Busy day! First stop the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock. We met with the Imam of the Al Aqsa Mosque, Abu Sneineh, to hear his side of the story. Next stop the Wailing Wall, where we saw Morgan Freeman (a natural place to find the guy who played God). Then we walked most of the Via Dolorosa, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Our lunch speaker was Susan Silverman, a liberal Rabbi, to get her perspective on the issues. She was both interesting and entertaining, even dropped a BS and an F-bomb, but what should you expect from Sarah Silverman’s sister?
It started raining at lunch so our trip to the Mt. of Olives was damp, but still a great view of the city.
Our evening speaker was a Christian Arab, Dr. Salim J Munayer, born in a family that had lived in what is now Israel for a few centuries, and whose property was confiscated by Israel at the end of the 1947 war.
My head is spinning with the many viewpoints and opinions we have encountered in our first few days here. Any thought of simple, straightforward solutions to the ongoing problems seems naive.
Finally, a couple of jokes from Aziz, one of our tour leaders, and an Arab Muslim by birth: Palestinian pickup lines, “I hear the Israelis demolished your home, would you like to move in with me?”, “Your beauty is as undefinable as the Israel border”, and “Once you have gone Palestinian, you have no right of return.”