May 18, 2006


A note, a little one: Now that jet lag is passing, the junket heats up. First two days it was pop stars, last two days journalists, walls, fences, the unfamous, heated talks. I have been here for five days I think and have only spent 8 US dollars. Last night stayed up interviewing a journalist; radical perspective shifts, new context and understanding of Israel, as baby state, comes everyday. There were parts of this junket that seemed... frivolous, almost, but now it feels important--it's not simply a matter of Israel trying to curate some good PR. Our idea of Israel, or rather, popular outside of Israel conception of what it is like here, with each passing day, is so distorted. Then sometimes, as we drive past the 30 foot wall, or the electrified security fence around Ramallah, I think it's not. There are guns everywhere, checkpoints occasionally, and even though there are still periodic bombings every few weeks, it seems ludicrious that my/our biggest concerns coming here were our safety. Saw some good bands, have gained six pounds from eating three ginourmous amazing meals a day, still no beach--desire to nap keeps winning. Heard call to prayer in Jerusalem while in the arab market and it was--I can't describe it. There is so much I can't describe, the ideas are still tiny zygotes. Prayed at the wall, cried next to other women praying and crying, who stuff tiny notes into the wall. This morning was the Holocaust museum; after I understood why Israel is so militarized--so nothing like that can happen to the Jews again. I'm not sure why I didn't quite understand that 'til now.

Our hosts are wonderful; the group feels like somewhere between a Real World episode and summer camp for the wasted, everyone is starting to be friends and I remember almost everyone's name most of the time.

Posted by Jessica at May 18, 2006 02:17 PM | TrackBack