Sunday, January 08, 2006

George Loves Israel

Too weird... I know. George loves Israel, Israel loves George. This guy introduced himself to me as George Bush's brother, I think he's more like his twin. At first I didn't get it, then he took off his sunglasses and my jaw hit the floor. Someone call the White House. Really though, Israelis do love George Bush. They saw Iraq and Saddam Hussein as a common enemy, and many support America's aggressive tactics there.

On a totally separate note...

Imri returns to the United States on January 10, he holds a dual citizenship, and he intends to return for good. In fact, he contends he won’t come back to Israel until he absolutely has to. His plan is to get back with his high school heavy metal band in Boston. I have been keeping up a daily log since I have been here, and in one of my entries I wrote, “I fear Imri has placed a few too many eggs in the heavy metal basket.” After I wrote it down, it began to take on a life of its own. A concept emerged in my mind of this heavily armored sanctuary intended to incubate life. It was supposed to be a space where the divine could be kept safe. But the only problem is the basket is made of metal, and the eggs keep breaking. They made it out of impermeable and durable elements in order to shield the goods on the inside from the adverse forces that occasionally hurled themselves in from the outside. Now the basket keeps the eggs safe from exterior forces, but it has injured their integrity. The eggs are riddled with tiny little fractures that leave them fragile, the life they incubate feels they have been done a disservice, they feel different. What was intended only to protect them, to make them stronger, has left them feeling ostracized.

This is the heavy metal basket. This is the Israel I have come to know. It is a land I love, a land created out of lofty idealism, and culture that in many ways clings truth, justice, fairness and a persistence punctuated by thanking God for each new day. But Israel is also a land comprised of immigrants, and like any immigrant nation, Israel grapples clumsily with its pluralistic identity. It is a struggle, where human presence is held paramount, an existence anchored in the here and now.


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