Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The next day

It seems like all we did was eat, the night before we had an amazing spread of salads and vegetables prepared a million different ways. We were all amazed and couldn’t slurp down enough avacadoes or tomatoes, this morning we sat in front of the exact same meal for breakfast.

We went to the Supreme Court after breakfast, I guess the most notible thing was they don’t have a constitution. They rule according to three basic laws and can even borrow from international precident and make it domestic law. The smell was terrible, and Column made some stupid remarks about waterboarding. The whole group was pretty suspicious of the tours motives and everyone was pretty critical. This was just the start.

After that we went to the Knesset, and took a quick tour. The only real stand out was the how they boast about transparency by recording the proceedings of the house and broadcasting it. Only trouble was its only available in Hebrew and not their other official language, Arabic. They do have some charming tendancies not to repair things or make them ornate. If this is done people criticize them for wasting money. So the PMO looks like a bit of a factory.

We met with some foreign journalists maybe 100 feet from the 1949 green line. We spoke of terrorists that they knew or conversations they had with Arafat on what is the frontier of perhaps the world’s greatest source of tension.

Behind the walls of the old city we grabbed lunch. These walls were erected by the Ottomans in the 1600’s and housed perhaps more history than any other place on earth. We started a tour through the Jewish Quarter, which really was only to find a vantage point for three of the world’s holiest sites. From a lookout point we watched as the holiest site in Judaism, the Western Wall or “Kotel”, propped up the third holiest site in Islam “the Dome of the Rock”. Somewhere the Church of the Holy Sepuchre sat politiely, largely escaping the centuries old conflict.

The trip through the Muslim Quarter deserves a post in of it self as does the Kotel, Via Dela Rosa and C.O.T.H.S. But still despite perhaps one of the world’s greatest eyefuls, I still felt nothing, beyond an perplexing sense of disbelief that these sites were so close to each other, all swarming with devotees all exuding some great sense of holiness that I had yet to feel.


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