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Sent: Monday, 19 April 2004 12:13 AM
Subject: An update from Father Dave


Well, things seem to go from bad to worse here.

Last night, as I'm sure you all know, another
Palestinian leader was assassinated. Today people
here in Jerusalem are afraid to open their shops.

OK. I know not everyon*e is going to share my
angle on the situation here and that's OK, but
I'm in the middle of it at the moment so I
figure you'll have to listen to my rant.

Last night on the TV the Israeli spokesman was
talking about how they took this guy out, and
there was a fair degree of gloating. 'Chalk
another one up for the good guys' was the
attitude. They then asked him whether he
expected any terrorist response from this latest
assassination. He said 'well, they threatened
to unleash hell on us after our last assassin-
ation. It didn't happen. Obviously our strategy
of taking out the leadership is working'. He then
suggested that Arafat was next!

From a logical point of view it occurs to me that
the Palestinians cannot possibly win in this
situation. If they retaliate, they give the
Israeli government an excuse to assassinate
another leader. If they don't retaliate, they
demonstrate that the assassination strategy is
working and so ... another leader gets the chop!

At the risk of being overly simplistic, it's
always seemed to me that there's only two ways
that this sort of tit for tat killing can ever
end. Either one side learns to forgive, or one
side wipes out the other side completely. My
fear is that the government here is leaning
towards the latter alternative.

As to our dear frien*d Morde, I don't have much
of a positive nature to report. The restrictions
I mentioned, which may prevent me having any
contact with him after he is released, are being
challenged in court as I write. I have no idea
what the result will be, but I'd be lying if I
said I was optimistic.

One positive is that the international coalition
of Morde supporters have now all arrived in
Israel and it seems as if everybody made it
through customs. One of the key leaders from
Brittain, Ernest, was held by security guards for
three hours while they search his bags, tore open
presents, and generally harrassed him. Another
of the girls 'disappeared' at the airport too,
only to emerge after seven hours of
interrogation. I'm thinking now that it might
have been providential that I missed my
connecting flight in London and got here a day
later than expected.

One thing I must say about this group of
international activists is that they are not at
all the group I had envisaged. For one thing,
they are almost all in their 50's and 60's! I
was expecting University students! They are also
almost unilateraly vegetarian, which makes me
feel like a bit of a savage. Like I always say
though, 'if God didn't want us to eat animals,
why did He make them out of meat?'

It's good to have a light note to finish on.

Your thoughts and your prayers are much
appreciated. I'll be in contact again soon.

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