Thursday, August 03, 2006

All Quiet Today

There were no more demonstrations at post today, though there was a massive one last night. That was the huge one staged by the folks protesting the withdrawal from Gaza a year ago, and because they marched from Independence Park to the Western Wall, most of the roads in town were closed off. I missed a dinner for a co-worker's 30th birthday because there was just no way to get into town.

There are supposed to be some more protests and demonstrations throughout the week as the Israelis commemorate the destruction of the 1st and 2nd temples, some of them by going up onto the Temple Mount, also known as the Al Aqsa Mosque. Some Palestinians, in turn, have threatened to protest their presence there. Remember that Ariel Sharon going onto Al Aqsa helped start the second Intifada (at least according to the press, never mind that Arafat's security chief gave him clearance and Arafat had been planning the intifada for months and was just waiting for the right moment to declare it...but anyway). And the Israeli protestors are saying that this is proof that they will not give up a millimeter of dirt of the Old City. Sigh.

So because of all of this, we have been warned to stay out of the Old City and away from Salah Eddin Street on the east side until after Saturday. I pointed out that Post 2 is right between the two...the Old City is one block one way and Salah Eddin is one block the other, but they didn't buy my argument that this meant we should get the rest of the week off. Can't blame me for trying!

Sometimes I think both sides would rather see Jerusalem destroyed than in the hands of the other. Where is King Solomon when you need him?

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