by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
I had some friends to visit in East Talpiot, a Jerusalem neighborhood on Friday. East Talpiot is on the south-east edge of the city. Being that Jerusalem is surrounded by land euphemistically called “the West Bank”, one can only get to East Talpiot from outside of Jerusalem by either travelling to Jerusalem and then completely through Jerusalem, a time consuming traffic ridden path, or by travelling through a West Bank bypass.
(Photo – East Talpiot residential towers.)
The best route to Talpiot is by Derech Hevron (the Hebron road), travelling past Beitar Illit, hang a left by Bethlehem’s outskirts and enter Jerusalem by Gilo. Wave at Kever Rochel as you pass near by and you’re at Talpiot…a traffic free route.
For the first time since I’ve been in Israel the past several years, I chose to travel to southern Jerusalem through the main route. Frankly, I didn’t want to take a chance of getting shot. While normally I won’t let the very small risk of an attack deter me from visiting parts of Israel (for example I drive right to the Marat HaMachpelah in Hebron – the Cave of the Patriarchs) and I’m not willing to concede Israel and by scared off by the Arabs over the occasional threat, when Hamas is out to make a point over my dead body and Israel has been pressured to remove all security checkpoints the situation has changed.
East Talpiot is a seam line neighborhood. The next hill in the distance is an Arab neighborhood, formerly an Arab village, that’s been incorporated into Jerusalem. The next hill after that (the tan one in the distance) is the West Bank.
This is the reality of Jerusalem. One hill is “Jewish”, a small valley equal to a few city blocks, and then it’s “Arab”. In the picture below you see the edge of the current neighborhood, a row of apartment buildings being built below the road, a small field and then the start of the Arab neighborhood. The valley itself (in the picture above) is scheduled to host a new public school building.
One of the particularly interesting buildings in the area is the United States Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. Most will note that the United States doesn’t have an embassy in Jerusalem! By order of Congress the facility was built, by order of the President the embassy doesn’t move here every year (so as not to be in Jerusalem).
I returned home the same way, the long way out of Jerusalem. NOW THAT THE PLO or ARAB or HAMAS or whatever terrorists suddenly seem highly equipped with automatic weapons and night vision, and trained in their use, the safety of doing so isn’t worth it.
AND WHERE did they get automatic weapons, night vision, and training?
The weapons were bought and paid for by the United States of America. The training provided by the United States of America… "I am a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and a first sergeant in Palestinian General Intelligence," Abu Nijmeh, now 36, told The Chronicle from his temporary home in Rome. "I personally received a course in antiterrorism and VIP protection. "I was not alone. Many Palestinian security people were trained by the Americans. We hope they will continue helping us." - February 14, 2005"