Haaretz, 6 December 2016


Their son demonstrated his progress in the dabke. “On Friday I’m going to Jaffa, why don’t you come with me,” I suggested. His father’s family is originally from Jaffa. It’s impossible, he said, I already need an exit visa. “So the Jews want even 14-year-olds to carry permits,” I said.

Among close friends, I permit myself to be ironical and utter this common term as a way of expressing anger. His mother said: “Now he’ll have to wait until he’s 55” (when men aren’t required to request a permit), and the boy looked at me scoldingly, and shook his finger like a teacher. “It’s not the Jews,” he said, “say Israelis or the army.” He meant every word. From birth that’s what he’s been hearing from his parents.