By Jamie Tarabay
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Extra info for A Crazy Occupation: Eyewitness to the Intifada
Another was the plight of Palestinians, who became refugees after two wars, and their descendants, now numbering four million. The borders and territorial continuity were the third and fourth points. Most Israelis were shocked that Barak raised the prospect of dividing Jerusalem during the Camp David talks, and they were even more shocked when the offer was rejected. Meanwhile, a battle was playing out among the hardliners. Benjamin Netanyahu and his old foe, right-wing politician Ariel Sharon, were squaring off in the lead-up to the vote for the top job in their conservative Likud Party.
Could this really have been where Christ stumbled while carrying the cross to his crucifixion? Up this narrow stairway that squeezes past a barber shop and a butcher? My thoughts just tumbled. We wandered through the winding corridors of the Arab section, doing our best to politely refuse the unending parade of hawkers beckoning us into their shops. We couldn’t stop to inspect a tapestry or a rug without inviting more soliciting. We took a break in a little coffee shop and sat on little stools while we drank Arabic coffee served in little glasses.
Slowly the crowd began to build and the area outside the main mosque filled with cars and people carrying Palestinian flags and wearing keffiyehs (black and white chequered head scarves). I scribbled in my notebook everything I was seeing and momentarily lost Elizabeth. Then I spotted her on top of a building opposite the mosque, a good vantage point. I climbed the stairs to the roof and joined her. I watched as protesters burned an Israeli flag and stomped the flames out with their feet. Again, the use of the shoes—more insults.