April 14, 2001 |
Christian pilgrims clutched wooden crosses and gold prayer books as they walked along the cobblestone streets of Jerusalem's walled Old City on Good Friday, retracing the last steps of Jesus. The groups that made their way along the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher--the site where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried--were noticeably small. Tourism has dropped sharply after more than six months of fighting between Israelis and Palestinians.
April 8, 2001 |
Boarded over and trash-strewn, the Great Mosque that served the once thriving Muslim population of this desert town has become another battleground in the Israeli-Palestinian war over memory and land. To Muslims, the sandstone building, with its graceful minaret and dome, arched windows and interior courtyard, is a holy site, a cherished remnant of the Arab Beersheba that existed before the 1948 birth of the Jewish state.
December 23, 2000 |
The story of this Christmas, Palestinians say, lies not in the decorated tree tucked into a corner of Manger Square's Peace Center, nor in the creches from churches around the world displayed there. It is in the Palestinian children's drawings that are hanging in the center's main auditorium. Dozens of crayon sketches show villages being strafed by helicopter gunships, soldiers pointing guns at stone-throwing children, tanks rolling through the streets, and armed and masked Palestinian fighters.
December 2, 2000 |
Thousands of Muslim men and women gathered at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque to pray on the first Friday of Ramadan, returning to the disputed site that has figured so prominently in more than two months of Israel-Palestinian bloodshed. With an army of Israeli police officers deployed on foot and horseback in and around Jerusalem's walled Old City, the prayers unfolded in relative calm. There were only a handful of skirmishes, allaying fears of a new escalation.
October 9, 2000 |
The ghosts of past wars and the threat of a new one weighed heavily on Israelis on Sunday as the nation began its observance of Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day, a day of fasting and "affliction of the soul." Preparing their sermons before the holiday began at sundown, some rabbis said that events had unfolded so rapidly in the past 11 days that they had been hard pressed to keep up with the changes in their congregants' moods.
September 24, 2000 |
For investors, Israel's national airline, El Al, would seem like a great catch. Its assets include sleek new jets, an occasional profit, and flights that are routinely packed to capacity. But El Al cannot fly on the Jewish Sabbath. Grounding the carrier from Friday afternoon to Saturday night, every week, has been costing millions of dollars and, the government claims, drives away potential financial backers.