The visit of the U.S. Vice President.

I was trying to get into Jerusalem to share in the Week of prayer for Christian Unity Service at St. George’s Cathederal, and as the traffic ground to a halt I discovered that the road in front of the King David Hotel was shut. Leaving the car where I could I walked by the quickest route, passing the front of the hotel. Outside it I saw the multiple posters as below.0D217E68-96A5-4920-A17E-FAFA42439B4C

Is it to wonder that the Palestinian leadership no longer consider the United States as a credible broker for peace?

Walking through the Jaffa Gate I realised the huge numbers of soldiers and “Border Police” present. Then a cavalcade of cars arrived – and Mike Pense was visiting the Old City.

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It was a very different scene in Bethlehem this morning – a general strike has been called and all the schools, colleges and government institutions are closed. It is very unclear what the future holds in the West Bank. The Israeli Government clearly believe that with the unqualified support of the present U.S. Government they can do as they like in regard to the Palestinians. The Palestinian aspiration for a State seem more distant than ever. This is breeding an attitude of despair in the West Bank.

Yesterday I had read to me a document called “leaflet 7.” It is written in Arabic and that still remains beyond me! It came from Fatah and called for the general strike taking place today. But it also echo’d the PLO call for ongoing resistence and used the word “Uprising” in Arabic  – Intifada,  – associated so clearly with the two times of outright resistence that took place. For Fatah to do so is significant and raises the question of how the Palestinian Authority’s Security Forces will respond to todays strike and the inevitable demonstrations that that implies. The P.A. has said that it would stop co-operating with the Israeli Security forces as a result of the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem. If they do then the level of violence will inevitably rise.

We are tottering on the verge of very dangerous times.

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