How to Understand the Middle East in 2 Minutes
Things can change in the Middle East in a minute or a day
or as seen in the Arab Spring in Egypt and Syria…
one can never predict the timing of change.
Last week in Jerusalem a few things caught my attention
that you may have missed.
The media gave much attention to Palestinian hunger strikers,
but in the open area near the Israeli Supreme Court,
there was a tent for another hunger strike, by those who supported a law
against destroying the Ulpana houses of Beit El.
On Sunday MK Daniel Hershkowitz arrived with his security team.
First he chatted with the “settler activists” working in the tent
and had a discussion with MK Yaakov Katz, known as Katzeleh.
Then MK Hershkowitz, the Minister of Science and Technology,
sat and spoke to the crowd.
But on Wednesday, after talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,
he did not vote for the bill and thus kept his job as minister.
The politics involved are way too complicated for me to explain.
Also on Wednesday, at Ofer Military Prison,
there was another trial for Shchada Aved Shchada Shata.
He has been convicted of stealing the gun from Asher Palmer‘s body.
Shchada stopped his car, climbed down from the highway
to reach the site where the car had crashed and stole the dead man’s gun.
He is a 47-year-old father of eight with sick relatives,
who wants compassion from the court,
though he showed none at the time of the crime.
In contrast, a Israeli military court had previously permitted
Palmer supporters to hold photos of Asher and Yonatan,
the infant son who was in the car and also died in the crash
at the trial of those who threw the large rock from a moving car,
but not at this past Wednesday hearing.
Michael Palmer, the victims’ father and grandfather was allowed
to enter a written statement as a victim of terror.
Meanwhile back in Jerusalem,
the German flag was still flying after the visit of the
President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck.
President Gauck thinks the problem in the Middle East is the “settlers,”
wonder if he ever reads Khaled Abu Toameh?
As they were taking down the German and Israeli flags,
this Arab family was enjoying an outing in the park below,
near a memorial and wreath in memory of the bus bombing
on February 22, 2004 where 8 Jews were killed.
Understand the Middle East in 2 minutes?