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Walls, checkpoints can’t give Middle East security
Sep 22nd, 2013 by Warren Swil

Only compromise can end

perpetual violent stalemate

The modern, suburban Israeli community of Efrat clings to the hillside between Bethlehem and Hebron, four miles east of the Green Line. Click image to enlarge. © SGE, Inc.

THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT that in the Middle East security is paramount. But, sometimes, it is also futile.
It is totally understandable that in Israel, tight security checks at every public place have become a way of life. Residents don’t seem to notice; visitors, unaccustomed to it, hardly can not notice.
On two occasions during my recent 10-day visit to the region, security was both overwhelming and, seemingly, futile.
The first was on a trip deep into the so-called “occupied territory” where Israeli residents have established residential communities surrounded by Palestinians. My trip was to the environs of Bethlehem, near the large Israeli community of Efrat.
The second was on my trip to the West Bank, crossing the border on the main road from Jerusalem to Ramallah, capital of the Palestinian National Authority.


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EYEWITNESS TO HISTORY: Old Jerusalem inspiring even to non-believers

COSMIC ENERGY AT WESTERN WALL IS POWERFUL
JERUSALEM – One does not need to be religious – Christian, Muslim or Jewish – to feel the cosmic energy at the Western Wall, from where one can see the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
It is a “holy place” in the broadest sense of the word.
The frequency of the vibe is unmistakable: it is so intense.
The headlines are bad enough today to make one feel glum. But a visit to the Western Wall is sufficient to restore one’s faith in the human spirit, and return, refreshed, invigorated, and ready to participate fully in what we call the human experience.


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EYEWITNESS TO HISTORY: The view of Syria from Jerusalem

ISRAEL CALM ON EVE OF MOMENTOUS DEBATE IN CONGRESS
JERUSALEM – It is a balmy summer’s night in this biblical city, steeped in history both ancient and modern.
There is not a hint of tension in the air, even though in a few hours, a momentous debate begins in the U.S. Congress that could have serious personal repercussions for all the 800,000 residents of this city, founded 3,000 BC.
“It’s very complicated,” my host told me minutes after my arrival.
That’s not an understatement. There is no simple solution to anything concerning the Middle East, crucible of history and cradle of Western civilization.

Blogger’s note: This is the first of an ongoing series “Eyewitness to history” in which we will bring to readers views from across the Atlantic where the debate raging in America will play out in real time with real consequences.


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