Day Five: Tel Aviv

One last day in the big city—this time, to talk with some big wigs. First, we met with Abu Vilan, a former MK for the Meretz party and longtime player in the Artzi Federation of the kibbutz movement. He talked about his life on his own kibbutz and the challenges faced by the Israeli left in the current right-leaning political climate. (Part of it is image, he noted, pointing out how I look like the typical Israeli lefty with my reading glasses.)
Afterwards, we were lucky enough to have a half-hour meeting with Haim Oron, a kibbutznik and sitting member of the Knesset for the left-leaning Meretz Party. He expanded on a recent column he write about the creeping fascism—he told us McCarthyism might be more accurate—in Israeli politics, the way that any kind of dissent against the government is quickly demonized as unpatriotic. A fascinating conversation with that rare beast: a principled politician.

Coming up: A consciousness-expanding journey into the desert…