by Nir Barkat
Jerusalem is a special city and Jerusalemites are a unique and extraordinary people. Jerusalem is a large city, and when necessary, we know how to function as a warm and embracing community. We band together, becoming one family, putting into practice the adage of our Sages, “All the people of Israel are responsible for one other.”
The wave of terrorism that we are experiencing in Jerusalem is brutal and cruel. Inflammatory incitement and lies from mosques, Palestinian leaders and the Islamic Movement are resulting in the murder of innocent civilians, and terror in the streets of Jerusalem that attempts to disrupt our daily routine. To our shock and horror, there is no limit to the cruelty of murderers who use meat cleavers and kitchen knives to attack innocent young children on bikes on their way home from school. We Jerusalemites are strong, united and determined. We have survived harder times and overcome them.
The care, responsiveness and empathy of Jerusalem’s residents is an exemplary model. Our security forces and police are combating terrorists in the field and saving lives on a daily basis. People who take responsibility and act quickly and decisively are protecting the innocent.
We feel the pain of the families who have lost their loved ones, we care for and support our wounded, we stand tall and we move forward. That is how it has always been and this will always be our answer to terrorism. That is why we will emerge victorious this time as well. When we stand united and strong, we are invincible.
The emergency routine in which we find ourselves requires us to be alert and responsible, and, most of all, unified, strong, and determined in the current struggle against terrorists and the shocking forms of evil that we are being confronted with. But is also requires us to continue with our daily routines and to build and strengthen Jerusalem. It requires us to overcome our fear and anxiety and to pursue our daily lives, and to continue planning for the future.
Jerusalem is sending a loud and clear message to all the people of Israel: do not let the murderers get what they want. We must continue with our lives. Citizens from all of Israel and people from across the globe must come and visit Jerusalem, especially now. Come and pray at our holy sites and at the Western Wall. Enjoy our abundant cultural events, museums, and tourist sites. Walk around the city center and the Old City – because that is how we will show our enemies that they will not win.
When we demonstrate unity, strength, and determination, I have no doubt that we will get through this, because you can always count on Jerusalemites.
Nir Barkat is Mayor of Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish people.