Jaffa, Israel

When the sea breeze whistles off the Mediterranean through the streets of Jaffa, jade colored waves heap, foam and crash into the sea wall, and wash over Andromeda’s rocks as they have done since before Jonah.
Andromeda’s rocks are a jumbled reef off the small Israeli port of Jaffa, one of the oldest ports in the world. Mythical Princess Andromeda’s mother, Cassiopeia, boasted her daughter was more beautiful than Poseidon’s nymphs. To punish this hubris, Poseidon sent a sea monster to ravage the coast. Only the sacrifice of Andromeda would end the terror. They chained her naked to the rocks outside Jaffa and waited for the monster to claim his prize.
Jaffa is also where Jonah embarked to escape God’s wrath only to end up in the belly of a great fish.
Jonah and Andromeda – innocent victims of immortal wrath.
But don’t despair, the immortal is merciful…..
Andromeda was rescued by heroic winged Perseus and took her place in the stars.
Jonah prayed forgiveness and was spewed forth – a saint.
And the wild, jade ocean washed creaming over Andromeda’s rocks to kiss the beach.
As for Jaffa, the crusades came and went, Richard the Lion Heart fought Saladins army in her crooked streets. Crusaders built a fortress on the ruins of a Roman acropolis. Later, the Ottoman Empire claimed authority and built mosques and more walls. Bonaparte came to cover himself in glory. He laid siege to the town, sent envoys to discuss its surrender. They were murdered, their severed heads put on pikes by the city gates. He unleashed his army, they breached the walls, stormed the narrow streets and found liquor. Drunk and wild, they ran amok raping, looting and burning for two days. When control was re-established, Bonaparte assembled the 3000 prisoners from the town’s Muslim garrison and massacred them.
And the wild, jade ocean washed creaming over Andromeda’s rocks, to kiss the beach.
In 1917, more fighting, more terror. The British army fought the Turks in Jaffa and pushed them North creating Palestine. Wave after wave of riot and violence engulfed Palestine between the wars. Jaffa seethed as Arab and Jew committed murder and mayhem against each other while the British Army tried to keep the peace without getting shot in the back of the head. A Jewish terrorist truck bomb blew the state house in Jaffa to smithereens. Arab snipers targeted Jewish civilians on their way to work. Jewish guerrillas mortared the town until the British Army could separate the combatants. 50,000 inhabitants fled never to return.
And the wild, jade ocean washed creaming over Andromeda’s rocks to kiss the beach.
Today, dense anarchic traffic shimmers motionless in the sun. Plumes of reeky exhaust rise from thousands of idling vehicles. The high rises along the beach bear witness to greed and technology unrestrained by holiness. Hordes crowd the beaches searching for perfect tans, perfect bodies, perfect lives. The old violent city has transformed into an astonishing market-place, warped by tourist money. You can buy most any piece of shit here you desire.
All is peaceful – mostly – but could fly apart in one horrifying catastrophic violent moment.
It is astonishing to consider how long people have lived here and killed each other in the name of the God of Love. Are we yet so primitive that we kill because their belief about abstract god-love doesnt match our own?
And the wild, jade ocean washes creaming over Andromeda’s rocks to kiss the beach.
Jewish God, Islamic God, Greek God, Roman God, Christian God, Technology God, Money God, Health God, Youth God, Status God – they are all worshipped here now.
On the shores of Jaffa-town primitive Abrahamic God-belief splits desperate people, makes them insane – hate each other. Their cruel hatred abetted by the modern gods of money, technology and power.
And the wild, jade ocean still washes creaming over Andromeda’s rocks to kiss the beach.
They ignore what is, and revere only what they have conjured. Poseidon is coming.
Shalom…..

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