Bethlehem : conflict and peace

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Visiting Bethlehem was a gentle encounter with the muslim and christian arab population and also a submersion in the hard reality of the Israelian-Palestinian conflict in the walled prison of Bethlehem. Where 13 year boys are being accidently shot, young men throw stones in protest, tear gas in response. We smelled the gas and saw it falling down a few meters from us. We saw houses with bulletholes, commemoration photos with bulletholes, tear gas still hanging in nets above playgrounds for kids, … many many signs of the very painful confrontation. We also heard of the sadness of young Israel, who is sacrificed in 2 to 3 years armed military service.

So much suffering that goes on while the society grows to more and more of Apartheid between Muslims and Jews, even if a majority wants peace, and both religions that says “thou shall not kill”.

 

But also so much openness in the eyes and hands of our guests, no feeling of being under threat by locals, even in the neighborhoud of the armed walls.

After Bethlehem, we still had the occasion to stay over at our friend Efrat and try to understand more of these very intense 20 days of Israel/Palestine submersion.

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