September 19, 2002


WHAT YOU FUCK?: On my one and only trip to Israel seven years ago, there was a man named Schlomo who ran a kiosk near our campus where he sold falafel and other such fried delicacies. An enormous, middle-aged man who bore more than a passing resemblance to Ariel Sharon, Schlomo was my first exposure to the colorful, ethnic shopkeeper, an archetype that I would become much more acquainted with in my later New York life. Schlomo was famous in the area both for his food and his vulgarity, as he would bark out his favorite all-purpose catchphrase, "What You Fuck," at random times throughout the day. No one ever knew what, exactly, "what you fuck" meant, but it was generally concluded that it was his way of saying "what's up"- the only way Schlomo knew of bonding with the young Americans on the trip.
Reading the latest news out of the Middle East (6 dead in a bombing near Afula), all I can think is, yes, "what you fuck?" How can this nonsense continue? How can the world not only allow this horrible behavior, but (in many cases) condone it and take the Palestinians' side? The signs that the PLO is looking to dump Arafat is encouraging, but I'll believe that when I see it- we all dream of peace someday in the region, but with each bombing it only looks to be further and further away.

Posted by Stephen Silver at September 19, 2002 10:09 PM
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