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church, wine and walls

March 7, 2013

This morning I went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre before breakfast. It was an exerciseCOHS in constantly reminding myself that these are   people too, imperfect people just like me. But mostly people all around me appeared to be having these Holy experiences whilst I was thinking if Jesus were here he’d be walking past the church door. I could see 15-20 priests from all these denominations yelling at Him, “Hey Messiah, come in, we have encased the rock where we think you were laid down on in glass, and every morning we sing songs around it and burn incense” and Jesus just shrugging his shoulders as he walked past “Sorry mate, some of my people out here are dealing with some heavy shit and I gotta go help them. Enjoy your service.”

After breakfast, Miranda, Jasmine and I went to Crimeson Monastery where the wall is going to split the 200 year old institution in half. The nuns in the Palestinian school on one side, the mokns with their lucrative wine making on the other. Now the motive for this wall is proclaimed as security. Now all long conversations about what security actually means aside, the idea is supposed to be that it will stop “terrorist” attacks from the Palestinan side on the Israeli side. The Israeli government has spent billions of dollars on this wall and check points. On the way back from the monastery a “Zone A” area (I don’t know what that means for me, but if you’re a Palestinain in that area, it means you can’t really go anywhere else with the certainity that they’ll let you get back home). The Palesitnian dominated bus stops, a soldier gets on and walks around, everyone holds up their passes (or passports) and then we get waived through. Billions of dollars, destroying the livelihoods and lives of countless innocent Palestinains and I could just about have had a nuclear warhead under my jacket and old mate soldier would have been clueless.

The truth is, even the Israeli State does not want to completely stop (or can’t?) the flow of people between the imaginary borders of Israel and Palestine. Israel would not have the labour to function without the Palestinans and the risk of terrorism is so low, that very few are going to be searched or checked on the border. If the passes of the Palestinians on the bus had not said “Jerusalem”, then they would have been hauled off and oppressed, but the Israel government knows it CAN NOT HOPE to stop people from moving around the area in this way. Hence, the wall does pretty much nothing to help “security” of Israel.

So why build the wall (which one could argue actually causes resentment, creates unemployment and thus decreases security for Israel)?Stinking_wall

A man at the Monastery told us a story about a very, very lucrative wine that the monks used to make. It was highly lucrative, under high demand and apparently, a pretty high class way to get drunk off of your tits. The Israeli government banned the monks from using a certain kind of fertiliser that they needed to grow the grapes to make the wine, in case the monks decided to build a bomb from the fertiliser. Now with the wall going through the land, Israeli settlers are growing the same grapes, using the fertiliser and selling the wine under the old label. The manager at the monestary, for legal reasons, requested we take no photos, and I have respected this. But the Israelis not ony stole the land, but the ECONOMIC activity that the bomb wielding monks on the land conducted.

This highlights the reason for the wall. It is a land grab, a ploy to steal money and resources from the Palestine State. People suffer, lose their livelihoods and identities, so the already very wealthy state can gain more. This, to me, is economic violence and oppression in one of its most deviant forms.

Tonight the rest of the team got here, Glen was detained at the airport for an hour- but that’s his story and the link to his blog will follow shortly,

Peace upon the earth someday soon I hope,


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  1. Jim permalink

    Great commentary Greg. Looking forward to every day’s report. Very sad how the Israelis get away with their cruel, brutal treatment of the Palestinians and traditional Christians.

  2. Jono Dredge permalink

    Just read most of your posts Greg and just wanted to send support your way, keep up the fantastic journey your on and I’ll def be following vicariously in your footsteps from the safety of my lounge room… 🙂 (Jono from swanny)

  3. loving reading your impressions Greg – i can imagine what is stirring in your heart

I would be honored if you espoused your narrative here.....

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