Jerusalem at the Boiling Point: What’s Behind the Latest Violence in the City?
Jerusalem is once again witnessing a surge of violence—rightwing Jewish extremists gathering to chant “Death to the Arabs” and assaulting Palestinians; clashes between the Israeli police and Palestinians; and acts of violence by individual Palestinians towards observant Jews. But what are the deeper historical, religious, and political factors that are behind the recent conflagration?
On Wednesday, May 5, we were joined via Zoom by Yonathan Mizrachi and Muhannad Anati, director and field worker, respectively, of Emek Shaveh, an Israeli NGO working to challenge the politicization of historic sites in Jerusalem, as well as by Hagit Ofran, longtime member of Peace Now Israel’s “Settlement Watch” project. Our panel looked at the sensitive flashpoints in Jerusalem, including Damascus Gate, the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, and the Silwan neighborhood, that make the dispute there so explosive. How have recent developments at these sites contributed to the heightened tensions?
The discussion, part of our “Conversations with Israel & Palestine” series, and being cosponsored by Emek Shaveh and Peace Now in Israel, was followed by Q&A with the Zoom audience.