Last night we had a friend over to dinner. She and my wife sat outside smoking and drinking wine and gossiping. I went outside when I heard the word Palestine. My wife was telling about her visit two years ago. I listened intently. My wife is the opposite of me. I miss the forest for the trees. She doesn’t care much about facts; but she always gets the forest.
“There are two things you notice when you go over there.
“First, Israel was given half the land and the Palestinians were given the other half under the original plan, but the Palestinians never got a state and Israel now has like 90 percent of the land. And they want even more of it. So it’s completely unfair.
“Then the other thing is you meet these Palestinians. We have one friend who went to grad school at Cornell and his friend went to Oxford. They’re completely educated, they’re just like us, and so you see what Jim Crow was like, or apartheid, the way they’re treated. Because they can only drive on certain roads and you have to drive the long way round all these checkpoints just because only Israelis can go on the roads. It sickens you to be in the car with your friend when he’s driving around. You feel like you can’t do anything to help him.
“Then he drove us by these big old Arab houses in Jerusalem. ‘Oh, that’s where my family used to live.’ Before they were kicked out by Jews. Then you go to his new neighborhood and there are these houses with Israeli flags all over the outside and settlers have thrown out a Palestinian family. And our friend has a nice house but one day they woke up and there were bulldozers in the back yard. The Israeli government needed more land for a road for the settlers, so they just took it. There’s no process for the Palestinians, no appeal.
“They say it’s complicated, but it’s not. It’s actually really simple.”