PALESTINA – PALESTINE – فلسطين‎

Manastir Iskusenja iznad Jerihona-The Monastery of the Temptation overlooking Jericho

Manastir Iskusenja iznad Jerihona-The Monastery of the Temptation overlooking Jericho

Omarova dzamija u Vitlejemu-The Mosque of Omar in Bethlehem

Omarova dzamija u Vitlejemu-The Mosque of Omar in Bethlehem

Pecina Patrijarha ili Ibrahimova dzamija u Hebronu-The Cave of the Patriarchs or the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron

Pecina Patrijarha ili Ibrahimova dzamija u Hebronu-The Cave of the Patriarchs or the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron

Ruska pravoslavna crkva u Hebronu-The Russian Orthodox Church in Hebron (2)

Ruska pravoslavna crkva u Hebronu-The Russian Orthodox Church in Hebron (2)

Ruska pravoslavna crkva u Hebronu-The Russian Orthodox Church in Hebron

Ruska pravoslavna crkva u Hebronu-The Russian Orthodox Church in Hebron

Srebrna zvezda je mesto Hristovog rodjenja u crkvi u Vitlejemu-Star of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Srebrna zvezda je mesto Hristovog rodjenja u crkvi u Vitlejemu-Star of the Nativity in Bethlehem

U Arafatovoj kuci u Dzerihonu-In Arafat's house in Jericho

U Arafatovoj kuci u Dzerihonu-In Arafat’s house in Jericho

Ulica u Hebronu-A street in Hebron

Ulica u Hebronu-A street in Hebron

Arafatova soba u Jerihonu-Arafat's room in Jericho

Arafatova soba u Jerihonu-Arafat’s room in Jericho

Centar Jerihona-The centre of Jericho

Centar Jerihona-The centre of Jericho

Crkva Rodjenja Hristovog - The Church of the Nativity

Crkva Rodjenja Hristovog – The Church of the Nativity

Crkva Rodjenja Hristovog-The Church of the Nativity

Crkva Rodjenja Hristovog-The Church of the Nativity

Dzamija u centru Jerihona-A mosque in the centre of Jericho

Dzamija u centru Jerihona-A mosque in the centre of Jericho

Grobnica Jasera Arafata u Ramali-The Tomb of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah

Grobnica Jasera Arafata u Ramali-The Tomb of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah

Jerihon-Grad Meseca i dzamija sa plavim kupolama-Jericho-The City of the Moon and the Blue Domed Mosque

Jerihon-Grad Meseca i dzamija sa plavim kupolama-Jericho-The City of the Moon and the Blue Domed Mosque

Biblijsku teritoriju između Sredozemnog mora i reke Jordan veoma je teško podeliti. Država Izrael i država Palestina, koje se danas tu nalaze, kao i njihovi narodi, ne mogu vekovima da nađu pravo rešenje kojim bi bili zadovoljni i Palestinci i Jevreji.  Zapadna obala reke Jordan i Pojas Gaze najveće su palestinske teritorije ove zemlje koja, za sada, ima status posmatrača u Ujedinjenima nacijama. U tom statusu nalaze se samo Palestina i Vatikan.
O dugoj istoriji borbe za nezavisnost zemlje priča mi u zgradi ambasade palestinski ambasador u Srbiji, gospodin Mohammed Nabhan, dok mi pokazuje veoma staru monografiju te zemlje, sa crtežima od pre nekoliko stotina godina. Govori tečno srpski jer se ovde obrazovao, kao i veliki broj njegovih sunarodnika u vreme Titove Jugoslavije.
Prijateljstvo legendarnog predsednika Palestinske oslobodilačke organizacije (PLO) Jasera Arafata i Josipa Broza Tita toliko je decenijama jačalo, da nije bilo deteta iz moje generacije koje nije znalo za Arafata ili ga bar jednom dočekalo mašući zastavicom prilikom njegove posete Beogradu ili nekom drugom mestu u kome su se dvojica državnika sretali  i pokušavali da kroje svetsku politiku uz tompuse, kojima ih je snabdevao Fidel Kastro. Bio mi je simpatičan taj čovek niskog rasta, retke brade i širokog osmeha, sa uvek ležerno prebačenom tradicionalnom maramom, koja je postala simbol otpora, najpre izraelskoj okupaciji, a potom bilo čemu. Kad se u poznijim godinama oženio mladom i lepom palestinskom aktivistkinjom, više je bio u istoriji nego u aktuelnim političkim zbivanjima.
Od mog prijatelja ambasadora dobio sam palestinski pečat u pasoš i neke fotografije iz njegove zemlje. U priči sam putovao s njim kroz predele Palestine u kojima sam već bio i one u koje bih želeo da odem. Uz tradicionalni čaj bili smo u crkvi Hristovog rođenja, u Vitlejemu, u koju sam se sklonio pod kišom kamenja koje se sručilo na nedužne turiste. Nasmejao se na moju priču o tom incidentu, koji je verovatno nastao u trenutku nezadovoljstva Palestinaca izgradnjom novih izraelskih naselja na njihovim teritorijama. Ime grada na hebrejskom znači Kuća hleba. Zar nije sâm Isus rekao: “Ko tebe kamenom, ti njega hlebom?” Turisti, svakako, nisu krivi, ali neko mora da plati cenu. Ipak, boravak na ovom svetom mestu i pomisao na malog Hrista na srebrnoj zvezdi, koja simbolično najavljuje njegov dolazak, sigurno budi talas emocija. Car Konstantin, čije ime nosi i moj mlađi sin, podigao je ovde hram iznad pećine u kojoj se Isus rodio.
U priči me je zatim poveo kroz gradove na Zapadnoj obali, koje sam, sticajem srećnih okolnosti, ubrzo obišao sa svojim bratom Milanom i Prof. Radetom Kosanovićem u humanitarnoj misiji u bolnici u Hebronu. Tamo smo se uverili da su najslađe urme u okolini Jerihona, jednog od najstarijih naseljenih mesta na svetu – 11.000 godina neprekidno. Došli smo u priči do Golanske visoravni, a zatim i do Judejske pustinje, u čijem bespuću se krije srpski manastir Svetog Save Osvećenog, uklesan u stenama i bez električnog osvetljenja.
Palestinci se nikada neće odreći Jerusalima, koji je vekovima njihov sveti grad, dok je Ramala de facto administrativni centar palestinske države. Borba za svaku stopu Svete zemlje je neprekidna, jer to je borba za život koji mora opstati na tim biblijskim prostorima. A on nije nimalo lak, kad se za kretanje po sopstvenoj zemlji moraju stalno prelaziti izraelski kontrolni punktovi.
Mala zemlja u kojoj se uporno traži mesto za sve, čije je pravo da na njoj žive i nađu svoj mir.

Januar 2013.
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The Biblical territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is very difficult to divide. The states of Israel and Palestine, situated in this space nowadays, as well as their peoples, have been unable to find the right solution for centuries, one that would suit both the Palestinians and the Israelis. The West Bank of the Jordan River and the Gaza strip are the largest Palestinian territories in this country, which presently has an observer status in the United Nations. This status has been held only by Palestine and the Vatican.
At the Embassy, Mr Mohammed Nabhan, the Palestinian Ambassador in Serbia, tells me the story of his country’s long history of fighting for independence while he shows me a very old  Palestinian monograph containing drawings several hundred years old. He speaks Serbian fluently as he was educated here, just like many other of his compatriots during Tito’s Yugoslavia.
The friendship between the legendary president of the Palestinian Liberation Army, Yasser Arafat, and Josip Broz Tito, grew so strong over the decades, that there has been no child of my generation who did not know Arafat, or did not greet him at least once. These welcomes happened during his visits to Belgrade, when children would wave little flags, or at other locations where the two statesmen met while trying to cut the new world order, puffing at Cuban cigars supplied by Fidel Castro. I felt some affinity towards this short man, with a sparse beard and a broad smile, a traditional scarf always nonchalantly thrown over his shoulders; the scarf that became the symbol of resistance, first to the Israeli occupation and then to anything and everything. When later in life he married a young and beautiful Palestinian female activist, he was already more part of history than an active participant in the current political life.
From my ambassador friend I received a stamp in my passport and some photographs from his country. In our conversation we travelled through various parts of Palestine, those that I have already visited and those that I had yet to see. While drinking traditional tea we found ourselves in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (the birthplace of Jesus), where I had taken cover from a deluge of stones that fell on innocent tourists. He laughed at my rendition of this incident, which probably happened at the time of Palestinian discontent with the development of new Israeli settlements on their territory. Bethlehem in Hebrew means ‘the house of bread’. Didn’t Jesus himself say: ‘Give thy bread to those who throw stones at you’. The tourists are certainly not to blame, but someone has to pay the price. Yet, being in this holy place with a thought of the baby Christ on a silver star, which symbolically announces his arrival, has to stir some emotions. Emperor Constantine, after whom my younger son was named, built a temple above the cave in which Jesus was born.
In his stories he took me through the cities on the West Bank, which I visited later with my brother Milan and Prof. Rade Kosanović during the humanitarian mission in the hospital in Hebron. We agreed that the sweetest dates were to be found around Jericho, one of the oldest settlements in the world – 11.000 in continuity. In our stories we reached the Golan Heights and then the Judean Desert in whose wasteland the Serbian Monastery of Saint Sava the Sanctified is tucked away, carved out of rocks and without electricity.
The Palestinians will never give up Jerusalem which has been their holy city for centuries, whereas Ramallah is a de facto administrative centre of the Palestinian state. The fight for every foot of the holy land is continuous because it is a fight for life which has to survive in these biblical territories. And this life is not easy at all when, while moving around your own country, you have to pass through Israeli checkpoints all the time.
This is a small country where everyone is always trying to assert their own space, all those who have the right to live here and find their peace.

January 2013

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