Thursday, July 5, 2007

Narrative or Interview ?

Yesterday I received a phone call from the director of “Trust” who asked me if I was willing to be interviewed by the director of Peace X Peace.

A short while ago I have come back from the American Colony Hotel where it took place.

Two women from the States, they are friends and both also have a home in France, both having frequently visited Israel and Palestine Authority, said that they are interviewing women from across the board, different religions, different cultures, different in all sorts of ways.
Although I had agreed to be interviewed I felt pretty uncomfortable having let myself in for something I did not know what it is all about, or what this interview would be used for.
The atmosphere in the American Colony in East Jerusalem is a strange one. It is the hangout for foreign correspondents, all of who come to Israel, to report on the conflict.
Dozens of waiters were moving around, bringing drinks, clearing tables, people coming and going, talking, there was a constant bubble.
My interviewer came in late having got stuck in the traffic, in the end she asked permission to retreat to a conference room, a cold sterile and to me an unfriendly looking room.
I still could not make out what the purpose of the interview would be.
I made it quite clear that I was not going to talk about politics, who is right or wrong, who should be doing what or not do what to the other.

While the one set up the microphone and video camera, the other tried to explain to me that they hope to interview as many women, Palestinian and Israeli as possible and put their story on the inter-net. I asked what they wanted to know from me. She simply said:"Tell us who you are".
Well, I presented them with my narrative. My mother having sent me and my brother and my sister away from home, in order to spare us from the worst of what was happening to us Jews in Germany. My parents perished in Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.
I spend the war years as a refugee child in England and shortly after the end of WW II in June 1945 came to Palestine as Israel was then called .

I tried to convey to them that since early childhood, my being a Zionist, being Jewish, being an Israeli and the Shoa / Holocaust, are the main components of my identity.
Although both of them have been on repeated visits to Israel neither of them have ever been to Yad Vashem.
Because their time ran out, the interview came to an end. There was no time for questions, or verification. What they got out of it or to what extend it fits into what they intent to portray, I do not know.
As the next woman was expected to turn up, they called a Taxi for me.
I was glad to be home again.
The next day I had a full schedule, giving a talk to Jewish students from USA in Yad Vashem and to attend a meeting on growing old in a young society.

1 comment:

Carlotta said...

Keep up the good work.