Tiny Travelogue, Israel-Palestine

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I’ve run out of words during this latest Israel-Gaza war. I’ve said the same thing for 33 years. Here instead is a tiny visual travelogue, from Turkish sultans battling Crusaders in the Middle Ages to Brits carting off Egypt’s patrimony, to Palestinian painter. I don’t know if he’s Gazan but I first saw his work in a cultural center there.

The Belzoni head removal pretty much needs no commentary. For China heads, the incredibly cosmopolitan ‘Persian’ miniature painting (maybe not this one but many) visibly integrate Chinese elements, particularly in depictions of nature (swirling clouds, steep mountains, shapely trees).

Hunername Vol I. "Night attack of Sultan Bayezid I on the crusaders besieging the fortress of Nigbolu in 1396." (Topkapi Saray Museum library)

Hunername Vol I. “Night attack of Sultan Bayezid I on the crusaders besieging the fortress of Nigbolu in 1396.” (Topkapi Saray Museum library)

Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778-1823) Head of a colossal Egyptian statue being removed for shipment to the British Museum. Hand colored lithograph 14" x 21". 1822. Oriental Division (c) the New York Public Library.

Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778-1823) Head of a colossal Egyptian statue being removed for shipment to the British Museum. Hand colored lithograph 14″ x 21″. 1822. Oriental Division (c) the New York Public Library.

Sliman Mansour – the contemporary Palestinian artist of liberation – it’s worth inhabiting his eyes for a few moments.

Sliman Mansour: Palestinian Life and Culture

Sliman Mansour: Palestinian Life and Culture

To complete the tiny journey, Fink’s, which is no longer there on King George Avenue in Jerusalem (it closed in 2006: “This intimate, exclusive restaurant was one of the most prestigious dining addresses in Jerusalem.”) i lived nearby in ’92. “One of the best bars in the world. (Newsweek). Golda had a reserved seat. No more goulash in this wonderfully atmospheric, legendary, sexy European hideout.

Fink's Bar - Restaurant, King George Ave., Jerusalem Israel

Fink’s Bar – Restaurant, King George Ave., Jerusalem Israel

The wildly improbable, world changing creation of a state of Israel for we people of the Biblical land, nonetheless can’t be separated from the larger context of colonial conquest. Those hiding from missiles in a tunnel, that’s no matter to you now. So be safe in there. And for the innocents going through a slaughter we can hardly imagine, here’s all I’ve got. Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, recipient ot Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating, founded by a friend & run on a shoestring. PCRF organizes and runs hundreds of volunteer surgical missions from all over the world to Palestine and Lebanon’s camps, providing children with free care and local medical personnel with free training. It arranges medical care all over the world for sick and injured children from the ME who cannot be adequately treated in their homeland. Including trying to get out kids, against Egypt’s blockade, for care overseas who will die otherwise. We are giving and hope you might, too.

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