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Up Yours, Leftists, Gaza is My Home

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My Home in Gaza
by Gershon Perlman

I am a Jew; I live in a Jewish house and am raising a Jewish family on Jewish land in the Jewish community of Gush Katif, about a mile from the Mediterranean Sea in what many call the Gaza Strip. I have been living with the same wife in the same house for the past twenty-one years.

I really love my house. When we moved in, there was nothing around it but barren sand dunes. I pretty much designed my house by myself with oversized windows to afford a beautiful view of my not-yet planted garden. I put a lot of time and effort into my garden.

It is not just because it's the Israeli thing to do - making the desert bloom and all that - it's much more personal; it's me. My garden is really special to me. I've been collecting rocks and stones, erecting them and laying them out like a mosaic each time to get it 'just right'. It's been a twenty-year labor of love, stopping at roadsides, hauling these rocks into the back of my station wagon, and sometimes getting strange looks from passers-by - but such is love.

I have some trees in my garden. A couple of them I planted back in 1985. Nineteen years later, I immodestly admit that I planned well and that these trees give shade exactly where they're supposed to. During an Israeli summer you really appreciate something like that. My sons grew up in those trees, sometimes having fun and sometimes hiding from angry parents.

I've got another tree that is only eight years old. While the older trees may be sentimental, this tree is hard to describe. If I tell you about it, maybe you can help me out with the right word. When my sister's son was killed in a car accident eight years ago, she wanted me to plant a tree in Israel. What better place could there be than in her brother's own backyard? I'm our only family member who lives in Israel and, therefore, the only one with a backyard here. My sister and I speak every so often and she sometimes asks me about 'her' tree. I guess I'm the tree's guardian as well as its planter, but that's okay, I kind of like special tasks.

By the way, the tree is doing fine. Well, as far as I can tell, it is.

I once read that plants (and I presume also trees) have feelings. It hurts them when they're cut or abused and that they even respond to music. I wonder if my trees have heard the news. No, no, no. No one is planning to do them any harm. The problem, you see, is that the prime minister of my country wants to evict me from my house (it's because I'm a Jew); it is on the news day and night. The radio is in the kitchen and the tree is just outside the kitchen window.

My sister has already bought her ticket to come to my son's bar mitzvah in the fall. Of course, she'll want to see her son's tree. What do I tell her? What do I tell her tree? To tell you the truth, I've never spoken with a tree. I love gardening, but I'm not eccentric.

I've never come across any information about plants or trees communicating with one another. I really hope this is true, because I have yet another tree that I don't know how to describe, let alone deal with. If it has gotten wind of our prime minister's plan, I'll really be at a loss.

You see, when my friend and next-door neighbor was murdered by Arabs (he had his throat slit back in the days before another prime minister handed out guns to the Arabs, but that's another story), I planted a tree in his memory.

Like I said, I'm not an eccentric, but I love my house, I love my garden and, mostly, I love my trees. And I won't leave them.


Re: Up Yours, Leftists, Gaza is My Home

can the israeli government cease tampering with those who use their free speech to post personal opinions that are not in cohoots with the policies of the politicians in high offices
the censorship campaign has got to be put under external scrutiny

the erasing and re editing of controversial commentary is nothing short of dictatorship

we demand our right to speak up against those who would place the lives of all of us in danger in order to expropriate additional property as well as oil

Re: Up Yours, Leftists, Gaza is My Home

we could use a system of Checks and Balances

where the zionist cabinet is beholden to the interest of the Jews instead of the other way around
where the people keep the government a-float by not saying what should be said at this point of time

Re: Up Yours, Leftists, Gaza is My Home

well, what sentimental tosh. Your statement is wrong - you may be a Jew (so what?) but you are not on Jewish land. What is the problem here? If you want to live in Palestine, under a Palestinian administration, and pay Palestinian taxes, then stay. if you want to live in Israel, under ethno nationalist, discriminatory laws which favour Jews then go there. Stop bleating that you have the right to be ruled by a foreign power in a country which is not theirs. All the stuff about trees - what about the millions of olive trees owned and cultivated by the native population which have been systematically destroyed by Israel to deny these people their living? What a jerk

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