The Jewish state’s Jewishness reflected in a return visit

In a recent post by Rabbi Brant Rosen, he asks the question “Is the Jewish State Truly Free?” One commentator didn’t think so. This post by Lasse Wilhelmson continues the discussion.

Lasse Wilhelmson

by Lasse Wilhelmson


I arrive at Bethlehem along the same motorway as all tourists, in a taxi from the Ben Gurion airport. They arrive in coaches with their Jewish guides. Pilgrims from all over the world crowd into the Nativity Church on Manger Square. Perhaps the holiest place in the world for Christians? They buy souvenirs and go back home again as if the Palestinians do not exist. Opposite the Church, lies the prestigious Peace Centre, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SIDA.

The town is situated just south of Jerusalem and surrounded by The Wall and by fences. Check-points further limit people’s access and they are resigned to finding inconvenient diversions. Arbitrary travel permits for areas outside the town tear apart families that have lived in and around Bethlehem for thousands of years.

10310095_10152399604478664_4686487637002099084_nOn my first evening in Bethlehem I experienced music of a rare and…

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About gwpj

Originally from Seattle, I now live in Sapporo, Japan, where I write, explore this city, read widely, and ask questions about things that i see as important. I'm also an author, with three novels published ("The Old Man and The Monkey", "Grandfather and The Raven", and "Bear: a story about a boy and his unusual dog"). For more information about my writing, drop by my website, at
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2 Responses to The Jewish state’s Jewishness reflected in a return visit

  1. Jack bender says:

    This bum claims he sees no evidence of the nazi gas chambers….mr Polly is that your position also?

    • gwpj says:

      Of course not, Mr. Bender, but is that all you read in the article? Did you read that and, therefore, dismiss everything else that he wrote about, which was the focus and the core of his article? When I read those remarks of his, I noted that I didn’t understand or agree with them, and went on reading. The rest of the article was, after all, was what the article was about.

      Here’s another question for you: Have you ever met a Palestinian Arab? Have you ever sat down and talked and listened to one, as I have (in correspondence, mostly, but also in person in Seattle)? You might find some of your suppositions and opinions quite a bit off the mark were you to do that.

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