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Sunday, Apr 21, 2002

haramount concern

"Barak is a highly intelligent but politically maladroit former general whose hobby is taking complicated watches apart and putting them together again; he is both the most decorated soldier in the Israeli army and an accomplished pianist. He should have known that on Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif, the wars of religion continue under a different name. In Jerusalem, hatred has often been another form of prayer and never more so than when the knives are pulled and the bombs are thrown. The religious hatred called odium theologicum has long been an instrument for gaining power and property, whether in local politics or in real estate speculation. Myths of divine promise alternate with myths of Blood and Soil. "History" and "religion" are relentlessly and superstitiously evoked and nowhere more so than on the Haram, or Temple Mount, where Sharon staged his political coup."