In 1979 I met and started dating a charismatic Palestinian whose parents had come to this country to get him and his siblings away from the evil hands of the PLO. This much he admitted to me. I, at the time, was not particularly politically aware. I was enjoying life and meeting people culturally different from me was par for the course.
We were attending the same college but I met him at my job in a restaurant. I did care a great deal for him. His thinking was very American and very level headed.
Because he was a Palestinian he found Palestinian friends at college. Their families did not leave Israel to get away from the political action but for a good life in America. So they said.
One of his friends was of the Hawatmeh family. I had heard his uncle was Nayef Hawatmeh.
When we went out to the particular clubs they were fond of, young Hawatmeh was constantly chided by his older brothers to behave properly in public because of their standing in the Palestinian community. I did enjoy his company – he was a rogue. And rogues were de rigueur at that stage in my life – perferrably on the edge of my everyday life. After all I was an art major.
Once I found out who he was I had no doubt that my life was being watched by the CIA, FBI, military intelligence, whomever.
One of my reasons for cutting ties with the man I was dating was because of Hawatmeh. My brother was in the Navy, my father retired Army. I also had my family to think of.
Not one of those I met through my then boyfriend was a Muslim. They were all Catholics. However they hated Israel all the same.