My friend Josh is an Israeli Solider. When we were young our parents were very good friends, they moved we we lost touch. In the past few months, I've reconnected with his family. Josh and I send information back and forth about Israel. I love following his tweets because he gives another more personal perspective to life in Israel...especially life as a solider. His mom was the one who sent me the article in my last blog post. As I was reading and writing about settlements from America, Josh was actually spending time there. Here are a few of his last tweets:
RT @andyls was attempted infiltration at migdal oz, 1 palestinian arrested 4 escaped
9:03 AM Jun 6th from mobile web
@andyls security guard said migdal oz or something like that
8:42 AM Jun 6th from mobile web
Left the area. Not sure how serious it was, will only be reported if someone was hurt
8:32 AM Jun 6th from mobile web
Shooting at settlement next to us, leaving now before main road is closed
8:07 AM Jun 6th from mobile web
Trying to leave the settlement, but there has been a shooting. Not sure of what is going on
8:01 AM Jun 6th from mobile web
I'm off to the Gush Etzion settlement block (south of Jerusalem) with the army for Shabbat.
11:21 PM Jun 4th from TweetDeck"
He went to the settlement for Shabbat, while he was leaving the settlement there was a shooting. They finally left, but didn't know how serious it was. Later he learned that five Palestinian tried to enter the settlement. I assume there was a shootout and some arrests.
It's interesting to hear of these stories from people actually living them, instead of a news report. It makes me think of life in my own little, yet dangerous city. I live in a nice city neighborhood surrounded by drug infested dangerous neighborhoods. There are drug deals in the park by my house. Teenage mothers who let their two-year-old wander to the park alone, but my block is nice. My neighbors are great. I'm happy there. I wouldn't want to leave. Because my husband is a prosecutor, I hear of shootings all the time. Shootings that occur four blocks from my house. My friend once commented that the nice neighborhoods in the city remind her of the settlements on the west bank, little oasises in the middle of chaos.
I'm not sure yet, what to make of it all. I know things aren't perfect on the settlements. I know Palestinians aren't the only ones who incite violence. The religious Jews can be just as dangerous. I just think, that on both sides, we forget that more than anything these are people's homes. No one wants to be forced from their homes...
Parashat Mishpatim: Radical Empathy
9 months ago