Monday, December 31, 2007

The Hum of the Helicopter...........

As I walked out of my front gate this afternoon I couldn't fail to notice the helicopter hovering over the river. My stomach sunk, that usually means they are searching for a body.

But my thoughts immediately turned to a discussion I had with a Palestinian friend last year. It was his first time out of Gaza, in fact he had risked his life and hurt himself jumping over the wall, having been kept waiting for days, to get out into Egypt to start university here in the UK. We were having a meal in Green Lanes when he told how that afternoon he had been sitting in a London park. He had heard the sound of a helicopter overhead and had frozen. For a split second he was back in Gaza, the sound of the helicopter gunships ringing in his ears. Those Israeli helicopter gunships are often spotted in the skies above Israel, but, however ugly and threatening their silhouette against the cobalt blue sky, they are no threat, they are en route to Gaza or the West Bank. As we leave 2007 with talk of a settlement in the Middle East by the end of next year, my hope and prayer is that for all our children the hum of a helicopter excites curiosity rather than fear.

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