louis

25 Dec 2015 135 views
 
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Christmas

 

A happy christmas indeed. You may all have heard of the West Bank barrier, which is mostly a fence with entry and exit points. When I was there, these points were not staffed. In and around some towns and cities, the barrier is a wall - a very high one - probably 8 meters. A lot of graffiti on the Palestinian side and very clean on the Jewish side. 

 

The Israeli government argues that it protects civilians from suicide bombings and other terror attacks that increased significantly during the second Intifada. The barrier contributed to decrease suicide bombings from 73 (killing 293 and injuring 1,900) in the three years leading up to July 2003. These attacks decreased to 12 in the next 3 years.

 

In the Bethlehem area that I took this picture, a lot of petrol bombs got chucked at the Jews living lower down the slope. No wonder, as I took this picture, there are two filling stations behind my back. The height of the walls, makes it impossible to throw Molotov's anymore. So I guess the hey days of the two filling stations are something of the past.

 

Apart from decreasing the incidence of suicide bombings and other attacks, the walls also have the impact of making life very difficult for Palestinians. People living on the Palestinian side of the wall, have to pass through one of various check points (different from the fences, the wall check points are staffed), to gain access to the economy of Jerusalem in this case. There is social impact, too. Families and erstwhile neighbourhoods are divided by the barrier.

 

No, I am not chosing sides in these altercations. 

 

I would rather wish you all a very blessed Christmas day from Pretoria.

 

 

 

 

 

comments (14)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 25 Dec 2015, 01:38
Thank you, Louis.

Taking sides does not work...what it needs is for EVERYONE to work on resolving the matter instead of pointing fingers. Unfortunately, I am not hopeful!

Best wishes to you and your family.
Louis: Too many groupings claims the land of 'milk and honey' and it has been going on for a couple of thousand years. It would take a modern day miracle to sort that out. Thanks for the wishes.
A very Happy Christmas Louis

One day the people of the middle east will be able to live in peace with each other but it won't be in our lifetime or until the West stops interfering
Louis: Too many groupings claims the land of 'milk and honey' and it has been going on for a couple of thousand years. It would take a modern day miracle to sort that out.

There quite a number of influences interfering (or 'trying' to help) - the West is just one of them. I found the people on the ground to be aggressive and obstinate (Palestinians) and obstinate and arrogant (Israeli). Each have their own supporting groups from outside. Then there are many other smaller groupings that are neither Palestinian, nor Israeli, who get marginalised in some way. Palestinians are not necessarily Muslims and Israeli's are not necessarily Jews. Necessity sometimes make strange bedfellows.

The main issue remaining is a very messy entanglement of groupings, each with their own agenda and support influences.

What I believe is that man has a natural greed. If that greed can be lain to rest, then the aggression will stop.

Think about this. Our chappies from ISIS can continue, because they are well-funded. When they started their campaign, they obtained oil wells, refineries and factories. They rape archaeological sites. Why? They sell the stuff, to buyers. Buyers? Surely some people from the west are also buyers. Now the guys from France, US UK and other want to take up arms against these people. I would guess, that it will be as easy as shutting down the ISIS water and lights. The 'West' knows where all the money making instances are, know about the flow of money, who buys from them etc. Destroy the wells, factories, etc; freeze their money; take the buyers to task. ISIS will melt down in the desert sun.

So why does this not happen?
  • Chris
  • England
  • 25 Dec 2015, 07:38
Love the poignant image Louis. Happy Christmas to you
Louis: Thank you Chris on Christmas day.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 25 Dec 2015, 07:45
Oh yes, the little Bethlehem - I have been there some times - but this year there are quite lesser visitors as I read - poor Bethlehem I have to say - but I wish you a peaceful, lovely, very blessed Christmas - kerstmis - Weihnachten!
Louis: All people making a living out of tourism found the numbers extremely disappointing. At the time of the year when places like the Garden of Gethsemane would be run-over, we were almost alone there.

Thank you Philine.
A lot of work still to do, we must all keep trying to do our bit to improve things.
Happy Christmas to you in Pretoria
Louis: Thank you Martin. Yes, that is the Christmas message in short.
PEACE. Build it and they will come??? I want to have positive thoughts and prayers for the "walls" all around the world, Louis...to one day come tumbling down. I didn't think there would ever be marriage equality in the USA in my lifetime, but...guess what! Miracles still seem to be happening....! Happy/Merry Christmas to you and yours this holiday season.
Louis: Greed dictates a lot of what is happening in our world. Peace threatens some people's millions and will remain strongly opposed. Pity.
Thank you Ginnie.
It seems that this conflict will never end Louis.
Have a great Christmas Day with yours!
Louis: Thank you Richard. You are right about this never ending deadly circus.
On this day think only of peace. Merry peaceful Christmas to you.
Louis: It is a good illusive sentiment, but I also remember those without peace. In a sense. If I don't know what is the absence of peace, how will I be grateful for peace? Thank you for your wishes. I had a great day, attended by all my offspring.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 25 Dec 2015, 11:06
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.
This is so double. And the whole thing is mind blowing. I used to work with somebody from Palestine, with a Dutch passport, and married to a Dutch woman, when he visited 'home' he was not allowed to go to Jerusalem for he was from Palestine... sigh....
And we talk about 'vrede op aarde'...
Have a great day and I think your trip was more than interesting, coming from South Africa.
Louis: I believe that South Africans realises that something strange is going on, much faster than other visitors. In my eyes, peace on earth will remain illusive as long as people are greedy.
A very happy Christmas, Louis.
Louis: Thank you Frank and I wish you a united new year.
One thinks of the Berlin wall...
Louis: They even have check points, Tom.
Very interesting post Louis. It puts a different spin on Happy Christmas from there.

Happy Holidays!
Louis: I thought so too. Thank you, Jacquelyn
This is the place where it started for Christianity... it is sad that it is a dividing line today...
May there be peace in the world Louis....petersmile
Louis: Interesting comment. Although this city marks the birthplace of Christ, it is currently considered to be Palestinian (Muslim), with a wall put up by the Jews. Guess, they didn't get the peace message, peter.
Thank you for this post, Louis. I can find no words...
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas!
Louis: We did have a great time, far away from Bethlehem, Elizabeth.

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