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  • Gwen Ackerman

Never the Whole Story

Updated: Aug 26, 2017

When I watch or read news coverage on Jerusalem, what I see is a conflict-driven city where Palestinians and Jews argue over control. But what the news fails to show are the pockets of coexistence that thrive despite all the attempts of geopolitics to stop it. In Jerusalem's hospital wards, for example, a growing number of Jewish and Muslim doctors treat every patient without prejudice. In emergency rooms, the fly on the wall listens to staff offering one another specialties from their Kurdish, Moroccan, Palestinian, Lebanese, Polish kitchens. In pharmacies, devout Muslim women work beside secular Jews. And in the malls, young Arabs and young Jews staff fashionable clothing stories. On the streets it is almost impossible to tell young secular Muslims apart from secular Jews. As it should be in a modern city. So, yes, there is violence, especially over religious shrines. And yes, there is tension, much more so than any other city in Israel. And yes, Israeli Jewish mothers send their kids off to school on city buses with their hearts in their mouths after so many bus bombings and car rammings. And yes, Palestinian mothers worry Jewish extremists might kidnap their children and burn them alive. But that isn't the whole story. And it never will be.


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