The eleven hour plane ride passed quickly. Ben and I sat together in the second to last row of a very long plane. His bubbling excitement was contagious. The standard safety protocol demonstration began, and Ben felt moved to applaud the flight attendants jokingly. Movies, sleep, meals and conversation got our 20 person group through the flight. Once we arrived Melissa flocked us through immigration like a mother goose to her 18 little goslings.
We had gotten our things and gathered in the lobby waiting to hop on the bus that would take us to Orna and Romi’s house. I said hi to Teacher Susan for the first time on the trip. “Have you noticed who is missing?” She asked me.
“Jax and Rosie just left for the bathroom but I think we’re all together.”
“But look around Meg, on a larger scale.”
I looked around the beautiful, modern airport. I saw yarmulkes, I saw Hebrew signs. I felt more than just an absence of the Palestinian population, I felt an active un-acknowledgment of it. Who is Missing?
At Orna and Romi’s home the conversation was fascinating about the conflict. (Orna and Romi are Israeli friends of John and Melissa’s with a lot of fascinating and powerful stories to tell about the start of Israel and about their desire for peace). I asked their family how present the conflict was in the average Israeli’s life. They said for two years, when serving in the military, as everyone has to do, the conflict is very present. But other than that, now that the terrorism has stopped mostly, the conflict is as visible as each individual desires. You can choose to pay attention. A question that I choose to keep to myself in that moment, was: do Palestinian’s have that privilege too? To ignore the conflict? How present is it to them?
Who is missing?