October 23, 2015

Relaxing, in the arms of the police

"Isn't it lovely? isn't it wonderful?" For long I had pressed Ahmad to do something nice together and after a very tough week for both of us, he surprised me and suggested to go and sit on a mountain.

I thought this was a great idea. There are few places of leisure where we can both go freely, and Ahmad knows how much I favor mountains. Most of the mountains in the Judean desert have hardly any vegetation, but Ahmad took us to Bab AlShams ("the Gate to the Sun). Somehow this mountain catches more rain than others and has lots of trees, perhaps because it is the highest in the area.

October 16, 2015

Still Tense?

A friend and colleague asked why I used the phrase "still tense" when referring to the situation in Jerusalem, mentioning that she doesn't see an indication of improvement. Another friend told me that "tense" is an understatement, adding that the situation is "crazy".

They are both right. Although I have a couple of other posts ready to be published, I felt I cannot simply pass by the present political state without addressing it directly. This crazy state, though not called "war", certainly feels like war. Moreover, there is no real sign of improvement.

The occupation continues to take its heavy toll. I cannot put it strong enough: Though on the Palestinian side, aggression is essentially the consequence of oppression; on the Israeli/Jewish side, aggression is fueled by fear (and not by reason)!

October 09, 2015

Support by friends

This wasn't my week...

The situation in Israel/Palestinian Authority is terribly tense between Arabs and Jews, everywhere, but especially in and around Jerusalem. Stone throwing, riots, violent attacks, destroyed property, wounded people and occasional deaths occur on a daily base. The neighborhood I live in, French Hill, is in the North of Jerusalem, just near the separation wall. It is inhabited mostly by Jews, but also Muslims and Christians live there. French Hill is surrounded by three Arab neighborhoods, Issawiya, Shuafat & Beth Hanina. As a result, violence is for me on walking distance, and police and soldiers are all over, even in the air. It's awfully depressing.

October 04, 2015

All in the Bedouin family

Though most Israelis would say that I'm crazy going to a Palestinian village, endangering my life, I feel at home in Al-Za'im.

I drove to Al-Za'im for two good reasons. My tire was leaking air and, because of the recent sand storm, I wanted to have my car washed. However, my main motivation was my bad mood; I secretly hoped my visit to the village would elevate it.

The huge metal gate in the concrete wall happened to be open, and - for me - it was easy to cross the soldiers at guard. At the entrance of the village, I passed the petrol station of Ahmad's brother. The petrol station is not functioning, since the brother is in administrative detention for almost half a year. The family was recently informed that he'll remain in jail for another half a year. The idea of administrative detention is just incredible. One night he was taken away from his bed, without any charges, and just disappeared behind locks. (My efforts to do anything about it were of no avail.)