Saturday, April 21, 2007

Never the twain shall meet

Hebron used to be a meeting point between Israelis and Palestinians, but today that sort of interaction has largely gone.

Seth Freedman in
CiF

One of the abiding memories of my pre-aliyah trips to Israel is the first time I went to the Cave of Machpela in Hebron. Buried there are the three patriarchs and four matriarchs of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths, and as such the site is of enormous spiritual importance. I travelled there during the relative lull between the first and second intifadas, and the journey from Jerusalem was a far simpler exercise than the average tourist would face today.

As I prayed at one of the tombs with my father I glanced through a metal grille over to the other side of the chamber, where Palestinian worshippers were praying with equal fervour. So near, yet so far - a shared ancient history, indeed, yet a recent past that had divided the two sides almost irreconcilably, to the point that they could not even pray together in peace.

And what a difference an intifada makes. The infamous security wall, the equally notorious maze of checkpoints, the tortuous inquisitions as you try to get from A to B, have all but destroyed the once-burgeoning tourism industry in the West Bank, as well as slammed the brakes on any interaction between the natives on either side of the divide. Hebron, as the more moderate Israelis and Palestinians love to reminisce, used to be one of several meeting points between the two peoples. Israelis on weekend trips would throng the bustling markets over the Green Line, buying up Palestinian goods and interacting with their neighbours in a way that seems almost incomprehensible to today's battle-hardened generation.

Kipling's famous phrase - "Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet" - sounds apt for a region oft described as the fault line between the Arab world and the west, yet it doesn't quite tell the whole story.
Full story here.

5 Comments:

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Rickey said...

Give it up, jewboy.

Normal people believe the survivours of the Liberty who say IT WAS NO ACCIDENT regardless what the jew whitewash says.

 
At 4:29 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Wickey:

Demonstrably false: you're not normal...

 
At 8:03 AM, Blogger Eitan Ha'ahzari said...

Gert: Seth is a simple-minded liberal creep. He demonstrated this by telling me in an email that I need to grow up and get rid of my harmone rush or something to that affect. What Seth doens't know is that I'm married and most likely older than he is. Seth is the kind of cheap re-usable post-Zionist garbage that should go back to where they came from.

 
At 3:40 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Eitan H.:

You should really take this up with Seth. The "accusation" that he's a "simple-minded liberal" is pretty weak.

"He demonstrated this by telling me in an email that I need to grow up and get rid of my harmone rush or something to that affect."

It usually takes two to tango and whatever was said didn't arise out of a vacuum either. Care to elaborate?

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger Gert said...

Ooops, Eitan, I didn't realise it was you (Greg). You and your multiple noms de plume (lol).

 

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