Jun 16, 2004 12:01 pm


The fortitude of the common Israeli led me to realize the"banality of good." I spent part of my time with high school friends who cut across class and ethnic lines. When I interrupted their discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of owning a particular car model to ask about their view of Sharon's plan of leaving Gaza, they responded enthusiastically and turned the conversation towards the plight of a Palestinians who was seen railing against Sharon for the destruction of his house."He should have railed against Arafat," somebody complained."You know he can't," Yisrael, responded."He is a really decent guy who has been working in a neighboring Kibbutz.""You know that his former employers have already organized and gave him the money he needs to rebuild," noted another."That is not good enough," retorted Yisrael."It should have been the responsibility of the Israeli government to take care of him". The rest of the group agreed and returned to those car models. Yisrael is not what some Israelis contemptuously call"a beautiful soul." He was born in Jerusalem to a Sephardi family, works as a driving instructor and was severely wounded in the Yom Kippur War. He has served in a unit which spent long months in Gaza.

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