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Palestine • Israel
STORY & IMAGE → GARRY RIGBY © 2023
01 • [Security Checkpoint • Hebron H1|H2 • West Bank • Palestine|Israel]
“Muslim or Christian?” demands army girl #1.
“Shinto” I reply. Wrong time to be cheeky, but I just can’t help myself.
“Ma?” Yells army girl #1.
Here we go.
“Where do you live?” army girl #2 wants to know.
“Who do you support?” enquires army girl #1 almost gently… thinks she’s got me bamboozled.
“Yoffi” cry army girl #1 + #2 in unison and delight.
Big smiles now and I’m in.
Ah, they’re so sweet. Eighteen or nineteen, tight green fatigues as usual, big boots, M16 and not forgetting the pièce de résistance… the smouldering cigarette.
Blimey they look cool, kids though nonetheless and poor kids at that. National service, standing check point in a powder keg, in between fucking nutty, illegal Jewish settlers and outraged, occupied Palestinians.
For your information, I don’t like football, I did however, live in Tottenham and knew the Spurs have two Israeli players… Ronny Rosenthal and Manor Solomon.
Ha-ha, now I can get my drink and to get a drink, you gotta go through Israeli security.
#001 • [Unit 8200* • Tel Aviv • Israel]. [Classified signals interception/01-BHS-9210108-666-AMAN]
“What? Give me a break will you.” ***
“It’s confirmed and the intelligence is good. Shall we inform the General Staff?”
“What! Christ no. Our um, brothers made that very clear. We strike first… ‘Israel will not receive so much as a nail’.“
“Ma’am, incursion is estimated at 07:00, coordinates…”
“Then we wait. Now get out… And Colonel.”
“If I wanted suggestions I would join a kibbutz. Capeesh?”
“Yoffi, at ease soldier… why the fuck can I still see you?”
“Your shoes ma’am, they’re here.”
“Manolo, Manolo Blahnik ma’am.”
* Israeli Intelligence Corps • Signal intelligence (SIGINT).*
** Colonel Yuri Katz (conscientious aide-de-camp | sidekick).*
*** Brigadier-General Sharon Levin (formerly Brigadier-General Aaron Levin [Medal of Valor]). Levin is the highest ranking transgender soldier in the IDF. Nota Bene: No-one ever, not even Yuri, refers to Sharon’s right, glass eye, a cold, relentless stare, which even penetrates his dreams.*
At 11:00 EST this morning, the US administration promised ‘rock-solid and unwavering’ support to its closest ally in the Middle East.* $2bn worth of US munitions have been pre-supplied in six different locations to be used in case of emergencies. Israel have also requested both interceptors and precision-guided munitions. The USS Gerald R Ford Carrier Strike Group is moving to the Eastern Mediterranean alongside its accompanying warships. [CNN • BBC • Jerusalem Post]*
* Major U.S.-listed defense companies rose in early trading: Lockheed Martin was up more than 7%, while Northrop Grumman climbed more than 10%, on track for its largest percentage increase since March 2020.
RTX was up more than 4%. [Wall Street Journal • Bloomberg]
00 • [Jerusalem Central • Jerusalem].[24 hours earlier]
“Shalom, Hebron H1 please.”
“No, don’t go, they’ll kill you.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, which stand is it bevakasha?”
“No, its really dangerous, you…”
“Come on man, I ain’t Jewish anyway, so OK for me! Do I look Jewish?”
“What does a Jew look like?”
“Touché.” .I wanted to say, ‘well just like you’, but they do come in all shapes, sizes and colours.
Quite touched really, that he should be so concerned with a gentile’s safety.
At the stand with no concern for safety, is a really pissed, German Jew (Every Jew has the unrestricted right to immigrate to Israel), shouting abuse at anyone vaguely Palestinian and becoming more and more frustrated as nobody takes a blind bit of notice. Pissed and shouting abuse ain’t a good idea, what with all the guns and high temperatures etc. He thinks he his heading for Elat, so is in for a big surprise, when he sobers up. Not so many bars and discos in Hebron… well, none actually and definitely no beach.
THIS BUS IS BULLET PROOF says the sign in front of my seat (Hebrew + English). I look to my left and see where a bullet has hit the screen but not penetrated… Oh yeah, it is bullet proof. The intoxicated dude has started up again and he hasn’t even sat down yet. And apparently I’m on the wrong bus. This is the settler bus for H2, under Israeli military administration and I’m staying in H1, predominantly Muslim and controlled by the Palestinian National Authority. Why did nobody tell me? And the bus is fricking freezing as usual and why doesn’t somebody shoot that guy, its not as if we’re short of bullets is it.
“Where can I free myself of the homeland in my body?” Mahmoud Darwish.*
“Well, my definition of a tragedy is a clash between right and right.” Amos Oz.**
* Mahmoud Darwish (Arabic: مَحمُود دَرْوِيْش, romanized: Maḥmūd Darwīsh, 13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008) was a Palestinian poet and author, regarded as Palestine’s national poet. Darwish was elected to the PLO Executive Committee in 1987. In 1993, after the Oslo accords, Darwish resigned.
** Amos Oz (Hebrew: עמוס עוז; born Amos Klausner (Hebrew: עמוס קלוזנר); 4 May 1939 – 28 December 2018) was regarded as one of Israel’s most prolific writers and respected intellectuals. From 1967 onwards, Oz was a prominent advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
»» Until next time inshallah. Shalom • As-Salaam-Alaikum
“You are a great man” said Arafat.*
“I am not a great man. I am a failure and you have made me one.” replied Clinton coldly.
#002 • [Unit 8200 • Tel Aviv • Israel]. [Classified signals interception/01-BHS-9210108-668-AMAN]
“Gimme an update.”.
“The Major** and his team are in place as of 17:00.”
“Good. I want reports every 4 hours, 24/7″.
“109 Squadron is fuelled.”
“Ok, keep it that way… And Colonel”
“You might wanna give that smile of yours a break, take it on holiday, loose it, it’s pissing me off. Capeesh?”
“Yoffi, at ease soldier. Major Major eh… the General Staff think it hilarious and refuse to promote the poor bastard.”
“The problem with more than one Jew in occupied territory Colonel?”
“A couple of drinks and the stupid fucks start singing Hava Nagila.”
“Anything else ma’am?”
“No, get out.”
* Yasser Arafat (1929 – 2004) in telephone conversation with President Clinton prior to his leaving office. The 2000 Camp David Summit meeting between Clinton, Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat ended without an agreement, for which Clinton blamed Arafat. Neither side could agree on the right of return of approximately 700,000 Palestinian refugees or sovereignty over East Jerusalem and its holy sites, in particular, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.*
** Gezer Major: Major Gezer Major is the IDF’s most decorated soldier; reported lost in action Yom Kippur War, 1973.
003 • [Mossad safe house • Ramallah • West Bank • Palestine ].
“Keep the noise down you stupid fucks” suggests Major Major.
Yonatan closes his book (Hope: A Tragedy – Shalom Auslander), the noise is just too much.
At least we have Gezer, the IDF’s most decorated soldier and with a wealth of experience thinks Yonatan hopefully.
“Gezer, get out of field, we are sick of all this ‘We used to do it like this in our day’. It’s not helping. Go back to the safe house, and do whatever the fuck you do.” .
We’re trying to work here and Gezer’s…’When we were in Beirut in 73 we had to wear skirts’; its just relentless.
And he’s got a lot of skeletons in his closet… and I mean real ones.
No-one quite knows how old he is, but the fucker has been around forever… Ben Gurion and Dizengoff are wandering around an early TLV and Chagall shouts out, “Look, its Major Major.”
And Gezer always insists on doing the recce, which basically means heading straight for the bar, ignoring all else apart from the cocktail waitresses.
“What the fuck Gezer, we’ve been out there for five hours. What do you mean, you weren’t sure it was safe. Did you feel in danger, at the bar, chatting to this um, young lady?”
But mostly it’s the weed; his dispatch box is full of it and Ephrain definitely said he wanted receipts this time. .
≡ FAT CAZ PART I • A MILLINER’S DREAM • ÜBERMENSCH • SPAGO • THE BLOCKHEADS • 浮世絵 • SAILING • ONE CUP SAKE + ATU 310 • FAHRENHEIT 356-428 • TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR