Journalists, Middle East experts, political talking heads (Congress/elected officials) speak extensively on the Israel / Palestine situation.Chrysanthemum

Let me reiterate that I just returned from my first trip to Israel, Palestine and Jordon, and the experience was exciting, informative, and disillusioning.

For two weeks I spoke to shopkeepers, hotel and restaurant workers, and cab drivers. The views expressed by the people with whom I had contact were quite shocking. The Palestinians – Muslims and Christians – are of the opinion that there will never be a Palestinian State. Many of them said that they have been waiting for sixty-five years and Statehood has not happened yet and it will never happen. Why not?

Their reasons for this belief are: Every day Palestine loses more and more land. Palestine is divided in two and no country can function split in two. It is not in the interest of the major-controlling powers to have a Palestine.Tulips

The people in Palestine – Muslims and Christians – are disillusioned and quite pessimistic about their future. The refugees I met in Jordon said there is a past, a pitiless present, and no future.

I left that region wondering how those people became so hopeless, how they became so pessimistic, and after sixty-five years, why are they still wandering the Middle East – refugees in the land of their birth.

Perhaps our ass-kissing, money hungry politicians can shed some light on the Palestinian situation, and the media can help them.

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Christians in Palestine

March 13, 2014

After I arrived in Israel I headed for Jerusalem. I wanted to see the holy places and spend as much time as possible where the Holy Prophets of God walked. After a few days in Jerusalem I ventured into Bethlehem (in Palestine) to see the Nativity and other places of Jesus and Mary.Lighthouse

When I got off the bus in Bethlehem the first thing I saw was a Christmas tree, perhaps 100 feet high. I was so shocked to see that Christmas tree – why? I don’t know. At the back of my mind, yes, there are Christians in the Middle East. However, I was ignorant of the fact that a million Palestinians are Christians and Arabs – a fact not ever mentioned in the American media.

The slant the American media put on the Palestine population leads people to believe that all Palestinians are Arabs and Muslims. It is always Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims. Never the forgotten Christians in Palestine!

I spoke to quite a few people in Bethlehem and their stories were the same. They need food, medicine, clothes for winter, wood and nails to repair their houses, and steady jobs. I met a woman from the Red Cross and she said a lot of Palestinians – Christians and Muslims – are very dependent on the food and especially the medicine they receive from the Red Cross.Hydrangeas

If I had not gone to Bethlehem I would not have known that so many Christians live in Palestine. I would not have heard about the plight of the Palestinian Christians. They are suffering just as much as any other people in refugee situations.

The people of Palestine are all Arabs – Muslims and Christians. The Palestinian Muslims get the media attention, while the Palestinian Christians suffer in silence.

There are over two billion Christians in the world. It is shocking to learn that the Palestinian/Arab/Christians are the forgotten siblings.

Israel, Palestine and Jordon: Exciting, informative and disillusioning.

I just returned from a trip to those holy and historic places. It started with Jerusalem. For most of my adult life I wanted to visit Jerusalem. Every time I said aloud that I wanted to go to Jerusalem my family and friends dissuaded me from such a foolish venture. It was not safe.

Finally, I told no one I was going and just went there. There was fear, but the way I saw it, if I was going to die there, then I would just die there.Desert

My daily itinerary was filled with historical facts and holy places – which is exactly what I wanted. There was also a lot of propaganda which one could dismiss, but also take seriously.

Jerusalem Old City was humbling. The places I visited include Masada and the Dead Sea. Many Roman archaeological sites. Yardenit – a popular baptismal sight on the Jordon River. Tiberias, the Golan Heights. Bethlehem, Petra, Amman, Wadi Rum (Lawrence of Arabia) among others.

Tulips

This trip taught me a lot about propaganda, refugee camps, hunger and starvation, medical needs, hope and a bright future, and loss of hope and a past but no future.

I hope to share these experiences in the days ahead.

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