Tony Blair has a multi million penthouse apartment that he rents for free in East Jerusalem. I saw it – Murads not even allowed to come to Jerusalem. No one who lives in the West Bank is, unless they own one of the hard to get permits I mentioned earlier. Its like me needing permission to visit london.
Jerusalem (East) is as you would expect it to be – tourists, religious places of interest, sight seeing, crap selling blah. The tourism and globalism here makes it more relaxed in its attitudes to drinking and clothing, despite the religious significance of the city. In the old town/holy basin which is a busy Palestinian neighbourhood, Israeli settlers live in homes above the market taken from Palestinians now flagged up and fenced off. Below mesh is in place to stop settlers throwing waste down on the Palestinians. markets there are Israeli homes.
Christianity s big here: Christian churches, people kissing quote unquote sacred stones and Jesus’s tomb all being photographed and selfied in front of by christian tourists. Other than its just Palestinians (Muslim or Christian?) and the occasional hurrying Orthodox Jew.
We tried to get to the Al Aqsa mosque and dome on the rock but it was muslims only after 4pm and being white and non muslim looking we were turned away by Israeli police. They control who goes in and out here. It was interesting and maybe kind of nice to see israelis help enforce the Muslim only after 4pm rule. Was also good to see some soldiers and locals getting on. Saw another soldier help a blind man into the square too which was nice. In the rush to cry dehumanization you can easily find yourself guilty of doing the same thing.