More From The Way to the Spring: Near Ramallah

Qalandia Checkpoint, Ramallah, West Bank (The Way to the Spring, p. 251)

  • Technically, Qalandia fell within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem, but when the wall was built, it became a border crossing between Israel and the West Bank. It developed its own ecosystem, as borders do. You could buy cigarettes without leaving your car, or Spongebob bedspreads, or plastic jugs of purple pickled eggplant. Men sold coffee and kebabs from carts. Women sold produce or stood begging with their infants in their arms.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

THE WAY TO THE SPRING: Sentences

I stayed bundled up indoors and dragged the space heater with me from room to room like a silent, glowing dog. (p. 239)


Scratch any surface in the West Bank and you’ll find prison lurking just below. “Those who enter jail in our country become like a shuttle in a weavers hand, forever coming in and going out.” (Emile Habiby, quoted on p. 240)

 

Encounter: THE WAY TO THE SPRING

Jericho, West Bank:

One Saturday, several years ago: An abbreviated version of Ehrenreich’s encounter with three teen-age settlers. Ehrenreich is meeting up with his friends Ahmad and Irene. (Full version on pp. 212 – 213):

Three teenage settler boys were walking past . . . One of them carried an infant strapped to his chest with purple cloth. The boy with the baby began shouting. His name was Binyamin.

“All the time, he’s drunk,” Ahmad tells Ehrenreich.

He didn’t look drunk — his gait was steady and his speech unblurred . . . “This house and every house, they are all ours,” he yelled in Hebrew . . . “We will conquer this whole city.”

Ahmad told the boy to be quiet.

“I’m not scared of you,” shouted the boy. “I’m scared only of God.”

Somehow the baby strapped to his chest slept through it all.

Eventually he got tired. Irene and I hiked out past the old archaeological excavations to the empty lot in which she had parked her car. As we were leaving, I noticed two settler children, boys about nine or ten years old, standing beside a soldier on the hill above us. They looked almost angelic, dressed all in white, lit from behind, their blonde hair and forelocks gilded by the sun. The one on the right held up his middle finger as we passed.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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