A terrified boy huddles in his father’s arms moments before an Israeli bullet kills him; a baby girl sits smiling in a stroller moments before a Palestinian bullet extinguishes her life. These are but two recent reports of the violence that blights life in the land where the Prince of Peace once called humanity to follow him.
In Jordan, reports are mixed as to just how good relations are between the Muslim majority and the Christian minority. What's clearer is that the stronger divide is between native Jordanians and the many Palestinian refugees.
The two locals we spent the most time with, our tour guide and our bus driver, represent both differences.
A two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine crisis has been growing more and more distant. Prospects suffered yet another blow last week when a government commission in Israel recommended that all Israeli settlements in the West Bank be declared legal.
One of the few things Western observers of the Middle East tend to agree on, regardless of whether they lean toward the Israelis or the Palestinians, is that Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad has done an excellent job as administrator of the Palestinian Authority.
A rabbi and strong advocate for Palestinians’ rights told me this: "When you Christians start talking about divesting from Israel, it sounds to us as if you are undermining Israel’s economy and thus Israel’s existence. We close ranks."