By all reports, the protests against Palestinian home evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem have evolved into a political phenomenon that cannot be ignored. Last Saturday night, thousands of demonstrators came out in the largest joint Israeli-Palestinian protest on record.
For more: this Ynet article posted in Coteret, blogger Jerry Haber’s report on Magnes Zionist, and a piece from the Jerusalem Post. My friend and colleague Father Cotton Fite is currently visiting Israel/Palestine; he attended the rally and has just posted impressions on his blog. My good pal Rabbi Brian Walt also offers a thorough report.
An excerpt from Brian’s post:
I have attended several Israeli demonstrations but this was the first demonstration where there was a large presence of Palestinians, Palestinian flags, and speakers who addressed the crowd in Arabic. The mixed crowd – Israeli Jews, mostly secular but some wearing kippot, Palestinian women in traditional dress, Palestinian and Israeli youth – felt wonderful, a rare experience of the reality in this country, two peoples living together on the land with two languages, two cultures and three or more religions. It is very rare for the two peoples to share anything. I think among the young people involved in this struggle it is truly an Israeli – Palestinian effort and their vision is one of a shared future. One of the most prominent posters at these rallies reads: Jews and Arabs together, refuse to be enemies. In Hebrew it rhymes: Yehudim v’Aravim, mesarvim lih’yot oyvim.
This image inspired something in me something resembling hope – something I haven’t felt re the Israel/Palestine conflict in a long, long time…