Sunday, June 6, 2010


I met my old lover on the street last night. She seemed so glad to see me, I just smiled. Later I dreamt of Madrid, the city in which we spent our only vacation.

In my dream I was south of Madrid, at an amusement park, with Itka. It was in fact Virginia's "King's Dominion" where my family used to go for fun when we lived in Washington D.C.

Ok, but in my dream it was south of Madrid, not D.C. and we only had that day to be in Madrid. Itka was in a sexy swimsuit and I was trying to get her to dress up so we make it to the subway train and hit town, otherwise we'd miss our last few Spanish hours. I did my best to excite her by describing Madrid's structure: East to west goes Gran Via.

South of it is the old center, north is Bohemian Malasaña. This arresting boulevard meets the corso Del Prado going north to south, with Uptownish Salamnaca and the beautiful park El Retiro to its east. So really Madrid is a cross.

It's the cross I bear, like anywhere in Europe, Europe that murdered my family, Europe that taught me culture, Europe that fed me fine chocolates, Europe that broke my heart time and again. I dream of europe like crazy. I dream of old loves, European old loves. I don't even miss them, I just dream.

I read of Swedish author Henning Menkel imprisoned in Beer Sheva's dour prison following his participation in the Gaza flotilla, and I nearly weep. My heart is Swedish, my eyes are Croatian, My feet are Italian. I'm not speaking poetically. My roots are in Europe. My grandparents spoke Polish, Hungarian, Russian and Romanian. I ventured into that continent as a teenager, seeking love. Found some love, still came back here. Why? Does being a Humus lover really make me a Middle Easterner?

Israel is the first colonial society that das no "mother country". There's nowhere for us to return to. When the state was founded this was even worse. Not even the U.S. accepted Holocaust refugees until 1949. We were all homeless souls doomed to the colonialist deed.

We still are. Following 43 years of brutal occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, all partially paid for by my tax money, I would readily leave the Middle East if anyone offered me a foreign citizenship, but no one does. The world really is hypocritical. You don't like us being here? Show us the way out.

Currently the way out is only in dreams. I paid 1500 Euros worth to social security and another 1600 to Tel-Aviv's municipality over the past two weeks. I don't even have enough money to vacation by the sea of Galilee, never mind breath the moist air of Brussels. Maybe it's better that way, My friend Alma writes from Weimar that she feels threatened for the first time since coming there as a student, at least in Trukish grocery stores.

Nevertheless, she loves Thuringia. Here's a photo she took there, posted in an album entiteld "I can't believe I live here".

I can't believe I live here, in a land where right wing thugs throw smoke grenades into peace demonstrations, as happened tonight, where the army spreads doctored videos to try and cover up its viciousness, as it admitted to have done tonight. My old lover whom I've met on the street is going to spend the summer in Europe, blissfully. I know that this bliss is never complete, wherever we go we carry Israel on our backs like a cheap un-orthopedic rucksack, yet there's a comfort to being away, in green pastures where we once belonged.


Anonymous said...

Its funny. I've been living in Europe for two years now. I could never have imagined how Non - European I would feel before coming here. I realized here for the first time, I am 100% Middle eastern. But a lot like you my liking of a place is very much related to the scenery and the physical environment. You miss pastures... I miss rocks, dry thorns, the strong smells the sun extracts from the vegetation. I look at Israeli TV shows and try to sun bathe through my computer screen (pathetic I know...). Anyway, I share the feeling of "ga'agua". Also the feelings of dismay of "Helechey haruach".

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