Sunday, 4 October 2009

One day in Jerusalem

Again, Israeli troops and Palestinian mosque goers are clashing around Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. There is always a frisson of "what if?" about these incidents. In 2000, I remember thinking as Sharon's little walkabout was triggering bloody confrontations throughout Israel/Palestine, that this was it, there was nothing now to stop violence consuming the fruits of the so-called peace process. And so it was, until the Palestinians decided they had lost enough from pitting themselves against Israel's powerful and ruthless military machine.

Back at the beginning of the Second Intifada, however, there seemed a clear, if unstated, aim on behalf of the Israelis to stoke up the violence and goad the Palestinians into more desperate action. The obscene suicide bombings which followed (coupled with the obscene behaviour of some Israeli troops) then allowed Israel to enact its land-grab known as the "security fence" and we are where we are now.

I don't think Israel needs another uprising at the moment, maybe if two states are getting closer and the result is not to Netanyahu's liking, we may need to worry a bit more about another orgy of violence emanating from the al-Aqsa compound. In the meantime, let's hope no one gets shot today in Jerusalem.

... and, ewww!

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