"'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace."-Jeremiah 6:14
I moved into the Little Town in occupied territory of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve and for twelve days walked "through streets that were dead"-[Dylan] in the morning, noon and night and everywhere I did go, shops were closed, restaurants empty. A few locals around and tour buses come and go at the Church of The Nativity.
Four out of five stores are closed and restaurants empty because tourists don't want to see, hear or know about occupied territory.
I walked The Way of Palestinians,
Not The Way tourists in buses and taxis go;
I went the way Palestinians and curious Christians tread,
Who want to know what's really going down
In the 'Holy' Land
Which is in pieces.
A few months back The Fourth Estate covered the drama in the Gaza, but never did they show The Wall nor address the facts on the ground of what it has done to millions of good people.
Since 1948 the Christian population of the Holy Land has gone from 20% to less than 1.3% of the total and continues to shrink fast due to the occupation, oppression, denial of basic inalienable human rights, loss of economic opportunity and the violence from the IDF and the militant extremists.
Only the bleeder and Big Brother know how it got there.
A few months ago Senator Clinton stood on the other side of The Wall and claimed it was good for security. She never bothered to enter into the Little Town in Occupied Territory of Bethlehem, birth place of The Prince of Peace.
During my stay in the Little Town in Occupied Territory I spent hours walking around.
Beggar boys would follow me as I always gave them all the coin shekels I had even after helpful locals warned me the kids made trouble and not to give them anything, I still did.
I did say no to all the old men hawking postcards and kafiya's near the Church of The Nativity for they did some business as soon as the tourists disembarked from their air-conditioned and heated Tour buses that briefly stopped at The Church of The Nativity. The busy tourists would shoot film without ever really looking around them. Then they would all climb back into their big fat buses and roll on out of occupied territory. They check Bethlehem off their itinerary clueless to the facts on the ground and ignorance is only bliss for the proud and deluded......
A few days back, I sat in the new living room of the D Family in Dasheish, one of three refugee camps in Bethlehem.
The D Family told me that in 2004, the IDF banged on their door and informed them they were going to demolish it all within fifteen minutes. The family all got safely out but their home was but a memory a few moments later.
No one in the family had ever been in trouble or even arrested and there was no reason why ever given to them nor any compensation.
An Uncle down the stairs from the D's, also had his home blown away but other relatives took them all in for family values really happen here. The poor take care of the poor and don't look to government to do what people of good will do automatically: care for the widow, the orphan, the ill and the prisoner ..
My first day in Jerusalem I called for a cab and Sam had been my driver ever since. He can comfortably transport eight and has a good sound system. Sam is an Orthodox Christian in the Syrian Church and has a gorgeous wife and two beautiful kids. Sam has VIP papers which enable him to chauffeur the Patriarchs around town without as much hassle as a regular Palestinian would have to endure at the checkpoints.
Sam, his wife and I rode to the Ben Gurion Airport for my 1 AM flight out talking a little but mostly listening to music. When we arrived at the checkpoint at the entrance of the airport, Sam rolls down his window and smiles at the boy soldier and say's "Shalom" but it sounds more like salaam.
Sam's VIP pass means nothing to the soldier and we are ordered to disembark and pull out all the luggage. My passport is demanded without a smile and Sam is led into the interrogation room while his wife and I are out in the cold laughing at the absurdity of the situation. Another soldier examines and probes the van thoroughly looking for b-o-m-b-s.
The paranoia I see in many Israeli's has got to be, some kind of holocaust hangover blinding them to the fact that the oppressed have now become the oppressors.
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