January 27, 2005

The Oslo War: View from Tel-Aviv

Lisa of On The Face (via Not a Fish) begins a series about the Oslo War. Although my story is quite similar to hers, give or take a few details, I don't remember it with the clarity that she does. My memory of the events is already fading. It's hard for me to remember what came before what. For example, what exactly was going on when Ariel Sharon was elected? I just remember that it was bad.

It was a hard read. It really took me back to those hard days. The fact that Lisa worked in a high-tech company adds to similarity between her story and mine. But it's a good read too. Excerpt:

The major suicide bombings didn’t start until the end of May 2001. For the first six months of the intifida, daily life in Tel Aviv wasn’t really affected. This was not the case for Jerusalem. Gilo, a Jerusalem residential neighbourhood, was shot at by Palestinian fighters in bordering Beit Jala throughout the month of December. Residents of apartments facing Beit Jala put sandbags in their windows, kept the lights turned off at night, and crouched low when they moved from room to room. One evening I was at my local laundrette, watching the news on the television mounted on the wall while I waited for my clothes to dry. The woman sitting next to me pointed her long, thin cigarette at the footage of bullets tracing streaks of light through the darkness and said, “It’s madness. Forty-five minutes away from here, there’s a war going on. And we’re sitting here doing our laundry.”


Soon after Sharon was elected, I saw a rather interesting interview on CNN. A veteran member of Barak's just-ousted Labour party and a prominent member of the Palestinian National Council (PNC) were interviewed, simultaneously but from different locations, by a studio moderator. At one point the Palestinian shook his head mournfully and said that Israel’s willingness to discuss peace had been called into serious question by the recent election of Ariel Sharon, the man who many believe was indirectly responsible for the infamous Sabra and Shatila massacres. At that, the Israeli Labour politician grew red in the face, rose up halfway from his chair, and, pointing his index finger at the camera, shouted, "We did not elect Ariel Sharon! You know who did?! You did! You! With your decision to initiate this violence instead of negotiating!"

"And we're out of time, gentlemen," said the moderator. "Thank you both very much and goodnight."

Posted by David Boxenhorn at January 27, 2005 03:25 PM
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