Beduoin Shepherd

Let us not deceive ourselves; we must elect world peace or world destruction. 

Bernard Baruch


I look at this stunning Bedouin girl in Palestine and my heart aches.  The plight of her people and of all people in the crisis region - including Israelis - are on a dangerous path of self-destruction and I am greatly disturbed.  For such religious states, Israel and Palestine can’t seem to find peace.  It’s all based on egos.  Egos of political leaders who are inflaming the people for their own agenda.  I could be wrong.  I am probably wrong.  Still, my heart aches for the people.  They suffer the most.

EGO = Edging God Out

When I traveled into Palestine, I felt greatly moved by the people.  Driving down a lonely road leading from the Dead Sea, we came upon Bedouin children herding a flock of sheep, crossing the road.  We pulled off to the side to let them pass.  Afterwards, the young shepherds stood sentinel on the hill that is void of life in the Negev desert.  The young girl’s orange hijab in contrast with her black abaya, set against the beige backdrop of the Negev Desert is an image I will never forget.  It moved me to tears.

The girl looked to be twelve years old and walked with a younger girl and a little boy, probably her siblings.  The Bedouin are a tribe who live in the Negev Desert in Palestine.

It is the Palestinians who are protesting against the recent events undertaken by the Israelis in the Old City of Jerusalem.  I am not happy.

If you have never been into the old walled city of Jerusalem, it is a remarkable experience to walk down narrows avenues of rock where four different sects of religion share a corner of real estate roughly the size of the Ohio State Fairgrounds sans parking area.  We traversed its entirety in under three hours.

To better understand what all the fighting is about, let me explain how the city is laid out.  The walled city is divided into four neighborhoods: Christian, Muslim, Armenian, and Jewish quarters.  (Note: I was in a state of shock at seeing how happy and cheerful the people seemed to be in contrast to the political news coming out of Israel and America at press time.)

How different are the people inside the walled city, today.

A 3rd intifada is happening in Israel.   

What are the people fighting about? A piece of real estate—the al-Aqsa mosque inside the Temple Mount compound.  The site is Islam’s 3rd holiest shrine and is sacred to Muslims because the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven in a winged horse during his miraculous Night Journey. 

The Temple Mount is built over the 2nd Jewish Temple which was destroyed by the Romans, except for one wall.  The remaining wall became the holiest site to Jews and is known as the Western Wall where Jews go to pray.  Many prayers are scripted in paper.  It is mesmerizing to see thousands of aged notes squeezed between stones in the wall, also known as the Wailing Wall.

Even though the holy sites abut, all is peaceful until Ariel Sharon enters the Temple Mount in 2000, instigating the 2nd intifada because Jews are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount only to visit at limited times. Muslims are free to pray on Temple Mount.

The stated cause of the recent surge in attacks is the Palestinians’ belief that the Israeli government is trying to change the status quo at the holy compound where Jews are restricted from religious rites.

And yet Netanyahu repeatedly denies it.  Surely he understands that altering the fragile prayer arrangements in the al-Aqsa Mosque could result not only in a 3rd intifada but a full-blown war with the entire Muslim world.

Worse, members of Netanyahu's coalition speak of instating Jewish sovereignty and building a Third Temple.


Uri Ariel, a minister of the Jewish Home party, visited the holy site and Both states are neglecting world peace.

There are growing concerns that the scattershot stabbings of today may become the suicide bombings of tomorrow.

      I worry about the young girl in the orange hijab and black abaya.

© Tina Carlson-Dreffin 2015-2017