Saturday, April 14, 2007

Diary of a Self-Loathing Jew (chapter no.1)

April, 22, 2007
Another Monday, another week. Most people hate their lives, hate going to work, and hate Mondays. I'm lucky enough to be different. I work in a great place – a Human Rights NGO, based in Occupied (Eastern) Jerusalem, with great people – lots of conscientious Jews, and poor, oppressed Arabs. We do our best to pay them back but we know and feel that it's not enough. For instance, in the beginning of the week I always make it a point to give Ahmad (I forget his last name, Abu-something, I guess) a great big human rights hug. I tell him that every time I see him in the beginning of the week my heart leaps with joy that he survived another weekend of occupation – soldiers sniping at innocent Arabs, settlers lynching them right and left– it's a wonder they survive at all! Ahmad always acts embarrassed, and shies away from me – maybe he's homophobic? – I don't blame him though – who wouldn't be under such conditions? Anyway, he's so scared of the Shin- Beth (Israeli Homeland Security) that he tells me that he is far more likely to get killed by a bullet from a Palestinian gunman in his town, than he is to get killed by Israeli soldiers who are too scared to shoot anyway. I play along , wink and tell him I understand.
Inside the building I walk briskly along the corridor – no time to waste in the struggle for human rights! - until I reach my small office, guarded zealously by the lovely Samira – my fetching Arab secretary. Between you and me, she can't type to save her own life, and she is as muddle-headed as any woman I have ever met – oops – mustn't let the feminists hear that kind of talk, can we? – but really, what should I do? How can I throw her out on the streets – and make her a refugee all over again? Is it her fault she has no education, and no brains? Of course not, it's the occupation. So I type up my own reports at home at night. I don't mind – that's what human rights are all about – it's the sacrifice we have to make in order to make this world better, isn't it?
At least she makes awesome coffee. I can't get enough of it. Yeah, one thing about these Arabs – they make great coffee. I really, really love these people. These poor, oppressed people. It just infuriates me to think of all their suffering, the humiliation, the condescension they have to face each day in our racist country. Armed with this anger, and the burning, passionate hatred of all that is Jewish and Evil , I begin my days work.
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