Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Go On, Have Your Heartstrings Plucked

Plucked by Raja Shehadeh who writes of The Blue Velvet Hills of his youth:

...can remember the appearance of the hills around Ramallah in 1979, before any Jewish settlement came to be established there. In the spring of that year I walked north from Ramallah, where I live, to the nearby village of A’yn Qenya and up the pine-forested hill. A gazelle leapt ahead of me. When I reached the top I could see hills spread below me like crumpled blue velvet, with the hamlets of Janiya and Deir Ammar huddled between its folds. On top of the highest hill in the distance stood the village of Ras Karkar with its centuries-old citadel that dominated the area during Ottoman times. I had been following the worrying developments of extensive settlement-building elsewhere in the West Bank and wondered how long it would be before these hills came under the merciless blades of the Israeli bulldozers. I didn’t have to wait long. A year later the top of the hill was lopped off and the settlement of Dolev, then a cluster of red-tiled Swiss-style chalets, was established.

Blue velvet?

You gotta be kidding. Soon he'll be singing Shenandoah Valley.

First of all, before the Arabs lived there, Jews did so what does he think we recall and what we think about the destruction of our homeland and its being laid to waste by his forefathers?

Second, that citadel of Ras Karkar? Ever heard of the Crusaders?

Third, isn't it amazing that over the centuries, the land stultified and when the Jews returned, within a very short time, so much development, economic improvement, agriculture, etc.


Suzanne Pomeranz said...

"hamlets"??? Is that supposed to sound "romantic"?

More like broken down hovels - no electricity, no running water, poor if any schools, no local health care, dirt roads which become muddy trails in winter... yeah - sounds delightful.

YMedad said...

Just to make sure: we Jews do not live in "hamlets". We try to keep kosher. Villages, towns, communities, locations, et. al. but no hamlets.