(J.A. also remarked, either on this occasion or another, something about the "real problem" being the Ultra-Orthodox Jews, a comment I also didn't understand at all, so simply accepted, on his authority as a Jew, without comment.)
J.A.'s father was an investment banker or something. ...I know, I know: It sounds like I'm making it up, playing to a Jewish stereotype. He is the only classmate I ever had whose father had such a "high-flying" job, that I knew of. It's a credit to Arlington Public Schools that such man would send his son to a public school and not to a private school. J.A. himself didn't look at all like a Jewish stereotype. He was tall and red-haired, with the build of a swimmer (and he was one). I haven't heard from him in ten years now. I am sure he's been to Israel, probably more than once.
Reading the news lately, writing #218 and #219, and reminiscing about that period in fall 2000, I see that nothing has changed in 14 years. Nothing! (Just as nothing had really changed from the 1980s up to year 2000, I suppose, when I first became aware of this issue.)
Back on the firm ground of the present. The Gaza death toll rapidly approaches 1,000 dead in the past three weeks.