is going places with people who make you look at things a little differently. Obviously.

Last night I took a friend who lives in the Old City, is fluent in Arabic and has been working on her PoliSci dissertation on the Intifada to the Boogie with me. We joke about how it’s her project this year to get to West Jerusalem more often.

We were a little early, and there was some sort of cheezy hippie improv-dance thing happening before the actual bootyshaking got going. It was a real trip. I’m watching it and my brain goes straight to critiquing the way they’re doing energy work (there was some real potential for disaster, I gotta say) and my friend looks over at me and says,

“I just can’t stop thinking about the fact that all these people served in the army. They all stood at checkpoints. They all went rifling through some old woman’s purse or kept people from getting to work.”

And, even though a lot of the people there probably leaned left politically, she’s probably correct. The comment made me think just about how much privilege I have, being able to walk around this fast, modern country and live as comfortable a life as I do here. It’s not a comment about what should happen or how it should happen (because really, I’m still pretty sure I don’t have any good answers there) but it is helpful to be reminded that what I’ve got here does not come without a price that someone, somewhere else is paying. That’s not a comfortable feeling, and I think part of why a lot of people on the Left steer towards a sort of naive idealism is because, in order to come to a solution that will really make things better for everyone (and God willing stop this level of violence) requires us giving up at least some of that privilege. I don’t know what that means in terms of the political reality, or what I think that means, but that’s just my gut sense about the, uh, psychodynamics.

You know? All these hippies know how to use a gun.

The good news is that once we finally got dancing, we both had a lot of fun. Music is always a good thing.

Haaretz has a story today about people not being allowed to get to work and how that’s affecting the Palestinian economy and the Israeli olive harvest here. Another story about the IDF and the Palestinian olive harvest (and Rabbis for Human Rights’ campaign to go pick olives to help compensate for the workers who can’t get past checkpoints) can be found from the Jerusalem Post here.

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