|The Old City is peaceful in the early morning
It is said that God gave Jerusalem 90% of the world’s beauty – and also 90% of the world’s sorrow. Spending five days here for training has done much to show me the truth of this saying.
An American friend told me a few days before I came that he’d heard that Jerusalem had a special light. This is true. I am struck by the sun’s glow off the ancient walls when I take my morning walk. Children are hurrying to school and shopkeepers are cleaning the streets in front of their shops, but otherwise it is quiet, peaceful, and quite beautiful indeed!
|Soldiers stop a young man in the Old City
Then I turn a corner and see two young men, detained by soldiers, who appear to be looking at their papers. I am told that “ID checks” are common – especially for young Palestinian men, but the scene disturbs the quiet of the morning and I walk out of the Old City and back to my hotel.
|View from Ma'Ala Admum (note "Water Park" for settlers' use)
|Bedouin school made of tires and mud
A five minute drive from Ma’ale Admum takes us to a Bedouin camp. In stark contrast to the lush landscaping in the settlement, we learn that here the residents must walk 3 kilometers to their only source of water – and that settlers frequently vandalize that water source, leaving the 200 residents of the camp without water. They also have no electricity or other services, despite electrical lines that run along the highway just below the camp.
They Bedouins do have a school – a wonderful building created from tires and mud, and built with the labor of many internationals. However, the school – indeed the entire village – is under a demolition order and, although it has been delayed through the courts, they know their days there are numbered.