Monday, July 21, 2008

Talking about Jerusalem

Not all the Jews visiting Israel this summer are on Zionist youth programmes. Some are rebuilding demolished Palestinian homes

Seth Freedman, Monday July 21, 2008

"Summer in Jerusalem means a massive influx of tourists from around the world, including hundreds of participants in Zionist youth programmes. The streets of the Old City and the town centre are flooded with camera-wielding American and European teens, drinking in the milk and honey narrative served up by their guides......

On the eastern side of town, another group of internationals are finding their feet during their first trip to the Holy Land, but in very different circumstances. They are taking part in ICAHD's sixth Summer Rebuilding Camp, in which volunteers join local Palestinians to reconstruct a family home demolished by the Israeli authorities. In the space of two weeks, they will build the house from scratch, which is a enormous boost for the homeless residents in question, but has a far wider reaching impact. By bringing the discriminatory demolition policies of the Israeli government to the attention of the outside world, a light is shone on one of the cruellest aspects of the conflict........"

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