Nobody Goes to
Hollywood Beit Lehem
Visiting Beit Jala a few weeks ago Nobody was taken to a house just two meters away from a site the Palestinians used to fire mortar rounds on Gilo two years ago. It's a weird experience to see Jerusalem by the eyes of Palestinian gunmen and at one point Nobody even caught himself scanning the Israeli side in an attempt to identify the best potential targets (!!!).
"Good firing position you got here", Nobody told the owner of the house. "I am not into doing shit. I care only for my family," said the man, "But i can't drive the bad guys away". "Yes yes. I see," Nobody nodded his head in agreement, his eyes radiating compassion and understanding, though he couldn't help noticing to himself that the mortar launcher had been apparently positioned right at the center of the garden, that the family of the man were refugees of the 1948 war and that all eight of his daughters had names of Israeli (Palestinian?) cities and towns like Karmiel and Beit Shaan.
A while later the guests were invited into the house and here the Palestinian, Nobody and an Israeli Arab, who was Nobody's guide, shared a bottle of Shivas in the warm circle of the man's wife and twelve or something of their children. What is the point of having your wife wear a head scarf if you are then drinking alcohol with Zionists and their collaborators is beyond Nobody's comprehension. But then Nobody is not Arab. What does he know about Arabs?
A lively discussion has developed between the Palestinian and Nobody, with the Israeli Arab acting as a translator, around the most idiotic question possible - who won the last round between Israel and Hezbollah? But the debate quickly ran into difficulties as with each round of Shivas the Israeli Arab was progressively losing the ability to distinguish between Hebrew and Arabic and his translations were becoming more and more an incomprehensible mix of the two languages.
"We love Sa'id Nasrallah," said the Palestinian, "He is a good man." Nobody tried to protest arguing that it's not appropriate for a Sunni to praise a Shiite, but his protestations were ignored. "Hassan Nasrallah is a very good man," repeated the Palestinian to stress his point.
All the while one of the girls was messing with an old tape, winding back and forth the cassette until she finally found what she was looking for. She switched the volume to maximum and amid cracking and immense noise coming from the tape Nobody could clearly hear the beginning of the latest Palestinian hit. "Ya Hassan Nasrallah!," went the song, "Ya sager Lubnan!".
. . .
. . .
The grinning Palestinians were scrutinizing Nobody looking for signs of embarrassment or any other reaction. But they were clearly underestimating their guests because almost at the same moment Nobody got the idea of the song, both he and the Israeli Arab were already clapping their hands and chanting "Yalla Hamas!! Yalla Intifada!!".
Now it was the turn of the Palestinians to get embarrassed. "We are not Hamas," said the man with a cross face, "We are Fatah. We are against Hamas because they are killing Jews"...
. . .
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Nobody was struggling to hold his tears back. In a place where every second corner is decorated with posters of martyrs, creating the impression that the entire population moved to Israel to bomb cafes and buses, he was least prepared to hear anything like this. He wanted to say 'Thank You', but 'Shukran' got stuck in his throat, the feelings of gratitude and appreciation overwhelming Nobody.
And yet, even wiping tears from his eyes, there was no way Nobody could ignore such a basic fact that Fatah actually killed truckloads more of Jews than Hamas and Jihad together. "But then," was Nobody thinking, "is the Buddhist philosophy not teaching us that it's not the actions themselves that count so much but the good intentions behind them?"
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