A Small Glimpse of the Messianic Age

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/10/a-small-glimpse-of-the-messianic-age/64363/