On a visit to Israel last year a colleague suggested that I visit Kibbutz Metzer, a community founded by Argentinean Jewish émigrés in the 1950s. So along with my Quaker traveling companion and one other American, I hired a taxi and drove north from Jerusalem for nearly two hours to the interior of the country.
As I sat down in one of the four plain metal chairs around the small table in the trailer office of the kibbutz, I stirred my coffee slowly and wondered about the commune’s simplicity. I wondered also about the journey of its people and of those in neighboring Israeli Arab villages. Dov Avital, the secretary general for the kibbutz, who had poured each of us a cup of coffee, as is customary among the people of the Middle East, was as eager to tell his story as we were to listen.