Thursday, May 31, 2007

El Pais is a Bit Mixed Up

I was interviewed today for the El Pais, a major Spanish daily (last week it was the Basler Zeitung and tomorrow, the Christian Science Monitor).

So, I checked it out.

Here are its "facts" about Israel box:-

> Capital: Tel Aviv

> Gobierno: República

> Fiesta nacional: 14 de Mayo. Día de la Independencia (1948)

> Jefe de Estado: Moshe Katsav (Presidente)

> Jefe de Gobierno: Ehud Olmert (Primer Ministro)

> Población: 6.116.533 (2003)

> Idioma oficial: Hebreo

> Religión mayoritaria: Judios (81,85%)

> Moneda: Nuevo sheqel

> Superficie: 21.946 km²

Hey, even my university Spanish tells me that our capital is Jerusalem.

The funny thing today was that we went up to the Temple Mount and before getting to the police security point, I explained to him that I, as a Jew, have no identity thereby on the Temple Mount. It's not just that I can't pray or read from Psalms. It's that I am a "tourist", a non-identity. As a Jew, I am a "provocation" to the Muslims.

He found that hard to believe.

So, we get there and the policeman tells him "no notebook" and "no interviewing". The reporter wants to know why and he is told, "it's a provocation".

I smiled.

Then he tells the photographer she can only take one camera up because with two, she is no longer a tourist. Two cameras are, (you guessed), a "provocation".

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