Saturday, October 02, 2010
He points to a pretty young woman in front of me.
"How do I show her that I like her? I don't want to tell her. I want to show her. How?"
My guess is he was asking me because this was his first encounter with Israeli women. He wasn't sure she'd go out with him.
"She might go out with you." I tried to assure him. "But then she may not because you're a different religion" - let's be realistic.
I told him to get her email address and correspond at first. He seemed satisfied and happy that he now has a goal and a new Jewish mother.
"Can I call you Mama?" he asked me.
"You can, or you can call me by my name."
Did the locals know we were Israelis? Apparently, people heard the shopkeepers and locals saying to each other "Yahud?" ("Jews?") and were pleased to hear that we were from various peace groups.
The Palestinians said they were pleased to see we were also given trouble at the checkpoints and say this kind of thing happens to them every day. So we were given a taste of what they go through.
One man from one of the local Bible schools, an Christian Arab refugee from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Musrara, spoke to us to tell us that there aren't any tensions or persecutions of Christians from the Moslem majority in Bethlehem, but what only annoyed him was the call of the muezzins disturbing his sleep or tv watching; which was especially awful during Ramadan - when people were always in the mosque. His comment annoyed the Bethlehem Moslems who told him that church bells were also very annoying to them. That should be the worst of their problems.
We said our good byes to the Palestinian contingent and hoped we could organize a Visit Israel day for them.