East Jerusalem, Palestine
And so we returned to East Jerusalem. It is a measure of the tortuous situation here that I am not sure what to even write as my location; do I say Palestine, Occupied Territories, West Bank? There is not officially a country called Palestine yet, but most people including about 77% of Israelis, according to Jimmy Johnson of the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD), agree that there should be. A burly American-Israeli who has served in the US army, Jimmy gave us a talk one night at the Jerusalem Hotel about their work, as well as the current situation in the country.
(Palestine does however exist in cyberspace having been officially assigned ‘.ps’ as the two letter country identifier.)
Something you will rarely read about in US media is the number of Israelis who know the current situation cannot and should not be allowed to continue, and are actively doing something about it; people like Jimmy and the ICAHD, others like Israel's settlement watchdog group Peace Now, www.peacenow.org.il and others such as Zochrot, which have been mentioned already. Meeting such people I would always ask myself why if everyone wanted peace, there was no headway. The political intransigence on the ‘Israeli’ side seems to come largely from the United States more than from Israel itself, where in the words of one; “they have never lived with it - they do not pay the price.” I suggest people read the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, www.haaretz.com, which I have mentioned before, for more factual, layered and in-depth information than you will find in US media.
The cartoon character to the right with his back to us is called 'Hanzalah' and he was the creation of the famed Palestinian political cartoonist Naji El-Ali who was mysteriously assassinated in London in 1987. He was never drawn any other way than with his back to the audience. It was said that when Palestinians regained their land he would show his face.........