How is it to live in a city where everything happens? Everybody wants to know what is happening and won’t take the time to understand why it’s all exploding. The issue is not the story of the city, the city is the story. Jerusalem is not only a city of stones and walls, but what's inside. Jerusalem is the only city in the world that if you walk the streets, in one moment you will realize and feel in every sense that you are really there. The spirituality of the city influences everyone, no matter how much faith you have. If Jerusalem is holy to all religions, and the common faith is that all religions have the same God, it means that Jerusalem belongs to all of us, in a spiritual way. So why if you walk in the streets of the city today you get the most tense feeling, one that hasn't been felt in the city in years?
Jerusalem is a place that all people can feel like strangers. If you ask a local person that has lived all his life in the city, directions to some place he can send you to the opposite way by mistake. Jerusalem is a confusing city for everybody and nobody knows all of it correctly. The feelings of strangeness and belonging change rapidly during time and place. The views of the neighborhoods and their people change during the riding at the bus or the train, or- for the brave -by foot.
But today we can open our minds to a different view; hundreds of soldiers and police officers are in the city. Protecting the city not only due to diplomatic obligation, they are here for the deep understating that the citizens genuinely need them. That tense feeling is felt in every corner of Jerusalem, in every junction there are five soldiers and police officers at least. The citizens appreciate the new and reinforced defense of the city. But on the other hand they would have been happy if wasn't needed. We hug our defenders that protect us with love and devotion. Our soldiers get the citizen’s full support, be it on the internet and social networks or financial support in small gestures of cups of coffees and cookies.
How is the feeling for the solider that in one moment finishes his training and has to be ready for the real thing? The soldier that was trained for this kind of situations didn't imagine that his obligation to the country would be in Jerusalem, his capitol. The complexity of this situation a child of our reality, thrusted upon us. In my opinion, both sides do not want this situation, and this kind of mess in our special city. What we can tell is that both sides lose in this kind of environment in both the feeling of security and economy. Everybody can tell the tensions and the fear; you could cut the tension with a knife.
Jerusalem is a place that you need to be in to understand, not only in Israel but specifically in Jerusalem. In this kind of situation, the easiest way is to judge is from outside, but what we as inhabitants can see from here cannot been seen from anywhere else on Earth. The criticism of today about our defenders is outrageous, the worldwide media treating our soldiers like they are guilty for the situation. On the other hand, we can blame the politicians on both sides that are guilty for this mess. Our brave defenders are protected strongly by the citizens on the national networks exactly like they protecting us in the field. Because no one, and no matter who you are, likes to live in fear, likes the feeling that no one protects you, even if you hold a weapon, be it a knife as a terrorist or a gun as a soldier.
This is us from both sides of the table, we are not afraid to die; we just got use to the feeling of living in fear. We so got used to it that the crazy situation became our routine. We got used to this feeling that every day and every second something could happen, you can never expect when and where the terrorist attack will happen. This kind of routine is not something to be understood by watching us on television. How many people can hold their breath and really understand the complexity of this situation. It is not clear how this situation will get better. Would splitting the city be the answer? Or sending massive forces?
If you are really want to understand what is happening in the most special city in the world, you are more than welcome to come here and see and feel our city. You can see with your own eyes that an entire city does not let fear surround it, the crowded and the full stores, nobody will stop their life because of the situation. If you want to see and realize all of this, come to Jerusalem and see for yourself how this special place can open your mind in a second.
Inside the city that belongs to all of us, don’t we all want to protect it? Are we all not living together for that kind of interest? There is no black and white, and surely no justice, but we all want to get back the quiet Jerusalem that we so deserve. We will never stop trying until we all can enjoy the city together. If you want to help us in this quest come to Jerusalem and prove that together we can change.
Written by: Matan Lifshitz (ESL)
A point view of a student from Jerusalem, just look from a window of hope and wait for the wind of change.
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