Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Purim 5767 - Just for the Jews?

I will be making a few posts about Purim.
Before I make some of the more interesting posts, I am going to relate to you an incident that occurred while waiting at a Trempiada (place where hitchhikers wait) at Tzomet Ha'Gush (thats Gush Etzion, the settlement block in the West Bank to the South of Jerusalem).

While waiting at the bus stop in Petach Tikva, a group of us noticed that it had been over an hour and a few buses should have stopped for us already (I heard similar accounts from people trying to get around the country on Purim and Shushan Purim). Luckily a taxi came by and offered us the incredible fare of 25 shekel to Yirushalim, just 3 shekel more than a bus. It turned out that this was a Jerusalem Taxi an was just looking to not lost money on Gas going back to Jerusalem.
The trip should have been quicker by taxi but I still had just missed the bus to Efrat. So I hopped on the 160 which is an express to tzomet ha'gush. On the bus I met two British guys who were trying to get to Hevron. I gave them a tour and analysis of what they were seeing out the window and what they should expect in Hevron. They said they were here visiting their sister who is doing maarava, which is when one took of his baseball cap and I realized they were identical twins. I told them Purim was an interesting day to visit hevron, considering Baruch Goldstien, but they wanted adventure. They didn't seem to have a real understanding of Israel, but they were right wing through and through. They told told me about a blog where a settler gives extremely eloquent and detailed descriptions of his attacks on Arab property, and how they loved reading it.
After getting of the bus at Tzomet Ha'Gush, I had to find a way to get a tremp to efrat, but not getting in the car with someone who was drunk. This is something especially worrying on Purim, as people who don't drink usually don't realize what just a bit of alcohol will do to them.
This can be represented by "Settler dressed in orange", this right-wing settler was in the spirit of the day and a bit tipsy too. I was very surprised when he waved to an Palestinian car. The driver waved back, so I thought maybe they know each other somehow. When I asked hi if this was true, I got an amazing response back:
"No, I have never met him before, but its Purim, we should be friendly to everyone" as he waves at another Palestinian car "Purim is not about hating other people. Its only about remembering what amalek and Haman did to us and how we came out on top. But to everyone else we should be nice to them, all the other nations of the world didn't try to destroy us like amalek. Look at him, he is probably a very nice guy and he has done nothing to me, its Purim so lets make everyone happy today"

I was a bit taken aback. I already know that being a right-wing settler decked in orange doesn't mean that you fit some evil stereotype, but this was pretty progressive especially the Purim part and to a Palestinian Arab at that. I would have asked him more about his opinions, but then a tremp took us to Efrat with a driver that I knew and who hadn't had a drop of alcohol.

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