Monday, March 15, 2010

Current Israeli Politics

1.) Biden's visit: Vice President Joe Biden was in Israeli for the first time last week and he gave his speech at Tel Aviv University. Ironically, the Israeli's decided to announce their plans to build settlements in the West Bank. This clearly creates tension with the US and now Obama says he does not want be involved as the middle man. Which I can completely understand now. The United States is gaining nothing by being involved this these conflicts. From what I understand, the land that the Israeli's want to build is there land, which makes me confused as to why there is such fuss. But I guess it is on the green line and it is being debated. Anyways, this will be interesting to see what will happen within the next few months.

2.) Rock throwing: three weekends ago, after the services of the Muslims, the radicals decided to throw large stones down upon the Jews that were praying at the Western Wall. This happened again the next weekend, so this past weekend, the Israeli government closed down entry from the West Bank into Israel. They heightened security as 20 officers or soldiers had been injured the previous weekends. It gets tough because the government needs to do something when innocent people are being hurt, however, when the shut down entry, people that depend on income in Israel suffer. It then turns into more anger from the Palestinians to the Israeli's as their survival is being threatened. These issues go round and round and do not get clearer. They sent out a text message yesterday telling us not to go to the Old City for a few days. When I came back from class around 4 there were about 30 soldiers near the entrance to the student village. They were patrolling the entire night. You could also hear the jets and helicopters low to the ground last night. It was a little scary, as you didn't know what was going on.

3.) Class! In my Historical Geography of Jerusalem class we had a field trip planned to the Jewish Quarter today, I assumed it would be cancelled but we went! We had our usual security guard with us, but still how everyone made it out to be as if we were going into a war zone. It wasn't bad at all. It seemed like a normal day except you couldn't walk two feet without running into a soldier. The city was bustling with people. Tour group, after tour group, after tour group kept walking through the Jaffa gate. In 1967 the Arabs had destroyed one of the synagogues and since the Jews had been restoring it. Today was the re-opening of the synagogue and so that area had a lot of media attention. It is odd to think that there is an active, full of life, booming city, within another city.

1 comment:

  1. I think my friend Yazi would like your blog. I'm going to forward it to her. I'm actually learning a lot from reading it too. I tend to be a bit behind in my knowledge of current Middle Eastern politics. There's just so much to keep up with. Hope you are enjoying yourself. Luv ya!