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Sunday
Feb112018

Israel and Palestine

         

Welcome to Israel and the occupied Palestinean territories. Military, what military? No, military implies occupation, this just happens to be the military wing of the Israeli police force. Every normal city has police, right?

 

The old city of Jerusalem, where three religions fight over which set of myths didn't happen at landmarks that have been pretty much chosen at random (but long enough ago they are worth dying for).

Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Built on the site that was randomly selected as the location of the death of Jesus, despite: a) Jesus probably not existing, and b) even if he lived and died, this certainly wouldn't have been the right location. No matter, there are several different "real tomb of Jesus's" that you can visit while in Jerusalem.

Western Wall, the site where Mohammad is said to have left his horse while visiting Jerusalem, despite certainly never visiting Jerusalem.

Unfortunately, the same wall is said to be the wall of the Jewish Second Temple, despite probably not being so. While there was a tentative truce for hundreds of years, the site is now claimed by some Muslim groups as being exclusively Islamic in origin, while some Jewish groups want to see the entire site demolished to rebuild a Jewish temple. Currently the whole complex is controlled by the military arm of the Israeli police, who control the inflow of tourists, Jewish prayer groups and (erratically and intermittently, as we saw) Muslim prayer groups.

View of Jerusalem from the roof of the Austrian Hospice.

View of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

The remains of Lifta, the only Palestinean village abandoned during the Six Days War that has not been completely destroyed. The original owners are still not allowed to return.

Old town of Jaffa

New town of Tel Aviv, built from scratch on the sand dunes outside Jaffa in the 1930s.