Saturday, 23 November 2013

From the hills - thence cometh conflict

We drive back from Bethlehem, up towards Jerusalem, past Jewish settlements on hilltops. These settlements command the valleys from where Bedouin villagers have been moved. We see the Bedouins - they are preparing for winter.
Who funds the new settlements? Why? The guide points out a couple of caravans/sheds on a hill. This is the first outpost, he says. Building will follow soon. We pass slopes covered with the stumps of olive trees: these were cut down by Israelis, he said, as part of the settlement process. There is constant tension between Bedouins and settlers. 

My only point of reference at the moment is an (excellent) Lonely Planet Guide.
"Some 296,700 Israeli settlers currently live in more than 100 Jewish settlements in the West Bank....There are a variety of reasons cited by settlers for their choice to live on the West Bank, most commonly, cheaper housing prices than in Israel and, among the religious, the fulfilment of biblical prophecy and an extension of the will of God.
Under most interpretations of international law, which forbids the transfer of civilians to land under military occupation, all Israeli settlements on the West Bank are illegal."

Reading and watching

  • Foot by Foot to Santiago de Compostela/Judy Foot
  • The Testament of Mary with Fiona Shaw at the Barbican
  • The Testament of Mary/Colm Toibin
  • Schwanengesang/Schubert - Tony Spence
  • Journals/Robert Falcon Scott
  • Fugitive Pieces/Ann Michaels
  • Unless/Carol Shields
  • Faust/Royal Opera House
  • The Art of Travel/Alain de Botton
  • Mad Men Series 6
  • A Week at The Airport/Alain de Botton
  • The Railway Man/Eric Lomax
  • Bright Lights, Big City/Jay McInerney
  • Stones of Venice/John Ruskin
  • The Sea, the Sea/Iris Murdoch
  • Childe Harold/Lord Byron
  • All The Pretty Horses/Cormac McCarthy
  • Extreme Rambling/Mark Thomas
  • Story of my Life/Jay McInerney
  • Venice Observed/Mary McCarthy