Friday, 29 January 2010

Birthday by the dead sea

Yesterday was my birthday. One of my students Ibrahim, along with his brother and his friends, took me to the hills near the dead sea. They cooked up a great lunch of grilled chicken and tomatoes, bread, gherkins, and tea.

On one side we could see the dead sea and the hills of Jordan beyond. On the other side we could see the Israeli settlements. Even out in the hills there are reminders of conflict. We found part of an old Israeli missile, probably from the 1967 war. The hills were a major battleground between Israel and Jordan.

As we sat chatting and drinking tea into the night Ibrahim and his friends said that what we were doing is actually 'illegal'. If a group of Palestinians are found on the hills by Israeli soldiers they will most likely be searched and told to move on. Of course, the Israeli settlers are free to come to the hills and do as they like. Welcome to 21st century apartheid, Zionist-style.

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