Tuesday, January 10, 2012

An 1896 View Of Ottoman Jerusalem

Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan for this gem (St. John's pilgrims will recognize some of the streetscapes from their visits over a century later) as well as for the commentary of a Palestinian high school student, Jalal Abukhater, who lives in Jerusalem:
It is becoming a trend among influential GOP candidates to call out the Palestinian people as “invented” or even “non-existent." First we had Republican candidate Newt Gingrich calling the Palestinians an “invented people." Another rising star, Republican candidate Rick Santorum, has also said “There is no Palestine." But I won’t really bother to give any of them dimwits any more attention than they deserve. Their case is a hopeless miserable case after all.

On this occasion I’d like to share with you this, video footage taken in Palestine back in the year 1896. We see Palestinians; we see Jews, Christians, and Muslims living in peace. We see a Jewish man praying at the Western Wall without having to show IDs to any authority, unlike what we see in Jerusalem today. We see neighbors, friends, families, and a society just like that in Cairo or Damascus, as the commentator says. If we look today, we don’t see much of the same thing. Not so much freedom of religion, not so much freedom of life.

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