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.