Jerusalem Political and Religious

Trip Start Jun 11, 2013
Trip End Jun 21, 2013

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Flag of Israel  , Jerusalem,
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wow! What a day. We started with a visit to the Temple Mount. Should I tell you the story behind it? Perhaps in a moment. At the mount is the Dome of the Rock. This is the third most religious site for Muslims in the world after Mecca and Medina (Saudi Arabia). This is where they believe Muhammad ascended to heaven 1400 years ago. Why here? So glad you asked.
Many believe this is the spot where Abraham prepared to...yes.... Do you remember this depressing story?...sacrifice his favorite son Isaac. Muslims believe he was going to sacrifice his older son Ishmael.
At this spot, Solomon (King David's son) built a temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians. Zerubabbel 500BC rebuilt the temple and it was destroyed again by the Romans in 70 AD. The only remains of it are now what we call The Wailing Wall (or Western Wall). This is the holiest site in the world for Jews. They are literally a stone's throw from each other.
The Temple Mount is also the place that the bible mandates that the third and final temple be built. You do the math.

Tomorrow we will walk the stations of the cross that Jesus walked with his cross on his back as he walked to his crucifixion spot. Holy to Christians. Why does everything happen in Jerusalem? Well, it is supposedly the place on Earth closest to Heaven. Jews believe that the dust to make the first man came from the Temple Mount.

All in a tiny little area. Should be a symbol of how we can all get along and respect each other.

Moving on. We met with a professor and a demographer. They both talked about Palestinian advocacy. Then we took a Political Tour (icahd) of Jerusalem. It's hard to process and to put in to words, but here is what I think you need to know: equality. Palestinians are not treated equally. Look into it for yourself. Don't take my word for it.

But what can we do?
not allow inequality.
***updated for Dawson****
We can petition, protest, donate, TEACH and LEARN. that's the first steps to not allowing inequality.
Recommended: Zite app. You pick the news stories you would like to be updated on. I picked Israel and Palestine.
I found a Palestinian advocacy group here in Austin called Palestine Solidarity Committee.
I am reaching out to them today and attending a meeting Thursday at the UT campus.
Next year with our Model UN club we can continue this exploration of human rights and invite guest speakers?
What more would you like to do Dawson?

I have learned a lot. I hope you have too.
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Dawson Highland on

"But what can we do? not allow inequality." Bit of a cop out, don't you think? What can we do about not allowing inequality? Protest. Petition. Donate. Advocate. Any other ideas?

Dawson Highland on

P.S. Am I the only one who actually checks these?

Mrs B on

Yes, Dawson. I think you are the only one checking. You will win all the holy prizes then! :-)
You are right. All of the people I met this week are risking their lives and prosperity to get this message of inequality out. I think most people don't want to look at this situation because it is ugly and complicated, confusing. It is easier to just say, oh it will be taken care of. But I don't think it will. More on this in my final post. Thanks for reading.

Tanis Adams on

I didn't know that Muslim's believe that the sacrifice was Ishmael...I have a fascinating book that was actually a round table discussion group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders on Genesis. It was totally fascinating to hear a calm presentation about the differences. Bill Moyers from PBS was the moderator. So amazed by all that you have learned. Life changing.

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