An American tourist, who brought home a chunk of a medieval marble pillar from Jerusalem and kept it for a dozen years, has pleaded with Israeli authorities for forgiveness after sending it back, officials announced. Claiming that "a tour guide gave it to me", the anonymous New Yorker asked a priest to intercede with an emailed letter of apology. But it took more than a decade for this fellow to realize that his souvenir, an Islamic artifact which he used as a focus for prayers aimed towards Jerusalem, could be construed as antiquities theft. The hefty stone, 46 pounds, weighed heavily on the tourist's conscience. The BBC has the story, but doesn't address how he got the rock of ages past customs agents in the first place.
Meanwhile, former Pink Floyd rocker Roger Waters, is having second thoughts about his concert in Israel two years back. After touring Bethlehem's refugee camps in the West Bank, and observing the separation barrier up close, the aging bassist declared that he would give a free concert once the Israelis pull down their concrete monstrosity, just as he did in Berlin after the Wall fell. In fact, "I would insist on it!" The iconic pop song, "The Wall" was one of the signature tunes for the psychedelic era band, which used school children to sing the memorable chorus.
The Israeli government spokesman, Mark Regev, comes from the same generation as Pink Floyd and coyly responded: "We don't need no education...about suicide bombers coming into Israel and murdering innocent people and how the barrier has prevented that by 95 per cent." Israelity bites.