It has been a while since I have updated. I owe you an entry about Purim (which was amazing), but right now I am not in the mood to talk about it.
Today there was a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. A bomb exploded near the central bus station injuring over 30 people and killing one. I was in class when it happened, and we all found out basically through people who were using their computers in class seeing the news. We were listening to this really interesting speaker who is a leader of the social workers strike that is taking place in Israel, but after people found out no one was fully paying attention. Everyone was getting and sending phone calls and texts to make sure people we know are ok/ to tell people who were worried about us that we were ok. Everyone in my HUC class is ok, thankfully.
This was not something I expected to happen while I am here in Jerusalem. There has been relative quiet for the past few years, so I was convinced that this would continue. To be honest I think it might be scarier for Israelis than for me because this reminds them of what happened during the second antifada (where there were bombs in crowded areas quite frequently), which I was not here for.
The violence two weeks ago now in Itamar where a family was brutally slain by an arab-palestinian was tragic to me, but it didn't hit me in the same way. Settlers are more removed from my day to day life and their actions (I think) are much more controversial than people living in Jerusalem. That is not to say that I don't think what was done to the family in Itamar was absolutely horrible, but just that it was more distant for me. Violence in the settlements is awful (both the violence towards the Jews and towards the Arabs), but it is farther away from my reality.
Jerusalem...I live here. It's not that I feel particularly scared, more just shaken up. The uncertainty is also what is getting to me. I want to know who the bomber was, what organization he comes from, and if I now need to expect further violence. I hope not, but I don't know. I really hope this in an isolated incident, but it is impossible to know that now.
Most of all this bombing just makes me extremely sad. I am sad for the people who were killed and seriously injured and even those not so seriously injured. I am sad for an end to the period of silence in Jerusalem. I am sad over the anger that I have seen and heard coming from Jews, not that they shouldn't be angry (heck I'm angry), but that the anger is being generalized to all Palestinians. People are saying, and THESE are the people we want to make peace with?? We don't even know who the people behind this are, the Palestinian Authority has condemned the bombing so I'm going to assume they are not behind this. The blind rage that is resulting from this makes me sad (this is not to say that everyone is reacting this way at all, but there are people). I am sad for the people who are now too scared to take a bus. I am sad for everyone affected negatively by this happening.
Maybe this disruption of the silence will cause more people to think about the situation. When it is quiet it can be easy to forget what is going on, but maybe this will help bring some more urgency to the peace talks. I think that this was a horrible horrible thing that happened today, but if we can get some good out of it somehow at least we could give the huge black storm cloud a small silver lining...
I dunno. It's strange how life goes on.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by today's events. I am hoping for the best.
ps thanks to everyone who called/texted/emailed/facebooked to make sure I was ok.