Much to my chagrin as a self-proclaimed scientifically minded person, I am totally fascinated by coincidences, well-timed ironic contrasts, and appropriately situated flukes. That’s why when I was in Israel, I took the above photo, from sequestered spot in the “Jewish Quarter” of Jerusalem, not a football field away from the Mosque in the “Arab Quarter,” which we were forbidden to cross into. (That turned out to be a bummer, because t-shirts were cheaper in the Arab Quarter, and as a Jew, that frustrated my money-scrimping sensibilities.)
But seriously, when I was in Israel just after college graduation, I was worried that wearing thrift store clothing and sneaking off to smoke hookah were not sufficient evidence for convincing the freshman on the trip that I was insanely cool and semi-dangerous, so I decided to add to my “rebel without a job” persona by frequently ragging on the State of Israel in general, despite being on an all-expenses paid trip designed to make me more me Jewish.
So, yes, I like controversy, and I like to photograph, talk about and write about odd confluences of events. And here’s one for you: Today is the 61st Anniversary of the day when Israel became a Nation.
However, Israel only knew about one day of peace:
“The next day, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan attacked the fledgling country. Over 15 months of fighting, Israel expanded the territory apportioned to it by the United Nations. Non-Jewish residents fled from both within the original borders of Israel and from the land that had been taken, becoming the first of the Palestinian refugees. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled to neighboring Arab countries in what they would call the “Nakba (disaster).” [click for full On This Day article]
Now, 61 years later, Obama is about to try to convince Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he should work towards a two-state solution. First of all: good timing. Second of all: Good luck! It seems really unlikely that Israel will agree to this, but if they do: Wow. The O-man is so off the hook with this whole budget/recession thing. Fix it, not fix it, whatevs! He’d be the dude who created peace in the Middle East. He will have out-Lincolned Lincoln by about 1 gagillion percent. So, um yeah: Good luck with that.
On a lighter note, another coincidence I want to point out is a comment on my blog. YogaForCynics wrote that the only things to survive nuclear disaster will be roaches and Keith Richards. Now, throughout my life, I’ve noticed that I have a weird tendency to attract bugs, especially roaches. They flock to me like I am the Water Bug Messiah. I’ve seen more of them than anyone I know. Incidentally, I’ve also proved to be a magnet for Keith Richards. Once, he got out of a cab, held the door open for me, and I got in. I sat in the indent he created on the seat. So who knows? Maybe now I’m nuclear bomb-proof now, too. In the event that Obama’s peace chats aren’t a raging success, I sure hope so…