Today was a rough day, and I am still trying to recover. Some days are just very discouraging, and today was one of those.
In the morning, at about 9:30AM, in Front of the Ministry.I met Bob Kunst , of Shalom International, a group that is planning a demonstration May 11, for the arrival of the pope, and which has already received a police permit for it .
After the obligatory picture with signs -
his was quite mild, it read, "Keep Jerusalem United",
while mine was more provocative: on one side it said: "Rome, Ratzachta vegam Yarashta -DID YOU MURDER AND THEN INHERIT TOO? "
And on the other side it said:"Peres, Beilin.... Olmert, Livni....... And now Bibi, Lieberman-Ayalon, State of Israel -accomplices in this robbery"
(There is a reason why I give you these details, see later)
Bob left, and I remained alone in front of the ministry with my sign, waiting for the delegation from the Vatican to arrive.
I was fully prepared to confront them with my sign, and with some shouting and screaming, but what happened is, I was misled by one security guard, a young man who I believe was just ignorant ( but who knows, it could have been deliberate) . When I asked him, - after at least an hour of standing there - , if they had already arrived, he answered me that no, they were still waiting for the delegation. But a number of guards were taking turns, guarding for short periods of time, so I spoke to another one, who was more genuine, and he told me that the delegation had already arrived at 9:00 AM , and they would be there until late at night. I had assumed that since last time they had arrived at 10 AM, this day would be the same, and I was wrong! So I patiently waited for signs of life, something to give me some clue.
At some point some people arrived who seemed to belong to the crowd, and I addressed them, but they all denied having any connections to the negotiations. Then also, cars with CD license plates would enter from different entrances. At some point, I finally spoke to a Mr. Golan, who said he was an attorney for the Israeli side ( I took a picture of him, I think his first name is Moshe, but I don't remember, sorry). He assured me that they were not signing, that Har Zion was not on the table, neither was Jerusalem. He seemed sincere, but who knows with these people. SOMEBODY, I don't exactly recall if it was him, said that the "holy places" is another matter altogether.
Then later I saw a very distinguished rabbi enter, with a hard black hat and a polished beard, I believe he was Rabbi Pessach Lerner , but I am not sure,. He took a good look at my sign before entering, and seemed to carry a heavy weight after seeing it: I guess HE got the message.
As I was walking towards another entrance to the building, I encountered a group of about 5 men who seemed to be government people, and they were exiting, either from the Tourist Ministry, or from the tax office, but I think it was from the Tourism Ministry. One of the men, clearly an official, and VERY Chiloni, looked at my sign, SNEERED, and SAID: ALL HAS BEEN SIGNED AWAY ALREADY! Then he said: "MA ZE CHASHUV BECHLAL" ; translation: WHO CARES ANYWAY. I was so shocked by his flippant attitude that I forgot to take a picture of him. SO THESE ARE THE PEOPLE NEGOTIATING OUR LAND AWAY! But another one of the men said: "We are on your side."
A lot of the guards seemed sympathetic,. Whichever Jew I spoke to there was clearly moved.
But so I had TWO GOVERNMENT PEOPLE, EACH WITH A DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED VERSION OF THE EVENTS. THE ATTORNEY ASSURED ME THAT NOTHING WAS SIGNED, WHILE THE OTHER ONE ASSURED ME THAT EVERYTHING HAD ALREADY BEEN SIGNED AWAY,.WHOM TO BELIEVE; WERE THEY DISCUSSING DIFFERENT ITEMS? THE MONEY ISSUE? JERUSALEM AS A WHOLE? ANOTHER ONE HAR TZION?
But according to the report I had received earlier from the Netanyahu man , when they meant everything has already been signed, they did not mean just money, they meant PROPERTIES.
I made the mistake of taking a picture where I was not allowed, trying to catch some official. I guess the guards already had enough of me, specially when I looked at the whole building, trying to imagine who is doing what where, and trying to catch a glimpse of the catholics, specially the cardinal.( I had been there already a good three and a half hours).
When I was finally ready to leave, I was just in my car, taking off, when A POLICE VAN ARRIVED, STOPPED ME, AND STARTED QUESTIONING ME. I guess the 'friendly guards' had alerted them. They seemed mostly interested in the pictures I had taken. I had no trouble deleting the ones that didn't interest me anyway, and kept the one I really wanted, from Attorney Golan. MY SIGN also irked them, specially becauseI had singled out the various politicians. At the end of the Chakirah, they told me that I am not allowed to go close to the building again , I have a Tsav Harchakah
JUST THEN I SAW SOME OF THE VATICAN PEOPLE LEAVE THE BUILDING, ALL DRESSED IN BLACK, and the police wouldn't let me approach them, SO I guess the whole thing was planned to A. confiscate the pictures, and B. stop me from approaching the very people I wanted to confront.
So despite my haranguing the policeman - who was a lot nicer than his colleague, a cold, nasty Ethiopian young woman - I got all written up by them, on their computer, with address, Teudat Zehut, etc. But at the end, the policeman gave me a Bracha for HATZLACHAH!!! How do you like that? He kept repeating, I am only doing my job.
So that is the report of the day. It left me shaken, upset, with a feeling of futility - why did I even bother.... but who knows, maybe the fact that they knew that somebody is watching them had a little bit of an effect, I really don't know.
So to sum it all up: WE STILL DON'T KNOW THE TRUTH OF WHAT'S GOING ON.
All the best to all of you. I am drained, and I am not sure I have the strength to continue doing this,
PS: Below, the communique of the Ministry, and Hillel Fendel's article of A7