Sunday, March 28, 2010

Peace and Pizza in Jerusalem

The following is a very good piece which furthers the Israel-Palestinian discussion (although it suffers from an incendiary title): "Will Obama Ignite the Third Intifada?"

The author, Rabbi Dr. Daniel Gordis, is an American-born (Conservative) Rabbi and Ph.D who immigrated ("made Aliyah") with his family in the late 90's. He was the first Dean of AJU's (formerly UJ) Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, his movement's rabbinical school/seminary on the West Coast.

He makes many good points (although he's a little hard on Israel's political Left). Before I comment on his political observations (in a forthcoming entry), I'll first share some memories brought forth by the article.

He mentions the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo; I knew a woman who still lives there with her (very secular) family.

He mentions what came to be known as "Camp David 2," when Ehud Barak, Arafat, and Clinton met to hammer out a deal. It's well-known that Barak offered as much as Israel had ever offered (sharing Jerusalem, etc.). Arafat infamously declined, repeatedly. Shortly thereafter, (with his and Fatah's, the still-dominant Palestinian political party, blessing and direction,) the Second Intifada erupted. I was living in Jerusalem at the time.

I lived in downtown Jerusalem, across from the Tattoo Parlor and pizza place that served sausage, shrimp, and pepperoni. (I loved that, in the middle of Jerusalem, there was a relatively vibrant and young counter-culture.) Anyway, as I'm watching the news' coverage of Clinton's concluding press-conference, as he's telling us how disappointed he was in Arafat (and, it's assumed, his own evaporated hopes for a peace-treaty crowning glory for his second term,) the pizza delivery-guy rang the doorbell. (No, no pepperoni.)

As I'm paying him, he looks at the television, and says, in his well-accustomed to this kind of thing tone of voice, in Hebrew: 
"Ain shalom....Mah la'asoat?" 
"No peace. What're you gonna do?" 
And that was that. I paid, he left, I ate the pizza, and weekly suicide bombings began shortly thereafter.

1 comment:

Paul Kipnes said...

Poignant memories of a terrible time. I worry that Gordis leans too far and is too cynical.