Jan 12 2008

Advice for Adi

 Adi wrote:

I don’t have anything against you sending positive things about “Arab,Moslem,Palestine”.

I definitely ask you not to send me any letter or article with diatribes on Israel,Israelis,Zionists,Israeli Army,Israeli Police,Security checking etc etc.

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There are some here in the South who still refer to our American civil war as the War of Northern Aggression.  Like your Bedouins who are conflicted about the way they treat their fellow Arabs, there were many Americans, especially those who grew up in Israel, who were deeply conflicted by the War of Southern Aggression that was visited upon Lebanon during 2006.  Adi reminds me of these Americans who wrote thousands of words trying to justify the unjustifiable to other Americans, especially those who grew up or spent decades working among the people of Lebanon and Palestine/Jordan.

Hell hath no fury like these Americans, when they could no longer adequately defend the actions of their favored nation.  Their last refuge (my father once said they were like concrete: “all mixed up and set”) was to declare that the enemies of Israel were somehow endowed with innate violent urges, or that persons upset by Israel’s really poor sportsmanship (fresh photographs of dead babies really set them off) were obviously all anti-Semitic.

If Adi does not wish to receive bad news about the land he loves, then honor his request.  Unless he lives in a cave, the reality of what is happening “over there” will still, sooner or later, seep into his insanitized world.  And if he does live in a cave, perhaps one of those Bedouins could be reassigned to guard the entrance…

PS — did I ever tell you about the time I visited an Israeli restaurant just inside the main gate to San Francisco’s Chinatown?  It was on the second floor of an apartment and barely noticeable.  The sign outside declared that its food was all kosher according to some rabbi’s specifications (don’t remember much of the name except that I’m pretty sure it ended with “itz” which probably doesn’t narrow it down much).  Anyway, the menu was 100% Levantine quisine and quite excellent.  When I suggested that the food was essentially Lebanese (this was while Israel still occupied southern Lebanon), the staff was visibly upset but remained nominally hospitable.  Perhaps nominal hospitality is all some of us can manage in the face of intolerable situations…

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