Monday, November 26, 2012

Detectives Beyond Borders looks at the Mediterranean

Photo by your humble blogkeeper
And here's that link in handy, one-click form: http://tinyurl.com/cuzmt77

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9 Comments:

Blogger seana graham said...

Very nice piece, Peter. It must be very hard to find the right tone for an even-handed approach here, though that of course is the thing needed more than anything in the region.

November 26, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, thanks. It's probably less difficult to take an even-handed approach when one is on the scene and talks to people who live through every day what we pontificate about from a safe distance. I suppose my piece is an argument for the benefits of old-fashioned cultural exchange.

The Jewish Israeli counterpart to the driver was the guy who wrote these guest posts about the history of crime fiction Israel. He also had some eye-opening things to say. If I wrote about him, I'd feel I was going on the record with a private conversation. It was different with the driver because I didn't (and still don't) know his real name, which made it seem less like I was violating any kind of confidence.

My verification word sounds like a political cry: easeBan

November 26, 2012  
Blogger seana graham said...

One of my very highly esteemed professors and his wife spent a fair amount of time in that region. They were both British Catholics. They decided that if they ever found themselves leaning toward one side or the other in this complicated situation then it was time for them to leave. I thought that was a good test, as I'm sure objectivity is hard to come by when human lives are at stake.

It's been awhile, but I believe they were actually in Hebron.

November 27, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yikes, in my previous comment I meant to write that I don't know the driver's surname, not that I don't know his real name. I don't want to add elements of intrigue where none exists.

Your professor and his wife must have found themselves leaning at times one way, at times the other. Can one understand without leaning?

That same Matt Rees I quoted said he excluded Israeli characters from his books because he thought including such would make it to easy to degenerate into yelling and mutual accusations.

November 27, 2012  
Blogger seana graham said...

Well, they were there connected to a community specifically dedicated to peace in the region, so they may not have leaned as much as you might think.

I heard a fair amount about it at the time, but a lot is hazy for me now.

November 27, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"Well, they were there connected to a community specifically dedicated to peace in the region, so they may not have leaned as much as you might think."

That's the sharpest and most thought-provoking sentence I'll read today. It reminds me a bit of my disgust with the Quaker banners one would sometimes see around Philadelphia that said something like: "There is no way to peace, peace is the way."

November 27, 2012  
Blogger seana graham said...

Thought-provoking or not, I'm a bit disconcerted by how little I remember about what they were actually doing there.

I do remember one story. My professor was a runner, and he was out running somewhere in Israel, and of course getting very hot and thirsty. As he came over a hill, he passed a Palestianian Arab, and as he ran by the man handed him some raisins. He said that hospitality was so ingrained in the culture that the man had been able to offer this welcome gift instantaneously, without needing time to think about it.

November 27, 2012  
Blogger seana graham said...

Although I'm not sure why raisins would have been thirst quenching, but I do remember them as raisins.

November 27, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, hospitality is a proverbial quality among Arabs. The phrase "God bless your hands" to one who has served you coffee suggests a premium placed on hospitality, though I found it worked just as well when one has been served breakfast or wine.

And did your friend;s story strike you as just a bit too perfect?

November 27, 2012  

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