Monday, 16 July 2007

Hope For The Future

For six weeks now, Josh and I have been travelling round West Bank settlements in order to write a book on life behind the Green Line. Whilst the pieces that I've written for Cif have focused on the extremists and radicals that we've encountered along the way, the vast majority of people we've come across have been anything but fanatic... (read on at commentisfree)

A Dog's Life

Out pounding the streets of Efrat the other day, (my cousin and co-blogger) Josh and I walked past a building site where a few labourers toiled away in the afternoon sun.
As we turned the corner, we saw another of the workers sitting down in the shade of an olive tree eating his lunch, so we stopped and struck up a conversation with him. What we learned from the brief chat served to reaffirm to us the atrocious state of affairs that exists for Palestinians who are "lucky" enough to find employment with Israeli contractors... (read on at commentisfree)

Peace now... please... when you've got a minute

Peace Now's latest report into Israeli settlement activity might soothe the consciences of those who compiled and disseminated it, but it is cold comfort to those it seeks to assist...

Given the reaction to Peace Now's efforts - reaction which ranges from silent apathy to outright opposition, depending on the recipients' political leanings - it would appear that no stack of paperwork hurled at the electorate is either detailed enough nor damning enough to stir them out of their indifference. The settlers know this, which is why they continue to mill about like well-drilled Doozers, building wherever they see fit, safe in the knowledge that nothing of significance is likely to come of Peace Now's posturing... (read on at commentisfree)

Monday, 9 July 2007

According to Nadia, as well as to far too many others I've met lately, this is the opening salvo in "the war of Islam versus Judaism and Christianity. The Arabs have a saying - 'first the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.' If we cave in, then the next step will be turning Europe into Eurabia." Explaining her family's presence in the salubrious West Bank settlement of Efrat, she told us proudly that "we're the bulletproof vest for the rest of Israel and, by extension, the world." (read on at commentisfree)

Yakov, a long-haired, post-army Israeli with dreams of India and Laos, is a student at the midrasha in Kfar Adumim where he has spent the last four months studying philosophy, religious texts and other material with a group of 15 others. He had no connection to the Shtachim before taking up his place at the school, yet is now seeking to extend his stay on the settlement well past July, when the study programme ends.

He spends most of his free time swimming with his dog down at the wadi (gorge) near the school and his love of nature, combined with the tranquillity of the surroundings, means that he can see himself spending another six months living and working in Kfar Adumim. Politics plays no part in his desire to stay and that is just what is so alarming about his decision to remain. (read on at commentisfree)

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The Wailing Wall

What is your favourite wall? I know mine, do you know yours? Mine is the one that is called the Wailing Wall – but don’t worry, it doesn’t really wail! That would be funny, wouldn’t it? You know, if there was a wall that cried real tears and felt sorry for itself! In fact, I am laughing so hard at the thought of it that I just fell off the wall I was sitting on. Now I feel like wailing! Or at least having a little weep as I try to stop the blood pouring from my temple.

Speaking of temples, do you know that behind the Wailing Wall is a temple called the Dome of the Rock? It’s really beautiful, and it contains hundreds and thousands of things called Muslims inside. Muslims are a bit like Jews – but don’t make them angry! If you do, they might start an intifada. In-ti-fa-da. Can you say intifada? I can – but I don’t. Do you know why? Because intifada is a naughty word, like right-of-return and one-state-solution. If you say it, you might have to leave Israel – and not for a holiday!

Anyway, the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock are just two of the lovely things you can find in the Old City of Jerusalem. Two lovely things, for two lovely groups of people. Sometimes, when it’s very quiet and there are no stars in the sky, you can hear the sound of bullets hitting Muslims – but don’t be afraid! That’s just a little game that the Jews and the Muslims play between themselves, which helps them sort out their differences, and reminds the naughty Muslims to stop their intifada mischief!

Sometimes Muslims need reminding – like we all do, don’t we? So now let’s remind ourselves about the Old City. It has a Dome, and a? Yes, a Wall! So next time anyone tells you the Old City is just boring and plain, you can shout “No, no! It’s full of fun!”

Copyright MMVII - Independent Jewish Boyses (and Girlses)

Monday, 25 June 2007

We can pretend this is Texas

Nothing would sway the average Maaleh Adumim resident from believing they have every legal right to live in the city – at least, not whilst their own government continues to indulge them by turning the area into an idyllic retreat not a stone’s throw from Israel’s capital. This is the turning of dream into reality, as far as the expansionist plans of Israel’s leaders are concerned, or – from the Palestinian point of view – turning nightmare from fiction into fact. (Read on at commentisfree)