Monday, August 15, 2011

A Day at King Hussein's Palace

Israeli authorities tore down a fence just put up around the hoped-for-but-never-completed palace of the late King Hussein of Jordan. (The building is seen here in my photos.) The article in Israel National News,, said that the wakf was gating the structure.
Were the Arabs hoping to finally complete the building, which was abandoned at the start of the Six Day War? Since then, the
structure, standing high above Pisgat Zeev in northern Jerusalem, has been a monument to the miraculous victory that G-d granted the Jewish people in 1967. That's probably why the Arabs want to complete it:
1) Perhaps they're anticipating using it as an official structure in September 2011, if the UN (they hope) ratifies the creation of a Palestinian State, chas v'shalom.

2) The building has a symbol of Arab defeat and shame for 44 years, and they'd like to erase that memory.
So, of course, they want to finally build it. And now the time might seem right to them.
A Depraved Site
INN reported that archaeologists found evidence that that exact area is Geva, where the horrible story of the concubine of Geva occurred. (Judges 19) I shudder whenever I think of that bizarre and nightmarish story. Truthfully, I think the mountain should be plowed under and kept that way forever.
Meanwhile...when I was a teenager I wanted to be a doctor or a scientist. I had the opportunity to come to Israel and study science in Hebrew University on Mount Scopus. I joined the program, but instead of being assigned to one of the hospitals or biological laboratories, I was assigned to the Entomology Department of Hebrew. It was located at the time in the Terra Santa building across from the King's Hotel.
The location was gorgeous, but once you walked inside the building, bees/wasps/hornets were flying everywhere, scorpions were scurrying in hopes of escape, and assorted bugs of all sorts were all around. I already had a hatred of bugs, but this just clinched it.
I was assigned to the study of grasshoppers and their song.
It was in truth a very fascinating study, and I enjoyed my summer immensely, except for walking around Terra Santa.
One morning we got into a mini-bus and drove up to King Hussein's shell of a palace. We were each given large garbage bags and told, "Happy hunting."
It seems this location in Jerusalem was the best place possible to catch the two kinds of grasshoppers we were studying. And sure enough, they were everywhere.
Now...when you pick up a grasshopper, you've got to catch it by two legs, or it releases one, "ping," and jumps away.
So, we were very careful to catch our grasshoppers by two knees. There are few things as bluchhy as being left with one grasshopper leg in your palm.
When we had filled our bags with chirping hoppers, we went back to the University.
But before I climbed on to the bus, I took one last look at the shell of the Arab palace on top of the hill, and then another at the grasshoppers pinging from side to side in my bag.
And I thought, "...we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.." (Numbers 13:33)
Suddenly things seemed very different for me. I was standing on what once was an Arab occupied hill, once destined to be summer home to the King of Jordan, and yet I was a Jewish girl in magnificent rebuilt Jerusalem.
I did not feel like a grasshopper in anyone's eyes. On the contrary, I was a proud brave Jewish girl high atop a former Arab hill that Jordanians wanted for their king, and I had the grasshoppers in my own hands.
King Hussein is gone. The building is an empty shell. And G-d still reigns as King of kings.

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