Reading Ben Ehrenreich’s The Way to the Spring: Life and Death In Palestine, which is mainly about land. Land, stony land. Homeland.
She remembers reading, a couple of pages back, something about settlements. That it is natural for settlements to expand.
She also learns the meaning of the word Intifada: it means shaking off.
Which brings us to “isolation leads to extinction.” Which is something she read in a book, long long time ago. A book about extinction. She thinks it was The Beak of the Finch. Or maybe something by Stephen Jay Gould.
What self is trying to say is, from that book read so long ago, self learned this vaulable lesson: that when earth’s land bridges disappeared, and islands and their attendant species became cut off from other species, a species inevitably lost its vigor, inbreeding passed on genetic weakness, and eventually that species was no more.
Which brings us back to Palestine!
Apologies for the digression.
On p. 55, Ehrenreich introduces us to a man named Hani Amer whose land exists as “a crease” between concrete fences and barbed wire. The Israelis built the walls and gave Amer a choice: either he move and let them demolish his house, or he remained and they would build the wall around him. Amer stayed.
On the day he meets Ehrenreich, Amer says, “I’m tired of telling this story.” But Ehrenreich prods it out of him anyway.
- Amer’s house was soon surrounded: the wall on one side, the fence on the other. They built a gate and told him to choose a time and they would come and open it for fifteen minutes every twenty-four hours. He demanded a gate of his own with a key of his own, so that he could let himself in and out when he wished, so that his home would not become for him a prison. They refused.
And now, self has spent far too long on this post and will resume reading.