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The Magic of Light

There is a lot of hot conversation going on over whose land this is.

But I think the lighting is beautiful. This is a view from my room at Christ Church Hostel, along the top of a section of David's Gate, Jerusalem Old City. The flags are Israeli Star of David [national flag], no wind at the moment. David's Gate is actually a series of large thick stone walls between which there were once moats filled with muddy water; there were sets of bridges across the moats which had iron up-and-down retractable gates on each end.

Today the working part of the Gate is a narrow portal which you get to by driving up a long sloping embankment outside the Old City walls --- a road which is under full videocam surveillance by the army; it opens onto a big plaza in front of a large police station. Army, city police, Special Forces, even Israeli Navy troops are stationed there and frequently stop traffic, empty cars one by one, open the bonnets and the trunks, search people for bombs after checking their identity cards. This causes long lines to form, running back down the hill.

It's because the plaza here is at one end of the Arabic street markets: tourists, Christians, Christian Arabs, honest and dishonest moneychangers, Palestinian sympathizers, Franciscan Brothers, Conservative Islamics, diplomats, all mingling together uneasily.

But it's still beautiful when it's late [pic is about two in the morning] and a little quieter.


Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
elvenforever
Nov. 8th, 2008 04:11 am (UTC)
It is beautiful. And somehow appropriate, given that Israel was birthed in blood and possessed its territory by mercilessly killing the current occupants. King David, who cried out to the Lord, "Blessed is the Lord my God Who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight." How the sword never departed from his house after he committed serious sins. The Torah would be rated R if it were made into a movie.

So that present day Israel is crawling with guns and tanks and scariness...seems so fitting. Sad, but fitting.
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