Friday, September 05, 2014

Welcome to the New Middle East

Snapshot of the insanity of our region: Someone on the radio talking about their summer holiday in north-east Israel on the Golan Heights. The surrealism of eating a Friday lunch in the artists' village of Ani'Am, at the next table a group of UNDOF "peacekeeper" soldiers ordering masses of pasta and pizza. Touring the village of Ein Zivan, choosing between the boutique winery and the boutique chocolate factory, standing in line shoulder to shoulder with offduty West European UN soldiers.

In the distance the sounds of the savage fighting in Syria, right next to Israel's border just a couple of kilometres away.

Just over that border in the chaos of Syria dozens of Fijian UNDOF soldiers have been kidnapped by Jihadi rebels as their colleagues on the Israeli side enjoy the attractions of the pastoral Israeli Golan.

Welcome to the New Middle East.