Saturday, December 27, 2008

My heart is heavy today

Our Shabbat started out fine today. Tom and I spoke in sacrament meeting this morning, and we had a great congregation. The Tel Aviv Branch was visiting because they're having some problems with their meeting house. There was also a large tour group today, which is always fun.

A friend of ours gave us a ride home from church, which added to my happiness that my talk was over and I had the rest of the day to relax. We came home, ate lunch, and we all went down for naps.

When I woke up at about 4:30 or 5:00, I saw right away online that Israel made a major attack on Gaza as I peacefully slept in my bed. At this point they're saying about 200 are dead, and many other hundreds are wounded. I almost felt guilty for not being aware in the very moment so many were living in fear and horror, not too far from us.

As I got up to make dinner, I heard many helicopters flying overhead. So after dinner I got back online and heard that there have been some incidences in Jerusalem, also, in response to the attack on Gaza.

Here is a quote from the Jerusalem Post online:

Following the IAF assault on Gaza, outbreaks of rioting were being reported in East Jerusalem.

Hundreds of Palestinians at the entrance to the Shoafat refugee camp were hurling rocks at police and Border Police forces, who were attempting to disperse the demonstration. On Salah-adDin street in the city, dozens of protesters set ablaze garbage bins.

Earlier, several demonstrators were arrested after hurling rocks at police at the Flowers Gate in the Old City, and in the Muslim Quarter.

These places are very familiar to us. We go to the Muslim Quarter in the Old City regularly, and Salah-adDin is probably one of my favorite places to go in all of Jerusalem. It has fun shopping and is full of very nice people. We call it "our street" because we like it so much. Here are a couple pictures I took one of the first times I ever went there...

Tom recently got a text message from the University which said to avoid going into East Jerusalem and the Old City, which is funny because we LIVE in East Jerusalem! In fact, the main campus of Hebrew U is in East Jerusalem, along with all of their dorms. Hmm. Not quite sure what they expect the students to do.

Apparently, there is a lot of talk on Facebook about all the sirens, smoke, explosions, and police cars racing around our neighborhood. We haven't heard or seen much of it, so I'm not sure how much of it is hype. Our windows also probably face the wrong direction to see what's going on, so maybe that's part of it.

I'm not sure why I'm rambling on about this. I have a hard time making sense of a lot of it in my mind. I do understand where both sides come from, to an extent. I guess the hard part for me is I love Israelis, and I love Palestinians. Part of me just can't fathom why they want to hurt each other, and then the other part of me knows EXACTLY why they want to hurt each other.


Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is that my heart is heavy today.


Taylor said...

All the fighting is so sad to me. I wish it didn't have to happen. You guys be so careful over there!

Jodi said...

Scary! I'll keep you guys in my prayers!

Jared and Tara said...

i hope things settle down quickly. in the meantime, we'll be praying for you guys!

Megan said...

Dang. I heard about that on the news and I was worried for you guys. Keep us updated. We are praying for ya'll.