Universality of humanity in Israel and Palestine

In October I spent ten days in Israel and Palestine, imbibing personal stories of conflict and trauma, peace and reconciliation.  Crisscrossing through checkpoints and polishing off plates of falafel and homemade maqluba, I immersed in historical narratives and the living history of today.  In the diversity, a common thread was exposed.  Perhaps a banal observation, but one that was repeatedly brought to the fore – clean, billowing laundry. 

Clothes are soiled in the same dirt, with human sweat.  They need to be cleansed.  Whether washed by hand in a bucket with precious little water or run on a deep soak cycle with an electric machine, they all have the same destiny – on a line, airing for the world to see.

Can you find the laundry in each photo?

Apartments abut the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem’s Muslim quarter.  “Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, In Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids – blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me in into the pool when the water is stirred up, and wile I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.” John 5:2-9
Before dusk in bustling downtown Ramallah, West Bank, where tourists are greeted warmly and the coffee carts aren’t to be missed.
From the ramparts (city walls) of Jerusalem, with the golden Dome of the Rock mosque and the Mount of Olives in the distance.
Art on the barrier wall separating the West Bank city of Bethlehem and Israel.
From Jerusalem’s wall, the distinguished attire of Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity.
In the foreground, across from the building with the water tanks on the roof, is the entrance to Lazarus’ tomb in Bethany, West Bank.
The Old City, Jerusalem.

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