So besotted are some pro-Israel "peaceniks" that they let no obstacle get in the way of their kumbaya. Eliyahu McLean provides a first-hand report on 800 "lovers of Jerusalem" who gathered on June 24, 2008 at two of the city's walled gates to celebrate the second "Big Hug of Jerusalem." His account, published in several Jewish newspapers, reads like a self-parody:
Under the palm trees, we started with a small listening circle that grew as many passersby – Israeli, Palestinian, and internationals – joined us. Musicians played peace songs, then we formed a large circle and did a spiral dance and chant for unity. At the same moment 200 people were forming a line to "Hug" the Old City near Jaffa Gate, we formed a chain of several hundred between Damascus and New Gates.
Arab and Jew, young and old, we stood on the green lawn overlooking the Old City Walls, holding 10 minutes of silence for the peace of Jerusalem. At that moment children flew kites right in front of us, it seemed as if the soaring kites were carrying people's intentions upward to the heavens. We then guided the line of people down to the steps of the Damascus Gate. As we filled the area above Damascus Gate, many more people – Palestinian shopkeepers, children, religious Jews, hippies, soldiers and police – joined us.
We led hundreds in a chant and zikr, chanting "Shalom, Salaam, Hu Hu." Spiritual leaders Rabbi Menachem Froman, Sheikh Bukhari, a Hindu woman teacher from India, Haj Ibrahim and a guest from Jordan offered blessings. After drumming, singing and praying, we lifted our hands in unison with an intention for healing the divisions in Jerusalem, honoring our shared love for this Holy City.
The event ended with a large drum circle, led by Eyal Davidov, on the lawn above New Gate. Orthodox Jewish yeshiva students and Palestinian youth drummed and danced together into the night.
Jewish papers provided this caption for the picture above: "Declaring 'Allah-hu akbar,' which means 'peace will prevail'."
But my favorite touch of all is the caption for this interfaith picture of men celebrating, which states: "Declaring 'Allah-hu akbar,' which means 'peace will prevail'." Trouble is, Allahu Akbar
(as is usually, if less accurately, spelled) means "God is the greatest," and is a common expression of Islamic supremacism – a sentiment that could hardly be more at variance with "peace will prevail" or the "Big Hug of Jerusalem." To take one example of many, Saddam Hussein added Allahu Akbar
to the Iraqi flag as a signal of defiance right after losing the Kuwait War in 1991.
The Iraqi flag introduced by Saddam Hussein in 1991.
: This strange mistranslation sums up an entire mentality. (September 3, 2008)
Related Topics: Arab-Israel conflict & diplomacy
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