The news from Israel has been so disturbing this past week. I kept reading about each terrorist incident targeting Israelis and Jews. This violence has shaken all of Israel. Our national organization, the Jewish Federations of North America, sent an update yesterday to the Federation system reporting:
In one tragic attack, gunmen shot and killed Eitam and Na’ama Henkin in front of the couple’s four young children. Eitam, who holds American citizenship, is also the son of Rabbanit Dr. Chana Henkin, a well-known American Jerusalem educator who heads the Nishmat Institute, an Orthodox seminary noted for breaking boundaries on behalf of Orthodox women.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled his planned trip to Germany marking 50 years of diplomatic relations this week in light of the deteriorating security situation. Police and other security has been significantly boosted, particularly in Jerusalem. In a highly unusual move, security forces have restricted entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City to Israeli citizens, tourists and Old City residents, thus preventing outside Palestinians from entering the area.
While the situation remains tense, Israeli citizens are by and large continuing to go about their daily lives, but are aware of the increased police presence; a regular background of helicopters, ambulances and other sirens; the return of security guards at public venues; and other subtle changes. This morning, many schools in Jerusalem are closed as parents have organized to demand additional security measures be put in place.
Our thoughts and prayers go to all those families who have suffered at the hands of these terrorists. And we all join in the hope that quiet will once again fall upon Jerusalem and all of Israel.