Flights of Faith

Thursday, August 03, 2006

They Whited Out the Old City Wall!: Updates and Coming Soons

So, you’re bored out of your mind this summer. What do you do? Channel surf! Saved By The Bell? Eh. It’s the newest class. MTV dating show? Been there, done that. CNN? Hey, what the heck! Sweet! Car chase. After fifteen minutes of exciting turns and frightened grandmas, you decide to take a quick bathroom break. When you get back, more coverage of the Israel and Lebanon war.

“GOOOOOSSSHHHHHHH! Can’t they just get a ceasefire already?”

A few minutes pass, still no car chase updates. Four screaming panel discussions later (that, by the way, haven’t helped your understanding of the conflict at all) and you realize CNN is NEVER gonna tell you what happened to that white Bronco (some things never change.)

Well, FoF isn’t like that.

I’ve out been out of commission thanks to a sick Mac that’s much better now. Disconnected, I was unable to follow the news regularly. Logging on in net cafes every day or so, I realized how fast the news comes out of the Middle East. Regular life is no different. Updates are needed.

Less Talk, More Stalk: Questions of Consequence Update

Security in Jerusalem has increased tremendously. It hasn’t affected me terribly. For a country with such security problems, it is surprising that the powers that be accept my unaccented English or American shirt or cap (yes, I brought them to experiment how I would be treated w/ and w/o). But Palestinians…the Old City is a new place for them. The gates (once free and open o all) are now checkpoints where IDF soldiers stand with AK-47s (I think) and ask for IDs and papers. I understand it’s all done in the name of security, but it has got to take a toll on your pride when the IDF is hassling you as you try to get to YOUR home, YOUR business, YOUR community. In fact, the toll is showing in scattered incidents around East Jerusalem and the Old City. Young Palestinian men often loiter about IDF officers begging for trouble. Around the Temple Mount, they’re getting it. IDF forces used tear gas to break up a crowd protesting against the barring of under 45 men to the Temple Mount, the location of the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque. The IDF’s policy is to ban Palestinian youth and any Jews from entering when times are tense. Today, Tisha B’Av, the Jewish holiday which mourns the destruction of the second temple (and construction of a mosque) is one of those days. This time, the Jews are seen as the ones who could incite violence because many Jews (especially religious ones) expect a third temple to be built on the Temple Mount in their lifetime.

Here’s an advert from the local paper: “We will assemble to proclaim our eternal bond to the Temple Mount, where our First and Second temples stood, and where the Third Temple will be built, speedily and in our days.”

And the world thinks a two state solution will work?

As a note, many Christians believe the Third Temple will play a significant role in the End Times, but this bit of prophecy has been used by some to create an anti-Muslim agenda believing that if Muslims are defeated, then the Temple can be rebuilt. Christians must not give into this false and easy logic.

White Out Cures All? :Sign of the Times Update

Probably less than a day after I wrote this, I walked back down to Jaffa and the messages had changed.

The signs were changed as follows:


Very interesting way of describing an Ethnic conflict.

Returning to the Old City a few days later, I found anything written in English and black ink to have disappeared. The white pro-Jewish sentiments remained. And on the walls of the Old City? White out. Yes, some form of white out has been used on these historic walls to erase the graffiti. Again, anything in Hebrew was left. Cleaning up for the tourists? It seems that way.

Ok. The rest will be semi-updated in the following.

Coming Soon
More Ramla episodes.
Condi + Me
A famous journalists tries to remedy past errors
Prose/Poetry? Maybe.

Anything you want me to write about? Be brave and shout it out to the internet through a comment or contact me in the dark alleys of IM/e-mail as usual.

Check back tomorrow for Friday’s FAQs! Catch ya on the flip.


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