Wednesday, April 15, 2009

palestine/israel - meanderings

what a trip this has been...midway into my trip n my head is swimming. didn't think i'd ever realise this one big dream i had. ever since the seeds of peace camp last year, i'd been aching to come...to see for myself n understand the situation on the ground as it were...we had spent 3weeks discussing, arguing, crying over the conflict then...my journey here started as nastily as my worst fears...el al security went thru me n my baggage with the finest tooth comb...i just made it in time for the flight! i guess, travelling single with a videocam, big still cam n one instant cam with just an invitation letter wasn't enough :( they almost didn't let me carry my cams as cabin baggage...at which time i said i'd go home!...
mercifully, at tel aviv on arrival it was smooth...tho they tell me leaving will be another ordeal. but screw all that now...here i am in haifa, by the mediteranean sea...up on the hill!...its so quiet...not long ago, missiles rained in from lebanon.
before i got here, while i was reading up in bombay n seeing films...the two nation solution seemed most appropropriate...but now, after going around in jerusalem, ramallah, bethlehem n now haifa...n seeing how enmeshed, intertwined our past was, i think it is going to be v v difficult to try n divide, to demarcate n live...
the way forward seems to me to look at things that unite us, make us similar not things that divide us n polarise us...but obviously, easier said than done :(i mean, everywhere i go, places of worship are adjacent to each other n were historically looked after by all the communities involved...how does one divide a city like jerusalem?...at prophet samuel's tomb there are 3 separate enclosures under lock n key for devotees to pray! madness!!
how can you have a country that is divided in two parts separated by another country? will we ever be able to live as one?..like all religions supposedly profess.
at the end of the day, it is all about power...mighty dynasties and rulers have risen n fallen...man has done unspeakable unimaginable things to man...we know it n are horrified by it but we're unable to stop ourselves in the present. the wheel continues to be in spin...the present now will later be past...while we try to do our lil bit for history...the museum of the holocaust was the toughest so far...the closest i had been before this was alain resnais' "night and fog"...my blood curdled then, silencing me for a long time...but to see it all for real depressed me no end...the museum itself, designed to make it experiential...not allow you to forget, quite like resnais.
dates and events are of utmost importance to everything here...not as casual as my history class back in school. every conversation is marked by an event n the date it took place...2000yrs ago or 1948 or 1967 or 2002...with so much living in the past, i cannot imagine how we will even begin to look at how we want to live in the future.
there was a hymn we used to energetically sing in church when i was at school...
"i rejoiced when i heard them saying
let's go to the temple of the lord
and now, at last our feet are standing
within your gates, o jerusalem.

jerusalem, o mighty city
so strongly bulit
one united as_____
it is here where the tribes now gather
all the tribes to worship the lord

there are those who have eyes
but refuse to see
the inhumanity to men
there are those who have ears
but refuse to hear
cries of men in agony"

i suprised myself!...i sang it in my head after over 25years!!

3 comments:

pfizz said...

Isn't it crazy how we keep doing this to ourselves. We choose to get into a vicious cycle of hatred and battle. I agree, it's all a matter of power.

Deepshikha said...

What i am feeling looking at these pics and reading these words is something i cannot explain. Met an Isreali today at work.. weird feelings again.. i had questions.. quite a few of them, but I did not ask.. did not ask because i just knew in my heart that he did not want to be asked.
Anyway, make the most of this trip.. this is some place I would love to go. But like so many other wishes this shall with all probabilities remain a wish....

ajay noronha said...

hey d!...am back from what must be the most amazing trip i have ever been on. will post soon. meanwhile, ask ask...