Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Best Friends in the World

Last night at 3AM the phone rang, and it was my dear friend calling from the Tel Aviv suburbs. He'd done the math wrong (added seven instead of subtracted seven), and thought it was afternoon where I was. We talked about writing, and software, and our pet cats, and lots of other good things. Then I read the news this morning and got very depressed.

I can't help but think of all the people I know in the Middle East, and all the people I know here who probably have families there, whether Israeli, Palestinian, or Lebanese. It makes me feel sad and frustrated.

Ironically, my friend called me because he'd read a slightly surreal, depressive entry I had written on my LiveJournal while upset and having a migraine, and wanted to be sure I was all right. Now I'm worried about him.

Of course, rationally I know that none of my close friends are likely to be in harm's way, but they give me a focal point to think about goings-on in the Middle East. Gilad Shalit could be my friend in the outskirts of Tel Aviv, who likes to write stories and translate them into English, who goes to folk dances every week, and who still lives at home with his mom and dad and two sisters. The Lebanese civilians in the pictures, being hustled into ambulances with blood on them, they could be the guy who runs the little felafel joint downtown, who always plays the Arabic-language satellite news, and will help me with translation if I ask; or Mr. B, who runs the best Middle Eastern restaurant in the city. They could be anyone.

The political is the personal, and the personal is the political.

So I can't help but see my friends' faces on all sides in this dispute, and I can't help but think it's been a case of people behaving badly since before the Balfour Declaration. Maybe some other time I'll talk about my possibly uniquely Canadian perspective on creating nations by fiat and the fallout in modern times, but not today...


Blogger spocko said...

Hey there !?

Check out Salon today and Joe Conason's article on KSFO and Melanie Morgan. Your's truely is all over it!

P.S. This cheered me up a lot!

1:25 AM  
Blogger Interrobang said...

Spocko -- That's cool, although I can't get in to see the full article; I think my adblocker breaks it. I will try again on my other computer with a different browser.

1:49 AM  

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