We often see reporters and cameras doing basic man in the street interviews downtown here. I usually avoid them, but today as I was walking over to Au Bon Pain for lunch, a guy stopped me and asked if I’d be interviewed for German television. Sure, I said.
He asked me a bunch of questions about the upcoming Middle East peace summit. I told him up front that I didn’t know much about it. It could have happened and I wouldn’t have noticed, without him reminding me of it. I seem to remember Secretary Rice putting something together I suppose, but it apparently didn’t stick much in my mind.
He asked me if peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians was important to Americans. I told him that I didn’t think it was high on our list, not for us regular Joes anyway. The economy and the war in Iraq certainly rate much higher.
He asked me if I thought that this was the last chance for peace. I said I certainly didn’t think so, that this probably wouldn’t solve anything, these problems that have been going on for years, certainly since 1948. Going on for decades and will go on for decades, I said. (I talked to Helena when I got back to work, and she reminded me that folks have been fighting over these lands for thousands of years.)
He asked me why the US supported Israel so much. I was half expecting such a question, sort of feeling like the general European view is pretty much just puzzled as to our support. I said that I didn’t know why. I conjectured that maybe it was just that Israel is the only democracy in the region. I certainly don’t believe in any grand Jewish conspiracy theories or any shit like that, but I didn’t even bring that up, although I don’t especially believe that that’s where he wanted me to go anyway.
I said that I guess that since President Bush and Dr. Rice have made such a mess out of everything else, this was maybe some sort of last ditch effort to write some kind of positive legacy for themselves, that if there were any immediate imperative driving this latest summit, that could be the only reason that I could think.
This was at the corner of 19th and M, with UPS trucks rumbling by. I doubt I’ll actually make the news.