Scoping out the east

They call the site of the campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where my office is located Mount Scopus for a reason.

amphitheater_huji.jpg

Here we are looking east/southeast from the amphitheater. Although it was somewhat easier to see with the naked eye than it is in the photo, the Dead Sea is off in the distance–just beyond the ridge of brown hills of the Judean Desert, but before the far more distant mountains that appear just another shade of blue (and which are in Jordan).

Down in the valley below the Hebrew University campus is an Arab neighborhood, Al Za’im. There is smoke rising from a fire just before it–burning trash, I assume (an all too familiar sight and smell here). Beyond the Arab town one can see some taller buildings in Ma’ale Adumim, a Jewish neighborhood (or “settlement,” if you prefer).

From the Hebrew University, through Arab and Jewish towns, and on to the Dead Sea and Jordan. Yes, things are close to one another here!

And here is another view.

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This one is taken from the access road to the church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, which is located near Mount Zion, just outside the southwestern edge of the Old City. The view is also to the east/southeast. Up near the ridge of the distant hill a segment of the (in)famous wall (or “separation barrier”) is clearly visible, with the town of Abu Dis beyond it. On the side of the wadi just opposite from where the church stands is the Arab neighborhood of Silwan, which obviously is on this side of the wall.

I do not pretend to understand the politics of which Arab towns get on which side of the wall. I just do electoral systems, which generate their own passions (as I am finding up close), but of a rather less dangerous sort.

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