The Wall


26 March 2006
This one is for Matt and John Harty. The Berlin Wall was torn down a year before I first traveled to Eastern Europe. Evidently, the Israelis are ponying up for round two. The wall is designed to separate the Jewish and Palestinian sections of Jerusalem and to help prevent acts of violence. Considering that the Palestinians just elected a new Hamas-controlled government a few weeks ago and the Israelis are having their elections in a few days, this is a very interesting time to be in this part of the world. As we walked outside the Old City today we noticed an increase in military personnel at the different entrances. It is always odd to see 19- and 20-year old men and women (military service is compulsory for both men and women in Israel) toting the shortened version of the U.S.-made M16 in public places. We’ll just pray that no one gives them a reason to use them.

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