Epiphany - a sudden revelation or insight.
I can remember the room, the table setting, the tea lady. Most of all I can remember the newspaper heralding the Israeli victory in the six day war. I can remember the grins of my co-workers as we joked about the Arab soldiers who, we were assured, retreated so fast they left their shoes behind. I was 19 years old. I was proud of the Israelis. My earliest introduction to horror had been the grainy photos of Auschwitz and Belsen. I think it was the first time I had ever seen a picture of a dead body. Only it wasn't a dead body, it was a pile of them. There were pictures of the living as well. Eyes too big for their stick thin bodies.
In the fifties and sixties it gave me pleasure to read about how the survivors had been given a desert, a wilderness that nobody wanted and they made it flourish. Another picture comes to mind. A Time-Life glossy of orange groves on the edge of the desert. Israeli oranges. Oranges were still a treat in New Zealand. I got one in a Christmas stocking. The Israelis were producing them by the bushel. In the desert that no-one wanted.
Now it was 1967 and plucky Israel had been attacked and, against all odds, sent the Arabs packing. Minus their boots.
Why then, you may ask, have I just spent the past week arguing the Palestinian cause on every blog I can find? Why, at 57 years do I feel that strange mix of energy and exhaustion that I begin to suspect is common to those who become radicalised. Why do I now understand the emotion that drove so many young persons to enlist in the Spanish Civil War? Why indeed do I want to go to Palestine? Why do the names Ben Gurion, Begin, Sharon, Eitan, Dayan now fill me with disgust? I would like to tell you but first let me warn you that what happened to me could well happen to you. Having ones long-held beliefs overturned is for some, a disturbing experience.
Jesus of Nazareth had his Epiphany out there in that desert. I had mine right here in front of this computer. Jesus had his visions, I had the internet. The internet had a chap called Bidstrup.
Bidstrup is nobody special. Just a blogger. He can write though. I recommend that you read this piece.
Be sure to check all the facts. Please post comments but this is my blog and I will delete posts if I think the poster has not read the piece.
Keep your hand on your tram ticket. The ride can get rough.