I have imported a new weapon against injustice in Palestine. Initially top secret and deadly, it ceased to be top secret when the plane touched down on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport and my father’s unmistakeable tones rang out across the cabin: “Whatever you do, don’t mention the war!”
It is a pity he didn’t have a loudspeaker to hand. I was sure there were some fishermen bobbing about in the Gulf of Aqaba who hadn’t quite caught that. “Err, Dad, you might want to try and be a bit discreet just while we’re in the -”
“I am always discreet. You did inherit your diplomacy skills from somewhere, you know, Victoria. You can count on me!”
I paled. Once again I caught myself wondering about the wisdom of this trip.
Reasoning that the elderly parents might be in need of some stimulating activity to keep them occupied (no pun intended) during their retirement, I had invited them to visit me in Bethlehem. I’ve been nagging them to come for years, but they’ve always had some excuse to stay in their quiet house in England, filling up their time with ballroom dancing classes and devising increasingly obsessive ways to keep the squirrels off the bird feeder. This time I managed to persuade them. We agreed that I would spend Christmas with them, and in the New Year we would travel to Palestine together.