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  • Writer's pictureveronicapaini

Two Israeli shot dead in Jerusalem

How is it like?

I am a US citizen currently living in the heart of Jerusalem. And I will never truly know, how it’s like to live in a land where there is constant terror & tension.

Yesterday- there was a terror attack just walking distance from where I’m situated.

A drive by shooting, killing 2 injuring 6.

How is it like to live around violence? How is it like to consider this as ‘no surprise’ ? How is it like to grow up already having an enemy?

The Freedom Theatre located in the heart of the Refugee camp of Jenin

I’ll never know.

But today, I was taken aback- feeling guilty and irrelevant. I felt so out of touch.. a complete outsider to this nation and the continuous conflict around it.

I have already fallen in love with this country. I am obsessed with the culture, history, and different lifestyles.. but this isn’t my home. This isn’t my sheltered bubble of Orange Country. I know I won’t be here forever.

So, I’ll never know.

But for many, this land is more than a home- it’s a constant battle to maintain an identity. A mixture of devastation and hope.. A conversation that seems to be either black or white.

The streets from the city of Jenin

The Palestinian & Israeli debate, is one I am experiencing first hand, one that cannot be written in books or taught in a classroom. These events are raw and my own opinions are constantly being challenged - making me frustrated as hell.

I wish I could say there is a solution, that there will be an end date to the lonewolf attacks.. but after being here for a couple of weeks and visiting the Palestinian territories.. I feel hopeless. I look to these big global organizations as people who just ‘talk the talk’ but don’t actually ‘walk the walk’.

And me? What can I do?

How can I be so selfish back home, complaining about the most ridiculous things? How can I even waste my energy when there is such turmoil around other parts of the world. Where kids grow up on different boarders- already with a distinct enemy. Living here- I see the strong division. While traveling across the heavily armed checkpoint to Palestine my heart skipped a beat, regardless of the nationality on my passport.

Still after this attack, I left my hostel to walk towards the Old City. However, the entire time I felt a sense of paranoia, I would be walking more swiftly and constantly checked my surroundings.. For the first time- I felt fear. The police and military stations multiplied. Every corner, an official stood with an M6 Riffle. But I didn’t feel any more safe… I felt more worried surrounded by such weapons.

A sign that reads, "This Road Leads To Palestinian Village The Entrance For Israeli Citizens is Dangerous "

But this is what they want us to feel-fear. Yet, we must stand up against fear, regardless of your position on this controversial debate. The Hamas acknowledged the attack as a ‘success’ and a ‘heroic’ move.. encouraging more individuals to take up such lone wolf attacks..

Will this ever end? Or will generations follow in the footsteps of their parents, teachers, mentors.. and continue this never ending clash.

I see it first hand and it’s something you cannot describe.

Regardless, of these recent terror attacks, In the last 48hrs, I’ve learned a lot. Not just about myself, but humans, conflicts, and never ending discussions…and with the holiday nearing, I pray to God it is a safe one for both ends of the spectrum.

Because you cannot fight fire with fire.

xx V

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