Police tape at crime scene

                         Police tape at crime scene

The tension between Israelis and Palestinians peaked recently with multiple terror attacks on Israeli civilians, police and soldiers, leaving many dead and wounded. We follow with heavy hearts as the situation escalates and we join our families, friends and the people of Israel as they face the barrage of daily violent incidents. 

This particular wave of violent stabbing, shooting and driving into crowds by individuals is different from rocket attacks and suicide bombing of the past. These new attacks are random, frequent, unpredictable and very close to home, challenging the routine of daily life for everyone in Israel. 

At this point it cannot be blamed on any Palestinian militant group or faction and seems to be youth driven especially through social media. It involves Arab citizens of Israel who are divided among themselves on these acts and on how to react. It also undermines many attempts at coexistence between Arabs and Jews in the state of Israel.

To help you navigate this new reality, we have included news, opinions and educational resources from different sources and representing diverse perspectives below. We hope that this crisis will soon pass and relative calm will descend on Jerusalem and Israel.

Opinion Pieces/Personal Reflections

My Gun and Me by Donniel Hartman

In Israel, Fighting Big Knives and Bad Ideas by Liel Leibovitz, Tablet Magazine
It’s not just the brutal attacks that are threatening the Jewish state; dangerous delusions may prove just as fatal

When wave of terror becomes a tsunami by Nahum Barnea, Ynet
The current wave has roots, at least in part, in the fact that Palestinian and Israeli governments have been offering Palestinian youths nothing but despair over the years.

Why is the World Ignoring a Wave of Terror in Israel by Arsen Ostrovsky, The Telegraph

Israelis Are Using Humor to Cope With Recent Surge in Violence by Yitzhak Bronstein, Tablet Magazine
Israelis are famous for coping with difficult situations through humor. Defensive weaponry includes T-shirts and rolling pins, selfie sticks and ‘Street Fighter’-like lightning cannon balls

Palestinian incitement or deeper malaise? Depends which Israeli official you ask by Elhanan Miller, The times of Israel

Sweating the Small Stuff by Robbie Gringras, Makom Israel

Arab Voices
in condemnation or support of the violence

Video: Israeli-Arab Reporter Lucy Aharish Talks About The Current Wave Of Terror Attacks
In flawless Hebrew (with English subtitles), Lucy Aharish talks about the weakness of Israeli-Arab political leaders and their alleged incitement of terror. When she was only 5-years-old, she and her parents survived a terror attack while shopping in Gaza.

Nazareth mayor accuses Joint List MKs of ‘ruining coexistence’ from the Jerusalem Post

(Arab) Politicians’ Failure to Curb Arab Terror Wave to Culminate in ‘Day of Rage’ from Jewish Press

Arab Citizens of Israel on Wikipedia

Coexistence Continued

Amid Violence and Fear, Arabs and Jews Seek to Use Food as a Language for Peace - By Liz Steinberg, Ha'aretz

Hundreds of Israeli Jews and Arabs rally for Peace - The Times of Israel 

Jews and Arabs Worship Together in Nazareth - Video


Surge in violence tests loyalties of Israeli Arabs by Maayan Lubell, Reuters

Jerusalem - How Did the Latest Conflict Begin from ABC Net

Israeli Jews and Arabs Rally for Peace  in The Times of Israel

Israel and the Region in The Times of Israel

Arab-Israeli Conflict in Jerusalem Post

Experts Weigh in on Wave of Terror in Jerusalem Post

Israeli-Palestinian Violence: What You Need to know by Ben Wedeman, CNN

What Are Our Schools Doing?

Our Hearts Ache Over the Turmoil in Israel
Jewish Community High School of the Bay, San Francisco
Rabbi Howard Ruben,  Head of School, shares his community's response

Kehillah Stands with Israel Campaign
Kehillah Jewish High School, Palo Alto
Rabbi C. Michelle Greenberg, Dean of Students, shares her community's campaign

Poem: A Prayer for the World by Rabbi Harold Kushner
Hadas Rave, Director of Jewish Life at Contra Costa Jewish Day School, shares her community's prayer along with the Prayer for the State of Israel

Prayers of Mothers for Life and Peace
Joel Abramoviz, Principal of Judaic Studies at Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School, shares with us a prayer for peace used in school.

Educational Resources

NEW!! APPROACHING CONFLICTS - From the iCenter for Israel Education

Contexts, Perspectives, and Values in Israel Education
Approaching Conflicts is designed to help educators and learners engage sensitive material with more confidence, ask more questions, and challenge assumptions for the purpose of a strong and meaningful relationship with Israel.

Eight Things You Can Do During Difficult Times in Israel - By Natalie Blitt, the iCenter for Israel Education

Responding to Crisis
From the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland

Resources for Talking about Israel in Times of Crisis
From Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago

Prayer for the Peace and Welfare of the State of Israel
A lesson from Makom Israel with a new song version by Kobi Oz

Reframing Israel - A New Curriculum
Teaching Jewish kids to think critically about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Tell Me a Story with a Happy Ending
Correspondence between Sayed Kashua and Etgar Keret
Published in the Newi Yorker, October 13-14, 2014
Part 1Part 2

Suggested activity:

Read this poem by Langston Hughes.
Discuss the following questions:

  • Do you have something that you want very much?  What are your dreams?
  • Is there a difference between Personal Dream and National Dreams?
  • What are the dreams of the People living in the land of Israel?
  • Is there a way to make dreams come true?  What does it take to do so?

A Poem

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
Hughes was an African-American poet, social activist,
novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the
earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form
jazz poetry. Hughes is best known for his work during
the Harlem Renaissance.


If you have resources to add, email Vtoran@jewishlearningworks.org