The conversation turned to Palestine in the past, to al nakba, ‘the catastrophe’, the formation of Israel in 1948 and the end of the British Mandate in Palestine. When I asked Ibrahim whether he had ever gone back there, his bushy eyebrows shot up in astonishment.‘Go back? Of course we go back! As often as possible. It is not always easy.’ He laid his forearm on the table as if he were about to give blood, palm up. He looked across at me. ‘Sometimes they are like this on the border. Sometimes like this.’ He balled his hairy hand into a fist. ‘When it is like this you are turned back or made to wait for hours while they play with you. Sometimes before they make me kneel on the path in front of them. That is hard for a man like me. I am old, I have become used to having the dignity, you know?’Olives, Page 44
This year is the 64th since the creation of the state of Israel and the resulting displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from their land. I've already posted about it over here and won't repeat myself but it's sort of key to Olives - A Violent Romance and so I couldn't let it go past without comment!