Summer Travels 2011…(16) – The Knesset and avoiding work again…

First of all, I think this blog is in danger of becoming a vent for me and my enduring frustration with this workshop I’m on, so I’m going to try my hardest to limit any negative outbursts. Save for this – if this was a job, I’d have quit, and I don’t know why I am still here. Something about reputation maybe, something about not being used to being a ‘quitter’…but at the end of the day, I just want to be on my way…

So to make my days bearable, as I mentioned previously, I’ve been trying to do something interesting every day. Yesterday, this was a trip over to West Jerusalem for the early tour at the Knesset – the Israeli parliament. It was interesting to learn from my guide Hanna (phelgm the ‘H’ and you’ll get the pronunciation right…) that Israel doesn’t actually have a constitution…interesting, given the state’s often-toted claim to ‘legality’. Rather, all its laws are tied back to the Declaration of Independence in 1948, and the things written in it. The ongoing 63-year old debate about a constitution is basically held back by the argument of whether Israel should be a religious state (i.e. Jewish), or a secular state. Having been here a while now, its difficult to see this arguement ever being resolved. Teh attention is often on Palestine and the barriers facing it in becoming a legitimate state – but with no constitution, even my limited knowledge of international law makes me question legality here also…

Take a look at the following video, especially the subtitles, and you’ll get an idea of the severely pro-israeli spiel levelled at me on the tour…things like “Israel, Masada shall never fall again” (Bill Clinton), and “Children of Israel, America is, always, by your side” (George W Bush). Most worryingly, from a face I do not recognise, “There will never be a Palestinian state”…

In other news, on my walk to work today I saw a LOT of police and soldiers…its Friday, the muslim ‘day off’ and teh policemen we asked said that there’s usually trouble on this day during Ramadan. Police and soldiers sit on corners and sidewalks where you wouldn’t normally find them…

This is coupled with a number of jews walking around with their private armed body guards – just like I saw in Hebron, but until now not seen here in Jerusalem…

I tried to walk to the wall today also…you can see it in this video…as I’ve been looking at it for the last few days. I was stopped a good way from the top of a nearby hill (which had a park on top for which I was headed), and when I asked if I could go to the park, I was given the simple answer “you cant”. Asking for a reason, I was again simply told “you cant”.

Anyway, looks like I might be able to get a lift back to the old city, so I’d better go. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day….


1 Comment

Filed under Real World, Summer 2011, Thoughts

One response to “Summer Travels 2011…(16) – The Knesset and avoiding work again…

  1. Pingback: Summer Travels 2011…(17) – Going to the Wall… | Sam's Sketchbook

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