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114 (First conversation | 最初の会話)

May 26, 2011

View from a monastery | 僧院からの眺め

My first conversation with Nomi (who I’ve talked about here and here among others) after I came back from Japan was mostly about President Obama’s recent Middle East policy speech. It involved numerous gestures of “lines” and “borders” drawn out with our hands, the pre-1967 lines Obama proposed. She mentioned the “deadline” this September, referring to the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to become a UN member state. Her and her husband were planning on traveling to Thailand this September, but have decided to cancel. “We old people,” she said half jokingly, “are better off staying in our homes when something may happen.”

She wants peace like many other Israelis do, but she pointed to the direction of the Golan Heights and asked, how is it possible there and many other areas with a large Israeli population? Where will all those people go if the borders are set to pre-1967? It will be like when Syria was constantly bombing us all over again, she said. She recalled the time when her first two daughters slept in a children’s home when the kibbutz was still socialist. (All children slept in a children’s dormitory away from their parents back then.) She would go to sleep in normal clothes every night, prepared to run out to the children’s home to grab her girls before taking them to the bomb shelter.

I told Nomi about something my mom said, that she simply cannot fathom the fact that nations are still fighting over religion. It’s just unimaginable living in a country like Japan, where we have our own set of problems, but far from anything to do with faith.

Well, I’m certainly not in Japan any more, my friends!





Much love,

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