Friday, November 7, 2008

All in a days work

On a Wednesday in November 2008 was just one of those days.
Tuesday in the afternoon the phone rang and I got an invitation as a Shoa survivor to attend the next day a short session in the Knesset in remembrance of “70 years to the pogrom of the Kristalnight”.
Of I went Wednesday morning at 10.00 o’clock and set in the special guest gallery, the nearer one without the glass dividing wall and had a good view of the constant comings and goings of the members of the Knesset. They rush in when the voting is announced and it is in their interest that some law of theirs or their party should be passed. As soon as they have pressed the voting button they rush out again. On the way out they stop to talk to somebody, or listen to their phone, which they are not allowed to do so in the main hall, others call out aloud when they disagree with what is being said. The speaker of the Knesset often has to raise her voice to tell a member to behave according to the rules or else to leave the hall.
Punctually at 12.00 o’clock, according to the timetable, three members of the Knesset spoke in remembrance of :
“70 years to the pogrom in November 1938”, the night when well over a thousand Synagogues burned, jewish shops were broken in and plundered, and Jewish men were taken to KZ / concentration camps.
That was the point of no return. From then on things got steadily worth for the Jewish people. Palestine was a British Mandate with restricted Jewish immigration and no other country wanted us.
After the speeches, as invited guests, the survivors had lunch at the Knesset restaurant.

Soon after I got home a guest from Germany arrived, who is the representative of the Berlin Missionary Work, in charge of the Thalita Kumi school in Beth Jala. I invited her to join me at the Cinematek for the book launch of “60 Years 60 Voices”.
Patricia Smith Melton founder and board chair of Peace x Peace women net working had interviewed 30 Palestinian women and 30 Israeli women and published 60 stories and vision in a beautiful book in English, Arabic and Hebrew. At a reception all those interviewed were presented with the book. My guest was amazed to see how Palestinian and Israeli women interacted and had shared interest.
I met old friends and made new acquaintances, including the wife of a UN official.
From there the director of IPCRI kindly drove me all the way to Tantur (next to the checkpoint on the road to Bethlehem) for our monthly Christian Jewish Dialog meeting of “Rainbow”, a group founded many years ago and still going strong. Next to me sat a visiting Scholar from Rome from the Pontificia Universita Gregoriana.
As is the case mostly, I got a lift home from a friend who is in charge of the Johanniter Hospiz in the Old City. Groups that stay in the Hospiz often come to my home to listen to me telling the story of my family.
Comes evening I was tired and pleased to get to bed.
As the saying goes : “All in a days work”.

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