Happy days on the West Bank.

Trip Start Jul 16, 2009
Trip End Aug 04, 2009

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Where I stayed
With my friend Walid and his family

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Once we got to Bethlehem, we could sit back and not spend any more money.  My friend's father has a money changing shop in Bab-Ez-Kak, a famous intersection in Bethlehem, just down from where the Israelis blocked the Jerusalem road with a hideous wall.  We stayed there for a few days and got a taste of what things were like from the persepective of a Palestinian.  Our last to days were in a hotel, lest we wear out our welcome. 

In Palestine, everything is run at the behest of Israel.  When the settlements [read; colonies] need water, they get it, and no one bathes in Bethlehem.  That is not strictly true, however, as each house has a cistern and water system on the roof.  Thus, you can't just turn on the tap and expect it to be there, you have to plan.  It is kinda like being in a motor home or travel trailer on vacation.

Everything you could possibly buy comes thru Israel because it controls all of Palestine's crossings with Jordan and Egypt, and there are no airports.  F16s fly over every day, just so no one forgets whose in charge, like you could ever forget anything like that anyway.  They took over the place in 1967, the year I graduated high school, now that I am about to retire, you would think it would be time to let go!  Every Israeli I talked to said they prayed for peace, but when I asked about the land they stole, there was a stoney silence. 

They can't take away their happiness, however.  90% of the people I met in Palestine had smiles that were absolutely contageous, while that was hardly true in Israel.  I guess the guilty know who they are, without having to be told.  I just hate paying taxes for them is all.
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