Tension in Jerusalem has been raising with the Latest UN suggestion to further limit Israeli access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Harm el Sharif, or Temple Mount. The mosque is built on the site where Muslims and Jews believe that Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac. It it is also where Muslims believe Muhammad ascended to Heaven, and Jews believe the site of the beginning of the creation. It is the place where Herod’s temple stood thousands of years ago. Now it is a place of incredible tension and violence.

Two teenage Palestinian cousins (ages thirteen and fifteen) decided they were sick of the tension surrounding the mosque and decided to take knives and stabbed two boys. The thirteen year old boy stabbed a thirteen year old Israeli boy four times in the neck and armpit, leaving him in critical condition. A thirteen year old almost stabbing another thirteen year old to death is absolutely alarming. People too often jump to the conclusion that Palestinians are just another group of Extremist Muslims. I was lucky enough to spend last summer living in Jerusalem with both Palestinians and Israelis. I came to love both groups and understand the situation a little bit better.

Palestinians are some of the most kind people I have ever met. The violence we see in the media is more often than not, a cry for help. A cry for peace. A cry for someone to notice that Israel needs new ideas for solutions to the conflict. Israeli’s are passionate about their faith and sincerely want security at home, as we all do. This has lead to Palestinians being literally walled out of their communities. Jerusalem is the place where they all come together. The conflict is real and complicated. As always, there are two sides to the story. I pray for the peace of Jerusalem often. I hope that the thirteen year old boys with both learn from this experience and work for solutions and someday create a more peaceful Jerusalem.

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