It was a bad night in Jerusalem.
- Another Palestinian stabbed a Jew.
- Hundreds of right-wing Jews marched through the city, attacking random Arabs.
- Palestinians have been temporarily banned from the Old City.
What's stunning to me is how life seems to go on as normal, almost as if this tension and violence didn't exist. While right-wing Jews marched through Mamila chanting "Death to Arabs" last night and Jews were being stabbed by Palestinians in the Old City, I was 5 blocks away in a touristy bar, sipping cheap Scotch and eating french fries.
This sort of resilience seems like something that wouldn't happen in the United States. I'm remembering my experience of being in New England during the Boston bombings and aftermath, when an entire city was shut down in an attempt to track down two terrorists. If a terrorist stabbed 4 people in, say, Dupont Circle, I can't imagine that life would carry on as normal on U Street, but the equivalent seems to be common here.
I find the Israeli response to violence to be comforting, actually. You can't obsess when you're out drinking a few hours later. I think it's also politically healthy. In the United States, we seem to have developed a fearful political culture in the wake of 9/11 which has been destructive in many ways (see Trump, Donald). Maybe a dose of the Israeli "life goes on" culture of resilience would be helpful. Of course, it's not like Israel doesn't have a fearful, terrorism-obsessed, nativist, authoritarian political culture (see Netanyahu, Benjamin) so maybe there isn't as much of a link between cultural resilience in the face of violence and a healthy political culture as I'm suggesting.
Hopefully, this will be my last post of this nature, but I'm not optimistic.