Ripples of violence disrupt life in Jerusalem

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by — Posted in From the field, Israel, News

I’ve been pondering for days what to write about last week’s events in  Jerusalem. Reporting a lot of detail is a waste of time. There are ample news sources doing a good job (and watchful groups calling out those doing a TERRIBLE job. CNN & MSNBC, I’m looking at you).

Instead, I want to share some of the ripples I’ve seen and felt every time a stone is thrown in the water.

As many analysts and columnists and long-time residents will tell you, this is nothing like the Second Intifada, in which the popular weapon was a vest full of explosives. Yet it’s having its psychological effect on both Arab and Jew.

  • Jews sometimes react in fright if I walk past them too briskly.

    A surveillance flies over the Tower of David Museum in Old City Jerusalem.
    A surveillance blimp flies over the Tower of David Museum in Old City Jerusalem.
  • Jerusalem-native Arabs make sure to keep their hands out of pockets and to smile and be extra friendly and courteous so as to not be held up by Israel police forces.
  • This international is shopping closer to home. I suspect local Jews and Arabs are doing the same.
  • A friend in Tel Aviv is hesitant to come by bus to Jerusalem. Then she tells me she’s stressed about even going out in her city as there have been attacks there, too.
  • Some nights, gangs of right-wing Jewish youth roam looking for Arabs to hurt.
  • An Arab shop owner is beat by police after he runs to catch a tourist who forgot her purchase. The situation was diffused only when another police officer recognized him.
  • An Arab hair stylist used by many people I know has a Jew run up to him and start yelling “Terrorist!” Thankfully, the police officer nearby knew the Arab.
  • A friend of mine was on pins and needles for hours after receiving word that an Arab teen she befriended is dead. Thankfully, it was a false alarm.
  • Some Arab neighborhoods are being walled off to better monitor who comes out and check for weapons.

I feel like I could keep going. There are so many knock-on effects.

By and large, Jews want to just make peace, but there are those who want the Arabs out at any cost. Many Arabs just want to live in peace, but their young men radicalize when they immerse themselves with Islamist messages online and then their leaders egg them on.

What can we do? We followers of Yeshua in the Land have to be peacemakers. Sometimes that means praying. Sometimes that means conversing, mediating. Sometimes it means removing racist graffiti from the bus stop.

3 thoughts on “Ripples of violence disrupt life in Jerusalem

  1. It is almost unimaginable. lord, we pray for peace, we pray for Jew and Arab, we pray for believers in Yeshua. Know that you are continually in our prayers. Thanks once again for allowing us to walk with you although traumatic as Sukie said.

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