Recent stories: May 2021 events in Israel and West Bank
On Monday, May 10 2021 I was in Jerusalem still thinking that it was the epicenter of thestory. But the pace of events in the last two weeks have broken athead-spinning speed. It began with violence breaking out in this city,holy to so many, first at demonstrations at Damascus Gate then came stone throwing, stun-grenades and teargas exchanges during Ramadan prayers on the Temple Mount and clashes in SheikhJarrah.
Since the unrestbegan the air has been heavy with dread and tension but like everyone else, atfirst I hoped for the best. As events became more volatile, the “Flag March” offar-right wing Jews through Jerusalem’s Old City was cancelled at the lastminute by the Israeli government. Soon after sirens
sounded in Jerusalem,heralding the arrival of missiles all the way from Gaza. It was immediatelyclear: calm was not on the horizon.
And then once again thestory shifted and morphed, almost by the hour. I traveled between airraid sirens and riots in Arab-Jewish “mixed cities”, among desperate people seekingrefuge from stone-throwing and racist chants, between burned cars and thespecter of civil war.
If somewhere there is adesire for coexistence and peace, for a peaceful, calm, conflict-freeexistence, it appears hidden from view, far from anything we can see.