The Israel/Palestine issue seeps into American culture

Israel/Palestine
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An anonymous friend who has summered at the same retreat community for over 50 years sent me the following vignette. I have changed some minor particulars so as to protect his/her privacy.
 
OK so I am at the folk dance tonight in the community hall in town. A bunch of close old friends are there. They are doing our favorite dances, I am dancing with people I love who I have known, some of them, since I was 2 years old, others since I was 15.  The music comes on and you just watch yourself do a dance you have not done in a decade or two, it just flows out of god knows where. The whole experience is exalting. For some reason someone has brought along a notebook of who attended folk dancing on the same date in 1974 (!), and there is my signature, and the signatures of many of those present tonight, and we read through the names with wonderment and delight. The whole evening fills me with a profound sense of warmth and belonging and gratitude.
We did all our favorite Eastern European dances, some with 11 beats to the measure and others with 15, lots of stomping and shouting. And of course Pata Pata, which brings everyone to their feet  and all the 12-year-old girls streaming in from the overflow crowd outside. My favorites were always the Israeli dances, full of joyful leaping. A few of these have become tainted for me though. The “Israeli” dances with the great drum rhythms, I have learned are, uh, not Israeli. And one of my favorite real Israeli dances has the name of a destroyed Palestinian village: Al Tira.
Toward the end of the evening, I realize that that this guy who has been dancing  all night with us, that I had not recognized before in his beard, is B. Now B. was never a particular buddy of mine, he was on the far periphery of my social circle. And in fact now I remember that after I gave a talk about Palestine in the town library 10 years ago his dad came up to me in the ball park and scolded me, waving his finger way too close to  my face. But anyway– never mind, B. has been around forever, in fact there is his signature too in the folk dancing notebook also from 1974. So I tell him who I am and ask him what he is up to.

He says he is living just south of Jerusalem.
I form a mental image of Jerusalem jutting out into the West Bank, and I think: Huh, just south. That must be a settlement.
So I say: “Where exactly?”
He gives a name I dont know. (Not any of the major settlement names).
And I say: “Well, what I mean really is, which side of the Green Line?”
He says: “Oh, no one cares about the Green Line.”
I say: “*I* care about the Green Line, and so do millions of people.”
Then things are happening around us with other people talking and I take the opportunity to get away from him.
A little later I feel bad that I had to dive straight into it. So I walk up to him again, intending to be conciliatory, and say: “I’m sorry about that, it’s just something I feel strongly about, and I just don’t think it is ok to live in a settlement—”
Then when he does not reply immediately I say:  “I mean, do YOU think it is ok?”
He says: “What do you mean by ‘ok'”?
I say: “Do you think it is ETHICALLY ACCEPTABLE…….because frankly, I don’t.”
He says: “Our people have been there for 3,000 years.”
I lose it and walk away.

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