ahavat hadasa - gila beshari
An African man gestures after his car was damaged by an Israeli mob following a rightwing rally in Israel’s capital Tel Aviv against African refugees who have settled there, on May 23, 2012. Among the speakers were Knesset Members Miri Regev — a member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud Party — who called the refugees “a cancer in our body” and Danny Danon — also Likud — who wrote on his Facebook page after the event referring to the Africans as “infiltrators”. Interior Minister Eli Yishai said the African asylum seekers threaten “the Zionist dream,” adding, “Jobs will root them here.” (Photos: AP / Getty Images)
Elo Hi (Kol haneshama) - Ofra Haza
I saw the Israeli movie walk on water last night. not sure how to feel about it yet.
JERUSALEM (AP) — After decades of shying away from an ancient pilgrimage route, Muslims are visiting Jerusalem to pray at Islam’s third-holiest site, the revered Al-Aqsa mosque.
In doing so, they find themselves caught in a disagreement between some leading Muslim clerics, who oppose such pilgrimages, and Palestinian leaders who encourage them as evidence of the city’s Muslim credentials.
Palestinians say the only Arab visitors have been officials from Arab countries that have peace treaties with Israel. Recent trips here by a top Egyptian cleric and a Jordanian prince sparked angry backlashes in their home countries.
The vast majority of the pilgrims are from non-Arab countries like South Africa, Malaysia and India, where the stigma of visiting Israeli-controlled areas isn’t as powerful.
“Jerusalem is a beautiful place,” said Ali Akbar, 51, a Shiite Muslim who was visiting recently with a group of 40 pilgrims from Mumbai, India. “All Muslims should try to come to Jerusalem and pray and seek the blessings of Allah, the almighty,” Akbar said.
Muslim pilgrims began trickling back beginning around 2008 as violence between Israel and the Palestinians petered out. Palestinian tour guides, hotel operators and religious officials also attribute the increasing numbers to easier travel and rising Muslim middle classes in Asia and Western countries that can afford tickets to the Holy Land.
While Islam’s birthplace is in the Arabian peninsula, Jerusalem is intimately tied with Islam’s beginnings. Muhammad’s first followers prayed toward Al-Aqsa and only later turned their prayers east to Mecca.
For centuries, Muslim pilgrims visited Jerusalem while on their way to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, now in Saudi Arabia. Many Muslims believe visiting Jerusalem deepens the sanctity of their pilgrimage.
But that pilgrimage route was abruptly halted after Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. East Jerusalem is home to the hilltop compound housing both Al-Aqsa and the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.Bit long but worth reading in entirety.Wondering someone’s family member remembers their visit to Jerusalem before 1967.
This is actually something I took into great consideration in my time working in the West Bank. As a US and Moroccan national, I had the privilege of visiting Al-Aqsa as a foreigner and to appreciate a holy pilgrimage site. While many Muslim nationalities would not be barred from making pilgrimage, the security treatment of course is rough, but there also lies a degree of stigma within the community that regularly visits Al-Aqsa, which is a fairly homogeneous, East Jerusalemite one (not counting those visitors who are Muslims residing in Northern Israel). While I did manage to make friends among those older Muslims that are generally able to enter the Al-Aqsa with less security issues, its not particularly common to have a non-Palestinian Muslim walking into these mosques. I frequently visited with Afghan, Turkish and Kazakh friends and we all attracted a bit of attention.
You also have to factor in that many Palestinians residing within Israel proper have a difficult time getting into Al-Aqsa or even the Old City. On Fridays, security details set up checkpoints at every door of the Old City and swarm within the labyrinth as well. Generally older people get in with less issues and sometimes they delay visitors so that they do not make it prayer on time. Once given access into the Old City, it is still likely that you are stopped by IDF for questioning as well. Many Palestinians who live in Jerusalem do not go there often. Even though Muslims have a separate entrance to Al-Aqsa there are quite a few obstacles in the way.
Mi Li Yiten (Who Will Give Me) - Ofra Haza, 1978
I’ve been obsessed with her music for the past 2 weeks.
Neshikot Bayam (Kisses At Sea) - Ofra Haza, 1978
Ofra Haza - Im Titnu Li Kos Yayin Lehavdala
Yerushalayim Shel Zahav - Ofra Haza (Live)
Ofra Haza- Im Nin’Alu