There are many extraordinary, historical lodgings in Jerusalem and throughout Israel. The most iconic and historically famous is the King David Hotel located in the heart of Jerusalem. This regal hotel is the most common host to foreign diplomats, and many celebrities. It is where past and present U.S. Presidents have stayed on their visits to Israel.
We were visiting this hotel last week on behalf of a future group, so I got some pictures of the entrance area to give you a quick peek inside.
Some say this event defeated the last of the British will to maintain Palestine. The Jews were reeling from the devastation of the Holocaust and coming to Palestine in droves. Fights between the Arabs who had dwelled here for the previous 1,000 years and Jews who claimed rightful ownership and believed GOD wanted them restored to their former "promised land" were constant.
The State of Israel was created by the United Nations in 1948. In the following months and years, continuing still today, many Palestinians were removed from their generations-old homes and lands and relocated into a smaller section that was to become the State of Palestine. Many live in refugee camps to this day in anticipation of this event, or in hope of being restored to their homelands.
Though quieter today in many ways, the conflict between Jews and Palestinians continues and is a media favorite. The media's fascination most often distorts current realities, turning even peaceful protests into what looks like all out war on various news mediums. Living here and having friends on both "sides of the fence," we have learned to always look for multiple sides to every story - a pretty good ideal in all of life's conflicts.
The news reports on what's actually going on here are distorted at best. They share the story their audience wants to hear depending on which country they report to and what those citizen's itching ears want to hear. Some paint only a horrible picture of Israel's occupation of the Palestinians with no regard for Israel's right to exist and defend themselves; others paint every Palestinian as a terrorist instead of recognizing the reality that on both sides there exist peace loving, hospitable, gracious people who truly want what's best out of this very difficult situation.
Though the pictures above may be, the situation here is not black and white. There is no simple solution for a lot of reasons that I can't go into on this blog, and have only begun to scratch the surface of understanding in all our time in Israel. The longer you're here, the less clear the reality becomes. Impartial observation is unheard of in this land; everyone expects you to pick a side. Shouts and actions of militant minorities on each "side" are heard above the surprising majority who could more likely find peace.
Pray as much for peace in this region, as for grace. Both are needed; both are hard to come by.