Showing posts from October, 2011

1 for a 1000, Arabs, Jews & Jesus

Yesterday, an emaciated Gilad Shalit returned home to Israel a national hero. His short journey, televised around the world, the first step in the long-awaited prisoner exchange between the Israeli government and the Islamist group Hamas. Whilst Shalit shook in front of the cameras, the West Bank & Gaza strip saw jubilant scenes as the expectant crowds prepared to welcome the simultaneous release of over 400 Palestinian prisoners. Another 500 will follow them to freedom in the next few weeks.

One man for a thousand is an extraordinary exchange, whichever side of this deep divide you stand on. The BBC were at pains to report that this was nothing more than a political transaction, there should be no reading between the lines of a greater peace narrative.

Even so, it’s hard to escape the powerful symbolism of one man being exchanged for the freedom of the many, especially when you paint in the scenery that this particular backdrop offers. 2000 years ago, a similar crowd shouted for th…