This week was a sad, sad week. Our daughter in law’s Mother sadly passed away at a very young age. A woman of incredible strength of character who spent the last 18 months of her life according to her own plans down to the last detail.
Now why write a blog on such a subject? As is typical of such a woman, she had decided prior to her death that her final resting place should be on the Mount of Olives, a place where other members of the family were buried nearly a hundred years ago.
Such a decision is not a simple one in this troubled region. The day of the funeral coincided with the “Day of Rage” called by the extremist factions of the Palestinians in Jerusalem to protest that the official opening of the Hurva synagogue in the old city which was, it was claimed, “the first step in the building of the third temple”. Such rumours have always, in the past, motivated the Palestinians to violence, a classic example being the genocide and sacking of the Jewish community of Hebron in 1929.
To respect the wishes of the deceased, plans were made for the funeral. Following many words spoken by the family members in the funeral parlour, the mourners made their way to two protected buses and started the journey to the final testing place. The planned route immediately had to be changed as violence had broken out in one of the neighbourhoods through which we had planned to pass.
After stopping to consult with the police, who were to be seen everywhere and needed to be assured it was only a funeral we were planning to attend; the procession proceeded with a security escort to the Mount of Olives, where the final burial took place. It seems that one family who tried to follow the buses made a wrong turning and ended up with their car being stoned. They did not make it to final burial service.
Speaking to one of the security personal as we waited for everyone to board the buses for the return journey, I was told that several factions of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem are constantly trying to incite trouble, with calls from the mosques and the media to the general population go out on to the streets and cause trouble. Our security services are doing a great job in keeping this under control.
Thankfully, the return journey, again with security escort, was uneventful. I was told that other funerals planned later in the morning were not so lucky.
Such is life in this troubled land