The New Neighborhood of Bab-al-Shams

I lived in Jerusalem for three months during the second intifada, and then I lived In Beer Sheva for a month, which I thought would be quieter. But also there I did not manage to avoid coming face to face with its violence.
A man from the West Bank had crossed into Israel, and tried to wrestle a gun from a soldier near Beer Sheva’s central bus station. When that failed, he fled and hailed a taxi, and proceeded to stab the driver in the chest.
It’s almost exactly nine years later, and I mostly remember how much blood there was and how the man’s eyes rolled wild and unseeing from the pain as we evacuated him to the emergency room of Soroka University Medical Center.
During this time period I remember people saying “if only the Palestinians would protest non-violently, then we could give them a state.” I suspect I said it too, and I would have meant it.
It’s through this lens, and with a sense of elation, that I read the news this morning of a new tent-protest-settlement-village of Bab-al-Shams in the E-1 area east of Jerusalem.
I don’t know anyone involved, but the way things go in this part of the world, I suspect that many of them have also seen too much blood and too much pain, and are still committed to a non-violent struggle.
I guess I just want to say that I am with them. I admire their strengt. I support them. I wish them success in forging a new path in this land, and in establishing the State of Palestine.

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