Double Life – Jerusalem

fubini1By Daniela Fubini*

Jerusalem is burning, again, and there is barely anything new to report except for the fireworks. Yes, fireworks: used as a weapon instead of an expression of joy.
This time around, the underemployed youth of East Jerusalem are given borderline weapons, abandoned the usual stones who can really hurt but have no visual effect. In the era of the selfies, in the age of the mandatory recording on video of anything we do, beginning with what we eat or cook, with whom we meet and how beautiful the daily sunset from our window, the street fighting against the Israeli police needs to make noise, and better if sound and light are involved too. Hence, the fireworks are just perfect. They sound like bombs, and reach a perfect effect when mixed with Molotov bombs, adding a long lasting fire on the ground.
They break the night in the Silwan neighborhood, where recently Jewish families have bought houses and created tensions with their presence. They say, the Jewish families, that there isn’t a more Jewish place than that, where King David lived and reigned. And build bulletproof kindergartens for their children, on the roofs of buildings, in order to keep them far from the mob. The Palestinians respond by throwing stones high up, higher and higher, trying to reach the suspended playgrounds. The whole story is frightening, wherever you choose to look.
But as a Jew, I am appalled when I see the quiet explanation on why these Jewish families have decided to move to an area that has been Arab for ages. The fact that these people, my people, are increasing the tension knowingly, and proudly, raises painful questions. And this is parallel but precedes in time the Temple Mount walks taken despite the predictable violent reaction from the Arab side.
Until we convince our own people to be a bit more considerate in the timing of their moving into a new hood, or walking on sacred ground, I am afraid all what we will report from Jerusalem is more fire.

*Daniela Fubini (Twitter @d_fubini) lives and writes in Tel Aviv, where she arrived in 2008 from Turin via New York.