Thursday, December 25, 2008

Images from Bethlehem

These images are graffiti from an artist in Bethlehem and was published in the German magazine der Spiegel, who has been
 painting walls and the sides of buildings for the past few years. Some of them have been instantly
 erased, while others, like these three, have been protected. 

The city of Bethlehem had a quiet Christmas, as opposed to the craziness being fomented between, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and Israel. With the truce off, both sides have begun to lob bombs back and forth at each other. Israel, showing both faces, threatens to send troops into Gaza to engage Hamas, yet just released 227 Palestinian prisoners.

The Middle East is becoming more weird and entangled in who are allies, and who are enemies. Iran is the only non-Arab state, yet its the most violently anti-Israeli, and is openly helping Hamas, by supporting it with over 250 million dollars in aid since 2006, to training young men in the handling of armaments, if they can sneak themselves into Iran.

Saudi Arabia and Egypt are finding themselves in the position of taking sides with Israel, and they are not liking it very much. Iran has responded by holding demonstrations calling for the assassination of Mubarak. They are government planned demonstrations, much like Bush held rallies and press conferences, but still, Egyptian leaders are uneasy. Lately, Syria has been called on to support its Arab brothers and not be soft towards the Iranian rhetoric, which led to the recent incursion over its border by the US, who looms over the area like a giant spider.

I remember back in the sixth grade learning about the Middle East, when my teacher told us, you know, these tribes have been fighting and cutting each other's throats for over 1500 years, and I don't think it will end anytime soon. That was over 45 years ago, and still holds true.

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