A Small Glimpse of the Messianic Age

Palestinian Media Watch reports that a group of settler rabbis visited a mosque that had been the target of an arson attack by other settlers, in order to make amends. What is notable about this visit is not only that it happened at all, but that the Palestinian media covered it in a very positive way:

Last week a fire was set to carpets and copies of the Quran inside a mosque near Bethlehem. In a positive move, the PA official daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida gave prominent first page coverage to the solidarity visit of Israeli "settler rabbis" and "dozens of settler-supporters of peace" who came to the mosque to express condemnation of the arson. The PA daily published a picture of the visit and reported that the rabbis brought new copies of the Quran to replace the burned copies.

In another positive note, two days later the same PA daily showed a picture of Israeli - Palestinian coexistence by publishing a picture of a Palestinian harvesting his olives to the accompaniment of an Israeli sitting right next to him under the tree playing his guitar.

The caption to the picture was:
"Settler from Kiryat Arba plays his guitar while a [Palestinian] resident gathers the olive harvest."

I actually once spent some time harvesting olives on the West Bank, and, had I been the Palestinian in question, I would rather have had the settler help pick olives than play his guitar, but whatever. We should take what we can get.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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