Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I don’t really know what to say about leaving Israel.

I can’t believe it’s already been 3 months. I was just starting to get used to life in Sde Boker; it takes some time to adjust to a place, y’know? And it’s strange to be leaving now, when my feelings about this crazy place are as conflicted as ever.

I’ve spent so much time and energy over the past few months looking for, reading about, and thinking over the things I don’t like about Israel – the realities of the occupation, the pervasive militarism, the segregation of various sectors of society from one another….

I suppose it’s because the last time I was here, I didn’t see any of these things. I knew, intellectually, that there was a lot to be critical of, but these opinions were someone else’s, not my own. All I could feel was an irrational, irresponsible love…and for that, I felt incredibly guilty.

Thankfully, I’ve gotten over that…both the guilt, and the irrational love. I’ve seen enough of the not-so-flattering stuff to have what I hope is a more realistic view of Israel, and with that has come a healthy dose of skepticism. But I still don’t exactly want to leave.

As insane and complicated and weird and scary as this place can be, there are still a lot of amazing things about it. There’s an intensity about life here that is addictive and exhilarating and it’s inspiring to see people who are so dedicated to, and supportive of, a collective cause…[it’s all the more dramatic when that cause is survival.] People are less materialistic and consumer-driven than in the U.S. and there’s a powerful emphasis on communal well-being…like however fucked up things might be, at least everyone’s in it together. The networking is insane and people help each other out in a way that is almost tribal. Plus, the weather is absolutely stellar, the people are hot, and the beaches are really nice.

The airport security, on the other hand…blows.

Anyway, that’s as much of a wrap-up as I can offer at the moment. The next few weeks should be really interesting…mostly traveling [with a little work mixed in] before I head back to the U.S. in mid-November.

I’ll be in touch.

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