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Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, written by Adam Klasfeld, is an absurdist play about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Klasfeld is making a name for himself with surreal plays focusing on the human root of political problems — his docu-drama about Mark Twain, The Report of My Death, was a New York Magazine top pick when it debuted last year, and it will soon begin touring in the tri-state area. Of Klasfeld’s plays, I think Good Fences is his most challenging, dynamic, and politically charged. It follows Rosh, a writer in a country called "Arabia." Rosh's neighbors recently shot him in the arm, resulting in an amputation, but neither his wife nor his friends nor even his doctor can tell that he's missing a limb. Convinced he and his family are in danger, Rosh begins patrolling his house, and soon he is negotiating with an elf in order to protect himself from his neighbors.

Is Rosh seeing things? Is his pain real? I met up with Klasfeld to better understand the symbolism of his play and his feelings regarding the conflict. Despite his strong political opinions, Klasfeld has never been to Israel, but he's heading out on a Birthright trip this weekend, so I'll check back with him when he returns to see if the visit changed his mind.

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