzam: The Good News and the Bad News
The Good News: I called Big Impressive American Newspaper X and offered them a story about my visit to Azzam Azzam, and they actually said "yes," which just goes to show that the difference between freelancers who have work and freelancers who don't have work is that the former know how to dial the phone.
The Bad News: They want exclusive print and internet rights, which means that until the story is published by them, I cannot put it anywhere on the internet. Which means that our Shabbaton Chronicles will have a hole, right here, where the Azzam Azzam story is supposed to go, until further notice. Sorry.
The other bad news is that they are offering me only $100 for it, a price so low, especially considering how Big and Impressive they are, that even the editor said "if you want to call other Big Impressive Papers and sell it higher, I wouldn't blame you. But we don't pay anyone more than that for an Op-Ed story, not even prime ministers. Sorry."
So I'm going to call Big Impressive Newspaper Y and Big Impressive Political Magazines A and B and see who might offer me the most money for my little vignette (here I go, the Word Whore.) But meanwhile, I can't jeopardize my chance to publish the story for pay, and in a Big Impressive Paper. So, you're all gonna have to wait . . . I'm sure you understand . . .
What I can say here is that visiting Azzam Azzam together with three West Bank residents, all of us dressed up very Orthodox-y, in an Arab-Israeli village in the Galilee was an eye-opening and wonderful, if quite surreal, experience. It was definitely a kiddush Hashem, and made me feel very proud of, and hopeful for, Israel.
OK, now on, in the next post, to the final bizarro episode of the weekend, though I must warn you that this one also has a gaping hole. There will be information that you want, but that I won't be able to provide. So, you may ask, why am I printing a tempting piece of the story if I won't be able to come through with the climactic information? Well, because part of the point of this whole Chronicle is to share/offload/vent about my crazy crazy weekend. And so I'm going to share/offload/vent as much as I can.
I went down the rabbit hole. Unfortunately, right now, I can't tell you what's in there.