It wasn’t the soaring arches or the elegant windows, with their curved caps. It wasn’t that the first room of the house was built in 1808. It wasn’t the jasmine that, like a woman letting down her hair, released its heavy perfume at night. It wasn’t the olive, loquat, lemon, almond, and apricot trees that filled the garden. Nor was it that the fruit from that garden seemed sweeter here in Bethlehem than it was in Jerusalem. The apartment’s biggest selling point, in my landlady’s opinion? The well. She showed it to me the first time I saw the place,…Read More... | 18 Comments
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank who are normally barred from entering Israel got a glimpse of freedom during Ramadan as single entry permits were issued more liberally. Many also infiltrated without being caught. What does that tell us about Israel's security rationale regarding its permit regime and resumed construction of the wall? Frankly, it's quite hard to believe just how many Palestinians from the West Bank got the unique chance to visit Israel over Ramadan. Some went through the checkpoints with permits valid for just one of the holiday's Fridays. Haaretz reports that 300,000 entered Israeli…Read More... | 26 Comments
by Porter Speakman, Jr. Bethlehem, West Bank - Thursday, June 30, 2011. I set my alarm for 4:45 AM and headed out of Jerusalem to take some video at the Bethlehem checkpoint for an upcoming project. Jerusalem was still very quite, a stark difference for what was awaiting in the nearby Palestinian Bethlehem. As I crossed over into the city you could hear the voices of thousands of people lined up both in the terminal and awaiting access. This is morning “rush hour” in Bethlehem Checkpoint. Thousands of Palestinians who live in Bethlehem and work in Jerusalem and other Israeli…Read More... | 11 Comments
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