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from the war zones [again]

I hope a pen is still mightier than a rifle.

Going back to school this afternoon in the West Bank, in my political refugee camp. Invited. The theatre school, director, staff, kids. Even more fun this time since my hotel, on THIS side of the Wall, screwed up my res and made it for last night and tomorrow night, but not tonight!

Wha?

This is all happening on purpose, of course. Maybe, all night tonight, I will get to see the world around here from the enemy side. Depending on who you are, you know right where to find the enemy. Have to go through two Israeli checkpoints to do all this. Their guns will be loaded and the Humvee motors will be running.

It's also Ramadan, where each day the fast ends at 7 PM and everyone of the Muslim faith celebrates with ....firecrackers? This drives the army and police nuts and you can see them tightening their hands on their triggers.

In Jerusalem the cops and the army blocked major city streets last eve at 5 and my cab took THREE HOURS from the airport [maybe 40 miles / 64Km] and I had to walk up the hill to get "home."

On the other hand. There was sunshine. Greta.

Greta sat on one of the low Jaffa Gate walls with me for a half-hour this morning until her boss got mad. She was supposed to be handing out leaflets. Greta is Russian. She moved permanently here with her family [called making "Aliyah".] Greta is maybe 22, and 90 pounds / 43 Kg soaking wet. She told me about her army service. Since she got inducted at 18 and already knew Kung Fu, they assigned her to teach army grrls [and some men] martial arts classes. For her whole tour of duty. She had the best time of anybody I've found so far in the army, because basically she created her own army job. And she was doing what she loves.

In class, in addition to her automatic rifle she carried a Kung Fu baton or pole and she can break your neck in three seconds. I am glad she smiled at me a lot. The army soldiers who were looking at us were not smiling. Maybe that was because we were pointing at them a lot. She did not know the word for pistol and I though that was majorly cute. I told her about Neta and Luba and their jobs. She said that one out of every five Israeli citizens are Russian. Army veterans get almost no money from the government after they are out.

So Greta was major fun, lots more than roadblocks. We traded our knowledge of languages but we mostly spoke Friendly.

In other news: the Israeli Army has just attacked and destroyed two illegal monuments in the West Bank. And taken away everyone living next to them.

The monuments were (1) a second synagogue (2) a Jewish patriot who died fighting Muslims who blew up the first synagogue a few years back.

So this is the Israeli Army attacking other Israelis and making them homeless.

I guess I didn't get enough of living in a war movie the first time?

And my friends in the school can't get out. They can't go flitting over to Europe, anytime they want --- they have to go through Jordan and Lebanon and other Palestinian-friendly countries to get to their stages in Europe and America. And, in Aida Camp, they have to live near the school, too. If they don't, they have to go through checkpoints where the soldiers destroy and / or steal their books and "detain" them for twelve hours or so. Makes trying to get to rehearsal lots of fun.

One time they finally flew to the USA from Paris and they all got quarantined at JFK by the TSA who would not let them in, either. It took hours of waiting, and finally calls to our Senators and Congressman to get them out so they could start their tour. Ages: 6 to 15.

So what did they do? Plot to blow up something? Nope, they had rehearsal and played kid games and looked at all the bright lights.

See why I love theatre kids?

They are worth all this checkpoint crap.

I almost could not even get out of the airport coming back from Holland. The army was suspicious about why I had been in Israel two times.

There is a Jewish word for 'patience' and I have forgotten it but I need to memorize it bigtime.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
logicalargument
Sep. 19th, 2008 12:48 pm (UTC)
I remember that word, "sav-la-noot" - I had to memorize it when I was a teenager living there. Many things have changed over there, like the tremendous increase in the Russian-born portion of the population, but other things have remained the same, like the need for patience.
silverplate88
Sep. 20th, 2008 11:46 am (UTC)
That's it. Neta wrote it down for me. Now I'll put in in my heart!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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kiota too late for the stars
silverplate88
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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