Good Day Everyone!
On yesterdays show Chuck Freeby said I'd keep you informed about the unrest in and around Jerusalem so lets do just that!
Today is called 'Jerusalem Day'. The day's activities are centered around a parade – which this year is broken up into two different routes. The two streams of people will meet in the center of West Jerusalem and flow together through town.
This year there are 20,000 police on duty accompanying what is projected to be a crowd of over 50,000 participants. Part of the reason is the unrest of late, and part of the reason is that one route goes through a predominately Arab neighborhood where recently Arab families were expelled from their homes and Jewish settlers moved in. Now the municipality has planned Jewish housing units at the sites.
This is what lies behind the claim of the Palestinians and the Arab world that Israel is seeking to 'Judiaize' East Jerusalem – and is part of the core of the unrest we've seen the last few days.
Although the incidents in and around the Temple Mount (or the Haram El-Sharif to Muslims) are drawing the main focus in the western world because of the site's sensitivity – the rest of the Middle East is upset that Israel is taking more lands, and expanding their presence among the Arab sectors – all this, when people are talking about peace negotiations and a final settlement that supposedly will draw borders between Israel and a future Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as it's capital.
So naturally on a day like this, with the emotions running high, in the press and on the TV are the claims of both sides over their perceived rights and predictions over what will be – either this way or that, for Jerusalem.
So what's it like on the ground in the Old City? Well… it's crowded with people – visitors and residents alike! But up above shutters the blades of the police helicopter as it circles overhead keeping watch for those who may wish to disrupt the day.
Jerusalem is like this… so complicated – and so celebrated.
Middle East Corespondent