Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The hairdresser and the Jew

As he cut my hair he talked about the recent incident with the Turkish boat and the Israelis - saying that the Turks in the boat had been provocative and that Hamas was just a bunch of terrorists - until the man sitting next to me intervened in defence of the Palestinians, and so all the time the hairdresser was cutting my hair, the comments went back and forth and I could hardly say a thing.

Even when his own haircut was over, the other customer chose to stay to continue to talk. He was a Jew, he said, but he did not support what Israel was doing. A lot of his family in Europe had been killed by the Nazis and still he believed that this did not give the Israelis the right to do the same themselves. The hairdresser then said that he had grown up with Jews and so he understood what the Israelis were feeling. They had warned that boat, he said. It was like a puppy dog being surrounded by dobermans, and: what would you do if your neighbours kept slapping you in the face?

This last question he directed to me through the mirror and, in the nature of the situation (since I was stuck in the chair), I had to look back.

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