Yesterday, shortly after Donald Trump’s plane took off from Ben Gurion Airport, Israel’s President Rueven Rivlin, opened the 50th annual Jerusalem Day Celebrations.
Earlier Prime Minister Netanyahu had stated that “we didn’t occupy Jerusalem, we liberated it.”
Fifty years ago (long before the advent of insta-communication), Iris Keltz received a telegram from her mother in New York.
IRIS STOP WAR IMMINENT STOP GET OUT NOW STOP TAKE FIRST PLANE OR BOAT TO CYPRUS STOP MOM
But for Iris, in that place, at that time, there was no going back
Iris Keltz is a long-time Taos resident. Her first book, Scrapbook of a Taos Hippie is an award-winning memoir documenting the counterculture in Northern New Mexico, In the foreword to her documentation of Taos’ singular place in the annals of Hippiedom (this summer San Francisco celebrates the 50th Anniversary of The Summer Of Love), Fugs member, poet and journeyman Ed Sanders, writes that she “has an eye for detail. Her honesty reinforces her arguments that the commune movement has something to say in 2000 and beyond.”
The Zeitgeist of the 60’s changed the way we would see the world and live in it. Bob Dylan’s anthem The Times They Are A’Changin‘ would be replaced by the prophetic, A Hard Rain’s A’ Gonna Fall. The Peace, Love and Good Vibrations of that highly mythologized moment in time was equally backdrop to some of the darkest moments in modern history; Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Jack and Robert Kennedy – all voices for change – had been brutally silenced and more Helter Skelter horror was soon to follow.
In the Old City of Jerusalem, families who had lived there for centuries, were already living in a waking nightmare which certainly did not resemble Liberation as described by the Zionist Prime Minister in his remarks yesterday. Iris recalls hearing the gun fire and explosions from the direction of Mount Scopus or possibly the Temple Mount. Yesterday Israeli Media reported that artillery shells and bullets had been discovered during excavations on and around the Temple Mount where the Dome Of The Rock has stood since 691 CE. Built by Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik on the site of the Roman temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, which had in turn been built on the site of Herod’s Temple, on the alleged site of King Solomon’s Temple, first captured from the Jebusites by his father, the Biblical King David.
This tangled history continues to confound many, both those with knowledge of the centuries of conflict and conquest and those without.
When Iris found herself caught in the crossfire, little did her mother know, she had already stepped over to the “other side” and had married the proverbial “enemy.”
This new book is an erudite tribute to this family that embraced and protected her while War tore the tapestry of the life they had known forever, to shreds. The peaceful rhythm of a life attuned to the seasons and the Land was violently disrupted and displaced. Checkpoints and soldiers with machine guns on every corner proved a harsh new reality. The book circles into the present time as Iris continues to bear witness to the on-going conflict and cycle of violence seemingly without end.
“He’s family.” Iris says and adds, “my mother loves him.”
This Saturday May 27 @ 2-3:30 PM at OP.CIT Books on Bent Street, Iris Keltz will read from Unexpected Bride In The Promised Land, it promises to be an eye-opening and very educational, not to mention delightfully engaging afternoon with one of Taos’ most Remarkable Women.
For more information on the event please visit Op.Cit’s (John Dunn Shops) site linked below
If you can’t make it on Saturday Iris will be reading for SOMOS on August 16th, for details visit their site also linked below.
Unexpected Bride In The Promised Land
2 thoughts on “Witness To History (In The Promised Land)”
Thanks for writing this Lynn. I like when you said, “reads like a brilliantly written fairy tale.” Truth is often stranger that fiction. You cant make this shit up!
No, you can’t and I urge all my Taos readers to go on Saturday. You’ll come away from this event with more information about the reality on the ground in Jerusalem and the West Bank than you thought possible. Thanks for writing the book Iris, it’s such a gift to History.
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