November 20th, 2012 § 0 comments

Today’s picture is ‘Guernica’

(and today’s song, for no reason, is ‘All Along the Watchtower‘ – Dylan, not Hendrix

Following the rule of blogs, that my story is the story of the universe: I arrived back in London Friday before last (Nov. 6th), from an amazing tour of the West Bank with some great companions – particularly the Canadian post office workers, whose militancy I hadn’t expected. I was thinking about how to describe the tour, and the situation in Palestine – in some ways terrible, in others moving and encouraging:

Serving coffee at the Bethlehem checkpoint, 6 a.m.

What I hadn’t expected, but who had? was that less than a week after I got back Israeli attacks on Gaza would be escalated, with the assassination of al-Ja’bari, ‘the man who negotiated the release of Gilad Shalit’. As commentators have said, Shalit was his insurance; once his release was secured (see Gershon Baskin’s article at, there was no reason to leave al-Ja’bari alive.

But enough of that. As the death count mounts in Gaza, it’s a bad day to start a blog.

As the bombs fell, this blog found time to see a film called ‘Amour’, about an ancient couple of musicians; she suffers  a stroke (I think) and loses all her faculties bit by bit; he looks after her in increasing desperation. Good if you like long drawn out scenes of acute suffering – the main emotion displayed is a sort of French irritability. ‘That was the worst film I’ve ever seen’, said a  bright young man who passed me on the way out. What would he have made of L’Avventura, or Stalker?



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