Window Seat

January 2014

Flying back from Amman to Berlin the plane takes off from Queen Alia Airport heading west – it turns out to be an interesting route. Only moments into the flight a first hint of the Jordan River appears on the horizon. Minutes later the plane crosses the West Bank, overlooking snow-covered hills between Jerusalem and Ramallah. Click, click, click, a few pictures and all of a sudden we’re looking down on Tel Aviv and rush towards the Mediterranean Sea. I’ve looked at maps of Israel and Palestine a hundred times but I never fully realised how ridiculously small this hot spot of world politics actually is. Way too small for stakeholders to ignore each other. From far above it’s also easier to understand why so many on the ground lost their cool a long time ago – with almost no retreat areas for everyone it’s understandable that a threat feels more substantial here than elsewhere. My respect for those who negotiate for peace in the region has grown even more – it’s complicated down there.