There’s a lot of debate going on lately. It’s all in a name. What should we call all the terrorist attacks of the last weeks?
It might be a bit arbitrary to the innocent bystander. What to call something. It’s not as if we are trying to name the new Messiah.
At all. There is little salvation in the continuous acts of revenge and hatred that have been flooding the country lately.
There’s no relief. Just grief. Anger and fear. Spiraling upward.
That, in itself is an uprise. An Intifada.
So should we or shouldn’t we call the current situation in Israel an Intifada? Maybe we should call it an Urban Intifida because it takes place mostly in Jerusalem? Or maybe we can call it the silent Intifada because it seems merely a set of somewhat unrelated incidents?
The debate is if we may call it an Intifada because there appears to be no guidance. There’s no structure. It is an unorganized sequence of terrorist attacks. Or so they say.
There is a certain modus operandi, though. The new fad is to drive a car into people. Whoever is waiting at a bus stop is a plausible victim. In a comment to an article in Haaretz newspaper a Palestinian woman mentioned that there were no other ways to demonstrate anymore. That all people wanted was their territory back and being treated as equals.
The incredible tragedy is that the regular ways to demonstrate do often lead to death, imprisonment and torture on the Palestinian side. And the building of more settlements. And a wall to protect the settlements.
Today, the Knesset votes about a Jewish Nation State Bill. In it, there’s no room for Arabic as an official language in Israel. It sets out to establish democracy for Jews only.
There is no voice the Palestinians can use to make themselves heard. Driving over people or stabbing them is certainly not doing their cause any good either.
Not helpful and very wrong. It’s an act of utter despair. It’s a cry of help of those that live a life of constant frustration, humiliation, fear and anger.
It does make it more daunting to take public transport these days. It’s the kind of adventure I do not feel comfortable with yet. Nor am I numb enough yet to not be afraid. So we walk. Take routes that will not come close to the bus and light rail stops.
Blocks are placed in front of bus stops to protect the waiting passengers from drive-in terrorist attacks. When we drive through Jerusalem or through the West Bank, we have to drive around the people waiting for busses in front of the concrete blocks.
Yes, I said that right: people are waiting on the wrong side of the protective blocks.
And it strikes me: People are so used to fear, they do not recognize the feeling anymore. Fear turns in to anger. And angry people wait for the bus on the street. Angry about the bus that is always late. Angry about terrorist attacks. Angry about the way the bus driver shakes them on the ride (our children call it a free roller coaster ride). Angry about their life.
But never afraid anymore. Or so they think.
An Intifada would be scary. So we will not call it that. No uprise. Just a lot of angry people fighting each other.
And nothing changes.