East Jerusalem

One of the people I met in Jerusalem was Yishai Fleisher, a paratrooper (and rabbi) who appears in this video. Actually, I also went out to his home, which appears here: he invited me to lunch because his wife is from Texas and she really looked forward to a chance to talk with someone from back home.

He sent this video with a note that says, "While Vice let me have my say, they colored the atmosphere of the video with frightening music and, of course, frightening footage to match. Vice, and their ilk, are happy to highlight the conflict, the violence, the discord, and the seemingly never ending hate, but they are unwilling to show the decent lives that both Arabs and Jews have in Jerusalem, far superior to the other regional capitals of Baghdad, Cairo, and Damascus. They cut my description of a hopeful future because they are not interested. Vice were searching for facts to match their thesis and not the other way around."

For what it's worth, I walked through all this area by myself, and nobody gave me a minute's trouble. One Arab shopkeeper went out of his way to tell me that Americans were very welcome in his neighborhood. I'd have to say, based on my couple of weeks exploring Jerusalem, that Yishai is probably right that a lot of the tension in the video was added for dramatic effect. That's not to say there isn't any tension. I just think he's right that it's a whole lot nicer than Baghdad.

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