Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Writing on the Wall

by Fred & Gloria Strickert

Photo Credits: from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, & a few from Maannews.                          Final two photos are ours.

A report "Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds," was recently released by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The report sees more hostile divisions within Israeli society between views of openness and exclusion.  It states, "At home Israel faces increasing social and political divisions between those who still cherish a vision" expressed by its 1948 founders versus "the growing demographic weight of the religiously conservative Haredim and settler movement."

While concerns about the influence of fundamentalism and extremism in the Muslim world is a major topic in the Western Media--and of which we are very much aware and concerned--the following are concerns that confront us daily in the local Israeli press, as can be seen in a selection of Haaretz photos below.

It's all in the daily news-- The Writing on the Wall.

Hebrew and Arabic are both official languages of the state of Israel.  Policy dictates that most road signs are written in both languages as also in English. So it is for the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheik Jarrah.
On the West Bank highway 60 north of Jerusalem, settlers have painted over the Arabic name for Jerusalem, not accepting their traditional name for the city "al-Quds" -- The Holy (city).

At another West Bank Junction, all Arabic names have been painted out, with the Hebrew word
 "Revenge" added.

..The Arabic name "Lifta" rubbed out from a commemorative sign, just as the village's Arab residents were expelled in 1948.
The writing on a wall from Lifta.
University of Haifa Logo.
Pre-2012 Logo (Left)        2012 Logo (Right)
What is missing in the newer version?
Sign in West Jerusalem store window: 
"Lehava hires only Jewish Workers" 
Beitar Soccer Riots--fans hold flag of banned racist Kach party at January game against team with Arab players.  Fans take out loss by beating up Arab workers in Malha Mall across the street from Teddy Stadium on March 23, 2012 (lower left).  Israelis (right) in solidarity with Arab workers demonstrate against fans "Jerusalem is for all people"
May 23, 2012 violent demonstration against African Migrants in Tel Aviv.
October 14, 2012 Sudanese demonstration protesting their removal to large tent detention camps in the Negev Desert.  "We are refuges from war!" 
Demonstration:     "The land of Israel for the people of Israel"  Oct. 23, 2012.

From "Please" to "Strictly Forbidden"

"Separate is not equal"     Protests by Israeli women
"No to women exclusion" -- Israeli women protest against a ban against photos of women in advertisements on public transportation.
The Writing on the Wall
Graffiti and "Price tag" attacks carried out in name of Settler Movement
against schools, churches, & mosques  
Mosque attacks -- Price tag Graffiti      derogatory to Muslims and the Prophet Muhammed--at numerous mosques over the last year                 .

Jab'a Mosque fire June 12, 2012  Graffiti "Ulpana War"

Beit Safafa Hand in Hand Bilingual School for Muslims, Christians, and Jews.                          Price Tag Graffiti "Death to the Arabs" --          February 6, 2012.

 Price Tag Graffiti "Death to the Arabs" at bilingual school for Israeli Jews and Muslims in the intentionally integrated village Neve Shalom, with tires of 14 cars slashed on June 8, 2012.

Latrun Monastery Price Tag Attack September 3, 2012 with doors set afire and Graffiti "Jesus is a Monkey"
Monastery of the Cross Price Tag Attack -- February 6, 2012
Price tag attack at Jerusalem Narkis Street Baptist Church with Graffiti "Death to Christianity" & "Mary was a Prostitute" -- February 20, 2012
Price Tag Graffiti on Dormition Church outside Zion Gate,- Old City: "Jesus is a Son of a Bitch"  October 2, 2012
Dec. 12, 2012 Monastery of the Cross -- Graffiti:  "Happy Hanukkah, Price Tag, Victory for the Maccabees, Jesus was a Son of a Bitch."
The Writing on the Wall-- from the Daily News
Below is the writing on our LWF Fence

This is a photo we took when we arrived home after church on Oct. 21, a notice posted on the Lutheran World Federation fence where we live.  It is an announcement from the Jerusalem Municipality that plans are moving ahead to build an eight story IDF War College on land adjacent to LWF property just a few meters from our house.  This is viewed as one more provocation since it will be built in East Jerusalem on land expropriated from Palestinians.
Here are links to a couple of reports at earlier stages here  and here and here
The notice gives people 60 days to express any opposition to the plan--which has of course been done by numerous parties from Israeli human rights groups to NGOs to Church leaders.  With the announcement this week of construction of more illegal settlements in the E-1 corridor on the East Side of LWF property, it does not look promising.
                The Writing on the Wall

Writing on the wall of a house in Hebron 
by Fred & Gloria Strickert