Usually, when you ask a young jewish Israeli what this and this holiday is about they do not really bother to give you the details but sum it up as follows: “Somebody try to kill us, they did not suceed, let’s eat.” This line explains alot of festivals. But on Purim it is different, somewhat. According to the bible somebody tried to kill them (the Persians), they did not suceed (thanks to Esther)… let’s drink until we are completely drunk, that’s a talmudic ruling. The whole nation from the liberal, secular neighborhoods of Tel Aviv to the ultraorthodox Jerusalem-quarter of Mea Shearim descends into a five-day-craze that is very similar to carnival in christian countries (who copied whom is not known). People dress up und you meet drunk Santa Claus, Zombies and Bees.
The palestinia protest village of Bab Al-Karama, Beit Iksa, January 2013. Two men in the background are building the provisional mosque.
A commander or an officer sees a camera and becomes a diplomat, calculating every rubber bullet, every step. It’s intolerable, we’re left utterly exposed. The cameras are our kryptonite.
An Israeli soldier serving in the West Bank
Greeting me sternly, [Lloyd George] remarked that complaints of me were reaching him from Jews and Arabs alike. I answered that this was all too probable, imagining for a moment from his tone that he was leading up to my resignation. “Well”, he said as we sat down, “If either side stops complaining, you’ll be dismissed.
Sir Ronald Storr, britischer Gouverneur von Jerusalem in den 1920er Jahren
Snow on bleeding Jerusalem
as though bandaging her wounds
all rests in tranquility now
filling the cracks of yearning in the Wall
children in your streets, Jerusalem
the sons of Isaac and Ishmael
are staging white wars
(and their blows are soft)
even the pigeons are hurrying today
cooing because they have found new footprints
on the way leading up to the Gate of Mercy
Three days ago a new palestinian village was founded: Al-Karama. The people of Beit Iksa wanted to protest with this tent camp against the building of the seperation wall on their land. It was the second tent camp Palestinian activists used since the start of this year. Today, Al-Karama is no more. Israeli police destroyed the village last night. Continue reading “Pictures from the Palestinian protest village of Al-Karama”
Once you retire from the service, you become a bit of a leftist.
Yaacov Peri, former chief of Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic secret service that is responsible for the Palestinian territories. Quote from the documentary “The Gatekeepers”.
This song is the soundtrack from the Israeli movie “Fill the void”. It’s refrain is based on the bible: Continue reading “Beautiful.”
All the players in the Middle East do [moral double bookkeeping]. They keep one set of moral books, which proclaim how righteous they are, to show the outside world, and one set of moral books, which proclaim how ruthless they are, to show each other.
Thomas Friedman, “From Beirut to Jerusalem”, Anchor Books 1990, p. 165