Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Into Silwan

Continued from Previous posts:
Part 1: The Priestly Blessing
Part 2: The Yemenite Village
Part 3: Walking Through the City of David

Note: Click on the photographs below to see a larger image.

Walking through an Arab neighborhood is entirely different from walking though a Jewish one. First off, there is absolutely no planning. Since Israel captured East Jerusalem in 1967, there has been wall-to-wall refusal for local cooperation with the Zionist Entity. While the Arabs of East Jerusalem were, and still are, offered full Israeli citizenship, few took the state up on the offer. Anyone who worked with the Israeli government was marked as a collaborator and didn't last long. With Israeli civil servants afraid to enter East Jerusalem, building codes went unenforced, and city planning was all but impossible. The result was an organic, eclectic, third-worldish soup of structures arranged haphazardly on the hillside.

I recognize the logo on the sign as Clalit, one of Israel's major Health Service Providers. And there's no line! But I can't exactly read the rest. Israel still provides socialized health care to East Jerusalem.

Fading posters featuring candidates from last year's Palestinian parliamentary elections still cling to the walls, elections in which the terrorist Hamas gang defeated the terrorist Fatach gang to seize power.

Who will it be, gangster number one?

Or gangster number two?

One can't help but wonder how many of these guys are still alive, since the outbreak of an internal Palestinian civil war following the elections.

Walking along, one also finds ruins, ancient First Temple Period Jewish burial caves, between, often under, the haphazardly built housing.
Entrance to a burial cave, protected with a metal grate, which has been torn off

Alleyways built wide enough for a camel, or perhaps a compact car, are overloaded as semi-trailers push through crowds. It gives the streets a claustrophobic "Black Hawk Down" caginess. Staircases run up and down the hillside, and I have to step aside as a group of children ride a rusted refrigerator barreling down the stairs as a kind of snowless sled.
Steven in Main Street.

Looking down the alley. There's enough room for one-way traffic. Of course, there is no signage, so traffic moves in both directions, resulting in honking, shouting matches, and playing chicken with other motorists.

At last, we have arrived at the Jewish buildings. Coming up next!

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