At the Window
April 15, 2009
Of three or four in a room there is always one who stands at the window. He must see the injustice among the thorns and the fires on the hill. So wrote Yehuda Amichai in 1958, and I have been feeling rather like the morbid observer who has wandered away from the warm company. The glass through which I gaze is far from the place that I lovingly and disquietedly see; I have to squint past the coercions of the media, and correct also for the distortions of solidarity. But in Israel now I see fires on the hill.
January 22, 2007
ON A BALMY day in Antwerp's medieval city center, not far from the offices of Vlaams Belang, the right-wing Flemish nationalist party,the boulevards were crowded. At a clogged artery on a mainthoroughfare, as the light turned, a tram pulled away and a van driven by an orthodox Jew—side curls and black yarmulkevisible—became stuck in the pedestrian crossing. Walkers, annoyed,muttered to themselves.
January 23, 2006
In the spring of 1978, when the euphoria of doves who were exhilarated by Sadat's journey to Jerusalem was giving way to the euphoria of hawks who were exhilarated by Begin's refusal to allow that magnificent event to annul the geographical dreams of Jewish chauvinism, I spent an afternoon in Samaria with Ariel Sharon. Sharon was the minister of agriculture in the Likud government, and the chairman of the ministerial committee for settlement affairs. There were no Samaritans in Samaria, though political violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank was still a few years away.