The Gods, if there were such things, would be having a good laugh at human expense when they look down and see the human strife that emanates from a small area which three of the world religions all claim as being among their holiest sites. Yes folks, the Gods, those mythical beings, like some humans I know, have rather a mischievous, ironic, yet slightly malevolent, twisted sense of humour.
The photo shows clearly the Wailing Wall beloved by the bobbing Jews and, with the Temple Mount, is their most holy site. Nearby is the al Aqsa Mosque which in combination with a compound called the Holy Sanctuary, is the third holiest site to Muslims. And squeezed in there somewhere is the site said to be where Jesus drove the moneychangers from the temple, a site holy to Christians. Talk about a nightmarish cocktail!
Yet, given the centuries old simmering tensions over ownership/control of the area, and despite protests across the Muslim world, Israel, using mechanical equipment, is excavating in the vicinity of the Mosque and underneath the Holy Sanctuary compound claiming that it is looking for the remains of a Jewish temple or artifacts. It is also buying up property in East Jerusalem from Christians which some see as an attempt to gain complete control of the area and further dispossess the Palestinians. Olmert of course rejects all complaints with typical Jewish arrogance (they are, after all, the Children of God) and the excavation work continues despite the vocal Palestinian protesters.
This volatile situation, in combination with the brutal, inhumane, four-decade long occupation of the Palestinian Territories plus the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by 'Christian' America and its allies, has caused, and is causing predictable outrage in the Muslim world and further inflames the hostility between rival religions and, dare I mention it, civilizations.
With an attack on Iran imminent, the scene is set for fireworks of the nuclear kind. Unlike New Year celebrations, the outcome will be very, very ugly.