Sunday, August 07, 2005

Mad Hot Jerusalem

I have membership in one of Jerusalem's oldest and funkiest movie theaters - the Smadar theatre located in the German Colony. This theater does not play your typical Hollywood blockbuster movies but stuff that are shown in international film festivals and the clientele is pleasant. The DA Queen and I met up at 4:30 in the afternoon to see Mad Hot Ballroom about New York City public school ballroom dancing competitions. I loved this movie. I was feeling very nostalgic and homesick for my birthplace - New York City and was reading the New York Times online wistfully early this morning. The movie was touching and brought me to tears several times, sometimes because of the content and sometimes because I felt nostalgic looking at the buildings, street signs, kids learning in English (!), which is something my kids will not experience here and so on. The DA Queen is on the South Beach Diet together with me and so we turned up our noses at the popcorn and opted for diet ice-coffee.

Later that evening, Hubby came out of his cave to meet up with a daughter of a good friend of ours from Toronto. She and her husband of 3 years are rebels of a sort - unconventional Orthodox Jews. She had just moved to Israel about a month ago on Nefesh b'Nefesh, the highly subsidized program to bring in Jews from North America. But I got nervous as she told me about her weekends up in the hilltops of Maon, near Hebron and even in Tapuach, where the Jewish terrorists live. I warned her about those places and told her where I am at these days. That I had escorted Palestinian farmers so that they can plant their trees and harvest their olives, near the Jewish settlements, in peace, and how beautiful and picturesque their villages are. She was so vibrant before I told her all this and all she could mutter afterwards was - aren't you afraid they're gonna turn on you?

I told her that was the entire problem. They are afraid and you are afraid. And where does that lead to but distrust, and in extreme cases, to murder.

I discussed with her in detail all the wonderful peace stuff I'm into and isn't peace the ideal situation for this country?? I'm happy to say that she decided to "try it out" whenever there is a peace activity or party going on. Sure. I'll give these newbies a call. Whew. These new immigrants to Israel. You got to nip them in the bud before they "grow" the wrong way.

And as we walked back to our car, Jerusalem's streets were teeming with people....

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