Saturday, August 28, 2010


This is a picture looking to the North-north-east, almost directly towards Amman, Jordan, from a spot up the street from my apartment. On a clear day, you will see buildings in downtown Amman. Today, the desert haze hides it. See all the little grey towers that look like grey telephone poles, on the desert floor? I have been told that they are electronic tracking towers that divide the desert floor into a certain kind of geometric sector system. At night, I am told, if you walk out there, the darkness can seem  as thick as tar,  but the Military will know exactly where you are.

This is a picture looking back into the center of Maale Adumim from the point of view of the end-point of the left finger-ridge. Because the view is looking back into the city, the left finger-ridge is now to your right, and the right finger-ridge is now to your left.

Still at the same vantage point--the end of ther left finger-ridge looking back to Maale Adumim, this is a more complete view of the ridge I live on.

This picture is a close-up of the portion of the last picture that has the two tallest/biggest buildings (to the right-of-center in that picture).

Look at the red-roof apartment buildings on the far left. I live in the third from the left.

This is a picture that you have to walk 4 blocks to get--to the end of the finger-ridge we live on. The picture is taken from the heights of the ridge and has two interesting items: (1) at the bottom left is the only traffic light in Maale Adumim--you can just barely see a light-color car stopped at the light. Maale Adumim is a city of appx 39,700 people. The news media--and the enemies of Israel-- call us a 'settlement', perhaps to dimish the permanence a 'city' has, and to make destroying the place easier--it being easier to dismantle a 'settlement' than it is to dismantle a 'city'; but we are indeed as much of a city as any in America with 35,000 - 40,000 residents.Interestingly,  because we are a 'planned' community, the entire layout has been pre-designed: all housing has been selected to fit a model look, and all water, electric, cable, phone and internet lines are underground; the only 'poles' you will see are at the edge--the eruv, which is a public and religiouly approved means to create a religiously significant border around the city. On our street, which is not at the edge, there are no poles. In addition, there are no traffic lights--the only one here is in the picture; instead, each intersection has a traffic circle, which allows for cars to slow for other cars and pedestrians without stopping for more than 2-4 seconds, if that. It keeps traffic moving. In addition, there are marked cross-walks at every intersection, and cars and buses are required to stop, to allow pedestrians the right of way. This method of traffic-flow does require polite-ness and driver consideration, which these days seems generally to be lacking. But here, it works!  Very few drivers will  fail to be polite. Only in Israel, right?

The second point of interest in this picture is at the bottom right--there, you can see one of the two guarded entry-points to Maale Adumim. You should be able to see a white car leaving the check-point structure.  Each entry-point looks like a toll booth, but to drive through it, you have to maneuver your car first to the left, sharply, then, perhaps a car-length later, sharply to the right. You cannot go more than 2-4 MPH to do this. As you drive through, you are supposed to stop, to allow the armed personnel there to check you out; you are supposed to stay stopped if they signal you to do so.

The entry-point in this picture might be called the back door to Maale Adumim; the other entry-point (not shown) might be called the 'front-door'. We are over the so-called 'green-line', one of the 'disputed west-bank settlements'.

This picture is taken from a point near the end of the left finger-ridge. You can see how the hills of the desert roll. Beyond the trees near the bottom right you can see some buildings in the distance. That is, I have been told, a Bedouin village.

Our kitchen. 061, 9-22

Typical Israel bedroom. Similar in size to what one sees in most of Europe.  062, 9-22

Jerusalem at dusk, 058, 9-22.

Balcony  010, 10-7 nearby construction


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