Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Things I'm Not Writing About

If I had more time, I'd create cogent posts about . . .

1) Why I'm pro-disengagement. It's been bugging me that while the anti-disengagement folks (God bless them, for most of my friends are among them) have very simple, straightforward, easily-explained (though often wrong) reasons for being against the Gaza pullout, I haven't heard so many arguments, well-reasoned or not, from my own side! I know why I believe what I believe, but I don't hear so many other people echoing my thoughts. This may be because I live in Jerusalem and frankly don't usually bother arguing with people about their political views. It is possible that there are closet lefties right in my own peer group who, like me, just don't want to ruin our Shabbatot by getting into political arguments. I usually let my friends at Shabbat meals go on and on about how horrible and unreasonable the disengagement is, knowing that eventually they will start talking about something else and I'll have some peace and quiet. Pass the brisket.

Until Friday night. A friend and I were invited to the home of a wonderful, wonderful couple who often invite over large groups of singles. They are incredibly warm and generous. Also, they are very actively involved in the anti-disengagement movement. Conversation among the 10 or so guests proceeded with most people obviously assuming that everyone at the table is of like mind. Finally I spoke up. I explained why I think that leaving an important security issue up to a referendum would be a bad idea, and started in on why maybe disengaging isn't as unreasonable as they believe, when I ran up against a wall because there was information they had against my argument that I hadn't known. So I was stymied, trying to think about what to do now, when others changed the subject and I gave up.

On the way home, my friend, who happens to be far more pro-disengagement than I am, said "that was brave of you, Sarah. I never would have had the guts to speak up." She then told me the information I'd needed in order to counter-argument.

I'm a bit peeved that she didn't help me out by providing that infomation at the table when it would have helped me, but understand why she didn't. Sometimes, you just want to eat your brisket.

But if I had more time, I'd explain it all here, my extremely unpopular-in-Jerusalem pro-disengagement sentiments.

(and before anyone flames me in the comments, I will repeat, as I have said before, that I feel very sorry for the people who are being made to move to locations within the pre-1967 border. Moving is always stressful; moving against your will is terrible. I still think it makes sense, though, for Israel to be doing what it is doing.)

2) Noa and Bryan's wedding. It was beautiful.

3) My afternoon at the Sulha. See Jewlicious for a good description. We seem to have attended the same workshop.

I had a couple of very nice, warm encounters with Arabs - one a Bedouin from the Negev and one a Palestinian from Bethlehem - but like Laya at Jewlicious I was disturbed that the workshop on forgiveness we both attended did not include any acknowledgement from the Arab side that perhaps they need to take responsibility for those elements of their culture that allows terrorism and suicide bombing to grow and continue. The cynics were right: All I heard at this particular session (which was, admittedly, only one out of dozens which took place over three days) was Israelis apologizing for causing pain through the occupation, and Palestinians saying "we are trying very hard to find it in our hearts to forgive you." Perhaps that happened in other sessions, but not the one I attended.

Perhaps I will write more later this week about my conversation with Abdullah, the Bedouin man. He was really very nice and had fascinating, very love-and-peace-oriented, political views. I wish him well.

My overall impression: The Sulha is very nice as far as it goes. I'm not so sure it goes very far.

Still, one never knows what kind of ripples might be created by a small break in the water's surface.

4) How much better my Hebrew has gotten. At the Sulha I translated for Abdullah and an American college student for about half an hour. And recently I yelled at someone for five minutes, just ranting in Hebrew, the words flowing out without stopping! Some time in the last few months, something just "clicked" in my head. I think really it's just that I stopped worrying about making mistakes, and started just talking without worrying about errors. All of a sudden, the Israelis started complimenting me on my error-laden language skills. It can't possibly be that I know so many new words; I work all day in English and hardly know any native Israelis.

Alas, I have way too much work (thank God, actually), so the post stops here.

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