Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Infiltrator - II

I: Oranges.  Yes.  I told those other men.  Oranges.  How many times shall I repeat the word orange?

I:  Well, I‘ll repeat it again.   I crossed the wire to pick my oranges.

I:  Why?  Because I was hungry, and so if everyone in Tel Far.  Oranges can be sold for money and money can be used to buy bread.

I:  How can that be my concern?  A hungry belly doesn’t care about an admittance line.  Who planted that grove, anyway?  You?  Your brothers, cousins, mothers, aunts?

I:  No, no.  They didn’t.  Don’t confuse the issue here.  The people of Tel Far planted them.  You know the terrain there.  Your army patrols every hill, wadi, gully.  There is Tel Far, which has been there since the day after Creation.  There is the wadi.  It is a fortunate water course.  It holds water for nearly three fourths of the year, so we can irrigate the trees with it.  For the other fourth of the year, we leave the irrigation to God…

I: But you keep saying that, and it means nothing.  It is a pointless question, and not even a question.  But your mouth is stuffed with such pointless questions…

I: Won’t you allow me to continue?

I. If all you do is talk, without allowing me to answer, what is the point of all this?  You should just take me out and shoot me…

I: Can I have a glass of water?

I:  No.  Take that away.  I won’t drink that filth.  Can someone give me a cigarette?

I:  Oranges!  I was picking oranges.  Again I say it!  They belong to us.  Your wire means nothing.  I know every branch on each tree like I know ever hair on the blessed head of my son, may God protect him from our enemies…

I:  But how can you say that I am not a laborer.  You want to see my hands?  You think they are soft?  Your head is soft.  I am not an agitator, a provocateur, a fifth columnist… is that the term they used?  Damn it, are you translating the words correctly?

I:  No, I don’t know any Hebrew!  I just have a sense your translator is inept.  That’s all.  I don’t know a word of your filthy tongue.

I: Oranges, oranges, oranges, oranges, oranges.  I’ve told you again and again and again and again. 

I: Of course I know that word in Hebrew.  Before the war I worked for a Jewish grower.  I told those other men that.

I: Let’s begin again.  Tel Far has three areas: the village, the wadi, the grove.  The armistice line runs right through the wadi.  We are separated from our water and our income.  We have no money and we have little food.  People would rather be shot than watch their families starve.  Even you can understand that?  Surely at least one of you has a child?  Without those trees, every blessed soul in our part of Tel Far will perish or…

I: I’d rather stop discussing oranges too, thanks be to God. 

I: No, I’ve never seen those in my life.

I: Of course I know what they are, an irrigation pipe.  That looks like copper wire, and I don’t know what that is…

I: A charge for an explosive?  I know nothing of such things…

I: If you found them at my house in Tel Far, then you obtained them illegally… my home, as you are so quick to remind me, is over the armistice line, in Jordanian territory.

I: No, that is not an admission that these materials are mine.  I am only saying that if you did get them from my house, you obtained them by crossing an international border illegally and stealing them, a charge I am being questioned about relating to fruit.

I:  Fine.  Let’s go along with this line of reasoning.  Say this was found in my house in Tel Far… this means nothing.  An Arab house is not a house of a man, woman and children, it is crowded with relations and visitors, we are a hospitable people, we do not turn away the wayfarer or destitute.  For all I know the Arab Legion could be using a room for whatever purpose they want.  It is a house with many rooms…

I: I refuse to answer that question. 

I: What do you mean, I cannot refuse?

That was the conclusion of the first page.  It was difficult to tell, but it appears that some span of time passed, and another interrogation session had begun, with different agents.

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