Date: 23/10/2019
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Left Behind

I've just found out by poking around the on-line Italian press that apparently Mahmoud Darwish does not have to be invited to the next Torino Book Fair. For he already was an honored guest, it seems, at the one in 2007. How silly of me, not to have guessed. And how silly of me, not to have understood that, indeed, "Palestinian" writers were also invited to the 2008 Fiera del Libro, along with Israeli writers, but it is they who refused to attend, they who did not wish to be in the same room with, or possibly the same city with (and certainly not permanently sharing the same Middle East with), Israeli writers, including those who, like Grossman and Oz and Yehoshua, are political naifs falling all over themselves to criticize their own state, and to make sure they retain those "Palestinian friends" that, for a certain kind of left-wing Israeli, are as de rigueur as would be, for a certain kind of American academic, a subscription to the New York Review of Books, or for a certain kind of voter, living in Berkeley or Cambridge, or Ann Arbor, an indispensable Obama bumper-sticker on the car and possibly a sign on the lawn, sending dagger-looks at that neighbor, a supporter of Hillary, who is feeling, at this point, a bit chagrinned at being "left behind"  or even treated as a reactionary who has failed to get with the program, of Obama and Change. And thus,  even if Hillary  Clinton does win the nomination, and even if she does become President, among many of very people whose opinions she cares about most, and whose support she took most for granted, hearts and minds have been lost, and are not to be re-won, not so much because of what she and he have said and done, but rather, because the whirligig of political fashion has turned.