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Monday, September 2, 2013


Yesterday I wrote and posted an article about the realities Israelis must contend with as America and the rest of the world is ruminating over the situation in Syria. As I was writing, another even more ominous and personal event was unfolding in Jerusalem.

Just outside Jaffa Gate, the most popular entrance into the Old City, there is a beautiful open-air mall that was constructed with the idea of a safe and harmonious place where Jews and Arabs could work together. The Mamilla Mall features an outdoor promenade and a two-level indoor section as well as boutiques, internationally famous fashion stores and wonderful indoor and outdoor restaurants.

On Sunday, a regular work day in Israel, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced that it had arrested five Hamas terrorists from eastern Jerusalem last month who were planning to carry out an attack on the mall during Rosh Hashanah, the High Holiday season of the Jewish New Year. They intended to set off bombs. This outrageous attack by Palestinian Terrorists would have occurred sometime between September 4th and 6th when Jews, Muslims and Christians from around the world would have filled Mamilla Mall to capacity.

The “REALITY CHECK”? If Israel depended on anyone else for their internal security they would have no chance for peace. They are very vigilant and this latest attempted terrorist attack demonstrates why. It also underscores why Israel cannot depend on the United Nations or its allies such as the U.S. to protect its citizens.

I will be in Israel in about three weeks. I will walk from one end of Mamilla to the other. I will enjoy a meal at an outdoor restaurant. I will meet with my Jewish and Christian colleagues over coffee. We will strategize, catch up on one another’s life and work, we will laugh, we will swap stories and jokes…in other words, in defiance of those who hate, we will love, we will live. We will stand with the right of Israelis to have a peaceful capital city surrounded by secure national borders.

I urge you to go to Israel for a visit. Go to the Holy City. Enjoy Mamilla.

Remember to always pray and work for the peace of Jerusalem.

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